The best places to visit in Europe

The best places to visit in Europe

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01 September

Why go halfway around the world when there are so many great places to visit in Europe? It may not be the biggest continent, but when it comes to holiday destinations, Europe packs a serious punch. From world-class cities for a weekend getaway to stunning areas of natural wilderness, there’s something to suit every taste and budget. Whether you’re a snow bunny looking for winter weather in Stockholm or a beach bum seeking the sunny shores of Cyprus, you’re sure to find something you enjoy.

With so many incredible destinations to choose from, it’s hard to narrow Europe down. That’s why we’ve done the hard work for you. We’ve put together this guide to eight of the very best European destinations. No matter what time of year you’re travelling, whatever you’re looking for, you’re bound to find it right here in our guide to the best places to visit in Europe.

Iceland

Are we cheating here? The first place on our list of great European destinations isn’t really a part of the European continent at all. Instead, Iceland is a tiny island more than 2,000 kilometres from the mainland. It’s definitely worth the journey, though. This spellbinding country is known as the land of fire and ice for its breathtaking mixture of volcanoes and glaciers. Natural springs, stunning waterfalls and eerie volcanic landscapes that look like something from another planet are all part of its unique appeal.

Your experience in Iceland will be completely different, depending on the time of year you travel. Go in summer to enjoy seemingly endless days and great hiking weather. The other major advantage of a summer trip to Iceland is whale-watching. June, July and August mark peak whale season, when you can often see these gentle giants out in the water that surrounds the island. A boat tour will take you closer to these mighty mammals, providing an experience you’ll never forget.

In winter, you’ll need to pack plenty of layers for the chilly weather — but you’ve got one heck of a reward waiting for you. Iceland is one of the best places to visit in Europe to see the Northern Lights, with colours blazing in the night sky from September to April. If it gets too cold for you, don’t panic. You can always step into the steamy waters of a natural thermal spring to warm yourself up.

Join us as we search for the Northern Lights. This Icelandic odyssey is perfect for adventurous travellers. Are you coming?

Northern Lights in Iceland

Andalusia

Ole! You’ll find the essence of Spain in the sunny south. Andalusia, the large region that covers most of southern Spain, is known for its unique, remarkable culture. This is the cradle of flamenco music and bullfighting, and preserves the traditional Spanish lifestyle. You’ll also find some of the best cuisine in Europe, including thirst-quenching gazpacho soup, barbecued sardines — and, of course, plenty of sangria. Many of the region’s cities are renowned as cheap places to go on holiday in Europe, particularly if you avoid the busy summer months when the Costa del Sol fills up with tourists.

Andalusia is also known for its unique architecture, the result of the historical mix of Moorish and Spanish cultures. You’ll see those Moorish influences in some of the region’s most famous buildings, such as the Alhambra Palace in Granada or the Mezquita in Córdoba, a former mosque turned into a cathedral. In Seville, you can climb the steps of the Giralda, once the minaret of a mighty mosque and now the bell tower of the city’s cathedral. From way up here, you’ll have the best possible views of one of Spain’s most beautiful and evocative cities.

There’s more to Andalusia than just its cities. You’ll also find spectacular nature. The Caminito del Rey in Málaga is considered Spain’s most daring hike, as you follow a wooden walkway stapled to the side of a cliff. If you’re brave enough to look down, the river looks like a thin ribbon of turquoise far below you. Not up for the challenge? No problem! Andalusia has some of the best beaches in Europe, with wild waves on the Atlantic coast of Cádiz and gentle turquoise waters on the Costa del Sol. If you visit in winter, you’ll also find snow-capped mountains in the Sierra Nevada that are ideal for skiing or snowboarding.

Our 8-day trip to Andalusia will show you the best of the region. You can discover a side of Spain that goes far beyond the beaches of Benidorm, from beautiful cities to thrilling nature. Join us for a flamenco-tinged adventure on the Iberian Peninsula!

A view of a beach in Andalusia

Portugal

For too long, Portugal has been neglected by travellers. You might think of the coast of the Algarve, known for its family-friendly resorts, but there’s so much more to this country. Take a historic tram ride up the hills of Lisbon, or wander the narrow streets of Porto in search of wine, food and song. This southern European gem has great weather, fabulous cuisine and vibrant nightlife. If you haven’t visited Portugal yet, it’s time to change that.

There are so many reasons why we think Portugal is one of the best places to visit in Europe. Let’s start with its size. This is a small country, so you can easily pack multiple destinations into a short trip. Start in the capital of Lisbon, where you can visit the historic castle and monastery, and try the world’s best custard tarts in the very spot where they were first invented. Take a trip up the coast to Cascais, the elegant seaside resort that was once the summer home of the Portuguese monarchy, or go inland to Sintra, known for its elegant hillside gardens and sophisticated palaces. If you’re a surfer, you’ll also find some of Europe’s best waves in the Lisbon region.

Foodies should head north to Porto, where the best parts of Portuguese cuisine are waiting for you. Sample the world-famous Port wine, learning the difference between Ruby and Tawny. There’s even more wine to enjoy in the vineyards of the rolling Douro Valley. That’s before you even think about the food: local cheeses, cured meats, salt cod, hearty green soups in winter, and Porto’s trademark meat and cheese-laden francesinha sandwich. You’d better pack your elasticated pants because this is not a destination for dieters.

We’ve put together a great itinerary for Portugal in this 8-day trip from Lisbon to Porto. Eat, drink and be merry with us on this great Southern European road trip.

A picture of Porto in Lisbon

Italy

Let’s be honest: this isn’t just one destination. The truth is that it’s impossible to choose a single Italian itinerary. No matter where you go — whether on the Italian mainland or the Mediterranean islands of Sardinia and Sicily — you’re in for a real treat. This country has dozens of the best holiday destinations in Europe.

With so many best places to go in Europe, where should you start? Well, Italy is a land of contrasts, from the snowy Alps to the sun-kissed Bay of Naples. Italians will be the first to tell you that there’s a major north-south divide. Northern cities like Milan and Venice are known for their sophistication and high culture, while southern destinations such as Naples are friendlier but more chaotic. Of course, visiting both the north and south of Italy will help you make up your own mind.

Across Italy, you’ll find some stunning sites, both natural and man-made. Europe’s most famous volcano, the imposing Mount Vesuvius, makes a dramatic backdrop to the city of Naples. Nearby, you can visit the ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum, the two cities destroyed by the volcanic eruption of 79 AD. In Rome, you’ll find the world-famous Colosseum and the Vatican buildings. A trip further north will let you float down the canals of Venice while a gondolier serenades you.

Have we mentioned the food yet? No matter where you go in Italy, you’re bound to eat well. Again, there are major regional differences. The best pizza can be found in the south, particularly in Naples, where it was invented. In the north, you’ll be able to enjoy more risotto and polenta, while pasta dishes can be found all across the country. Just remember: whatever you do, never ask for pizza with pineapple or a cappuccino after 11 am!

From ancient Roman ruins to Sicilian sunshine, we’ve put together a selection of the best Italian itineraries. Choose your favourite and join us to discover this magical country!

Picture from above the sea in Sardinia

Prague and Vienna

Is Central Europe on your holiday radar yet? This part of the continent is just perfect for Europe city breaks, as you’ll find glamorous capitals with beautiful architecture, incredible history and plenty of things to do. Many of them, like Vienna and Prague, are extremely walkable cities, so they’re ideal for a quick weekend getaway.

With centuries of history, Vienna is one of Europe’s most beautiful, romantic destinations. It claims to have the best cafés in Europe, so make sure you spend a morning at a traditional Kaffeehaus with a cup of coffee and a rich slice of classic Sachertorte. You’ll also have the chance to visit world-class art galleries, like the Upper Belvedere Palace and the Leopold Museum. For centuries, Vienna was an imperial capital, and as you wander its streets — lined with stunning old buildings — you can’t escape that glorious sense of old-world grandeur.

In Central Europe, you’re never far from a border. Cross from Austria into Czechia, and you’ll discover a completely different culture. As you cross the Charles Bridge, leading from Prague’s Old Town to the city’s iconic castle, you’ll fall in love. That’s because Prague is really one of the most remarkable places to visit in Europe. The Gothic buildings, the incredible castle complex, the narrow streets of the Old Town and the traditional half-timbered houses all combine to create an incredible destination.

You can easily spend your days immersed in Prague’s long, fascinating history — but don’t forget that this is the nightlife capital of Central Europe. In the evening, you’ll find bars and clubs offering every kind of music you could want, from techno to jazz. After a night out on the town in Prague, you’ll never want to go home again.

We’ve combined these two great destinations in a single epic international tour. You’ll see the very best of Vienna and Prague, discovering two of Central Europe’s finest gems. Join us for an incredible road trip!

Prague in the Evening

Belgium

When you think of Belgium, you might think of all the red tape and bureaucracy of the EU headquarters. In fact, this country is one of the most underrated holiday destinations in Europe. Start with the cuisine: chocolate-topped waffles, delicious crepes, hearty bowls of mussels and chips. On top of that, you’ll find all the artisan beer you can drink!

When you can tear yourself away from your plate, you’ll also find an extremely varied country. There’s a huge difference between French-speaking Wallonia and Dutch-speaking Flanders, and that’s before you even discover the capital region around Brussels. This is a country with multiple cultures to explore, and each area has its own cities to discover. In Flanders, you can’t miss Bruges and its picturesque canals. The city is known as the Venice of the North. There’s also the capital of Wallonia, Namur, which is known for its striking citadel and beautiful river. Belgians are often fiercely proud of their languages and regions, but wherever you go, a love of good food and beer brings the whole country — and its visitors — together.

Of course, no trip to Belgium would be complete without spending some time in Brussels. This is one of Europe’s most vibrant capitals, where traditional art galleries rub shoulders with the continent’s hippest graffiti. Check out the massive murals that cover many buildings, celebrating the most famous Belgian of all time, Tintin. You can even pick up a comic book map of the city to ensure you don’t miss a single Tintin sighting. Brussels is also one of Europe’s major crossroads, so a night out here will see you partying with people from all over the continent.

This tour of Belgium will take you on a five-day journey across the country. Discover some of the coolest cities and most interesting sights with this ambitious city break package.

Dinant, city in Belgium

Greece

A trip to Greece lets you decide exactly what you want to do. Nature lovers can go island-hopping, discovering something even more beautiful on each of the rocky isles of the Aegean. Clubbers will be in paradise, with some of the world’s most famous nightlife to be found. If you’re into history, you’ll also find plenty to keep you busy. In fact, the entire heritage of ancient Greece is waiting for you.

On the mainland, you can’t beat Athens. Just the sight of the Acropolis will thrill you as you step back in time to the days of Alexander the Great, Socrates and Plato. Who didn’t grow up reading the myths and legends of ancient Greece? This is the land where they come to life while you explore historic temples and fascinating ruins. History buffs will also fall in love with the island of Santorini, which has some of the best archaeological sites in the world — as well as a clear blue sea to enjoy when you’re tired of all that sightseeing.

Greece is also known for its fresh, flavour-packed food. As the home of the Mediterranean diet, this is one of the best places to visit in Europe if you want to eat well. Fresh salads, salty feta, deliciously astringent olives, and rich moussaka are always on the menu — along with a glass of ouzo to wash it all down!

We’ve got several great options for visitors to Greece. Check out our range of fun trips, including Corfu, Santorini, Kos and more. Whether you want to visit some of the most popular islands or venture off the beaten track, we’ve got you covered.

A view of Santarini

Croatia

In recent years, Croatia has become known as one of the best places to visit in Europe. This Adriatic jewel has beautiful, historic cities, world-class beaches and incredible natural parks. However, for many visitors, there’s only one main attraction: the filming locations made famous by Game of Thrones. Whatever your inspiration, Croatia is a great destination.

If you’re looking for nature, you can’t beat the breathtaking cascades of Plitvice Lake National Park. This is considerd one of the most beautiful, untouched parts of Europe. You’ll also find incredible beaches, particularly around the coastal city of Dubrovnik. With superb hiking routes and unspoiled greenery, this is one of the best places to visit in Europe for anyone seeking adventure.

Prefer to dance the night away? Hvar Island is one of Europe’s newest and most exciting party destinations. This is a clubbing hotspot where the party doesn’t stop until the sun rises. Then it’s time to take a nap on the beach before doing it all over again the next day!

Are you looking for lazy days on the beach, beautiful adventures in nature or just the chance to unleash your inner Targaryen? Our Croatian road trip is the perfect choice for your next holiday!

Dubrovnik, Croatia
WeRoad Team
Written by WeRoad Team
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