Are you dreaming of a Europe tour? Well, we need to be more specific here. This ultra-diverse continent has 48 countries in total, i.e., from Iceland towards the north to Cyprus towards the south, and even Russia’s Ural Mountains. To decide where to start your trip, we have listed the most stunning places to visit in Europe.
From France and England to Germany and Italy, European destinations are loaded with vibrant cities that are well regarded for their restaurants, museums, architecture, and nightlife. So, it is not easy to decide which one to visit.
It is not easier to choose the best places to visit in Europe. To help you plan your best itinerary, we recommend you to visit these European destinations. We have covered the must-see historic European attractions, points of interest must-do activities, and tips for foodies, and must-see places in Europe to make beautiful memories.
History has had a significant impact on this continent, and multiple places still hold relics from the past. The diverse geo of mountains, forests, and seas in this continent will leave you mesmerized with its beauty with some truly unique places to visit in Europe.
The different cultural groups in the region offer their unique ethnic flavor, and one can see that in their food, crafts, and customs followed. The whole continent is very well connected through expressways, railways, air travel. France and Spain are countries that have heavy tourist inflow. Some of the unique places to see in Europe includes the Icelandic geysers, volcanoes, mountains, grassy hills, lakes, and rivers in the European continent.
One can find numerous castles, cliffs, and moors that speak of rich history. Soak in the unique cultures and sample mouth-watering food from Nordic, Irish, French, Italian, or Scottish cuisine. Many destinations offer outdoor activities like skiing, boating, hiking, or canyoning.
From museums, music festivals, and architecture to many other attractions, Europe will satisfy any traveler on their dream vacation. There are some unique travel destinations in Europe if you ever decide on making a trip there.
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Table of Contents
- What are the best places to visit in Europe?
- Helsinki, Finland
- Stockholm, Sweden
- Florence, Italy
- Tallinn, Estonia
- London, UK
- Sarajevo, Bosnia, and Herzegovina
- Budapest, Hungary
- Santorini, Greece
- Zagreb, Croatia
- Kotor, Montenegro
- Sofia, Bulgaria
- Berlin, Germany
- French Riviera, France
- Bucharest, Romania
- Tinto River, Spain
- Kjeragbolten, Norway
- Hum, Croatia
- Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland
- Giethoorn, the Netherlands
- Mont Saint Michel, France
- Tromsø, Norway
- Calabria, Italy
- Grundarfjörður, Iceland
- The Azores, Portugal
- Perast, Montenegro
- Slovak Paradise National Park, Slovakia
- Popeye Village, Malta
- Provence, France to See the Lavender in Bloom
- Holy Trinity, Monastery Kalambaka Greece
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What are the best places to visit in Europe?
The capital of Finland, Helsinki, is a vibrant seaside city of eclectic green parks and beautiful islands. The rhythm of the town is laid back and refreshing at the same time in terms of both quality and number of nightclubs and restaurants.
The Finnish capital is one of the best European attractions and a compact city that you can easily explore while walking. Architecture, design, shopping, and culture are the significant exploration angles, and large forests, park areas, lakes, and coastline with endless islands sprinkled off. So, it is true that there is no lack of natural presence. There is something happening each passing day in Helsinki.
The locals might seem a bit reserved and quiet at first, but you will discover a new side of the Finns in a bar. They are party people, and weekend nights are very evident in central Helsinki. From smoking rock shows to classy cocktails, there is something for everyone to have a great nightlife in Helsinki to cater to all needs. So, it is one of the must-see places in Europe.
Where to stay: Best hotels in Helsinki, Finland
Stockholm is the most stunning Swedish capital that prides itself on being welcoming to each and every one. It is full of curiosity and innovation, which is ready to try anything and everything new and different. It welcomes everyone, no matter what they are.
If you don’t know, Stockholm is the second-best startup and tech hub in the world, following Silicon Valley. It is a center of attraction for the most innovative people from the world, and this city is known for its touch of nature and its tranquility.
When it comes to the best things to do in Europe, you may stand up paddling or ride horses, or even wander the streets. Stockholm is one of the few destinations where history meets the future.
Where to stay: Best hotels in Stockholm, Sweden
Well regarded for the significant economic and political power it wielded during the Medici Dynasty’s rule. Florence had always been a platform for legendary artists in the world like Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo, Brunelleschi, and Michelangelo.
However, Florence has a long-back history of its rise and fall several times under the Romans and Lombardic tribes. There is a new architecture, creativity, and art in each successive age, which are still seen in the streets as it has a lot of churches, museums, monuments, and even the daily life of this stunning city.
Tuscany is well regarded for amazing artwork, landscapes, architecture, and amazing charm. Florence is one of its kind where all these elements meet well together.
Where to stay: Best hotels in Florence, Italy
The capital city of Estonia, Tallinn, is the best holiday destination in Europe to combine vivid lifestyle, comforts of the modern world, and rich cultural scene and things to do in Europe in the historical settings. It was initially established in the early medieval period. Tallinn is the eclectic blend of new and old today.
With being such an eco-friendly, compact capital, Tallinn covers a lot in your weekend where you can enjoy short walks while at it. The Old Town is one of the best kept Hanseatic town centers across the world.
You can find the business center stone throw away and luxurious hotels, large shopping centers, and stylish neighborhoods. It is well regarded for its alluring coastline dotted with sandy beaches and promenades.
Where to stay: Best hotels in Tallinn, Estonia
Image by Rainer Süvirand from Pixabay
London is the largest city and capital of both England and the United Kingdom. Positioned in southeastern England on the River Thames, London has been a leading settlement of two millennia.
The ancient core, City of London, spread over 1.12 sq. miles and also known as the Square Mile has its prehistoric boundaries. The City of Westminster or Inner London borough holds city status.
Over 300 languages are spoken in London as it has a huge diversity of culture and people. In short, it is a mini country in itself. London is also one of the top places to visit in Europe as it has four World Heritage Sites – the site having Westminster Abbey, the Palace of Westminster, and St. Margaret’s Church, Kew Gardens, the Tower of London, and the historic section of Greenwich.
Where to stay: Best hotels in London, UK
Sarajevo, Bosnia, and Herzegovina
The largest city in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, is located in the prominent Sarajevo valley of Bosnia along the Miljacka River and is covered by the Dinaric Alps. Sarajevo is the social, political, and cultural center of Herzegovina and Bosnia, a prominent cultural hub in the Balkans, with its great influence in media, entertainment, arts, and fashion.
Because of its rich and long-back religious and cultural history, Sarajevo is often called “the Jerusalem of the Balkans” or “Jerusalem of Europe”. It is one of the few leading European cities which have the Catholic Church, mosque, synagogue, and Orthodox Church in the neighborhood. It houses the first institution of the Balkans of territory education and a regional center of education.
Where to stay: Best hotels in Sarajevo, Bosnia, and Herzegovina
Budapest is one of the best European tourist attractions for explorers. So, keep your senses ready and explore something exciting in each turn. The exotic beauty of Budapest is not all god-gifted. Mankind has also played a vital role to shape up this beautiful city.
This city is a treasure in its architecture, with eclectic, neoclassical, and art nouveau buildings to fulfill the craving of everyone and with enough baroque. Overall, Budapest has the feel of fin de siècle.
Most of the tourist attractions here are built during the golden period of the capital, i.e., the late 19th century. You can still witness the shrapnel pockmarks and bullet holes on WWII buildings and Uprising 1956.
Where to stay: Best hotels in Budapest, Hungary
Santorini (Thira) is a crescent-shaped and valued gem of Aegean, Greece and it is a group of islands including Aspronissi, Thira, Thirassia, Nea Kameni, and Palea in the southernmost of Cyclades. The entire complex of Santorini islands is still an active volcano (similar to Milos, Nisros, and Methana), and it is usually the world’s only volcano whose crater is located in the sea.
The island forming Santorini came into existence due to huge volcanic activity, with 12 huge eruptions, one in every 20000 years approx, and each violent eruption caused the collapse of the central part of the volcano to create a caldera (a large crater). However, the volcano has finally recreated itself again and again.
Where to stay: Best hotels in Santorini, Greece
The islands in Malta are mythic, including the Calypso’s Cave, medieval dungeons, and Megaliths. The meandering and narrow streets of their villages and towns lead towards the main square, which is ultimately covered by the huge baroque complex of the church.
The countryside is dotted with wayside chapels, medieval towers, and the oldest human marvels in the world. The islands have been known as the open-air museum.
The archipelago of Malta is located at the heart of the Mediterranean, 288 km north of Africa, and 93 km south of Sicily. The archipelago has three islands – Gozo, Malta, and Comino with over 400,000 residents covering over 316 sq. Km.
Zagreb is among the top destinations in Europe for strolling. Here, you can stroll through the cobblestone glory and red roof of Upper Town, peppered with spires of the church. Be ready to capture the ornate upper-floor frippery of Lower Town and the domes mash-up of secessionist, art deco buildings, and neo-baroque complexes.
Explore the gritter pockets of the city where bland concrete walls have been turned into vivid murals by the regional street artists. The city is truly a rewarding experience to visit on foot. Then, you can head to a café like the locals.
Here, the café culture is one part of the vibrant street life of the city, egged on by a year-long swag of events that bring popup markets, music, and food stalls to the parks and plazas. The capital of Croatia brings in the crowd for a great city break.
Where to stay: Best hotels in Zagreb, Croatia
Kotor is a coastal town with a population of over 13500 residents in Montenegro. It is well regarded for medieval churches and fortifications, which are also the World Heritage Sites and its serene natural setting at the edge of Kotor Bay mountains.
Kotor is located in the most secluded peninsula of Boka Kotorska in the north of the Montenegro coast on the Adriatic Sea. Kotor has been placed along with Stari Grad, the best-known landmark and old town in the city.
Kotor Bay is the deepest natural fjord bay in the Mediterranean Sea, with the steep mountains, and the scenery. Kotor is well regarded as it is the only town on the east of the Adriatic Sea to be located in strategic and historical maps. Old Kotor was built for protection like a maze, and one can easily get lost here. Sometimes, even the locals lose track.
Where to stay: Best hotels in Kotor, Montenegro
The beautifully laid-back capital of Bulgaria, Sofia, is often ignored by visitors going to the ski resorts or coast, but they miss something special. Sofia is a youthful, modern city, unlike a grand metropolis, with the scattering of onion-domed church buildings, stubborn Red Army monuments which lend exotic and eclectic field, and Ottoman mosques.
The excavation work of the city was carried out during the construction of the metro revealed in the treasure trove of the ruins dating back to around 2000 years ago, when it was named Serdica Away from the boulevards and buildings, manicured gardens.
And parks to offer a serene respite, and hiking trails and ski slopes of the mighty Mount Vitosha, which are just a quick bus ride from the heart of the town. It houses a lot of the finest museums, clubs, and restaurants in Bulgaria. Sofia may lure you to be around and explore more.
Where to stay: Best hotels in Sofia, Bulgaria
Berlin truly has a combination of grit and glamour, which can mesmerize everyone who is keen to explore its modern architecture vibrant culture, great parties, exotic food, and rich history. Like New York, Berlin is the city that is always awake.
It often seems that Berliners are lotus-cravers of Germany, who love nothing but having a great time. The vast party vibes of the city cater to every budget, taste, and age group. From small basement clubs to techno temples, sauce cabarets, to cool cocktail caverns, Berlin has pretty much everything.
Berlin is a huge multicultural metropolis, but it still maintains the endless charm of a global village deeply. Expats and locals follow the ‘live and let live’ credo and put ample focus on creative living and personal freedom than on status and wealth symbols.
Where to stay: Best hotels in Berlin, Germany
French Riviera, France
French Riviera is the Mediterranean coastline in southeastern France. It is usually known to extend without an official boundary from Cassis or Toulon on the west towards the France-Italy border in the east, where it meets the Italian Riviera. The coast is completely covered in the Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur area of France.
A semi-enclave in the region is the principality of Monaco covered by France on the three sides and the Mediterranean Sea on the front. It is mainly a cruising and yachting region with a lot of marinas on the coast. The Riviera houses over 50% of the superyacht fleet in the world, with 90% of all superyachts visiting the coastal region at least once in a lifetime.
Bucharest is the largest as well as the capital city of Romania. It is also the financial, industrial, and cultural center of the country. Located towards the southeast of Romania, Bucharest lies on the banks of the Dambovita River, towards the north of the Danube River and the Bulgarian border. Bucharest features a humid continental climate. The summers are usually humid with temperature floating from warm to hot. The winters are quite snowy.
This beautiful city of Bucharest is known for the extensive, tree-lined boulevards, a reputation for the high life depicted by the ever-glorious Belle Époque buildings. The city brims with Italian-style restaurants & cafes to celebrate the rich cuisine of the country, parks, and museums along with the booming nightlife.
Among some of the best places to visit in Europe, Bucharest includes the Palace of Parliament that takes in the complete atrociousness of ex-dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu’s madhouse; the scintillating Statue of Emperor Trajan that depicts a naked Roman Emperor Trajan holding a Dacian Wolf; the Museum of the Romanian Peasant to treat your eyes with an exquisite collection of peasant bric-a-brac, icons, costumes, and partially refurbished houses; and the very beautiful Cismigu Garden with shady walks, cafes, and a lake. You can also enjoy a ride in a pedal and paddle boat in a small pond in this beautiful garden.
Tinto River, Spain
The red-hued water of the Tinto River in Spain will catch any traveler’s eye. The Rio Tinto or the Red River rises in the Andalusian mountains and flows to the Gulf of Cádiz. The red color is because of the acidic content in water, a mix of heavy metals and iron. This color exists only on a 50 km stretch and can be found near Niebla.
It has been compared to the groundwater on Mars. This river has been a source of ore mining. Despite the water being acidic, many forms of bacteria and algae thrive here. It’s a unique creation of nature and must be visited if you are in Spain.
Tourists can visit the Pena de Hierro Mine or take a train ride to see the area and experience one of the unusual places to visit in Europe.
Located in southern Norway, Kjeragbolten is a boulder that is wedged between a crevice on the Kjerag mountain. This unique creation of nature is an attraction as you stand on a boulder that doesn’t have any support below and lies at its spot because of the two mountain walls on the side.
The Kjerag mountain lies near the village of Lysebotn and is a popular destination for hiking. In summer, tourist ferries operate between Lauvvik to Lysebotn. This place is quite popular with BASE jumpers who jump off the cliffs in the area.
Visitors can also see Pulpit Rock, and it’s a much easier hike. Kjeragbolten is a favorite among adventure seekers making it a must-visit and truly one of the unique places in Europe that one should mark in their bucket travel list in Europe.
Known as the smallest city in the world, Hum lies in the municipality of Buzet, 349m on a hilltop. As per the census in 2011, there are 30 people in Hum. It is a historic town where there are walls on the western side, and the other sides have houses built into walls. It has been around since the 1100s. Legend says that it was built by giants who built Istria.
There are many old structures, like the town parish church and the bell tower. The church has wall writings known as the Hum Glagolitic. The beautiful stone houses and cobblestone streets will enchant you as you walk along.
Tourists can visit the konoba restaurant to try the local tincture of herbs known as Humska Biska. Hum is truly unique as it has only 20 buildings, a small population, and yet it’s a fully functional town. Planning a special itinerary to cover unique places in Europe, Hum in Croatia qualifies for one such unique places to visit in Europe.
Where to stay: Best hotels in Hum, Croatia
Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland
An area of basalt columns, Giant’s Causeway, was created from a volcanic eruption. It is named the 4th greatest natural wonder in the UK. The column tops look like and act as stepping stones that go from the cliff-top till they disappear into the sea. It can be accessed by railway via the Belfast-Derry railway line.
As per legend, these are the remains of a causeway that was built by one giant. In Gaelic mythology, an Irish giant Fionn was challenged by a giant – Benandonner, from Scotland. Some legends say that Fionn built this causeway to meet the other giant and defeats him.
In another version of the legend, Fionn’s wife hides him from Benandonner, as a baby. Benandonner believes that if the baby is so big, then the father must be too huge and runs away, destroying the causeway.
The Giant’s Causeway is a natural wonder, and erosion has formed unique structures there. For many travel and nature enthusiasts, it is one of the unique natural wonders in Europe, Check out the Giant’s Boot, Organ, Chimney Stacks, Giant’s Eyes, and Camel’s Hump.
Best Tours for this attraction: Experience a Fantastic guided hike tour to Northern Ireland’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Giant’s Causeway
Giethoorn, the Netherlands
The charming town of Giethoorn lies in Overijssel, province of the Netherlands. Known as the Dutch Venice, the old part of the town doesn’t have roads. Instead, people traveled through canals that run across.
This place is accessible by boat and has more than 150 bridges. The tiny canals and the surrounding areas are beautifully maintained. Quaint houses and manicured gardens lie on the banks of the canal.
The village is surrounded by De Wieden – a natural reserve. Some homes here are more than 200 years old and surrounded by vivid flowers. You can rent a boat and go through the place or walk over the wooden bridges and see the beauty around.
Best tours for this attraction: Join a Small Group Full Day Trip to Giethoorn
Mont Saint Michel, France
Mont Saint Michel is an island and commune in Normandy, France, at the mouth of River Couesnon. UNESCO recognizes the island and the bay as a World Heritage Site. It is as unique as it can be if you access it during low tide.
It is a tiny commune full of history. Visitors can see historical relics all over the island. There is an abbey, and it’s said that pilgrims would come there on foot only during low tide when they could walk by the flats. The abbey has a Romanesque church and chapel.
During high tide, this commune looks surreal. It appears to hover over water, placing it in Europe’s unique places to visit. You will have to walk a lot, so plan accordingly. There are museums, churches, and a cemetery to see as well. If you get hungry, then you can enjoy omelets and crepes on the island.
The municipality of Tromsø lies in Norway, on the island of Tromsøya. It is known for the highest number of old wooden houses in the country and has been inhabited since the end of the ice age.
Known for a rich Norse history, you can see the Northern Lights from this town. From May to July, one can also observe the Midnight Sun, which means you get perpetual light. The Northern Light festival and the International Film Festival are held here. The local museum provides an opportunity to explore the crafts and arts of the region.
Enjoy the fresh local cuisine and undertake adventure activities such as fishing, hiking, dog sledding, or kayaking. See the Arctic Cathedral, take a whale safari, and take the Tromsø Cable Car. This Gateway to the Arctic will leave you mesmerized with its beauty and climate.
You can also visit some of the surrounding small towns around this area if you’re keen to explore more of Norway’s off-the-beaten path.
Where to stay: Best hotels in Tromsø, Norway
The southern Italian region of Calabria or the “boot” of Italy, is surrounded by the ocean on the western and eastern sides. There are three mountain ranges here, and they are unique. Calabria has pebbly coves and long sandy beaches. You can make a trip to Amantea, which is accessible from Naples to see such unique travel destinations in Europe.
See the Aragon fortress at Le Castella. Try the local delicacies of Fileja con nduja, Cipolla Rossa di Tropea, Lagane e Cicciari and nduja. Cosenza is a historically rich city. You can find churches, towers, castles, and monasteries in Calabria.
The mountains in this area offer winter activities. This beautiful and diverse land will appeal to beach bums and mountain enthusiasts, as well, qualifying it for the best unique places to visit in Europe in winter.
The small town of Grundarfjörður in Iceland has one of the most famous mountains. This unique landmark, – Kirkjufell is widely photographed. One can find a variety of animals and birds amidst spectacular waterfalls and trails for hiking.
Iceland has always been one of the unusually beautiful, untouched lands that have remained uncharted to date. There are many destinations in Iceland that are exclusively unique places to travel in Europe.
Take a boat trip to see puffins or go deep-sea fishing. This place provides access to other places such as Snæfellsbær, Stykkishólmur, and Snæfellsnes National Park. The campsite by the swimming pool has hot tubs. Grundarfjörður has made a Viking village, and you can enjoy enactments as you walk through.
Check out the Grundarfoss Waterfall or take a whale-watching tour. This place is known for its natural beauty and colorful houses by the water for which it is often found in the list of top unique places to visit in Europe.
The Azores, Portugal
The nine volcanic islands making up the Azores lie on the west of Lisbon, Portugal. This Archipelago’s main city is Ponta Delgada. The Azorian islands are – Corvo, Flores, Terceira, Graciosa, Pico, Sao Jorge, Faial, Santa Maria, Sao Miguel, and Formigas Reef. These islands are located above three tectonic plates, which alone makes it pretty cool.
Caves, lava tubes, coastal lava fields, and inactive cones can be found here. There is a caldera and shield volcano in Faial. There are unique flora and fauna on the island where you can spot the bullfinch, storm-petrel scops owl.
The Dollabarat Reef has manta rays, black coral, and sea turtles that you can see. Various festivals are held throughout the year. The natural beauty, thermal pools, platter of cracas, Fado, and sangria make your visit a welcome experience.
The unique and picturesque town in the Bay of Kotor is known for its graceful churches and Baroque Palaces. Perast lies in Montenegro, and it reminds visitors of its powerful and rich past.
Full of old buildings that still retain their charm Perast was a maritime center in the past. Check out the Venetian Lions in the Bujović Palace. All buildings are made in the traditional style. One unique thing about this place is the island church of Saint George and Our Lady of the Rocks.
This town is undeniably charming, with old buildings interspersed with greenery and blue waters. For a while, you build your itinerary for unique travel destinations in Europe, make sure you add this serene town of Perast.
Slovak Paradise National Park, Slovakia
Part of the mountain range, Slovak Paradise National Park, lies in the region of Banská Bystrica, Prešov, and Košice in Slovakia. There are abundant waterfalls, rivers, and streams that dot this paradise. Deep rocky gorges will enchant you, and Veľký Sokol is the longest one.
Visit this place for its natural beauty. The hiking trails are equipped with bridges, chains, and ladders. What makes it one of the unique places in Europe is the fact that there are multiple caves in the area, but the only one – Dobšinská Ice Cave, a UNESCO World Heritage Site is accessible to the public.
Do check out the ruins of the Carthusian monastery and the numerous biking trails. Visitors can also undertake recreational activities such as fishing, water sports, and swimming.
Popeye Village, Malta
Popeye Village is a purposefully built film set in the form of a village and fun park in Malta. Located in Anchor Bay, it is 2 miles away from Mellieħa. It was built for the musical – Popeye and has been named after it.
This seaside resort and open-air museum still have props from the films and holds shows and rides. You can take boat trips around the beautiful Anchor Bay. Enjoy activities such as barbeques and interactive shows. This island is a must-see for young people, even the young at heart who want to enjoy their favorite cartoon character.
Provence, France to See the Lavender in Bloom
Provence lies in the southeast of France and has the Mediterranean Sea on one side. When we think of Provence, we are immediately reminded of the purple fields stretching out in front of us. These purple fields or lavender fields are a specialty of this region, giving it a spectacular view putting it on the list of one of the most beautiful and most unique places to visit in Europe.
Visit the Valensole area, and you can see the beautiful lavender fields. There are souvenir shops, a lavender museum and you can buy lavender oil as well. The best time to visit this region is from mid-June to July when the plants bloom. While you are there, do try the beaches and the famous Rose wine. This lavender central can give you the true experience of the Blue-Gold.
Best tours for this attraction: See the largest lavender fields of Provence on a sightseeing tour of the Plateau de Valensole
Holy Trinity, Monastery Kalambaka Greece
Located in the Peneas Valley in Greece, this monastery lies son on a rocky precipice. It is a part of the Meteora monasteries, which means suspended in the air. There are 24 such monasteries, and they are open to the public. They are located on rock cliffs.
The Holy Trinity has a difficult approach where one needs to cross a valley and climb through the outcrop. Today you can get there by a lift or a foot track. The 15th-century cathedral with frescoes and the church, columns, and arches are mesmerizing. There is a garden at the summit, and of course, the monastery and the views around it are breathtaking.
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