Are you are planning a trip around Europe? Then you probably would like to know what the best Europe destinations are. Of course this “the best” depends of what you find important, but I’ll just share my top favorite destinations in Europe.
The best of the Eastern Europe
For convenience, I divide this blog in three parts. One part for best destinations in the west of Europe, one for destinations in the East of Europe and one for the Mediterranean area. The eastern part of Europe, belong to the cheaper locations of Europe. As the standards of life are lower, you can travel longer for the same budget. Who doesn’t like that?!
Bucharest is the capital city of Romania and is record holder for Europe’s largest building: the Parliament. The city has suffered of the wars it was in to. Although you can still see some traces of it, nowadays it looks much more brighter. Bucharest belongs to the popular Balkan cities and its nightlife is great, sine the prices are very modest. When you’ll visit Bucharest there are some attractions and sight you definitely should not miss. These are: the Old city center, the Cișmigiupark, the Pariliament and its surrounding park and the Herăstrăupark.
For an impression of this city, you can have a look at my photo blog.
Budapest is one the most popular cities in the east of Europe. Some compare this city with Paris in France, since they find it a romantic city. My own opinion… It surely is! :) The city center has a great renaissance feel, due to its wonderfully restored buildings. Besides this, it’s location at the Danube river makes it amazing. Some of the main attractions that are worth a visit are: Budha Castle, Szechenyi bath, Parliament, Hősök tere, Matthias church and the Nagycsarnok.
An insiders tip… Have a drink at the Citadella on the top of the Gellérthegy park, when night starts to fall. The View is priceless!
In the Czech Republic, Prague is the city to visit. This capital is also known as ‘the Golden City’ or ‘the City of 100 Spires’. Planning your trip to Prague can be very entertaining, as it 100% will fit to any budget. This is a city to spend a while without consume your tight budget! Besides this the culture life and nightlife are awesome, since there isn’t a day of the week without having something to do. A summer in Prague is great, but any other season has something different to show. One thing that you’ll find in any season, is there delicious beers. ;)
If you need some suggestions for your must visit list, then here are some: Charles Bridge, Old Town Square, the Astronomical Clock, the Castle, St. Vitus Cathedral, the Powder Tower and the Wenceslas Square.
Warsaw is a city with a dark history, since it has suffered huge under nazi and communism regime. Luckily these dark eras are belong to the past! Warsaw has been evolving to a dynamic, optimistic and energetic city. Whether you stroll around the Old Town or party at some of Europe’s best bars, you will always have a great time here. For those who like culture, don’t forget to pay a visit to these attractions: Old Town Square, Royal Castle, St. John’s Cathedral, St. Anne’s Church or the remaining of the Ghetto Wall of the Jewish quartier.
Sarajevo is a melt-pot with characteristics of the Byzantine and Ottoman empires, and the Roman and Venetian empires. Therefore it is a city with a long history and so much to see. Beside the left-overs of these era’s, visitor most likely will enjoy the surrounding nature. Just out of the city you can find some popular mountains: Bjelašnica and Jahorina. Both are around 2 kilometers high and crowded during all seasons. In the winter with skiers and the rest of the year with avid hikers.
The city itself features some interesting sights to visit: the old town (Baščaršija), the new town, the Vilsonovo Setaliste boulevard, the Miljacka river and the Vrbanja Bridge.
The best of Western Europe
In comparison to the Eastern part of Europe the Western part is more expensive. Despite the price level it is by far the most popular part of Europe and it is also the part of Europe I love more. Daily life and facilities are better organized and there is more wealth in general.
This is definitely the city of sins! Amsterdam is known for its Red Light District, its fabulous nightlife and the place where you can smoke weed all day. The city is perfect for a short (party) weekend break, but also for a long vacation. Not only is there a lot to do an see in this city of sins, but the surrounding areas also have so much to offer! Besides this Belgium Luxembourg and Germany are just roughly two hours away from Amsterdam. But don’t forget to do a canal cruise through the Canal Belt of Amsterdam, it’s a real must-do!
Before heading to Amsterdam, you must read some of my useful tips.
Ps. Never break the unwritten rule: What happens in Amsterdam, stays in Amsterdam… ;)
Once divided in four parts, nowadays united as one major capital in Europe. Berlin is perfect for anyone who likes to explore dominant Germand history, fa architecture, fabulous food, but also the great nightlife scene. Berlin is a true party paradise, with probably the best techno scene. Berlin is such a vibrant city, that it offers something to do 24/7. So don’t expect a trip to get some rest…
Some of Berlins major attractions are: the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag, the Berlin Wall, the Museumsingel and the Potzdamer Platz.
Also read my blog about: the top things to do in Berlin.
London is probably the most visited city in the world. This Royal city is full of traditions, which is great to experience. The Guard Montage is a ceremonial change of the guards of the Royal Palace. This is by far one of London’s most popular attractions. But don’t forget the other famous landmarks, like the Big Ben, the Tower Bridge and don’t miss the typical old red telephone cabins. London has kept many traditions alive and its many trendy quartiers are some of the reasons, why this city is one of the most popular cities world wide.
This is probably the most famous city around the world and als very familiair as the city if love. I think everybody who has visited Paris once will confirm this statement. Even if they are not hooked up in a relationship or so. The beautiful Renaissance buildings, the priceless views and the romantic streets with the best restaurants and cafes, surely contribute to this. And if you don’t feel this romantic vibe, it will get you when the sun goes down. At night the buildings, the streets and the landmarks are beautifully lit.
Things you must not miss on your trip in Paris, are: the Notre Dame, the Louvre, a boat tour on the Seine, the Sacré-Cœur and of cours the Eiffel Tower.
Tip: Also check our travel tip of how to avoid the long queues of the main attractions.
The best Europe destinations of the Mediterranean area
The Mediterranean area is mostly visited for a sunny and beachy holiday. There is a very much relaxed ambiance and the people here do like to eat. Are these components of your interests than the following destinations should have your attention.
A visit to Greece won’t be complete without a trip to Athens. This is the capital city of the ancient Greek empire, which makes it very interesting. At least you can experience in real life, about things you’ve learned on your history lessons. And believe me the remainings of this era is unbelievably impressive to see. The scale and the story of its history makes it very interesting. Sights you must not skip are: the Akropolis, the Parthenon, the temple of the Olympic Zeus and the stadium of Panathinaiko.
Barcelona belongs to one of the most visited Europe destinations. Very well known as the city of Gaudi, with it’s breathtaking architectural artworks. The colorful city with views over the Mediterranean sea is also popular for its football club, the markets, street performances and its delicious Catalan food! You can easily discover the city by its trusted public transport network, which covers all main sights. Summarized, Barcelona is a city sunny beaches, vibrant day life and exciting night scene. This makes it easy to have a great vacation in this wonderful city.
Curious what you should visit in Barcelona? Read more in my travel tip about Barcelona.
Rome once capital of the Roman empire and nowadays one of Italy’s most precious city. Here you can find a mix of vibrant street life with beautiful historical Roman architecture. Between the visits to the beautiful sights, visitors will enjoy strolling down picturesque streets and the Italian: Dolce Vita. Which of course also stands for the Italian feasting, of eating the best pizza’s, pasta’s and ice creams.
A trip to Rome should include a visit the main attractions as: Colosseum, Roman Forum and Pantheon. Not to forget the Vatican, its St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel!
Zagreb is divided in three parts, with all their own characteristics. You have the Gornji Grad, where you can find the Presidential Palace. Here you can also find some cobbled streets which are lit by old gas lamps. Besides this part there is the Donji Grad, where you’ll find many shops, restaurants, theatres and parks. And then there is also the Novi Zagreb, which stands for new Zagreb. This is the newest part in Zagreb, with high buildings. This is a very dull area for tourists. What you probably do want to see are: the Ban Jelacic Square, the Zagreb Cathedral, the Dolac Market, the Stone Gate, the St. Mark’s Church and the Funicular railway.
Note: Keep in mind that Zagreb is less excited in the month August. This is the time locals head to the coastal area for their vacations.
The best of the Scandinavian
Scandinavian countries are probably less visited than the other parts of Europe. Countries are less densely and therefore life is very concentrated in main cities. For those who like te be outdoor and enjoy nature, this is the part you want to experience. But be aware… These countries belong to the most expensive countries of Europe.
Copenhagen is the capital of Denmark and has a high quality standard. The term Danish design, makes sense when exploring Copenhagen. Most likely you and I won’t make use of it, but there are 15 Michelin star rated restaurants, including restaurant Noma, which is voted as worlds best restaurant. What you’ll probably like more is the easy pace on the streets and the idyllic cobbled and bike-friendly streets. The center of Copenhagen has a great charm with beautiful historic buildings. Great spots to visit are: Tivoli, the small mermaid statue, the Rosenborg slot, Kongens Have and the Amalienborg.
Mother Nature seemed to be very good to Oslo. It has beautiful forests, lakes and hills surrounding the city. This makes it a great city to visit, for hiking cycling and skying in the winter time. Besides the beautiful nature, Oslo has an entertaining city life. There is a vibrant bar, cafe, restaurant and nightlife. Add the colorful houses of the city and you have a great trip to enjoy. While you are at Oslo you should definitly visit the Fjords in the area, the Bærums Verk, the Bogstad Manor, the Norwegian Folk museum, the Tjuvholmen area, the Norwegian National Opera & Ballet building and the Hadeland Glassverk.
Stockholm is a city of design, fashion, innovation, technology and world-class food. But it is very special since it is built on 14 islands, connected by 57 bridges. The city is quite compact, which makes it easy to explore by foot. This helps you to easily see several areas in the city and the surrounding outdoor life. Don’t forget to complete your trip with a visit to the three sights, listed on the Unesco’s Worlds Heritage list: Visiting Birka, Drottningholm or the Woodland Cemetery.