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by Santorini Dave • Updated: June 15, 2019
The Best Places To Go in Europe
- My favorite countries to visit in Europe are Greece and Italy.
- My favorite cities in Europe are Paris and Florence.
- The best destinations for a honeymoon in Europe are Santorini and the magical cave hotels in Matera.
- Europe with Kids: My favorite destinations are London with kids, Paris with kids, Barcelona with kids, Amsterdam with kids, Rome with kids, and Naxos with kids.
- Top Tip for Visiting Europe: Arrive and depart from different cities to save the time, hassle, and expense of retracing your steps to catch your return flight. For example, fly into London, train to Paris, fly home (direct) from Paris.
- Best Time To Visit Europe: July and August are busy everywhere in Europe. June and September have great weather and any beach on the Mediterranean is still wonderful. For outdoor sightseeing April, May, October, and early November are pleasant in most of Europe.
- If you’re a museum lover then January and February see wonderfully short lines at the top attractions in London, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Barcelona, Florence, and Rome. The weather can be miserable but these big cities have lots to see indoors.
- The most magical things to do in Europe are island hopping in the Greek Islands and staying at an Agriturismo in Tuscany.
The 15 Best Places to Visit in Europe
1. Paris, France
Paris has it all, which is why it’s as close to a must-see as there is in Europe. Food, history, art, culture, and beauty around every corner. A highlight for me is doing a bike tour around the city. Paris Travel Guide • Best Paris Hotels • Best Paris Family Hotels • Best Time To Visit Paris • Paris with Kids • Best Restaurants in Paris • Best Things To Do in Paris • Where To Stay in Paris
2. Florence, Italy
There are so many places to go in Italy, but Florence is so special you really can’t miss it. The art and history are obvious perks but doing food tours and cooking classes are also favorites of mine. And Florence makes a great base for exploring the treasures of Tuscany. Florence Travel Guide • Best Florence Hotels • Best Florence Family Hotels • Best Time To Visit Italy
3. Santorini, Greece
The single best holiday destination in Europe (but I might be biased). The caldera views are as incredible as anything you’ll see anywhere. Sunsets, hikes, boat tours, local wines, black volcanic beaches, and the most luxurious hotels along the Mediterranean. Please, don’t miss Santorini. Santorini Travel Guide • Best Santorini Hotels • Best Santorini Family Hotels • Best Time To Visit Santorini • Santorini with Kids • Santorini with Kids • Best Restaurants in Santorini • Best Things To Do in Santorini • Where To Stay in Santorini
4. Amsterdam, Netherlands
One of my absolute favorite cities in Europe. A wonderful city center that’s as pedestrian and bike friendly as you’ll find. Loaded with fun cafes, restaurants, great museums, and leafy parks. Perhaps more than any European city Amsterdam is a place you’ll want to live in after your first day. Best Amsterdam Hotels • Best Amsterdam Family Hotels • Best Time To Visit Amsterdam • Amsterdam with Kids
5. London, England
Everyone knows London is filled to bursting with world-class sights and museums. What might be surprising is all the great untouristy markets, shops, neighborhoods, cafes, and restaurants. Be sure to get away from the most popular attractions and seek out local London. Best London Hotels • Best London Family Hotels • Best Time To Visit London • London with Kids • Best Things To Do in London • Where To Stay in London
6. Barcelona, Spain
My favorite city in Spain. Packed with great food, lively nightlife, art, architecture, and eye popping sightseeing. A great holiday destination for families too. Best Barcelona Hotels • Best Barcelona Family Hotels • Best Time To Visit Barcelona • Barcelona with Kids • Best Restaurants in Barcelona • Best Things To Do in Barcelona • Where To Stay in Barcelona
7. Rome, Italy
The Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Roman Forum, Pantheon, Spanish Steps, Sistine Chapel, and Vatican. Rome is packed with some of Europe’s top attractions. Then throw in the food, shops, cafes, and funky neighborhoods. Anything less than 5 days in Rome and you’ll feel cheated. Rome Travel Guide • Best Rome Hotels • Best Rome Family Hotels • Best Time To Visit Rome • Rome with Kids • Best Things To Do in Rome • Where To Stay in Rome
8. Reykjavik, Iceland
Reykjavik is the cool capital of Europe. Great nightlife, cafes, and restaurants. The Blue Lagoon, whale tours, and mesmerizing scenery are all easy day trips. Best Reykjavik Hotels • Best Rekyjavik Family Hotels • Best Time To Visit Iceland
9. Edinburgh, Scotland
10. Prague, Czech Republic
As close to an idyllic European city as there is. Prague is a favorite of almost anyone who visits. Loads to see and do here – and the beer is pretty darn good too. Best Prague Hotels • Best Prague Family Hotels
11. Galway, Ireland
Dublin has become a thriving international city where it can be hard to find the Irish culture you came here to experience. In Galway you really feel like you’re in Ireland. The town itself has a wonderful vibe and there’s tons to see within a 90-minute drive. Galway Family Hotels
12. Nice, France
A fantastic base for exploring South France and a wonderful mid-sized town in its own right. Easy train connections to Monaco, Cannes, Lyon, and many great beaches along the Mediterranean coast. Best Nice Family Hotels
13. Istanbul, Turkey
People come for the monumental historical sights but leave in awe of the markets, street culture, neighborhoods, and incredible Turkish cuisine. Best Istanbul Hotels • Best Istanbul Family Hotels • Best Time To Visit Istanbul
14. Naxos, Greece
The best beaches in Greece and maybe all of Europe. But it’s not just sea, sun, and sand. The Chora (main town) is as charming as any Greek town and the interior of the island is dotted with enchanting villages and stunning hikes. Best Naxos Hotels • Best Naxos Family Hotels • Best Time To Visit Greece
15. Agriturismo Farm Stay in Italy
This is one of the funnest, most interesting things to do in Europe. Stay at a working farm in Italy (mostly Tuscany, but Umbria is also popular). Great for everyone from families (those are my two boys playing in the pool) to honeymooners. Stays will usually include 2 to 3 meals per day. Some farms have cooking classes, horse riding, or wine-related activities. Agriturismo in Tuscany • Agriturismo in Umbria
- The Best Time to Visit Europe
- Best Things To Do in London
- Best Things To Do in Paris
- Best Things To Do in Barcelona
- Best Things To Do in Rome
- Best Things To Do in Santorini
- Best Things To Do in Madrid
- Where To Stay in London
- Where To Stay in Paris
- Where To Stay in Rome
- Where To Stay in Barcelona
- Where To Stay in Madrid
- Where To Stay in Seville
- London with Kids
- Paris with Kids
- Amsterdam with Kids
- Barcelona with Kids
- Rome with Kids
- Amsterdam – The Very Best Hotels
- Athens – The Very Best Hotels
- Barcelona – The Very Best Hotels
- Dublin – The Very Best Hotels
- Florence – The Very Best Hotels
- Istanbul – The Very Best Hotels
- Lisbon – The Very Best Hotels
- London – The Very Best Hotels
- Naples – The Very Best Hotels
- Paris – The Very Best Hotels
- Prague – The Very Best Hotels
- Reykjavik – The Very Best Hotels
- Rome – The Very Best Hotels
- Venice – The Very Best Hotels
Top Travel Sites for Europe – My Recommendations
Best For Flights: Kayak.com • Skyscanner • Momondo
Kayak is the easiest to use. Skyscanner finds the cheapest rates. Momondo is the best for first and business class tickets.
Best For Renting A Car: Rentalcars.com
Great prices from all the biggest rental companies. Easy to use, safe, and reliable.
Best For Hotels: Booking.com
Awesome rates and great for vacation planning. All price ranges. Luxury hotels, 5-star boutiques, cheap hostels, house and apartment rentals.
Best For Tours: GetYourGuide.com
My favorite for booking tours and private tour guides.
Best for Travel Insurance: InsureMyTrip
Compare costs from over 30 insurance providers.