Top 20 holiday destinations in Europe
The vast continent of Europe offers a plethora of diverse holiday destinations; some perfect for solo-travellers and avid explorers, while others offer the ideal retreat for romantic couples or families with young children.
The landscapes across Europe range from frozen tundra and forests in the north to hot dry hills of the Mediterranean region – offering an exciting array of natural beauties, as well as manmade monuments and popular attractions.
At over 9,900,000 square kilometres in size, with 44 countries, speaking over 200 different languages and home to more than 740 million people, there’s plenty to see and do across Europe. To help you choose your next Europe holiday destinations, we’ve chosen our top 20 countries on the continent certainly worthy of exploring!
1. Sant Antoni de Portmany, Ibiza
The beautiful Spanish island of Ibiza is a diverse holiday destination within the Balearic Islands, boasting beautifully hot and dry summers, with an average temperature of 30*C (and more than 300 days of sunshine every year!)
Sant Antoni de Portmany, located on the western coast of Ibiza, is a fantastic area of the island to explore, home to some great beaches, lively nightclubs and the infamous huge ‘Egg’ monument; a 20th century statue tribute to Christopher Columbus.
2. Dubrovnik, Croatia
The eastern European country of Croatia was once considered somewhat of an oddball of a holiday destination, but now tourists are flocking to the latest Mediterranean sunspot! Many cities in Croatia offer great weather throughout the year, with July and August typically the warmest months of the year.
The city of Dubrovnik, in southern Croatia, is known for its quaint Old Town, lined with massive stone well-preserved walls completed in the 16th century (and UNESCO World Heritage Site). This walled city, on the Adriatic Sea Coast, boasts a variety of great museums, churches, beaches and sailing/boat trips for visitors to enjoy.
3. Porto, Portugal
The bustling city of Porto, in northern Portugal, is another brilliant destination, overlooking the Douro River estuary. Home to an array of museums and galleries, visitors here can also enjoy a cruise up the Douro River and sight-see some of the best bits of the city.
Porto’s Ribeira district, the oldest in the city, is filled with spectacular, ancient houses, quaint cobbled streets and a brilliant selection of bars and restaurants. There’s plenty of places here to soak up the gorgeous Portuguese sun, especially in its hottest month of July, with temperatures averaging 20*C (and up to 10 hours of sunshine).
4. Venice, Italy
The beautiful city of Venice, the capital of northern Italy’s Veneto region, offers over 100 islands, 400 bridges and 170 canals across its six diverse districts. Gondola rides through the city streets are hugely popular here, as well as journeys to the scenic island of San Michele in the Venetian Lagoon.
The beautiful island is the city’s cemetery and has been since the early 19th century – but while the island is renowned to be dedicated to the dead, it remains a fascinating destination, home to many tombs and memorials of historic figures as well as two churches.
5. Santa Cruz, Tenerife
Santa Cruz, Tenerife’s vibrant capital located on the eastern tip of the island, offers countless activities and landmarks to explore on holiday – on foot or on an open bus tour is best! The auditorium Auditorio de Tenerife is a popular destination, as well as the museum Museo de la Naturaleza y el Hombre and botanical garden Palmetum of Santa Cruz.
6. Monte-Carlo, Monaco
Monaco, the small, independent city-state on France’s Mediterranean coastline, is a brilliant holiday destination. Offering a mild climate throughout the year, with an average of 24*C in the summer months and up to 14 hours of sunshine, it’s actually a great place to travel to all-year round.
The region of Monte-Carlo is popular destination, located between the Alps and the Mediterranean Sea. Home to the renowned Monte Carlo Casino and Casino Square, a beautiful landmark in the city, offering a pretty water fountain, pretty landscapes and nearby shops, cafes and bars, a holiday to the country wouldn’t be complete without the exploration of this major Monacan district.
7. Stockholm, Sweden
Sweden is one of the most popular holiday destination in Europe, boasting thousands of beautiful coastal islands and inland lakes to explore as well as 200 fantastic ski resorts.
Located on an archipelago made up of 14 islands, Sweden’s vibrant capital of Stockholm attracts over seven million tourists each year. The cosmopolitan city (and largest in the country) boasts more than 700 years of history, offering its lovely, beautifully preserved Old Town to explore.
8. Bucharest, Romania
The south-eastern European country of Romania has lots to offer for a dream escape, from impressive castles and medieval towns to its buzzing capital city. Bucharest is a buzzing metropolis located in the south of the country.
The city, which is one of the largest in south-eastern Europe, is notably home to the second largest administrative building in the world; the People’s Palace. Tineretului Park is a lovely, green public park in the city, perfect for a holiday picnic, while the National Museum of Art of Romania offers a fantastic historic experience, located in the former royal palace in Revolution Square.
9. Frankfurt, Germany
The western European country of Germany is a brilliant place to take your family, friends or partner on holiday, offering beautiful landscapes, popular attractions, historical monuments and fantastic bars and of course, the famous Frankfurt sausage!
The medieval building of Römer is one of the city’s most important landmarks, which has been the city hall for over 600 years! Frankfurt Zoo, the second oldest in Germany, is a great attraction for the whole family, home to over 4,500 animals.
10. Koper, Slovenia
The central European country of Slovenia, wedged between Austria and Italy, is home to the port city Koper, on the Adriatic Coastline. Koper can easily be explored on foot, offering quaint, historic buildings such as Koper Cathedral and Bell Tower and Praetorian Palace, a 15th century Venetian Gothic palace on the southern side of the city’s central Tito Square.
11. Pollença, Mallorca
Mallorca, the Spanish gem in the waters of the Mediterranean sea, has always been a family-favourite holiday destination, offering safe, sandy beaches and an array of family activities across the island.
Located in the far north corner of the island, Pollença is home to the pretty Puerto de Pollença, the town’s port, and enjoy a popular weekly market on a Sunday morning. The island boasts warm and sunny summers, with its hottest month of August averaging 25*C.
12. Limassol, Cyprus
Cyprus is an island surrounded by low cliffs and a mix of golden and white sandy beaches. Limassol is a city on the island’s southern coast and a significant tourist destinations with its beautiful sea port. The city offers a variety of great beaches, Limassol Marina, the medieval Limassol Castle and a brilliant waterpark (and zoo!) for family groups.
13. Santorini, Greece
Visiting a volcanic (but inactive) island as an idyllic destination is a rarity on holiday, but Greece boasts the beautiful island of Santorini to fulfil this desire. Devastated by a volcanic eruption in the 16th century, Santorini is now a spectacle of the Mediterranean. You can enjoy visiting Santorini’s capital, Thira, after gazing at the volcano’s crater, to become immersed in traditional Grecian culture.
14. Tejeda, Las Palmas, Gran Canaria
The paradise island of Gran Canaria is a beautiful destination for your holiday. The municipality of Tejeda, the highest part of Gran Canaria, is a great area of the island to explore, in the province of Las Palmas.
Tejeda, which is around 44 kilometres from the Gran Canaria’s capital of Las Palmas, is the perfect destination for a hiking, mountain biking or climbing break, with breathtaking landscapes on offer and century-old trails. The area is also home to two brilliant museums; the Abraham Cárdenes Sculpture Museum and the Ethnographic Museum.
The cosmopolitan city of Las Palmas itself has lots to offer – from beautiful beaches (the island boasts around 60 kilometres of beaches along hundreds of kilometres of stunning coastlines) to vibrant carnivals, such as the infamous annual Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
15. Puerto del Rosario, Fuerteventura
Fuerteventura is the second largest of Spain’s Canary Islands and a brilliant holiday destination for all ages, offering brilliant family-friendly attractions as well as challenging hikes and busy bars for older explorers. Sitting in the Atlantic Ocean, the island boasts an average temperature of 24*C in the summer, with around 10 hours of sunshine.
The municipality of Puerto del Rosario (and Fuerteventura’s capital) is a peaceful but interesting destination, in the eastern part of the island. The capital boasts a modern sea promenade which crosses the city, through the marina and the beach of Playa Chica while the bay of Puerto del Rosario welcomes cruise ships every week.
Visitors here can explore a sculpture park made up by more than one hundred sculptures, scattered throughout the city, as well as a huge variety of bars and restaurants.
16. Arrecife, Lanzarote
The easternmost of the Canary Islands, Lanzarote boasts year-round warm weather, with its hottest month of August offering an average temperature of 25*C!
Arrecife, located in the centre-eat of the island, is Lanzarote’s cosmopolitan capital city and a fantastic holiday destination, with its own beautiful beach, Playa del Reducto. With a great variety of shops, museums, bars and restaurants, there’s plenty to do in and around this buzzing Spanish city.
17. Paris, France
France’s capital of Paris – ‘The city of love’ is home to an array of iconic landmarks, from the Eiffel Tower to the Notre Dame. This major European country is a global centre for art, fashion and culture, as well as a tourist hotspot for its many attractions, from museums to galleries. Renowned for its delicious cuisine, including the baguette, croissant, croquet-monsieur and steak-frites.
18. Brno, Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a fantastic holiday destination in central Europe, offering ornate castles (more than anywhere else in Europe), brilliant attractions for every type of holidaymaker and a buzzing capital city to explore.
Its second largest city of Brno is notably home to the Špilberk Castle and Fortress and the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul on Petrov Hill. As the major city of Moravia, a historical region in the Czech Republic, there’s plenty to do on a break here, from exploring museums to getting up close to the animals at Brno Zoo.
19. Barcelona, Spain
The metropolitan city of Barcelona, and capital of Spain’s Catalonia region, is a fantastic holiday destination, boasting historic architecture, timeless artworks, delicious authentic cuisine, beautiful beaches and brilliant nightlife.
The city is one of the oldest in the world, dating back over 2,000 years, and a fantastic cultural hub ready for you to explore! Its infamous Sagrada Família is a must see here; a large Roman Catholic Church designed by Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí and a UNESCO recognised World Heritage Site.
20. Mahón, Menorca
The Spanish Balearic Island of Menorca is known for its beautiful endless beaches and reliably brilliant weather (with summer temperatures in the mid 30’s, and winter temperatures around 14*C). Its capital city of Mahón oozes charm and tranquility; offering a brilliant variety of natural beauties as well as bars and restaurants.
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