Europe

Travel Bloggers Share Their Favourite Places in Europe

There are so many incredible places to visit in Europe, and it can often get a little overwhelming to choose which ones you should visit! I’ve asked some fellow travel bloggers to share their favourite destinations! Some are well-known, some are a little off the beaten track, ALL are favourites!

Antibes, France

Submitted by Extreme Nomads

The little town of Antibes sits between the glitz and glam of Cannes and the popular riviera city, Nice — and exudes a charm that sets it apart from its neighbours. Antibes’ Old Town is all cobbled pedestrianised streets, traditional restaurants, and art galleries; while just outside the city walls, the Port Vauban stands in stark contrast with its collection of mega yachts moored by the shoreline.

Ogling the fancy yachts is a good place to start, but don’t be fooled by the shiny toys — Antibes’ real charm lies in less conspicuous places. Lucky for me, my boyfriend is a Cote d’Azur local so I got to experience the town just like the locals do (and learn what their favourite things to do in Antibes really are).

Visit the Provencal market to practice your French and devour some cheap local eats; seasonal fruits and veggies are in abundance, as are ginormous wheels of cheese (YUM!), charcuterie, spices, and pret-a-porter meals to eat as you wander. On your way out the door, stop in at the Absinthe Bar and grab a cheeky drink at the perfectly preserved bar from the 1800’s. Walk up the hill to the top of town and find yourself in the old Greek quarters, surrounded by fabulous architecture, sea views, and the iconic Picasso gallery.

Antibes makes a great day trip from Nice, but could just as easily be the sort of place you want to spend your entire holiday.

Positano, Italy

Submitted by Sam Sees World

Positano is a magical European destination. Its location right along the sea amongst the towering mountains is awe-inducing. The beauty of Positano is enchanting and breathtaking, which is one of the reasons why it is my favorite travel destination in Europe.

In no other European city are you able to swim in the blue waters and look back and see a whole city above you. The whole experience feels like a dream.  

Along with the views, Positano also has many stunning beaches, delicious restaurants, fun terraces, and many cute shops. The amount of activities in Positano is great but the best part about it is the atmosphere. Positano has such a strong, positive energy that makes the whole village feel alive and joyous.

I also loved Positano because it is a great city for Instagrammers and bloggers! The pastel houses and blue waters are incredibly photogenic. You can capture some amazing shots here that will blow people’s minds! I took about 300 photos of the same view. 

If you are considering heading to Positano I strongly suggest you take the plunge! It will be a trip you will never forget.

Krakow, Poland

Submitted by Wanderfully Living

Krakow took me by surprise, I didn’t expect to love this post-soviet and very sombre city as much as I did. Krakow is steeped in fascinating history from the 13th century all the way before WWII was even dreamed up. A day trip 327 metres underground to the Wieliczka Salt Mine. This underground city extends over 287 kilometres of horizontal passageways and is actually more like a little city than a mine, with intricate wall carvings and chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. I urge you to pay a visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps, even if you are not interested in the history of WWII. I can’t put into words how extremely harrowing this place is, it simply experienced for yourself. The guided tour around Auschwitz was very eye-opening and I learned so much about the devastation caused by this black smudge in history. 

Aside from all these amazing historical excursions, Krakow has some pretty cool places to chill out and have a beer and some great food. The trendy ‘Jewish Quarter’ of the city called Kazimiriz has an abundance of quirky drinking holes and cheap eats. That brings me onto the last reason that I loved Krakow so much it’s so budget friendly and the type of weekend getaway that won’t break the bank.

Rotterdam, Netherlands

Submitted by Together in Transit

As a favourite destination in Europe, Rotterdam should be on your radar! The Netherlands is well known for the beautiful capital of Amsterdam, but come take a trip to this unique modern city that has loads on offer. Rotterdam, just 30 mins from Amsterdam, is perfect for a weekend away for shopping, relaxation and exploration! 

Rotterdam is perfect for all ages, with activities from enjoying 360 views at the Euromast to cruising on the River Maas with a Spido harbour tour. The city center has the best indoor market as well as an awesome vintage shopping area, perfect to find something unique which I love. Furthermore the famous windmills of World Unesco Kinderdijk are just a 20min trip away! 

Rotterdam has some delicious places for a bite to eat too, from skyline view bars to hidden vegan gems in the city center. Your trip should be completed with a peaceful evening walk to see the skyline and a drink at the cosy Oude Haven near the famous cubic houses. 

Athens, Greece

Submitted by Cristina from LooknWalk Greece

The cradle of Western Civilization, Athens is a city that has fascinated me way before I’ve set foot there. Named after Athena, the goddess of wisdom and courage, the city hosts a treasure trove of historical sites.

I am a bit nerdy so if you are also a history buff, Athens should be very high on the bucket list. The Acropolis of Athens with its iconic structures, the Roman Agora, the Ancient Agora, the Temple of Olympic Zeus, and Keramiikos can easily be added even to a short weekend itinerary in Greece’s Capital.

Just “under” the Acropolis you can find Plaka, the Old Town neighborhood, dotted with souvenir shops, cafes, and tavernas. I love to spend a lot of time walking around and exploring. Remember to wear some comfortable shoes, bring a water bottle, and your camera.

If you still have time on your hands, plan a day trip to Cape Sounion. Aim to get there for the amazing sunset. And while you are at it visit the Temple of Poseidon overlooking the sea. I’ve been unlucky to go during a summer storm but the views were still magnificent.

Visiting during the travel season (May to September)? Hop on a ferry to Hydra, located very close to the mainland. Enjoy a day of just roaming the port area and tasting the seafood. Or take the ferry to Aegina, take in the historical sites, and try the local pistachios.

Lake Como, Italy

Submitted by Voyageur Tripper

Oh, Lake Como. Where you can wander between pale yellow and peachy pink houses, gelato in one hand and espresso in the other. Where the water is so blue it glistens like sapphires, the shore outlined with green rolling hills. If you suspect I’m overstating Lake Como’s beauty, just know this is where George Clooney has his personal villa.

Lake Como sits in Lombardy, a northwestern pocket of Italy nestled near the Swiss border. The lake extends from the city of Como like a wishbone or inverted ‘Y’, stretching itself through hills just south of the Alps.

Take the ferry from Como to one of a dozen villages, keeping on the lookout for Villa del Balbianello, the luxurious villa featured in films like James Bond and Star Wars. Hop off the ferry at any village and choose your own adventure. You’ll find good food, incredible views and warm people in any of them. Though I recommend making a stop in Varenna, as this village is especially striking in its beauty.

Its close proximity to Milan might tempt you to add a quick stop in Lake Como at the start or end of your holiday, stay a little longer. Lake Como is a place to slow down, relax, and indulge. 

Bruges, Belgium

Submitted by Nadia from Ecowanderland

Recently I had the pleasure of visiting Bruges, a small town to the west of Belgium – roughly an hour train ride away from Brussels. I’d heard about Bruges through the travel blogger grapevine before, and as it turned out, it’s where my parents went on their honeymoon! Safe to say I was expecting a magical place, and it did not disappoint. I was lucky enough to arrive in the mid-afternoon when the town was getting ever so slightly quieter. Whilst making our way into the centre, where the main square and Belfry was, we stopped several times to take photos, because the surroundings were so beautiful! Admittedly, I didn’t do as much exploring as I’d like, but Bruges is very much more of a place to relax than taking adventures.

The one thing that I loved about Bruges, was its medieval feel, the way it was so unapologetically true to its roots. You could feel the history within its buildings, and getting lost through the winding streets was an experience I wouldn’t trade for a guided tour. Although, I’d definitely recommend a boat tour as you get just a little bit more history. Plus the view from the water is incredible!

Kotor, Montenegro

Submitted by Erika’s Travel Ventures

Kotor, Montenegro is a town that has something for everyone: a place to cool off in the water, mountains for climbing, viewpoints to reach, and a large Old Town to get lost in. It is situated in a valley, sandwiched between scenic Kotor Bay and a large hill with a former fortress built on top of it. The most popular things to do here include going for a hike up to the Kotor fortress, which has incredible views of the town and bay below. Visitors can also take a tour out onto Kotor Bay, where there are some small islands and caves to discover. Many people love relaxing in Kotor’s large Old Town, which is still walled off from the rest of the city except for a few select entrances. In Old Town, there are countless restaurants with beautiful patios, many local shops and museums to discover, and lots of stray cats roaming around too! Although recently Kotor is becoming more commercialized because of cruise ships coming in, you can discover the town without the crowds in the mornings and evenings.

The Loire Valley

Submitted by And I Met Yoko

What I love about the Loire Valley in France is the concentration of so many magnificent castles within a small area. Also, it’s more rural than Paris which means it’s a nice place to enjoy a slower pace of life. About 1.5 hours outside of Paris by train, the Loire Valley is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Many of the castles were built for royalty and nobility as a way to live a lavish lifestyle, not too far from the hustle and bustle of Paris. Most of the châteaus are now open to the public and this makes for a fun day trip or few days if you’ve got the time. Either by renting a car or biking you can visit about 2 castles in a day, taking in the different architecture, gardens and interior designs. Castles aside, there is also a thriving wine region and delicious regional gastronomy. The Loire Valley gets its name from the Loire River, which runs through the region, making it a great spot for water activities like canoeing.

Seville, Spain

Submitted by Curious Travel Bug

Seville is just one of those places that I immediately fell in love with because of its tiny roads leading through the maze of charming buildings. Seville doesn’t lose itself in being a tourist destination, it very much is a city with an identity beyond tourists. Beyond having the kind of atmosphere you can get yourself lost in, Seville is also home to many great activities for tourists. My favourite thing in Seville is to spend an afternoon at the Plaza de Espana. In this large semi-circle square, you can wander around the fountain and buildings or row through the canal. If you are lucky, you will also spot some flamenco dancers in the shade of the building.

Another unique sight in Seville is the Royal Palace, the Real Alcazar. The Palace has beautiful gardens as a well as stunning Moorish-style architecture with elaborate columns and scrollwork. Across from the palace is Seville Cathedral, the largest Catholic Gothic cathedral in the world. The cathedral is home to Christopher Columbus’s tomb as well as the Giralda bell tower. In addition to fantastic sights, Seville has amazing food, with delicious tapas and yummy gelato and sangria for a hot afternoon. Everything about Seville from food to atmosphere makes it top of the list for favourite destinations in Europe for me. 

Copenhagen, Denmark

Submitted by Freedom 56 Travel

Copenhagen is a relatively compact city, making it very easy to navigate by foot.  But I suggest you take advantage of the intelligent electric city bike program, Bycyklen so you really feel like a local!  The bikes come complete with GPS navigation, so you won’t get lost either. 

Don’t worry if you don’t speak Danish because almost everyone in Copenhagen speaks perfect English! Copenhagen has a relaxed and youthful vibe, which is especially apparent when you chill out with a cold one at Nyhavn.  You can sit on the canal quay or at one of the many restaurants and admire the beautiful people and picturesque renovated buildings on the harbour. 

Don’t miss the changing of the guard at Amalienborg Palace every day at noon when the guards march from their barracks through the streets of Copenhagen.  Amalienborg also has a great museum where you can see the private interiors of recent kings and queens.

No visit to Copenhagen is complete without spending time at Tivoli Gardens.  Minutes from Copenhagen Central Station, this famous amusement park has something for everyone.  Take in the exotic architecture, beautiful gardens, exciting rides and of course the thousands of coloured lights that keep it lit at night.  Picnic or eat at one of the many onsite restaurants.

Kinderdijk, Netherlands

Submitted by GlobeTrove

The Dutch countryside is gorgeous especially in summer and spring. In fact, it is home to one of my favourite places in Europe. Namely Kinderdijk! If you haven’t been to this quaint little town, you really should visit but try and pick a day where the weather is fair because that is when you will enjoy it the most. Kinderdijk is as iconic as it gets with its gorgeous canals and beautiful windmills. Sadly (or maybe not!) the footfall here is much less compared when you compare it to the nation’s capital, Amsterdam.

So what can you do here? A museum guides you through the whole history of Kinderdijk and why the entire complex is important. I highly recommend visiting as it really adds depth to the trip. Post that you can take a walk down the fields, visit the windmills and even climb up one. It is interesting to see how people lived in the windmills in the years gone by. If you have good weather on your side, you can think of a boat ride or a picnic in the fields too. It is a peaceful place and one that I would not mind visiting again and again!

Florence, Italy

Submitted by Curls en Route

Italy is, by far, one of the travel destinations that hold a special place in my heart, and Florence, in particular, is definitely an Italian favorite. The city just gives me positive vibes and a warm feel. I stayed there for two days and I wish I stayed more. Beautiful Firenze surely has a lot to offer. The astonishing art museums, the detailed architecture, the scrumptious food, the breathtaking views, the alleys full of hidden gems, the talented street performers, the stone pavements, the small local stores, I just love it all. If you ever pay Florence a visit, don’t miss Michaelangelo’s famed statue of David at Galleria d’ell Accademia, the incredible city view from Piazzale Michaelangelo, or going on a day trip to Pisa! Always aim for Italian restaurants in less touristy areas, they’re more authentic. And if you’re aiming for a change, better give 1950 American Diner a try.

Florence is like an open-air museum that never fails to offer unforgettable experiences. It’s definitely worth way more than two days!

Venice, Italy

Submitted by Journey of Doing

For me, the joy of travel exists in experiencing something completely new and imagining how it came to be.  That’s one reason I love Venice. When I’m there, I’m transported to Casanova’s Venice. While many places have succumbed to modern conveniences, Venice remains.  Whether it’s the appearance of candlelight illuminating St. Mark’s Square at night or the multiple ways to see Venice by boat, it’s easy to imagine what Venetian life must have been like. 

Venice isn’t without its challenges though.  Venice is hard. To experience Venice, you need to stay on the island.  (Not Mestre. Not the mainland.) You have to get out early. See how produce is delivered by boat.  Head to the Rialto Market to see how the Venetians have adapted their carts for all the bridges they cross.  Take a break during the middle of the way when the cruise ships and day-trippers descend on Venice. Head to the Fondamente for a sunset passeggiata.  Stop for cicchetti and a spritz before dinner. And, as you end your evening with music under the stars in St. Mark’s Square, you’ll realize that you’re sitting in the living room of Venice, where great writers, thinkers, and artists have all come for inspiration – and undoubtedly, you’ll want to come back, too.  

Transylvania

Submitted by Adventure is Never Far Away

Imagine a forest-laden wonderland, full of cows, fortresses, imposing mountains, and haystacks. Homes are vibrantly painted every colour of the rainbow. Stoplights are almost non-existent. The smell of deep-rooted history clinging to every mighty fortress that stands as sentinels upon the distant hilltops. Transylvania was the mystical location that I never knew I needed in my life. Prior to visiting Romania, my limited knowledge of this mysterious region in Eastern Europe consisted of forests, mountains and, of course, Dracula (thank you, Bram Stoker). I’m a city girl at heart and I didn’t realize that my visit would have a lasting impression on my life and redefine what I imagined a fairytale landscape was. Castles and fortresses dot the countryside. Country roads wind through the most colourfully quaint villages. And every so often, you happen upon your next favourite adventure.

Transylvania is an underrated and relatively unknown gem in Eastern Europe. I loved driving around the forests and Carpathian mountains, windows down as I made my way up the Transfagarasan Highway, castle-hopping my way through medieval history and folklore, and finally understanding just how green Romania is. I discovered the Transylvanian versions of Hogwarts (Corvin Castle), Hobbiton (Castelul de Lut), and the Hollywood sign (Brasov and Rasnov). If you want to visit a beautiful countryside devoid of the swarm of tourists that the Western world attracts, take a chance on Transylvania!

Douro Valley, Portugal

Submitted by The Road is Life

Have you ever travelled somewhere that completely caught you off guard? Somewhere that you weren’t expecting to love but quickly become your favourite destination? For me, that place is the Douro Valley in northern Portugal. After my partner and I drove through there on our epic Portugal road trip, we quickly added it to our list of places we’d love to return to. With rolling green and golden hills, vineyards as far as the eye can see and a beautiful river flowing through the middle of it all, what’s not to
love? Oh, and did I mention the delicious wine?! Driving through the Douro Valley will continuously leave you speechless and also have you pulling over on the side of the road every 5 minutes to get “just one more photo!” If you don’t fancy driving out there, day trips leave from Porto with the option of taking a scenic cruise along the Douro River.

The Douro Valley is truly one of the most beautiful and oldest wine regions of the world. With stunning landscapes and breathtaking views, it deserves a spot on anyone’s European bucket list. But if you’re a wine lover like me, it’s worth the trek for the wine alone!

Córdoba, Spain

Submitted by Chasing Lenscapes

We didn’t expect to fall head over heels for Córdoba, but we did. This small Andalusian city has so much to offer, and it’s only 2 hours by train from Madrid. If you love culture, history and good food, this is the perfect destination to spend a weekend getaway in Europe. Córdoba’s historic centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and there are so many attractions to explore. Start wandering around the narrow winding alleys of the old Jewish Quarter and visit the Chapel of San Bartolomé and the old Synagogue. The jewel of the crown is without a doubt the stunning old mosque, the Mezquita that is famous for its white and red striped arches. One of our favourite things to do in Córdoba was finding the beautifully groomed patios, the little inner courtyards that every household grooms to perfection. This tradition dates back to Roman times and is kept even today. The perfect place to spend the afternoon would be strolling along the Roman Bridge (a famous Games of Throne location) and climb to the
top of the Calahorra Tower for a panoramic view of the city. And we haven’t started talking yet about the delicious tapas bars and the numerous museums and festivals that take place in Córdoba in the spring.

Berlin, Germany

Submitted by Another Milestone

Berlin, the capital of Germany, is a city that suits every taste when it comes to travel. That is why I think is one of the best destinations in Europe to visit. Do you like history? Berlin has years and years of tumultuous history behind that left their traces all over the place (remains of Berlin wall, Charlie Check point, Brandenburg gate and the Museum Island with artefacts from Egypt and Babylon). Do you like good food? In Berlin you will find more than 20 Michelin restaurants and places where you can try dishes from all over the world. Nature is your favorite? Berlin is home to some of the largest parks and gardens in Europe and even the former airport in Berlin was transformed into a park. (today you can have long walks on the airstrips of Tempelhof airport) And for culture and art lovers, Berlin is heaven because it has so many museums, art galleries and events that you can spend an entire holiday here just visiting them.

Besides all the interesting places you can visit here, Berlin has another great advantage: it is a very friendly city for all its guests. But you have to visit it to confirm this!

Dublin, Ireland

Submitted by Bruna from Maps ‘n Bags

Cobblestone streets filled with excellent book shops and pubs, Dublin is undoubtedly among my favourite destinations in Europe for countless reasons. Beer and food are two of them. But that’s not all Dublin has to offer. I mean, a pint of Guinness is naturally a well-deserved treat after working hard all day taking pictures of the city. 

However, the tales that surround this beautiful culture give it a magical appeal. Between excellent museums, dark pubs, and medieval constructions, you’ll not only learn about its history but also about many legends and stories from the locals. Oh, and don’t take the Irish sense of humour too seriously – silly puns and irony are part of the deal. From rubbing your hands on Molly Malone’s boobs (it’s said to bring luck!) to discovering the world’s oldest book, Dublin has a lot to keep visitors busy and well entertained.

But, as you might have imagined, you don’t need to go back home with empty hands – there are countless Irish souvenirs you can take back home as a gift for your family (or yourself) to keep the memory of this city alive. Just be sure to pack a rain jacket together with comfy shoes and good humour. If you have that, you’re good to go!

Luxembourg

Submitted by the Travelling Stomach

Despite its reputation as one of Northern Europe’s chaotic business hubs, the small nation of Luxembourg is a hidden gem to the well-trodden traveller. Being served by multiple airlines across the continent and with rail strong connections to other major cities, Luxembourg is easily accessed on its own or as part of a longer European trip.

The city itself is very compact and easily walkable, offering you some architectural and cultural delights to explore. The Casemates du Bock, an ancient set of tunnelled fortifications are a maze to lose yourself in overlooking the old city. After that head up to Chemin de la Corniche, offering the best views of the city and the River Alzette meandering on through. Up on Place Guillaume II you can find a weekly market, full of an array of produce, blending French, German and Italian origins, ranging from beautiful flowers, delicious salamis and many others. Once you have exhausted your walking shoes, head up to Steiler on Rue Large to kick back on a cold beer, relax in a deck chair in the piazza and watch the world wander past.

All the fun of the country isn’t just located in the capital either. As one of the continent’s smallest states, exploring it by car is well within your realms. Outside on the city, you can explore the vineyard laden wine region of Moselle, the forested adventure of Mullerthal and the majestic castle of Vianden, which are all very much worth a day road tripping around the country, if not more.

Paros, Greece

Submitted by Ahlan Monica

Unlike some of the larger well-known islands in Greece, like Crete, Mykonos or Santorini to name a few, Paros may get fewer tourists, but it’s still equally as charming! Paros is part of the Cyclades islands and is a great destination to serve as your base for island hopping or for spending some much needed time relaxing. As the island is less touristy, it allows your money to go a lot further and to not feel overwhelmed by hoards of tourists being unloaded from cruise ships.

Paros was one of the destinations on our Big Fat Greek honeymoon trip – and it was by far our favourite! It was the perfect place to rent a buggy or scooter and explore the island and get a feel for the authentic local Greek island life. Check your Google Maps – or don’t – and go where the roads may lead you! Stumble across enchanting local villages or soak up the sun on one of the many beaches. Whether you’re looking for serenity, adventure or just a good gyro, then Paros is the place for you!

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Submitted by Chloe’s Travelogue

If European cities are to be siblings, ADAM is the cool brother everyone wants to hang out with. He is not as fancy as sister Paris, nor as classy as brother London. But he exudes chill vibes with his free spirit and laidback personality that charms everyone.

While some may quickly judge Amsterdam as a sin city or party destination from its reputation for coffeeshops and red light districts, the city is much more than that. Amsterdam is a liberal city with a long history of acceptance and tolerance, which naturally have attracted many artists and philosophers from all over the world. Their legacy and heritage live in the city’s culture and world-class museums, including the Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum and Anne Frank House, to name a few.

Apart from visiting museums, one of my favorite things to do in Amsterdam is to explore its diverse neighborhoods on foot (or on a bike) and soak in all the unostentatiously trendy atmosphere. You can walk by the beautiful canal houses in Jordaan Canal District and shop at trendy stores along the 9 Streets. Or, nibble Dutch haring and snacks like stroopwafels and poffertjes at Albert Cuyp Market in De Pijp. For more edgy experience, take a free ferry to NDSM to see colorful art displays and chill at a quirky cafe.


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