Europe is full of dynamic cities that are renowned for their museums, gastronomy, nightlife, and architecture, from England and France to Italy and Germany. Therefore, it should not be surprising that selecting the top destinations in Europe can be a challenging experience. But still, we have compiled a list of Must-Visit European Countries, taking into account each site’s highlights, user feedback, and professional judgement.
Pick from one of the most beautiful places and plan your next vacation.
Istanbul is ideal with its alluring fusion of sights, sounds, and colours. It is a cosmopolitan city that spans two borders and two continents, with one foot in the East and the other in the West. The city is an excellent 21st-century mash-up of stylish art galleries, world-class restaurants, and nightclubs alongside magnificent mosques, eerie churches, fascinating museums, and Sultans’ palaces. Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman empires have all been present in Istanbul. Its distinctive mix of Islamic and Christian sites can be found everywhere.
The Hagia Sophia is magnificent, the Blue Mosque is home to the Iznik tiles, and the Topkapi Palace is where the Ottoman Sultans’ harem and displays are located. “Your itinerary should include the exceptional Byzantine frescoes of the Kariye Museum, the Suleymaniye Mosque complex overlooking the Golden Horn designed by Ottoman architect Sinan, and the Genoese Galata Tower with its 360-degree views of the entire city.”
You can reach Üsküdar, a bustling town with many significant specimens of Ottoman architecture and fantastic food shopping, by taking one of the city’s boats across the Bosphorus. Further out, the Bosphorus villages have a lot to offer, including the stronghold of Rumeli Hisari with its mesmerising views of the water and local seafood, the village atmosphere of Arnavutköy, and wooden Ottoman dwellings.
The eighth-largest city in the nation, Lahti, is surrounded by gorgeous forests, parks, and reserves with plenty of hiking paths and lookout places. It is located one hour north of the capital Helsinki. The city also ranks first among the top tourist destinations in Europe for sustainable travel, and this year it was given the title of Best Sustainable Destination in Europe for 2022.
Lahti, the entrance to the largest Lakeland in Europe and the Finnish Lakeland, is a leader in the fight against climate change and a pioneer in environmentally friendly, sustainable solutions. Finland has the cleanest water in the world, with more than 188,000 lakes. Lahti is just one hour’s drive from Helsinki, the country’s capital, and its harbour and international airport. It takes 2.5 hours to travel by train to St. Petersburg.
The river from the nearby Lake Vesijärvi to the pristine Lake Päijänne, Finland’s second-largest lake, opens up from Lahti, supplying drinking water to the entire region. The city comprises 11% bodies of water and nearly 75% forest. The Salpausselkä ridges naturally filter and purify the purest tap water in the globe, making it a daily treat.
Nijmegen is the second city in the Roman world to be acknowledged as such, the oldest city in the Netherlands. Its city centre is brimming with attractive ancient sites as evidence. The Nijmegen region, close to the German border, is well situated in a stunning, undulating river environment between the Rhine, Meuse, and Waal rivers.
Nijmegen is one of the liveliest cities in Europe not simply because of its rich cultural past but also because of its numerous events, festivals, distinctive hotspots, cosy restaurants, sidewalk cafés, and diverse retail districts. Since the competition’s inception, Nijmegen has received more votes than Amsterdam and Rotterdam combined, making it the most famous Dutch destination. Furthermore, it has been named the Best Youth Destination in Europe.
In 2022, it will be time to rediscover London, one of Europe’s wealthiest cities, after Brexit, COVID, and border closures. The capital of the United Kingdom, London, brings together traders, businesspeople, bankers, eccentrics, artists, creators, designers, and visitors like very few other places. The city’s tourist attractions go far beyond Big Ben, the London Eye, and Madame Tussauds, which never fail to enthral visitors of all ages.
Additionally, London has some of the most magnificent urban parks in Europe. The best seasons to visit London are in the spring and summer, when it is less crowded, the gardens in the city centre and its environs, like Richmond Park, are beautiful, with blooming plants, old trees, and roaming deer.
One of Romania’s most picturesque cities, Oradea, is noted for its liveliness and unique architectural landscape. As one of the best places in the area for leisurely and stress-free travel, Oradea embraces each season to the fullest. Only 300 kilometres from Vienna, Oradea is located on the western edge of Romania and has long exhibited the occident’s impact.
Because of its distinctive architectural heritage, the city has been named the most beautiful Art Nouveau town in Europe. In addition, Oradea, a city known for its youth, health, and relaxation, as well as for its year-round cultural events, concerts, plays, and exhibitions, was named “the most beautiful city in Romania.”
Leuven, a charming city in central Belgium to the east of Brussels, is the perfect place to go for an action-packed city break any time of year. This centuries-old university town welcomes visitors to explore and discover everything within walking or biking distance, thanks to its rich and varied offerings in heritage, art, culture, science, beer, gastronomy, and shopping.
Visitors will be drawn in by its vitality because it has a hip and urban vibe in a historical environment. Leuven also won the top spot in the list of the Best Open-Minded Destinations in Europe, which included locations that actively promote solidarity, tolerance, respect, and social diversity. This is the region of chocolate and is also recognised for its rich history of breweries dating back to 1366, which includes several well-known beer-makers, among them the legendary and world-famous Stella Artois. There are also car-free retail districts and street fairs promoting local items.
The town hall from the fifteenth century is located on a central square and is protected by its lofty spires. Numerous statues of historical figures from the area, biblical figures, and saints embellish the structure. A “Last Supper” by the Flemish Primitive painter Dieric Bouts is displayed in the late Gothic St. Peter’s Church across the street. Oude Markt, a lengthy square nearby, is surrounded by bars and cafes.
Plovdiv is not only one of the Best Destinations in Europe for 2022, but it is also one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Plovdiv, the nation’s cultural epicentre, was chosen as the 2019 European Capital of Culture. The city is home to numerous impressive ancient structures, including the theatre from the first century, the Roman stadium from the second century, the Ancient Forum, the Bishop’s Basilica of Philippopolis and the Small Early Christian Basilica, both of which date to the fourth and sixth centuries.
The Old Town of Plovdiv, the city’s crown jewel, is a cultural phenomenon with lovely and lavishly painted Revival homes. This location has received the most votes from Bulgarians since the competition’s inception in 2009 and is also ranked top among the Best Cultural Destinations in Europe 2022.
Amiens is a tranquil refuge of canals and floating gardens that showcases one of France’s most stunning and expansive Gothic cathedrals. It is also a location to go on a fantastic voyage in Jules Verne’s footsteps. The city, divided by the Somme River, is renowned for its medieval bell tower. While floating market gardens (also known as “hortillonnages”) dot the city’s canals, shops and cafes line the narrow streets of the historic Quartier St.-Leu. Amiens, the only French city to have three UNESCO heritage sites, including its imposing cathedral and stunning architecture, has been ranked as the fourth-greenest city in France and is ideally situated in the centre of the Paris-London-Brussels triangle.
After moving there in 1871, Jules Verne found inspiration in the city. The renowned novelist left his stamp on the town, and many areas of its streets bear the signs of his influence. Around the well-known floating Hortillonnages, which has been named the most beautiful City Park in Europe, Amiens hosts an international garden festival. You can explore the 740-acre green haven known as The Hortillonnages on foot, by bicycle, in a row boat, a kayak, or even on a stand-up paddleboard.
In Europe, Marbella is referred to as the “capital of the sun.” It is a popular location for tourists seeking elegance, refinement, golf, shopping, and upscale hotels and restaurants. Local handicrafts are also available. Marbella is a favourite destination for businesses and investors and one of the most desirable locations for digital nomads, sports fans, and foodies.
An unmistakable characteristic of this place is its historic centre, which features actual streets filled with flowers and plants hanging from buildings and balconies. Due to its pleasant environment and constant sunshine, Marbella is a haven for outdoor activities. The most renowned and upscale vacation spots in Europe are in this sunny region.
The capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana, is a city for the curious and daring, full of intriguing mysteries and unspoiled pleasures. The proudly green capital of Slovenia welcomes all visitors seeking culture, art, and leisure and provides expansive green spaces, making it a leading example of environmental planning worldwide. Ljubljana decided to make its historic centre entirely pedestrian-only earlier than other European cities. This stunning capital is at the top of the list of top travel destinations thanks to its rich natural heritage, colourful history, and original charm.
After the Covid-19 pandemic, travelling is what people look up to after being tied at home for so long. Hence, buckle up, get your travel bags ready, and explore the world.