Europe’s 15 Most-Visited Tourist Attractions [2023 Ranking]

Max Woolf

Europe brims with tourist attractions.

The problem?

With so many places to visit, it might sometimes feel hard to know where to start your European exploration.

At Passport Photo Online, we’ve ranked Europe’s 15 most-visited tourist attractions based on the number of yearly visitors to help narrow down your options.

Let’s dive in.

top tourist attractions in Europe

1. The Hofburg, Austria

The Hofburg, Austria

Number of yearly visitors: 20M

With 20 million visitors annually, the Hofburg is one of the most popular tourist attractions.

Located in the heart of Vienna, it served as the country’s imperial palace for centuries. Today, it’s home to several museums and cultural institutions.

But—the Hofburg is more than just a pretty piece of architecture; it also has a rich history:

  • The Hofburg was the site of the 1918 Austrian Revolution when Emperor Charles I was forced to abdicate his throne. 
  • It served as the headquarters of the Third Reich during World War II. 

As such, the Hofburg reminds us of Austria’s imperial past and dark years under Nazi rule.

2. Cathédrale Notre-Dame, France

Landscape view on the famous Notre-Dame cathedral on Seine river during the morning light in Paris, France

Number of yearly visitors: 14M

Situated in the heart of Paris, Notre Dame is one of the most iconic Gothic cathedrals in the world. It draws in 14M visitors annually, making it the second most-visited tourist attraction in Europe.

Here are some fun facts about the famous cathedral:

  • Notre Dame was built in the 12th century and took 100+ years to complete.
  • The cathedral is home to three rose windows, each over 32 feet (9.7 m) in diameter.
  • The famous gargoyles on the exterior of the building were added in the 19th century to serve as rain gutters.
  • The Cathedral was severely damaged by fire in 2019 but is currently undergoing restoration.

Whether you’re admiring its sprawling facade or marveling at its stained glass windows, visiting Cathédrale Notre Dame is an unforgettable experience.

3. Brandenburg Gate, Germany

Berlin, Germany. Sunlight passes through the Brandenburg gate

Number of yearly visitors: 12M

This 18th-century neoclassical monument is one of the most famous landmarks in Berlin and all of Germany. Over 12M people visit the Brandenburg Gate each year.

The reason?

Originally built as a triumphal arch to celebrate the victories of Prussian kings, Brandenburg Gate has since become a symbol of German unity and freedom. 

Located in the heart of Berlin, the gate is surrounded by a wide boulevard popular with tourists and locals alike.

No matter when you get to see it, the Brandenburg Gate will leave a lasting impression.

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4. St. Peter’s Basilica, Italy

Vatican, Italy. St. Peter's Square With Papal Basilica Of St. Peter Near Rome.

Number of yearly visitors: 10M

​​St. Peter’s Basilica is one of the largest churches in the world and the centerpiece of Vatican City, receiving 10M visitors a year. 

The basilica is home to some of the most sacred relics in Christianity, including the tomb of Saint Peter himself. 

Even if you’re not religious, it’s hard not to be awestruck by the grandeur of this incredible building. 

5. Palace of Versailles, France

The golden gate of the palace of Versailles in France

The Palace of Versailles is one of the most iconic buildings in France. 

The royal palace was built in the 17th century for King Louis XIV serving as the French government’s seat for over a century. 

Today, the palace is a popular tourist destination enjoying 10M yearly visitors. Tourists get to tour the opulent state rooms, gardens, and chapel.

The Palace of Versailles is a magnificent example of French architecture, and it’s well worth a visit if you’re in France.

6. The Louvre, France

View of the Louvre Museum entrance with the baroque building on the background

Number of yearly visitors: 9.6M

The Louvre is the world’s largest art museum and historic monument in Paris. It’s one of Europe’s most popular tourist attractions, with over nine million visitors annually. 

Located in the heart of Paris, the Louvre is home to some of the most iconic works of art in history, from the Mona Lisa to the Venus de Milo. 

The Louvre also comes with a rich and fascinating history. 

Originally built as a fortress in the 12th century, the Louvre has been expanded and renovated numerous times. Today, it stands as a symbol of French culture and ingenuity.

7. Colosseum, Italy

Rome, Italy - Amphitheater Colosseum view at sunset

Number of yearly visitors: 7.6M

Located in Rome, Italy, the Colosseum was built over 2,000 years ago and is considered one of the greatest feats of engineering in the ancient world. Today, it’s also one of the most popular tourist destinations in Italy, attracting 7.6M visitors each year. 

The Colosseum is a massive elliptical structure made of stone and concrete. It has 80 arches and is supported by hundreds of columns. It’s believed that it could once seat up to 80K people. 

The Colosseum was used for various entertainment purposes, including gladiator fights, animal hunts, and public executions. It was also known as a venue for Christian martyrs, who were often killed in front of large crowds.

8. Eiffel Tower, France

The Eiffel Tower with blue sky, landmark of Paris, France

Number of yearly visitors: 7M

The Eiffel Tower is located on the Champ de Mars in Paris, welcoming 7M+ visitors annually. 

Constructed in 1889, the tower was initially built as a temporary exhibit for the World’s Fair. 

The Eiffel Tower’s popularity soon made it a permanent fixture of the Paris skyline. 

Whether you’re admiring it from the ground or soaking up the views from atop, there’s no denying that the Eiffel Tower is a must-see masterpiece.

9. Pantheon, Italy

Low angle view of portico of the Pantheon in Rome, Italy.

The Pantheon is one of the most iconic buildings in Rome.

This ancient temple is a remarkable feat of engineering, with a massive concrete dome standing for almost 2,000 years. 

The Pantheon is also important for its architectural style, which countless architects have imitated over the centuries. 

But what makes the Pantheon stand out is its history. 

It was once a pagan temple dedicated to all the gods of the Roman pantheon. But after Rome converted to Christianity, the Pantheon was repurposed as a church. 

Today, it remains an active place of worship and a reminder of the city’s long and fascinating history.

10. Sistine Chapel, Italy

Sistine Chapel is one of Italy's most popular tourist destinations

Number of yearly visitors: 6M

With its rich history and breathtaking artwork, it’s no wonder the Sistine Chapel is one of Italy’s most popular tourist destinations, welcoming six million visitors a year.

The stunning artwork and architecture are a sight to behold, and the chapel’s history is fascinating. 

Located in Vatican City, the Sistine Chapel was built in the 15th century by Pope Sixtus IV. It quickly became one of the most critical places for Christianity, serving as a site for papal conclaves and other ceremonies. 

Today, it’s best known for its ceiling, painted by Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512. The chapel is also home to many other notable works of art, including paintings by Botticelli and Perugino.

11. The Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy

Perspective view of the architecture of the Leaning Tower of Pisa Tuscany Italy

Number of yearly visitors: 5M

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is a freestanding bell tower in Pisa, Italy. 

It’s famous for its unintended tilt, caused by the soft ground on which it was built. Despite its instability, the tower has remained standing for over 800 years. 

It’s now one of the most popular tourist attractions in Europe, with five million visitors annually. 

You can climb to the top of the tower (for a fee) and enjoy views of the city.

12. Milan Cathedral, Italy

Milan Cathedral or Duomo di Milano is the cathedral church. famous landmark of Milan, Italy

The Milan Cathedral is a Gothic structure that took nearly six centuries to complete. The cathedral is dedicated to Santa Maria Nascente and is the seat of the Archbishop of Milan. 

It’s the largest cathedral in Italy and the fifth largest worldwide, visited by five million visitors annually.

The exterior of the cathedral is decorated with 3.4K statues and 135 spires. The interior is no less impressive, with a vast nave 157 feet high (47.8 m), making it one of the tallest cathedrals in the world. Visitors can also climb to the cathedral’s roof for breathtaking views of Milan. 

With its intricate architecture and fascinating history, the Milan Cathedral is a must-see for any traveler to Italy.

13. Sagrada Familia, Spain

Sagrada Familia Barcelona at sunrise. Selective focus. nature

Number of yearly visitors: 4.5M

The Sagrada Familia is a large church located in Barcelona, Spain. 

It was designed by architect Antoni Gaudí and is considered one of his most famous works. The construction of the church began in 1882 and is still ongoing. Despite its unfinished state, the Sagrada Familia is one of the most popular tourist attractions, with 4.5M visitors annually. 

You can explore the interior of the church and see its unique architecture.

14. London Eye, UK

London Eye and waterfront lit up at night, London, United Kingdom

Number of yearly visitors: 3.5M

Standing at the height of 443 feet (135 m), it’s the tallest Ferris wheel in Europe that offers 3.5M visitors stunning views of London.

Tourists can enjoy a leisurely ride in one of the 32 capsules, each of which can accommodate up to 25 people. As the wheel turns, riders are treated to panoramic views of some of London’s most iconic landmarks, such as Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, and Big Ben.

The London Eye is a must-see for any visitor to the city and is a great way to get an overview of all that London has to offer.

15. Reichstag, Germany

Reichstag building in Berlin. Building of the German Bundestag. Parliament building

Number of yearly visitors: 3M

The Reichstag is easily recognizable with its massive glass dome and striking architecture.

The building was originally constructed in 1894 to house the German parliament and played an essential role in the country’s politics for decades.

The Reichstag was largely destroyed by fire in 1933, and it wasn’t until after the fall of the Berlin Wall that the building was restored. 

Today, the Reichstag is once again home to the German parliament, and it remains a symbol of Berlin’s rich history.

Stacking It All Up

There you have it!

A ranking of Europe’s 15 most visited attractions to help picking your next destination a breeze.

Have you been to any of the places we’ve discussed? Which one is on your bucket list?

Let us know in the comment section below.

Finally, before we’re over and out, here’s also a look at which countries have the highest number of most popular tourist attractions.

Methodology

To construct this ranking, Passport Photo Online looked at several publicly-available datasets and ranked Europe’s 25 most popular tourist attractions based on the number of visitors they received before the pandemic. We then trimmed down the list to just the TOP 15 to give travelers a list of crème de la crème attractions to visit.

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Did you like our ranking? If so, feel free to share it with your audience. Just remember to mention the source and link back to this page.

  • BBC, “Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia Gets Permit after 137 Years”
  • Château de Versailles, “Visitors to Versailles (1682-1789)”
  • Condé Nast Traveler, “15 London Eye Facts You Didn’t Know”
  • Cultural Places, “Incredible Facts About the Leaning Tower of Pisa”
  • Deutsche Welle, “Around the Reichstag”
  • Deutsche Welle, “Germany’s Most Visited Landmarks”
  • Headout, “Duomo Milan Guide – 10 Things You Must Know before Visiting the Milan Cathedral”
  • Informa UK Limited, “Survey of Audience Reception in the Sistine Chapel: Decoding the Message of Sacred Art”
  • Reuters, “Colosseum’s Visitors Finally Stand among the Ghosts of Lions and Gladiators”
  • Roma Wonder, “St. Peter’s Basilica: Facts You Should Know before Visiting”
  • Statista, “Number of Visitors to the Louvre in Paris from 2007 to 2020”
  • The Independent, “Rome’s Pantheon to Charge Visitors”
  • The Local, “14 Million Visitors a Year: What You Need to Know about Notre-Dame Cathedral”
  • The Official Eiffel Tower Website, “The Eiffel Tower at a Glance”
  • Wiener Hofburg-Orchester, “Concerts in the Hofburg Vienna”

Max Woolf

As a Digital PR specialist and a member of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), Max has 5+ years of writing experience. Over the course of his career, Max’s work has garnered significant attention, with features in numerous prominent publications such as The New York Times, Forbes, Inc., Business Insider, Fast Company, Entrepreneur, BBC, TechRepublic, Glassdoor, and G2.

The Most Visited Attractions in Every Country in Europe

Europe's most-visited attractions.

Neuschwanstein Castle

There are so many wonderful museums, castles, historic locations and other attractions in Europe to explore that seeing them all could easily take months.

But of course, most travelers don't have that kind of time to burn — so hitting the biggies is a smart way to go. You know the ones: the attractions every one of your friends raves about upon their return.

Will there be crowds? Yes. Will there be lines? Yes. Will they be worth it? Yes!

The top attractions in Europe's biggest countries listed here welcome millions of visitors each year. Ready to join the throngs of tourists? Add these to your must-see list now .

Austria: Schönbrunn Palace

Schönbrunn Palace

Number of annual visitors: 2.3 million

Location: Vienna

At this former summer home of the Habsburg dynasty, Empress Maria Theresa bore 16 children and then married off 11 of her daughters — including one Marie Antoinette — to create partnerships with other royal families. The palace and its grounds span more than 450 acres in the heart of Vienna, with 1,441 rooms. You can take an Imperial Tour to view the palace interior, visit the Children's Museum, stroll through the gardens, and enjoy concerts and seasonal events.

Tickets: Start at €20

*Note: All prices are presented in Euros, regardless of the country's currency.

Belgium: La Grand Place

Brussels, Belgium Grand Place

Number of visitors: 3 million

Location: Brussels

La Grand Place is Brussels' central city square, also called the Grote Markt. Surrounded by the opulent buildings of the Town Hall, the Museum of the City of Brussels, the King's House and Godiva Chocolate, the square was home to the city's markets until 1959. A pedestrian square since 1990, La Grand Place is filled with a flower carpet every other year in August (as seen in this photo). 

Tickets: Free

Bulgaria: Rila Monastery

Rila Monastery

Number of visitors: 1 million

Location: The valley of the Rilska (Rila) River

This colorful — inside and out — monastery was founded in the 10th century, and remains the largest Eastern Orthodox monastery in Bulgaria. More officially known as the Monastery of Saint Ivan of Rila, it spans 940,000 square feet and touts a UNESCO World Heritage Site designation. 

Tickets: Monastery and church are free of charge. Entrance to the History Museum starts at €4

Croatia: Plitvice Lakes National Park

Plitvice Lakes National Park

Location: Outside of Zagreb

Although "Game of Thrones" made Dubrovnik's Old Town a huge hotspot, it's not Croatia's most-visited attraction. Instead, that honor goes to the country's national park, Plitvice Lakes.

Featuring 16 lakes joined by waterfalls, including the 256-foot-tall Veliki Slap, this popular park spans 183 square miles and features hiking trails and a boat that travels the terraced lakes.

Tickets: Start at €10 off-season (January-March, November and December), €23.50 mid-season (May and October), €40 in-season (June-September)

Czech Republic: Prague Castle

St. Vitus Cathedral

Number of visitors: 2 million

Location: Prague

Standing on its hilltop location since the 9th century, Prague Castle is home to the president of the Czech Republic. Prior, it was where kings and emperors resided and ruled. 

One of the largest castles in the world, it is more than 750,000 square feet in size and encompasses the Old Royal Palace, St. George's Basilica, St. Vitus Cathedral, Rosenberg Palace, Daliborka Tower and the Powder Tower, as well as the Golden Lane, which you can walk along for free.

Tickets: Start at €10.50

Denmark: Tivoli Gardens

Tivoli Gardens

Number of visitors: 3.9 million

Location: Copenhagen

The second-oldest amusement park in the world (the oldest, Bakken, is in nearby Klampenborg), Tivoli has been providing entertainment since 1843.

Spanning 15 acres, the park features roller coasters, swing rides, bumper cars, arcades, concert halls and, yes, gardens. Visit the Tivolis Koncertsal for classical music and the Pantomime Theatre for pantomime and dance.  On Fridays in the summer, take in live rock music at the open-air concert venue Fredagsrock.

Tickets: Start at €19.50

England: The British Museum

The British Museum

Number of visitors: 4.1 million

Location: London

The biggest draw to England is London's British Museum, which has treasures (often looted in colonial wars) from around the world. You'll get to see items like the Rosetta Stone, Egyptian mummies and sculptures from the Athenian Parthenon.

Amazingly, despite how extensive it is, the British Museum actually only showcases a small portion of its 8-million-piece collection.

Finland: Suomenlinna

Suomenlinna

Location: Near Helsinki

This sea fortress spread across six separate islands just off the coast of Helsinki is only accessible by water — but that doesn't stop around 1 million people from visiting it every year. Built in 1748, the fortress protected Finland from Sweden, and served as a stopping point between Lapland and Russia.

France: Louvre

Louvre

Number of visitors: 7.5 million

Location: Paris

The world's largest museum is also France's most-visited attraction, with more than 7.5 million people walking through its doors to see the "Mona Lisa," the "Venus de Milo," the "Winged Victory of Samothrace" and the largest collection of Egyptian antiquities outside of Egypt.

When in Paris, missing this attraction is simply unthinkable.

Tickets: Start €17. Pro tip: Entrance is free after 6 p.m. on the first Friday of the month

Germany: Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein Castle

Number of visitors: 1.4 million

Location: Bavaria

Built by the shy King Ludwig II, who wanted to be secluded from the world, Neuschwanstein Castle is rumored to be the castle Walt Disney modeled Sleeping Beauty's castle after. 

Straight out of the pages of a fairy tale, the 19th-century castle is the most popular physical attraction in Germany. However, the most popular "attraction" is actually an event: about 6 million people attend Munich's Oktoberfest every year.

Tickets: Start at €15

Greece: Acropolis

Acropolis

Location: Athens

One of the most ancient sites on the list, the Acropolis of Athens overlooks modern-day Athens ("Acropolis" means "high city" in Greek). Dating back to the 5th century BC, temples to the Greek gods once outfitted its hill, with the ruins available to tour today. 

The crown jewel of Athens is The Parthenon, a spectacular temple built between 447 and 438 BC that served as a church and, later, a mosque under Turkish rule. 

However, the Greek government has announced plans to cap visitor numbers to 20,000 per day in order to preserve the site.

Tickets: Start at €10 during the winter, €15 during the summer

Hungary: Szechenyi Baths

Szechenyi Baths

Location: Budapest

More than a million people take to the thermal baths of Budapest at Szechenyi. Supplied by thermal springs, the outdoor bath is one of the largest in the city. The complex also encompasses numerous indoor baths, as well as a spa to accommodate visitors.

This refuge is not to be missed in a country that is experiencing record-breaking numbers of visitors.

Tickets: Starts at €22.50 on weekdays, €32 on weekends

Iceland: Thingvellir

Þingvellir

Location: East of Reykjavík

This national park near Iceland's bustling capital city was once home to the country's Viking parliament, which lasted from the 10th to 18th centuries. While this is a historic place for Icelanders, it is also home to amazing scenery due to its location on the Almannagjá fault. Centuries ago, parliament would operate with an audience standing above in the cliffs.

As you drive through the park, you'll cross two continents and see numerous waterfalls. The park is part of Iceland's popular "Golden Circle" tourist route.

Ireland: Guinness Storehouse

Guinness Storehouse

Number of visitors: 1.1 million

Location: Dublin

Which of Ireland's famous attractions wins the hearts of visitors? Well, that would be Guinness, by a small margin. With 1.6 million visitors, the Cliffs of Moher were a close second.

Guinness, the dark Irish beer first made in 1759 at St. James's Gate Brewery, is still brewed from its original location. Visitors can discover the history of the beer and try samples as they learn how to properly pour the stout.

Across the island in County Clare are the runner-up Cliffs of Moher. These famous cliffs overlook the sea in the most majestic way imaginable. 

Tickets: Starts at €26

Italy: Colosseum

Colosseum

Number of visitors: 6 million

Location: Rome

Rome's colossal Colosseum in the center of the city dates back to 70 AD and was home to the Roman gladiators. Built by the Flavian emperors — its real name is the Flavian Amphitheatre — the arena held up to 80,000 people.

Today, it still holds massive amounts of people who want to see the ruins and artifacts showcasing Rome's former role as a world power.

Tickets: Starts at €16

Luxembourg: Vianden Castle

Vianden Castle

Number of visitors: 180,000

Location: Vianden

Built on the ruins of a Roman castle, Vianden Castle served as the home of the Counts of Vianden. Built between the 11th and 14th centuries by the Hohenstaufen dynasty, the castle became part of the Grand Ducal family's castle from 1890 to 1977, when it was fully restored for visitors to view.

Tickets: Start at €10

Netherlands: Van Gogh Museum

Van Gogh Museum

Number of visitors: 1.3 million

Location: Amsterdam

The Van Gogh Museum's astonishing annual attendance is proof that the eponymous artist's works remain as popular as ever. The museum houses the largest collection of van Gogh's work in the world, as well as the works of his contemporaries.

And it boasts a location to make art lovers swoon: between Amsterdam's history and arts museum Rijksmuseum and the Stedlijk Museum of modern art.

Tickets: Start €20

Norway: Hunderfossen Familiepark

Hunderfossen Familiepark

Number of visitors: 300,000

Location: Faberg

Located near the largest fjord in Norway, Hunderfossen, this amusement park is the biggest attraction in Norway.

After exploring the trails and scenery of the fjord, travelers can explore the park's science museum, petting zoo, fairytale castle and amusement rides. The park is located just north of the Winter Olympics home of Lillehammer.

Tickets: €44.50

Poland: Auschwitz

Auschwitz

Location: Near Oswiecim

Now a museum, Auschwitz was made up of three Nazi concentration camps, one of which was used for extermination during World War II. A visit includes a historic film and guided tour, and is a somber reminder of the horrors that occurred here and across Europe.

Today, the number of people who annually visit Auschwitz is almost equal to the number killed in its camps during the Holocaust.

Romania: Bran Castle

Bran Castle

Number of visitors: 800,000

Location: Zehra

When Bram Stoker created the character of Dracula, he probably didn't anticipate it would one day send hundreds of thousands of people to Transylvania in search of Dracula's Castle.

Although Dracula was fictional, the story of the castle (actually a fortress) is just as fascinating. Built in the 14th century, the castle overlooks the borders of Transylvania and Romania, and was used by Crusaders and the Romanian Royal family during its history.

Tickets: Start at €8.5

Russia: State Hermitage Museum

State Hermitage Museum

Number of visitors: 2.8 million

Location: Saint Petersburg

After the Louvre, the Hermitage is the world's second-largest museum, and like the Louvre, it is housed in a former palace.

First created using the personal collection of art owned by Empress Catherine the Great in the 18th century — and eventually growing to house even more artwork, cultural pieces and historic artifacts — the Hermitage was the former Winter Palace for the Imperial Russian family and features 1,500 rooms.

San Marino: Guaita

Guaita

Number of visitors: 60,000

Location: San Marino City

Although San Marino is the least-visited country in Europe, the 24 square-mile destination in the mountainous peaks of Northern Italy is very worth a visit.

The capital of San Marino is home to Guaita, the city and republic's oldest and main fortress, standing sentinel since the 11th century. One of three peaks of the city, it is the heart of San Marino. A rigorous stroll around it will give you insight into the history of the republic, thanks to the presence of various museums.

Tickets: €4.50

Scotland: National Museum of Scotland

National Museum of Scotland

Number of visitors: 1.9 million

Location: Edinburgh

Housing Scottish antiquities, this relatively new museum is a combination of the Museum of Scotland and the Royal Museum, and covers the history and culture of the entire country.

Although the museum isn't as old as others on the list — it was formed in 2006 — inside is a rich history that millions line up to see.

Slovakia: Spis Castle

Spis Castle

Number of visitors: 212,000

One of the largest castles in Europe, Spis Castle, or Spissky Hrad, is Slovakia's most popular tourist attraction, seeing nearly 250,000 visitors in 2018, even while under construction. (It was completed in early 2019.) A UNESCO monument that dates back to the 12th century, the castle was a part of the Hungarian Kingdom.

Tickets: Starts at €8

Spain: La Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia

Location: Barcelona

Famously unfinished since construction began in 1882, this highly unique church was designed by Antoni Gaudí and wows visitors from the exterior to the interior.

In 2013, Gaudí'-designed Parc Güell reached 9 million visitors annually, but Barcelona put a limit on entrances — just 800 people per hour — and set a fee. The plan to lower visits worked; 2.3 million visit the park now, giving the basilica the current lead for attendance.

Tickets: Start at €30

Sweden: Vasa Museum

Vasa Museum

Location: Stockholm

Stockholm and its sites receive more than 8 million visitors each year. With its seafaring history, it's no wonder travelers flock in particularly large droves to see Vasa, a ship that sank during its first voyage in 1628.

Tickets: Start at €16

Switzerland: The Rheinfall

The Rheinfall

Number of visitors:  1 million

Location: On the border between Schaffhausen and Zürich

The largest falls in Europe drop 75 feet from an elevation of more than 1,000 feet, a spectacular feat of nature. No wonder they've earned the nickname "Switzerland's Niagara Falls," 

Neuhausen am Rheinfall surrounds the waterfall, adding a touch of charming historic architecture to the already impressive landscape.

Ukraine: Kiev Pechersk Lavra

Pechersk Lavra

Number of visitors: 1 million before the conflict with Russia

Location: Kiev

More than 40 million people have visited on pilgrimage to this Orthodox Christian monastery.

Underground caverns dating back to the 11th century are burrowed deep into the Dnieper hills. Visitors can explore 58 acres of caves, temples, the monastery bell tower and the historical treasures of the Ukraine.

Vatican: Sistine Chapel

Sistine Chapel

Number of visitors: 5 million

Location: Vatican City

The chapel of the Pope's Apostolic Palace opened  in the late 15th century following a restoration by Pope Sixtus IV, for whom the chapel is named. It is filled with frescoes painted by the Renaissance's most esteemed artists, including Botticelli, Rosselli and Michelangelo, the later of whom spent four years on his ceiling masterpiece.

In order to visit the chapel, visitors must tour the Vatican Museums, meaning they, too, are the most visited in Vatican City.

Tickets: Starts at €17

Musement Blog

The 50 most popular attractions in Europe

From the Trevi Fountain to Park Güell and the Aqueduct of Segovia, find out which are the most popular attractions in Europe.

Europe is a continent rich in history and culture. You can tell simply by looking at the impressive number of monuments, landmarks, museums and more, which send thousands of people flocking to Europe each year. But with so much to choose from, it’s hard to know where to begin. That’s why we decided to tackle the question of what’s the most popular tourist attractions in Europe.

We analyzed the number of Google reviews for over 4,200 places of interest across Europe*. The result is a ranking of 50 amazing attractions worth visiting at least once in your lifetime.

Discover which attractions made the cut in the table below and read on to find out more about the top 10 :

1. Trevi Fountain, Rome (Italy): 345,237 reviews

At the top of the list is one of the most famous monuments of the Eternal City: the Trevi Fountain. Sitting at the end of the Acqua Vergine aqueduct at the crossroads of three different streets, this Baroque work of art is truly beautiful. Almost too big for such a small space, it’s often overrun with tourists eager to take a picture and make a wish by tossing a coin into the fountain. Our tip is to get there early in the morning or late at night, when the crowds are smaller and the atmosphere more intimate and magical.

  Visualizza questo post su Instagram   Un post condiviso da Ambrogio Napolitano (@ambrogio_napolitano)

2. Colosseum , Rome (Italy): 330,361 reviews

Second place goes to another iconic attraction in Rome. The Colosseum, whose original name is the Flavian Amphitheater, is the largest Roman amphitheater in the world, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Built between AD 72 and 80, this extraordinary feat of engineering was inaugurated with 100 days of games, featuring gladiator shows, naval battles, classical tragedies and other forms of popular public entertainment during the Roman Empire. Today, a visit to the Colosseum and the archaeological sites of the Imperial Fora and Palatine Hill is an exciting step into the past of Western civilization.

  Visualizza questo post su Instagram   Un post condiviso da Parco archeologico Colosseo (@parcocolosseo)

3. Eiffel Tower , Paris (France): 328,972 reviews

It’s no surprise that third place goes to the most recognizable monument on the Paris skyline: the iconic Eiffel Tower. Built for the Universal Exhibition of 1889 and standing 1082ft high (including the antenna), for many years it was the tallest building in Europe. Head to the second floor and to the top of the building, at a height of 380ft and 905ft respectively, for fantastic panoramic views of the city. At night the monument lights up with 20,000 light bulbs, creating a very special atmosphere.

  Visualizza questo post su Instagram   Un post condiviso da GirlInspireTravel (@travelgirlinspire)

4. Louvre , Paris (France): 266,240 reviews

The Louvre in Paris is one of the most famous and visited museums in the world. Spread over an area of over 64,000 sq ft, it has a permanent collection of approximately 35,000 works, ranging from ancient Egyptian artifacts to 19th-century art. Some of the most famous works of Western art are housed here, such as Da Vinci’s enigmatic Mona Lisa, and the Venus de Milo, a famous Greek statue dating back to 130 BC. But you can also admire works by Caravaggio, Raphael, Delacroix, Ingres and paintings from the Flemish school. Given the impressive size of the museum, we suggest exploring it on a guided tour.

  Visualizza questo post su Instagram   Un post condiviso da Musée du Louvre (@museelouvre)

5. Disneyland® Paris , Paris (France): 259,696 reviews

A little over 30km from Paris is this famous Disney park, beloved by both adults and children alike. The Disneyland® Paris complex consists of two parks, Disneyland® Park and Walt Disney Studios, which together have over 50 themed rides ranging from the most adrenaline-pumping to those suitable for children. You can immerse yourself in the MARVEL Universe, the Pixar world and meet all the characters from your favorite Disney cartoons. From now until September 30, visitors will also be able to enjoy special shows and performances in honor of the park’s 30th anniversary, the Grand Finale. Highlights include Disney Dreams®!, the acclaimed show which features fireworks and special effects projected onto the Sleeping Beauty Castle.

  Visualizza questo post su Instagram   Un post condiviso da Where Magic Gets Real ✨ (@disneylandparis)

6. Sagrada Família , Barcelona (Spain): 200,309 reviews

The Sagrada Família just had to be mentioned. An exceptional work of Catalan modernism still unfinished after more than 141 years of construction, this imposing basilica is Barcelona’s star attraction. It’s particularly celebrated for its magnificent facades and tall towers. The architect Gaudí, inspired by nature, also created a ‘forest’ of columns along with stained-glass windows that create a wonderful interplay of light and colors. Once completed, the Sagrada Família will have 18 towers and be the tallest church in the world, thanks to its maximum height of 564ft.

  Visualizza questo post su Instagram   Un post condiviso da Dreamslink Princess (@dreamslink_princess)

7. Arc de Triomphe , Paris (France): 197,610 reviews

This enormous triumphal arch, 164ft tall, 147ft wide and 72ft deep, is one of the most visited monuments in Paris. It was commissioned by Napoleon to celebrate the victory of Austerlitz and took 30 years to build. Beneath the arc you can pay your respects at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, who represents all those who perished anonymously during the World Wars. While from the panoramic terrace on the roof, you can enjoy spectacular views of the City of Light and the Champs- Élysées.

  Visualizza questo post su Instagram   Un post condiviso da Mahmudul Haque Shojib (@shojib_88)

8. Pantheon , Rome (Italy): 190,835 reviews

The final Roman attraction in our top 10 is the Pantheon. Originally a temple where all the Gods were worshipped, the building was destroyed in a fire in 80 AD. In the 2nd century, Emperor Hadrian had the Pantheon rebuilt, it then became a church in the 7th century with the honorific title of minor basilica. The most famous part of the building is the great dome, 142ft wide and with a central oculus 28ft in diameter. On good weather days the sunlight enters through this circular opening, on bad days so does the rain. Another highlight is the vestibule, made up of 16 massive columns.

  Visualizza questo post su Instagram   Un post condiviso da ROMA – ROME , Italy – Travel | Food | Hotel (@noidiroma)

9. Buen Retiro Park , Madrid (Spain): 164,086 reviews

In the heart of the Spanish capital is one of the most famous city parks in Europe. The Retiro Park covers an impressive 309 acres and is one of the most visited attractions in Madrid. Stroll through its beautiful gardens and enjoy the manicured greenery. Among its must-sees are the French Garden, the Fallen Angel Fountain, the Palacio de Cristal, where the exhibitions of the Reina Sofía museum are held, and the artificial lake, near the monument dedicated to King Alfonso XII, which can be explored by chartered boat.

  Visualizza questo post su Instagram   Un post condiviso da @beatezen

10. Park Güell , Barcelona (Spain): 162,845 reviews

Seven of Gaudí’s works have been declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO, two of which have made it into our top 10. Besides the Sagrada Família, Park Güell is also one of the most popular attractions in Europe. The park is the perfect union between nature and architecture with impressive features including the double staircase with the mosaic El Drac salamander, the colonnade with 86 columns and the Plaza de la Naturaleza with its sinuous bench resembling a snake. Sit on the bench to enjoy the view over Barcelona!

Visualizza questo post su Instagram Un post condiviso da Park Güell Oficial | Barcelona – Gaudí (@parkguell)

*Methodology: More than 4,200 attractions across Europe were considered in our analysis. The number of reviews on Google for each attraction were then analyzed. Attractions with the most reviews were considered the most popular. ( Note : to avoid repetition, famous squares have been excluded from the analysis, while attractions in squares have been considered. For example, Piazza del Duomo in Milan has been excluded, but the Duomo itself has been included). Data updated to February 2023.

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Must-see attractions in Europe

most visited european tourist attractions

La Sagrada Família

L'Eixample

The Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família (Expiatory Temple of the Holy Family) is considered to be the symbol of Barcelona by many residents, and the…

Outer courtyard at Stockholm's Royal Palace

Kungliga Slottet

A massive structure with more than 600 rooms on 11 levels, Kungliga Slottet (the Royal Palace) dominates the north end of Gamla Stan. The official…

AMSTERDAM - OCTOBER 3: Van Gogh museum building outstanding with design architectured in Amsterdam, Netherlands, on October 3, 2015.; Shutterstock ID 415294189; Your name (First / Last): Daniel Fahey; GL account no.: 65050; Netsuite department name: Online Editorial; Full Product or Project name including edition: Van Gogh Museum POI

Van Gogh Museum

This wonderful museum traces Van Gogh's life and artistic development via the world's largest collection of his work. More than 200 canvases are on…

most visited european tourist attractions

Stiftsbibliothek

Northeastern Switzerland

If the greatest masterpieces on earth are wrought for the glory of God, St Gallen’s Stiftsbibliothek (Abbey Library), is like a living prayer. Religious…

The red train running on the Jungfrau railway with a background view of Jungfrau

Jungfraujoch

Bernese Oberland

This is the big one. At 3454m above sea level, Jungfraujoch is Europe’s highest train station: a once-in-a-lifetime trip, with views of the deeply…

most visited european tourist attractions

Museo del Prado

Welcome to one of the world's premier art galleries. More than 7000 paintings are held in the Museo del Prado’s collection (of which only around 1500 are…

The Long Walk, the pathway leading to Windsor Castle is 2 1/2 miles long.

Windsor Castle

Windsor & Eton

The world’s largest and oldest continuously occupied fortress, Windsor Castle is a majestic vision of battlements and towers. Used for state occasions, it…

Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque in Istanbul, Türkiye. Built between 532 and 537AD by Roman Emperor Justinian I as the Christian Cathedral of Constantinople.

Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque

Sultanahmet

Right in the heart of İstanbul’s historic center, this sacred Byzantine building remains an important symbol of power.

Park Güell, Barcelona, Spain

Visitors and locals alike love Park Güell. The waving balcony and the colorful Guard’s House, with the imposing Barcelona skyline and sea in the…

Newgrange Megalithic Passage Tomb

County Meath

Newgrange is one of the most remarkable prehistoric sites in Europe, famous for the illumination of its passage and tomb during the winter solstice sun…

MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 27: Reina Sofia Museum on October 27, 2010 in Madrid: This museum is dedicated to the exhibition of modern and contemporary art in Madrid, capital of Spain.; Shutterstock ID 155320763; Your name (First / Last): Josh Vogel; Project no. or GL code: 56530; Network activity no. or Cost Centre: Online-Design; Product or Project: 65050/7529/Josh Vogel/LP.com Destination Galleries

Centro de Arte Reina Sofía

Home to Picasso’s Guernica, arguably Spain’s most famous artwork, the Centro de Arte Reina Sofía is Madrid’s premier collection of contemporary art.

Rome Lazio Italy. The Vatican Museums in Vatican City. Raphael rooms frescoes

Vatican Museums

Vatican City, Borgo & Prati

Founded by Pope Julius II in the early 16th century and enlarged by successive pontiffs, the Vatican Museums boast one of the world's greatest art…

Picnic in Vondelpark in afternoon light.

Attracting over 12 million visitors per year, Amsterdam’s favorite playground is the green expanse of Vondelpark, with its 116 acres (47 hectares) of…

most visited european tourist attractions

St Peter's Basilica

In the city of outstanding churches, none can hold a candle to St Peter's, Italy’s largest, richest and most spectacular basilica. Built atop a 4th…

most visited european tourist attractions

Roman Forum

Ancient Rome

An impressive – if rather confusing – sprawl of ruins, the Roman Forum was ancient Rome's showpiece center, a grandiose district of temples...

Farnese Gardens built a top Domus Tiberiana on Palatine Hill at the Roman forum in Rome, Italy.

Sandwiched between the Roman Forum and the Circo Massimo, the Palatino (Palatine Hill) is one of Rome's most spectacular sights. It's a beautiful,…

most visited european tourist attractions

Cité de l’Espace

The fantastic space museum on the city's eastern outskirts brings Toulouse's illustrious aeronautical history to life through hands-on exhibits, including…

most visited european tourist attractions

Everyone wants to see the Colosseum, and it doesn’t disappoint, especially if accompanied by tales of armored gladiators and hungry lions. More than any…

Mystras or Mistras, also known in the Chronicle of the Morea as Myzithras, is a fortified town and a former municipality in Laconia, Peloponnese, Greece.

Spread over a steep mountainside and surrounded by verdant olive and orange trees, this former Byzantine capital and fortified city is the single most…

Visitors look at the pictures in the museum Thyssen-Bornemisza.

Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza

The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum is one of the three points composing Madrid’s Golden Triangle of Art along the Paseo del Prado (Art Walk), together with the…

Barcelona, Casa Batlló is one of the two great buildings designed by Antoni Gaudí on Passeig de Gràcia From the outside the façade of Casa Batlló looks like it has been made from skulls and bones.

Casa Batlló

One of Europe's strangest residential buildings, Casa Batlló (built 1904–6) is Gaudí at his fantastical best. From its playful facade and marine-world…

The Lion Gate was the main entrance of the Bronze Age citadel of Mycenae, southern Greece. It was erected during the 13th century BC in the northwest side of the acropolis and is named after the relief sculpture of two lionesses in a heraldic pose that stands above the entrance. The Lion Gate is the sole surviving monumental piece of Mycenaean sculpture, as well as the largest sculpture in the prehistoric Aegean.

Ancient Mycenae

On a hilltop backed by powerful mountains stand the sombre and mighty ruins of Ancient Mycenae, home of Agamemnon, the legendary king who commanded the…

Westminster Abbey.

Westminster Abbey

The West End

A splendid mixture of architectural styles, Westminster Abbey is considered the finest example of Early English Gothic. It's not merely a beautiful place…

Barcelona, Spain - June 12, 2017 : Casa Mila  popularly known as La Pedrera or open quarry, a reference to its unconventional rough-hewn appearance, i

In the top tier of Gaudí's achievements, this madcap Unesco-listed masterpiece, with 33 balconies, was built in 1905–10 as a combined apartment and office…

High angle of Dubrovnik's old town and coastal region.

City Walls & Forts

No visit to Dubrovnik is complete without a walk around the spectacular city walls that encircle its historic core. They're among the finest in the world…

Sunset view of Athenian treasury at the ancient delphi site in Greece

Sanctuary of Apollo

Serving as the heart of Ancient Delphi, the hillside Sanctuary of Apollo is where pilgrims would journey to hear prophecies from the god Apollo, voiced…

Rijksmuseum with tulips in Amsterdam..NOTE: dated image - "iamamsterdam" sign has been removed from outside museum.

Rijksmuseum

The Netherlands’ top treasure house, the Rijksmuseum (pronounced ‘rikes’), is among the world's finest art museums. With over 1.5km of galleries, it packs…

most visited european tourist attractions

Capitoline Museums

Dating from 1471, the Capitoline Museums are the world's oldest public museums, with a fine collection of classical sculpture.

Ruins of the ancient site of Olympia, specifically the Philippeion in the Altis of Olympia, which was an Ionic circular memorial of ivory and gold. The Olympic games originate from there.

Ancient Olympia

Peloponnese

This is where the Olympic Games took place every four years for over 1100 years, until their abolition by Emperor Theodosius I in AD 393. The Olympic…

The Roman Pantheon is the most preserved and influential building of ancient Rome. It is a Roman temple dedicated to all the gods of pagan Rome.

Centro Storico

With its revolutionary design, this awe-inspiring temple has served as an architectural blueprint for millennia.

Wide shot of Eiffel Tower with blue sky, Paris, France.

Eiffel Tower

There are different ways to experience the Eiffel Tower, from a daytime trip or an evening ascent amid twinkling lights, to a meal in one of its…

JULY 11, 2017: Empty courtyard in Diocletian's Palace.

Diocletian’s Palace

Taking up a prime harborside position, the extraordinary complex of Diocletian's Palace is one of the most imposing ancient Roman structures in existence…

Tate Modern museum on the southern bank of the River Thames.

Tate Modern

One of London's most amazing attractions, Tate Modern is an outstanding modern- and contemporary-art gallery housed in the creatively revamped Bankside…

Piazza Navona in Rome, Italy

Piazza Navona

With its showy fountains, baroque palazzi and colorful cast of street artists, hawkers and tourists, Piazza Navona is central Rome’s elegant showcase…

Paris, France - August 13, 2016: The Pompidou Centre is a complex building in the Beaubourg area of the 4th arrondissement. It houses the Public Information Library and the museum of Modern art.

Centre Pompidou

Home to Europe's largest collection of modern and contemporary art, Centre Pompidou has amazed and delighted visitors ever since it opened in 1977, not…

most visited european tourist attractions

Museo e Galleria Borghese

If you only have time for one art gallery in Rome, make it the Museo e Galleria Borghese.

France, Indre et Loire, Loire Castles, Chenonceau

Château de Chenonceau

Spanning the languid Cher River atop a graceful arched bridge, Chenonceau is one of France's most elegant châteaux. It's hard not to be moved and…

Steam rising off the hot  mineral water in the Great Bath, part of the Roman Baths in Bath, UK

Roman Baths

Welcome to one of Northern Europe's most significant Roman sites. Today more than a million visitors a year come to see its historic finds, atmospheric…

most visited european tourist attractions

Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano

San Giovanni & Testaccio

This monumental building is Rome’s official cathedral and the pope’s seat as the bishop of Rome.

Canterbury Cathedral, Kent, England

Canterbury Cathedral

A rich repository of more than 1400 years of Christian history, Canterbury Cathedral is the Church of England’s mother ship, and a truly extraordinary…

More destinations you need to see

Novice monks cycling past 26-foot high sitting Buddha at Yan Aung Nan Aung Hsu Taung Pyi Pagoda near Inle Lake.

100 Best Places to Visit in Europe – The Ultimate Bucket List

best places to visit in Europe

  • 21 Pinterest

With so many great options, choosing the best places to visit in Europe can be difficult, from city breaks filled with fascinating history and culture, getaways in nature among breathtaking landscapes and unique natural parks, or the best holiday destinations for a relaxing beach holiday with the whole family.

Venice, Paris and Verona are some of the most beautiful cities for a romantic holiday; Ibiza, Belgrade and Amsterdam promise the best parties and liveliest nightlife, while Riga, Florence and Vienna delight with history and art.

Iceland and the Faroe Islands dazzle outdoor enthusiasts with the most beautiful sceneries, while Croatia and the Greek Islands stand out for their pristine beaches and crystal clear water.

Manchester and Barcelona are some of the best cities to watch a football game in Europe, and for those who want to practice sports, consider Andorra for winter sports, the Azores for watersports and Norway for scenic hikes.

From the Spanish paella and the Italian pasta to the Ukrainian borsch, Europe is also a paradise for the foodies, with extraordinary and diverse gastronomy.

Ready to start planning your next trip?

1 – Venice, Italy

most visited european tourist attractions

Venice is definitely one of the best places in Europe for a Romantic getaway, with lovely canals, hundreds of bridges and charming alleys, mixed with fascinating history, stunning architecture and a unique lifestyle.

Explore St. Mark’s Square, where the famous Doge’s Palace is located, one of the most visited landmarks in Venice and an impressive Gothic architecture masterpiece.

Next to the Palace, stop by one of the most beautiful cathedrals in Europe and the most important religious site in Venice, the Basilica of San Marco; and for a glimpse of the whole Venetian lagoon, climb to 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 an overview of the Grand Canal. And, of course, take a boat tour or gondola ride, for a unique viewpoint of the canals!

Don’t miss a chance to explore 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.

  • Venice tours

See also: Things to do in Venice , Doge’s Palace tickets , Best Venice boat tours , Tourist attractions in Venice , Best places to visit in Italy

2 – Paris, France

Paris, France

Speaking of romantic cities, Paris is a must on every couple’s bucket list. But there’s much more to do beyond an idyllic Seine River cruise, or watching the Eiffel Tower lit up!

From the prestigious Louvre to the acclaimed d’Orsay, Paris has more museums and monuments than one can count. The city itself is a work of art, and a free walking tour or a hop-on hop-off bus tour are the best ways to explore the Arc de Triomphe, the Notre Dame, the Sacré Coeur, and all that Paris has to offer.

For those looking for some unusual things to do in Paris, the Catacombs are worth a visit, and for the football lovers, don’t miss the PSG Experience stadium tour!

With plenty of day trips available, the hardest part is choosing among a delicious tasting in the Champagne region, touring the beautiful châteaux of the ​​Loire Valley, or feeling the magic at Disneyland.

At nightfall, the city gets as exciting as during the day, with vibrant nightlife and many night tours to explore. Stroll through Montmartre or The Latin Quarter, grab a drink at the city’s best bars or attend a show at ​Lido de Paris or Moulin Rouge!

  • Paris tours

See also: Things to do in Paris , Best day trips from Paris , Best tourist attractions in Paris , Louvre Museum tickets price , Eiffel Tower tickets price , Best Paris night tours , Best free walking tours , Hop on hop off Paris bus tours , Cheap Disneyland Paris tickets , Best Paris Seine River cruises , Catacombs Paris tickets price , Musée d’Orsay Tickets price , Lido Paris tickets price , PSG Experience stadium tour tickets

3 – Lisbon, Portugal

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 at Bairro Alto.

Get lost in the narrow streets and charming alleys of the district of Alfama, the oldest in the city, stop by the Sé Cathedral and admire the views from the S. Jorge Castle.

For the architecture lovers, the Belém district is full of wonders, such as the Belém Tower or Jerónimos Monastery, the most magnificent examples of Manueline style – also known as the Portuguese late Gothic.

While in Lisbon, there are plenty of incredible day trips, such as the university town of Coimbra ; Aveiro, frequently labeled as the Portuguese Venice; or Fátima, the leading pilgrimage site.

However, 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.

  • Lisbon tours

See also: Things to do in Lisbon , Best tourist attractions in Lisbon , dBest  day trips from Lisbon , Pena Palace Sintra tickets

4 – Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Among the most bicycle-friendly cities in Europe, the charming capital of the Netherlands, Amsterdam is famous for its canals, a fascinating architecture mixture, and great coffee shops.

Immerse yourself in the city’s rich culture with a visit to Anne Frank’s House in the Jewish Quarter and browse through the city’s best museums, such as the Van Gogh Museum or the Rijksmuseum.

Taking a day trip is always a good idea, especially in a beautiful country like the Netherlands. Visit the medieval town center of Utrecht, the modern metropolis of Rotterdam, or stop by Keukenhof during the spring for a magical glimpse of the tulips fields.

For a unique experience, sail through the picturesque canals on a canal cruise and marvel at the city’s landmarks.

  • Amsterdam tours

See also: Things to do in Amsterdam , Best day trips from Amsterdam , Best tourist attractions in Amsterdam , Best museums in Amsterdam , Van Gogh Museum last minute tickets , Best Amsterdam canal cruises , Rijksmuseum tickets price

5 – Rome, Italy

Rome, Italy

The capital of the Roman Empire, Rome, has thousands of years of history and culture. It is famous for its stunning architecture, with the main attractions being the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, and the Pantheon.

Walking around the Eternal City is like visiting an open-air museum, and to check all of the best sites, take a city tour or a hop-on hop-off bus tour.

But there’s also plenty to see indoors, such as the Borghese Gallery, one of the most prestigious museums in the world. For those seeking unusual activities, check the Catacombs of Rome, the underground galleries used as a cemetery for centuries.

Once the sun sets, there’s still fun guaranteed in Rome, with exciting nightlife. Choose from the night tours available to explore the main attractions, embrace the culture and meet locals.

Due to its location, Rome is a perfect city to establish a base and explore the rest of Italy. Before the trip is over, take a day trip to Naples and the sunny Amalfi Coast, marvel at the Renaissance heritage in Florence, or visit the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Hadrian’s Villa or Villa d’Este in Tivoli.

See also: Things to do in Rome , Best day trips from Rome , Best Rome tours , Catacombs Rome tickets price , Hop on hop off Rome bus tours , Hadrian’s Villa tours from Rome , Villa d’Este tours from Rome , Rome night tours , Borghese Gallery last minute tickets , Borghese Gallery tickets price , Colosseum last minute tickets , Colosseum tickets price , Colosseum Underground tickets

6 – Tromsø, Norway

Tromso, Norway

Where else in the world can combine the magic of the northern lights with the spectacle of city life? Tromsø, located in Norway, is one of the most unique cities in Europe and is known as the “Paris of the North” for good reason.

From reindeer sledding to restaurant excursions, you can enjoy a mix of outdoor adventure and urban living. During winter, the skies are illuminated with the aurora borealis. You can hit the slopes and go skiing or head indoors for some excellent shopping and dining. Between November and January is also an ideal window for whale watching.

Come summer, you can stay up all night with the Midnight Sun and explore the city, go hiking or join a cruise on the fjords to catch sight of the Arctic wildlife.

During your visit, don’t forget to soak up the culture. Plenty of festivals run throughout the year, including the Tromsø International Film Festival. You can even dine over a traditional meal with Sami reindeer herders and gain an appreciation for indigenous heritage.

  • Tromsø tours

See also: Things to do in Tromsø , Best Places to See the Northern Lights Around the Globe

7 – Vatican City

Saint Peter's basilica, Vatican City

The smallest country in the world and located inside of Rome, Vatican City is one of the best European destinations for Catholics or those seeking religious and cultural experiences.

Tour the city’s top-rated attractions, such as the Vatican Museums, with one of the world’s largest art collections, including the Sistine Chapel, to admire Michelangelo’s beautiful frescoes, or the St. Peter’s Basilica, to explore one of the holiest and most important pilgrimage sites.

Wander around St. Peter’s Square, a popular gathering point for tourists and book a seat at the weekly Papal Audience, held every Wednesday, because no trip to the Vatican is complete without seeing the Pope.

See also: Vatican Museum tickets , Vatican Museum early access tickets , Vatican Museum last minute tickets , Best Vatican tours , Papal audience tickets , Sistine Chapel early access tickets , St Peter’s Basilica skip the line tickets

8 – Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Also known as the Pearl of the Adriatic, the sunkissed Dubrovnik welcomes thousands of tourists every year and marvels them with a unique seafront location and a pleasant Old Town.

Stroll through Cersei’s walk of shame and the Old City Walls on a Game of Thrones tour, that takes the fans across the many filming locations in Dubrovnik, one of the best European cities for TV shows fans.

Visit the top of Mount Srd and soak in the views from the Dubrovnik Cable Car; party at Banje Beach and enjoy many water activities, such as a kayak and snorkeling adventure!

To make the most out of the trip, go on a day trip to explore paradise islands, such as the Elaphiti Islands or Hvar, and pristine beaches in Budva or Makarska.

  • Dubrovnik tours

See also: Things to do in Dubrovnik , Best day trips from Dubrovnik , Game of Thrones tours in Dubrovnik

9 – Canary Islands, Spain

Tenerife, 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, with mild temperatures, sunny weather, and unspoiled natural attractions.

With plenty of exciting experiences available, Tenerife is the biggest island of the archipelago, home to Spain’s highest peak (also one of the highest volcanoes in the world). Go for a hike at Teide National Park (or take a stargazing tour), meet the animals at Loro Park, and swim with turtles.

Continue the trip with a visit to Fuerteventura, declared by UNESCO as a biosphere reserve, highlighting 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.

Stop by Gran Canaria to stroll around Vegueta’s old town and relax at the best golden sand beaches. But the other islands are also worth a visit, at least on a day trip – La Gomera, with the unique Garajonay National Park; El Hierro with more than 40 diving points;

Save some time for La Palma, with the breathtaking La Caldera de Taburiente National Park; Fuerteventura with pristine beaches and La Graciosa with unique underwater flora and fauna.

  • Canary Islands tours

See also: Things to do in Lanzarote , Things to do in Gran Canaria , Things to do in Tenerife , Things to do in Fuerteventura

10 – London, United Kingdom

London, United Kingdom

London is at the top of the bucket list for most travelers, and it’s not hard to figure out why: one of the world’s most acclaimed and cosmopolitan cities, with over two millennia of history, rich in arts, science, architecture, politics, and lively nightlife.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with so many great things to do in London, to ensure the best sites such as the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace and London Eye are visited, take a free walking tour or hop on a bus tour.

To relax from the fast pace of the city, stop by the Kew Gardens, meet the animals at London Zoo, visit one of the city’s many museums or catch a musical show.

Consider also taking a day trip to the prehistoric Stonehenge, the spa town of Bath, or the charming town of Windsor – with the main attraction being the Windsor Castle.

And of course, one cannot mention London without a Harry Potter tour and the chance to experience the magic Harry Potter Studio.

  • London tours

See also: Things to do in London , Things to do in Central London , Best London staycation hotels , Windsor Castle tours from London , Best London Harry Potter tours , Best London free walking tours , Tower of London tickets price , Cheap London Zoo tickets , Best London night tours , Hop on hop off London bus tours , Best London musicals , Cheap London Eye tickets , Best day trips from London , Harry Potter Studio London last minute tickets , Buckingham Palace last minute tickets , Kew Gardens tickets , Windsor Castle tickets price , Best London Harry Potter places to visit

11 – Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona, Spain

Artistic, festive, and fun, Barcelona combines a rich cultural heritage with golden sand beaches and vibrant nightlife.

With the Sagrada Familia attracting visitors worldwide, Park Güell and Casa Batlló are also among the city’s highlights. Still, with so much to discover, it might be worth checking the Barcelona attractions passes to ensure the best deals and visit as many monuments as possible.

A walking tour and a hop-on hop-off bus tour are among the best ways to explore Barcelona, but the cherry on top is the helicopter tour for an unforgettable bird’s-eye view.

Stop by La Boqueria to taste some of Barcelona’s finest treats, and for the football fans touring the Camp Nou, home of FC Barcelona, is a must.

After checking all of the best tours Barcelona has to offer, it’s always a great idea to explore the surroundings on a day trip. Whether snorkeling on Costa Brava or skiing in Andorra, there’s something for every tourist!

  • Barcelona tours

See also: Things to do in Barcelona , Best tourist attractions in Barcelona , Best day trips from Barcelona , Sagrada Familia tickets price , Best Barcelona free walking tours , Best places to visit in Spain

12 – Munich, Germany

Munich, Germany

With some of the best breweries and Biergartens in Germany, famous for the annual Oktoberfest celebrations, but also with a rich history, architecture, and delicious cuisine, Munich is a major European destination.

Grab a drink at Englischer Garten; explore the Old Town and see the Marienplatz or take a food tour at Viktualienmarkt; visit Nymphenburg Palace, the largest Bavarian palace, check all of Kunstareal District museums and cheer on Bayern Munich at Allianz Arena.

The whole Bavaria region is also worth exploring, so save time for a day trip to visit the magical Neuschwanstein Castle, the charming medieval town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, or ski at Germany’s highest mountain, Zugspitze.

  • Munich tours

See also: Things to do in Munich , Best day trips from Munich

13 – Monaco

Monaco

The sophisticated and glamorous city-state along the French Riviera, with mild temperatures and home to more millionaires than any other region in the world, Monaco is an excellent destination during the entire year and has plenty of fun things to do.

See the sharks at the Oceanographic Museum, stroll through Palais du Prince, take a walking tour around the charming Old Town, or catch a world-class performance at Opéra de Monte-Carlo.

For car enthusiasts, try a luxury car driving experience and get behind the wheel of a Lamborghini or a Ferrari.

Considering booking the trip during the F1 Grand Prix to catch one of the most thrilling and top-rated races in the world and, of course, try your luck at the best casinos – especially the Monte-Carlo.

  • Monaco tours

See also: Things to do in Monaco

14 – Oxford, United Kingdom

Oxford, United Kingdom

Home to England’s oldest university, Oxford is a historical wonderland to explore, and the highlights include the Ashmolean Museum and the Museum of Natural History.

Oxford is one of the best European destinations for scholars and literature, and cinema enthusiasts, with places like Alice’s shop and Alice’s Window at Christ Church to explore.

Plenty of famous authors held academic positions at Oxford University, such as Lewis Carroll (Alice in Wonderland), J. R. R. Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings) and C. S. Lewis (The Chronicles of Narnia), and only one hour drive away, it’s possible to explore Shakespeare’s birthplace at Stratford-upon-Avon.

Discover the most fabulous filming locations on a Harry Potter or Downton Abbey tour, from the Divinity School and Bodleian Library to the Cogges Manor Farm and St Mary’s Church.

  • Oxford tours

See also: Things to do in Oxford

15 – Amalfi Coast, Italy

Amalfi Coast, Italy

One of the most beautiful places in the world , attracting thousands of tourists every year, Amalfi Coast is the perfect spring/summer getaway, with a stunning coastline, breathtaking scenic drives and lovely villages to explore.

Start the 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. Continue with Vietri sul Mare to appreciate as much art as possible and the typical colorful ceramics.

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, or exploring the hidden gem of Tramonti.

Try Minori’s pasta factories, visit the 18th century Church of Santa Trofimena and walk along the Path of Lemons. For some jaw-dropping views, stop by Terrazza dell’Infinito in Ravello.

Head to the hills and check the oldest town in Amalfi Coast, the incredible medieval-style village of Scala, and proceed to the photogenic Atrani, before reaching the famous and energetic Amalfi.

Marvel at the magical Emerald Grotto in Conca dei Marini, before heading to Furore and crossing Fjord of Furore off the bucket list. Continue to Praiano and Positano, the perfect villages to relax by the superb white sand beaches, without forgetting the famous Path of the Gods hike.

  • Amalfi Coast tours

See also: Things to do on the Amalfi Coast , Best Amalfi Coast boat tours

16 – Dublin, Ireland

Dublin, Ireland

Capital of Ireland, the famous Emerald Isle, thousands of tourists are attracted to Dublin for the legendary Guinness Storehouse, the Irish beer and lively pubs, but the city has much more to offer and has inspired so many artists with its unique beauty.

From James Joyce’s “Ulysses” to the filming location of “Braveheart”, also visit the deers at Phoenix Park, and tour the renowned landmarks, such as the Dublin Castle and the Trinity College.

When in Dublin, make sure to save time for a day trip and explore the stunning surroundings – any Game of Thrones fans out here? There are plenty of  Game of Thrones tours from Dublin available, stopping by the prominent filming locations in the area.

  • Dublin tours

See also: Things to do in Dublin , Best day trips from Dublin , Guinness Storehouse tickets price

17 – Florence, Italy

Florence, Italy

Florence is easily among the best European destinations for art and history lovers. Birthplace of the Renaissance and one of the wealthiest cities during the medieval era, Florence became a top-tier artistic, commercial and political center.

Stroll through the massive Piazza del Duomo, which feels like an open-air museum, and climb to the Duomo’s dome for the most impressive view of Florence.

Discover the home of the Medici Royal Family at Pitti Palace and head to the gothic masterpiece of Palazzo Vecchio.

Florence houses some of the best and most visited museums in Italy, and to make the most out of it, consider grabbing a combined ticket to the Uffizi Gallery and Accademia Gallery.

Besides Florence, the whole Tuscany region deserves to be explored (make sure to not miss our list of things to do in Tuscany ). Take a day trip to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the medieval towers of San Gimignano or relax at the spa town of Saturnia.

  • Florence tours

See also: Things to do in Florence , Best day trips from Florence , Florence Duomo tickets price , Florence Duomo tours , Palazzo Vecchio tickets price , Pitti Palace tickets price , Accademia Gallery tickets price , Uffizzi Gallery tickets price , Best museums in Florence

18 – Santa Claus Village, Finland

Santa Claus Village, Finland

This amusement park located in Rovaniemi, in the Lapland region, is one of the best places to visit in Europe with children, but grants a whole lot of fun for the whole family.

The main attractions at the Santa Claus Village are the Arctic Circle, a white line painted across the park letting visitors know when they’ve officially entered the Arctic region.

In the heart of the village, the Santa Claus Office can be found, open since 1992 with the world’s nicest man welcoming thousands of visitors from all over the world in his office.

Due to its latitude, this charming village and its surroundings are perfect for some northern lights hunting. This stunning natural phenomenon will make the Santa Claus Village even more magical.

  • Rovaniemi tours

See also: Things to do in Rovaniemi

19 – Milan, Italy

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Milan, Italy

Busy and cosmopolitan, Milan is home to the major Italian fashion brands and offers a perfect mix of art and historical architecture, with impressive modern skyscrapers.

One cannot go to Milan without visiting one of the most sacred landmarks and among the most prominent Christian sites globally, the Duomo. Next to it, there’s the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, the perfect place for window shopping across some high fashion boutiques.

Book a ticket to Santa Maria Delle Grazie, for the unique opportunity to admire Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper, one of the most acclaimed works from the creative genius.

Milan is considerably quick to visit, making the perfect opportunity to combine it with a day trip to one of the nearby stunning lakes, such as Lake Como and Lake Garda; or a mountain adventure at the Swiss Alps or the Dolomites.

  • Milan tours

See also: Things to do in Milan , Best day trips from Milan , Duomo Milan skip the line tickets , Santa Maria Delle Grazie tickets price , Last Supper Milan last minute tickets

20 – Meteora, Greece

Meteora, Greece

Literally meaning “suspended in the air”, Meteora is an impressive area in Greece with unique rock formations shaped by the rain, wind and other natural phenomenons for millions of years.

But the most astonishing thing about the area is the Orthodox monasteries housed on top of the rocks, assembling one of the world’s largest and most important Orthodox monasteries complexes.

Before the monasteries were built, there were caves – such as the Theopetra Cave – inhabited for over 50.000 years and occupied by monks seeking refuge during the Turkish occupation.

During the 19th century, steps were carved into the rocks, but back in the days, the top was only accessible by ropes and retractable ladders, making it even more mind-blowing and worth a visit.

  • Meteora tours

21 – Krka National Park, Croatia

Krka National Park, Croatia

Just one hour away from Split, along the Krka River, is one of Croatia’s best natural wonders, the Krka National Park.

Intended for scientific, cultural, and educational purposes, recreational and touristic activities quickly gained popularity among the visitors.

Visit one of the most preserved and unaltered ecosystems, with exceptionally rich flora. Even though it’s no longer possible to swim there, it’s still worth a visit to the Skradinski Buk, an incredible natural pool with a set of waterfalls.

Set aside one full day to explore the park and the footpaths, and consider taking either a sightseeing or boat tour.

  • Krka (town) tours

22 – Bologna, Italy

Bologna, Italy

The capital of the Emilia-Romagna region and world-famous for some of the most delicious pasta dishes, Bologna is one of the best places to visit in Europe for the foodies.

Try as many Tagliatelle al Ragù Bolognese as possible, and consider a food tour to taste the best cured meats, sausages, and cheeses across the city’s popular markets, such as the Quadrilatero Old Market and Mercato Delle Erbe.

Between food tastings, climb the Bologna Towers, once used by the wealthy families for defensive purposes. Wander around Bologna’s main square, Piazza Maggiore, and find the hidden canals at Finestrella di Via Piella.

  • Bologna tours

See also: Things to do in Bologna

23 – Brussels, Belgium

Brussels, Belgium

Home to the European Parliament and known as the capital of Europe, along with world-class beer, delicious chocolate and waffles, mixed with rich history, architecture and museums, make Brussels a traveler’s dream.

Start exploring at the Grand Place, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the center of Brussels, and don’t forget a visit to the Atomium.

To check all of the iconic landmarks like the Parc du Cinquantenaire and the Palais Royal, consider either a bike or a bus tour, and stop by the world’s largest parliamentary visitor center, the Parlamentarium.

  • Brussels tours

See also: Things to do in Brussels

24 – Berlin, Germany

Berlin, Germany

Famous for its world-class museums and for being one of the most iconic European cities, Berlin combines turbulent history, high technology, and culture with authentic German pubs and Biergartens.

For the most breathtaking views of the city, visit the TV Tower and the German Parliament Building, also known as the Reichstag, and climb to its dome.

Consider a walking tour to learn about history at the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe and what’s left of the Berlin wall; walk across the Brandenburg Gate, and stroll through the main landmarks, such as the Alexanderplatz.

  • Berlin tours

See also: Things to do in Berlin , Best free walking tours in Berlin , Reichstag Dome tickets , Berlin TV Tower tickets price

25 – Pompeii, Italy

Pompeii, Italy

Speaking of turbulent history, just 30 minutes away from Naples is a major UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most visited archeological sites in the world, the city of Pompeii is one of the best places to visit in Europe for history lovers.

Destroyed by Mount Vesuvius’s eruption, the quick burial of the Roman city allowed its preservation for centuries and its excavation provided unique information about life in the ancient world.

The Archaeological Park of Pompeii is definitely worth visiting and there are plenty of tours departing from nearby locations, such as the Amalfi Coast villages. There’s also the possibility to combine it with a climb to Mount Vesuvius.

Among the unmissable places to check are the Basilica, the Forum, the House of Faun and one of the oldest surviving Roman amphitheaters, the Amphitheatre of Pompeii. Get a skip-the-line ticket and start exploring right away!

  • Pompeii tours

See also: Pompeii tickets price , Best Pompeii tours

26 – Andorra

Andorra

This small country, located by the eastern Pyrenees, between Spain and France, is one of the best winter destinations in Europe when it becomes a ski and snowboard paradise.

Among the fun things to do in Andorra are plenty of ski areas, such as Pas de la Casa, Vallnord, and Grandvalira.

Andorra la Vella – the capital – is also worth checking, with the largest spa center in Europe, the magnificent Caldea, fed by mineral-rich thermal waters.

This is also an excellent destination for beautiful hikes and mountain biking experiences throughout the entire year. Enjoy a getaway in nature, amid lakes and mountains, with trails for all levels – such as the Tristaina Lake Trail.

  • Andorra tours

27 – Manchester, United Kingdom

Manchester, United Kingdom

Manchester is one of the UK’s major creative hubs, with outstanding nightlife, lovely Victorian-era architecture, and a renowned sporting industry.

An excellent destination for sports lovers, start the trip with a tour of the two main stadiums, the Old Trafford, home of Manchester United, and Etihad Stadium, home of Manchester City; and check out the National Football Museum.

With a thriving arts scene, there’s plenty to explore indoors – at the Manchester Art Gallery or The Whitworth – but also outdoors, on a memorable street art tour.

And the fun doesn’t end when the sun goes down. Catch a performance at Manchester Opera House, which has hosted major musicals like the Phantom of the Opera; or see a show at one of Europe’s largest indoor arenas, AO Arena.

  • Manchester tours

See also: Things to do in Manchester

28 – Madrid, Spain

Madrid, Spain

Welcoming millions of visitors every year, the stunning capital of Spain, Madrid, promises a trip full of exciting things to do and unforgettable memories.

Start with a glimpse of the Spanish Royal Family life at the Royal Palace of Madrid and check the Almudena Cathedral nearby. Consider joining a free walking tour and exploring the unique districts, such as Barrio de las Letras or La Latina ​- and even a Money Heist’s filming locations tour.

With some of the finest European museums housed in Madrid, marvel at the greatest masterpieces from Goya, Reubens, or El Greco at Prado Museum, and Pablo Picasso’s Guernica at Reina Sofia Museum.

Due to its central location, Madrid is the perfect base for exploring other Spanish gems, such as the impressive medieval castle in Segovia, the wine region of Ribera del Duero, or the lively university city of Salamanca.

  • Madrid tours

See also: Things to do in Madrid , Best day trips from Madrid , Best tourist attractions in Madrid , Royal Palace of Madrid tickets price , Reina Sofia Museum tickets price , Prado Museum tickets price , Madrid free walking tours

29 – Azores, Portugal

Azores, Portugal

One of Europe’s best-kept secrets and often compared to Hawaii, the subtropical archipelago of Azores is a hidden gem in the Atlantic ocean. With nine inhabited islands, this is one of the best destinations for outdoor lovers and those seeking a nature retreat.

With mild temperatures and incredible coastline, Azores are a paradise for watersports enthusiasts. Step away from the shore and embark on some diving adventure or whale and dolphin watching.

Explore the beautiful trails and soak in the views of the Sete Cidades Caldera or Boca do Inferno viewpoint in São Miguel island; hike Mount Pico in Pico Island, Monte Brasil in Terceira, or Fajã Grande in Flores and spot many lakes, waterfalls, and breathtaking landscapes.

Also, in São Miguel, stop by Furnas Valley to check the geothermal wonder of Lagoa das Furnas, immerse in the hot springs of Terra Nostra Garden, and taste the unique Cozido das Furnas, a local stew made from meat and vegetable, slowly cooked underground with the hot springs steam.

  • Azores tours

See also: Things to do in the Azores

30 – Loire Castles, France

Chenonceau Castle, Loire Valley, France

Once the extravagant retreats of the French kings, designed for entertainment and enjoyment purposes, today, the fairy tale castles of the Loire Valley are one of the most fascinating European destinations.

With tours for all kinds of budgets, this dreamy multi-day trip easily reached from Paris must be on everyone’s list – the most challenging part is choosing which ones to visit, among so many great options.

The glorious and beautiful decorated Château of Chambord is one of France’s most famous castles; originally a fortified tower, Château de Villandry stands out for the marvelous Renaissance gardens.

With stunning views of the Loire River, Château d’Amboise might be small but equally worth visiting; Château du Clos Lucé, the official residence of Leonardo da Vinci between 1516 and 1519; and the list of the best Loire Valley Castles goes on!

  • Loire Valley tours

See also: Best Loire Valley Castles to Visit from Paris

31 – Lake Bled, Slovenia

Lake Bled, Slovenia

One of Slovenia’s most popular tourist attractions, with clear turquoise waters and a stunning tiny island with a church in the middle, Lake Bled is perfect for a summer getaway.

Easily reached from Ljubljana, the visit to Lake Bled can also be combined with Vintgar Gorge, another of Bled’s natural wonders.

Adventure on the lake on a boat ride, kayaking, or take a dip in the swimming area. For some land activities, hike the Ojstrica and Mala Osojnica loop trail.

The medieval Bled Castle is also worth visiting, sitting atop a cliff 130 meters above the lake, with stunning views – especially at sunset – and even a unique dining experience. Tasting the typical Bled Cream Cake called Kremšnita is a must for those with a sweet tooth.

32 – Mallorca, Spain

Mallorca, Spain

The sunny jewel of the Balearic Islands, Mallorca is one of the best European summer destinations and among the most popular Mediterranean islands.

Explore its spectacular coastline and relax at the most pristine white sand beaches of Cala Vella and Es Trenc Beach, or adventure on a snorkeling tour and explore the underwater wonders.

Wander around Palma de Mallorca Old Town, stop by the magnificent Palma Cathedral and delight yourself on a tapas tour.

Mallorca offers breathtaking landscapes, and hiking Serra de Tramuntana mountain is a must. However, don’t overlook the stunning underworld of Cuevas del Drach and Caves of Hams.

  • Mallorca tours

See also: Things to do in Mallorca

33 – Cinque Terre, Italy

Cinque Terre, Italy

A popular Italian tourist destination, the coastal villages of Cinque Terre offer stunning beaches, photogenic colorful houses, thrilling hikes and superb cuisine.

Monterosso al Mare is the biggest of the five villages and the ultimate beach destination. Vernazza is famous for the colorful houses along the small harbor, with the castle on top of the hill, quickly becoming the most photographed spot in the region.

Riomaggiore, famous for delicious wine and olive oil, is connected to Manarola through Via dell’Amore, the most romantic footpath with incredible sea views.

Last but not least, stop by the oldest and smallest villa, Corniglia. Surrounded by lovely vineyards, stop by Saint Mary’s Terrace and soak in the views.

  • Cinque Terre tours

See also: Best Cinque Terre boat tours , Fun things to do in Cinque Terre

34 – Faroe Islands

Faeroe Islands

Tucked between Iceland and Norway, bathed by the Atlantic Ocean, the Faroe Islands offer one of the best and most unique sceneries in Europe, and its popularity is quickly rising.

Explore Lake Sorvagsvatn and its optical illusion, with an angle where it looks like the river is floating above the ocean; marvel at the beautiful Mulafossur Waterfall in the village of Gasadalur and snap a picture of the iconic Drangarnir.

Home to thousands of Puffins, visit the Mykines island to meet these adorable birds. With more sheep than humans, you’re most likely to encounter these fluffy inhabitants during the trip.

Despite the remote locations, exploring the Faroe Islands on a road trip is very easy, especially with the underwater tunnels connecting them.

35 – Krakow, Poland

Krakow, Poland

One of Poland’s oldest cities and the second-largest one, there are several reasons to visit the historical Krakow.

Start by wandering around the charming old town and let this UNESCO World Heritage site transport you back to middle age.

Explore Wawel Royal Castle, one of Poland’s most important cultural sites, the largest medieval square, Rynek, and tour Kazimierz, the Jewish Quarter.

Just a few minutes away from Krakow, save the last day for a tour to Auschwitz-Birkenau – which can be emotionally draining, but full of remarkable stories that deserve to be remembered.

  • Krakow tours

See also: Things to do in Krakow

36 – Pisa, Italy

Pisa, Italy

Worldwide famous for the leaning tower and for being the birthplace of Galileo Galilei, Pisa is an excellent destination for a weekend getaway.

The city’s highlight is Piazza dei Miracoli, where it’s possible to explore the main landmarks – the Pisa Cathedral, Pisa Baptistry, and the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

It’s also worth strolling through the River Arno, walking along the shopping street, Borgo Stretto, and checking Pisa’s second main square, Piazza dei Cavalieri.

Save at least one full day to explore the surrounding area and make the most of your Tuscany trip, admiring the Renaissance city walls of Luca, the modern Livorno, by the Ligurian Sea, or the enchanting Florence.

See also: Leaning Tower of Pisa tickets , Things to do in Pisa

37 – Malaga, Spain

Malaga, Spain

In the sunny Spanish Costa del Sol, showing the best Andalusia has to offer, Malaga mixes paradisiac beaches, diverse museums, vibrant nightlife and delicious tapas.

With a rich history, explore the Alcazaba and marvel at the views from the ancient Gibralfaro Castle.

The birthplace of Pablo Picasso, find plenty of its wonderful works at the Picasso Museum or join a walking tour and pass across the artist’s childhood home.

Sunbathe at the best Mediterranean beaches, from the famous Playa la Malagueta to the less crowded Playa Peñon del Cuervo.

  • Malaga tours

See also: Things to do in Malaga

38 – Bran Castle, Romania

Bran Castle, Romania

One of Europe’s most famous castles, perched atop a hill, the Bran Castle is commonly known as Dracula’s home.

Built during the 12th century at Transylvania and Wallachia’s border, used for defensive purposes against the Ottoman Empire, providing safe passage between the regions and contributing to their economic development.

The site gained popularity for matching the castle described in Bram Stoker’s novel, Dracula, even though the Irish author never visited Romania.

Welcoming thousands of visitors per year, it houses a private museum dedicated to Queen Marie’s art and furniture collection, richly ornating the rooms.

  • Transylvania tours

See also: Best castles in Europe

39 – Kravica Waterfall, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Kravica Waterfall, Bosnia and Herzegovina

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the large Kravica Waterfall by the Trebižat River is one of the country’s most precious jewels and best-kept secrets, with its popularity still rising.

Open from May to October, with 25 meters high, this is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the area has much more to offer, such as a peaceful picnic area and a small cafe.

During the hottest months, the best part of the visit is diving into the lake’s clear waters. There are kayaking tours through the river available for those wanting to explore a little more.

40 – Keukenhof gardens, Netherlands

Keukenhof gardens, Netherlands

The world’s most extensive flower garden, the Keukenhof is one of the best places to visit in Europe during the spring and witness this once-in-a-lifetime experience of seeing 7 million tulips bloom.

Rent a bike and pedal around the park or take a relaxing boat tour, a visit to the Keukenhof gardens is also an excellent program for the whole family, let the kids join a scavenger hunt throughout the gardens or pet some furry friends at the petting zoo.

Attracting millions of visitors each year, the garden is easily reached from Amsterdam and Rotterdam.

See also: Keukenhof Gardens tickets price

41 – Prague, Czech Republic

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague is a dream destination with diverse architecture, from the gothic wonder of Church of Our Lady before Týn to the modern and creative Dancing House; outstanding museums, and vibrant nightlife.

Start with a walking tour to check the city’s main sites, from admiring the outstanding Old Town and seeing the famous Astronomical Clock, to the iconic Prague Castle.

Cross the Charles Bridge – possibly on a ghost tour, and learn at the various museums, from the Museum of Communism to the Apple Museum.

Immerse in the local culture and attend a Czech Folklore Show or get the time of your life at a locally-led pub crawl.

  • Prague tours

See also: Things to do in Prague , Prague Castle tickets price , Prague free walking tours

42 – Athens, Greece

Athens, Greece

Overflowing with legends and stories from the Greek Empire, ranking among the sunniest cities in Europe, Athens’s rich history mixed with modernity makes it a complex and extraordinary destination.

Explore the main historical landmarks, such as the iconic Acropolis – and climb there for the city’s best views; marvel at the Parthenon temple’s architecture and visit the Temple of Olympian Zeus.

After checking all monuments and museums, relax by the white sand beaches at Athens Riviera, or consider a day trip to make the most of this Greek adventure.

  • Athens tours

See also: Things to do in Athens , Best tourist attractions in Athens , Best day trips from Athens , Acropolis tickets price

43 – Versailles, France

Versailles, France

Formerly a royal residence, the magnificent Versailles Palace is one of the world’s most visited palaces nowadays and can be easily reached from Paris.

Several tickets are available, some of which also include the Estate of Trianon, Versailles Gardens, and even the musical fountain show, to make the most of the visit – and if the tickets are sold out, check how to grant last-minute Versailles Palace tickets !

With a massive area and over 2000 rooms, it might be worth considering a guided tour to understand its history. One of the palace’s highlights is the Hall of Mirrors, with 357 mirrors.

  • Versailles tours

See also: Versailles tickets price , Best Versailles tours , Best places to visit in France

44 – Porto, Portugal

Porto, Portugal

Often considered one of the best European destinations, Porto has outstanding beauty mixed with delicious gastronomy and incredible nightlife.

Explore the old town and its iconic landmarks, from the Sé do Porto Cathedral to the colorful Largo da Pena Ventosa square, and the spectacular views from Miradouro da Vitória.

While in Porto, one can’t overlook the chance to taste one of the world’s most famous wines, the delicious Francesinha, and catch a fado show.

There are plenty of fun things to do in Porto, from observing the inspiration behind Harry Potter at Gomes Teixeira Square to the fantastic Douro Valley cruises, or exciting day trips to the Peneda-Gerês National Park and the Minho region.

  • Porto tours

See also: Things to do in Porto

45 – Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm, Sweden

A small city where the land meets the sea, with a rich Viking history, exciting music scene, and plenty of islands to explore on a kayaking trip, Stockholm is an excellent destination for a quick city break.

Admire artifacts at the Royal Palace and wander around the colorful Gamla Stan – which translates to Old Town.

To get deeper into the city’s history, visit the 17th-century warship at Vasa Museum. With the Vikings being one of Sweden’s most famous ancestors, several tours pass through the most important sites, such as the ancient settlement of Granby.

Delight in modern Swedish cuisine and enjoy Stockholm’s nightlife, whether it is by catching a show at Avicii Arena, seeing a ballet at Royal Swedish Opera, or joining a pub crawl.

  • Stockholm tours

See also: Things to do in Stockholm

46 – Riga, Latvia

Riga, Latvia

Riga is the liveliest among the capitals, with outstanding Art Nouveau architecture, exuberant nightlife, and stunning landscapes.

Stroll around the Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with most of Riga’s monuments, such as the iconic House of the Blackheads, the St. Peter’s Church, or the Central Market.

Learn about the Latvian War of Independence at Freedom Monument, and get transported back to Medieval times at the Swedish Gate.

Try some Riga Black Balsam – made from pure vodka – and party at the many pubs and bars.

See also: Things to do in Riga

47 – Granada, Spain

Alhambra, Granada, Spain

Granada is an excellent choice for a city break: one of the most iconic Andalusian destinations, famous for its UNESCO World Heritage Sites, beautiful Islamic architecture, delicious tapas, and exciting flamenco shows.

Perched atop a hill, find the impressive Alhambra fortress and marvel at the views from the Alcazaba Tower. There are plenty of Alhambra tickets available, some of which also combine the visit to Generalife.

Check the Royal Chapel of Granada, explore the unique Albaicín district, and explore the Moorish-styled Alcaicería. For a remarkable sunset, stop by San Nicolas Viewpoint.

With a rich Arab heritage, save some time to relax at a traditional hammam spa or tour the best-preserved Arab baths at El Bañuelo.

  • Granada tours

See also: Things to do in Granada , Alhambra tickets price

48 – Kiruna, Sweden

Kiruna, Sweden

As the northernmost city in Sweden, Kiruna is well-situated for all of your Arctic adventures. Whether you’re journeying here to witness the aurora borealis or stay the night in the famous Ice Hotel, Kiruna will expand your horizons.

Head to the Abisko National Park and immerse yourself in the alpine landscape. Here, you can watch the northern lights come out, go hiking or practice your photographic skills.

For a classic Swedish experience, put on your snowsuit and go dog sledding! Keep your camera on hand to capture the once-in-a-lifetime ride. This is one activity the kids won’t soon forget. If you’re looking for more of an adrenaline rush, you can traverse the terrain on a snowmobile.

To get a taste of local culture, you can join a city tour that includes dining out on street food. Savor the Arctic cheese and reindeer and moose meat in a traditional tipi!

  • Kiruna tours

See also: Things to do in Kiruna

49 – Frankfurt, Germany

Frankfurt, Germany

Once among the most significant medieval cities in Germany, most of Frankfurt was destroyed during the Second World War. Nowadays, it perfectly blends modernity and history, with an impressive skyline, rich museums, the Goethe-Haus, and Anne Frank’s first home.

Look out for the city’s oldest building, the 15th-century medieval Eschenheim Tower, contrasting with Financial District’s opulent skyscrapers – where the city gets its Mainhattan nickname from.

Explore the lively Römerberg and soak in the views from the top of the Frankfurt Cathedral observation tower. Cross the Eiserner Steg bridge and stroll through the scenic Mainkai walk while marveling at the Main river.

Famous for its sausages, stop by Kleinmarkthalle to grab a traditional wurst at Metzgerei Schreiber, and accompany it with some apple wine.

  • Frankfurt tours

See also: Things to do in Frankfurt

50 – Capri, Italy

Capri, Italy

Located in the Gulf of Naples, with an outstanding landscape and delicious cuisine, there’s a lot to explore in Capri.

Check the world-famous Piazzetta di Capri, the island’s center and its liveliest area, and try some ravioli capresi at the local restaurants.

Book a boat tour in Capri and adventure on its stunning turquoise waters and marvel at the Arco Naturale and Blue Gotto. Relax by the Gardens of Augustus and admire its views.

Visit the dreamy Villa San Michele and, of course, sunbathe at Capri’s best beaches such as Marina Grande, the best one for swimming, and the famous Bagni di Tiberio.

  • Capri tours

See also: Best boat tours in Capri

51 – Greek Islands

Navagio Beach, Zakynthos, Greece

From the worldwide famous dreamy white villages of Santorini to the unique pink sand of Elafonisi Beach in Crete, the Greek Islands are a piece of heaven in the Mediterranean and definitely worth visiting.

In Crete, the largest of the islands, stroll around the Venetian Harbour and explore Chania ’s lovely Old Town, sunbathe in Falasarna, and marvel at the historical Knossos Palace.

Continuing to one of the finest islands in the Aegean Sea, Rhodes, explore the ancient ruins of Lindos Acropolis, snorkel in secluded coves, and wonder at the natural reserve of the Butterflies Valley.

Home of Hippocrates, Kos has a rich history and unique landscapes to explore. Continue with Mykonos with a lovely old town and vibrant nightlife, making it one of the best greek islands for partying.

With jaw-dropping turquoise waters, stop by Porto Timoni Beach in Corfu, snorkel in one of the finest Blue Lagoons in the world, and visit the distinctive Cape Dastris cliffs.

On the best European island for a honeymoon, the charming Santorini, watch the most romantic sunsets at Oia and swim at the unique Red Beach with volcanic red sand.

And of course, there’s much more to explore, considering Greece has over 200 islands. Enjoy the dreamiest beaches, embrace its rich history and try the delicious Mediterranean cuisine.

See also: Things to do in Rhodes , Things to do in Kos , Things to do in Santorini , Things to do in Crete , Things to do in Corfu , Things to do in Mykonos , Things to do in Paros , Things to do in Naxos

52 – Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

Croatia’s oldest and largest natural park, with almost 300 km², Plitvice Lakes, is one of the best places to visit in Europe and among its most extraordinary natural wonders.

Its primary attraction is the crystal clear lakes, which only cover 1% of this enormous park. With a total of 16 main lakes connected through stunning waterfalls, even though they look enchanting, swimming is prohibited.

With incredible fauna and flora to admire, adventure on the park’s hiking trails, or rent a boat and row in Kozjak lake. The park turns into a white wonderland during the winter, and skiing is among the most popular activities.

  • Plitvice Lake tours

53 – Seville, Spain

Seville, Spain

Among the most famous cities of Andalusia, with world-famous flamenco shows, glorious architecture, and delicious tapas, the sunkissed Seville is filled with fun things to do.

With Christian and Moorish influences, explore the stunning Real Alcázar of Seville, and continue to the Seville Cathedral & La Giralda, the world’s largest Gothic cathedral.

Climb to the unique Setas de Sevilla and rent a rowboat at Plaza de Plaza de España. And for the Game of Thrones fans, there are a couple of filming locations to visit.

To make the most of your trip, there are plenty of day trips available, from the historical Italica, the natural wonder of Doñana National Park, the unique city of Ronda, to the paradise beaches at Zahara de los Atunes.

  • Seville tours

See also: Things to do in Seville , Best day trips from Seville , Real Alcazar of Seville tickets price

54 – Belgrade, Serbia

Belgrade, Serbia

World-famous for its vibrant nightlife and parties, Belgrade has something for everyone – from spectacular galleries and architecture to the bustling streets and best bars.

Visit Belgrade’s largest park, Kalemegdan, and find the old citadel at the Belgrade Fortress. Admire Serbia’s major Orthodox Church, the Church of St Sava, and stop by the Nikola Tesla Museum.

After absorbing all of the city’s rich and turbulent history, embrace its reputable nightlife, with great indoor clubs and taverns during the cold months, and riverside venues for the warm months.

  • Belgrade tours

See also: Things to do in Belgrade

55 – Trolltunga, Norway

Trolltunga, Norway

Translated to “troll tongue”, Norway’s most famous rock formation and one of the most photographed in the world, Trolltunga, is perched on the side of a fjord, over 1000 meters above the sea.

The 14 km hike starts by the Ringedalsvatnet lake and takes about 8-12 hours, depending on the experience level. Despite the challenging trail, take the time to enjoy the journey and marvel at the breathtaking Norwegian landscape.

56 – Ibiza, Spain

Ibiza, Spain

A Spanish oasis in the Mediterranean, the island of Ibiza is one of the best places to visit in Europe during the summer months.

With an outstanding coastline, take a boat tour and cool down by the island’s incredible beaches, from Cala Comte, the most famous one, the calm turquoise waters of Cala Bassa, to the hippie vibe of Cala Benirràs.

Wander around the fortified Old Town, with labyrinth streets and the best views over the harbor.

And what most visitors come from: go party – from plenty of boat and pool parties to join, to the world’s most famous beach clubs and the best party venues, there’s always fun granted in Ibiza.

  • Ibiza tours

See also: Things to do in Ibiza

57 – Geneva, Switzerland

Geneva, Switzerland

Near the French border, the city of Geneva is the headquarters of the United Nations in Europe, with the impressive Palais des Nations.

Explore the charming Old Town, see the Flower Clock at the lovely Jardin Anglais and visit the city’s incredible museums such as the Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum.

By the margin of Geneva Lake, admire one of the world’s tallest water fountains, Jet d’Eau, and explore the lake and the surrounding cities on a boat tour.

And while in Switzerland, taste as much chocolate as possible!

  • Geneva tours

See also: Things to do in Geneva

58 – Sofia, Bulgaria

Sofia, Bulgaria

Less touristy than the nearby European capitals, Sofia is famous for the massive Saint Alexander Nevsky Patriarch’s Cathedral, the royal Vrana Palace, and the 10th-century Boyana Church.

Stroll through the pedestrian Pirotska Street, stop by its excellent shops and cafes, or grab a souvenir at the Central Market Hall.

Catch a worldwide famous folklore show or a performance at the Sofia Opera and Ballet, and embrace the city’s lively nightlife.

  • Sofia tours

See also: Things to do in Sofia

59 – Ljubjana, Slovenia

Ljubjana, Slovenia

The charming capital of Slovenia by the margin of the Ljubljanica River, one of Ljubljana’s most iconic attractions is the Ljubljana Castle perched atop a hill, in the middle of the city.

Cross the Dragon Bridge – with the dragon being the city’s symbol and protector – explore the beautiful Old Town, with the lively Prešeren Square, ​and finish by relaxing at the large Tivoli Park.

For some alternative activities, stop by the Metelkova Art Center, the city’s cultural and artistic hub, with performances, exhibitions, and a lot of incredible street art.

  • Ljubljana tours

See also: Things to do in Ljubljana

60 – Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen, Denmark

Famous for being Hans Christian Andersen’s birthplace and the little mermaid sculpture, this small Scandinavian city has a lot to offer to its visitors.

With magnificent Danish cuisine and the famous Tivoli Gardens amusement park, Copenhagen attracts visitors worldwide.

Shop at Strøget, Europe’s largest pedestrian streets, wander around the city’s Old Town, and admire Nyhavn’s colorful architecture through a canal cruise.

Delve into Copenhagen’s rich history and culture with a visit to Christiansborg Palace and the many museums – such as the National Museum of Denmark.

  • Copenhagen tours

See also: Things to do in Copenhagen

61 – Mont Saint Michel, France

Mont Saint Michel, France

Easily reached on a day trip from Paris to Normandy, the magnificent Mont Saint Michel is one of France’s most remarkable medieval gems.

Welcoming pilgrims since the 8th century, this small island with the Abbey of Mont Saint-Michel perched at the top is one of the most unique places to visit in Europe.

Take the time to explore the medieval village, admire the ancient defense walls and climb to the North Tower observation deck, for an outstanding view of the bay.

  • Normandy tours

See also: Best Normandy tours from Paris , Mont Saint Michel Day Trip from Paris – Price & Tips

62 – Helsinki, Finland

Helsinki, Finland

By the shore of the Gulf of Finland, the charming Helsinki delights those who visit it with stunning sea landscapes, landmarks and delicious Nordic cuisine.

Take the ferry to one of the world’s largest sea fortresses, Suomenlinna, once a substantial naval base. Today, not only one of Finland’s most fantastic attractions but also home to 900 inhabitants.

With a great diversity of attractions, visit Temppeliaukio Church, an ancient church carved into a rock, the 19th century Helsinki Cathedral and the orthodox Uspenski Cathedral.

Explore the city’s interesting museums, from the art pieces at Kiasma and Ateneum to the Design Museum. Save also some time to grab a souvenir at Helsinki’s Market Square or get the adrenaline rushing at Linnanmäki amusement park.

  • Helsinki tours

See also: Things to do in Helsinki

63 – The Blue Eye, Albania

The Blue Eye, Albania

The Blue Eye, a natural water spring pool, source to the Bistricë River, is one of the most unique places to visit in Albania.

Easily reached upon a 35-minute drive from the city of Sarandë, the Blue Eye dazzles everyone with its turquoise crystal clear waters, surrounded by a dense forest.

Divers have explored at least 50 meters, but its total depth is still uncertain. Even though swimming in these mysterious waters is prohibited, marvel at this incredible natural phenomenon and watch the bubbles rising to the surface.

  • Sarandë tours

Read more: Most Beautiful Places in Europe

64 – Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Famous for its iconic castle perched atop a hill and the medieval old town, Edinburgh’s culture-rich city and artistic is one of the most incredible places to visit in the UK.

Enjoy the best panoramic views from Calton Hill or hike the 2.4-mile trail through the ancient volcano up to Arthur’s Seat.

Explore the city’s greatest museums, such as the National Museum or the National Galleries of Scotland, and visit the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the former residence of Scotland’s queens.

There are plenty of fun things to do in Edinburgh, from visiting some of Outlander’s filming locations, to taking this opportunity to explore more of Scotland’s beauty, with a day trip to Loch Ness and the Highlands.

  • Edinburgh tours

See also: Things to do in Edinburgh , Best day trips from Edinburgh , Edinburgh Castle tickets price , Palace of Holyroodhouse tickets price

65 – Bratislava, Slovakia

Bratislava, Slovakia

Not the typical European capital, easily visited in one weekend, the lovely Bratislava offers plenty of significant landmarks to explore.

Explore the city’s charming Old Town, cross the Michael’s Gate and visit the fairy-tale Bratislava Castle.

Admire the art nouveau of The Blue Church, admire the views from the historical Devín Castle and stroll through Bratislava’s best museums.

Save also some time to soak in the local culture, from catching a play at Slovak National Theatre to trying the city’s best cafes and lively bars.

  • Bratislava tours

See also: Things to do in Bratislava

66 – Mycenae, Greece

Mycenae, Greece

Located in eastern Peloponnese, Mycenae, what was once one of the Greek civilization’s major centers, is today one of Greece’s most important archaeological sites.

Quickly visited on a day trip from Athens, with buses running between the two cities, explore the kingdom of the legendary Agamemnon, commander of the Greek forces in the Trojan War.

Cross the famous Lion Gate, the entrance to the fortified town, and visit the Treasury of Atreus, where it’s allegedly the tomb of Agamemnon.

Also, stop by the Archaeological Museum and marvel at the impressive exhibits and artifacts excavated at the site.

  • Peloponnese tours

67 – Salzburg, Austria

Salzburg, Austria

A worldwide famous music center, from the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to the internationally acclaimed annual Salzburg Festival and the greatest operas and orchestral concerts, Salzburg is one of the best cities to visit in Austria.

Relive the iconic Sound of Music with several tours passing through the movie’s filming locations – including tours departing from Vienna and Munich, if you’re only planning to take a day trip.

While in the city, explore one of Europe’s biggest medieval castles, the Hohensalzburg Fortress, wander around Mirabell Palace’s gardens, and admire most of the city’s landmarks at the Old Town, including Salzburg Cathedral and the lively Getreidegasse shopping street.

  • Salzburg tours

See also: Things to do in Salzburg , Best Sound of Music tours in Salzburg

68 – Rhine Falls, Switzerland

Rhine Falls, Switzerland

The largest waterfall in Europe, the massive Rhine Falls are one of the best places to visit in Switzerland, located on the border between Schaffhausen and Zurich.

A great attraction all year round, but the true power of the Rhine Falls is visible during the summer, with the water impressively flowing at 600,000 liters per second.

Just 40 minutes away from Zurich, it’s an excellent destination for a day trip. Start by exploring the lovely villages by the river and marvel at nature’s beauty from the multiple viewing platforms.

For an even more memorable experience, consider taking a boat cruise if visiting between spring to fall.

69 – Oslo, Norway

Oslo, Norway

Frequently overlooked compared to its neighbors, the city of Oslo deserves a place on every traveler’s bucket list, with plenty of fun activities available.

For the history lovers, stop by the Viking Ship Museum and wander around one of Norway’s most impressive Renaissance buildings, the Akershus Fortress.

For those looking for outdoor activities, join a Fjord sightseeing cruise and marvel at the unique landscape, adventure in some hiking in Nordmarka or go skiing at Oslo Winter Park.

Explore the charming Old Town and stop by the main shopping area, Karl Johan street. Tour the Aker Brygge neighborhood, catch a concert at the Oslo Opera House, or relax at a typical Scandinavian floating sauna.

See also: Things to do in Oslo

70 – Blue Lagoon, Iceland

Blue Lagoon, Iceland

One of Iceland’s most famous attractions, the unique Blue Lagoon, is the perfect way to relax on a day trip from Reykjavik – and multiple tours are available, making it very easy to access.

With a unique milky blue shade (due to the high silica concentration in the water), this insta-worthy destination is a great option all year round, with an average temperature of 39 °C at the geothermal pools.

Just remember to book the tickets in advance, considering its broad popularity.

See also: Things to do in Reykjavik , Best day trips from Reykjavik

71 – Corsica, France

Corsica, France

Immediately located above Sardinia , perfectly mixing French and Italian culture, bathed by the warm Mediterranean waters, the island of Corsica is a great European destination for the summer months.

With Corsica’s stunning sandy beaches with crystal clear water, spend the holidays sunbathing and relaxing at the famous Porto-Vecchio or the secret Petit Sperone Beach.

Explore the rich underwater fauna and flora on a diving or snorkeling tour; and adventure through the Bavella Needles or the epic GR20 hiking trail and marvel at Corsica’s landscape.

Take the time to stroll through Bastia Old Harbor, visit the lovely villages of La Balagne, Pigna or Sant’ Antonino, and delight with the best Mediterranean food, it’ll surely be an unforgettable trip.

  • Corsica tours

See also: Things to do in Corsica , Best boat tours in Corsica , Best islands to visit in Europe during Summer

72 – Canyon Matka, Republic of Macedonia

Canyon Matka, Republic of Macedonia

Less than a 30-minute drive from Macedonia’s capital, Skopje, the impressive Canyon Matka is a popular day/half day trip for locals and tourists alike.

Covering about 5.000 hectares, this unique nature getaway offers plenty of outdoor activities, from renting a kayak to taking a boat tour.

Despite the unique landscape, one curiosity about this place is it holds Macedonia’s oldest artificial lake, made in 1938.

With several medieval monasteries and 10 caves, including Vrelo Cave, one of Europe’s deepest underwater caves, it’s one of the best places to visit in Southeast Europe.

73 – Belfast, United Kingdom

Belfast, United Kingdom

The largest city in Northern Ireland and its capital, Belfast, is famous worldwide for being where the RMS Titanic was built.

The Titanic legacy is still solid these days; take this opportunity to learn more about its history at the Titanic Belfast museum and explore the Titanic Quarter.

Just one hour from Belfast lies the Dark Hedges, one of Game of Thrones’ most iconic filming locations. Consider also combining it with a trip to the unique Giant’s Causeway.

During the weekends, stop by the St. George’s Market to taste some local specialties, and don’t forget to visit Belfast Castle.

  • Belfast tours

See also: Things to do in Belfast

74 – Palermo, Italy

Palermo, Sicily, Italy

The lively city of Palermo, in the heart of the Mediterranean, has so many Palaces, churches and landmarks to explore, no wonder why it’s one of Italy’s major cultural hubs.

Start by the iconic Cathedral of Palermo and explore its complex history, then climb to the rooftop for a bird-eye view of the whole city.

Continue to the 9th century Norman Palace and admire the impressive details of the Palatine Chapel, mixing Greek, Arabic and Latin styles, and exhibiting majestic mosaics.

Sunbathe in the best white sand beaches in Sicily, from the famous Mondello Beach to the natural reserve of Isola delle Femmine.

Make the most of your trip with a day tour from Palermo, and explore the remarkable Valley of the Temples, the ruins of Segesta and Mount Etna, Europe’s most active volcano.

  • Palermo tours

See also: Things to do in Palermo , Things to do in Sicily

75 – Warsaw, Poland

Warsaw, Poland

Warsaw is a city of contrasts, from the Warsaw Barbican, one of the remaining historic fortifications, to the views from the 30th-floor terrace at the Palace of Culture and Science; it perfectly blends the past with the modern days.

Explore the colorful Old Town, one of the main historical attractions, have a glimpse of the Polish monarch’s lives both at the Royal Castle and Wilanów Palace.

Delve into the city’s history at the Warsaw Uprising Museum, catch a show at Grand Theatre, one of the most famous opera houses in Europe and embrace Warsaw’s lively nightlife on a Polish vodka tour.

  • Warsaw tours

See also: Things to do in Warsaw

76 – Vienna, Austria

Vienna, Austria

Once the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Vienna is still Austria’s most populated city and one of the best summer destinations in Europe, with plenty of festivals and outdoor activities.

Famous for its ties to Mozart and Beethoven, Vienna is often referred to as the city of music; take this opportunity to catch a classical concert at Peterskirche, Eschenbach Palace, or Musikverein.

Among the most popular landmarks in Vienna is the Schönbrunn Palace, filled with history and immense gardens to explore. Other palaces worth visiting are the Hofburg Imperial Palace, currently home to Austria’s president, and Belvedere Palace, with an impressive art collection.

To absorb all of Vienna’s rich history, consider joining a free walking tour, led by local guides. But don’t overlook the rest of Austria’s wonders, and save some time for a day trip – whether it is to Wachau Valley or Lake Neusiedl, this country won’t disappoint.

  • Vienna tours

See also: Things to do in Vienna , Best day trips from Vienna , Vienna free walking tours

77 – Golden Horn Beach, Croatia

Golden Horn Beach, Croatia

Located in Brac Island, even though not as famous as Hvar and Korčula, lies one of the best beaches in Croatia, the Golden Horn Beach – locally known as Zlatni Rat or Rat Beach.

Bathed by the Adriatic Sea, the stunning white sand beach got its name from the peninsula’s unique arrow-shaped formation of sand, and its crystal clear waters promise to marvel anyone who visits it.

Easily reached on a day trip from Split, this paradisiac beach is the perfect place to sunbathe, scuba dive, and try many watersports such as jetski or windsurfing.

See also: Things to do in Split , Best day trips from Split

78 – Lyon, France

Lyon, France

When people think about French destinations, Lyon is not often what comes to mind, but there are plenty of reasons to visit it, from the world-class gastronomy to its architecture and landmarks.

The Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse, Lyon’s first indoor market, is a mandatory stop for the foodies. Along with St. Antoine Market and La Croix Rousse Market, there’s no shortage of delicious local meals to try.

In the heart of Lyon, stop by the impressive Cathédrale Saint-Jean-Baptiste to marvel at the Gothic architecture, and take a walking tour around the Vieux Lyon District.

For those visiting during the summer, catch the Nuits de Fourvière, an arts and music festival at the Roman theaters, that promises an unforgettable experience.

See also: Things to do in Lyon

79 – Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

When it comes to places to visit in Europe, the Balkans are still gaining popularity, but Sarajevo deserves a place on everyone’s bucket list.

While exploring this budget-friendly European destination, stop by the Baščaršija historical market, admire the 16th century Gazi Husrev-beg Mosque ​and soak in the views from the Yellow Bastion.

However, Sarajevo requires a historical context to understand better the city, with the siege of Sarajevo, the longest in modern warfare, still so recent (1992-1996).

Visit the Sarajevo Tunnel, also known as Tunnel of Hope, built during the siege to allow food, supplies, and humanitarian aid into the city; and check the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

  • Sarajevo tours

See also: Things to do in Sarajevo

80 – Bordeaux, France

Bordeaux, France

Worldwide famous for its vineyards, the cosmopolitan city of Bordeaux is one of the best places to visit in Europe for wine lovers.

After checking La Cité du Vin, embrace the city’s rich cultural heritage, from the Roman Palais Gallien to the Medieval Gates; gothic cathedrals among baroque palaces and more historical monuments than one can count.

Stroll through the iconic Place de la Bourse square, check Bordeaux’s remarkable museums, such as the Museum of Fine Arts, the oldest one, and catch a performance at the Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux.

Explore historical chateaux during the day and, for the ultimate fairytale experience, consider spending the night in a castle.

  • Bordeaux tours

See also: Things to do in Bordeaux

81 – Madeira, Portugal

Madeira, Portugal

Worldwide famous for Cristiano Ronaldo’s home, the subtropical island of Madeira is one of the most beautiful hidden gems in Europe.

Along the African coast, with warm temperatures during the entire year, this is one of the best places to explore rainforests, hike, and enjoy a getaway in nature.

From the Vereda do Areeiro trail, the glass bottom Cabo Girão viewpoint, or watching the sunrise at Pico Ruivo, every spot offers a more breathtaking view than the other.

After all the hiking, cool off at the unique Porto Moniz’s volcanic swimming pools, with crystal clear waters, while marveling at the Atlantic ocean.

Try the Monte Sledge toboggan ride, one of Madeira’s most unique and fun attractions, sliding down the streets on a basket; admire the traditional Santana houses and drink the famous Poncha.

  • Madeira tours

See also: Things to do in Madeira

82 – Alps

Alps Mountains

Europe’s most extensive mountain range, stretching through 8 countries, from France to Slovenia, the Alps are worth visiting for its unique landscape, from crystal clear lakes to dramatic mountains.

In the Italian Alps, one of the most popular attractions is the Dolomites, with the iconic Tre Cime di Lavaredo and its 10 km loop trail, or the beautiful Lago di Braies.

The alps’ higher mountain, Mont Blanc, can be found in the French Alps. The charming Chamonix village, surrounded by mountains, is the place for those looking for a relaxing getaway – and home to one of the best ski resorts in Europe for those looking for a bit of adrenaline.

From hiking to winter sports, the cherry on top of a trip to the Swiss Alps is the scenic Glacier Express 8h ride, from Zermatt to St. Moritz. The unforgettable panoramic train ride is the most comfortable way to travel across the alps and admire its landscape.

In Germany, the Alps can be seen in the Bavaria region, and the best place to admire its higher peak is by the Eibsee lake. The obvious choice to admire the Julian Alps in Slovenia is Lake Bled, but the trails at Triglav National Park are also worth exploring.

The Alps can also be visited in Austria, Monaco and Liechtenstein; choose from skiing and snowboarding to hiking or just relaxing surrounded by nature, and there’s the recipe for a memorable trip.

83 – Vilnius, Lithuania

Vilnius, Lithuania

Charming Lithuania’s capital, filled with history and a strong Jew heritage, Vilnius was once Europe’s largest Jewish center. Consider starting with a free walking tour around the Old Town and Jewish Quarter or the artistic district of Užupis.

Check the 15th century St. Anne’s Church, with its stunning Flamboyant Gothic style, and climb to the Three Crosses Monument for the city’s best views.

There’s plenty to learn about Vilnius’ rich history for those into museums, from the dark Museum of Occupations and Freedom Fights, built in a former KGB headquarters (with a prison where death penalties were executed), to the exhibitions at the Contemporary Art Centre.

  • Vilnius tours

See also: Things to do in Vilnius

84 – Stonehenge, United Kingdom

Stonehenge, United Kingdom

The prehistoric Stonehenge, located in Wiltshire, is one of the UK’s most famous landmarks and easily reached on a day trip from London – taking about 2 hours.

Most of Stonehenge’s fame drifts from the fact that no one knows what those mysterious stones were used for, and there is no lack of theories, from astronomical studies to pagan ceremonies. Still, the most likely one is that it once was a burial ground.

Welcoming millions of visitors per year, the best time to visit it (for fewer crowds) is during weekdays and either in the early morning or sunset.

See also: Stonehenge tours from London

85 – Postojna Cave, Slovenia

Postojna Cave, Slovenia

What says “once in a lifetime experience” more than taking an underground train through a karst cave in Slovenia?

With millions of years of history, carved by the Pivka River, the Postojna Cave is one of Slovenia’s most beautiful natural wonders and lies 46km from Ljubljana.

Save an hour and a half for the cave tours, including the cave presentation by a local guide and the train ride. The tours are also wheelchair accessible and suitable for all kinds of ages.

After marveling at the cave’s 24 km of underground passages and massive halls, accompanied by the magical sound of the water dripping from the stalactites, stop by the world’s largest cave castle, the medieval Predjama Castle.

86 – Budapest, Hungary

Budapest, Hungria

With the iconic Hungarian Parliament Building, Budapest is one of the most photogenic cities in Europe, and a great budget-friendly capital to visit.

Start in the Buda side, exploring the historic Buda Castle, and continue to Fisherman’s Bastion, by the stunning Matthias Church, with the best views over the river and the city.

Cross the Széchenyi Chain Bridge to the Pest side of the river, stop by the Shoes on the Danube Bank and join a free walking tour through the Jewish Quarter.

With rich mineral waters, a trip to Budapest wouldn’t be complete without trying the famous thermal baths, such as Széchenyi or Gellért.

After recharging the energies, consider taking a day trip to the lovely little town by the Danube Bend, Szentendre, or the largest lake in central Europe, Lake Balaton.

  • Budapest tours

See also: Things to do in Budapest , Best day trips from Budapest , Hungarian Parliament tickets price , Budapest free walking tours

87 – Isle of Man

Isle of Man

Between England and Ireland, the small Isle of Man, bathed by the Irish sea, inhabited since 6500 BC, has plenty of history to discover and fun things to do.

The Manx Museum is a must for museum lovers, with unique artifacts from the Island’s Celtic and Viking past.

Delve into Isle of Man’s history at one of the best-preserved medieval castles in the world, Castle Rushen, and consider checking the Peel Castle as well, built by the Vikings.

Sports fans? Plan the trip during The Isle of Man TT, for one of the world’s most thrilling motorcycle races.

And for those looking for a getaway among nature, climb the Snaefell Mountain or walk to the Fairy Bridge. The Isle of Man has something for every kind of traveler.

88 – Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

Welcoming about 1.5 million visitors per year, the Neuschwanstein Castle is one of the most impressive attractions in Germany, easily reached on a day trip from Munich.

Commissioned by King Ludwig II of Bavaria, the castle looks straight from a Disney movie. In fact, the resemblances are not a coincidence, as it served as inspiration for the Sleeping Beauty Castle.

Considered one of the most photographed buildings in the world, check the many viewpoints and get the best shots of it – including the famous shot of the castle atop of the hill, from the Queen Mary’s Bridge, also known as Marienbrücke.

Even though it’s not allowed to photograph inside the castle, it’s also worth taking a tour and exploring its magnificent rooms. Remember to book the tickets in advance, especially if you’re planning to visit during the high season.

See also: Neuschwanstein Castle tickets price

89 – Durmitor, Montenegro

Durmitor, Montenegro

Montenegro is still a hidden gem compared to other European countries, but the Durmitor National Park is a pretty solid reason for it to be added to everyone’s bucket list.

Home to Europe’s largest and deepest canyon, go rafting in the Tara River, or cross the 365m Đurđevića Tara Bridge and admire this green oasis ready to be explored, standing 170m above the ground.

Take the trail to Bobotov Kuk and admire Montenegro’s highest peak views, or check the 18 glacial lakes spread through the park.

The Durmitor National Park is also perfect for some canyoning, mountain biking, or simply enjoying a relaxing nature retreat with a picnic by the lake.

Consider the 1 km zip line at Extreme Zipline Tara, for those looking for some extra adrenaline, reaching a maximum speed of 120 km/h.

90 – Malta & Gozo

Valletta, Malta

A tiny archipelago bathed by the Mediterranean, Malta is located between Sicily and Tunisia, with warm temperatures during the entire year, making it worth visiting even in December for a warm winter break.

Perfectly blending culture with outdoor adventures, visit the Megalithic Temples of Malta, built by the Neolithic inhabitants and among the oldest temples in the world.

Walk along the city walls of the sunny capital, Valletta, admire the interior of the 16th century St. John’s Cathedral, and look out for some Game of Throne’s filming locations around the island.

Get away from the tourist crowds and admire Mdina’s old streets, swim in the crystal clear waters of the Blue Grotto in Qrendi or the St. Peter’s Pool in Marsaxlokk, and take the whole family to Popeye Village.

Off the main island, stop by Gozo to explore its Ancient Cittadella and marvel at the dramatic coastal formations in Dwejra; or snorkel in Comino’s blue lagoon.

  • Malta tours

See also: Things to do in Malta , Best boat tours in Malta & Gozo

91 – Vatnajökull National Park, Iceland

Vatnajökull National Park, Iceland

Moving on to the land of fire and ice, encompassing Europe’s largest glacier, Vatnajökull, the Vatnajökull National Park is a destination for the adventurous.

From hiking to snowmobiling or even kayaking in a glacier, Vatnajökull National Park is a paradise for outdoor lovers and promises a memorable trip.

For those visiting during wintertime, explore the park’s impressive Ice Caves (that melt during the spring).

See also: Best things to do in Iceland

92 – Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn, Estonia

The charming capital of Estonia, Tallinn, is the country’s major industrial, cultural and financial hub, mixed with a rich history, beautiful architecture and stunning landscapes, making it one of the most beautiful cities to visit in Europe.

Start by exploring the Old Town, one of the world’s best-preserved medieval towns, stroll through its cobblestone streets and try the local restaurants and coffee shops.

From the orthodox Alexandre Nevsky Cathedral, built in a magnificent Russian Revival style, to the historical Toompea Castle, currently housing Estonia’s parliament, most of the attractions can be found in the city’s center.

To explore its surroundings, visit the Kadriorg Palace, built in the massive 70 hectares, Kadriorg Park; or climb to the 21st-floor observation deck at Tallinn TV Tower.

During the summer, when the days get longer, and the pop-up bars start to appear, relax by the coast with a drink in your hand.

  • Tallinn tours

See also: Things to do in Tallinn

93 – Brighton, United Kingdom

Brighton, United Kingdom

With the nickname of London-by-the-Sea, just one hour away from London and with a stunning coastline, the popularity of Brighton among the Londoners spread through the whole world, and the city became famous for its culture, artsy vibe and lively entertainment.

Get a panoramic view 140 meters above the ground from the British Airways i360, enjoy the sun at the Brighton Palace Pier, or learn about the city’s history at the fabulous Royal Pavilion.

With more independent shops than one can count, from the best boutiques to vintage stores, explore the Brighton Open Market and the iconic North Laine to grab a souvenir and satisfy your shopaholic side.

  • Brighton tours

See also: Things to do in Brighton

94 – Þingvellir National Park, Iceland

Þingvellir National Park, Iceland

Also known as Thingvellir National Park, this UNESCO World Heritage site is the ultimate Icelandic experience, filled with natural wonders.

Home to one of the best places to scuba dive in the world, and the only one where it’s possible to swim between two tectonic plates, the Silfra fissure. Or walk between them at Almannagja.

Take also some time to hike through the park’s multiple trails, admiring the park’s landscape, especially to Öxarárfoss Waterfall, one of Iceland’s main attractions, or check the horseback riding trails.

For history lovers, theÞingvellir National Park is also home to the world’s oldest parliaments, Althing, founded in 930.

95 – Champagne, France

Champagne region, France

Also known as the Champagne wine region, this historical province is famous worldwide for its champagne production. The Champagne Trail is the best way to introduce wine enthusiasts to the most prestigious certified wineries.

The best time to visit the Champagne is between April and October, with the busiest season in September, when the grapes are harvested. Take the time to tour vineyards, and don’t overlook the smallest houses for a more authentic and personal experience.

But the region has much more to offer besides tasting the best sparkling white wine in the world. Stop by Reims Cathedral and visit the place where French kings were crowned or visit the Archbishop of Reims’ palace, Palace of Tau.

  • Champagne tours

96 – Zurich, Switzerland

Zurich, Switzerland

Even though it’s considered one of Europe’s most expensive cities, Zürich has a unique charm, with colorful architecture perfectly bending with the lake to create one unforgettable scenery.

Travel back to the medieval times at the Old Town and delve into Switzerland’s finest museums, from the FIFA World Football Museum for the sport’s lovers to the unique Beyer Clock and Watch Museum.

Admire the mountains aboard the Funicular Rigiblick or take a boat tour around the moon-shaped Lake Zürich.

And to enjoy the trip to its fullest, consider taking a day trip, with plenty of fun options available, from the mountain village of Grindelwald to the medieval town of Stein am Rhein, or even visiting one of Europe’s tiniest countries, Liechtenstein.

  • Zürich tours

See also: Things to do in Zurich , Best day trips from Zurich

97 – Verona, Italy

Verona, Italy

Among the most romantic destinations in Europe, Verona is one of the best places to visit for couples, from its picturesque streets and squares, such as Piazza delle Erbe, to the lovely views from Castel San Pietro.

Eternalized by Shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet, several tours take you across the many iconic locations, from the famous balcony at Juliet’s house (La Casa di Giulietta) to Basilica of San Zeno Maggiore.

Tour the ancient Arena of Verona and, for a unique experience, visit during the summer opera festival.

Save some time for a day trip to the impressive Santuario Madonna della Corona, built by a cliff 2000 meters above the sea level, or the iconic Lake Garda.

  • Verona tours

See also: Things to do in Verona

98 – Liverpool, United Kingdom

Liverpool, United Kingdom

The Beatles’ famous hometown, start your Liverpool adventure at The Beatles Story museum, filled with history and objects, from clothes owned by the group to handwritten lyrics.

With one of the world’s most important trading ports, explore Royal Albert Dock, a former major trading center.

Admire the city’s outstanding architecture, from the Cathedral of the Risen Christ to the incredible buildings along the Pier Head. For the sports fans, check the Liverpool FC Museum and take a stadium tour.

Even though the show is set in Birmingham, Liverpool is actually home to plenty of Peaky Blinders filming locations, from Port Sunlight to Falkner Square.

With a lively and diverse nightlife, catch a show at Liverpool’s Royal Court Theatre or grab a drink at the historic Cavern Club; there’s always fun granted in the city.

  • Liverpool tours

See also: Things to do in Liverpool

99 – Valencia, Spain

Valencia, Spain

With a mild climate, futuristic architecture mixed with rich history, delicious food and lively ambiance, Valencia is one of the best places to visit in Europe all year round.

Home to one of Spain’s largest stadiums, sports lovers must include the Mestalla Stadium on their list – and maybe catch a Valencia Football Club’s game there.

Admire the outstanding design of the City of Arts and Sciences and visit Europe’s largest aquarium, Oceanografic. Consider combining the ticket with a visit to the Hemispheric or the Science Museum.

Take a walking tour around the Old Town, visit La Lonja de la Seda, one of the most iconic landmarks in Valencia and delve into the city’s history at the many museums, from the Museum of Fine Arts to the Ceramics Museum.

Taste local tapas at the Central Market, enjoy a fine dinner at Colón Market, and no trip to Valencia would be complete without trying the typical paella.

  • Valencia tours

See also: Things to do in Valencia , Oceanografic Valencia tickets price

100 – Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul, Turkey

With a timeless combination of ancient and modern life, the bustling Istanbul is famous for being the bridge between Europe and Asia.

The main attractions are the Hagia Sophia, with marvelous Byzantine architecture; the Blue Mosque, with outstanding beauty and religious importance; and the Grand Bazaar, one of the world’s largest and oldest covered markets; but there are countless sites to explore.

With European and Asian influences, Istanbul is a paradise for the foodies: from delicious street food to multiple restaurants and cafes to try.

Climb to the Rumelihisarı Fortress for the best views between the two continents, and take this opportunity to catch a ferry to Asia.

Just one hour’s flight away from Istanbul is the magical Cappadocia. Consider taking a day trip to see the fairy chimneys and fly aboard the world-famous hot air balloons.

  • Istanbul tours

See also: Things to do in Istanbul , Cappadocia hot air balloon price , Best places to visit in Turkey

That’s it for the ultimate European bucket list. We hope you’ve enjoyed our selection of the best places to visit in Europe and let us know in the comments what your dream destinations are.

As always, happy travels!

PlanetWare.com

19 Best Countries to Visit in Europe

Written by Shandley McMurray Updated May 3, 2023

Europe is a land frozen in time, highlighted by meticulously preserved buildings and modern amenities. Europe's best countries also feature magnificent mountain ranges, deep gorges, and verdant countryside. This is where trips go to turn into vacations you'll dream about for years.

Florence, Italy

Active travelers love Europe's extensive attractions . Tourists can ski down the French Alps , kayak in Croatia's Adriatic Sea , hike the Grindelwald in Switzerland , and cycle through the Netherlands . Then there's the food. Yum! It's hard to beat Europe's gastronomic delights.

With so many countries to choose from, it can be hard to decide which to see first. Our advice? Don't stop at just one. Europe offers a slew of fabulous cheap places to visit packed into a relatively small space, so it's easy to visit multiple countries on one trip.

Not sure where to start your sightseeing? Use our list of the best countries to visit in Europe.

6. The Netherlands

9. switzerland, 11. portugal, 12. germany, 13. england, 14. denmark, 15. iceland, 16. ireland and northern ireland, 19. czech republic, map of countries to visit in europe.

Amalfi Coast, Italy

It's hard to picture Italy without salivating over the thought of its food. This boot-shaped country boasts tomatoes so sweet they taste like candy, pizzas cooked to perfection, and gelato that literally melts in your mouth. Italy is a utopia for gastronomes.

Even more resplendent than its food are the impeccable architecture and cultural masterpieces found in the ancient buildings, squares, and museums peppered throughout Italy's bustling cities and small, picturesque towns.

History abounds in the attractions of Rome (we're talking about visiting the Colosseum and touring the Pantheon ), and its phenomenal town squares (i.e. Piazza Navona , St. Peter's Square , and Piazza Spagna ) are a delight to enjoy.

Florence is home to the photo-worthy landmark attraction, the Duomo and Ponte Vecchio bridge, as well as museums you won't want to miss .

The canals of Venice are romantic and unique, while the massive Il Duomo , one of the top attractions in Milan , will have you gawking, as will the impressive outfits featured in the city's many shops.

The countryside is where you'll find the most authentic Italian experience. From skiing at top resorts to hiking to swimming to eating (of course), the country's beauty envelops visitors, making it hard to leave. The attractions of Tuscany are real winners, transporting tourists back in time with the region's largely untouched walls and towers, while lovely Lake Como offers a glimpse into the lifestyles of the world's elite.

The Amalfi Coast is as pretty as a postcard , which is why its colorful towns are featured on so much tourist kitsch.

Lavender field in front of Simiane la Rotonde, Provence, France

Vive la France! Known for its romance, delectable food, art, culture, and natural beauty, this lovely country offers everything you'd ever want in a vacation. France also boasts enough gorgeous places to visit to ensure that every type of traveler will find something to love.

Bask in the sun's rays and catch sight of a celebrity or two on the iconic French Riviera . Let your camera run wild photographing fields blanketed by lavender in pretty Provence .

Travel back in time to the UNESCO-listed islet, Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy. Ski down the French Alps in Chamonix , Val d'Isère , or Méribel .

Dine in a café along the Champs-Elysée , visit a museum , climb the stairs of the world famous Eiffel Tower , or stroll hand in hand with your soul mate along the River Seine in the bustling city of Paris .

Plaza de Espana, Madrid

One of the most beautiful countries in Europe, Spain is also one of its best. From its architectural masterpieces to its towering mountain ranges, seaside cliffs, and hilltop villages, your camera will thank you for visiting this magical spot. No wonder more than 89 million tourists visited Spain in 2018, making it the second most visited country in the world.

You'll find plenty to see and do in the country's top cities. The most populated city in Spain, and its capital, Madrid is home to the lovely Crystal Palace and sprawling gardens, as well as elegant plazas.

More elegant and romantic, Seville's soundtrack consists of horses' hooves on cobblestone streets and clanging bells from church towers. Here, you'll find must-see attractions like the spectacular Catedral de Sevilla , the UNESCO World Heritage Site the Real Alcázar , and the expansive Plaza de España .

Big, beautiful, and bustling Barcelona is both energetic and eclectic, featuring architecture that would make Salvador Dali proud ( Casa Mila and the insanely unique Parc Güell are must-sees).

Valencia's top places to visit will soothe your soul with healing sea views, while Costa Brava offers some of the most stunning beaches in Spain .

Don't miss the beautiful attractions of Granada and its famous Alhambra palaces .

Hallstatt village in the Austrian Alps

Austria is one of those countries that can truly take your breath away. Ringed by the magnificent Australian Alps and peppered with sparkling lakes, this wonderland is one of the most beautiful countries in Europe.

Austria is also one of the most musical. It's almost impossible to wander through the country's many city streets without catching a snippet of song, especially one composed by famed Austrian, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Born in the attractive city of Salzburg , the former Baroque composer's influence can be felt everywhere (his image is even found on chocolate wrappers).

Wind your way through narrow, twisting laneways in the old town, Altstadt Salzburg (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), enjoy lunch in a courtyard, or visit a museum or St. Peter's Abbey while you're in town.

Vienna is another hot spot of gorgeousness. In addition to intricate palaces (i.e. Belvedere Palace ) and sprawling gardens (i.e. those found at Schönbrunn Palace ), you'll find the fabulous City Hall (Rathaus) and gorgeous Natural History Museum (Naturhistorisches Museum), among other popular Vienna attractions .

The sparkling town of Linz hugs both banks of the River Danube , making it a perfect spot for exploring both the river and the surrounding countryside.

Graz , the country's second-largest city, is another architectural hub, featuring buildings and ruins that date back to 800 CE. Don't miss the picturesque old town and be sure to climb the Schlossberg (a hill measuring 473 meters and topped with a clock tower), one of the best things to do in Graz .

Read More: Top-Rated Ski Resorts in Austria

Boats in Croatia

A Mediterranean masterpiece, the Eastern country of Croatia offers scenery to soothe the soul and fresh food to treat the palate. With friendly locals, hilltop castles, preserved Roman ruins, and a sea the color of sapphires, it's impossible to feel stressed in this lovely archipelago.

Wander the winding laneways within the towering old city walls in the historic city of Dubrovnik , or take the cable car up Srd Hill for the most spectacular view of this beautiful town, dubbed the "Pearl of the Adriatic."

Spectacular Split is one of the most vibrant cities in Croatia and the second largest after the main tourist hub of Zagreb . Both are more than worthy of a visit. The island of Hvar will help you get your beach on; it's been deemed the "sunniest spot in Europe."

Croatia's crowning glory is its perfect position on the Adriatic Sea. Be sure to board a boat at some point to explore the archipelago, especially the charming Elafiti Islands , which can be found northwest of Dubrovnik.

Feeling adventurous? Kayaking and rafting are popular in Croatia, and you'll find plenty of rocky limestone cliffs to jump from.

Accommodation: Top-Rated Beach Resorts in Croatia

Muiderslot Castle, The Netherlands

Less formally known as Holland, the Netherlands offers visitors a laid-back vacation filled with art, beauty, and a lot of cycling.

Located in the northwest of Europe, the landscape is flat (perfect terrain for a bike) and peppered with iconic windmills and fields bursting with tulips in spring (April and May in particular). The best place to spot them is arguably Keukenhof , also known as the "Garden of Europe." It's located in Lisse .

Amsterdam is one of the best cities to visit in the Netherlands . Despite its somewhat seedy reputation, this canal-laden spot is beautiful and filled with impressive museums (40, to be exact). Don't miss the city's top attractions , the Rijksmuseum , Ann Frank's House , and Van Gogh Museum .

You'll also find cutting-edge, eco-friendly architecture mixed in with the historic structures found in riveting Rotterdam , dainty Delft , and The Hague .

Big cities aren't your only option in the Netherlands. The adorable fishing hamlets located along Lake Ijsselmeer are worthy of a stop, especially Marken , Volendam , and Enkhuizen .

Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in the Netherlands

Aerial view of Old Town Stockholm

Bet you've never met a cranky Swede! Known for their gracious nature, the Swedish people are a friendly Nordic bunch. Given their impeccable surroundings — ancient walled cities, sparkling lakes, sun-drenched beaches, and glacier-topped mountains — it's no wonder they're so happy.

Located in the north of Europe, between Norway and Finland , the stunning country of Sweden is the place to visit if you're looking for an amazing view of the Northern Lights. Here, you can traipse through dense forests, canoe along crystal waters, and pitch a tent in an open field.

Those who appreciate avant-garde architecture will be rewarded with some of the world's most intriguing designs in Sweden. The country's most vibrant city is Stockholm , where you'll find the popular Vasa Museum , as well as stylish shops and eateries. Don't miss a trip to Skansen , a large open-air museum depicting life in the 1720s to 1960s.

Gothenburg, Sweden's "second city," is another must-see for foodies (they've got fantastic restaurants) and beach lovers alike.

The medieval town of Bruges in Belgium

The smallest European country on this list, beautiful Belgium makes up for its diminutive size with a boatload of charm, not to mention picturesque medieval towns, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and chocolate that will make your taste buds scream in delight. Did we mention the French Fries yet? Delish!

The country is unofficially divided into two main regions: the French-speaking and pastoral Wallonia in the south and the more cosmopolitan, Dutch-speaking Flanders in the north.

Brussels is a big tourist draw , offering visitors a peek at its most magical historic buildings, like La Grande Place (a.k.a. Gote Markt in Dutch) and Place Royal (a.k.a. Koningsplein). This is also where you'll find eclectic shops, tasty restaurants, and fantastic museums.

Bruges is tiny yet well storied and arguably the country's most beautiful town. Its canals, which are easily accessible by booking a boat cruise, wind their way through the city, offering lovely views of the captivating architecture.

  • Best Beaches in Belgium
  • Top-Rated Day Trips from Bruges

Lake Geneva, Switzerland

One of the most expensive countries to visit in Europe, Switzerland is more than worth its hefty price tags. Snowcapped mountains burst through the clouds, emerging from lush, verdant fields dotted with sheep (hello, The Matterhorn ).

Expansive lakes (i.e. Lake Geneva ) span the countryside, offering a sparkling welcome to white water rafting, canoeing, fishing, and kayaking enthusiasts. Small villages like Gimmelwald gush storybook charm, captivating even the crankiest of travelers with their quaint shops and melt-in-your-mouth chocolates.

Larger cities like beautiful Zurich , pretty Geneva , lovely Lucerne , and the captial, Bern are packed with attractions, helping visitors get their fill of both culture and beauty in one go. You'll find numerous impressive museums, art galleries, shops, and fine dining within their borders.

There are plenty of exciting things to do in Zermatt. In fact, this is tourists' one-stop shop for winter sports, as well as unbeatable Alpine hikes and climbs.

Read More: Top-Rated Ski Resorts in Switzerland

Oia town on Santorini Island, Greece

Perhaps the most laid-back of all the countries on this list, Greece is the perfect place to relax, yet it's filled with enough attractions to keep even the pickiest of tourists happily entertained. Azure domes top whitewashed buildings on the country's smaller isles , their doors and gates painted with colors so bright they beg to be photographed.

The sky in Greece is the most luscious of blues, while the sapphire Mediterranean caresses beaches boasting sand and pebbles of different colors — from tan to pink to red. Sunny and always busy Santorini is particularly spectacular, especially at sunset.

Crete is another popular island with inviting coastal towns and mountain villages. Athens is where you'll find phenomenal ancient ruins (like the iconic Acropolis), as well as world-class museums, shops, and restaurants.

Speaking of restaurants, it's hard to top the food in Greece. The freshest of local ingredients are used to create healthy and tasty delicacies teeming with vibrant flavors.

Eduardo VII Park in Lisbon

Castles and beaches and mountains, oh my! Portugal has a bevy of gorgeous scenery and spectacular places to visit . Hugging more than 800 kilometers of the Atlantic Coast, this is the place to be for those who love water views.

A visit to the beautiful Azores islands will immediately dissolve your worries. They are an archipelago consisting of nine gorgeous, mountainous isles perfect for diving, surfing, sailing, and whale watching. Nearby Madeira Island is particularly popular with European tourists.

Lisbon is the country's largest city, with a prime location at the mouth of the River Tagus . It is jam-packed with fun attractions , ranging from a historic castle to a state-of-the-art aquarium to beautiful town squares to a hilltop park with an impressive view.

Tomar is also set on the water. Its enchanting cobblestone streets wind around medieval churches, a majestic castle, and other historic buildings along the banks of the Nabão River.

Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

While the Western country of Germany may not be the most romantic European vacation destination, it is dotted with incredible places to visit. Germany's spectacular scenery (we're talking sand dune-lined beaches, thick forests, and rugged mountains) make it a worthy destination for every type of traveler. It is literally filled with stunning places to visit .

Cosmopolitan destinations like the tourist hot spot, Munich , lively city of Hamburg , and energetic Frankfurt offer travelers the historic culture they crave in the form of ancient buildings, monuments, and museums. They also burst with shops and restaurants that serve traditional sauerkraut and schnitzels mixed with more contemporary fare.

The small towns are where you'll find a nice break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. These quaint villages are peppered with beautiful remnants of the past. Despite suffering through war, many ancient towers, churches, and houses stand strong, stoically adding to the charm and allure of these rural delights.

Bavaria's colorful towns , Rothenburg-ob-der-Tauber , Dinkelsbühl , and Nördlingen will lift your spirits and give your camera a real workout.

Leeds Castle, England

It doesn't take long for the U.K'.s largest country, England to charm its visitors. Best visited with an umbrella in hand, this oft rainy isle is one of the best places to visit in Europe.

Hoping to roam through bucolic countryside, frolicking with sheep as you wander over hills and across dales? Head to the green valleys of the enchanting Lake District , a wonderland so lush and fertile, you'll want to pitch a tent and stay for days.

More of a shopper? Head to London, the iconic capital where you'll meet the most modern yet understated styles of each season. You'll also be blessed with an infinite variety of top restaurants and cuisines.

Looking for storied castles? You'll find them aplenty in towns ranging from the large, walled city of York to the smaller village of Leeds to the tiny town of Warwick , which is set upon the picturesque River Avon.

Speaking of small towns in England , that's exactly where you'll want to head if you're in search of fairy-tale villages oozing charm. The impeccable villages of the Cotswolds must be seen to be believed. Named after the honey-colored stone used to build their enchanting homes, this rich land is brimming with culture, and an impressive charm you won't find anywhere else.

Frederiksborg Castle, Hillerod, Denmark

Denmark may be small (it's almost double the size of Massachusetts), but boy does it pack a beautiful punch. An environment-loving, friendly country, this Nordic star offers visitors a clean, calm, and beautiful vacation destination. It is also packed with exciting attractions and fun things to do.

Water is never far away, making it easy to relax beachside on the coast of the Baltic Sea or canoe or fish in one of the sparkling lakes and rivers.

Among its 450-island archipelago, you'll find villages dotted with timber homes, perfectly groomed gardens, as well as cities boasting palaces, museums, and amusement parks (like the always-hopping city of Copenhagen , with Christiansborg Palace and Tivoli Gardens ).

The Danish architectural style is hard to beat — from luxurious fortresses like Kronborg Castle to the uber modern National Maritime Museum attraction in Helsingor to the colorful shops and restaurants of Copenhagen's Nyhaven harbor. Museums and Viking history abound in the city of Roskilde .

Worried about getting around? You're more likely to run into bike traffic than car standstills in this eco-friendly country. Cycling is the preferred mode of transportation, especially through the windmill-spotted countryside.

Insider's tip: Make time to visit the breathtaking Faroe Islands .

Lupine at the Stokksnes headland

Iceland is a majestic land sprinkled with some of the world's most captivating scenery and unique tourist attractions . A sparsely populated island, this breathtaking spot has become one of the most coveted of bucket list vacation destinations.

Adventure-seekers visit for its eccentric topography. You can traipse across, through, or around everything from glaciers to fjords to volcanoes to ice caves to waterfalls to mountain ranges.

During the day, visitors can shop, dine, or meet the uber-friendly locals in the country's biggest city, Reykjavik . Head out on a whale-watching tour, take a dip in the Blue Lagoon , or hike through the lava fields of the Hekla volcano .

Be sure to visit Vatnajökull , the largest (and most magnificent) glacier in Europe. At night, especially between September and April, tourists are rewarded with an unbeatable view of the northern lights. While summer tends to be the best time to visit Iceland for many visitors, the country is spectacular year-round.

Kylemore Abbey in Connemara, Ireland

Little beats the beauty of the lush green fields that blanket the Emerald Isle. This breathtaking island is steeped in history; dotted with bleating sheep; and packed with people so friendly, you'll beg to be adopted.

Add the lively music, endless stunning attractions, bustling cities , and unique things to do in Ireland , and you'll never want to leave.

Mother Nature outdid herself with the spectacular sights along the Ring of Kerry , the rugged Cliffs of Moher, and otherworldly Giant's Causeway (the top tourist attraction in Northern Ireland ). Pack a camera, as you'll want to capture these majestic spectacles for posterity.

Speaking of Northern Ireland, don't miss a visit to its capital, Belfast , where you can wander along the Titanic Quarter , visit the Titanic Belfast museum , and explore the Botanic Gardens . Dublin is unmissable. The music, the culture, the food, the attractions ; there's so much to love about this lively city.

When you've had enough of big city life, it's time to explore the heart of Ireland, its quaint and charming small towns . From the medieval castle in Kilkenny to the Gallous Oratory in Dingle to the vibrant fishing port of Kinsale , there's something for everyone to enjoy. Not surprisingly, these towns are among the many reasons so many people choose to visit Ireland for a weekend getaway .

Ever wanted to spend the night in a Castle? Ireland is famous for its ancient castles, some of which have been converted into luxurious hotels.

Aerial view of the fishing village Reine in the Lofoten Islands, Norway

Fjords and mountains and lakes, oh my! Norway sure knows how to enchant its visitors. With so many top attractions , it can be tough to choose where to start.

Search for the northern lights or embark on an action-packed vacay filled with hiking, skiing, or white water rafting in scenery so captivating, it will leave you breathless, No matter how you choose to spend your vacation, Norway is a delight.

Not up for that much outdoor adventure? No worries, Osloo, the country's capital , is packed with fun things to do. You can explore museums, visit the Vigeland Sculpture Park , and enjoy a meal (or many) in the best restaurants in Oslo.

Sognefjord is the largest (and arguably most stunning) of Norway's fjords. At 204 kilometers long and 6,905 meters deep, Sognefjord offers plenty of incredible tourist attractions .

Ålesund is another unmissable gem famed for its postcard-worthy setting. In addition to checking out the city's impressive Art Nouveau architecture, walking around the harbor, and visiting the Town Park, there are a slew of interesting things to do in Ålesund .

For those with time to spare, be sure to book a night or two to properly enjoy the attractions of Tromosø . There are plenty of ways to stay entertained in Trondheim as well, and you won't regret checking out the fun things to do in Bergen .

Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey

When most people think of Turkey, they picture the Hagia Sophia Mosque or Grand Bazaar in Istanbul and salivate over the thought of Turkish food. This storied country is known for its unique and exciting tourist attractions .

Turkey is also home to top cities like Antalya (famed for its Dunden Waterfall ), beautiful Bursa (site of the remarkable Grand Mosque ), and spell-binding Sanliurfa , where you'll find the lovely Pool of Abraham .

While Istanbul is packed with things to see and do that include the aforementioned mosque and a glittering palace and Hippodrome , it is also home to beautiful parks .

Those hoping to lounge beachside, soaking up stunning views of the Mediterranean, will be pleased with the variety of picturesque islands in Turkey . Bozcaada is laid-back yet luxurious, framed by soft sandy beaches, while Gӧkçeada is a quiet wonderland best visited during the buzzing summer months.

There are numerous plush beach resorts to enjoy, making this an ideal place to spend at least a weekend away. Heading to Turkey in winter ? Great idea. There are plenty of fun (and cheap) things to do at this off-peak time.

Prague, Czech Republic

One of the cheapest European countries to visit , the tiny Czech Republic is filled with intricate historic monuments, lively music, and tasty food. It's also one of the most beautiful countries in Europe and boasts fun things to do in every season, including winter .

It's easy to see why Prague tops the list of the best places to visit in the Czech Republic . The heart of this picturesque region, this pretty and vibrant city is a must see. Prague is filled with impressive tourist attractions , like Prague Castle , Charles Bridge , and Wenceslas Square , not to mention budget-friendly shops and restaurants. In fact, many of Prague's don't-miss sites are among the best tourist attractions in the Czech Republic .

Prague isn't the only city worth visiting in the Czech Republic; hot spots like Český Krumlov in the south (its castle is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Monument) and Kutna Hora (home to the Baroque chapel, Sedlec Ossuary ) are spectacular. They definitely warrant scheduling a day trip or two .

Head to Karlovy Vary, or Carlsbad as it's also known, for a rejuvenating dip in a thermal spa . Don't miss the 19 th -century Market Colonnade , Museum of Glass MOSER , and Church of St. Mary Magdalene , a few of the other popular tourist attractions in Karlovy Vary .

Not sure where to stay? Prague boasts fantastic deals on numerous hotels and resorts in all sections of the city.

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See Europe on a Budget : Let's face it, travel ain't cheap! Luckily, there are ways to see the world without emptying your pocketbook. Visit these inexpensive places in Europe (we're talking about awesome spots like Prague and Valencia ) or head to these beautiful yet affordable European countries (hello, Bulgaria and Romania ).

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Other Unmissable European Destinations : Europe has so much to offer visitors, and our list of the best countries to visit in Europe merely highlights some of its top spots. From charming towns that look as if they've come straight out of a fairy tale to a historic sea fortress in Finland to Italy's best beaches , you'll never want to go home.

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25 Best Places to Visit in Europe

By Carl Austin · Last updated on July 5, 2024

In the old days, Americans use to take a couple of years to make the Grand Tour of Europe. They had the right idea. You need lots of time to fully experience all that Europe has to offer. Since most of us today have only a few weeks holiday each year, we need to pick and choose what we’ll see.

With so many top places to visit in Europe, we can narrow the list down by geographic region or special interest. Since it takes only hours to get to Europe these days, compared to the weeks it took our ancestors, to get to Europe, we can always return to visit new sights.

Vienna, Albertinaplatz

Vienna is the most magical city in Austria. It’s a city that conjures up images of beautifully gowned women dancing to Strauss waltzes. It’s a city where beautiful white Lippizaners dance with precision around a ring. It’s a place where you’ll toss your diet aside for a piece of chocolaty sachertore.

Don’t forget to wander the picturesque Old Town, visit the opulent Baroque Schonbrunn Palace, the medieval St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the imperial Holburg Palace or maybe even a performance by the famed Vienna Boys Choir.

See also: Where to Stay in Vienna

24. Stonehenge

Stonehenge

You have to marvel at the determination of prehistoric man when you look at Stonehenge. Construction started about 3000 BC on what was originally burial grounds. Huge monoliths, weighing 25 tons, were dragged 240 km (150 miles) to the site a few hundred years later.

It’s not known exactly how many humungous rocks were moved to a field near Amesbury but there are 13 standing today. It’s also not known why Stonehenge was built, but many believe this great UK landmark is associated with early astrology.

23. Matterhorn

Matterhorn

Egypt may have its pyramids, but Italy and Switzerland have a nature-made pyramid of their own: the Matterhorn. At 4,478 meters (14,692 feet) high, this famous mountain is one of the highest in Europe. The mountain has four faces, each equally rugged.

This legendary mountain has been popular with climbers since the first ascent in 1865; during the summer 150 people a day try to climb it. Couch potatoes may be just as happy to stay below and gaze in awe at the summit playing hide and seek with the clouds.

22. Plitvice Lakes

Plitvice Lakes

The Plitvice Lakes are so pretty, officials turned them into a national park. Located in central Croatia, Plitvice Lakes consists of 16 lakes that attract more than a million visitors a year. The lakes are surrounded by lush forests and connected by waterfalls cascading down from one lake to another.

The lakes are divided into two sections, lower and upper, because of the difference in elevation. The best way to see the lakes is walking; on the route you might even see some wildlife.

21. Budapest

Budapest

Budapest was already an established city when the Hungarians took over in the ninth century. Today, Budapest is the country’s capital and largest city. In between these two events, Budapest was ruled by the Mongols and Ottomans, among others.

Considered one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, Budapest is home to the Museum of Fine Arts with its collection of more than 100,000 works. Be sure to visit the centrally located Old Town with its many museums, churches, palaces and Parliament building.

Lisbon

The Portuguese capital of Lisbon lies on the Tagus River along the Atlantic coast. It is this location that encouraged explorers to sail far and wide around the world in the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries.

One of the things you’ll want to see is Belem Tower, a 16th century fortress on the Tagus’ north bank. If you’re looking for good views of old Lisbon, head to Sao Jorge Castle that was built on a hilltop by the Moors.

See also: Where to Stay in Lisbon

19. Gullfoss

Gullfoss

You probably don’t know too too many people who’ve been to Iceland. But it may be worth a trip there to visit the spectacular Gullfoss waterfalls. Located in southern Iceland, Gullfoss is one of Iceland’s top tourist attractions.

At times it almost appears glacier-like, appropriate, perhaps, since it is fed by a glacier. The waterfalls begins just after the Ölfusá River makes a perpendicular turn and then cascades down a three-step staircase into a canyon that is 35 meters (115 feet) deep.

Athens

Athens, a city that’s been inhabited since the fifth century BC, gave the world the concept of democracy. Since this metropolis is both the capital of Greece and of historical Europe.

Many of the Athens’s major landmarks can be found in the old town, particularly around the Acropolis. The list includes the temple of Zeus; the Theatre of Dionysus where Sophocles works were performed; Hadrian’s Arch, the symbolic entrance to the city, and the Parthenon, which sits atop the Acropolis.

See also: Where to Stay in Athens

17. Bay of Kotor

Bay of Kotor

When you’re hungry for breathtaking scenery, feast your eyes on Kotor Bay in southwestern Montenegro. This bay off the Adriatic is just downright picturesque: hemmed in by mountains, with quaint villages sandwiched between the cliffs and the gorgeous blue water.

Several well-preserved medieval towns ring the bay. People make pilgrimages here, not only to take in the scenery but also to visit the 200 Orthodox and 100 Christian churches and chapels spread among the villages.

Moscow

Moscow, for nearly 900 years the capital of Russia, is the heart of Russia and Eastern Europe. As such, this old city has plenty to offer visitors. Let’s start with the 15th century Red Square since many of the city’s key attractions surround it.

A top landmark is the Kremlin, a former fortress that houses museums and the president of the Russian federation. Lenin’s Tomb sits in the middle of the square, while the iconic onion-domed St. Basil’s Cathedral, now a museum, is on one side.

Gondola on Canal Grande in Venice

Venice is for romantics who love gliding through the Grand Canal with a gondolier singing Italian love songs. This is, after all, the city that sent Marco Polo off on his journey to China.

Start your exploration of Venice at San Marco Square, the city’s most famous square. Here you’ll find the Doge’s Palace, the seat of Venetian government, and St. Mark’s Basilica, the main church in Venice with stunning views from the tower. Venice also is famous for its bridges (Rialto and Sighs) across the canals.

See also: Where to Stay in Venice

14. Monte Carlo

Monte Carlo

If you’re into glitz and glamour, look no further than Monte Carlo, the major city in the tiny principality of Monaco. Monaco has always been known for these qualities which reached new heights when its prince made Grace Kelly his princess.

Sitting on the shores of the Mediterranean, Monte Carlo is known for fast car races and its elite casino. Take a walk along the harbor to see yachts (some as big as ships) that belong to the rich and famous.

13. Alhambra

Alhambra

The Alhambra is one of the great wonders of Spain. It’s a gorgeous palace-fortress complex that can be found in Granada in southern Spain’s Andalusia province. This imposing complex started out as a small fortress in the late ninth century, though it was built on the ruins of a former Roman fortress.

Taken over by Christian rulers, it is the site where Columbus got the go-ahead to discover the New World. The blending of architectural styles over the centuries is stunning. You’ll find great art and grand gardens throughout.

12. Florence

Florence

If it weren’t for Florence, the Renaissance might not have happened. Florence is generally credited with bringing Europe out of the dark ages with great artists like Michelangelo. You can see their works at the Uffizi, Florence’s greatest gallery, or the Academia that displays the original David.

Eat a gelato while strolling the Ponte Vecchio that bridges the Arno River. Ogle the over-the-top riches of the Medici family at the Pitti Palace. Marvel at the early engineering that created the great Duomo. This is Florence at its best.

London, England

English history buffs will have a field day in London . This city on the Thames is chock full of palaces, from Buckingham Palace to Hampton Court Palace . More a prison than a palace, the Tower of London is home to the royal jewels.

And from Knightsbridge – don’t forget to visit the magnificent food halls at Harrods – to Carnaby Street, the shopping is awesome. You can get around London quickly and efficiently by riding the famous Tube – be sure to mind the gap.

10. Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein Castle

“Fairy tale castle” is a phrase that aptly describes Neuschwanstein Castle in the Bavarian Alps. This 19th century Romanesque Revival castles looks like it just stepped out of a fairy tale; some say Neuschwanstein provided the inspiration for the castle in Disney’s Sleeping Beauty.

The castle was built as a retreat for King Ludwig II of Bavaria, who viewed it as a romanticization of the Middle Ages The castle was built of brick, then covered in rock, including the white limestone that is visible from afar.

9. Amsterdam

Bicycles parked on a bridge in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a pleasant city marked with meandering canals lined with tall, narrow row houses. It is the city where Anne Frank kept her famous diary, so visiting the house where she wrote is a must.

This “Venice of the North” also is a city of great art, beginning with the Rijksmuseum, home to great European masterpieces; Rembrandt’s house and the more modern van Gogh museum. Take a break from sightseeing to tour and sample Holland’s beer at the Heineken Brewery.

See also: Where to Stay in Amsterdam

Prague

Prague, with a long history of war and destruction, is considered one of the best places to visit in Europe. Despite devastation caused by World War II, Prague has a very nice Old Town that is worth more than a few hours of your time.

Prague has many pedestrian zones, which making walking a delight, as you wander by Prague Castle, through the Jewish Quarter, by St. Vitus Cathedral and over the Charles Bridge. Wenceslas Square, situated in the New Town, hums with a vibrant nightlife and entertainment air.

See also: Where to Stay in Prague

7. Istanbul

Hagia Sophia Interior

Istanbul may be on the outer fringes of Europe but will worth a visit when you’re traveling abroad. Turkey’s biggest city is a fascinating place, filled with rich history, colorful markets and mosques.

Top attractions include the Bosporus that separates Europe and Asia; the ecumenical Hagia Sophia that’s been a Greek Orthodox Christian basilica, then an imperial mosque and now a museum, and the 15th century Topkapi Palace, also a museum today. Get in a little shopping at the Grand Bazaar that’s been in operation since 1461.

See also: Where to Stay in Istanbul

6. Geirangerfjord

Geiranger fjord, Norway.

When the summer heat of Europe gets you down, head to Norway with its pretty cool scenery. Geirangerfjord is a 15 km (9.3-mile) long fjord with crystal blue waters fed by picturesque cascading waterfalls. Take a sightseeing trip on a car ferry through the fjord, passing villages on the shores.

Look out for the Seven Sisters and Suitor waterfalls so named because legend says he’s trying to court the sisters. Also look for Bridal Veil – when the light is right, it looks like a thin veil covering the rocks.

5. Barcelona

La Pedrera by the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi. Barcelona.

Founded by the Romans, Barcelona today is a bustling city on the Mediterranean Sea. As the capital of Catalonia, it is a powerhouse in the region. It is perhaps best known for the unusual buildings designed by the architect Antoni Gaudi. These landmark structures include La Sagrada Familia, a church that’s been under construction since 1892.

You could build your entire visit around his buildings, but then you’d miss out on other Barcelona delights, such as La Rambla, a popular pedestrian street in the central part of the city.

4. Dubrovnik

Aerial view of the medieval city of Dubrovnik, Dalmatia, Croatia, Adriatic Sea, Europe

As European cities go, Dubrovnik isn’t very big, but don’t let its size deter you. This little jewel, with less than 43,000 people, is one of the most visited cities on the Mediterranean.

Dubrovnik transports visitors back to a time when the fortified city was a major maritime power commanding the third-largest navy in the Mediterranean. As you wander the streets, you’ll likely come across sculptures of St. Viaho, the city’s patron saint whose life is celebrated every February.

3. Santorini

Santorini

When it’s time to sit back and relax, take yourself to to Santorini , an island in the Aegean. Top travel magazines consider this a prime destination; once there, you can’t help but agree.

The island has picture-postcard villages, an active volcano and stunning sunsets. Be sure to visit Fira, a village perched atop a cliff. You’ll also want to sample wines, such as the dessert wine Vincanto as well as the produce that is made sweeter and tastier because of the volcanic ash soil it grows in.

Paris

Songs laud Paris in the springtime, but any time of year is a good time to visit this riveting city on the River Seine. It’s a city loaded to the brim with history, culture, great food and high fashion.

The iconic Eiffel Tower is one landmark you won’t want to miss. The Louvre houses one of the greatest art collections in the world. Its great churches include Sacred Heart and Notre Dame. When it comes to opulence, there’s Versailles with its famed Hall of Mirrors.

Roman Forum

The ancient Romans established outposts as far away as Great Britain. They didn’t ignore their home city, however, when it came to building great monuments. One must-see landmark in Rome is the Colosseum, an arena that could hold up to 80,000 people for gladiator contests.

One of the biggest draws is a tiny country inside the city: The Vatican City, with its impressive St. Peter’s Basilica with art provided by Michelangelo is a must-see even if you’re not Catholic. Maybe you’ll get a glimpse of the pope at his Wednesday audiences.

See also: Where to Stay in Rome

Map of Places to Visit in Europe

Map of Places to Visit in Europe

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  • The Most Popular Tourist Attractions In All Of Europe

Europe is replete with astounding attractions and selecting the best among them is a difficult task.

  • Big Ben has a slight lean.
  • Two types of stone were used in the creation of Stonehenge.
  • The Anne Frank house was almost demolished before turning it into a museum.

With landmarks steeped in history and exhibiting the works of world-renowned architects, travelers to Europe are never short on famous sites to explore. We’ve put together a list of some of the Most Popular Tourist Attractions in All of Europe guaranteed to create unforgettable travel memories for all who visit.

10. Eiffel Tower // Paris, France

most visited european tourist attractions

Built as the entrance to the 1889 World’s Fair, the Eiffel Tower attracts nearly 7 million visitors each year – making it the most visited paid attraction in the world. Visitors can climb to the top of this 81- story high structure to take in breathtaking views of the City of Lights. The Eiffel Tower is the tallest structure in Paris. It’s easily detectable from many vantage points throughout the city so travelers can capture that perfect Instagram-worthy shot while exploring this European capital. 

9. Sagrada Familia // Barcelona, Spain

Image credit: Mapics/Shutterstock.com

No trip to Barcelona is complete without a visit to Sagrada Familia. Upon seeing the scaffolding, visitors could mistakenly believe it’s being refurbished, but in actuality, it has never been completed in its 150-year history. Work on this well-known church began in 1882 by Antonio Gaudi, but after facing a series of challenges, it was never able to be fully completed. Gaudi died in 1926 without ever seeing his work come to fruition, but the hope is to complete the church by 2026 to commemorate the centennial anniversary of Gaudi’s death. 

8. Grand Canal // Venice, Italy

Image credit: S.Borisov/Shutterstock.com

There’re a variety of waterways to explore on an iconic gondola ride through Venice, but Grand Canal is the main thoroughfare of the city. Visitors will pass houses, eateries, and shops as they glide through this top travel destination. Plan your visit in February to witness the city’s Carnevale celebration in the days leading up to the Christian celebration of Lent. The Venetian streets are filled with partygoers in elaborate costumes and decorative masks wandering the city streets. 

7. Stonehenge // Wiltshire, England

Image credit: Andrew Roland/Shutterstock.com

Stonehenge is much more than a pile of rocks, it’s a prehistoric monument constructed around 3000 BC and is cloaked in mystery. Whether it was erected as a burial site, a place of healing, or a celestial observatory remains unclear. Over 1 million visitors a year flock to Wilshire, England, to witness for themselves this mystical exhibit. 

6. Trevi Fountain // Rome, Italy

Image credit: beboy/Shutterstock.com

Trevi Fountain is one of the most famous fountains in the world, so it’s no wonder it tops the list of travelers. Sometime in the late 19th century, it was believed a sip of water from the fountain would ensure a return to Rome one day. Today, instead of sipping the water, visitors toss a coin into the water with the same hope of returning to the Italian capital one day. The fountain collects an estimated 3,000 Euros each day from visitors to the city but think twice before reaching in and grabbing a hand full of tokens as the law against removing coins is strictly enforced. 

5. Buckingham Palace // London, England

Image credit: Alex Segre/Shutterstock.com

Buckingham Palace attracts nearly 15 million visitors each year. The palace is the primary London residence of the Queen of England and the administrative headquarters of the reigning monarch. The type of flag that flies above the Palace signifies if the Queen is in residence or not. A Union Flag raised means the Queen is not at Buckingham Palace, but the Royal Standard signifies her Majesty is at home. The Changing of the Guards takes place at the Place around 10:45 am on certain days throughout the year, providing a memorable travel experience for those timing it right. 

4. Sistine Chapel // Vatican City, Italy

Image credit: RPBaiao/Shutterstock.com

This well-known chapel is located within the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the Pope. Constructed in the 15th century, one of the top draws to the chapel is to witness the work of Michelangelo’s famous frescoed ceiling. Though it’s tempting to take a few pictures of this work of art as a keepsake, it is strictly forbidden in an effort to maintain the integrity of this masterpiece. 

3. Ann Frank House // Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Image credit: Dietmar Rabich/Wikimedia Commons 

Among the many memorable sites to visit on a trip to Amsterdam is a tour of the Anne Frank house. This 17th-century building holds a special place in history where Anne Frank and her family hid to avoid persecution during World War II. Visitors can tour the apartment where they resided included the annex hidden by a bookcase. The museum provides a look into the life of Anne Frank and reflects on all forms of discrimination and persecution. The tour ends with a stop at the gift shop where visitors can purchase a copy of The Diary of Anne Frank. 

2. Colosseum // Rome, Italy

Image credit: Viacheslav Lopatin/Shutterstock.com

One of Rome’s most easily recognizable attractions is the Roman Colosseum. This structure dates back to 70 AD and today attracts over 6 million visitors each year. The Colosseum was originally constructed for the purpose of gladiator contests, but it has also been utilized for battle reenactments and animal hunts. Tours of the amphitheater offer a look into its rich history as well as providing some memorable photos ops of the interior of this historic ruin. 

1. Big Ben // London. England

Image credit: Arturasker/Shutterstock.com

Big Ben is technically a nickname for the Great Bell of this striking clock, but the name has been synonymous with the clock tower itself. This notable London landmark was officially named Clock Tower and later renamed Elizabeth Tower. Whichever name is used, there’s no denying it’s one of the most recognizable attractions in the world. Located on the north end of the Palace of Westminster , this monument is located nearby many of the city’s top sites.

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Top 15 of the Most Visited Tourist Attractions in Europe

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Be it France , England, Germany or Italy , there is no lack of top tourist attractions in Europe which are full of brilliant cities known for their best restaurants , museums, architecture, and nightlife. So, it is not easy to decide where you should start.

Europe is a diverse and vivid continent. Each of the best tourist cities in Europe has its importance with a fascinating past and culture. It is undeniably a great experience to visit one of these countries as you can find a lot of things to do and see. If you ever have a chance to do so, it is worth to visit as many Europe attractions as possible so you can have an entirely different experience.

You will come across several exciting tourist attractions in Europe when you get there. Every site has a memorable event and story to share about the history and culture of the place you are going to visit.

Here are 15 of the top tourist attractions in Europe you should try and visit while traveling.

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most visited tourist attractions in europe louvre paris france

The Louvre, Paris, France

The Louvre is one of the best tourist attractions in Europe for enthusiasts of history, art, and culture. Paris , France is one of the most beloved European cities which have no lack of historical landmarks.

The Louvre is the world’s largest art museum and the significant monument in Paris . The Louvre had more than 7.3 million visitors, and it has become one of the most visited museums in the world.

It has more than 38,000 specimens that dated back from the prehistoric era to a modern world. The exhibition of these forms covers over 782,920 sq. ft. The museum is located in the Louvre Palace on the Right Bank of Seine River.

The building was built originally as a fortress during the 12th century according to the guidelines of Philip II. Initially, it was opened as a museum in the year 1793 and displayed 537 paintings.

Now, it showcases a lot of amazing pieces from the most popular artists in the world. It also houses the most famous painting in the world ‘Mona Lisa’ which was designed by Leonardo da Vinci.

Read also: Day trips from Paris and 3 days Paris itinerary

most visited tourist attractions in europe colosseum rome italy

Colosseum, Rome, Italy

Rome is one of the oldest and most famous European cities. Also known as the Flavian Amphitheater, this oval-shaped amphitheater is placed at the heart of Rome , and it was built under the reigns of emperors during the Flavian era.

The construction of the Colosseum started in AD 72 and was finally completed with its modifications in AD 96. The giant structure had a capacity of over 80000 visitors. It was initially used to host gladiator contests and other purposes like battle re-enactments, executions, and animal hunts.

Now it is entirely used as a tourist destination. Thousands of visitors flock to it due to its ruins. The structure also has a museum devoted to Eros.

most visited tourist attractions in europe sagrada familia barcelona spain

Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain

If you are feeling lucky that you are visiting Barcelona , one of the best tourist cities in Europe, don’t forget to visit Sagrada Familia. It is a substantial unfinished church which is spotted from anywhere in Barcelona . A Catalan architect, Antoni Gaudi designed this structure. The construction of this structure started in 1882 under the supervision of Paula da Villar, an architect.

After a year, he resigned, and Antoni Gaudi took over the project. He changed the design and renovated it with curvilinear Gothic architecture and Art Nouveau .

In 1923, Gaudi died, and just one-quarter of this project was finished. With donations, constructions continued, but the progress was interrupted by the Spanish Civil War.

The structure was scheduled to be completed by 2026. But it is named a minor basilica by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010. Now, this complex is rated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site .

You can also check out our travel guide about the best places to visit in Spain and as well the most stunning castle in Spain .

most visited tourist attractions in europe buckingham palace london uk

Buckingham Palace, London, UK

If you are visiting the capital city of London , you will not want to miss Buckingham Palace, one of the best Europe attractions. In the beginning, it was called Buckingham House at the core, and it was built as a townhouse for the Duke of Buckingham in 1703.

In 1761, it was acquired by King George III for Queen Charlotte. Then it was expanded till the 19th century by architects John Nash and Edward Blore.

Palace had three wings around a central courtyard by the time when work was finished. In 1837, the period of Queen Victoria started when the palace officially became the home to the British monarch.

It serves as an administrative headquarter and London residence for the reigning monarch of the UK . The palace’s Chapel was destroyed during World War II by a German bomb. The Queen’s Gallery replaced it. It houses the artwork from the Royal Collection.

In 1962, it was opened publically. The phenomenal “Changing the Guard” is one of the main reasons tourists love to get there. Every time, the soldiers standing as the guard out of the palace in strict uniform perform a formal ceremony, when one group of guards ends their shift and to allow new guards to start duty. It is a great view to behold.

If you’re interested to visit other neighboring cities, you can check out our guide about the top day trips from London . Also, check out our post about the most beautiful castles in the UK  or some of its beautiful islands .

most visited tourist attractions in europe eiffel tower paris france

Eiffel Tower, Paris, France

The Eiffel Tower is one of the most visited places in Europe and sought-after landmarks in the world. The tower is named after Gustav Eiffel, an engineer who designed the tower from 1887 to 1889 and the entrance of the tower was created for 1889 World’s Fair.

The top design experts and artists initially criticized the wrought iron design of the tower. The structure is around 1063 ft. tall and is placed on Champ de Mars in Paris .

It has 81 floors, three levels, and restaurants on the second and first levels. It was once the tallest building in the world and is currently the tallest structure in Paris . In 1930, Chrysler building was built in New York and broke the record of Eiffel tower as the tallest building in the world.

More than 6.9 million visitors are attracted to the Eiffel Tower every year. It became the reason why France is one of the best tourist countries in Europe.

most visited tourist attractions in europe sistine chapel vatican city

Sistine Chapel, Vatican City

No matter you are a spiritual person or not, the Sistine Chapel will always attract you as one of the best tourist attractions in Europe . This chapel is located in Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the Pope. It is built for both papal and religious activities.

The chapel was originally built in the 15th century and designed by Giovanni Dolci and Baccio Pontelli. Along with the historical and religious importance of this complex, this chapel is also loved for its serene frescoes on the ceiling.

most visited tourist attractions in europe anne frank house amsterdam netherlands

Anne Frank House, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Anne Frank is one of the most praised European figures in history due to tragic reasons, and this museum is devoted to her. It is a biographical museum and a writer’s house located next to the Prinsengracht canal positioned in central Amsterdam . The museum houses a building constructed in the 17th century where Anne Frank hid with her family from the persecution of Nazis during the period of World War II.

Frank couldn’t survive the war, but the diary which she wrote was officially published in the year 1957. The museum is located at the block which was planned for demolition. The property was bought by the Anne Frank Foundation in 1957 to keep this from happening. In 1960, the museum was publicly opened.

The Frank family’s hideout has survived the test of time, and there are two main exhibitions in this museum – one depicts the timeline and life of Anne Frank, and another one depicts all kinds of persecution and discrimination. On average, 1.3 million tourists visit this museum annually.

Read also: Day trips from Amsterdam , Places to visit in the Netherlands , and check out also some castles in the country .

most visited tourist attractions in europe stonehenge wiltshire uk

Stonehenge, Wiltshire, UK

Wiltshire is one of the most touristic cities in Europe because of having this prehistoric monument. Stonehenge is located not far from Salisbury and Amesbury, and it forms a ring of a huge standing stone. Each of these stones weighs up to 25 tons and is over 13 feet tall. This iconic landmark is supposed to be built from 3000 BC to 2000 BC.

The purpose of the building is a matter of debate. These stones are the monuments of Bronze and Neolithic Age along with hundreds of burial grounds. The site became conserved as a Scheduled Ancient Monument in 1882. In 1986, it was declared as UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is managed by English Heritage and owned by the Crown. The National Trust owns the nearby land.

most visited tourist attractions in europe leaning tower of pisa pisa italy

Leaning Tower of Pisa, Pisa, Italy

Sometimes, best engineers and architects make the most iconic landmarks not only purposely, but also by mistake. The Leaning Tower of Pisa is one of the best examples. This human-made marvel is one of the Seven Wonders of the World and the most iconic landmarks in the world.

If you are lucky to visit Pisa , this striking landmark may be the part of your wishlist. This wonky complex was built in the 12th century. It is also the Pisa Cathedral’s bell tower . The ground where it is constructed is soft and improper foundations were also the reasons behind its lean.

The lean increased year by year. Engineers decided to stabilize it in the late 20th century. It stands around 183 feet tall, and it has seven bells.

Read also: Day trips from Pisa and Castles to visit in Italy

most visited tourist attractions in europe grand canal venice italy

Grand Canal, Venice, Italy

When it comes to Venice , we all are used to think of an Italian man with a mustache on a gondola and sailing through the Grand Canal .

Out of several famous canals, the Grand Canal is the leading waterway sailing you through the city. It is a 3.8km long canal and stretches from San Marco to santa Lucia railway station.

Read also:   Best Day Trips from Venice

most visited tourist attractions in europe acropolis of athens greece

Acropolis of Athens, Athens, Greece

Greece is one of the most ancient and prominent countries in Europe which houses a lot of notable historical landmarks where many events took place.

The ancient citadel is placed in the outskirts of Athens on the hilly outcrop in front of the city, and it houses the ruins of various architectural and historical structures.

Read also:   Top 15 Places to Visit in Greece

most visited tourist attractions in europe parthenon athens greece

Parthenon, Athens, Greece

The Parthenon is the most prominent monument in ancient Greece , and it is listed among the most famous landmarks in the world. It was known as the Greek masterpiece and was the most sacred monument. Located in the south of Acropolis, the Parthenon lies in the city of Athens , around 156m high, and it can be seen from several miles of distance.

This temple monument was devoted to Athena, a goddess. Parthenon means the epithet of Athena Parthenos (which is the symbol of her being unmarried and virgin), and the myth behind her creation from the head of Zeus.

The colossal Athena Parthenos’ statue stood in the Parthenon, around 12m high. Around 1140kg of gold was used to develop it, and it cost 700 talents to the city, the price of 230 ships.

most visited tourist attractions in europe neuschwanstein castle shwangau germany

Neuschwanstein Castle, Shwangau, Germany

It was built in the 19th century, and it is the Romanesque Revival palace built on the rugged hill located atop Hohenschwangau village near Füssen in Bavaria in the southwest in Germany .

Ludwig II of Bavaria commissioned the castle as a retreat and a tribute to Richard Wagner. Instead of Bavarian public funds, Ludwig paid for the palace off his fortune.

Read also:   25 Beautiful Castles in Europe That Would Inspire Your Wanderlust

most visited tourist attractions in europe london eye london uk

London Eye, London, UK

The giant Ferris wheel, the London Eye is located on the south of River Thames, London. It is the Europian tallest Ferris wheel, and the most anticipated paid tourist attraction with an average of 3.75 million tourists in the UK , and it has appeared widely in pop culture.

It is the highest point for public viewing in London until the high observation deck of 804 ft. superseded it on the 72nd floor of The Shard, opened publicly on February 1, 2013. The London Eye meets the west of Jubilee Gardens (which was once the site of Dome of Discovery).

most visited tourist attractions in europe florence cathedral florence italy

Florence Cathedral, Florence, Italy

Florence Cathedral is undoubtedly the most visited and serene complex in the whole city and among the best churches in the world built in gothic style.

This building stands high over its neighbors, and it can be seen from different parts of Florence .

Read also:   Top 10 Best Day Trips from Florence

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50 Best Places to Visit in Europe – An Overview With Top Tips

Jess Tyroler image

Passionate for far-away places and habañero hot sauce

Planning a holiday to Europe? Whether you’re craving a city break, a few days of adventure, or a total escape into nature – we’ve got you covered. Here are 50 of the best places to visit in Europe for interesting visits, great food, and natural wonder.

1. Svalbard, Norway

Guests on fast ice in the fjords of Svalbard photo tour

Even if you’re someone who loves a winter getaway, chances are you’ve never travelled anywhere quite so far north as Svalbard, an archipelago of nine islands between mainland Norway and the North Pole. But if you’ve ever dreamt about visiting the Arctic, then a trip to Svalbard is the best place to go. 

A short flight from Tromso or Oslo will take you to Longyearbyen, the largest settlement on Svalbard and where your Arctic adventures will begin. People come from all over the world to explore the rugged natural beauty, go to ethical wildlife watching to see polar bears, whales, and walruses, and go hiking. And there’s always plenty of time to stop for an ice-cold beer at the northernmost brewery in the world. From snow-capped mountains and stunning fjords to spooky former Soviet mining towns – Svalbard one of the most fascinating places on Earth, not just Europe.

If you are interested in visiting Svalbard please don’t forget to take a look at Secret Atlas’s Expedition Micro Cruises . With only 12 Guests onboard our ships, we provide an intimate, authentic and sustainable way to explore this remote and untamed region.

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most visited european tourist attractions

2. Azores Islands, Portugal

most visited european tourist attractions

Although technically part of Portugal, the Azores islands seem like a world away from the mainland. The remote archipelago of volcanic islands sits in the mid-Atlantic, and is often described as the “Hawaii of Europe”. And with rugged landscapes and deep-blue waters, it’s not hard to see why – although its temperatures are subtropical and milder. This is ideal if you need to get away from city heat in the summer. The Azores is a place to escape into natural beauty, and it’s home to two of Portugal’s 15 Unesco World Heritage Sites including the historic city of Angra do Heroismo on the island of Terceira and the ancient vineyards of Pico. 

If you’re short on time and aren’t sure where to start – the largest and most accessible of the islands is Sao Miguel . It’s filled with spectacular volcanic landscapes, hot springs, hiking trails, beautiful lakes, and is the number one destination for whale and dolphin watching in Europe.

After a full-on day of exploring, you can feast on cheap pestiscos, Portuguese tapas. Meat and seafood are on the menu in most places but veggies and vegans should check out plant-based Rotas de Ilha Verde.  Looking for more reasons to go? The Azores is the first archipelago given the EarthCheck certificate for sustainability. The Azores ranks number 2 in our top 50 best places in Europe to visit.

3. Lofoten Islands, Norway

norway small ship cruise whale watching

When it comes to natural beauty in Europe, Norway really delivers. As a well as Svalbard, the country is also home to the stunning Lofoten Islands – an archipelago of seven islands. Lofoten is a certified sustainable destination and is worth visiting for Viking history, unspoilt landscapes, witnessing the Northern Lights in, and even surfing. 

It has a milder climate than other places with the same latitude, thanks to the warmth of the Gulf Stream and if you come in the summer months, you’ll experience the midnight sun. Definitely a place for outdoor types, Lofoten is a haven for hiking, climbing, kayaking, cycling and skiing.

4 .Westfjords, Iceland

cruise in iceland on a small expedition vessel

To be honest, we could easily just say Iceland and leave it at that. All of it is pretty spectacular. But if you’re looking for an alternative to the touristy hot spots like the Golden Circle and the Blue Lagoon, then make a trip to Westfjords. They’re lesser-known and visited than other parts of the country because they’re vast, and far away from the major destinations like Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, Lake Mývatn (yes, as featured on Game of Thrones) and the aforementioned Golden Circle.  

So why trek to Westfjords? Well, it’s sparsely populated, remote and has different landscapes to a lot of Iceland. It is very rugged and dramatic, and you’ll need a car to get around but it’s worth it and it’s about 107 miles drive from Reykjavik. Once you’re there,  you’ll be able to visit the little known Dynjandi waterfall and the pink-sand beach Rauðasandur, and you see Puffins on the cliffs at Látrabjarg. It’s also a great place to see the Arctic fox and go seal watching and whale watching.   Plan your visit carefully though, heavy snowfall means it’s not really accessible in the winter, so the best times to go are May to October.

5. Sintra, Portugal

most visited european tourist attractions

Sintra is a beautiful, historic town nestled in the breezy mountains of Serra de Sintra in Portugal. It’s only a 40-minute train ride from Lisbon, so it’s easy to do as a day trip if you’re visiting the capital too. Sintra is perfect for an escape when you’re pushed for time.  You can explore lush forests, colourful palaces, the ruins of a Moorish castle, and ancient wells.

It’s worth taking a mid-week trip to avoid crowds, particularly at the brightly coloured and huge Palacio de Pena, which is the main tourist draw. Another of Sintra’s regal buildings in the ruins of the Castelo Dos Mouros (Castle of the Moors), where you can stop around the ancient ramparts high above the town for some pretty spectacular views.

The Quinta Da Regaleira Palace and Gardens is a sprawling private estate with a massive gothic house. But if you only have time to visit one part – make it the Initiation Well. The spiralling 88ft deep Initiation Well, which descends down into a tunnel system and was used for Masonic initiation ceremonies. Sintra ranks number 5 in our top 50 best places in Europe to visit.

6. Santorini, Greece

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Most people are familiar with blue domes and bright whitewashed homes that jut out over Santorini’s blue seas. But there’s plenty more to explore on this Greek Island, including a place believed to be the lost city of Atlantis. Over 3000 years ago, a huge volcanic eruption devastated Santorini. The middle of the island disappeared deep into the ocean and left a massive caldera (crater) in the cliffs, so make a trip to the Minoan ruins of Akrotiri and head west to visit Akrotiri Lighthouse for spectacular views. If you’re there for a few days and packed decent walking shoes, it’s also worth making the short hop to Nea Kameni island for amazing hikes in dramatic volcanic landscapes.

But trips to any of the Greek Islands are a mix of history, culture, and of course food and drink. Take a wander around the pretty streets of Fira and Oia for Saganaki (fried cheese in filo pastry, covered in honey), Moussaka, Spanakopita, with a glass of local beer or wine as the sun comes down over the Aegean sea.

7. Faroe Islands

Faroe Islands Europe

It’s probably no surprise that we like islands around here. And the Faroe Islands is a destination  Secret Atlas guests would have a great time exploring. Technically part of Denmark, although self-governing – It’s an archipelago of 18 islands in the Atlantic Ocean, that sit between Scotland, Norway and Iceland and you can fly there from Edinburgh, Reykjavik, or Bergen in Norway. This is one trip that will need a bit more planning than a lot of European holidays, especially as there are only a few hotels, B&Bs and private rentals to choose from.

The Faroe Islands are for adventurous travellers. The weather patterns vary a lot (due to both the warmth of the gulf stream and the icy Arctic waters). LIke Svalbard, it’s worth visiting for rugged, untamed natural beauty, amazing hiking trails, huge mountains, and craggy bird cliffs and black sandy beaches. You can go kayaking to the impressive Draganir sea-stacks, spot Puffins at Mykines, and go horse riding around the capital Tórshavn. And if you’re tired from all of that exploring, you can unwind at a Heimablídni, which is Faroese for homegrown hospitality. So you can enjoy a cosy fish and chip supper in a remote, 19th century home. The Faroe Islands come in at 7 in our best places in Europe to visit guide.

8. Isle of Skye, Scotland

isle of skye scotland europe

When it comes to rugged island escapes, Scotland more than holds its own among others in Europe. The Isle of Skye is the largest of the Inner Hebrides (an archipelago of over 40 islands off the west coast of Scotland) and it’s full of stunning scenery, interesting wildlife, and plenty of Whisky. If you want to avoid crowds, head to The Fairy Glen, high above the village of Uig where a landslip created a pretty magical landscape. 

For sweeping views of Skye’s coast, visit Kilt Rock and Mealt Falls. The craggy Old Man of Storr is another of the Isle of Skye’s iconic sights, but it’s very popular so choose your time wisely if you want to avoid crowds. You can also hang out with some Hebridean Alpacas,  and sip Highland single malt at the Talisker, and Torahbhaig or Raasay distilleries for a drink with an incredible view.

9. Utrecht, Netherlands

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Daytrippers often go to Utrecht from Amsterdam, but there’s plenty of reasons to visit for longer. It’s less crowded for a start. The city is over 2000 years old –  the Romans built a fortress at what is now Dom Square, and buildings from the middle ages still stand in the city centre. It has all the charming Dutch canals of the capital (and according to travel search engine GoEuro, it’s the most beautiful canal city in Europe). As well as canalside wandering, Utrecht also has gothic architecture, pretty streets and great cafes, restaurants and bars.

Summer and Autumn are great for a mini-trip if you like festivals including Ultrasonic in July, and The Nederlands Film Festival and BockbierFestival, and the music festival Le Guess Who ? in November. Utrecht comes in at 9 in our best places in Europe to visit guide.

10. Seville, Spain

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The whole of the Andalucia region is worth exploring, but for a short European break, go for the capital, Seville. The medieval city filled with Moorish, Catholic, and Jewish landmarks, gothic architecture, winding streets, beautiful gardens – and many plates of tapas. It’s an easy city to walk around, although try and avoid the height of summer (July and August) unless you can handle walking in 35°c+ heat. Even early Autumn gets pretty hot, and in the mid-afternoon, you’ll notice that locals pull the shutters down to escape the heat. 

You can visit two landmarks in quick succession by buying a ticket to the Catedral de Sevilla, the Gothic Giralda Tower, and the  Real Alcázar. The Alcazar is a palace commissioned by the Christian King Pedro I in the 14th Century – he used Moorish workmen so it includes a mixture of Christian and Islamic art and symbolism. Seville comes in at 10 in our best places in Europe to visit guide.

11. Triglav National Park, Slovenia

Triglav National Park

Mountain hiking isn’t just for the chocolate box scenery of the Swiss Alps. Northwest Slovenia, is home to the Julian Alps, close to the Italian and Austrian borders. This is where you’ll find Triglav National Park, one of our best places in Europe to visit. It has been protected since 1924, so hasn’t had to contend with over-tourism. This means if you do make it, you’ll witness unspoilt natural beauty, including high mountain peaks, and the stunning Savica and Pericnik waterfalls. In the winter months, they freeze over so you can go on a guided ice climb. 

The vast park is also home to the rocky, vegetation filled Blejski Vitgar gorge where you can go hiking, climbing, and canoeing. If you’re after bigger adventures and faster speeds, then head to the Soca river. From there you can go rafting or hydrospeeding (also known as riverboarding) where, as the name suggests, it involves lying on board and being carried along a very fast flowing river. 

12. Leipzig, Germany

Leipzig in Germany, Europe

The small city in Saxony has given Berlin a run for its money as the German city for creatives and visitors in recent years – just look at the #hypezig all over Instagram. The former East German city was run down after the reunification of Germany, but it’s old industrial areas like  Plagwitz are now cultural zones filled with galleries, studios, bars and clubs.  Several of Leipzig’s old buildings have been restored too, so it’s a great mix of old and new. 

It’s a city to explore on foot, to explore architecture like The Opera House and Mendebrunnen fountain, as well as contemporary art. Head up to the top of Panorama Tower on Augustplatz to look over at nearby forests. For a break from the city streets, visit Clara Zetkin Park or take a canoe tour of the city.

13. Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland

giants causeway in Europe

One of Europe’s most beautiful natural wonders is Giant’s Causeway.  It’s just a short train ride from Belfast and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  And it’s easy to see why. Legend has it, the arrangement of large stepping stones (actually tens of thousands of interlocking basalt columns) was the result of an argument between an Irish Giant and a Scottish Giant. The myth of Finn McCool makes for a great yarn, but a trip to the visitors centre offers a more scientific origin story involving volcanic activity. Either way, it’s a stunning coastline to behold. Go there to stomp around the ancient rocks and walk more of the Causeway Coast Way – it’s perfect for hiking. 

The area is famous for road trips too, so it’s worth hiring a car and planning a route along the coast to stop off at other landmarks like Mussenden Temple, Dunluce Castle, and take a break at Bushmills Distillery. The Giant’s Causeway comes in at 13 in our best places in Europe to visit guide.

14. Crooked Forest, Poland

crooked forest in Poland

Poland’s Kryzwy Las or Crooked Forest is one of Europe’s most enchanting, and strange natural places to visit. It sits a little way out of the western, historic city of Szczecin. As you can probably guess from the name, the forest is full of curved trees that look a bit like upside-down question marks. And how over 400 Pine trees in the middle of a forest they got that way is still a mystery – although one theory is that the trees were shaped like that by Polish workers who wanted to use them for shipbuilding.

15. Matka Canyon, Macedonia

Matka Canyon, Macedonia

You don’t have to go to the tropics to experience paradise. Just a few miles from the Macedonian capital city of Skopje lies Matka Canyon, a stunning gorge which is filled with clear waters and one  of the largest cave systems in the world.  It’s perfect for a European trip off the beaten track. Visitors and locals come to get away from urban life for hiking, kayaking,diving and rock climbing. 

The canyon is also home to many species of butterflies, as well bats. There are five restaurants spread around the canyon, so you can factor in cliffside food and drinks on dinner in a cave restaurant into your itinerary. Matka Canyon ranks number 15 in our top 50 best places in Europe to visit

16. Tallinn, Estonia

most visited european tourist attractions

For a mix of city break and nature getaway, Tallinn is a great shout. It’s a small city, with beautiful forests on its doorstep. And you can also hop over to the islands of Naissar, Prangli, and Aegna easily from Tallinn Bay too. Wander around the Old Town for cobbled medieval streets, beautiful architecture, and some of the city’s best places to eat like Rataskaevu 16 and III Draakon. Head up to the Kohtuotsa Viewing Platform for views over the city including the harbour, bell towers, and red slate rooftops. Switch from medieval to modern at Telliskivi Creative City which is hub restaurants, music venues, cafés and street art.

If you want to escape into nature, visit Jägala waterfall , particularly in the winter, or wander around Sooma National Park where you can book a canoe tour, and go hiking around a bog  – just remember to hire shoes so you don’t get stuck in the mud or snow depending on the season.

17. Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic

Karlovy Vary Czech Republic

Lots of people come to Karlovy Vary on day trips from Prague to take a dip in some of Europe’s best hot springs. There are 15 restorative hot spas dotted around the city, including up in the hills. It’s a very beautiful city too, full of grand, pastel-coloured Bohemian architecture surrounded by forests. 

For the best city meets nature views, head to the hillside lookouts like the Diana Observation Tower. Visit in July for the Karlovy Vary Film Festival – one of the biggest in Europe. Head out of the city for forest hikes in the Krušnohorská magistrála,  and walk along the Tepla River.

18. Rotterdam, Holland

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Just like Utrecht, Holland’ssecond city’ is worth more than just being tacked onto an Amsterdam trip. It’s full of mind-bending, futuristic architecture like the vibrant yellow cubic houses that jut into the sky tilted at a 45-degree angle. The city is also great for art lovers, with loads of classic and contemporary museums, galleries, and outdoor sculptures including the Witte de Witth Centre for Contemporary Art. 

As it’s a Dutch city, get on your bike – they’re cheap to hire (around €9 a day) and you can cycle out to the countryside to visit the famous windmills at Kinderdijk, buy cheese at the market at Gouda and past sweet-scented fruit trees if you visit in May. Rotterdam comes in at 18 in our best places in Europe to visit guide.

19. Plitvice Lakes, Croatia

Plitvice Lakes Croatia

Croatia is well known for its beautiful beaches, but one of the most unique places to visit is Plitvice Lakes. It’s a stunning national park, and the oldest in Croatia – with beautiful turquoise lakes, waterfalls, caves, and hiking trails. Plitvice Lakes is easy to do as a day trip from either Zagreb or Split.

Although the water is inviting, swimming isn’t allowed as it’s a UNESCO site, so it’s all about hikes and incredible scenery. And don’t forget to pack snacks – the only options are a small supermarket by Entrance One and a few fast food places.

20. Bregenz, Austria

regenz_Austria_best-places-in-europe-to-visit

The west of Austria is home to the mountainous Vorarlberg state, and Bregenz is its lakeside capital. Lake Constance, (Bodensee) is one of Europe’s largest freshwater lakes, and it has parts in other Alpine regions including Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. Bregenz is a 2,000-year-old city that’s perfect for a chilled trip wandering through medieval streets and escaping into beautiful Alpine nature. 

The city sits between the lake and the  Pfänder mountain, so you can take the cable car up to hike along rugged trails and gaze over the stunning countryside with up to 240 mountain peaks. Heading into the countryside outside of Bregenz, you can also visit the hillside Schattenberg Castle, one of the best-preserved medieval castles in central Europe.

21. Ksamil, Albania

Ksamil Albania

Sitting along the Albanian Riviera is the small village of Ksamil. People visit for some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe. It has four uninhabited islands with secluded sandy beaches and crystal clear waters. But it’s not just a place to lie on the beach all day, there’s plenty to explore close by – and it’s definitely worth taking a couple of road trips.  One of the closest is the Butrint, which is about a 10 minute drive. The UNESCO World Heritage site was an ancient city that first belonged to the Greeks, then Romans came along, then finally it was taken over by bishops in Epirus.

A bit further away, about an hour’s drive from Ksamil is Syri I Kalter (also known as The Blue Eye) – it’s a water spring and natural phenomenon. Its light blue water is so clear, you’ll be able to see straight to the bottom of the 50ft deep pool.

22. Amalfi Coast, Italy

Amalfi coast Italy Europe

The famous 31 mile stretch of coastline close to Naples ranks number 22 in our top 50 best places in Europe to visit. Go in early Spring or Autumn, and you can explore the Amalfi Coast’s colourful winding streets, rugged coastal views, and stunning sunsets at a calmer pace, in balmy temperatures. Especially if you find some of its lesser-known spots. People flock to Positano and Amalfi, and with good reason.

But fewer people know about Atrani, which sits between two cliffs and is the smallest hamlet in the south of Italy. It’s a pastel-hued fishing village that looks untouched by modern life, filled with cobbled streets, where you can just marvel at the beauty of it all and unwind with food and drinks at the Piazza Umberto, Atrani’s main square. Another of the Amalfi Coasts more hidden gems is the village of Praiano, where you can also take a hike along the Sentiero Degli Dei (Path of the Gods) that leads to the Lattari mountains.

23. Porto, Portugal

portugal Porto Europe

Another ‘second city’ that more than holds its own against the capital is Porto. The ancient, picturesque, hilly city on the banks of the river Douro is full of architecture, great food, beautiful natural parks, and of course, a lot of Port. The hills are pretty steep, but it’s worth winding your way up to some of the less touristy neighbourhoods high above the river. And there are lots of great bars and places to eat tucked down the side streets, away from the main drag at Ribeira.

Walk across the Dom Luis I Bridge (designed by Gustav Eiffel, if the architecture looks like a more famous European landmark), to cross over to Vila Gaia De Nova to visit the port caves and wander around some less busy medieval streets. Take a tram to Foz De Douro for a beautiful coastal walk.  Porto comes in at 23 in our best places in Europe to visit guide.

24. Transylvania, Romania

Transylvania Romania

Most people know it as the stomping ground of a certain vampire, but the Eastern European destination stretches far beyond the forests surrounding Castle Dracula. It’s a large region in the heart of Romania with lots to explore from stunning landscapes, medieval castles (including  Bran Castle, the one linked to Dracula) as well as citadel ruins, fortified settlements and salt mines. 

You can also do some pretty serious hiking and spot landmarks like the Bucegi Natural Park, although do your research or do it like an organised trip because of roaming brown bears. If you’re taking a road trip, head to the Transfagarasan Highway, an amazing mountain road with incredible views of Transylvania’s great plains. Transylvania ranks number 24 in our top 50 best places in Europe to visit.

25. Budapest, Hungary

budapest Europe

Thermal spas, ruin bars (bars in the ruins of abandoned buildings, not the state you’ll be in when you leave, although that’s up to you!),  and a mix of different architecture styles are some of the reasons why Budapest is such a great European destination.  For pretty views of the Danube, take a stroll over The Chain Bridge. Once you’ve explored city landmarks like the Jewish Quarter, Dohány Street Synagogue, and the Hungarian Opera House, take a wander to some of Budapest’s outdoor places. 

Buda Castle is a 13th-century palace that sits high on a hill, it’s also a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visit Memento Park which is full of statues and memorabilia from the communist period in Hungary. For a little oasis away from the city, visit Margaret Island, a lush green island on the Danube, it’s not very big but you can stretch your legs more by climbing the Art Nouveau water tower and look over the Buda Hills. 

26. Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

Veliko Tarnovo Bulgaria.

One of Europe’s hidden gems is Veliko Tarnovo in Bulgaria, especially if you love historic cities that are close to nature. It’s one of Bulgaria’s oldest settlements, where you can visit the imposing Tsaret Fortress, stroll along the river Yantra, and go to the Assenov quarter on the edge of a pine forest.

There is good hiking to be done in Veliko Tarnovo. And there are plenty of hikes that start right from the city itself, including the Sveta Gora Park, where a steep walk pays off with stunning views. But if you want to venture further out you can go on the eco-trail at Emen Canyon, the Lyaskovets monastery trail or the Kartala waterfalls trail.

27. Paris, France

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What more can be written about Paris that hasn’t been written a thousand times. It’s a beautiful city, of course. But then again, there’s the Paris beyond the obvious sights like the Eiffel Tower and joining long queues at the Louvre. For interesting urban walking, take a wander through The Petite Ceinture Railway, an abandoned railway line that predates the Paris Métro where colourful flowers peak through the old tracks and street art adorns old platforms. 

You could easily spend a weekend in Paris just gallery hopping, but one of the more unusual spaces is 59 Rivoli, an infamous former squat turned legit studios with exhibits across 6 floors. It’s worth visiting the outside if you’re pushed for time, the facade is like an installation in itself. The gardens of Paris are rightly celebrated, but few people know about the Jardin Francs-Bourgeois-Rosiers, a secret garden tucked behind a 17th-century mansion in the Marais district. Paris comes in at 27 in our best places in Europe to visit guide.

28. Tbilisi, Georgia

Tbilisi Georgia

In a country where Europe meets Asia, the Georgian capital is one of the world’s oldest settlements, with evidence of human habitation dating back to 4000 BC. The ancient city is full of historic and natural wonders. From thermal bath houses that date back to the 12th century, the Ottoman era Jumah Mosque, panoramic views at the Narikala Fortress, to the streets and buildings that tell stories of Tbilisi’s more recent communist past. 

East and west meet in Tbilisi’s culinary offerings too, including Khinkali – Georgian soup dumplings, to be eaten in batches of 20, apparently. Leave the city to visit Uplistsikhe, a vast, ancient cave city for some serious hiking and exploring. Tbilisi is also relatively close to the incredible mountain region of Kazbegi, to take in the northern slopes of the Caucasus.

29. Crete, Greek Islands

Crete Greek Islands

The largest of the Greek Islands is so vast it has two airports  Depending on how long you go for, and what you want to see, you’ll need to choose whether to fly into Chania or Heraklion. Neither of them will disappoint, with stunning scenery, delicious food, and remnants of ancient civilizations. But there are a few more unspoilt, less touristy places to explore in Chania. 

If you want to escape large tourist groups, head to the golden sands and lack of crowds at Xerokambos, a beach surrounded by mountains. Chania is also home to the Agria Irini in the west of the White Mountains. Apokournous is a little slice of Cretan paradise too, especially the shimmering freshwater lake of Lake Kouros. .

30. The Val D’orcia, Italy

The Val D orcia Italy

The whole region of Tuscany in central Italy is worth spending time exploring for the history, culture, and of course, the food. But if you’ve experienced the many sights and tastes of Florence, Lucca and Siena, then head to the unspoilt valley of Val D’orcia. Then you can get up close to Tuscan nature and see for yourself what the renaissance painters loved so much.

Val D’Orcia takes its name from the Orcia River that runs through it, and the area is a preserved natural park and cultural park. You can easily spend the time on a regional wine and cheese tour, but there are also 14th-century fortresses, ancient villages, and old castles to explore. Head up to the tower at Rocca Di Tententanno for incredible views over the Tuscan landscape.

. 31. The Lake District, England

most visited european tourist attractions

The area close to the Scottish border has some of the UK’s most jaw-dropping scenery. And while The Lake District does have many great lakes, it isn’t just about the abundant waters.  The area was shaped during the last Ice Age, creating dramatic, steep, U-shaped valleys. A visit to any of the major lakes like Windermere or Grassmere to see the rolling, green landscapes that inspired poets like William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge.  But for serious hiking and the most iconic views, you have to hike Scafell Pike or Helvellyn. 

Scafell Pike is the highest mountain in England, and although mountain peaks here are small compared with many of Europe’s mountain ranges, it’s still a challenging route involving scree slopes, so you’ll need to be pretty experienced. Helvellyn is easier by comparison, but you’ll still get some over six hours of hiking and a knockout view. The Lake District is England’ largest National Park and home to an abundance of wildlife including the endangered red squirrel, Arctic char fish, red deer, peregrine falcon’s and the other nest pairs of golden eagles and ospreys in the UK. The Lake District ranks 31 in our best places in Europe to visit guide.

. 32.  Bratislava, Slovakia

Bratislava, Slovakia

The compact capital of Slovakia sits on the banks of the Danube and is surrounded by forests, hills, and lakes. So you can fit in plenty of city culture and nature walking in a  short space of time. The city has a bit of a rowdy reputation as a stag do destination, so mid-week trips are probably a safer bet. But Bratislava is also full of interesting and contrasting architecture including Baroque, Art Nouveau, and Socialist Realist (the official architecture from the Stalinist regime). 

A short bus trip out of Bratislava takes you to Devin where you can visit castle ruins and visit the memorial to the Iron Curtain and find concrete bunkers behind some bushes. Venturing out of the city, you can also visit one of the small vineyards nestled in The Little Carpathian Hills and grab food at one of the local bistros. .

33. London, England

most visited european tourist attractions

For such a sprawling, urban mega-city, London is incredibly green and wild in parts. In 2019 it became a National Park City, an initiative to make cities greener, healthier and wilder. It’s also a truly international city from the people, the culture, and the food. London is where old meets new from iconic buildings from historic sites to world-famous venues like Ronnie Scotts and The 100 Club.

The doors of museums, galleries and venues may be shut for a while, but London’s green spaces bring much-needed escapism and exploration for locals and visitors alike. The city is filled with huge parks and green areas like  Hampstead Heath, the colourful blooms of Isabella Plantation, long river walks, Walthamstow Wetlands. It’s full of urban wildlife  – you can see flamingos strutting around in Kensington Gardens,  green parakeets flying in Hyde Park and if you look up on to the rooftops of the Tate Modern, you might just spot a peregrine falcon or two circling above.

35. Tatra National Park, Poland

most visited european tourist attractions

Nestled in the Tatra Mountains in Poland about 70 miles south of Krakow, Tatra National Park is a haven for hikers and nature lovers. Named one of CNN’s most beautiful national parks in the world, there is a lot to explore, including over 600 caves, large lakes, challenging hiking trails, rugged mountain peaks, waterfalls and wildlife.

Tatra National Park is home to endemic and endangered species, and you might bespot brown bears, grey wolves, Eurasian lynx, and European otters. It’s also a much cheaper alternative to popular Alpine destinations where you’ll experience breathtaking mountain views and stay in cosy lodges without the high price tag.

36. Tresco, Isles of Scilly, England

Tresco, Isles of Scilly, England

The turquoise waters, sandy beaches and palm trees of the Isles of Scilly look more like somewhere deep in the Mediterranean or even the Caribbean than England. But the archipelago off the Cornish coast has a micro-climate, and Tresco, its second-largest island is home to subtropical sandy beaches and lush gardens, as well as rugged coastal walks, ancient monuments and castles.

Tresco’s Abbey Gardens is a stunning, subtropical gem, which is home to more than 20,000 exotic plants from all over the world including Brazil and New Zealand and filled with colourful flowers. The north of Tresco is more rugged if you want to go exploring, and the centre of the island is home to bird hides and freshwater pools. But beyond the sunny skies and sandy beaches, Tresco has a dark maritime past, and if you’re interested in stories and artefacts from the sea, visit the Valhalla Museum (inside the Abbey Gardens) to see figureheads salvaged from shipwrecks. Tresco ranks 36 in our best places in Europe to visit guide.

37. Black Sea Coast, Bulgaria

Black Sea Coast Bulgaria

Also known as the Bulgarian Riviera, the Black Sea Coast is over 200 miles of coastline that is home to beautiful ancient cities, secluded beaches, old fortresses and mysterious archaeological sites. Perfect for a road trip filled with adventure and exploration with plenty of budget campsites and small villas to stay in. One of the main coastal cities is Varna, which dates back to 4600 BC and is worth visiting for the Roman Baths, a cave monastery, bizarre rock formations and if you venture a bit further, you can visit  Pobitli Kamani also known as the Stone Forest.

It’s also Bulgaria’s only desert, and one of the ones in the whole of Europe, and it’s filled with around 300 limestone pillars that are over 50 million years old. Varna is also a good base for visiting Ovech Fortress Elsewhere along the Black Sea Coast, you can also visit the ancient city of Nessebar which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that has been fortified since Roman times filled with ancient churches, monasteries, and incredible views.

38. Ille-Sur-Têt,  France

Ille-Sur-Tet

The beauty of the South of France is no secret. But it is also home to the lesser-known natural wonder Orgues of Ille-sur-Têt. Meaning organs, the Orgues are incredible rock formations that have the appearance of fairy chimneys at the highest peak of the Pyrenees Orientale. You can’t walk on the fragile rocks but travel south to wander through Gorge de la Fou and follow the trail that leads to the slopes of Mount Canigou. The whole region is dotted with picturesque villages and filled with deep valleys

39. Provence, France

most visited european tourist attractions

France is the most visited country in the world, and yes there are a lot of beautiful regions to choose from. But the large southern region of Provence is incredibly varied, with great weather. It’s perfect for a road trip around some of the country’s most beautiful villages, heritage sites, stunning countryside, gorgeous coasts, and natural wonders.  Provence is an incredibly colourful area too, in the summer fields bloom with lavender and sunflowers, and you could easily plan a trip around the Provençal food and wine feasting on plates bouillabaisse (a fish and seafood stew from Marseille), ratatouille, and local produce at the daily market at Aix En Provence. 

Villages like the Venasque overlooking the Nesque river canyons are considered and the medieval hilltop Gordes are considered to be some of the most beautiful in France.  Provence is home to  rugged natural wonders too, like Calanques which is a dramatic series of inlets along the coast. And if you want to venture a bit off the beaten track, there are some amazing lakes and rivers under waterfalls for wild swimming in places like Pont Du Gard and Sillans La Cascade.

40. Comino, Malta

comino island malta europe

Comino is the smallest inhabited island in the Maltese archipelago with only three permanent residents. Most people come to Comino for the crystal clear waters of the Blue Lagoon, and it gets pretty crowded in the summer months. But plan a weekday visit off-season and you can visit to swim or in the azure waters, or hike up to Saint Mary’s Tower and marvel at the island’s rock formations. 

People often go to Comino for a day trip as it’s only a 30-minute boat ride from the mainland.  And you can hike the whole island in a day, but there’s also a campsite where you pitch your tent for free if you want to stay longer. Comino is also a bird sanctuary and nature reserve, where you’ll see reptiles like the Moorish Gecko and Maltese Wall Lizard as well as lots of birdlife. Comino ranks 40 in our best places in Europe to visit guide.

41. Lisbon, Portugal

lisbon best places in Europe

The city of seven hills on the banks of the River Tagus is one of the most beautiful and historic cities in Europe. From the bustle and cheap bars of Barrio Alto to incredible views from Miradouros and with beaches close by – it’s no wonder it’s become more popular with visitors and remote workers in recent years.

Lisbon is also one of the greenest European capital cities, where you can wander through the 19th-century botanical garden Jardim do Torel, and check out the sculptures at Gulbenkian Gardens, or go hiking in the Parque Florestal de Monsanto. Escape the crowds by taking a wander up to Miradouro de Santa Catarina, one of Lisbon’s less well-known viewpoints.

42. Ljubljana, Slovenia

Ljubljana Slovenia

Ljubljana is a rare European city. The capital of Slovenia is a historic city that hasn’t succumbed to over-tourism. And its central location makes it a great base for seeing other interesting parts of the country. The city is filled with interesting architecture from Roman remnants to Baroque and Renaissance buildings. It’s also got an alternative arts scene, so you can follow street art trails and visit Metelkova an old barracks which is now artists studios displaying off the wall sculptures (literally), and huge mosaics and it’s also home to bars and music venues too.

A short trip outside of Ljubljana’s ancient city wall and you can be hiking in the Kamnip Alps, with postcard-perfect mountain views and forest trails. The nearby countryside is also great for cyclists, where you take full or half-day tours of the marshes and Lake Podpeč. You’ll be able to cycle around lakes and visit picturesque villages, national parks, waterfalls, and gorges.

43. Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

The area suffered hugely during the Balkans war in the 1990s, but has recovered and become one of the country’s most visited places. Mostar’s most famous landmark is Stari Most, a 16th Century Ottoman-built bridge that crosses the Neretva river. During the summer months, you might catch professional drivers leaping off it into the river below. The atrocities suffered by Mostar during the conflict are still relatively recent in the city’s history, and the ‘Don’t Forget Stone’ serves as an important reminder for visitors.  

But some of the most remarkable sites lie beyond the city. A few miles outside of Mostar is Blagag Tekija, a holy site that has been home to an ancient brotherhood of Dervishes for more than 600 years. It’s tucked under a cliff at the source of River Buna, which is possibly why it escaped damage from conflict. Just south of Mostart and you’ll come to the incredible Kravice Waterfalls, which aren’t (yet) well known among tourists. So you’ll be able to explore its natural beauty at your own pace and breathe in the forest air and take a refreshing dip right under the falls. Mostar ranks 43 in our best places in Europe to visit guide.

44. Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona-50-best-places-in-europe-to-visit.

The capital of Catalonia doesn’t really need an introduction as a top European destination. A city that doesn’t really sleep, where there is interesting architecture on every corner, lush green spaces, and some of the best galleries, restaurants and music festivals in the world. It’s easy to get around too.  Once you’ve dodged the crowds at the Ramblas, you can explore the medieval alleyways of the Gothic Quarter, and make your way around the city’s landmarks like La Sagrada Familia, grabbed food at the Boqueria Market and looked down over the city from Parc Guell.

But for truly stunning views, venture beyond the city on a short train ride to Monserrat. It’s a Benedictine Monastery, nestled within a rugged mountain range. It’s also a great place for a mountain hike with amazing views across Catalonia. Barcelona is also close to the coastal town of Sitges and the Roman ruins at Tarragona.

45. Stockholm Archipelago, Sweden

45. Stockholm Archipelago, Sweden

A visit to the Swedish capital means you can combine a European city break with island hopping too. For locals, it’s the best of the urban and rural coastal living. The Stockholm Archipelago is made up of 30,000 islands, and the closest one is only 20 minutes away from the city centre. Swedes and foreign tourists alike visit the island for kayaking, hiking, camping, and just generally appreciating nature.

Visiting off-season in the Autumn to take advantage of fewer people, and take long forest walks, and you might spot deer, foxes, rabbits and badgers on your wandering. Accommodation is also cheaper then too, which is a bonus. For a winter getaway, visit Värmdö, the largest island where you can go cross-country skiing.

46. Zermatt, Switzerland

Matterhorn 50-best-places-in-europe

Sitting on the Swiss-Italian border, the 14,692 ft mountain the Matterhorn is one of the highest peaks in the Alps. You can find out about the mountaineering history of the famous mountain at Matterhorn Museum, in Zermatt, the famous ski resort town at its base. Although many ill-fated attempts were made by climbers in the 19th century, these stunning Alpine views are much more easily accessible. 

For the best views, you can either take the Gornergratbahn cogwheel railway or zip up on the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise to Klein Matterhorn – Europe’s highest cable car station. Both options also offer great stops for exploring winding, glacial hiking trails like the Matterhorn Glacier Trail (the halfway station stop if you’re taking the cable car). Matterhorn ranks 46 in our best places in Europe to visit guide.

47. Gauja National Park, Latvia

Gauja National Park Latvia

A short drive from the capital Riga takes you to Gauja National Park, which is around 230 acres of green forest and the largest national park in Latvia. It’s a highly biodiverse park, filled with forest trails and a haven for hikers and nature lovers. The lush green park is also filled with rock formations, cliffs and caves as well as an abundance of wildlife. 

There are many species of mammals in Gauja National Park although some are easier to spot, but with a bit of planning, you might see stags, elk, wolves, lynx, otters and bats. The national park is also a good base for other activities like kayaking on the river Gauja, exploring some of the surrounding medieval castles, and even bobsleighing.

48. Verdon Gorge, France

most visited european tourist attractions

We’ve already highlighted the whole region of Provence, but if you’re short on time and want to pick one natural wonder in the region, head to Verdon Gorge. Also known as The Grand Canyon of Europe, it’s a river canyon in central Province with some of the area’s most jaw-droppingly dramatic scenery, and the deepest gorge in France.

Visitors come for rugged and untamed landscapes, hiking trails, deep limestone valleys and to see birds of prey like eagles and vultures circling above. The vibrant turquoise waters of the bottom is also a great place to come for river canoeing, kayaking and rafting. You can also hire small boats to gently drift through the gorge. For wild swimming, head to the St Croix and Castillion lakes. Verdon Gorge ranks 48 in our best places in Europe to visit guide.

49. Corsica, France

corsica 50-best-places-in-europe-to-visit.

The fourth-largest island in the Mediterranean has some of the most varied landscapes in the whole of Europe. It was ruled by the Republic of Genoa between the 13th and 18th centuries, but has been part of France since 1796 although Italian culture is still present on the island alongside the French. Corsica is also the home of the challenging GR20 trail, with the reputation for being the hardest long-distance trek in Europe. Considering that 75% of people fail to complete the mountainous course that spans the length of Corsica, it’s one for serious hikers only. 

But if you don’t fancy a two-week-long trek, there is plenty more history and nature to explore on the island. You can visit bronze age ruins to see over 200 megaliths at Palaggiu, and if scuba diving is your thing then visit Scandola Nature Reserve, and take in the dramatic views from the fortress in Cotre.

50. Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen-50-best-places-in-europe-to-visit

The stylish, and apparently incredibly happy Danish capital offers a European City break with a mix of urban life and natural beauty. Whether you’re visiting for architecture, canal wandering, or visiting galleries  – the best way to get around is to act like a Dane and get on a bike. On hot days, you can cool off at one of the free outdoor baths like The Kastrup Sea Bath, or  the ‘Copencanbana’ aka Fisketorvet baths.

The city itself is full of green spaces like The King’s Garen and Ørstedsparken, but Amager Beach is a short bike ride away. You can also rent kayaks and paddleboards there. Copenhagen is also a short train ride away from Kronborg castle, which was the inspiration for Elsinore in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. And for wilder landscapes, visit Anholt, an island in the middle of the Kattegat sea which is covered in wildflowers which is also Northern Europe’s largest desert. Copenhagen ranks 50 in our best places in Europe to visit guide.

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The Ultimate Europe Bucket List: 75 Fun Things to Do in Europe

Curious about the best things to do in Europe–and wondering what exactly to put on your personal Europe bucket list? We have you covered!

We’ve been traveling Europe for years, and every day, week, and month spent traversing the continent seems to result in us crossing several experiences and destinations of our personal European bucket list… only to add twice as many spots to our wish-list for the future along the way.

While we have plenty of guides to planning a practical trip to Europe here on Our Escape Clause (more on that below), this giant list of what to do in Europe is decidedly not  that.

If you’re looking to do a little dreaming, on the other hand, this bucket list for Europe–based on a combination of our lived experiences and future travel dreams–is for you.

This list is admittedly incomplete, and always will be: it’s a living document, one that we’ll continue to update as we explore. However, this list of bucket list European tourist attractions and travel destinations is still enough to keep most travelers busy for years.

Here are the best things to do in Europe!

Table of Contents

Once You Narrow Your Europe Bucket List Down…

Unmissable tourist attractions in europe, european bucket list experiences, more fun things to do in europe.

view of florence from above with duomo dominating the skyline, one of the fun things to do in europe

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Obviously, no one European vacation could possibly cover all of the tourist attractions, bucket list experiences, and incredible destinations listed here (believe me, if there was a way, we’d be all over it).

Once you’ve narrowed your wish list down ever-so-slightly, we recommend hopping over to our Europe itinerary guide to start finalizing your destinations and putting your trip together!

We also recommend reading this list of essential Europe travel tips before you go, as well as our in-depth guide to traveling Europe by train .

To get your packing list in order, check out our complete guides to packing for Europe in the summer , fall , and winter , as well as our suggestions for what to bring on a long haul flight (knowledge gained through many uncomfortable experiences in the air).

To read more detailed travel tips, guides, and itineraries for the specific countries you’re planning to visit, head to our destinations page .

Kate Storm in a red dress sitting on a bridge overlooking the Ponte Vecchio in Florence. Florence is a fabulous place to spend 7 days in Italy!

Every one of the Europe bucket list attractions in this section is incredibly famous… but definitely not worth skipping.

Admire the Eiffel Tower from the Trocadero Gardens.

Without a doubt, this is one of the most iconic views on the continent, and enjoying it is one of the best things to do in Europe!

eiffel tower as seen from trocadero gardens, a europe bucket list destination

Admire the magnificence of the Sistine Chapel.

As the crown jewel of (and final stop on) a visit to the Vatican Museums, Michelangelo’s stunning Sistine Chapel is far more incredible in person than any photograph could convey.

Just be prepared to share the view with hundreds of others, and to avoid the temptation to photograph it during your trip to Vatican City .

Tour the Acropolis in Athens.

The center of cultural life in ancient Athens is still an incredible sight to behold today, and visiting is part of any Athens itinerary !

Athens Parthenon--this structure tops all kinds of bucket lists, and is a worthy addition to any 2 week Europe trip!

Visit Stonehenge in England.

Mysterious, beautiful Stonehenge is the most intricately built prehistoric stone circle on Earth–and its mysteries have been captivating visitors for thousands of years.

As far as experiences in England go, it may be touristy–but that doesn’t mean you should skip it.

Marvel at the Colosseum in Rome.

I’ll never forget the first time that I saw the Colosseum in person: the sheer size of it is incredible, and stepping inside is even more magnificent.

If you book a tour, you can even tour the Colosseum’s underground area beneath the arena.

Couple in front of Colosseum: Visiting Rome in Winter

Take a selfie with the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Yep, it’s incredibly cheesy… but if you make it out to this town about 30 minutes west of Florence, don’t pass up the chance to have fun being silly!

Admire views of Oia in Santorini.

The picturesque white-and-blue village of Oia more than lives up to the Santorini of so many fantasies.

Girl standing in front of 3 blue domes on Santorini, Honeymoon in Santorini

Check out Big Ben.

London’s iconic clocktower is not to be missed during a trip to the city–and neither is the chance to stay in a memorable London hotel !

Explore the Louvre.

The most-visited museum in the world more than lives up to the hype: packed with art and artifacts spanning thousands of years, no trip to the Louvre could possibly cover it all (and that’s part of the fun).

Paris Honeymoon Guide: The Louvre Pyramid at Night

Marvel at the incomplete La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.

We all know intellectually that the great cathedrals of European history took decades or centuries to build–but at the incomplete La Sagrada Familia, you can see a modern version of the process in action!

And, if you climb one of the cathedral’s towers, you can even enjoy the view from one of the most striking Barcelona viewpoints at the top!

Visit the ruins of Pompeii.

… and don’t forget to visit the city of Herculaneum, too, which was buried in the same eruption of Mount Vesuvius that Pompeii was.

Photo of a square in Pompeii Italy with ruins of columns and several statues in it

Stand in awe of Skogafoss waterfall in Iceland.

There is no shortage of truly epic landscapes to add to your Iceland bucket list , but perhaps none is as popular or iconic as the incredible Skogafoss.

You can find Skogafoss just off of Iceland’s iconic Ring Road –no hike required.

Be sure to bring a raincoat with you, as that mist is even more powerful than it looks!

woman in an orange raincoat standing in front of skogafoss waterfall in iceland, one of the best tourist attractions in europe

Admire views of Florence from above.

Whether you climb Brunelleschi’s dome at the Duomo or admire the stunning cathedral from afar at the Palazzo Vecchio, Piazzale Michelangelo, or one of the other best viewpoints in Florence , admiring the Cradle of the Renaissance from above is one of the best things to do in Europe.

Stroll across the Charles Bridge in Prague.

Built starting in 1357, the ornate Charles Bridge is the oldest bridge in Prague, and for centuries was the only bridge in the city to cross the Vltava River.

The bridge links, among many other things, Prague’s central Old Town with its massive castle complex, both among the best things to see in the city.

Best Viewpoints to Visit in Prague: Old Town Bridge Tower

Hike the Path of the Gods along the Amalfi Coast.

Between the villages of Bomerano and Nocelle along the Amalfi Coast runs one of the most beautiful hiking trails in Europe.

The main portion is only about 4 miles, but you’ll be in for quite the workout if you decide to finish by descending from Nocelle to Positano by foot. The views, however, are worth the effort.

Meander through Amsterdam’s historic center.

Riding a bike in Amsterdam can be a bit intimidating, true–but whether you choose to walk or ride, getting lost among the city’s canals is definitely one of the best things to do in Europe!

We highly recommend stopping into a cheese shop or six along the way.

Canal in Amsterdam with a bridge visible to the right of the photo

Experience the thermal baths in Budapest.

There are dozens of incredible things to do in Budapest , but few are as unique to the city as the enormous number of thermal baths located right in the city center!

The Szechenyi Thermal Baths in City Park and Gellert Thermal Baths in Hotel Gellert are among the most popular with visitors, and both are worth a visit.

view of Szechenyi Thermal Baths from under an arch in budapest hungary

Enjoy a gondola ride in Venice.

Touristy? Absolutely. Expensive? Without a doubt.

There’s no doubt, though, that’s there something magical–not to mention downright iconic, about a gondola ride in Venice !

Front of a gondola shot close up with the Grand Canal in the background--a gondola ride is an excellent addition to your Florence to Venice day trip!

Walk along the Cliffs of Moher.

These beautiful cliffs on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way are unforgettable. 

While you can hike all the way from Doolin to the cliffs, most travelers start at the Cliffs of Moher Visitor’s Center.

From there, consider walking to Hag’s Head (which should take a bit over an hour each way) to ditch the crowds and enjoy more peaceful views of the Cliffs of Moher .

Kate Storm and Jeremy Storm standing in front of the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland shortly before sunset

Order coffee or a meal in the local language.

Sure, you’ll probably mispronounce something the first time, and in popular European tourist destinations you won’t necessarily “need” to speak anything other than English to get by… but there is something incredibly gratifying about learning to speak even a tiny bit of the local language on your trip, and restaurants and cafes are the perfect places to start!

Cup of coffee sitting on a black table outdoors during a typical French breakfast in France, with a red chair in the background

Go dog sledding in Lapland.

For a winter paradise in Europe, you can’t beat dog sledding in Lapland.

Jump into the Blue Lagoon in Malta.

The tiny country of Malta has no shortage of rocky swimming locations, but none are quite as spectacular as the Blue Lagoon of Comino, one of the most popular day trips from the main island and one of the best things to do in Malta .

aerial view of blue lagoon malta

Walk the walls of Dubrovnik.

It’s hard to decide which view from the defensive city walls surrounding Dubrovnik’s Old Town is more incredible: the view looking into the city or the view looking out at the sparkling Adriatic Sea.

Either way, there’s no doubt that this walk is one of the absolute best things to do in Europe, and worth prioritizing when deciding what to do in Dubrovnik .

Fun Things to Do in Dubrovnik Croatia: view of Old Town from Minceta Fortress

Walk the Camino del Santiago.

True, this Europe bucket list item is at least a week-long commitment (several weeks if you want to do the whole thing rather than just the last 100km), but there’s a reason this ancient pilgrimage attracts more than 200,000 travelers each year.

Drive Germany’s Romantic Road.

From views of the (rightfully) popular Neuschwanstein Castle to the beauty of villages like Rothenburg ob de Tauber and cities like Augsburg, driving Germany’s Romantic Road is one of the best ways to explore the country.

Munich to Neuschwanstein Castle Day Trip: View from Trail

Snorkel between two tectonic plates.

In Iceland’s stunning Silfra Fissure, you can snorkel between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates–the only place on the planet where you can do so!

Get all of our Silfra snorkeling tips here .

most visited european tourist attractions

Go wine tasting in Tuscany.

There are European bucket list-worthy level wine regions across the continent, of course, but none has captured the imagination of travelers from across the pond like Tuscany.

Admiring the golden light of the Tuscan countryside from a stone villa while drinking a glass of local wine definitely lives up to the hype!

glass of red wine being held up in front of grape vines during a wine tasting in tuscany, a european bucket list travel experience

Soak in the beauty of the colorful harbor of Nyhavn in Copenhagen.

The picturesque, historic harbor Nyhavn may be touristy–but like many tourist attractions in Europe, there’s a good reason for that!

Be sure to add this beautiful spot to your Copenhagen itinerary .

Nyhavn Harbor on a sunny day in Copenhagen Denmark, one of the best cities to visit in Europe

Enjoy afternoon tea in London.

British afternoon tea is a delightful ritual, and nowhere does it quite like London!

Whether you’d like to stick to something traditional in a restaurant or hotel or go all-out with a themed afternoon tea in London (Alice in Wonderland and Harry Potter are both options, as is a tea served on one of London’s iconic double-decker buses), enjoying a full afternoon tea definitely belongs on your list of what to do in London.

Admire the sweeping lavender fields of Provence.

No matter how much lavender you’ve seen in your life, it’s impossible not to be enchanted by the sheer scale of the lavender fields of Provence.

Come summer, you can truly find places in southern France that are coated with fields of purple as far as the eye can see.

field of lavender in provence at sunset, one of the best europe travel bucket list destinations

Ride a historic tram through Lisbon.

Lisbon, Portugal has many reasons that it is compared to San Francisco, but at the top of the list is definitely its hills… and the charming trams that were built to help citizens contend with them!

4 Days in Lisbon: Street Car Alfama District

Gamble in Monaco.

It doesn’t have to be a lot of money, of course, but there’s something exciting about stepping into the legendary casinos of Monaco!

Experience European Christmas markets.

Mulled wine, handcrafted gifts, Christmas carols, tasty food, and if you’re lucky (and choose the right city), maybe even a little bit of snow: the best Christmas markets in Europe are truly magical.

Kate and Jeremy in a Vienna Christmas market taking a selfie. Kate is holding up and red and white Santa mug.

Enjoy a drink in an Irish pub.

The cities have some lovely options, but for us, nothing beats a night spent with an Irish beer, some pub food, and live music in a tiny village that is tucked away in a quiet corner of the Emerald Isle.

Marvel at the tulips in the Netherlands.

Intricately organized rows of brightly colored tulips that seem neverending, maybe even interrupted by a picturesque windmill in the background: views like these are worth traveling to the Netherlands for!

The popular Keukenhof Gardens are one of the most common places for travelers to start their tulip-spotting, but there is no shortage of places to admire the flowers each April .

kate storm kneeling amongst tulips in the netherlands in april

Toss a coin into Rome’s Trevi Fountain.

As legend has it, throwing a coin into the fountain will ensure your return to Rome.

Buy a picnic at an outdoor market, and enjoy it outside!

Cured meats in Italy, cheese in France, olives in Spain (or let’s be real, all three, everywhere), and beyond–outdoor markets are a fantastic part of many European cultures, and shopping for your own picnic adds a fun project that makes exploring them more meaningful and fun.

Jeremy Storm purchasing raspberries at the Pazar Market during a trip to Split Croatia

See an opera.

Vienna is the classic travel destination for checking an opera off your bucket list for Europe, but most major European cities boast a stunning opera house that’s worth seeing a show in–even if you’re not the biggest fan of opera.

Visit the fairytale village of Lauterbrunnen in Switzerland.

Overlooked by the towering Staubbach Waterfall, Lauterbrunnen looks like one of those towns that are simply too magical to be real (though, to be entirely fair, quite a bit of Switzerland looks like that!).

village of lauterbrannen switzerland with waterfall visible on the right

Go island hopping in Greece.

Whitewashed villages, stunning sunsets, the sparkling sea, and positively scrumptious food are just a few excellent reasons to enjoy Greece’s island life!

Despite their many similarities, Greek islands vary dramatically in culture and things to do–a trip to Santorini or Mykonos is not remotely the same as one to Crete or Zakynthos.

Hike to San Giovanni Fortress in Kotor, Montenegro.

The climb to San Giovanni Fortress rewards hikers with sweeping views of both the town and Bay of Kotor, and it’s both one of the best things to do in Kotor and a fantastic way to spend a morning in Montenegro.

Kate Storm in a pink shirt climbing San Giovanni Fortress: Best Things to Do in Kotor Montenegro

Step inside a beautiful church.

Whether it’s one of the most famous churches in London , Paris, or Rome, or a quiet community church in a small town, the art, architecture, and history you can experience throughout the churches of Europe is not to be missed.

Take a European road trip.

Deciding which of the best road trips in Europe is right for you is a near-impossible challenge… but no matter which destination (or destinations!) you choose, it’s sure to be unforgettable.

Some of our favorite bucket list European road trips so far have been in Tuscany , Provence , Sicily , Ireland , Southern Spain , and Croatia –but there are many more to come in the future.

A Norway road trip in the summer, a Transylvania road trip, and a Scottish Highlands road trip are all at the top of our wish list!

Photo of an empty road on the left, with the Verdon Gorge to the right. The turquoise river of the gorge is visible in the center of the photo. Definitely worth stopping here on a France road trip!

Attend Oktoberfest in Munich.

There’s nothing like the gigantic–and let’s be real, overwhelming–Munich Oktoberfest!

With 16 enormous (and distinct) tents to experience and a whole new lingo and culture to learn, it’s worth donning lederhosen or a dirndl to experience this over-the-top festival.

Eat street food.

A crepe in Paris, a waffle in Belgium, a kebab just about anywhere: the food itself doesn’t matter nearly as much as the experience of ordering and enjoying it!

Kate Storm in a blue coat holding a crepe while sightseeing in Paris--any weekend trip to Paris definitely requires eating at least a couple of crepes!

See the northern lights.

Whether it’s in Iceland , Sweden, Norway, Finland, or even Scotland, the northern lights are a magnificent spectacle that belongs on your European bucket list.

Enjoy the beaches of Sardinia.

This isolated island off the coast of Italy is one of the most distinct regions in the country–and, despite the fact that it is rarely visited by tourists from outside of Europe, it’s home to some of the most stunning beaches on the continent!

White sailboat in the clear blue sea surrounding Sardinia as seen from above--Sardinia is one of the most romantic places in Italy

Take public transportation.

Not only is it often the easiest way to get around, but it’s also a fantastic way to learn about the place you’re visiting!

… and an overnight train.

Sure, it may not be the most comfortable sleep you’ve ever had, but there’s something exhilarating about overnight travel via train.

If you’ve never tried it, consider crossing it off your European bucket list on your next trip (plus, it’s better for the environment than flying, anyway).

Kate Storm and Jeremy Storm selfie on a sleeper train through Europe

Take a canal cruise in Bruges.

The city of Bruges, Belgium looks exactly like what a non-European tourist expects Europe to look like before arriving–in other words, like an ancient city worthy of being the setting of a fairytale.

With a description like that, it’s no surprise that Bruges is one of the most romantic cities in Europe .

And, there’s no better place to appreciate the city’s beauty than from the water!

Ghent or Bruges: Bruges Canal Tour

Explore the villas of Lake Como.

From Bellagio to Lecco and beyond, the towns and cities dotting the edges of Lake Como are known for their stunning views and opulent villas.

Road trip the Scottish Highlands.

Whether you’re inspired by Outlander, Harry Potter, the temptation of a good glass of scotch whisky, or simply the sweeping landscapes of northern Scotland, road tripping the NC 500 will take you to some of the most beautiful–and in the case of the sparkling turquoise beaches, unexpected–corners of Europe.

landscape of scottish highlands near glencoe, roadtripping here is one of the best things to do in europe

Take a food tour.

We’re big believers in food tours: not only will you be able to participate in what is usually a fascinating walking tour of the city in between meals, but you’ll also have a chance to try several different local dishes… without having to commit to ordering a whole portion.

Over the years, in European cities as diverse as Rome , Istanbul, Palermo, and Athens , we’ve discovered new favorite dishes and city streets on food tours!

… and a cooking class.

Looking for something even more hands-on than a food tour? Try a cooking class!

Italy and France are popular choices for these, of course, but you’ll find them all across the continent.

Kate Storm and Jeremy Storm holding up a pizza at a cooking class in Tuscany

Row to Bled Island.

Tiny, beautiful Bled Island, perched in the center of Lake Bled, is one of the best places to visit in Slovenia .

The best way to check visiting this island off your list of fun things to do in Europe? Row your way across the lake!

Bled Island in the center of Lake Bled in Slovenia, a must-see during a Slovenia road trip itinerary

Explore Mont Saint-Michel.

Set on an island off the coast of Normandy, Mont Saint-Michel was once famous for only being able to be reached at low tide.

That changed with the completion of a bridge to the island in 2014, however, the charm of the compact island featuring a monastery dating back to the 8th century is still absolutely present.

Visit the tiny country of San Marino.

Landlocked by Italy, San Marino styles itself as the oldest independent republic in the world–and it also happens to be incredibly beautiful.

View of castle of San Marino perched on a hill

Set sail to Svalbard.

The isolated Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard is known for its glaciers, its arctic landscape, its incredible beauty, and–above all–its polar bears.

It’s far from the easiest (or cheapest) European bucket list destination to check off your list, but it’s also absolutely unforgettable.

polar bear sitting on a frozen piece of glacier in svalbard norway, one of the best bucket list europe travel destinations

Experience a sauna in Finland.

The Finnish take their cultural tradition of sauna extremely seriously, and taking part in the sauna experience is one of the many fun things to do in Europe (just make sure to check your modesty at the door).

Tour the catacombs of Paris.

Six million skeletons may not be the first thing you think about when planning what to do in the City of Light, but you’ll never forget visiting the catacombs in Paris !

Stacked bones as seen when visiting the Paris catacombs with a skull in the foreground on the left side of the photo

Soak in the beauty of Hallstatt.

The small town of Hallstatt, Austria is often considered one of the most beautiful small towns in Europe–and looking at it, there’s no mystery as to why!

view of hallstatt austria from across the lake, one of the best places to visit in europe

Go for a hike in Croatia’s Plitvice Lakes National Park.

Plitvice Lakes National Park happens to be one of my favorite national parks on the planet, and in my opinion, it belongs on any list detailing what to do in Europe.

Made up of 16 interconnected lakes that are knitted together by a series of stunning waterfalls, it’s hard not to fall in love with these beautiful turquoise lakes.

Plitvice Lakes National Park Croatia postcard view from above with lakes in the center surrounded by trees, a must-see on your 10 day trip to Croatia!

Take a sunrise stroll through your favorite city.

Whether it’s Paris or Rome, Budapest or Istanbul, there’s some magical about a European city at dawn–consider walking to some of the city’s best tourist attractions to see them both bathed in beautiful early morning light and without crowds!

Explore the castles of Transylvania.

The gorgeous Romanian region of Transylvania lends itself to legend–helped, along, of course, by its association with Dracula.

While the Dracula story is based on Vlad the Impaler, the majority of the legend is of course firmly in the realm of fiction.

However, that doesn’t take away from the magic of visiting Bran Castle, as well as other stunning Transylvanian castles like Peles Castle and Corvin Castle.

peles castle romania in winter after a snowfall, one of the best bucket list europe travel destinations

Take a tour of one of the world’s best museums.

Even if art history isn’t exactly your subject of choice, taking an organized tour of one of Europe’s great museums absolutely belongs on your Europe bucket list!

Visiting museums like the Uffizi, the Louvre, the Vatican Museums, and the Prado independently can be lots of fun, but there’s something incredibly special about having the history and context of various works brought to life with a live guide.

You don’t necessarily need to book a tour for every museum you visit–but once in a while, it’s definitely worth the splurge.

Winged Victory Statue in the Louvre--when calculating your trip to Paris cost, definitely try to budget to see the Louvre!

Take a day trip to Asia.

A quick ferry ride across the Bosphorus Strait in Istanbul is all you need in order to take a day trip to Asia from Europe!

Eat pizza in Naples.

There’s a reason that pizza in Naples is widely considered to be some of the best in the world!

Absolutely delicious, with a delightfully chewy crust and a focus on very fresh, but minimal, ingredients, tucking into a true Napoli-style pizza in Naples is an experience that can’t quite be recreated anywhere else.

Naples Pizza Tour: Margherita Pizza

Get off the beaten path with a visit to the Faroe Islands.

Stunningly beautiful, the isolated Faroe Islands are one of the least-visited corners of Europe… but their dramatic landscapes make it well worth the effort.

… and the Azores.

Sometimes referred to as the “Hawaii of the Atlantic”, this archipelago of Portuguese islands makes for an unforgettable adventure.

Hike on a volcano, visit some incredible lakes, tour historic forts, and get underground at stunning caves during your Azores adventure.

view of cliffside hiking trail in azores lined with hydrangeas. the azores are a europe bucket list destination

Tour a church decorated with bones.

From the mummies of Sicily to the Capuchin Crypt of Rome, and from the Sedlec Ossuary in the Czech Republic to the Capela dos Ossos in Portugal, there is a startling amount of artwork in Europe constructed with human remains–most of it in or underneath churches or monasteries.

Though quite unsettling on the face of it, these places are also incredibly interesting.

San Bernardino alle Ossa Ossuary, as seen when looking up. Definitely don't miss this during your one day in Milan!

Eat tapas (and churros) in Madrid.

Madrid is well-known for its late-night culture, where bars and clubs often stay open until dawn.

Want to enjoy Madrid’s nightlife in a different way? Enjoy several plates of tapas at various bars, and follow it up with a late-night serving of churros!

They’re amazing year-round, of course, but churros con chocolate are a particular highlight of visiting Madrid in winter !

Kate Storm's hands shown dipping a churro into chocolate with a stack of churros off to the side--even with only a few days in Madrid, eating lots of churros is a msut!

Explore the villages of Alsace.

Of all the storybook-worthy towns in Europe, it’s arguable that the villages of Alsace, France are among the most picturesque.

Tucked in a corner of northeastern France and home to a distinct culture that blends French and German influences, Alsace is known for its wine, its food, and its Christmas markets.

Kate Storm and Jeremy Storm Eguisheim

Spend the night in a castle.

From Ireland to France and beyond, there are plenty of opportunities to sleep in beautiful, historic locations–but none are quite as worthy of a Europe bucket list as the idea of sleeping in a castle!

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3 photos of europe: florence, hallstate, park guell in barcelona. black and pink text on a white background reads "the ultimate europe bucket list"

About Kate Storm

Image of the author, Kate Storm

In May 2016, I left my suburban life in the USA and became a full-time traveler. Since then, I have visited 50+ countries on 5 continents and lived in Portugal, developing a special love of traveling in Europe (especially Italy) along the way. Today, along with my husband Jeremy and dog Ranger, I’m working toward my eventual goal of splitting my life between Europe and the USA.

3 thoughts on “The Ultimate Europe Bucket List: 75 Fun Things to Do in Europe”

Thanks for this Kate, I had a blast! Very informative too. Nice to know you lived in Portugal. Godspeed.

amazing and sooo true! i’ve been to most of the places and agree 100%!! so when you recommend places and things that i haven’t done, i truly know you are an expert & have added them to my list! thanks so much! i was looking for something like this to plan our upcoming trip!!!

Thanks so much, Nicky! Happy travels! 🙂

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Europe's most-visited tourist attractions

Hand-painted ceramics, lanterns, intricately patterned carpets, copperware, gold Byzantine-style jewelry and other goods are on display within the Grand Bazaar's vaulted walkways in Istanbul.

Woody Allen, like so many Americans, finally succumbed to Europe’s charms, directing tributes to London, Barcelona, Paris and now, "To Rome with Love."

But maybe Allen should have looked elsewhere — Europe’s most-visited attraction won’t be found among those storied cities. It’s in Istanbul, where 15 million people swarm the Grand Bazaar annually.

“The bazaar is an adventure and an experience, not only with the products but with the people — shopkeepers interact with you, and that’s exciting,” says Ceylan Zere, director of Context Travel’s Istanbul office . “It’s a place where you can still see bits and pieces of historic Istanbul.”

Slideshow: See Europe's most-visited attractions

More travelers than ever are seeking out Turkey’s East-meets-West history, making it the seventh-ranked country for international arrivals, with 27 million in 2010 and more than 30 million in 2011, according to the World Tourism Organization. (Six of the 10 most-visited countries are European.) It helps that the dollar has strengthened against the Turkish lira — and against the euro — and that an increase in flights to Istanbul has brought down airfares and made it an easy stopover on the way to Africa or Asia.

The most-visited attractions are naturally concentrated in major European hubs, yet a few sights were compelling enough to lure travelers beyond those capital-city limits, notably Cologne Cathedral in Germany and the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes, tied with 6 million visitors each.

France and Italy claim the largest number of attractions among the top 25, and they reflect the spectrum of travelers’ interests. While Disneyland Park, not far from Paris, certainly wasn’t on a stop on the traditional Grand Tour, 13.6 million annual visitors now make a vacation out of it.

Blockbuster events are also an influence, and London has been working overtime to prepare for a surge in 2012 around the Olympics and Queen’s Jubilee. Tate Modern, already Europe’s most popular modern art museum, is unveiling its first phase of expansion, one of many cool new London attractions altering the skyline.

That’s part of the allure of these much-loved European destinations — that while their essential character may be comfortingly the same, there’s room for change and new discoveries, too. As Zere put it about the Grand Bazaar: “I always give my clients directions, but I also like them to get lost because that’s the fun part of it.”

Consider this list of Europe’s most-visited tourist attractions your starting point, and let the fun begin.

The methodology We defined tourist attractions as cultural, historical, and sacred sights, natural landmarks, and officially designated public spaces. We gathered the most recent data supplied by the attractions themselves or from government agencies, industry reports, and reputable media outlets. Venues that don’t sell tickets gave us estimates as best they could, and there was typically no distinction made between domestic and international tourists.

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World of Wanderlust

These are the Most Visited Countries in Europe

As one of the most sought after holiday destinations the world over, Europe has so much to offer travelers. From drinking a pint of beer at the infamous Oktoberfest in Munich, to biting into a flaky croissant in Saint Germain as the daily life of Paris passes you by, this is Europe in all of its glory! And if you’re planning a visit to the continent, these are the most visited countries in Europe to help you plan your own adventure.

Annecy_France

The most visited countries in Europe

Annual visitors: 89.4 million

It is perhaps no surprise that France is Europe’s most visited country. After all, there are so many reasons to explore and discover France! From the gastronomic delights of the French capital, Paris , to the wine region of Burgundy , there are too many regions in France to choose just one. But the good news is you don’t have to. Whether you prefer to take a road trip or use the train system, the best way to see France is to soak up as many of the regions as you can during your stay.

The best places to visit in France:

Paris, the City of Light

Annecy, the city of canals

Colmar, the fairytale town

The 20 best places to visit in France

Madrid Spain

Annual visitors: 82.7 million

If you love food and wine, then you can’t go wrong by visiting Spain. This country, the second most visited country in Europe, is a mecca for beautiful landscapes, sunsets, cities and towns. And if you ask us, there’s nowhere better to immerse yourself in the local cultures and customs than in Spain! From eating tapas to taking a mid-afternoon siesta, Spain is full of good times, especially if you are traveling with family or friends.

The best places to visit in Spain:

Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia

Rome Italy | WORLD OF WANDERLUST

Annual visitors: 62.1 million

Italy sees an incredible 62 million visitors per year and is unsurprisingly one of the most visited countries in Europe. There’s something so effortless about the Italian way of life, which is almost always centre around the stunning coastlines, beaches and coastal drives. Our favourite location (if we had to pick just one) would have to be the Amalfi Coast , which, despite its popularity, gives visitors one of the most authentic adventures in the entire country. But if you really want to know where the hidden gems are, then head further south to the boot of the country, where towns and cities retain their charm in spite of time and tourism.

The best places to visit in Italy:

These are the Best Small Towns in Italy to Explore

The Best Kept Secrets in Italy

A Quick Guide to Pisa, Italy

A Quick Guide to Siena, Italy

A Quick Guide to San Gimignano, Italy

The 12 Best Kept Secrets in Rome

most visited european tourist attractions

Annual visitors: 45.7 million

There are too many reasons to love Turkey, but we’ll do our best to name them all! Starting with the incredible street food Turkey is so well known for, you’ll never want for more flavour as you taste your way around the country. From baklava (a personal favourite) to tasty kebabs, Turkish food is packed with flavour and flair. Ordering a meze is a great way to try a few things in one swing, with pita bread and flavoursome dips to equal the perfect combination of flavours and texture. Then there are the beautiful beaches, which until recent years, have remained somewhat of a tightly held secret by their locals. Then there are the Turkish baths, archaeological sites, epic museums, markets and most importantly, the friendly locals who are more than happy to show off their heritage, culture and customs.

The best places to visit in Turkey:

Hot Air Ballooning in Cappadocia, Turkey

Rhine Germany

Annual visitors: 38.8 million

The next most popular country for visitors in Europe is Germany, with visitors favouring the likes of Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, Frankfurt and Cologne. But if you ask us, there are many more magical destinations within Germany to visit, including small towns like Bad Wimpfen, Quedlinburg, Rothenburg-ob-der-Tauber, among others.

The best places to visit in Germany:

10 Fairy Tale Castles to Visit in Germany

most visited european tourist attractions

6. United Kingdom

Annual visitors: 36.3 million

With fascinating and seemingly endless history on offer, the United Kingdom has a lot to offer visitors (especially if you’re a history buff!) There are of course even more reasons to visit the United Kingdom, including visiting Europe’s most visited city, London, which has its own allure. But if you think a visit to the United Kingdom centres around colder temperatures and shorter days, think again. A visit to the United Kingdom during the summer months can be characterised by epic coastlines, adventure activities and day hikes.

The best places to visit in the United Kingdom:

These are the 12 most unique stays in the United Kingdom

The cutest villages in Cornwall to visit

The 20 Best Things to do in London

most visited european tourist attractions

Annual visitors: 30.8 million

Austria is one of Europe’s top ten countries to visit, but that doesn’t mean it gets all of the credit it deserves. This Central European nation has some of Europe’s most beautiful cities, including Vienna (the capital) and Salzburg (home to the Sound of Music). But if you’ve made it all this way, be sure to visit Hallstatt, arguably Europe’s most charming lakeside town. Then there are of course plenty of ski fields to explore and discover, with significantly lower costs than neighbouring Italy or in France.

The best places to visit in Austria:

10 Places to Visit in Austria

How Salzburg Stole my Heart

10 Best Things to do in Vienna

Santorini Greece

Annual visitors: 30.1 million

Greece has long been a favourite holiday destination for travelers, with its many islands to experience and explore. The most popular destinations are Santorini and Mykonos, but locals will be the first to tell you there are many more islands to discover in Greece.

The best places to visit in Greece:

A Guide to Mykonos

A Guide to Skopelos

Pena_Palace_Portugal

9. Portugal

Annual visitors: 22.8 million

With endless natural landscapes and equally beautiful coastlines to discover, Portugal is a sensory overload for nature lovers. Plus with cultural cities like Lisbon and Porto to discover, you’ll never run out of restaurants, bars, bakeries and cafes to discover on foot.

The best places to visit in Portugal:

8 Places you Must Visit in Portugal

Road Tripping the South Coast of Portugal

Visiting the Algarve: Portugal’s Most Loved Holiday Destination

A few snapshots from Island life in Koh Samui 🥹🌴 just shared my blog posts from this trip in Thailand and now craving mango sticky rice pudding, the kindness and hospitality of Thai people and those buffet breakfast spreads (the kinda ones that keep you full til dinner). My stay at @fskohsamui was like something out of a story book. Especially that last photo - that night was one to remember 🫶🏼 #kohsamui #thailand #travel #travelblog #thailandtravel

Brooke Saward founded World of Wanderlust as a place to share inspiration from her travels and to inspire others to see our world. She now divides her time between adventures abroad and adventures in the kitchen, with a particular weakness for French pastries.

Find me on: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

A few snapshots from Island life in Koh Samui 🥹🌴 just shared my blog posts from this trip in Thailand and now craving mango sticky rice pudding, the kindness and hospitality of Thai people and those buffet breakfast spreads (the kinda ones that keep you full til dinner). My stay at @fskohsamui was like something out of a story book. Especially that last photo - that night was one to remember 🫶🏼 #kohsamui #thailand #travel #travelblog #thailandtravel

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most visited european tourist attractions

10 Most Beautiful Ecotourism Destinations To Visit In Europe (& What To Do There)

  • Europe offers some of the most eco-friendly destinations in the world, making it a top choice for sustainable travelers looking for unforgettable ecotourism experiences.
  • From Slovenia's Lake Bohinj to Iceland's natural wonders, there are numerous breathtaking destinations in Europe that prioritize sustainability and offer a wide range of eco-friendly activities.
  • Whether it's hiking in Connemara National Park in Ireland or exploring the green-focused city of Grenoble in France, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy nature responsibly and make environmentally conscious choices throughout Europe.

Europe is one of the best places in the world for ecotourism , as it is home to so many incredible natural wonders and attractions. But not just that. Europe stands at the forefront of ecotourism.

Across the continent's countries and cities, travelers with sustainable minds will be delighted to find many of the most eco-friendly destinations in the world, providing greener to other destinations around the world.

From the beautiful Nordic country of Iceland to the gorgeous Italian region of Tuscany (and beyond), here are some of the most beautiful destinations in Europe to visit that are also eco-friendly for an unforgettable and sustainable ecotourism experience.

Related: 10 Most Beautiful Eco-Tourism Destinations To Visit In The U.S. (& What To Do There)

Lake Bohinj, Slovenia

Lake Bohinj is one of the most beautiful places in Europe for ecotourism; it is the largest natural lake in Slovenia, and it is located in Bohinj Valley, where it radiates incredible scenery to visitors year-round. While it may not be as popular as Lake Bled, it is far less crowded and still offers opportunities for a wide range of activities like hiking, kayaking, and sunbathing.

A visit to this lake is perhaps the best ecotourism experience in Slovenia. This is because Bohinj has introduced a sustainable tourism approach to its area - the Bohinj Green Movement , which encourages environmentally friendly practices and ecotourism awareness-raising initiatives and is thus helping in the grand-scale effort toward sustainable tourism in Europe.

  • Location: Municipality of Bohinj, Triglav National Park

Sweden is a gorgeous European gem that is at the forefront of sustainable travel. The country is among the most beautiful sustainable destinations in Europe because it promotes ecotourism and conscious exploration by creating the Nature's Best label for tour operators and hotels in Sweden. This makes it easy for visitors to identify eco-certified operators in Sweden, so they can get the best of an ecotourism vacation in Europe here.

In addition, Sweden is home to many incredible natural attractions that offer opportunities for adventures like kayaking and hiking. Sweden is also one of the best places to see the northern lights, and these are just a few eco-friendly experiences Sweden has to offer.

  • Top eco-friendly attractions in Sweden: Northern Lights, Sarek National Park, Lake Vanern

Iceland is among the most beautiful eco-friendly destinations in Europe; everything in the country is suited for an unforgettable, environmentally-focused experience. The country is incredibly clean and green-oriented, the air is fresh, and there are so many natural endowments begging to be explored here.

While the list is endless, some of the best ways to enjoy ecotourism in Iceland include:

  • Soaking in the Blue Lagoon
  • Going on a whale-watching tour with companies that respect the environment and the animals
  • Visiting some of the best waterfalls in Iceland
  • Exploring some of Iceland's best national parks

Lagoa De Fogo (Lake Of Fire), Azores

Tourists looking to enjoy a sustainable vacation in Europe should check out the Lake of Fire. This is a natural jewel in the Portuguese archipelago of the Azores and the ideal spot to admire nature's beauty when in the country. The lake was formed more than 15,000 years ago on a volcanic crater, and today, it offers incredible scenery that changes according to the seasons.

In addition to its scenery, the lake is the perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life and, above all, a perfect place for ecotourism.

While swimming in the lake is not allowed to help protect the delicate natural environment and its ecosystems, hiking is an exciting and sustainable thing to do here (keeping on the trails so as not to disrupt wildlife), as it is the best way to capture the spectacular views the natural landscape kept pristine through the ages.

  • Location: Ponta Delgada, Portugal

Tuscany, Italy

Tuscany is known for many things, from being one of Italy's most renowned wine regions to being the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. It is also among the best places in Europe for ecotourism and offers incredible natural scenery.

The region is made up of rolling hills covered in vineyards, gorgeous beaches, and jaw-dropping islands. Enjoy an unforgettable ecotourism experience in this region by visiting its numerous vineyards and then proceed to visit one of its parks to spend more time in nature - but be sure to stick to paths and trails to avoid impacting the delicate environment and ecosystems.

Also, if opting for a tour with an excursion company, be sure to select a provider that showcases respect and care for the area and the environment.

  • Top eco-friendly attractions in Tuscany: Poggio Neri Forest Park, Maremma Regional Park

Connemara National Park, Ireland

The Connemara National Park is an amazing place in Ireland to enjoy ecotourism. The park boasts magnificent scenery, diverse wildlife, and a wide variety of plant species. Hiking is particularly enjoyable here, but visitors can also camp.

There are so many amazing gems to be seen while engaging in some of these adventures, from gorgeous beaches to rivers, woodlands, lakes, and more. It would be a mistake not to come with a camera.

  • Location: Letterfrack, Ireland

Related: The Ultimate Eco-Travel Checklist: 10 Things To Be Aware Of When Traveling Sustainably

Lahti Region, Finland

The Lahti Region of Finland may be lesser known in Europe's tourism landscape, but it is, by far, a remarkable European ecotourism destination. A former recipient of the Green Capital award in 2021, the city is earnestly working toward a carbon-neutral lifestyle by 2025, among other efforts to reduce climate change.

Lahti is also beautiful; surprisingly, it does not get all the attention among sustainable travelers. The landscape here combines lush forests and enchanting lakes waiting to be explored. Check out the lakes in the Lahti Region, including Lake Päijänne (the second-largest lake in Finland and the Asikkalanselkä section of the lake, a major clean water source for over a million Finnish people). This lake also offers plenty of activities on its shores.

Don't forget to visit Lanu Park and see gorgeous sculptures while the renovated harbor area commands a scenic stroll.

  • Top attractions: Lanu Park, Lake Päijänne

Nera Gorge-Beusnita National Park, Romania

The Nera Gorge-Beusnita National Park is a place of indescribable beauty and natural splendor in Romania. The park is home to gorgeous turquoise lakes, refreshing waterfalls, and beautiful trees.

The best way to enjoy an unforgettable ecotourism adventure here is by hiking, as it takes one through all the natural gems here, including the interesting wildlife and unique plant species. As usual, stick to paths to avoid affecting the park's delicate terrain and ecosystems while trekking.

  • Location: Near Anina city

Related: Eco-Tourism 101: What Is Eco-Travel, And Why Is It So Important?

Grenoble, France

Set at the foot of the towering French Alps, Grenoble is yet another one of the most sustainable vacation destinations in Europe; it's a beautiful city that offers amazing opportunities for ecotourism. It's one of the best cities in Europe for ecotourism; here, visitors will be met with so many natural attractions, from snow-capped mountains to picturesque lakes and beautiful gardens. But that's not all.

But what makes this French city stand out in terms of green labels? Well, Grenoble is committed to eco-tourism and is even one of the greenest cities in France. Visitors here can begin a fun ecotourism experience by taking a zero-carbon trip on a cable car to enjoy charming mountain views and then proceed to visit one of the city's archeological museum to learn more about its history.

  • Eco-friendly attractions to visit in Grenoble: Ovalie Park, Fiancey Park, Parc Paul Mistral

Tallinn, Estonia

For quite some time, Tallinn has remained one of the greenest places in Europe to visit; it has been involved in several initiatives to promote a sustainable green environment.

To prove why it's one of the most sustainable cities in Europe to visit, know that Tallinn has undertaken profound efforts to achieve carbon neutrality, improve the sanity of its climate, sustain the health of citizens, and is still driving towards ultra-green status by 2035.

The city was even awarded the European Green Capital of 2023 as a reward for its efforts, and that's more than enough to make it perhaps the best destination for ecotourism in Europe.

There are many ways to enjoy an eco-friendly here, but one can start by visiting the Tallinn Zoo to see more than 350 species and also check out Kadriorg Park to see some beautiful flowers. Admiring its historic streets and Tallinn's old town on foot is also a fantastic experience.

  • More eco-friendly attractions to visit in Tallinn: Tallinn Botanical Garden

10 Most Beautiful Ecotourism Destinations To Visit In Europe (& What To Do There) 

I've visited over 50 cities in Europe. London and Paris were great, but these 5 lesser-known locations are worth a visit.

  • After traveling to over 50 cities in Europe , I've enjoyed visiting some lesser-known locations.
  • Bath, England, is a great place to visit for Roman ruins and beautiful architecture.
  • I also loved traveling to Bruges, Belgium, which is both historic and romantic.

Insider Today

I've visited over 50 cities in Europe, and while I love global tourist hubs like London and Paris , I also try to seek out smaller cities and towns.

With over 13 million Americans predicted to travel to Europe this summer, it could be the right time to check out the off-the-beaten-path destinations on your travel bucket list .

These are five lesser-known destinations in Europe I recommend visiting.

Bath, England, is just a 90-minute train ride from London.

most visited european tourist attractions

As you probably could have guessed from this city's name, Bath is known for its Roman baths. These baths, dating back to AD 70, are some of the best-preserved Roman ruins in the world.

Bath is known for its beautiful Georgian architecture , which can be admired in places like the Royal Crescent, which features a crescent-shaped row of 30 houses.

I also loved visiting the Circus, which is made up of townhouses arranged in a circular pattern. These areas showcase Georgian architecture and are what makes walking around Bath feel unique.

If you're a book lover, you can visit during the annual Jane Austen Festival in September, where people dress up, and the city is taken back in time.

The train from London to Bath takes about 90 minutes, making this city the perfect day trip.

Mostar is a beautiful city in southern Bosnia and Herzegovina.

most visited european tourist attractions

Mostar really surprised me. It didn't look like anywhere else I'd been, with the towering Old Bridge connecting the two sides of the city. The 16th-century bridge, rebuilt after the 1990s war, is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The city also has a well-preserved Ottoman quarter with charming cobblestone streets. During my time in Mostar, I loved drinking Bosnian coffee, taking in the views of the city, and feasting on local dishes like ćevapi.

Bruges, Belgium, is a romantic city.

most visited european tourist attractions

Bruges is a well-preserved medieval town. Its historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and visiting feels like stepping back in time.

The best thing I did was take a boat ride on the canal, admiring the architecture while cruising through Minnewaterpark, commonly referred to as the Lake of Love .

Bruges is a laid-back destination that makes a convenient day trip from nearby Paris and Brussels. The city is perfect for couples looking to indulge in Belgian beer and chocolate.

Heidelberg, Germany, embraces modern life without losing its historical charm.

most visited european tourist attractions

Heidelberg has striking views around every corner. The city is home to a centuries-old castle as well as the oldest university in Germany .

I enjoyed walking along Philosophenweg (also called Philosopher's Way), where professors sought solitude and academic inspiration. The path was especially beautiful during my trip in the fall.

We loved spending time in the city, which had lots of nice restaurants and cool bars. Heidelberg does an amazing job of embracing the new while holding on to its historical charm.

Andorra La Vella is a hidden gem in the Pyrenees mountains.

most visited european tourist attractions

Andorra La Vella is the capital of Andorra, a country in the Pyrenees between France and Spain .

Every restaurant we dined at featured dishes influenced by the surrounding countries. If you want to try authentic Andorran food, head to a borda — a traditional house once used for agricultural purposes . Now, these buildings are used as charming restaurants.

Andorra la Vella is a great day trip from Barcelona, but the city deserves more than a one-day visit.

most visited european tourist attractions

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  1. Europe's 15 Most-Visited Tourist Attractions [2023 Ranking]

    At Passport Photo Online, we've ranked Europe's 15 most-visited tourist attractions based on the number of yearly visitors to help narrow down your options. Let's dive in. 1. The Hofburg, Austria. Number of yearly visitors: 20M. With 20 million visitors annually, the Hofburg is one of the most popular tourist attractions.

  2. 18 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Europe

    Learn about the best places to visit in this culturally diverse continent with our list of the top attractions in Europe. On This Page: 1. Eiffel Tower, France. 2. Colosseum, Italy. 3. Acropolis of Athens, Greece. 4.

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    15. Florence and Tuscany, Italy. Italy's most romanticized region. The gently rolling hills of Tuscany, bathed in golden light and dotted with vineyards, sum up Italy's attractions in a nutshell. Here picture-perfect hilltop towns vie with magnificent scenery and some of Italy's best food and wine.

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    Because of its unique architectural style and its historic links to a victorious battle in Tatarstan, the cathedral is a symbol of Russia. 12. Dubrovnik Old Town. One of the most beautiful old towns in Europe, Dubrovnik's Old Town is a red-roofed marvel that is asking to be explored.

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    Europe's Most-Visited Attractions. There are so many wonderful museums, castles, historic locations and other attractions in Europe to explore that seeing them all could easily take months. ... One of the largest castles in Europe, Spis Castle, or Spissky Hrad, is Slovakia's most popular tourist attraction, seeing nearly 250,000 visitors in ...

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    9. Buen Retiro Park, Madrid (Spain): 164,086 reviews. In the heart of the Spanish capital is one of the most famous city parks in Europe. The Retiro Park covers an impressive 309 acres and is one of the most visited attractions in Madrid. Stroll through its beautiful gardens and enjoy the manicured greenery.

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    11. Transylvania, Romania. Catalin Lazar/Shutterstock. Famed as the location of Count Dracula's castle, the Transylvania region in central Romania is filled with medieval Gothic fairytale scenery, old fortresses, Baroque architecture, and scenic mountain and valley views that make it a magical place to visit in Europe.

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    1. Colosseum. 150,035. Historic Sites. Admission tickets from $36. The ancient Flavian Amphitheater was built by the Flavian emperors in 70 C.E. as a gift to the Roman people. As the largest Roman theater ever built, it was designed to house over 50,000 people, and…. See ways to experience (1,224) 2024.

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    Canterbury Cathedral. A rich repository of more than 1400 years of Christian history, Canterbury Cathedral is the Church of England's mother ship, and a truly extraordinary…. Discover the best attractions in Europe including La Sagrada Família, Kungliga Slottet, and Van Gogh Museum.

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    52 - Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia. Croatia's oldest and largest natural park, with almost 300 km², Plitvice Lakes, is one of the best places to visit in Europe and among its most extraordinary natural wonders. Its primary attraction is the crystal clear lakes, which only cover 1% of this enormous park.

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    Dine in a café along the Champs-Elysée, visit a museum, climb the stairs of the world famous Eiffel Tower, or stroll hand in hand with your soul mate along the River Seine in the bustling city of Paris. 3. Spain. Plaza de Espana, Madrid. One of the most beautiful countries in Europe, Spain is also one of its best.

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    18. Athens. Athens, a city that's been inhabited since the fifth century BC, gave the world the concept of democracy. Since this metropolis is both the capital of Greece and of historical Europe. Many of the Athens's major landmarks can be found in the old town, particularly around the Acropolis.

  14. The Most Popular Tourist Attractions In All Of Europe

    We've put together a list of some of the Most Popular Tourist Attractions in All of Europe guaranteed to create unforgettable travel memories for all who visit. 10. Eiffel Tower // Paris, France. Built as the entrance to the 1889 World's Fair, the Eiffel Tower attracts nearly 7 million visitors each year - making it the most visited paid ...

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    Neuschwanstein Castle covered in snow, nestled in a snowy landscape, one of the most beautiful places in Europe. 14. The Ring of Kerry, Ireland. The Ring of Kerry, a scenic drive that winds through Ireland's Iveragh Peninsula, is a journey through a land of raw beauty and enchanting folklore.

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    The Eiffel Tower is the most-visited paid monument in the world (Photo: Envato) Perhaps the most photographed of all the Europe tourist attractions, the sheer scale, beauty, and architectural muscle of this wrought-iron lattice structure in Paris, France, almost defies belief when seen in person.. The Eiffel Tower was built by Gustave Eiffel from 1887 to 1889 as the entrance to the 1889 World ...

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    The Louvre, Paris, France. The Louvre is one of the best tourist attractions in Europe for enthusiasts of history, art, and culture. Paris, France is one of the most beloved European cities which have no lack of historical landmarks.. The Louvre is the world's largest art museum and the significant monument in Paris.The Louvre had more than 7.3 million visitors, and it has become one of the ...

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    3. Lofoten Islands, Norway. When it comes to natural beauty in Europe, Norway really delivers. As a well as Svalbard, the country is also home to the stunning Lofoten Islands - an archipelago of seven islands. Lofoten is a certified sustainable destination and is worth visiting for Viking history, unspoilt landscapes, witnessing the Northern Lights in, and even surfing.

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    Follow his full guide to the best way to avoid the crowds - Pamukkale is Turkey's most visited attraction. Check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice before visiting . 10 extraordinary ...

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    Unmissable Tourist Attractions in Europe. Every one of the Europe bucket list attractions in this section is incredibly famous… but definitely not worth skipping. Admire the Eiffel Tower from the Trocadero Gardens. Without a doubt, this is one of the most iconic views on the continent, and enjoying it is one of the best things to do in Europe!

  21. Europe's most-visited tourist attractions

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  22. 10 Best Tours To Take In These Popular European Cities

    A trip to Europe should be on everyone's travel bucket-list, as it opens your eyes and mind to the intricacies of the past, present and future and is just plain awe-inspiring. ... as you visit some of the city's top attractions. Take a walk through the 12th -15th century Moscow as you visit, Kremlin, Red Square and Kitay Gorod, on Day 1 ...

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    1. France. Annual visitors: 89.4 million. It is perhaps no surprise that France is Europe's most visited country. After all, there are so many reasons to explore and discover France! From the gastronomic delights of the French capital, Paris, to the wine region of Burgundy, there are too many regions in France to choose just one.

  24. 10 Most Beautiful Ecotourism Destinations To Visit In Europe ...

    Europe offers some of the most eco-friendly destinations in the world, making it a top choice for sustainable travelers looking for unforgettable ecotourism experiences. From Slovenia's Lake ...

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    After traveling to 50 cities in Europe, I've discovered some beautiful hidden gems. Bath, England, is a great place to visit for Roman ruins and beautiful architecture. I also loved traveling to ...