Looking for the best places to visit in Europe? Whether you are a worldly wanderer or planning your first trip abroad, Europe is a continent that offers something for everyone. From the stunning natural beauty of the Swiss Alps to the vibrant culture of Barcelona, there is no shortage of amazing destinations to choose from.
With so many options to choose from, it can be challenging to make a decision on where to go on your next trip to Europe. That’s where we come in! In this article, we’ve shared some of our top recommendations for the best places to visit in Europe. We’ll give you an overview of each destination, including its must-see attractions, cultural highlights, and local cuisine.
As you read through our list, we encourage you to think about your own interests and travel style. Are you a history buff who loves exploring ancient ruins and castles? Or are you more of a beach bum who loves soaking up the sun on beautiful beaches? Whatever your interests are, Europe has something for you.
So without further ado, let’s dive into our top recommendations for the best places to visit in Europe. We hope this list will inspire you to start planning your next adventure and discover all that Europe has to offer.
1. Rome, Italy
Rome, the eternal city and capital of the Roman Empire, is a treasure trove of history and culture waiting to be explored. From the iconic Colosseum and Trevi Fountain to the stunning Pantheon, Rome is a city filled with breathtaking architecture and landmarks that will take your breath away.
But the city’s beauty isn’t just limited to its outdoor attractions – indoors, you’ll find the Borghese Gallery, a world-renowned museum that houses some of the most impressive works of art and culture. For a truly unique experience, visit the Catacombs of Rome, underground galleries that served as a cemetery for centuries.
As the sun sets, Rome comes alive with its exciting nightlife. From night tours that allow you to explore the city’s main attractions to meeting locals and embracing the culture, there’s no shortage of ways to experience Rome after dark.
And with its central location in Italy, Rome makes for the perfect base to explore the rest of the country. Take a day trip to the sunny Amalfi Coast or the historic city of Florence, or visit the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Hadrian’s Villa and Villa d’Este in Tivoli. With so much to see and do, Rome is a city that will leave a lasting impression on all who visit.
2. Paris, France
Paris, the city of love, is a must-see destination for any couple. But beyond romantic Seine River cruises and stunning views of the Eiffel Tower, Paris has so much more to offer.
From the prestigious Louvre to the acclaimed d’Orsay, the city is home to countless museums and monuments that showcase its art and history. To fully experience all that Paris has to offer, consider taking a free walking tour or a hop-on hop-off bus tour to explore iconic landmarks like the Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame, and Sacré Coeur.
If you’re looking for something a little more unusual, the Catacombs are a must-see and football lovers won’t want to miss the PSG Experience stadium tour.
With so many day trips available, it can be tough to choose. Consider a champagne tasting in the Champagne region, a tour of the beautiful châteaux of the Loire Valley, or a trip to Disneyland to experience a little magic.
And as the night falls, Paris comes alive with its vibrant nightlife. Stroll through Montmartre or The Latin Quarter, grab a drink at some of the city’s best bars, or catch a show at the Lido de Paris or Moulin Rouge. With so many night tours available, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to experience Paris after dark.
3. Amsterdam, Netherlands
As one of the most bike-friendly cities in Europe, Amsterdam is the perfect destination for those looking to immerse themselves in charming Dutch culture. Famous for its picturesque canals, fascinating architecture, and thriving coffee shop scene, Amsterdam is a city that has something for everyone.
To truly experience the city’s rich culture, be sure to visit Anne Frank’s House in the Jewish Quarter and browse through some of Amsterdam’s best museums, such as the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum.
And with so much to see and do in the Netherlands, a day trip is always a good idea. Consider visiting the medieval town center of Utrecht, the modern metropolis of Rotterdam, or Keukenhof in the spring to see the tulip fields in bloom.
For a truly unique experience, take a canal cruise and marvel at Amsterdam’s landmarks as you sail through the picturesque waterways. With so much to see and do, Amsterdam is a city that will captivate and enchant you.
4. Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona is a city that combines rich cultural heritage with stunning golden sand beaches and vibrant nightlife. With world-famous attractions like the Sagrada Familia, Park Güell, and Casa Batlló, there’s no shortage of things to see and do in this artistic and festive city.
To make the most of your visit, consider purchasing a Barcelona City Pass to get the best deals and visit as many monuments as possible. A walking tour or a hop-on hop-off bus tour are great ways to explore the city, but for an unforgettable experience, consider taking a helicopter tour for a bird’s-eye view.
When it’s time to eat, be sure to visit La Boqueria to taste some of the city’s finest treats, and for football fans, a tour of Camp Nou, home of FC Barcelona, is a must.
After you’ve seen the best of Barcelona, consider taking a day trip to explore the surrounding area. Whether you’re snorkeling on the Costa Brava or skiing in Andorra, there’s something for every tourist to enjoy. With so much to see and do, Barcelona is a city that will leave a lasting impression.
5. Swiss Alps, Switzerland
The Swiss Alps are a mountain range located in the central and eastern part of Switzerland, and are known for their stunning natural beauty and outdoor recreational opportunities. It is home to a number of iconic peaks, including the Matterhorn, which is one of the most photographed mountains in the world.
The Swiss Alps are a popular destination for skiing and snowboarding, with numerous resorts offering a range of slopes for skiers and snowboarders of all levels. In the summer, the Swiss Alps are a popular destination for hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing.
In addition to its outdoor recreational opportunities, the Swiss Alps are also home to a number of picturesque towns and villages, such as Zermatt, Grindelwald, and Gstaad, which are known for their charming alpine architecture and traditional Swiss culture.
The Swiss Alps are also known for their delicious cuisine, with dishes such as fondue, raclette, and rösti being popular among locals and tourists alike. Overall, the Swiss Alps are a must-visit destination for anyone interested in outdoor adventure, stunning natural beauty, and traditional Swiss culture.
6. Prague, Czech Republic
Prague, the dream destination with diverse architecture, outstanding museums, and vibrant nightlife, is a city that has something for everyone. From the gothic wonder of the Church of Our Lady before Týn to the modern and creative Dancing House, Prague’s architecture is truly impressive.
To fully experience all that the city has to offer, consider starting with a walking tour to see the main sites, including the iconic Old Town, the famous Astronomical Clock, and the Prague Castle.
Don’t forget to cross the Charles Bridge, which is even more memorable if you take a ghost tour. You can also learn about the city’s history and culture at various museums, such as the Museum of Communism and the Apple Museum.
For a truly immersive experience, attend a Czech Folklore Show or join a locally-led pub crawl to experience Prague’s nightlife. No matter what you choose to do, Prague is a city that will leave a lasting impression.
7. Venice, Italy
Venice is definitely one of the best places in Europe for a romantic getaway, with its lovely canals, hundreds of bridges, and charming alleys, mixed with fascinating history, stunning architecture, and a unique lifestyle.
To fully experience all that the city has to offer, start by exploring St. Mark’s Square, home to the famous Doge’s Palace, an impressive Gothic architecture masterpiece that’s one of the most visited landmarks in Venice.
Next to the palace, be sure to visit the Basilica of San Marco, one of the most beautiful cathedrals in Europe and the most important religious site in Venice. For a stunning view of the whole Venetian lagoon, climb to the top of the St. Mark’s Campanile observation deck.
Cross the Paglia Bridge to admire the iconic Bridge of Sighs and the Rialto Bridge, the oldest and most famous in Venice, for a great overview of the Grand Canal. And don’t miss the chance to take a boat tour or gondola ride for a unique perspective of the city’s canals.
Finally, be sure to visit the lovely islands of Murano, the perfect place to grab a souvenir or watch a glass-making demonstration, and Burano, famous for its colorful houses. With so much to see and do, Venice is a destination that will leave a lasting impression.
8. Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon is one of the best places in Europe for those seeking good weather, good food, and exciting history, mixed with lively nightlife – especially in the Bairro Alto neighborhood.
To fully experience all that the city has to offer, be sure to explore the narrow streets and charming alleys of the district of Alfama, the oldest in the city. While you’re there, stop by the Sé Cathedral and admire the views from the S. Jorge Castle.
For architecture lovers, the Belém district is full of wonders, such as the Belém Tower and Jerónimos Monastery, the most magnificent examples of the Manueline style, also known as Portuguese late Gothic.
There are also plenty of incredible day trips to consider while you’re in Lisbon, such as the university town of Coimbra, Aveiro, often referred to as the Portuguese Venice, or Fátima, the leading pilgrimage site. But no trip to Lisbon would be complete without visiting Sintra, the fairy tale city. With enchanting woods and a charming medieval village to explore, the cherry on top is the colorful Pena Palace, one of Portugal’s most renowned tourist attractions. With so much to see and do, Lisbon is a destination that will leave a lasting impression.
9. Dubrovnik, Croatia
Dubrovnik, also known as the Pearl of the Adriatic, is a sunkissed city that welcomes thousands of tourists every year and marvels at them with its unique seafront location and pleasant Old Town.
To fully experience all that Dubrovnik has to offer, consider going on a Game of Thrones tour, which takes fans across the many filming locations in the city, one of the best destinations for TV show fans. You can also visit the top of Mount Srd and soak in the views from the Dubrovnik Cable Car, or party at Banje Beach and enjoy a variety of water activities, such as kayaking and snorkeling.
To make the most of your trip, consider going on a day trip to explore paradise islands such as the Elaphiti Islands or Hvar, or pristine beaches in Budva or Makarska. With so much to see and do, Dubrovnik is a destination that will leave a lasting impression.
10. Canary Islands, Spain
The Canary Islands are a Spanish archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean along the African coast, with 8 unique islands to explore. A true gem for outdoor enthusiasts, the islands are known for their mild temperatures, sunny weather, and unspoiled natural attractions.
With so many exciting experiences available, it can be tough to choose where to go. Tenerife, the biggest island of the archipelago, is home to Spain’s highest peak, also one of the highest volcanoes in the world. While you’re there, consider going for a hike at Teide National Park, meeting the animals at Loro Park, or swimming with turtles.
Fuerteventura, which has been declared a biosphere reserve by UNESCO, is also worth a visit. Explore the dazzling landscapes of Timanfaya National Park, discover volcanic tunnels at Jameos del Agua and Cueva de los Verdes, and taste wine at the volcanic vineyards of La Geria.
Gran Canaria is another island that’s worth a visit. Stroll through Vegueta’s old town and relax on some of the best golden sand beaches in the region. And if you have time, consider taking a day trip to one of the other islands, such as La Gomera, with its unique Garajonay National Park; El Hierro, with more than 40 diving points; La Palma, with its breathtaking La Caldera de Taburiente National Park; or Fuerteventura, with its pristine beaches. And don’t forget La Graciosa, which is home to unique underwater flora and fauna. With so much to see and do, the Canary Islands are a destination that will leave a lasting impression.
11. Munich, Germany
With some of the best breweries and Biergartens in Germany, Munich is a major European destination that’s known for its annual Oktoberfest celebrations. But the city has so much more to offer, including a rich history, stunning architecture, and delicious cuisine.
To fully experience all that Munich has to offer, consider grabbing a drink at Englischer Garten, exploring the Old Town and seeing the Marienplatz, or taking a food tour at Viktualienmarkt. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit Nymphenburg Palace, the largest Bavarian palace, or check out the museums in the Kunstareal District. And for sports fans, don’t miss the chance to cheer on Bayern Munich at Allianz Arena.
The whole Bavaria region is also worth exploring, so be sure to save time for a day trip to see the magical Neuschwanstein Castle, the charming medieval town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, or ski at Germany’s highest mountain, Zugspitze. With so much to see and do, Munich is a city that will leave a lasting impression.
12. Amalfi Coast, Italy
The Amalfi Coast is one of the most iconic and charming destinations in Italy, attracting thousands of tourists every year. It’s the perfect spring/summer getaway, with a stunning coastline, breathtaking scenic drives, and lovely villages to explore.
To fully experience all that the Amalfi Coast has to offer, start your trip in the port city of Salerno and climb to the top of Castello di Arechi to admire the unique views 270 meters above the gulf. From there, head to Vietri sul Mare to appreciate as much art as possible, including the typical colorful ceramics.
Next, stop by the small fishing village of Cetara and taste the delicious seafood before continuing to Maiori and soaking up some local culture and cuisine. Alternatively, you can explore the hidden gem of Tramonti, where you can visit pasta factories in Minori, visit the 18th-century Church of Santa Trofimena, and walk along the Path of Lemons. For some jaw-dropping views, be sure to stop by Terrazza dell’Infinito in Ravello.
Head to the hills to visit the oldest town on the Amalfi Coast, the incredible medieval-style village of Scala, and proceed to the photogenic Atrani before reaching the famous and energetic Amalfi. Don’t miss the opportunity to marvel at the magical Emerald Grotto in Conca dei Marini, cross the Fjord of Furore off your bucket list, and visit Praiano and Positano, the perfect villages to relax by the superb white sand beaches. Don’t forget to take a hike along the famous Path of the Gods for some breathtaking views. With so much to see and do, the Amalfi Coast is a must-visit destination.
13. Vilnius, Lithuania
Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, is a city steeped in history and Jewish heritage. It was once the biggest Jewish center in Europe. Visitors can begin their exploration by taking a free walking tour of the Old Town and Jewish Quarter, or the creative district of Užupis.
Don’t miss the opportunity to admire St. Anne’s Church, a 15th-century church renowned for its Flamboyant Gothic architecture. For the best views of the city, climb up to the Three Crosses Monument.
History buffs will be fascinated by Vilnius’ numerous museums. The Museum of Occupations and Freedom Fights, housed in a former KGB headquarters that contains a prison where death penalties were executed, provides a grim but enlightening experience. Alternatively, visitors can explore contemporary art exhibitions at the Contemporary Art Centre.
14. Meteora, Greece
If you’re looking for a truly one-of-a-kind vacation destination, look no further than Meteora, Greece. This stunning area is home to unique rock formations that have been shaped by natural forces for millions of years. But the real showstoppers in Meteora are the Orthodox monasteries perched atop towering rock formations. These monasteries make up one of the largest and most important Orthodox complexes in the world.
But the history of Meteora goes even deeper than the monasteries. Caves in the area, such as the Theopetra Cave, have been inhabited for over 50,000 years by people seeking refuge, including monks during the Turkish occupation. In the 19th century, steps were carved into the rocks to allow easier access to the top, but in earlier times the only way up was by rope and retractable ladder. This added an element of danger and mystery to the monasteries, making them all the more intriguing and worth a visit. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to experience the breathtaking beauty and rich history of Meteora.
15. Brussels, Belgium
Brussels, the capital of Europe and home to the European Parliament, is a city that should be on every traveler’s radar. It’s a place where you can indulge in delicious beer, chocolate, and waffles, while also immersing yourself in the rich history, architecture, and museums that the city has to offer.
One must-see destination is the Grand Place, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the center of Brussels. Another iconic landmark is the Atomium, a famous modernist building in the form of an iron crystal.
To fully experience all that Brussels has to offer, consider taking a bike or bus tour to see the Parc du Cinquantenaire, the Palais Royal, and the world’s largest parliamentary visitor center, the Parlamentarium. With so much to see and do, Brussels is a traveler’s dream come true.
16. Athens, Greece
Overflowing with legends and stories from the Greek Empire, Athens is a city that blends rich history with modernity. As one of the sunniest cities in Europe, Athens is an extraordinary destination that should not be missed.
To fully experience all that the city has to offer, be sure to explore the main historical landmarks, such as the iconic Acropolis, where you can climb to the top for the best views of the city. Don’t miss the Parthenon temple and the Temple of Olympian Zeus, two architectural wonders that showcase the city’s rich history.
After you’ve explored all of the city’s monuments and museums, relax on the white sand beaches of the Athens Riviera, or consider taking a day trip to make the most of your Greek adventure. With so much to see and do, Athens is a city that will leave a lasting impression.
17. Trolltunga, Norway
Norway’s Trolltunga, which translates to “troll tongue,” is a famous rock formation that is known for being one of the most photographed in the world. Located over 1000 meters above sea level and perched on the side of a fjord, Trolltunga is a breathtaking sight to behold.
To reach Trolltunga, you’ll need to embark on a 14 km hike that starts at the Ringedalsvatnet lake. The hike takes anywhere from 8-12 hours, depending on your experience level, so be sure to take your time and enjoy the journey. Along the way, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the Norwegian landscape. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit this iconic destination and capture some amazing photos.
18. Rhine Falls, Switzerland
The Rhine Falls, located on the border between Schaffhausen and Zurich, is the largest waterfall in Europe and a must-visit destination in Switzerland. These falls are a great attraction all year round, but they are particularly impressive during the summer when the water flow reaches 600,000 liters per second.
Located just 40 minutes away from Zurich, the Rhine Falls make for an excellent day trip. Start by exploring the charming villages along the river and take in the stunning natural beauty from one of the many viewing platforms. For an extra special experience, consider taking a boat cruise between spring and fall. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit this awe-inspiring natural wonder.
19. Oslo, Norway
Oslo, the capital of Norway, is a city that should not be overlooked. It’s filled with a variety of fun activities and attractions that are sure to appeal to any traveler.
For history buffs, there’s the Viking Ship Museum and the impressive Akershus Fortress, a Renaissance building. Outdoor enthusiasts can take a fjord sightseeing cruise, go hiking in Nordmarka, or hit the slopes at Oslo Winter Park.
The city also has a charming Old Town and a bustling main shopping area on Karl Johan street. Other popular destinations include the Aker Brygge neighborhood, the Oslo Opera House, and the unique Scandinavian floating saunas. No matter your interests, Oslo has something for everyone. Don’t miss the chance to add it to your bucket list.
20. Blue Lagoon, Iceland
The Blue Lagoon, one of Iceland’s most famous attractions, is the perfect way to relax and unwind on a day trip from Reykjavik. With its unique milky blue color (due to the high silica concentration in the water), this Instagram-worthy destination is a great choice for a day of relaxation all year round. The water in the geothermal pools maintains an average temperature of 39 °C, making it a comfortable and inviting place to soak.
There are several tours available that make it easy to access the Blue Lagoon, so you can choose the option that best suits your needs. Just be sure to book your tickets in advance, as this popular destination can get quite busy.
21. Vatnajökull National Park, Iceland
The Vatnajökull National Park, located in Iceland, is a must-visit destination for adventure seekers. This park is home to Europe’s largest glacier, Vatnajökull, and offers a range of exciting outdoor activities such as hiking, snowmobiling, and even kayaking on a glacier.
If you’re visiting during the winter, don’t miss the opportunity to explore the park’s stunning ice caves, which melt away in the spring. From its stunning natural beauty to its thrilling outdoor adventures, the Vatnajökull National Park is sure to provide a memorable trip for all those who visit.
22. Zurich, Switzerland
Nestled between the Swiss Alps and Lake Zürich, the city of Zürich is a must-see destination in Europe. Despite its reputation as one of the most expensive cities on the continent, Zürich offers a unique charm with its colorful architecture and stunning natural surroundings.
Take a step back in time by exploring the Old Town, or dive into the city’s rich history and culture at museums such as the FIFA World Football Museum and the Beyer Clock and Watch Museum. For a different perspective, ride the Funicular Rigiblick for breathtaking views of the mountains or take a boat tour around the moon-shaped Lake Zürich.
To fully experience all that Zürich has to offer, consider taking a day trip to nearby destinations such as Grindelwald, Stein am Rhein, or even the tiny country of Liechtenstein.
23. Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul is a city that seamlessly blends ancient and modern life, making it an unforgettable destination. Located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, Istanbul offers a mix of cultural influences and a vibrant atmosphere. Some of the city’s must-see attractions include the Hagia Sophia, a breathtaking Byzantine cathedral; the Blue Mosque, a stunning place of worship with religious significance; and the Grand Bazaar, one of the oldest and largest covered markets in the world.
But these are just a few of the many sites to explore in Istanbul. The city is also a foodie paradise, offering a range of delicious street food and dining options. For stunning views of both continents, climb to the Rumelihisarı Fortress and take a ferry to Asia. Another option is to take a day trip to Cappadocia, where you can see the famous fairy chimneys and take a hot air balloon ride.
24. Geneva, Switzerland
If you’re looking for a fascinating travel destination that combines breathtaking scenery with city charm, then you’ll definitely be going to like Geneva, Switzerland!
Geneva is a city situated close to the French border and is known for being the European headquarters of the United Nations, which is housed in the impressive Palais des Nations.
Visitors to the city can enjoy a variety of attractions, such as the charming Old Town, the delightful Jardin Anglais with its famous Flower Clock, and world-class museums like the Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum.
For those who visit the shores of Geneva Lake, the Jet d’Eau water fountain is a must-see attraction. This towering fountain is one of the tallest in the world and offers stunning views of the lake and surrounding cities. Visitors can also embark on a boat tour to explore the lake and its neighboring cities.
And of course, a trip to Switzerland wouldn’t be complete without indulging in the country’s famous chocolate delicacies!
25. Kravica Waterfall, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina is home to a number of breathtaking natural wonders, and the Kravica Waterfall is definitely one of the country’s most precious jewels. Located by the Trebižat River, this beautiful waterfall stands 25 meters tall and is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.
Open from May to October, the Kravica Waterfall is the perfect place to spend a hot summer day. Take a dip in the crystal clear waters of the lake, have a picnic in the peaceful area surrounding the waterfall, or grab a drink at the small cafe. For those looking for a more adventurous experience, kayaking tours through the river are also available.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to visit this beautiful and serene destination. The Kravica Waterfall is definitely one of the most beautiful places to visit in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the surrounding area has much more to offer.
Europe is a continent full of diverse and beautiful destinations that are perfect for any type of traveler. From the ancient ruins and stunning natural beauty of Rome and the Swiss Alps, to the vibrant culture and nightlife of Barcelona and Amsterdam, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you are interested in history, outdoor adventures, or simply soaking up the local culture and cuisine, Europe has it all. So why wait? Start planning your trip today and discover all that Europe has to offer.