40 Best Places To Visit in Europe in Your Lifetime

Wondering where to go on your next European adventure? Here are 40 of the best places to visit in Europe to consider.

Deciding to explore Europe is the easy bit. Deciding which part of Europe to explore is where it gets tricky! In fact, you could call it a conundrum of continental proportions. Europe has 51 independent nations, and they all boast a long list of tantalizing attractions.

Whether it’s Italy’s ancient Roman ruins, Norway’s famous fjords, or Greece’s paradise islands, it’s jam-packed with enviable destinations – and you probably want to visit them all. To help you decide where to go first (or next), here are 40 of the best places to visit in Europe.

1. Hallstatt, Austria

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There aren’t many places in Europe as picturesque as this small village in Austria. Hallstatt is famous for its fairytale-like aesthetic.

Steep mountain peaks provide an epic backdrop to its cobbled streets and age-old church, all of which sit alongside a pristine lake. People flock here in summer, so expect crowds, but the magical setting will make up for it.

2. Orkney Islands, Scotland

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The Orkney Islands are an archipelago off the north coast of the Scottish mainland. It is a wild, beautiful, and remote destination comprising roughly 70 islands. On them, you’ll find ancient sites of global significance. The “Heart of Neolithic Orkney” is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with 5,000-year-old stone circles and the infamous Skara Brae settlement.

3. Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland

Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland
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Ireland is a vibrant and verdant European destination renowned for its history, traditional music, and natural beauty. The Wild Atlantic Way is one of the most popular things to do there.

A whopping 1,600-mile drive down its west coast, it takes in some of the Emerald Isle’s most famous and impressive places, including the mighty Cliffs of Moher, Slieve League, Galway, and the Dingle Peninsula.

4. Iceland

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All of Iceland deserves a place on your Europe bucket list. It’s a gem of a country that’s ideal for outdoor enthusiasts, with landscapes that defy belief with their scale, splendor, and diversity. Expect black sand beaches, volcanoes, enormous waterfalls, natural hot springs, and so much more. If you’re lucky, you might also see the Northern Lights.

5. Rome, Italy

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Italy’s capital city is a history buff’s dream. It’s a bustling place where the amenities of a modern metropolis rub shoulders with 2,000-year-old attractions.

While the list of things to do is endless, highlights include the iconic Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and Vatican City. I recommend spending at least three days in Rome to see as much as possible without burning out.

6. Amalfi Coast, Italy

Amalfi Coast
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The Amalfi Coast is another beautiful place to visit in Europe. A series of colorful, elegant towns built on cliffsides overlook glittering cerulean seas. Don’t miss the historic and luxurious island of Capri, either.

Similarly, consider stopping at Pompeii en route to the Amalfi Coast. Frozen in time by Mount Vesuvius’ infamous eruption in 79 AD, it’s as close as you can get to exploring an ancient world.

7. Dolomites, Italy

Hiking in Dolomites, Italy
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The Dolomites were by far my favorite place in Northern Italy. With striking mountains, pristine lakes, gorgeous views, and more hikes than you can shake a stick at, it’s a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. The best-known highlight is Tre Cime di Lavaredo. These three chimney-like peaks are instantly recognizable, and the hike up to them is breathtaking.

8. Mont Saint-Michel, France

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You’d be forgiven for mistaking Mont Saint-Michel as a school for witches and wizards. Located in northern France, this storied UNESCO World Heritage Site definitely seems like something from a fairytale.

A renowned pilgrimage location, there’s been an abbey on this tidal islet for over 1,000 years. Today, it’s one of France’s most popular tourist destinations – and for good reason.

9. Paris, France

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Paris is officially Europe’s most popular destination, attracting over 40 million visitors annually. It’s busy year-round, with people flocking to the Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Arc de Triomphe, and other famous tourist attractions for which the City of Love is known. The crowds are unideal, but Paris is huge, historic, and full of fantastic art and architecture.

10. Prague, Czech Republic

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The Czech Republic’s capital city is renowned for its architectural wonders and cheap (but delicious) beers. Its UNESCO-listed center is a maze of beautiful squares and cobblestone streets lined with bustling bars and historic buildings. Highlights include the Charles Bridge, Prague Castle, St. Vitus Cathedral, and the Old Town Square and Clock Tower.

11. London, England

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Built on ancient Roman foundations, the UK capital is another European destination where history and modernity coexist. It’s a huge, electrifying city where millions of people walk the streets.

You can party into the early hours, tour age-old attractions like the Tower of London, stroll through verdant parks, and explore dozens of incredible museums. One thing’s for sure: you’ll never be bored in London.

12. Split, Croatia

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Croatia’s second-largest city enjoys a prime location on a peninsula jutting into the Adriatic Sea. Split balances old and new, with ancient architecture hiding in plain sight among more modern buildings.

The most famous attraction is Diocletian’s Palace, a remarkable relic of ancient Rome left behind by the eponymous emperor – the only one to voluntarily abdicate his position. This vast harborside palace complex was where he retired. Today, it forms around half of Split’s old town.

13. Norway’s Fjords

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Norway is another outdoor paradise. It feels largely untouched by human hands – a wilderness characterized by giant mountains, waterfalls, and iconic fjords. Visitors from around the globe come to gawp at these mighty cliffs that fall thousands of feet into the waters below.

They pepper Norway’s west coast, but the UNESCO-listed Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjord are two of its most famous.

14. Valletta, Malta

Valletta, Malta
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Malta is a small archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea, but its strategic location prompted some of history’s greatest empires to fight over it.

As a result, the islands are peppered with huge fortresses, walled towns, and watchtowers, with Valletta, Malta’s capital, being a prime example. It’s a remarkable place with giant fortified stone walls. Visiting feels like stepping back into a medieval world of knights and crusading armies.

15. Lucerne, Switzerland

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Lucerne is a beautiful town with a medieval history located on the edge of the eponymous lake. Its centerpiece is Chapel Bridge, a covered 14th-century wooden bridge spanning the river Reuss at an unusual, diagonal angle. The architecture, museums, atmospheric old town, and incredible mountainous setting make this an underrated place to visit in Europe.  

16. Transylvania, Romania

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Thanks to Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Transylvania is often associated with vampires. In reality, it’s a spectacular region of Romania famous for fairytale castles, medieval towns, and stunning scenery.

Highlights include the iconic Bran Castle, Rasnov Fortress, the 13th-century Sighisoara Citadel, the unique Turda Salt Mine (with its amusement park inside), and the epic Transfagarasan Highway.

17. Lapland, Finland

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Lapland is one the best places to visit in Europe if you’re looking for an adventure in a winter wonderland.

Get pulled by huskies through snow-covered forests, experience the midnight sun, see majestic wildlife like bears, wolves, eagles, and lynxes, and gaze up in wonder at the Northern Lights. The landscapes and attractions here are hard to beat.

18. Greek Islands

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If you prefer warmer climates, head to Greece to hop between paradise islands. While there are too many to visit in a single trip, they all boast historical attractions, pristine sandy beaches, and picturesque towns full of charm. Some of the most famous Greek islands to explore are Mykonos, Santorini, Crete, Corfu, and Rhodes.

19. Meteora, Greece

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While tourists tend to focus on the Greek islands, the country’s inland areas are equally sublime. Meteora is one of the most iconic places in northwestern Greece. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it’s home to centuries-old monasteries perched precipitously atop huge sandstone peaks. Some date to the 14th century and are still in use today.

20. Lake Bled, Slovenia

Lake Bled in Slovenia
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Lake Bled takes first prize for aesthetic appeal in a country that’s perfect for outdoor adventures. A symbol of Slovenia, places in Europe don’t get much more picturesque. It’s surrounded by mountains, has an island in the middle with a medieval church on top, and there’s a castle perched on cliffs overlooking the scene.

Still unsure where to travel in Europe? Read on for a quick rundown of 30 additional epic places to visit in Europe.

21. Peloponnese, Greece

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The Peloponnese is a large peninsula renowned for its historical significance and natural beauty. It has first-class beaches, immense ancient ruins, and no shortage of outdoor opportunities.

The Giant's Causeway at sunset in an article about the best things to do in Ireland.

22. Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland

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This world-famous Irish attraction is on the north coast of the Emerald Isle. Set to a dramatic cliffside backdrop, you’ll see tens of thousands of interlocking basalt columns rising to different heights.

23. Barcelona, Spain

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Barcelona is one of Spain’s most iconic cities. As well as lively markets, sandy beaches, and iconic walking streets, it’s home to La Sagrada Familia – the famous unfinished church designed by Antoni Gaudi.

24. Gozo Citadel, Malta

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Gozo is the second-largest island of the Maltese Archipelago. The entire place is worth exploring, but its centerpiece is a vast 15th-century citadel with imposing golden walls housing a maze of cobbled streets.

25. Venice, Italy

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Venice needs no introduction. A medieval city built on water, it’s one of Italy’s top tourist destinations. It’s busy, but understandably so. Few other places in Europe have as much atmosphere, intrigue, or historical appeal.

26. Cinque Terre, Italy

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Another Italian gem, Cinque Terre comprises five age-old fishing villages located on a stunning stretch of coast. They’re colorful, distinctive, and incredibly charming. You can hike or catch the train between them. Here's where to stay while you're there.

27. Amsterdam, Netherlands

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A cultural powerhouse in Europe, Amsterdam is notorious for its museums, cycleways, canals, café-culture, and nightlife. It’s the sort of place you can visit for a day or a week and enjoy a memorable trip.

28. Chamonix, France

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The French Alps are a sight to behold, and Chamonix is one of the best places to experience it. This famous skiing destination is a stone’s throw from Mont Blanc – the tallest mountain in the country.

29. Pembrokeshire Coast, Wales

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Located in southwest Wales, Pembrokeshire is a gorgeous county full of epic castles, attractive coastal towns, and some of the UK’s best beaches.

30. Ålesund, Norway

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Ålesund’s waterways have earned it the nickname the Venice of the North. Surrounded by the sea and mountains, it’s one of Norway’s most beautiful towns and acts as a gateway to some of its best-known fjords.

Albanian Riviera, Albania

31. Albanian Riviera

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Welcome to Albania’s answer to the French Riviera. Don’t expect the same level of glitz and glam, but you’ll love the endless miles of gorgeous coastline, turquoise waters, and charming coastal towns.

32. Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

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Mostar is a go-to destination in Bosnia and Herzegovina that’s best-known for an iconic bridge spanning the Neretva River. Nestled in beautiful surroundings with a charming medieval old town, it’s well worth visiting.

33. Faroe Islands, Denmark

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The Faroe Islands are an autonomous territory of Denmark in the North Atlantic Ocean. Stunning, striking, untouched scenery and isolated coastal townships make it a breathtaking place to visit in Europe.

34. The Algarve, Portugal

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Located at the southern end of Portugal, the Algarve is one of this sun-kissed country’s most sought-after regions. Expect gorgeous sandy beaches, epic caves, and lovely coastal towns.

35. Granada, Spain

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Granada is a storied city in Andalusia, southern Spain, that’s home to one of earth’s greatest man-made structures: the Alhambra. This hilltop palace and fortress complex is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that’s as aesthetically pleasing as it is culturally significant.

36. Baltic Coast, Germany

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Most people associate Germany with lively historic cities full of grand architecture. Head north, though, and you’ll find its Baltic Coast. Nicknamed the German Riviera, it stretches hundreds of miles and offers first-rate beaches, verdant islands, and striking chalk cliffs.

37. Dubrovnik, Croatia

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Dubrovnik is Croatia’s infamous medieval walled city that played a starring role in Game of Thrones. Cobbled streets, beaches, and a tangible sense of history make it a summer bucket list location in Europe.


38. Edinburgh, Scotland

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Edinburgh is one of the best cities in the United Kingdom. It’s incredibly picturesque, with charming cobblestone streets and historic architecture. Its most famous attraction is Edinburgh Castle, which towers over the city.

39. Budapest, Hungary

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Budapest is another European capital with diverse architectural appeal, a river spanned by several noteworthy bridges, and an old town packed with medieval charm. The vast Hungarian Parliament Building dominates the riverbank and deserves every shred of attention it receives from visitors.

40. Bruges, Belgium

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Bruges is one of the best places to visit in Europe for well-preserved medieval architecture. With its breweries, museums, market squares, canals, and cobbled streets, it’ll transport you back in time and keep you well-entertained throughout your stay.

Enjoy the Best Places to Visit in Europe

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This list of the best places to visit in Europe barely scratches the surface of the continent’s top destinations. You could spend a lifetime exploring and still not tick them all off your bucket list! That’s not a bad thing, though. It means there’s always more to explore – and anywhere you decide to visit will provide memories that last a lifetime.


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12 Little-Known UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Europe To Visit in Your Lifetime

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Europe is full of historic, cultural, and natural wonders that never get the attention they deserve. Here are 12 of the most underrated UNESCO World Heritage sites you’ll find there.


Author: Danny Newman

Title: Writer and Content Creator

Expertise: Travel, Digital Nomadry, Outdoors, Blogging

Danny Newman is a writer, content creator, and digital nomad from the UK. He founded the travel and lifestyle blog What’s Danny Doing, a popular resource for people seeking more adventure, self-discovery, and purpose. A nationally syndicated writer, Danny’s work features in dozens of online publications, including MSN.com and news sites across the US.