31 BEST Places To Visit in Europe In 2023

Bradley Williams
Written By:
Bradley Williams
Last Updated:
January 2, 2023
Looking for inspiration on the absolute BEST places to visit in Europe? Look no further. We've got a list that will have you packing your bags right away!
places to visit in Europe

“Here’s the problem …

Narrowing down a truly definitive list of the best places to visit in Europe is tough.

No wait …

It’s impossible!

The below list is based on us visiting all but two countries in Europe and the personal experiences we've had along the way. 

Note, we have been to many of these places multiple times and at different times of the year.

The list below is by no means in order and, based on your own travels (or nationality), you may be disgusted that a certain place isn’t included, but it’s not personal!

In fact, we plan to visit Europe even more extensively in years to come so will continue to update this guide.

So if you do have any recommendations, please drop a friendly comment below!

Now that we have the rules covered, let’s get stuck in!

Note: Some posts may contain affiliate links. Read more here
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The Best Places to Visit in Europe

1. The Dolomites

Dolomites

Most popular attractions/places: the Cadini Mountains, Lago di Braies, & the Stelvio Pass

Best time to visit: May-June

Cost of visiting: $$

Top tip: Make sure you pack plenty of layers as the weather is much cooler here than in other areas of Italy! 

If you’re a fan of the outdoors like us then you NEED to visit the Dolomites

This beautiful mountain region is found in South Tyrol, Northeastern Italy and is undoubtedly one for the bucket list. 

dolomites italy

Boasting an area of nearly 16,000 sq km (6,177 sq miles), seven nature parks, and endless ski resorts, this magical destination has so much to offer. 

During your time in the Dolomites, I’d recommend that you hit some of the mountain trails as this is the BEST way to experience the area. 

The Cadini Mountains are a fantastic place for hiking, as there are a couple of different peaks that you can walk to. The views are spectacular too! 

Another fantastic thing to do here is driving the Stelvio Pass, which is one of the highest paved roads in the Alps.

There are so many beautiful places to visit in the Dolomites so here's some more information that will help you plan your trip...

Once you’ve spent a couple of days exploring this beautiful landscape, why not treat yourself?

There are plenty of luxury hotels in the Dolomites and they all offer fantastic facilities, gorgeous suites, and epic views! 

If you're not staying in the Dolomites (which I highly recommend that you do) then you can visit on a day-tour from Venice.

2. Camino De Santiago

Camino De Santiago 

Most popular attractions/places: Burgos Cathedral, Pamplona, & Sierra del Perdón

Best time to visit: May-June & September

Cost of visiting: $-$$

Top tip: Here’s my Camino De Santiago packing list so you’ll have everything you need!

Camino De Santiago is a pilgrimage route that runs from Saint Jean Pied De Port across to Santiago in Northern Spain. 

The total distance of the route is around 800 km so it’s quite the trek, but it’s totally worth it! 

Many people also choose to walk only 100 km or 200 km before reaching Santiago, but you’ll still receive your Compostela.

I completed this hike a couple of years ago and gave myself 34 days in total to walk the pilgrimage route. Although it was one of the most challenging experiences of my life, it left me with so many wonderful memories. 

You also don’t have to be religious to hike the Camino De Santiago even though it’s a pilgrimage route. 

Whatever your reason for hiking this route, you’re in for an eye-opening experience! 

I got to meet so many amazing people along the way, and honestly, I’ve never interacted with so many nationalities in one place. 

Everyone is happy to chat along during your journey, and even if you’re heading here solo - you’ll never be truly alone! 

3. Rome

rome

Most popular attractions/places: the Colosseum, the Pantheon & Trevi Fountain 

Best time to visit: April-May

Cost of visiting: $$-$$$

Top tip: The main attractions can get super busy so book your tickets in advance if you can!

If you’re looking for the best European cities to visit then you can’t miss out on Rome. 

This beautiful city was one of our first ever trips away, so as you can imagine it holds a special place in our hearts. However, even if you’re a seasoned traveller this place will take your breath away! 

Known for its architectural masterpieces, culture, rich history, and delicious food; Rome is a destination that you can fall in love with over and over again.

It’s also one of the most romantic places we’ve ever been to, so is perfect for a couples retreat!

rome italy

Some of the top attractions in the city include the Colosseum, the Pantheon, St. Peter’s Basilica, and the Trevi Fountain. 

During your time in Rome, you can also visit another country which sounds crazy right? You’ll find Vatican City here which is classed as a country in its own right. 

This beautiful city is known to be expensive, but there are plenty of ways to visit Rome on a budget.

If you follow some of our tips in that post, you can spend more money on mouth-watering pasta and pizza dishes. 

Not only that, but if you allow yourself enough time in Rome you can also head out on a fantastic day-tour of Pompeii, the Amalfi Coast, and Positano!

4. Douro Valley

Douro Valley

Most popular attractions/places: Casal De Loivos, Quinta da Padrela winery, & Tua 

Best time to visit: April-June

Cost of visiting: $$

Top tip: You can actually stay in some of the wineries here which I’d 100% recommend!

Douro Valley is quite possibly our favourite road trip anywhere in Europe and is definitely an area that should be on your bucket list. 

It’s the most stunning wine region we have ever seen, and will honestly leave you breathless.

Road tripping this area is one of the top things to do in Portugal, and you can check out our vlog if you’re still doubting its beauty! 

Douro Valley is about an hour’s drive from the popular city of Porto, and there are so many fantastic places to visit here. 

The two main viewpoints are Casal De Loivos and San Leonardo de Galafura, although it’s the wineries that you want to prioritise. 

There are plenty of them in the area including Ferreira and Quinta do Seixo, although I’d recommend heading to Quinta da Padrela!

If you’ve got the time you can also visit Lamego, Peso da Regua, Pinhao Village, and Tua. 

Douro Valley is one of the more unique places to visit in Europe as it doesn’t fall on many people’s radars. However, it’s not an area that you want to miss! 

5. Athens

athens

Most popular attractions/places: The Acropolis of Athens, the Parthenon, & the Temple of Olympian Zeus

Best time to visit: March-May & September-November

Cost of visiting: $$

Top tip: The best (and cheapest) way to get around is by using the metro system

Athens is the capital of Greece, and is home to so much history!

The city dates back to the 5th century, so it’s truly overwhelming to imagine the things that Athens has seen. 

With endless archaeological sites, ancient temples, and plenty of museums, this city has so much to offer for history lovers and culture buffs. 

Some of the most popular places to visit in Athens include the Acropolis of Athens, the Parthenon, and the Temple of Olympian Zeus - all of which date back thousands of years so the fact that they’re still standing is mindblowing! 

If you’re heading to Athens you’ll also want to admire the views from Mount Lycabettus or a rooftop bar, explore the Panathenaic Stadium, and visit one of the many museums. 

For the best experience, you might want to purchase an Athens combo ticket as it will include entry to the Acropolis and six other archaeological sites.

Here's some more information on the best things to do in Athens...

There are also plenty of gorgeous luxury hotels in Athens and many of them overlook the city’s iconic attractions. So, if you’re looking to treat yourself then this is the city to do it! 

Not only is Athens an incredible place, but it offers easy access to the Greek islands!

6. Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik

Most popular attractions/places: The walls of Dubrovnik, the old town, the cable car

Best time to visit: April-June & September-October

Cost of visiting: $$

Top tip: Dubrovnik offers a city pass that will save you money on attractions!

Dubrovnik is undoubtedly one of the best places to visit in Europe. 

It’s now on many people’s radar thanks to its appearance in Game of Thrones as the iconic Kings Landing, but it has so much more to offer. 

Before we take a look at the best things to do, I have to mention this awesome Game of Thrones tour that will take you to all the filming locations.

Moving on...

The city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has been around since the 17th century. It’s often called the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’ and is situated along Croatia’s beautiful coastline.

The most popular attraction of this city is the old town which is surrounded by city walls that date back to the 10th century.

You can wander along these city walls at your own leisure and enjoy the breathtaking views of the Adriatic sea, the city, and the island of Lokrum in the distance.

Lokrum is actually accessible as a day trip from Dubrovnik and should definitely be on your list of things to do! 

I’d also recommend heading up the Dubrovnik cable car which will take you up to Mount. Srd. You’ll get the best views of the city from up here - especially at sunset!

Dubrovnik is one of the most beautiful places in Croatia so don't leave this city off your list.

7. Paris

paris

Most popular attractions/places: The Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower, & the Louvre

Best time to visit: The shoulder season (May, September & October)

Cost of visiting: $$-$$$

Top tip: Make sure you grab a pastry from a local bakery and head to the Eiffel Tower for breakfast

The ‘City of Love’ couldn’t be left off this list as it’s undeniably one of the best places to visit in Europe!

Paris is famous for its charm, romantic atmosphere, and incredible architecture, and is a place that many people travel back to again and again.

There are endless attractions to visit in this city including the iconic Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and the Arc de Triomphe

The Notre Dame used to be one of the city’s most popular attractions but unfortunately, it was damaged during a horrific fire in 2019. However, it’s currently being rebuilt and is expected to open in 2024. 

To make the most of your time in Paris, you’ll want to spend at least 3-4 days in the city!

This gives you enough time to visit the most famous attractions and to explore some of the other sites like the Les Invalides Museum, Champs-Elysées, and Luxembourg Gardens.

If you've got some extra time then you can always head to Disneyland or go on a river cruise...

Paris is one of the BEST cities to visit in Europe and is perfect for any type of traveller. However, it’s a popular option for romantic getaways especially!

8. Neuschwanstein

Neuschwanstein

Best time to visit: November-April

Cost of visiting: $

Top tip: You’ll need to book your tickets in advance as it’s a very popular location!

We love Germany as a whole as it’s such a beautiful country!

However, this is where Cazzy and I took our first trip away together so it holds a very special place in our hearts. 

We stayed in a log cabin just outside of Fussen before Christmas time, and decided to walk to the famous Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein is thought to be the inspiration for Cinderella’s fairytale castle in the iconic Disney movie, and it’s not hard to see why.

Situated on a hilltop surrounded by lush forests and boasting rapunzel-like towers, visiting here is like stepping into an alternate universe. 

The only way to enter the castle is by guided tour and we can wholeheartedly recommend this!

The interior is nearly as beautiful as the castle’s exterior, and there are so many fantastic things to see!

During your time here, you’ll also want to visit some of the incredible viewpoints nearby. 

Marienbrücke is one of the most popular viewpoints, but if you continue up the trail there’s a much quieter (but equally as beautiful) view awaiting you. 

Just make sure you allow a good couple of hours to explore the castle and its surroundings for the best experience! 

If you're short of time then this day-trip from Munich will take you to Neuschwanstein and Linderhof Castle.

9. Lapland

lapland

Most popular attractions/places: Rovaniemi, Levi & Swedish Lapland

Best time to visit: Nov-Dec

Cost of visiting: $$-$$$

Top tip: Lapland is COLD so you’ll need to make sure you’re kitted out with the right gear

Lapland is undoubtedly one of the best places to travel in Europe for Christmas!

Rovaniemi is the capital of Lapland and is the official home of Father Christmas, which is why it’s often nicknamed ‘Santa Claus Village’.

Heading here for the holidays is one of the best experiences we’ve ever had as there are tons of fantastic things to do in Rovaniemi!

Not only will you get to meet Santa Claus, but you can also visit Santa Park, explore Santa Claus Village, and look out for the magical Northern lights!

Levi is located further North and is also part of the Finnish Lapland, although Swedish Lapland is just as remarkable. 

No matter where you decide to visit in Lapland, make sure you head out on a reindeer sleigh, stay in a glass igloo, and do a husky safari.

We were fortunate to have a 4x4 camper to drive through this entire region in the depths of winter, seeing wild reindeer all the way and listening to Christmas songs.

For this reason, I’d definitely recommend spending a Christmas in Lapland so don’t leave this place off your bucket list! 

10. Lofoten Islands

Most popular attractions/places: Kvalvika Beach, Reine, & Henningsvaer Stadium

Best time to visit: Summer or October-November

Cost of visiting: $$$

Top tip: If you’re looking to cut costs then stay in an Airbnb and shop at the supermarket!

The Lofoten Islands are without a doubt one of the best places to visit in Norway, as they are absolutely stunning! 

These islands are all connected by tunnels and bridges, and are found in Northern Norway. They are the perfect place for a road trip which is exactly what we did! 

The Lofoten Islands are known for their fantastic landscapes, charming fishing villages, and striking mountain peaks.

You won’t run out of places to visit here either, but the first destinations on your list should be Henningsvaer Stadium, Nusfjord, and Reine.  

I’d recommend visiting some of the spectacular beaches too, including Haukland, Kvalvika, and Rorvikstranda.

When you should visit will entirely depend on what you plan to do here!

If you’re looking to hit some of the hiking trails or visit some of the beaches then you’ll want to visit during the summer. 

However, we explored Lofoten during the winter and it was a fantastic experience! This is the time you’ll want to visit if you’re looking to spot the Northern lights too.

There are plenty of fantastic things to do in Norway but these incredible islands should be right at the top of your list! 

11. Strasbourg

Strasbourg

Most popular attractions/places: Strasbourg Cathedral, Place Kleber, and Palais Rohan

Best time to visit: May-August 

Cost of visiting: $$

Top tip: There are over 1,300 restaurants in Strasbourg so make sure you dine in at least some of them! 

Strasbourg is one of the best places to visit in Europe, and is a must for any France itinerary! 

Situated near the France/Germany border, this amazing city has both French and German influences. 

Strasbourg is famous for its gothic architecture, historic buildings, and delicious cuisine, and although it’s not as popular as Paris or Marseille, you’ll find plenty of fantastic things to do here. 

Some of the most popular attractions in the city include Strasbourg Cathedral, Place Kleber, and Palais Rohan.

If you’ve got time you should also explore La Petite France, walk over Barrage Vauban, and marvel at Ponts Couverts.

For the best experience, you’ll want to allow at least 2-3 days here so you can see the top attractions without having to rush.

Here's some more information if you're looking for things to do in Strasbourg...

Just an hour's drive from the city, you’ll find Colmar and the fairytale-like villages of Ribeauville and Riquewihr.

These charming villages are thought to have inspired Belle’s hometown in the Disney Classic ‘Beauty and the Beast’, making them a must-visit. 

Ribeauville and Riquewihr are the perfect day trip from Strasbourg so allow an extra day for this! 

You can also go on an Alsace half-day wine tour if you're looking to visit some of the nearby wineries.

12. Malta

malta

Most popular attractions/places: Valletta, the Blue Grotto, & St. Julian’s 

Best time to visit: May, September & October

Cost of visiting: $$

Top tip: Get the Malta Pass to save money on attractions! 

Malta is one of the best places to visit in Europe in the Summer due to its Mediterranean climate, pristine beaches, and turquoise waters. 

It’s actually one of the smallest countries in the European Union as it’s an island archipelago that’s located between Sicily and Tunisia. 

There are so many fantastic things to do in Malta that planning a trip here can often feel overwhelming! 

Luckily getting around Malta is incredibly easy, and it’s a fantastic country to travel through. Many people choose to hire a car during their trip or you can take advantage of the bus system instead. 

Now, there are a couple of destinations that need to be included on any Malta itinerary

This includes the capital of Valletta, the Blue Grotto, Mdina, and the iconic Popeye Village. Other popular places to visit include Comino Island, St. Peter’s Pool, and the Dingli Cliffs. 

You’ll also want to head over to the neighbouring island of Gozo if you’re planning a trip to Malta.

We spent a month in this beautiful country and we’d go back in a heartbeat! 

13. Santorini

santorini

Most popular attractions/places: Imerovigli, Oia, & Thera

Best time to visit: May-June & September-October

Cost of visiting: $$-$$$

Top tip: Hotels here can sell out FAST so you’ll want to book in advance for the best deals

We love all of the Greek islands that we’ve visited but there’s something special about Santorini!

Whether it’s the unbelievable sunsets, the gorgeous beaches, or the unique landscapes that drew us in, I can honestly say that we were blown away. 

So it’s no surprise to learn that Santorini is one of the most visited Greek Islands! 

It’s part of the Cyclades family and is close to some of the other well-known islands including Ios, Naxos, and Paros.

Although it’s generally more expensive than most of the other Greek Islands it’s definitely worth a visit. 

The geological formations here are incredible as the island is a mostly submerged volcanic caldera. Not only that, but the beaches here are stunning! 

During your trip to Santorini, you’ll want to visit Imerovigli, Oia, Megalochori, and Thera at the very least.

However, no trip to the island is complete without visiting the beaches of Kamari, Monolithos, and Baxedes. The Red Beach is pretty spectacular too!

I'd also recommend heading out on a Volcanic Islands Cruise as you'll get to relax in hot springs and explore more of the region.

There are plenty of things to do in Santorini so I've included a link to some extra information that you might find helpful...

Whether you’re looking to stay in a hotel with a private pool or a budget guest house, this beautiful island has something for everyone!

14. Budapest

budapest

Most popular attractions/places: the Hungarian Parliament Building, Buda Castle, & Széchenyi Thermal Bath

Best time to visit: March-May & September-October

Cost of visiting: $-$$

Top tip: You’ll often find FREE walking tours in Budapest so definitely take advantage of this

Budapest is a fantastic city that we ended up visiting twice in 3 months! 

There is so much history here, and you’ll find plenty of things to see and do. If you’re a night owl, then this is the city you NEED to visit as it truly comes alive at night.

Budapest is the capital of Hungary and is known for its dramatic history, unique architecture, and healing thermal baths.

There are over 100 of these baths in the city, although one of the most popular is Széchenyi Thermal Bath.

Relaxing in one of these baths is the BEST way to unwind after exploring the city because trust me, there’s a lot to see! 

One of the most popular attractions in Budapest is the famous Hungarian Parliament Building as it dominates the city skyline.

During your time in Budapest, you’ll also want to visit Buda Castle, St. Stephen’s Basilica, Fisherman’s Bastion, and the Jewish Quarter. 

If you've got some spare time then you can even head out on an evening sightseeing cruise that offers unlimited prosecco!

For the best experience, I’d recommend spending at least 2-3 days. This gives you enough time to relax in the many thermal baths and still see the most popular sites.

Here's a fantastic example of a Budapest Itinerary if you're interested!

15. Tallinn

tallinn

Most popular attractions/places: Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Kadriorg Art Museum, & Toompea Castle

Best time to visit: Any time of year!

Cost of visiting: $-$$

Top tip: Tallinn has a great public transport system so you’ll have no problems getting around!

Not many people think of Estonia when planning a trip but it’s honestly one of the best places to visit in Europe. 

You’ll find plenty of fantastic national parks and beaches across the country, but the highlight has to be the capital city of Tallinn.

It’s incredibly historic and unfortunately very underrated, although tourist numbers are starting to increase! 

You’ll find endless things to do in Tallinn so be prepared for an action-packed trip!

The city’s most popular attractions include Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the Kadriorg Art Museum, and Toompea Castle.

However, there are plenty of other places to visit including the charming old town, the Danish King’s Garden, and St. Catherine's Passage.

Although Tallinn isn’t a popular European city to visit, it has so much to offer and we had a whale of a time! 

It’s fantastic during any time of year, has so much to see and do, and the food here is delicious. 

What more could you want from a capital city?

From Tallinn, you can also take a day trip to Lahemaa National Park which I'd definitely recommend as this area is truly beautiful! 

16. Norwegian Fjords

Norwegian Fjords

Most popular attractions/places: Geirangerfjord, Hardangerfjord, & Sognefjord

Best time to visit: June-August 

Cost of visiting: $$$

Top tip: You’ll want a minimum of five days to truly appreciate this area's beauty!

Norway is easily one of the most beautiful places to visit in Europe, and it’s a country full of interesting landscapes and natural wonders.

One of the best things to do in Norway is to visit the Norwegian Fjords, and there’s plenty to see. 

The entire Southwestern coast of Norway is a rugged line of breathtaking fjords, and the only way to see them all is by hiring a vehicle. 

If you go for a campervan you’ll also save a lot of money when it comes to accommodation.

Always a bonus as Norway is one of the most expensive countries in Europe! However, we've got some fantastic tips for visiting Norway on a budget...

Although it’s impossible to list all of the spectacular fjords in this country, there are a few that stand out above the rest.

Arguably the most popular fjord in Norway is Geirangerfjord which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Boasting snow-covered peaks, towering waterfalls, and deep blue waters, this place will truly take your breath away!

Other must-see fjords in Norway include Aurlandsfjord, Hardangerfjord, Lysefjord, Naeroyfjord, and Sognefjord.  

You can either head out on a cruise to explore the fjords or hike to some of the nearby viewpoints, but either way, you don’t want to miss out on this area.

Here's some more information about the best fjords in Norway to visit...

17. Stockholm

stockholm

Most popular attractions/places: Skansen, Archipelago Cruise, & Gamla Stan

Best time to visit: Any time of year!

Cost of visiting: $$$

Top tip: Stockholm has a city pass that will save you lots of money on attractions

You’ll find plenty of incredible things to do in Sweden, but I highly recommend spending some time in the capital.

Stockholm is quite possibly our second favourite city in Europe after Rome as there’s so much to see and do here! 

One of the most popular attractions is Skansen which is the oldest open-air museum in the world!

I’d also recommend heading out on a cruise of Stockholm’s 30,000-island strong archipelago, exploring the old town of Gamla Stan, and taking a trip to the Vasa Museum

Other popular places to visit in Stockholm include the Abba Museum, the Royal Palace, the Nobel Prize Museum, and the island of Riddarholmen. 

The best thing about heading to Stockholm is that it doesn’t matter what time of year you visit! 

However, in my opinion, the city is especially beautiful during November and December when the Christmas markets are around. There are even open-air ice rinks around the city in the winter.

During this time of year, you’re likely to experience plenty of snowfall but you’ll need to prepare yourself for very cold temperatures!

If you've got the time I'd also recommend heading out on a Sweden road trip after spending some time in Stockholm.

18. Monaco

monaco

Most popular attractions/places: Monte Carlo Casino, the Prince’s Palace of Monaco, & the Oceanographic Museum

Best time to visit: June-September

Cost of visiting: $$$

Top tip: If you’re planning to try your hand at gambling in Monaco you’ll need your passport!

Despite being so small, Monaco has a crazy amount of money which is part of the reason why it’s such a cool place to visit. 

It’s the second smallest country in Europe after Vatican City and is most famous for being home to the F1 Grand Prix every year. 

There are also plenty of awesome attractions here including the famous Monte Carlo Casino, the Prince’s Palace of Monaco, and the Oceanographic Museum

Considering it's so small, you'll be surprised to learn that there are tons of fantastic things to do in Monaco!

However, just keep in mind that Monaco is one of the most expensive places in Europe!

Although admiring the sheer opulence of cars, yachts, and celebrities is quite a sight in itself, you’ll be paying the price for that. 

The majority of accommodation options and restaurants in Monaco are ‘high-end’ and you’ll be forking out a lot of cash to stay here.

For that reason, I’d recommend more of a flying visit whilst you’re in France rather than a dedicated trip! 

In fact, you can visit Monaco on this half-day trip from Nice, and you'll get to see all the best sites.

Although Monaco isn’t budget-friendly it’s still one of the best places to visit in Europe, so don’t miss out on this place.

19. South of France

lavender fields south of france

Most popular attractions/places: the French Riviera, Montpellier, & Cannes

Best time to visit: May-October

Cost of visiting: $$

Top tip: You’ll find plenty of fantastic campsites in the South of France if you’re looking to save some cash

The South of France has to be one of the BEST destinations in Europe! 

With the beautiful French Riviera, enchanting cities, and gorgeous lavender fields, this part of the country is stunning.

The best way to explore it is by hiring a car or campervan and driving from Saint Tropez to Menton!

Along the way, there are plenty of incredible places to visit including Nice, Cannes, and Monaco (although the last one is technically its own country). 

You can also extend this road trip to include Marseille, Montpellier, and Toulon! 

Road tripping the South of France is honestly one of the most stunning drives we’ve ever done, as the views are breathtaking. 

Not only will you get to visit incredible cities but you’ll get to relax on the beach, marvel at crystal clear blue waters, and explore Lavender fields. 

So you’re not rushing your trip, I’d recommend allowing at least 4-5 days for this drive, and longer if you’re planning to extend the route. 

There are so many beautiful places to visit in the South of France, and I can guarantee that you’ll fall in love with this stunning part of the world. 

If you're looking for some inspiration then we've written a guide to the best road trips in France...

20. Amsterdam

Most popular attractions/places: the Van Gogh Museum, Anne Frank's House, & Rijksmuseum

Best time to visit: April-May & September-November

Cost of visiting: $$-$$$

Top tip: Try to spend at least 3 nights in Amsterdam as there are so many places to see!

Amsterdam is one of the most popular destinations in Europe and it’s not hard to see why!

Primarily known for its history, culture, attractions, and dare I say it… legal drugs, this crazy city is a popular spot for young travellers especially. 

Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands and is a great place to visit if you’re planning to interrail or road trip through Europe. This is because it’s bordered by both Belgium and Germany! 

Although this city is considered expensive to visit, you can visit Amsterdam on a budget.

One of the best ways to save costs is to purchase a city pass which allows you to save up to 55% on over 25 attractions! 

Amsterdam is a city full of fantastic things to see and there are endless places for you to visit too.

However, some of the most popular spots include Anne Frank's House, Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, and Vondel Park.

There are plenty of ways to explore the city, but I’d recommend hiring a bicycle and cycling through Amsterdam as you’ll get to see all the sights. You can also head out on a city canal cruise!

21. Lake Bled

slovenia

Most popular attractions/places: the town of Bled, Bled Castle, & Soteska Vintgar

Best time to visit: April-May & September-October

Cost of visiting: $-$$

Top tip: For the best view, you’ll want to hike to one of the breathtaking viewpoints - more on this below…

It’s likely that you’ve already seen photographs of this beautiful destination, but if you’re heading to Europe then you NEED to visit Lake Bled.

Located in Slovenia, this famous lake can be found within the Julian Alps and is home to spectacular scenery, striking mountain peaks, and its medieval castle.

Bled Castle is one of the most popular places to visit here as it’s the oldest castle in Slovenia. Dating back to 1004, the castle has been lovingly restored over the years so it still clings to its iconic cliffside location. 

You’ll also want to wander along the gorge of Soteska Vintgar, explore the resort town of Bled, and take a trip out to Bled Island.

However, one of the top things to do here is to try the Lake Bled Cake, trust me - you won’t regret it. 

One of the best ways to appreciate the beauty and sheer size of Lake Bled is by hiking to one of the viewpoints nearby! 

There are plenty of them to choose from but some of the most popular spots include Mala Ojstrica, Mala Osojnica, Bled Island, and Lake Bled Park. 

If you're heading to this gorgeous lake then here's some more information about the best things to do in Lake Bled...

22. Kotor, Montenegro

Kotor, Montenegro 

Most popular attractions/places: the Old Town, Kotor Fortress, & Kotor Beach

Best time to visit: May-September

Cost of visiting: $-$$

Top tip: You’ll want to stay as close to the old town as you can, as this way you’ll be near the main attractions

There are plenty of fantastic things to do in Montenegro, but no visit to the country is complete without heading to Kotor.

Kotor is a beautiful coastal town that’s situated in the Bay of Kotor and it has lots to offer travellers!

To reach the city you can drive along the Kotor Serpentine Road that will take you through stunning mountains, and you’ll get breathtaking views of the city below as you start to drop down.

Boasting historical architecture, pristine beaches, delicious cuisine and endless attractions, Kotor is easily one of the best places to visit in Europe.

First of all, you’ll want to spend some time exploring the old town.

It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site that dates back over 2,000 years so it’s got quite a history. There are plenty of places to visit here too including the Cathedral of Saint Tryphon and the Pima Palace.

You’ll also want to hike up to Kotor Fortress, wander along the city walls, and spend some time relaxing on the beach! There's even a Kotor boat trip that will take you to to Our Lady of the Rocks, Mamula, and Blue Cave.

From the town, you can also take a day trip out to Lovcen National Park where you can hit some of the hiking trails.

Here's some more information on things to do in Kotor...

23. Albanian Coast

albaian caost

Most popular attractions/places: Gjipe Canyon and beach, Ksamil Islands, & Saranda

Best time to visit: May-June & September-October

Cost of visiting: $-$$

Top tip: You can actually catch the ferry to the Albanian Riviera from the Greek island of Corfu

Albania is one of the sunniest countries in Europe, and it’s extremely affordable making it the perfect summer getaway. 

Although it’s not considered to be a ‘tourist hotspot’ just yet, the Albanian Riviera is finally starting to get the recognition it deserves.

This area is honestly one of the most beautiful coastal areas in the world, not just Europe and is a place that you don’t want to miss. 

Sharing the same waters as Greece to the South and Croatia to the North, it’s not hard to see why the Albanian Riviera is so breathtakingly beautiful! 

Now, there are endless places to visit along the country’s coastline so I’d allow at least 3-4 days here for the best experience. 

First of all, you can head to the coastal towns of Saranda and Vlore, before taking a trip out to the stunning Ksamil Islands.

You’ll also find plenty of stunning beaches to visit including Borsh, Dhermi, Drymades, and Kakome.

Don’t forget about Gjipe Canyon and the beautiful beach that’s found through it either! 

Here's a travel guide that details the best places to visit in the Albanian Riviera and some great accommodation options.

24. Transylvania, Romania

Transylvania, Romania 

Most popular attractions/places: Bran Castle, Salina Turda, & the Transfagarasan Highway

Best time to visit: April-May & September

Cost of visiting: $$

Top tip: There are so many fantastic things to do in Transylvania so allow at least 4-5 days for your trip! 

One of the best places to visit in Romania has to be the historic region of Transylvania! 

Home to incredible castles, spooky legends, epic drives, and Count Dracula, this has to be one of the BEST destinations in Europe. 

This area is located in central Romania and is one of the most beautiful places you’ll ever visit. Not to mention it’s full of mystery! 

The most popular attraction in Transylvania is Bran Castle - otherwise known as Dracula’s Castle.

This place is linked to Bram Stoker’s ‘Count Dracula’ even though the author never actually visited it!

During your time in Transylvania, you’ll also want to road trip the Transfagarasan Highway which is around 150km in length and 2,042m at its highest point. 

However, with sheer drop-offs, intense climbs, and a lack of barriers, it’s not for the faint-hearted! 

I’d recommend heading to Salina Turda too which is an underground salt mine where you’ll find a fairground. 

Other popular spots to visit in this part of Romania include Corvin's Castle, Liberty Bear Sanctuary, Brașov, and Sibiu

Romania is one of the cheapest countries in Europe so you'll get plenty of bang for you buck. So what are you waiting for?

25. Scottish Highlands

scottish highlands

Most popular attractions/places: the Isle of Skye, Ben Nevis, & Loch Ness

Best time to visit: June-September

Cost of visiting: $$

Top tip: Depending on the time of year you visit, Scotland is notorious for its midges (pesky little flies that bite) so make sure you pack midge spray!

How do I even begin to describe the Scottish Highlands?

This part of the United Kingdom is truly breathtaking and we instantly fell in love, not least because this was our first road trip in our converted camper. 

Hiring a campervan is undoubtedly the best way to get around the Scottish Highlands as wild camping is legal here so you can really cut your costs by avoiding accommodation.

highland cow in scotland

Covering an area of nearly 25,600 sq km, the Scottish Highlands stretch from near Fort William all the way up to John O’ Groats

There are tons of road trips that you can do in this part of the UK, and although the NC500 is extremely popular, it’s the western coast of Scotland that will take your breath away. 

During your time in this beautiful part of the world, you should head up to the Isle of Skye, marvel at the beauty of Glencoe, and explore the city of Inverness

I’d also spent some time in Fort William as it’s the Gateway to Ben Nevis, and then search for Scotland’s famous monster at Loch Ness.

Lastly, this beautiful country is home to plenty of Harry Potter filming locations including the iconic Glenfinnan Viaduct, the Harry Potter Express, and several lochs that feature in the film series.

26. Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland

wild atlantic way ireland

Most popular attractions/places: Cliffs of Moher, County Kerry, & Downpatrick Head

Best time to visit: April-May & September-October, Summer is beautiful but very busy…

Cost of visiting: $$

Top tip: Here’s our ultimate packing list for Ireland as the weather can be pretty unpredictable!

There are so many incredible places to visit in Ireland so the best way to explore the country is by heading out on a road trip

We personally LOVE the Wild Atlantic Way as it showcases the country’s wild beauty and rugged coastlines.

Covering an impressive distance of 2600km, it’s one of the longest coastal routes in the world taking you from the Inishowen Peninsula in the North to the small town of Kinsale in the South. 

This spectacular road trip will take you through many of Ireland’s beautiful counties including Clare, Cork, Donegal, Kerry, and Mayo!

lismore castle

You’ll get to explore the popular cities of Belfast, Dublin, and Galway, as well as other fantastic spots including the iconic Cliffs of Moher, Downpatrick Head, and Malin Head

We particularly loved Kerry, but be sure to cut inland at a few points to see some of the other sites like the Gap of Dunloe, Killarney National Park, and Benbulbin.

As you can see there are so many incredible things to do in Ireland and lots to see so what are you waiting for?

27. Lake Ohrid, North Macedonia

Lake Ohrid, North Macedonia

Most popular attractions/places: Ohrid town, the Monastery of Saint Naum, & St. Jovan Kaneo

Best time to visit: May-September

Cost of visiting: $-$$

Top tip: Make sure you head out on a boat trip as it’s one of the best ways to appreciate the area’s beauty

North Macedonia is a beautiful country and it was genuinely a huge surprise to us!

In all honesty, we didn’t even know of it as a country prior to visiting (I know, I know…), but it’s actually home to lots of hidden treasures.

One of these is the beautiful Lake Ohrid, which is one of the oldest and deepest lakes in Europe. 

Dating back 3-5 million years, this breathtaking lake has a depth of 288m at its deepest point so it’s quite the natural wonder.

 North Macedonia

So, it’s no surprise to learn that Lake Ohrid is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its natural and cultural significance. 

Not only is the scenery around Lake Ohrid spectacular, but the lake is also home to around 200 endemic species! 

Straddling both Albania and North Macedonia, you’ll find plenty of things to do here but I’m going to focus on the Macedonian side. 

First of all, you should explore the charming town of Ohrid, before taking a trip out to the Monastery of Saint Naum. 

If you’ve got the time, then you should also visit St. Jovan Kaneo!

Here's a guide to visiting Lake Ohrid that will help you plan your trip!

28. Sigulda, Latvia

Most popular attractions/places: Turaida Castle, Gutman’s Cave, & the Sigulda Bobsleigh

Best time to visit: May-September

Cost of visiting: $-$$

Top tip: Sigulda can be visited on a day trip from Riga which is Latvia’s capital

Sigulda is one of the best European destinations to visit if you’re looking for somewhere off the tourist radar. 

Located in the beautiful country of Latvia, this town is one of the Baltic’s hidden gems and in my opinion, is a place that deserves a lot more recognition! 

It’s a wonderful spot to drive through if you’re doing a road trip, but I’d recommend stopping in Sigulda for the best experience. 

During our time here, we got to learn so much about the Teutonic Knights and the other groups of knights that used to be found in this area. 

They built many of the castles around here, and they’re some of the top places to visit in Sigulda! This includes Turaida, Krimulda, and the Castle of the Livonian Order in Sigulda. 

You’ll also want to visit Gutman’s Cave, Tarzan’s Adventure Park, and the Sigulda Bobsleigh Track.

Make sure you hike up Paradise Hill too as you’ll get some spectacular views from there! 

As you can see, there are plenty of things to do in Sigulda so don’t miss out on this place.

We visited this small town during our epic Baltic road trip where we spent two weeks exploring Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia.

29. Hallstatt, Austria

halstatt

Most popular attractions/places: Lake Hallstatt, Hallstatt Salt Mine, & Dachstein Giant Ice Cave

Best time to visit: March-May & September-October

Cost of visiting: $$$

Top tip: Although you can visit Hallstatt on a day trip from Salzburg or Vienna, I’d recommend staying overnight to visit all the sites

Situated in Austria, Hallstatt is one of the best places in Europe for breathtaking scenery and awesome attractions.

It’s a beautiful town that’s situated on Lake Hallstatt, and it’s surrounded by mountains at every turn, so as you can imagine the views are incredible.

The town itself is actually a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its mining legacy, and you’ll find lots of places to visit that will remind you of this. 

That includes the Hallstatt Salt Mine, Dachstein Giant Ice Cave, and the Hallstatt Museum.

After learning about the area's history and exploring the old town, you’ll also want to walk along the Hallstatt Skywalk, admire the views from the ‘Five Fingers’ viewpoint, and take the cable car up to the upper station. 

Although the best time to visit is generally spring and summer, you’ll often encounter lots of tourists. 

We decided to visit Hallstatt during the winter and it was just as beautiful, if not more so as you’ve got the Christmas charm and snow to go with it…   

30. Golden Circle, Iceland

iceland

Most popular attractions/places: Gullfoss Waterfall, the Geysir Geothermal Area, & Thingvellir National Park

Best time to visit: June-August

Cost of visiting: $$$

Top tip: The entire Golden Circle route can be done in a day, but for the best experience you’ll want to allow at least 2-3 days

If you’re looking for cheap places to visit in Europe then Iceland may not be the best destination, but you definitely need to visit at some point. 

The county is full of beautiful places ranging from beaches to waterfalls, and the best way to appreciate them is by road tripping the Golden Circle.

The Golden Circle is a 300km route that starts and ends in the capital of Reykjavik.

It’s one of the most famous road trips in the world and will take you to three of Iceland's most popular attractions; Gullfoss Waterfall, the Geysir Geothermal Area, and Thingvellir National Park.

Before you start the road trip, spend some time in Reykjavik, and then head out on the road!

Aside from the three main attractions of this route, there are plenty of other fantastic places to visit in the area.

This includes Hrunalaug Hot Springs, the Secret Lagoon, Kerid Crater, and the silfra fissure. If you’ve got some extra time then why not head to Thjorsardalur Valley or the ecovillage of Solheimar?

Hiring a campervan in Iceland is the best way to explore the Golden Circle but if you don't have your set of wheels don't worry! This Golden Circle full-day tour leaves from Reykjavik and includes all the popular sites.

31. Prague

prague

Most popular attractions/places: Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, & St. Vitus Cathedral 

Best time to visit: May-June & September-October

Cost of visiting: $$$

Top tip: The Prague City Pass costs around €55 and will save you lots of money when it comes to entrance fees

Prague is one of the best cities in Europe to visit although it’s expensive! 

Generally, the Czech Republic is considered to be extremely affordable but unfortunately, that’s not the case for its capital. 

Prices in Prague can be up to 50% higher than in other areas of the country, but it’s still cheaper than the likes of Zurich and London.

Boasting incredible gothic architecture, rich history, and a vibrant arts scene, it’s fast becoming one of the most popular cities in Central Europe.

This is partly due to the wide variety of things to do here! 

Prague is full of incredible tourist attractions including Charles Bridge, Prague Castle, the Astronomical Clock, and St. Vitus Cathedral.

During your time in the city, you’ll also want to admire the quirky Dancing House Hotel, wander around the Old Town Square, and go on a river cruise.

This city has so much to offer so for the best experience, I recommend spending at least 2-3 days here! 

Although the summer months get very busy, generally, spring and fall are much quieter. 

However, if you head to the city in November or December you’ll be able to experience the charming Christmas markets too!

In my opinion, Prague is one of the most romantic destinations in the world so what are you waiting for?

Here's a fantastic Prague itinerary that you might want to follow...

So, which destination will you visit?

As you can see there are so many fantastic places to visit in Europe. 

Cutting this list back to just 31 was extremely hard for us! 

Our initial list topped 50 and we had to ruthlessly cut away, so here are a few other top mentions that probably deserve just as much a place on this list:

  • Warsaw, Poland - here are some of the best things to do in Warsaw!
  • North Cape, Norway
  • Nida, Lithuania
  • Skadar Lake, Montenegro 
  • Gibraltar 
  • Mostar, Bosnia Herzegovina -we've actually got a blog post on the iconic Mostar Bridge Jump!
  • Champagne region, France

Each of these beautiful places has something unique to offer, and no matter which one you choose, I can guarantee that you’ll have an amazing time!

Now over to you …

Do you have somewhere in mind that you think we missed?

Let me know below… we will make a point to visit!

If you've enjoyed this lengthy guide then we've got a few more travel guides that we think you'll love: 

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