Europe is the most popular continent for tourism because of its rich and diverse culture, delicious food, very well preserved historic architecture as well as modern-era buildings and a variety of destinations. Whether you want a romantic outing, a fun family trip, a nature exploring tour, a calm, mindful experience, a holy religious trip, or a beach trip, Europe has it all.
Europe has preserved its past so well that it’s like walking into living history. They love their cultural and artistic heritage, and so have the best theatres, opera houses, music performances, and art galleries for tourists to visit and marvel at the brilliance of work.
And how can we miss the food? Europe has the best possible variety and tastes on the face of the earth. You will find the best restaurants, cafes, and coffee houses, offering the best food and drinks.
15 Attractive Places to Travel in Europe for Seasoned Tourists
Now, many destinations are very well explored and visited by millions of tourists like Rome, Amsterdam, and Athens. Still, there are some hidden gems of Europe whose potential is yet to be discovered, for example, Rijeka and Bratislava. In this list of best places to travel in Europe, I have consciously made an effort to include these low key destinations, so when you are planning to travel to Europe, you have a reference to experience some adventures.
1. Vienna, Austria
Vienna is a city of rich civilization at the banks of the Danube River with a twist of modern and classic architecture. Vienna bags the top spot on the list of best places to travel in Europe because it is rich in many aspects, including arts, architecture, cuisine, music, and museums.
The first thing that every tourist visits in Vienna is probably its palaces. The Schonbrunn Palace dates back to the 1600s and is a true representative of Vienna’s rich heritage. Even the rooms are furnished in the original style and thus give you a feel of how Austrian royalty lived in real life. The Hofburg Palace is also a historical architecture masterpiece. Built-in the 13th century and still serving as presidential offices, this palace is a live tour of Austrian history. It has museums like Sisi Museum and also the Spanish riding school.
No art lover can miss the art and music destinations in Vienna. MuseumsQuartier is a remarkably sophisticated housing museum, art exhibitions, cafes, bars, and restaurants. The Leopold Museum here is one of the best art museums in Europe with works from prominent artists.
Other places not to miss in Vienna include its famous Wiener Riesenrad Ferris wheel for the marvelous view of the city from the top. Then there is a treat for nature lovers at Palmenhaus in the Burggarten park that is a massive greenhouse with loads of variety of plantations.
2. Athens, Greece
Athens symbolizes the richness of history and is the birthplace of modern democracy. Athens is very well known for its ancient archeological ruins like Acropolis, but this is not the unique feature of Athens to deserve a spot in the best places to travel in Europe. Athens has a lot more to offer. Athens’ National Archaeology Museum has numerous collections, each representing a different era in ancient history with exhibits. Not to miss for theatre lovers is the Theatre of Dionysus, the oldest theatre in Greece. A must-go place for mindful people and the ones who want a break from the hustle and bustle of a busy life are The Pláka and Anafiotika Neighborhoods. These places give you a village ambiance and a taste of old Athens. Athens is home to many churches with diverse architecture and also for the pieces of art placed in these buildings.
3. The Douro Valley, Portugal
The Douro Valley in Portugal is brimming with natural beauty. Its breathtaking landscape is the main reason that the valley makes a mention in the best places to travel in Europe. The view of the Douro River and then the vineyards on the hillside on both sides of the Douro River make a magnificent view. You must not miss the boat trip along the river. Another unique feature of the valley is the country homes and estates, now converted into lodging surrounded by vineyards and landscape.
4. Transylvania, Romania
Transylvania is mostly known as Dracula’s homeland though it has many good reasons to be famous. It has a lot of potential in terms of tourism that is not yet explored fully. Peles Castle in Sinaia is a beautiful castle that is worthy of a visit. Then there are Brasov’s churches and architecture thanks to its unique geographical location at the crossroads of The Saxons and the Ottoman Empire.
The unique adventure you can experience in Transylvania is the bear watching activity. The Forestry Commission has allocated many hides with rangers where you can watch bears in the wild setting. There are many other attractions, including the churches of Biertan and Viscri, the Gothic fortress Bran Castle, Poenari Castle, and Electric castle.
Another attraction of Transylvania is its therapeutic waters. There are many resort towns famous for treating some ailments.
5. Manchester, United Kingdom
Manchester is probably the most obvious choice in this list of top places to travel in Europe. It has so many attractions for tourists that it can be overwhelming at times; therefore, thorough research before heading to Manchester is very much needed. Here we mention a few must-visit spots. It has several museums on a variety of interests like Old Trafford Museum and Football Club for soccer lovers, Museum of Science and Industry for old machines and engines, and Air and Space Gallery for aircraft enthusiasts.
Manchester Cathedral and St. Mary’s Catholic Church are places to visit for both religious and architectural value.
Whitworth Art Gallery and Manchester Art Gallery are feasts for the eyes of art lovers. At the same time, many libraries in Manchester are great attractions for book lovers to find unique and rare books.
Beech Road, Chorlton Water Park, and Heaton Park are great places to visit with kids and family. And after all the sightseeing and trips do not forget spending a good time in China Town. The unmatched variety and quality of food are waiting for you there.
6. Hévíz, Hungary
If I have to name one attraction, that is the reason for Hévíz to be on this list of best places to travel in Europe, then undoubtedly the answer is a thermal lake. This lake has a history of 2000 years and thus can be a potential candidate for the oldest spa treatment in the country. The combination of different minerals naturally occurring in the water has curative effects, and therefore, a very flourishing alternative medicine industry is flourishing around it. At the end of thermal lakes, you can enjoy a walk in Dr. Schulhof Vilmos Promenade. A very scenic place with several buildings giving a tour to Hévíz’s colonial past.
A visit to Hévíz Museum Collection gives you details of town history through artifacts while The Museum of Energy has exhibits like coins and ornaments excavated from different historical sites. Then there are remains of first-century Roman villas with archeological value. Other places of archaeological importance are the town’s churches.
7. Paris, France
Paris is a magical place to be. Paris is the center of arts, entertainment, fashion, business, history, and culture. For some people like me, Paris is the Eiffel Tower. So going to Paris means going to the Eiffel Tower and everything else comes later. Another attraction for those interested in architecture and history is Musée du Louvre. The King of France used to live here; however, now this magnificent royal palace is converted into a museum so vast that it is almost impossible to cover it in a day. So you better focus on galleries of your interest.
Paris’s cathedrals need a special mention too. The magnificent Notre Dame Cathedral is a must-visit place in Paris. For music and theatre people Palais Garnier, Opéra National de Paris is the place to go in Paris. It has a full calendar of events happening throughout the year.
A boat cruise along the Seine River is the favorite family activity. The lovely romantic ambiance and the breathtaking view of the city make it irresistible. The journey at night gives you an authentic feel of why Paris is called the city of lights.
8. Rome, Italy
Rome is an ancient city, the birthplace of civilizations and cultures. It has so many monuments to visit that you can be overwhelmed. There are many historical sights as well as museums and churches. The buildings are very well preserved, and you will surely enjoy the trip to the glorious past of Rome.
Vatican city holds a special place in the hearts of religious believers, as well as others. No trip to Rome can be completed without visiting this holy place. Places to visit in Vatican City are St. Peter’s Basilica, the Grotto of Lourdes, the Vatican Museums, and the Piazza San Pietro.
Here is a mention of the most popular tourist attractions in Rome. The bridge and Castel Sant’Angelo, Villa Borghese park, including its three museums, Villa Borghese gardens, Roman Forum, Pantheon, and Piazza del Campidoglio (Capitol Square). It is not an exhaustive list, though.
Rome has many food places for you to go, but enjoying Rome’s gelato, a type of icecream is inevitable. Rome has shopping places for every budget. Go to Via del Corso street if you want to go budget shopping and choose Via Condotti if you can afford high-end brands.
9. Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Amsterdam’s artistic heritage and cultural assets need a special mention, as this is what makes Amsterdam unique in its sense. The city canal system and small houses also add to Amsterdam’s fame. The Rijksmuseum, The Anne Frank Museum, The Van Gogh Museum and Stedelijk Museum are famous museums of Amsterdam.
The Jordaan is a popular and exciting neighborhood in Amsterdam. It has a floating museum that is dedicated to the houseboats. The Jordaan also has an open-air market, where you can buy local crafts, flowers, and locally produced items.
The Bloemenmarkt is a floating flower market on the Singel canal. You can also take a boat trip to the 100 channels of the city and enjoy the architecture, the ambiance, and the mansions in Amsterdam.
10. Rijeka, Croatia
Rijeka, for me, is a discovery, a hidden gem. The best place to get relaxed and have a mindful experience is Blue Flag beaches. Let’s have a look at the best places to visit in Rijeka. Trsat Castle is an archeologist phenomenon. Been home to different empires and cultures. This place has witnessed many highs and lows of Croatian history. The Church of Our Lady of Trsat is a pilgrimage site attributing to the famous icon of Mary.
Peek & Poke Computer Museum is popular with kids because it is related to computers and technology. It has machines dated 200 years from now — an excellent site for tech people to see how technology evolved over the years.
Saint Vitus Cathedral, The Governor’s Palace and Maritime and Historical Museum, The Natural History Museum, and City Clock Tower are some prominent places for tourists to visit.
There are attractions nearby Rijeka that are worth mentioning as you can go on a day trip to Moscenice that is 30 kilometer to the southwest of Rijeka.
11. Cork, Ireland
Cork is a city that has it all. It offers excellent nature experience in forms of cliff walks, beaches, parks, and gardens, including Garnish Island, Fota Wildlife Park, and Spike Island. The museums in the city are marvelous. Allihies Copper Mine Museum is one of its kind as it preserved the history of mining in the region. In Cobh Museum, you can view intricate pieces of lace. The historical monuments in Cork city are Red Abbey Tower, The Father Mathew Statue, The Honan Chapel, and Blarney Castle.
Cork City also offers a fair share of arts and theatre attractions. Cork Arts Theatre and Cork Opera House are your go-to places for high-quality performances.
12. Bratislava, Slovakia
Bratislava is a different sort of tourist experience than in central Europe. It can sometimes get complicated because of commuting and stuff. But no doubt it does deserve its place in the best places to travel in Europe because of the attractions it offers.
Bratislava has a geographical edge because it is blessed with the Danube River and surrounded by the Little Carpathian mountains. So many opportunities for skiing and hiking as well as boat trips. If you are someone who can take a slow pace and can admire small little things in culture, then do try the walk through the old town. If you take a guide along, you will hear many stories and will know about hidden details.
Bratislava has some unique and exciting places. For example, the Blue Church has a unique architecture, both the exterior and interior. The church is painted in different hues of blue and thus is a masterpiece very aesthetically done. Then the UFO bridge is known for the structure of UFO on it and is a must-visit the place.
Some other must-visit places are Bratislava castle, Slovak Radio building, Nedbalka, and Petrzalka. It also has the best cafes with a brilliant ambiance and coffee.
13. Prague, Czech Republic
Prague is known for Prague Castle, the largest castle complex in the world. You need a reasonable period to visit this complex. The main attractions inside the compound are St. Vitus Cathedral, Royal Garden, the Old Royal Palace, St. George’s Basilica, the Golden Lane and the Powder Tower. The Old Town Square attracts a flow of tourists because of its architectural monuments, restaurants, and the impressive performances by musicians and performers on the street. Charles Bridge, Wenceslas Square, Infant Jesus of Prague, St Vitus Cathedral, The National Gallery are other worth mentioning places to travel in Europe.
Also, have a look at the magnificent city of Prague from a cruise through the river Vltava that bisects the Prague city.
14. Menorca, Spain
Menorca is a low key tourist destination in Spain; therefore, if you happen to like an authentic experience of cultures around the world, then this is your place to be. It is a beautiful island with white sand beaches that are subjectively untouched by men. The best thing to do in Menorca is, without a doubt having a peaceful and relaxed day at the beach. A full day sailing trip is also a great way to explore. Kayak trips and jet ski trips are also popular in Menorca.
Ciutadella Old Town, Ses Pedreres de s’Hostal, Monte Toro, Museum of Menorca, and Museo Ethnological Molí de Dalt are historical buildings you must visit.
15. Tbilisi, Georgia
Last but not least, mention in our list of best places to travel in Europe is Tbilisi. Tbilisi is blessed by nature with the beauty unseen. The valley has the most picturesque backdrop with bright, fresh turrets. Walk around the city and enjoy the sights of cobblestone streets, wooden houses, stone churches, and shops. Metekhi Church, Narikala Fortress, Sioni Cathedral, Holy Trinity Cathedral, and the Open-Air Museum of Georgian Folk Architecture are some of the many monuments that deserve a visit in Tbilisi. Dry Bridge Flea Market is also an exciting place to visit and shop. The handicrafts, old soviet era items, original art pieces, coins, stamps, and a variety of other things make great keepsakes and souvenirs for tourists.
This list of the best places to travel in Europe can surely make you dizzy and wonder where to go and what to let go of. I would instead go to less explored areas first and have the best and least commercialized experience first. When things are not very commercialized, the core of the culture and art remains pure, and the experience is always better. Though it can be a bit of a hassle as you will probably won’t get direct flights or the boarding and lodging information might not be readily available. I would take this bargain at any time, though.