The best places in Europe will provide an incredible experience for you who want to travel to the Old Continent. With the ease of movement and proximity between many of them, it is possible to meet even more than one and marvel at what we see in movies and photos.
To decide which the best places to visit in Europe are, it is important to define the purpose of your trip. After all, the options vary from cities with a preserved ancient history to paradisiacal beaches and megalopolises that mix the modern and the traditional.
In this article, I bring the top 31 places to visit in Europe for a memorable experience. I show the main characteristics of each one and tips on where to visit and which are the best neighborhoods to stay. Read on!
Best Places To Visit In Europe
1. Paris, France
I open the list of the best places in Europe, simply with the city of light! As you know, Paris is the capital and the most populous city in France. Bathed by the River Seine, where you can take a boat trip, it is one of the most important economic centers in Europe. Despite the fact that Paris is very large, the metro will allow you to reach all parts of the city quickly and safely.
The main attractions of Paris are the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, Arc de Triomphe, Champs Elysees, Jardin de Luxembourg and Pere Lachaise Cemetery. Finally, do not forget that in Paris there are some of the most famous art galleries in the world, such as the Louvre Museum or the Musee d’Orsay, full of impressionist paintings.
2. London, UK
In second place in the list of the best places in Europe is London, the capital of the United Kingdom. It is one of the most famous and beautiful cities in the world. Its long historical tradition and its economic and cultural status at a global level endorse its position in this ranking.
London is one of the main commercial hubs in the world, home to some of the main multinational companies, and the capital is known for its buzz in bars, passion for football, and the charm of the Royal Family.
Eating fish and chips, going to Chinatown, walking among the colorful houses of Notting Hill, or seeing the changing of the guard are some of the many things you can do in London. And what would the city of London be without its wonderful Big Ben or Buckingham Palace? These two monuments, together with the London Eye, a 135 meter high Ferris wheel, make the best attractions in this city. If you are a fan of museums, you can visit the British Museum, the largest in the country, the National Gallery, or the Tate Modern.
3. Rome, Italy
Following the list of places in Europe, there is certainly the most legendary capital and full of millenary stories on the list. This is the fourth largest city in the European Union and stands out for its archaeological wealth, religion, art, fashion, and cuisine.
Rome has a charm hardly comparable to other European cities. Get lost in the Roman streets seeing architectural wonders from Roman times such as the Flavian Amphitheater or Colosseum, the Roman Forum, the Catacombs, the Pantheon, or the Castel Sant’Angelo.
This city is also the heart of religion. It houses the Basilica of Saint Peter, one of the most emblematic buildings in the world, as well as the Sistine Chapel, made by Michelangelo. And with all this, do not forget that you have to eat, and if you are a food lover, Italy is the cradle of Italian pizzas, Italian ice cream, and pasta.
The phrase that says “it takes seven lives to see the whole of Rome” is very true. And being such a large city, it is almost impossible to visit all its corners once. So put the coin in the Trevi Fountain and hope to be back soon.
4. Crete, Greece
Then, the first paradise in Greece appears on the list of the best places in Europe, being this the largest and most populous island in the country. The place is very prepared for tourism, so much that it has three airports and receives foreigners from all over the world on its beaches, especially in August, at the height of the European summer.
Its main sights are the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion, Knossos Palace, Elafonisi Beach (one of the best in the world), Cretaquarium, Arkadi Monastery, and the Venetian Castles. Pay attention to where to stay, as the island is big and you can be too far away. I recommended that you stay at hotels in Chania.
5. Barcelona, Spain
In fifth place on the list is simply the city that receives the most tourists in Spain. Barcelona is modern and traditional, because at the same time it is world-famous for its nightlife, it preserves its nature, architecture, and above all, the local art and all the geniuses that made it history.
When visiting the Catalan capital, visit the following tourist attractions in Barcelona: Sagrada Familia, the Picasso Museum, Casa Batllo, La Pedrera, Park Guell, Camp Nou, National Museum of Art, Montserrat, and Montjuic.
6. Prague, Czech Republic
Many think that the United Kingdom or Italy is where the medieval European spirits dwell. However, this isn’t the case. What the United Kingdom has are attractions that provide a clue about the sophistication of aristocratic families. Moreover, Italy has the classic European gallantry.
The medieval European spirit lies somewhere where you least expect it to be. It is in the peaceful Czech Republic, specifically in its capital, Prague. It boasts ofan impressive architectural heritage that dates back to medieval times. Examples are the Bethlehem Chapel, All Saints Church, Hluboka State Castle, Permstejn Castle, Old-New Synagogue, and The Dancing House.
In addition, Prague consumes the most beer in the world. And to find the best beer, Prague’s Beer Museum is the place to go. Beer Museum is a building at the heart of Prague’s historic Old Town. It was only built in 2014 but has already toppled the older pubs within the vicinity of Old Town.
As the name implies, the Beer Museum has the largest collection of beer varieties in Prague. You can drink the rarest beer varieties here, such as the Braggot, Gruit, Sahti, Grose, etc. By the way, prepare your lungs because Beer Museum hosts drinking contests.
7. Istanbul, Turkey
I arrive in Istanbul, which is simply the fourth largest city in the world. And in this immense territory, it has many incredible attractions in Turkey. I’m talking about a place rich in beautiful urban settings, religious centers, and of course, the much sought after and famous trade.
The main tourist attractions include the Hagia Sophia (architecture of a millennium and a half), the Grand Bazaar, the Blue Mosque, the Gulhane Park, the Galata Tower, the Hippodrome Square, and the Topkapi Palace.
8. Majorca, Spain
In the eastern part of Spain, it is the largest and main of the Balearic Islands, made up of breathtaking scenery. Mallorca is a coastal paradise and at the same time has several interesting places in the capital, with the peculiarity of not being as crowded as Ibiza.
The best guided tours in Majorca include: Palma de Majorca Cathedral, Cuevas Del Branch, Bellver Castle, Cabrera Island, Calla Millor, Palacio Real de la Almudaina, El Arenal Beach and Sierra de Tramuntana.
9. Santorini, Greece
In 9th place, another island of stunning beauty is located in the southeast of Greece. Santorini was formed from the eruption of a volcano, and therefore, stones are present around the city. Its architecture impresses with the iconic houses painted in blue and white, in scenes that look like cartoons.
Among all things to do in Santorini are Imerovigli, Acrotin, Red Beach, Caldera de Santorini, Archaeological Site, and Thira Prehistoric Museum. Among the places to stay, Oia is certainly the main option, as it is the concentration point for tourists.
10. Florence, Italy
If you ask me out of the blue which the most beautiful city in Europe is, it is very likely that Florence will come out of my mouth.
UNESCO calls Florence the capital of art, and the truth is that it is not wrong, since it contains half of the most important artistic works in the country. Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Brunelleschi, or Botticelli are just some of the many artists who left their mark in the capital of Tuscany. Its historic center is considered a World Heritage Site and had its greatest period of splendor with the rule of the Medici dynasty, who brought Renaissance art to the city thanks to their fortune.
I highlight among the main tourist sites in Florence to visit: the beautiful Ponte Vecchio, with several interesting buildings around, in addition to the Central Market, St. Lawrence Basilica, Galleria Degli Uffizi, and Florence Cathedral.
11. Venice, Italy
I arrive in the capital of romanticism, where you park your car outside the city and sail by boat in an unbeatable climate. Venice is located in the northwest of Italy, and its unique identity among the world’s postcards is the fact that it is crossed by rivers, which mixed with the local architecture form an enchanting setting.
Among its islands, linked by bridges, the immense palaces and the beautiful churches that form it stand out. Of particular relevance is the Basilica of San Marcos, the city’s Gothic cathedral or the Doge’s Palace, also in the Gothic style.
Other attractions in Venice that I recommended are: Pizza San Marco, Palazzo Ducale, Grand Canal, Bridge of Sighs, Bell Tower, and of course, don’t miss the romantic walks around the city.
12. Rhodes, Greece
You’ve certainly heard of the legendary Colossus of Rhodes statue, as you know that one of the Seven Wonders of the World is on this island, located in the Aegean (stuck off the coast of Turkey) and administered by Greece.
In this destination, you will feel the sensation of being in warm waters, and you will even come across ruins and have the impression of having gone back in time. When you go to Rhodes, visit the Palace of the Grain, Prasonisi, Tsanika Beach, the Filerimos Mountains, the Acropolis of Rhodes, and the Archaeological Museum.
13. Vienna, Austria
Another essential city to visit in Europe is Vienna, the capital of Austria. It is one of the most welcoming and beautiful cities in all of Europe. A true symbol of elegance.
If you go to Vienna, you cannot miss the Hofburg Imperial Palace, the largest in the city and the former residence of the Austrian royalty. Other essential places are the Vienna Cathedral, one of the most beautiful in Europe, and the famous Vienna Opera.
I recommend that you book a guided tour, since you will learn a lot and it is free, although in Vienna you also have the option of doing a tour at night, an impressive option, since this city at night is very special.
To take the fresh air, you can go up to the Burggarten, very close to the Vienna Art History Museum. If you get hungry, you can go to the Naschmarkt, one of the main open-air markets in the city.
14. Amsterdam, Netherlands
I close the list with a flourish when talking about the unique charm of the capital of the Netherlands. The truth is that Amsterdam has a unique architecture, made up of its hundreds of bridges, maritime canals, and windmills. Take the opportunity to see the tulips up close, the various shopping options, and of course, the curiosity for the famous “windows.”
Surrounded by bicycles, bike lanes, and canals, you have to be careful not to get lost or run over. If you want to visit the city well, you can walk through Damrak Street, the nerve center of the Red Light District, to cross it completely and reach Dam Square. In this square, you can visit the Royal Palace of Amsterdam, the monument in memory of the Second World War, and the De Nieuwe Kerk, the new church.
It is also essential to go to the Bloemenmarkt, the flower market where tulips, geraniums, and all kinds of flowers are sold. If you are a fan of the history of Anne Frank, you can go to the house museum, where she was hidden with her family.
Frozen caves, volcanoes, thermal pools, magnificent waterfalls, and depending on the season, the most beautiful light show your eyes will see. Iceland is a country full of attractions, mysteries, and the biggest spa in the world in the middle of the ice.
I had a five days road trip to this country with a friend. We drove along the main road (N1) and through the Western Fjords. So I circled the island completely clockwise.
I covered 2500 km, an average of 500km per day. It seems like a lot, but there are plenty of hours of sunshine in the summer, and there was no other choice. It is not possible to take a shortcut when you start traveling in this country using the N1. This is because, in the center of the country, there are only highlands, glaciers, and forests where it is only allowed to drive jeeps.
The route ended in Reykjavik, where I stayed another day and a half before catching the plane back home. And here are some of the best places I recommend visiting.
a. Blue Lagoon: Bathing Is All About Beauty Goals
I’ll begin with the Blue Lagoon to start our discussion of the best destinations in Iceland. This is a geothermal spa and one of the most famous places to visit in Europe. Created by silica rock, boiling water, and steam from nearby hydrothermal springs, this natural phenomenon produces thousands of liters of mineral-rich waters each day.
The area has been carefully designed to provide relaxation for both body and mind. It features various changing rooms that offer private bathing areas with different types of baths: freshwater pools, seawater pools, hot pots filled with herbs or minerals such as salt. People bath to treat psoriasis and other skincare purposes.
There are plenty of facilities available on-site such as free lockers where you can leave your valuables safe, a cafe, and a restaurant with delicious food for you to enjoy.
The lagoon has been in operation since the 1970s when it became famous as one of Europe most popular sights. Tourists from across the globe come to this natural hot tub on a daily basis, so be sure not to miss out!
b. Reynisfijara: A Black Beach
Despite not appearing to be a destination of beautiful beaches, the country will manage to impress you in this regard. Visiting Iceland’s lush and diverse beaches should definitely be at the top of your Icelandic to-do list. But don’t think that in summer it will be possible to take a deep bath in the sea only if you like being cold.
What I want to say is that even in the hottest season, temperatures do not exceed 14°C, and despite having different types of beaches, they all have icy waters.
What impresses me most about Iceland’s beaches are its black sands and its unique way in the world, and my favorite was Reynisfijara. Its coastline was formed from tephra, which are volcanic rocks that came to rest near or on Earth’s surface following an eruption.
This beach is well known around Iceland and Europe as being home to many seals, which can be seen swimming offshore all year round. There have also been reports of people seeing great white sharks offshore and within these waters too.
Aside from the black sand and the seals, there are also the Reynisfijara columns. These are rectangular stone formations etched on the face of one of the stone cliffs. From the ocean, the columns look highly similar to a village or town consisting of low-profile rectangular houses.
By the way, tourists aren’t allowed to stand where the beach and waves meet. The waves are strong enough to pull people into the ocean upon receding.
Some of Iceland’s main attractions are its waterfalls, one different from the other, each with its own charm. While driving through the beautiful landscapes of Iceland, I came across beautiful waterfalls on the way.
The reason for many waterfalls in this country is related to the northern latitude of the country, which generates a cold and rainy climate. My favorite waterfall is the skogafoss. It has a height of 60 meters and a width between 25-100 meters. The falls originate from the river Skoga, which runs out to form an unusually large glacial lagoon before flowing into the ocean.
The area features impressive scenery with roaring rapids that can be observed both up close and from above by tourists visiting this natural wonder. And together with Skogafoss, in the Skoga River, are shorter waterfalls. You can see all of these via the hiking trail that spans up to 25 kilometers.
During summer, this waterfall looks very vibrant in summer due to the green and violet backdrop that the surrounding lupines provide. A brown shade invades the landscape of Skogafoss at fall. This results in a prehistoric look. And in winter, everything becomes white.
As I was traveling to famous places in Europe, I expected to see certain places. But during my trip, I discovered others that exceeded my expectations, and some were more special than the ones I had planned to see. This happened to me with Stokksnes.
Although each and every place in Iceland, for nature lovers, is an authentic place, Stokksnes has a special, mystical, dreamlike point that will make your stay memorable. This is a location that contains various attractive landforms. It has a nearby black sand beach, a wide grassland for camping, and the snow-capped Verstrahorn, which looks dazzlingly proud.
16. Greece: A Tourist Destination with Timeless Beauty
Taking the main tours in Greece is, of course, an unforgettable trip for any tourist. And that’s why I recommend including this country in your list of best places to visit in Europe.
After all, a tour through Greece tells legendary places steeped in history in Athens, the Greek islands (Santorini, Mykonos, and Zakynthos), and other fabulous destinations that can be seen on excursions from the Greek capital.
On my seven days trip to this country in Europe, I tried to get to know the Greek territory as much as possible and focused on the main tourist and historical destinations. Below are the most popular places that I recommend everyone should get to know when visiting this country.
a. Athens: The timeless city
My final destination is Athens, a city that withstood the test of time just like Rome. This city is at least 3,400 years old. And it’s the abode of the greatest minds in human history such as Socrates (Father of Modern Philosophy), Plato (Father of Political Science), Aristotle, and Thales,
Athens is a bustling city as it ever was and ever will be. Archeological sites like the Parthenon and Acropolis continue to attract a steady number of tourists.
There’s also the Acropolis museum, where I saw ancient Greek sculptures, armors, and weapons. The sculpture of Athena is breathtaking. The same also goes for the friezes from the Parthenon.
Another important site in Athens is Parliament Square, where all major political decisions are made by Greeks.
Other notable sites include
I. Syntagma square near Parliament Square, which was used extensively during protests against austerity measures following 2010
II. Zappeion Hall, which was originally built to serve as a convention center but now houses the National Library of Greece and other educational institutions
III. Syntagma Square, which has served many purposes from being the city’s focal point in 1843, being used for military drills by troops during World War I and II.
b. Zakynthos: A shipwreck is a tourist attraction too
Zakynthos is a beautiful island in Greece. It’s most popular because it has an active volcano that creates natural hot springs, making the water so warm that you can swim year-round! Some people say Zakynthos’ black and white sand beaches are among the world’s finest, perfect for beach days with friends or family.
Scuba diving is very popular here. The 28 beaches of Zakynthos offer scuba diving opportunities for beginners and seasoned swimmers alike. Open-air cinemas are also around. These are usually found near parks and hotels. The norm is to watch movies while munching fries, burgers, and other hearty snacks.
Parties are another reason why people come too. Most night hubs are in Laganas, with over 50 clubs that provide an iconic rave environment. If low-key partying is what you want to experience, there are also pubs, karaoke bars, live band performances for you to enjoy.
The best tourist attraction in Zakynthos is Navagio beach. This is the resting ground of the MV Panyoitis and is dubbed as the most famous shipwreck site in the world.
c. Milos: An Island that’s dangerously beautiful
Milos Island is a Greek island in the Aegean Sea. It has been inhabited since prehistoric times, and it was once home to many civilizations, including an important one of Minoan culture.
Milos is actually very rich in mineral resources such as bentonite, perlite, pozzolana, and kaolin. I recommend visiting Milos Mining Museum that provides educational programs to visitors.
Out of all the tourist locations in Milos, the town of Plaka was the most exceptional for me. I loved the cobblestone pavements, the local backwater restaurants, and the lively Graecan music. The white houses’ look extremely majestic during the afternoon. It’s better to look at them from a hill or any other high-rise location.
But aside from the view, Milos has a hidden secret that’s quite cunning yet amazing. Milos is actually a dormant volcanic island. Lava flows which happened long ago, formed its landscape.
d. Meteora: Making Monastic Living Very Monastic
The Meteora is a complex of six Eastern Orthodox monasteries in Greece, founded by St. Athanasios and established as one of the largest rock complexes in the world. It has been designated for decades now as a UNESCO World Heritage Site because it’s a very important historical and architectural site. Around 15 million tourists visit this area every year to see “the suspended rocks” as they are known locally.
The six monasteries, which are still active in their purpose today, were built between the 14th century and 17th century at the height of almost 800 meters from ground level, with no roads leading up to them. The monks had to climb over steep rocky paths or ride donkeys so they could reach these stone buildings that were carved out of sandstone.
I confess that this was one of the places I most wanted to visit when I traveled to Greece. After all, the feeling of being in front of the sanctuary of a mythological God is something very special. That’s why I highly recommend visiting this place.
Important: wear appropriate clothing to enter the monastery. That is, skirts, sleeveless shirts, or shorts are not allowed.
e. Mount Olympus: The Abode of the Gods
The highest mountain in Greece, Mount Olympus, is a popular tourist destination for both travelers and hikers alike. The ancient Greeks attributed the mountain to be their most important geographical landmark because it was here that they believed the gods lived. Even today, many people still visit this site as it has been deemed by UNESCO to be of cultural significance.
This majestic mountain is 2918 meters above sea level and covers 80 kilometers, acting as a natural border for Greece and Macedonia. And within Mount Olympus is the Mount Olympus National Park. When combined, hiking trails in Mount Olympus reach up to 200 kilometers. Follow these, and you’ll discover caves, vibrant grasslands, and shady woodlands,
There’s also the Enipeas Waterfalls. This is a waterfall that lush trees surround. Enipeas looks very pristine with its mild current and bluish waters. Around it is small rock formations that serve as great picture-taking spots.
17. Jurassic Coast, United Kingdom
The Jurassic Coast is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is situated in the English Channel, south of the UK. It runs from Orcombe Point in Devon to Old Harry Rocks in Dorset, covering a distance of 153 kilometers.
It is possible to trace the 200 million-year history of this region by fossils found on beaches and rocks. In here, you’ll get to traverse gigantic boulders, rock cliffs, and coarse brown sands. There are also rock hills that provide a majestic view of the dark blue waters of the English Channel.
Areas of the Jurassic coast which contain fertile ground also support the growth of wildflowers. These provide the landscape with yellow, pink, violet, and red hues during the summer. Examples of wildflowers are bird’s foot trefoil, carline thistle, and horseshoe.
Nevertheless, it’s not the flowers or the landscape that made the Jurassic coast a world heritage site. Many revere this location because it’s a fossil forest. Fossils that you can see are ancient marine organisms that date back to the cretaceous period. Set your eyes on the rocks, and you’ll find ammonite fossils, brachiopod fossils, and belemnite fossils.
Jurassic coast allow for a dynamic range of activities. It has a museum where the most beautiful fossils are stored. There’s also a snacking and beach area for swimming. You can also rent a bike and follow the National Cycle Network, which connects the nearby towns and villages. Finally, prepare a wine because a cruise service is waiting.
18. Mont Saint Michael. French Riviera, & Monaco
Among the best places to visit in Europe is France, and without a doubt, Paris is the most popular. The French capital is a really charming place, but there are other places in France that are also well worth exploring, such as Mont Saint Michel, which is located in Normandy, about 6 hours by bus from Paris.
I confess that I didn’t even know this place existed until 2019 when I moved to Europe for the first time. When I told my friend that I was thinking about traveling on my vacation, he told me that I needed to go to a place called Mont Saint Michel, because there was an incredible phenomenon of the tides there,
and the architecture of the Monte served as an inspiration for Harry Potter’s Hogwarts Castle and also served as the “filming stage” for the Game of Thrones (Dragonstone) series.
During my tour to this place, I learned that Mont Saint Michel has been in existence since 708 (8th century) and was built to be a sanctuary in honor of the Archangel Saint Michael! But, over the years, the mount has been adapting to the circumstances and needs of the times, serving as a fortress during the 100 Years War between France and England to a monastery and prison for a while.
Mont Saint Michel was named a historic monument in 1987 and has been on the UNESCO World Heritage list since 1979, along with its bay.
My next stop was at the French Riviera. I recommend this place if you’re looking for a place with more bustle. If you’re in France and looking for the best beaches, this is where you should go. It has numerous hotel resorts and beach resorts that have fine white sand and great food.
And speaking of a specific location in French Riviera, then you should try Monaco. Monaco is a city-state just like the Vatican. Therefore, what it has can be ultimately different from other tourist locations within France.
I can say that Monaco is the French Riviera’s little Vegas. You can try cruising or swimming at the glamorous beach or enjoy its nightlife. Within Monaco are numerous lavish casinos, pubs, bars, and restaurants.
19. Lysebotn, Pulpit Rock, and Trolltunga
So, where do you go to experience nature’s magic? I recommend booking a flight to Norway and get to visit Lysebotn, Pulpit Rock, and Trolltunga.
Lysebotn is a village 2 hours away from Norway’s capital Oslo. It offers a grand escape from civilization by trapping your eyesight on a picturesque rocky landscape that nature embedded with yellow, dark green, gray, and white colors. Lysebotn also faces a channel with towering rock cliffs and hills on the sides and looks very tranquil.
If you’re aiming to go higher, then head to Pulpit rock. This is a rock cliff that’s twice taller than the Eiffel tower. Due to its wonderful elevation, many come to train their breathing for mountaineering and other recreational activities that expose them to thin air.
For testing your nerves more, go to Vestra County’s Trolltunga. Trolltunga is a rock formation that’s 1,100 meters above sea level. In plain English, Trolltunga translates to troll tongue. This is due to its protruding platform that gradually narrows from the base. Only the base is attached to a rock, and the rest of the platform is suspended mid-air. As a result, standing on it can be quite unnerving, especially during windy conditions.
20. Seceda and Alpe De Siusi
Val Gardena is one of the most photogenic regions of the Dolomites in northern Italy. As a mountainous region, it is a very popular summer destination for hiking. But in winter, you will find thousands of ski resorts.
Val Gardena has thousands of hiking and walking options to do, and I highly recommend exploring this region if you have the time. I chose to do the Seceda trail because I dare say it has the most unique and unusual view. After watching some videos on the internet, I couldn’t get this place out of my head.
I got there at 8:30 am, exactly when the cable car opens, because I wanted to enjoy the place before it was full. This is a very popular destination with families so during midday/afternoon it gets quite busy. As it is easy and accessible, even for wheelchair users/baby carriages at certain points, it is a destination that attracts all types of public.
The cable car climb is breathtaking. On a clear day, you can even see some peaks in Switzerland. This is a very privileged region in terms of mountains, with beautiful views from all sides. As soon as we arrived, I took some pictures and went up the path that runs close to the railing, behind the playground on the left. Up there, you have one of the best views, with 360 of the entire valley! Right away, you will see the typical peaks that make Seceda so famous! As it was still quite early (and cold), there was a lot of cloud and mist in the mountains. The best time to shoot from this point in summer is between 11 am and 12 pm.
After the photos, just continue along the same path, bordering the grid. You will pass a restaurant on the right (which also has a cable car that only works on certain days), and you should keep going straight until the next viewpoint. At this point, you can choose to go up to the left to get a closer view of the mountains. I highly recommend it! But if you’re afraid of heights, stay away from the edge.
If you’re not willing to go on a long trail, go down, keeping to the right, and head towards the cable car you came from. As I said, you will see thousands of options for paths, and you can adapt depending on your mood and desire.
Finally, I recommend visiting the Alpe De Siusi, where you can go for a relaxing walk on a verdant meadow. Alpe de Siusi is the largest meadow in the world that sits atop a mountain. Festivities happen in summer and winter. During the sunny days, the trails are waiting for you to traverse by walking or mountain biking. During the cold days, snow covers the gentle slopes of Alpe de Siusi and invites you to use the ski or the snowboard.
There is always a first time, a first experience, and this was my first trip to Positano, a place like a movie, with which I fell madly in love. This town is perhaps the best-known and one of the most beautiful on the Amalfi Coast, and an area declared a World Heritage Site. A beautiful place in pastel colors, a symbol of the Dolce Vita that attracts many tourists year after year. And of all the places to see in Positano, I would recommend the following.
- Stairs and streets of Positano: The main tourist attraction to see in Positano are its streets, narrow and beautiful alleys dotted with pretty handicraft, soap, and limoncello shops. One of the most beautiful streets is the one that runs down from Piazza dei Mulini to the Church of Santa Maria de la Asuncion.
- Church of Santa María de la Asuncion: The main temple of the town and the main monument to see in Positano is the Church of Santa María de la Asuncion, known worldwide for its dome decorated in majolica with green and yellow colors. It is a building from the year 1,200 that houses a Byzantine image and a painting that represents the Black Madonna with the Child in her womb.
A few meters from the church, you can find the bell tower built in 1707, with a medieval bas-relief in its center that represents a sea monster made up of a fox and a fish.
- Positano Beaches: The most famous beaches to see in Positano are Spiaggia Grande or Marina Grande, located right in the center of town next to the church and Fornillo beach. Both can be reached on foot. At Spiaggia Grande, you can see beautiful views of Positano from a different perspective than the viewpoints.By sea you can also reach the beaches of La Porta, Arienzo and San Pietro Laurito.
I recommend exploring Positano with a bike because you’ll see the picturesque views that come from the colorful houses of the locals, the dangling flowers on their balconies, and the steep winding roads that overlook the beaches. You will truly love this place, and that is why I recommend including it in your list of best places to visit in Europe.
21. Cinque Terre
I was in Cinque Terre, the mythical five villages tucked away on the Ligurian coast and listed as a Unesco Heritage Site. Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore are the five lands (actually villages) that make up the Cinque Terre.
This is a special tourist region, surrounded by a natural landscape that seems to have come out of a movie: a stunning blue sea and hills “adorned” by colorful buildings amid terraces of olive trees and grapes used to make Sciacchetra wine.
Add to this scenery the trails that connect the five villages offer magnificent views. I visited Cinque Terre for the first time in June 2010, and at that time, I managed to hike the famous Via Dell’Amore. Unfortunately, in late 2011, a flood destroyed part of the trails, and today Via Dell’Amore is closed.
Despite being a little disappointed for not having traveled the romantic and scenic route, I can say that my tour of the Cinque Terre was not harmed. In the week I spent there, I traveled around the region by train, rented boat, public boat, and on foot. During my stay, I also came across a lot of people from all over the world, which made me realize that the lands are really one of the most sought-after destinations in Italy.
Cinque Terre also takes pride in the number of its cheap restaurants. Visit any of these, and you’ll discover that all dishes are delicious, no matter how simple. Moreover, the restaurants are always aiming to provide guests with dining spots that offer the most spectacular view of the sea.
The beaches of Monterosso, Manarola, and Vernazza are where you should go to experience the best that Cinque Terre has to offer. Soft white sands characterize these beaches. Moreover, hotels and inns don’t spoil the view that they offer. Of course, swimming is great.
22. Verzasca Valley
The Verzasca Valley is another of the best places to visit in Europe that seems to come out of a fairy tale. Between waterfalls, the crystal-clear river of emerald color, and geographic landscapes that seem untouched, the Verzasca Valley is a fascinating place in Switzerland. There are 35 kilometers of natural landscapes, villages, bridges, and landscapes to be discovered.
Valle Verzasca’s streams interconnect and flow through the municipalities that it comprises. The municipalities feature traditional swiss houses, where the most beautiful ones are near the streams. Hotels aren’t many. However, the lodges and inns that have warm beds and neat interiors are more than enough for an excellent stay.
Setting the streams and their rock formations, Valle Verzasca is actually a rich spot for seeing the remnants of medieval culture in Switzerland. In Bellinzona, the capital of Ticino, are the Castles of Bellinzona. The Castles of Bellinzona are three castles that provided fortification for Bellinzona. Each of the castles is in pristine condition and available for day tours.
Next to exploring the Bellinzona Castles is taking photos of Ponti Di Salti. The Ponti Di Salti is an old bridge that has existed since the medieval era. It’s famous because flowing under it is one of Valle Verzasca’s clear streams. It’s a great spot for taking wonderful souvenir photos. Using it as a diving platform for a fun swim on the stream underneath is also an option.
After Ponti d Salti go to the Versazca Dam. This is a huge arch dam that taps the power of the Verzasca River. This dam has a height of 720 feet, and you can try bungee jumping. If you’re afraid to do this heart-shaking activity, then there’s the bank of Verzasca River for you to explore.
23. The Faroe Islands
The Faroe Islands is an archipelago that’s part of Denmark’s territory. It’s accessible via Scotland, Iceland, Norway, and Demark, with the first of the places mentioned serves as the nearest point.
The Faroe Islands is a famous location for its birds. More than 80,000 tourists visit these islands, comprising mostly of bird watchers who want to see the 305 bird species thriving in it.
The first place that I recommend you to visit in the Faroe Islands is the Mykines. Mykines is an island that sits on the westernmost side of the Faroe Islands. The puffin population makes this island famous. As per estimates, about 500,000 thousand puffins thrive on Mykines, and they’re more than ready to receive tidbits of crackers and other food.
After visiting Mykines, consider visiting the Dranganir Islet. Dragonair is an islet that looks like a high-heeled sandal, perfectly shaped and positioned. The journey toward this place will let you see the islands of Tindohlmur and Vagar (two islands that also look stunningly beautiful).
Before going home, take a look at the Molafossur and the Bolafossur waterfalls. These are picturesque cliffside waterfalls that are empty to the sea. Between the two, you might like Bolafossur better because hiding behind it is a scenic lake that a joyous meadow surrounds.
On top of the list of best places in Europe is Tuscany. Tourists love Tuscany for its renaissance-style buildings, food and wine, and warm locals. But if you ask me, I’ll say that the best thing about this place is the countryside views of hills, meadows, and lush forests that touch the heart.
A prime example is the Town of Luca. A thick forest embraces this town and gives out very pristine seclusion. The town is beautiful in itself. On it are Romanesque buildings ranging from churches, residential houses, and museums.
Castles, which could only have existed in fairy tales, are in Tuscany. These either provide a wonderful view of the verdant hilltops, vibrant gardens, or overgrown forests. Examples are Castello di Malaspina, Castello Di Melleto, Castello Di Vincigliata, and Castello Banfi.
As for architectural masterpieces in Tuscany, you have to prioritize seeing is the Leaning Tower of Pisa. I’m sure that you know a lot about this attraction in history books. Nevertheless, the beauty of the Leaning Tower in your imagination isn’t anywhere near the real thing.
How about recreation? Unfortunately, Tuscany doesn’t include great nature parks or amusement hubs. Even so, this doesn’t mean that you won’t enjoy it if you’re visiting to find worthwhile activities.
Tuscany celebrates fun annual festivals year after year. Examples of the most extravagant ones are the Taste Festival, Lucca Summer Festival, Puccini Festival, and Palio Festival.
25. San Gimignano
This is another town that I recommend including on your list of best places to visit in Europe. San Gimignano is a pristine town just like Lucca. However, it’s more famous due to its iconic medieval-style tower houses. Rough estimates state that at least 2 million people travel to San Gimignano per year.
San Gimignano started as a small etruscan village. Historians attribute the transformation of this Etruscan village into a walled town to Muzio and Silvio, who built two castles from which other buildings emerged.
At present, San Gimignano’s classic beauty remains. Its most iconic characteristic is the three walls having eight gates, which provide contrast to the allure of the tower houses that are visible from a distance.
There’s also a lot of appreciation for the meadow and forest that surround San Gimignano. Outside the town walls, you may take biking or hiking tours. Summer is the best time to experience these. This is because its warm spell makes the vegetation lush and bright.
Wine and dine in San Gimignano is spectacular. Numerous restaurants operate near the walls of the town. While dining, it’s not a bad idea to appreciate the intricate structure of the walls either. If you want a recommendation, I suggest you try Ristorante La Mandragora.
26. Lake Como
Lake Como is one of Europe’s largest lakes by surface area and also one of the best places to travel in Europe. But it’s not famous because of this. As a matter of fact, tourists love Lake Como due to its transcendental beauty that binds anyone who comes to visit.
Providing for the scenic beauty of Lake Como are the groups of cypress trees, laurel trees, and palm trees. These grow on the hills that surround the lake water.
Azaleas, camellias, and rhododendrons cover the banks of Lake Como. Try boating on the Lake every summer, and you’ll see the spectacle of violet, red, pink, and red colors of these flowers.
Lake Como is addictingly scenic. That’s why you should stay here for days or weeks. Don’t worry about accommodation because villas are on the banks for you to rent. To mention, you have the Villa Carlotta, Villa D’Este, Villa Monastero, Villa Serbelloni, and Villa Merzi.
Even if it’s not an all-year-round swimming destination, Lake Como is great if you can’t go to the tropics to spend time at the beach. The Lake has resorts that accommodate your need for water activities.
A trip to Scotland’s capital will make you feel as if you’re in the city of wizards and witches. With its medieval and neoclassical buildings, Edinburgh provides a magical and mysterious vibe. As a first-time visitor, you will feel that something mysterious always stirs nearby.
Here’s a fun fact! If you’re a fan of Harry Potter, go to Edinburgh since it is one of the main sets of the movie. Locations in the movie that you may still find in the city are the Elephant Cafe, George Heriot’s School, Victoria Street, Grassmarket Street, Glenfinnan Viaduct, and Alnwick Castle.
But even if you’re not a Potterhead, Edinburgh is still worth the trip. Edinburgh knows how to host thrilling festivals. Thousands of overseas travelers come to experience the Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh Christmas Festival, Fringe Festival, and the Hogmanay Festival, to name a few. This is surely one of the best places in Europe to visit.
28. The Isle of Skye
Have you ever dreamt about running off to an unchartered territory where fairies, dragons, and other mystical creatures seem to dwell? If so, Scotland’s Isle of Skye might be one of the best places to visit in Europe that’s in your mind.
Of course, there are no fairies or dragons. Instead, things that enchant the Isle of Skye are green, expansive meadows, strangely shaped rock formations, streams, and pools.
Not to mention, this location in Scotland is famous for the high number of sheep that live within. As a matter of fact, the sheep population exceeds the population of residents. The human population is lower than the sheep population by about 90,000.
Recreational activities in the Isle of Skye include guided tours in the Quiraing and the Storr, swimming at the fairy pools, exploring the Dunvegan Castle and its gardens, viewing the collection at Armadale Castle and Museum, and sightseeing atop the Nest Point Lighthouse.
Dublin will never fail your need for fun. Some of the most attractions that you will enjoy are Dublin Castle, Christ Church Cathedral, National Gallery of Ireland, National Botanic Gardens, and Irish Museum of Modern Art.
Nevertheless, the fun that Dublin isn’t for the eyes and the need for entertainment only. If you’re into literature, you will find Dublin very agreeable.
Dublin is one of the UNESCO cities of literature alongside Quebec, Iowa, Montevideo, and Ljubljana, to name a few. Because of this, Dublin holds annual book festivals that tackle different interesting subjects such as local myths, international issues, and Irish culture.
Plan your visit to Dublin to experience the Dublin Book Festival. At this festival, you will find a lot of Irish books that established and debuting Irish authors wrote. Activities that you might experience are writing workshops, seminars, and book sales. Therefore, don’t forget to include this city in your list of the best places to travel in Europe.
30. Dark Hedges
So, where did the illustrators of Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Little Red Riding good get information for the menacing forest that gave you nightmares when you were once a kid? Probably, what inspired them is the Dark Hedges of Northern Ireland.
The Dark Hedges refers to an avenue on the northern island that numerous beech trees cover to form an eerie-looking tunnel. The wavy branches, together with the menacing shadows that fall on the trees and on the road itself, make this location popular to photographers.
Dark Hedges didn’t escape pop culture. Game of Thrones once used it as a film set for the scene which depicted Aya Stark’s escape from King’s Landing. For a fact, I can tell you that this is one of the best places in Europe where you can come to enjoy its unique nature and capture photographic memories.
31. Cliffs of Moher
The Cliffs of Moher offers great coastal views of the Atlantic Ocean. I know that other areas in Ireland allow you to see and hear the rumbling of the waves while feeling like you are at the top of the world. So, what makes this location unique? Go to Cliffs of Moher to see its geologic features.
Underneath the cliffs, you will see caves, stumps, and other rock formations. You may access all of these by following the dedicated trails that start from the visitor center then continue on the cliffs.
Aside from its geologic features, 30,000 birds visit the Cliffs of Moher during the mating season. Get your camera ready because seeing puffins and razorbills aren’t rare when visiting this place.
As you can see, Europe boasts an impressive wealth of places to visit. In all of them, the range of sights is extensive, so it’s worth visiting to explore each postcard as much as possible. Europe has no shortage of exotic, incredible, paradisiacal places and even the most beautiful cities in Europe. As all cities are considered centers with a lot of tourist demand, the idea is that you book in advance the hotel where you will be staying and the tours you want to enjoy.