It seems quite impossible to list down only ten best destinations in Europe. There are so many fascinating European cities, then how can you just pick only 10? So I need to follow some special criterions to figure out the best places to visit in Europe. We’ll try to figure out those cities that best trace the history and culture of the continent, and again these also influenced all corners of the globe. They will make you understand the different periods in European history, sometimes may be the world history too.
These fascinating European cities explain a lot about empires and conquests, even arts and monuments are also a lot more than their only physical existence. Undoubtedly Europe remains the world leader in art, architecture, fashion, food, design and urban scenery.
Best Destinations in Europe
I don’t know if you can consider all these options as the best vacation destinations alike your own choice, but definitely, some of these are like holy likings that you can’t reject. This list of top ten best places to visit in Europe, hopefully, will guide you selecting travel choices for next vacation.
Let’s find out, what are the best destinations in Europe today?
It is always being said that an art lover should never miss Madrid. The outstanding collection of the Prado, which is mostly filled with Goyas and Velazquez. Actually, there are more masters from the Spanish Golden Age and beyond. Some of the other world class museums include the Reina Sofia and the Thyssen-Bornemisza. And if you are looking for the masterpieces, I think you should start with Salvador Dali, Picasso, and Miró.
Madrid also covers all the major periods of European art. Names like Rubens, Monet and Dürer are seriously available here. But the city is mostly about life, lived on the streets of Chueca and the monumental Gran Via. Stop at a tapas restaurant, lounge at an outdoor café on a plaza and get blessed to enjoy the best nightlife in Europe. As the locals say – the joyful Madrid “movida”.
Major attractions in Madrid:
- Walk along the Gran Vía
- Visit the great museums and galleries
- Go treasure hunting in El Rastro
- Tour the Retiro park and royal palace
- Explore National Archaeological Museum
- And if you are a football lover, don’t miss the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium
This is probably the best of the mostly-sunny Atlantic capital, which can make you feel like you’re on the edge of the continent. The European golden age of maritime exploration spearheaded by Prince Henry (the Navigator) led to globalization, where Lisbon became the first global capital. In other words, it was the gateway to Europe from the East. The land also had seen other notable figures like – Vasco da Gama.
The history of Lisbon is probably told nowadays by its collections of the Ancient Art, Orient, and Maritime museums, which is also reflected on sculpted Age of Discovery marvels like the Tower of Belem and Jeronimos Monastery. The city is genuinely the top place in Europe to admire the art of tile painting. But above all, the biggest attraction of all is the inspiring views of what is Europe’s most scenic capital. Contemporary attractions include the world-class Berardo and Design and Fashion museums. The oddly empty Portugal Pavilion by Siza Vieira should also not to be missed by the travelers in Lisbon.
Major attractions in Lisbon:
- National Tile Museum
- Monastery of St Jerome
- Wonder at the Torre de Belém
- Ride Tram 28
- Make a trip to Sintra
- Go underwater in the Lisbon Oceanarium
Barcelona is such a place that values the past but embraces the future with vigor. This is quite an innovative land and embodies contemporary Europe. It came up with some of the most original architecture of the 20th century. Remarkably the Sagrada Familia is going to be a timeless monument in the making. Barcelona is actually a city with an independent spirit, which probably confined to its own rule and more than any monument or museum, visitors will definitely find the main attraction is the city itself.
After the Sagrada Familia, the second entrance to Parc Güell is like entering a fantasy land. If you walk down Passeig de Gracia, you can find out some of the most unique architecture in the world of all time. This creative city is most famous for Gaudi, which was also home to Picasso. There is a famous museum dedicated to his early works. And other outstanding collections include those of the Miró Foundation. Medieval art in the Palau Nacional can also be found here. Contemporary landmarks include the Agbar Tower and Frank Gehry’s fish sculpture.
Major attractions in Barcelona:
- Explore Gaudí and modernism
- Walk on the arty side
- Soccer fans, don’t miss Camp Nou
- Explore the beautiful city beach
Travelers and tourists are often found disappointed with Athens. Maybe they were expecting an entire ancient city. But the truth is that you will mostly find here unremarkable 20th-century metropolis. Anyway, there is still hope. Near the ancient Plaka neighborhood and the Acropolis, you’re taken back to the birthplace of democracy. Certainly, you will discover that you are very close to some of the most marvelous ancient wonders.
The Parthenon and the treasures found around it inside the Acropolis Museum. Acropolis is a beautiful contemporary home for a stunning ancient collection. The National Archaeological Museum also houses the most important artifacts from ancient Greece. Try to remember that the mythical Greek capital should be on anyone’s choice of best places to visit in Europe.
Major attractions in Athens:
- Visit the Parthenon & The National Archaeological Museum
- The Temple Of Poseidon at Sounion
- Temple of Olympian Zeus
- Have a picnic at the National Gardens
- Buy souvenirs from Monastiraki
Here comes the history of The Dutch. The world historians are used to say that the Dutch Golden Age was also a European golden age. Present time’s art in Amsterdam’s museums can make you remember that. The Rijksmuseum has masterpieces by Rembrandt. And across the street, there’s an entire museum dedicated to Van Gogh. I think I don’t need to clarify his identity to most of you.
The Anne Frank House then reminds you of the darkest period in human history. Most definitely it’s the most emotive memorial of all of the Holocaust memorials around the world. There are the canals lined by beautifully-maintained buildings, which makes the Dutch capital one of the best destinations in Europe 2018. The city is ever welcoming for its travelers.
Major attractions in Amsterdam:
- Visit the arty Jordaan
- explore some culture in Museumplein
- Catch the ferry to Amsterdam North
- Discover independent shopping streets
- You must visit Anne Frank House
Are you curious about the Renaissance? Then nowhere else can you best experience one of the greatest periods of Europe than in Florence. This is a terrific artistic city. Its open-air museum will get you on a history lesson even if you don’t step inside any of its several pieces. But no one should leave without entering the Uffizi. As it holds some of the greatest masterpieces by Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael and all the other great names in the history of art.
This is a romantic city of beautiful piazzas showcasing magnificent architecture and sculpture. You can also admire all of that remarkable heritage from the top of the extraordinary Duomo here.
Major attractions in Florence:
- Must visit Piazzale Michelangelo
- Galleria dell’Accademia
- Explore the San Lorenzo Market
- Enjoy the St John the Baptist celebrations
Standing in St. Mark’s Square you’ll you will certainly feel the center of what was once the world’s richest city and capital of trade. Yes, of course, Venice can make you fall in love at first sight. This is also home to the grandest private residences ever built. There are magnificent palazzos admired on a gondola trip down a romantic series of canals. Some truly believe this as the most beautiful cities in the world.
Great wealth was also able to pay for great art. That means you can see a lot of it here, but the biggest work of art turns out to be Venice itself, the one city in the world that can truly be described as unique, exuding a fairytale atmosphere. You can take your time blending for contemporary creativity inside the Peggy Guggenheim Museum alongside the magical mixture of Renaissance, Gothic, Byzantine, and Baroque.
Major attractions in Venice:
- Take a boat trip to the Grand Canal
- Enjoy the Carnevale Festival
- explore St. Mark’s Basilica
- walk through the greatest city square, St. Mark’s Square
- Visit the exclusive San Giorgio Maggiore
Here comes the capital of that concept. London is the continent’s largest and richest city. This is probably one place that any Europe traveler shouldn’t miss anyway. The city’s diversity and cultural influence, the fact that there is always something new to see and experience every bit of it are historical. Oh no, I think the term should be royal. There is always Big Ben and other landmarks like the Tower of London and also the living history in Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey.
The major year-round exhibitions in Tate Modern, British Museum, and National Gallery can make you extend your trip to Europe. There are also new icons like the Gherkin skyscraper and the tallest building on the continent, The Shard. Again, people often call this city the best shopping place in the world. Either way, the city will always surprise you with a thriving vibe and a world leader in art and creativity.
Major attractions in London:
- Wander around Temperate House in Kew Gardens
- Travel deep below London on the Mail Rail
- Spend the afternoon at Hyde Park
- Don’t miss the Westminster
- Explore details of the London Eye
There is a common saying about Rome – “A city so great, a country fits inside it”. Traveling to Rome is also traveling the Vatican with its extraordinary works of art. Rome is something to mesmerize mostly as the capital of an ancient empire. They ruled Europe and beyond. Some of the icons like the Colosseum and the Pantheon still stand as testaments to centuries of splendor.
The artistic marvels at the Borghese Gallery or the Capitoline Museums all itself can define its delicacy. Rome is also about living “la dolce vita” down cobbled alleyways and squares. And the photogenic Italian capital is not all about the past and crumbling antiquity. It also occupies some major contemporary attraction. You can note down MAXXI Museum designed by Zaha Hadid as for reference.
Major attractions in Rome:
- visit the Colosseum
- Admire Ancient Ruins at the Roman Forum
- Explore the Pantheon
- The Vatican and Its Museums
- Visit St. Peter’s Basilica
Now we are getting closer to figure out the best of the top places to visit in Europe. Paris is quintessential Europe, an opulent city often imitated around the continent and the world. One thing alongside. It is truly impossible to replicate the city. It captures the imagination for having mastered the art of sophisticated living. But never disappoints.
There’s the Eiffel Tower, the Champs-Élysées, the Notre Dame and the biggest concentration of the world’s greatest art at the Louvre, Pompidou, Orsay, and dozens of other museums. But surely the Parisian experience is still sitting at a café or bistro and shopping down grand boulevards and squares or maybe strolling along the Seine. I think it’s not difficult to see why this is the most inspiring of all cities and probably you will get the feeling too if you really are planning for a visit to this great amazing city of Europe.
Major attractions in Paris:
- Go for Evening Meals at Laid-Back Modern Bistros
- Split Your Time Between the Louvre and Smaller Museums
- Find the “Real” Paris on the Canal St. Martin
According to the likings of so many tour experts and travelers here we are trying to rank the top 10 best places to visit in Europe. We have to say these are at least the must visit areas in Europe that you probably shouldn’t miss. And we have definitely carefully considered the factors like – museums, restaurants, shops, recreation, nightlife, and aesthetics.