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15 Best Places to Visit in Europe

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Eiffel Tower in Paris, France

Eiffel Tower in Paris, France

A dazzling continent with epic history and natural beauty, our list of the 15 best places to visit in Europe demonstrates the endless glamour and priceless experiences you can have during a custom trip.

Dramatic mountains lead to fairytale castles and pebbled coastlines offer Mediterranean sunsets. Traditional recipes lay the foundations for mouthwatering cuisine and Roman foundations can lead to Moorish palaces.  From a city to the surrounding countryside, each place can immerse you in a sense of remarkable history or introduce you to marvelous traditions.

Whether looking for the best European cities to tour or eager to visit exciting villages, this list gives you a guide to the best places in which to capture the diverse culture and celebrate the wonders of custom, history, legend, and cuisine.

  1. 1. London, England
  2. 2. Paris, France
  3. 3. Athens, Greece
  4. 4. Lisbon, Portugal
  5. 5. Madrid, Spain
  6. 6. Rome, Italy
  7. 7. Munich, Germany
  8. 8. Copenhagen, Denmark
  9. 9. Florence, Italy
  10. 10. Stockholm, Sweden
  11. 11. Barcelona, Spain
  12. 12. Edinburgh, Scotland
  13. 13. Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  14. 14. Santorini, Greece
  15. 15. Prague, Czech Republic
  16. Explore the Best Places to Visit in Europe

1. London, England

London, England

London, England

London is one of the best places to travel in Europe and one of the world’s top destinations for a reason. The dynamic cosmopolitan city captures the vibrant and rich history of the United Kingdom as a historical center, modern metropolis, and cultural heart rising from the banks of the River Thames.

Whether looking for ancient history, contemporary artworks, or traditional British charm, London tours embody the diverse highlights of the nation. It is a city that is never short of interesting things to see and unique experiences to enjoy, no matter your age.

Highlights: Tower of London • British Museum • National Gallery • Westminster Abbey • St. Paul’s Cathedral

Recommended Length of Stay: 2-3 days

Best Time to Visit: April • May • September • October

Pairs Well With: Paris • Rome

Sample Itinerary

Experience the history and beauty with this Best of Legendary London One-Week Tour that celebrates traditional charm and contemporary luxury.

Highlights: Discover London's main sites on a driving tour • Enjoy a bird's-eye view from atop the London Eye • Visit London's National Gallery • Rock along the rails on a classy tour aboard a 1920s train

Learn more: England Tours & VacationsEngland Travel Guide

2. Paris, France

Luxembourg Palace in Paris, France

Luxembourg Palace in Paris, France

Paris is the embodiment of French heritage and captures the romance of traditional western culture, making it one of the top European destinations to discover. The city represents the layers of artistic thought, philosophical evolution, and social revolution among the avant-garde art galleries and Belle Epoque cafes that resemble open-air museums scattered across the distinctive quartiers.

Treasure troves of boutiques and vintage shops give way to the grandeur of inspiring restaurants or quintessential monuments, with labyrinthine medieval lanes, legendary confections, and an endless Bohemian ambiance to enjoy on Paris vacations.

Highlights: Eiffel Tower • Louvre Museum • d’Orsay Museum • Arc de Triomphe • Palais Garnier

Recommended Length of Stay: 3-4 days

Best Time to Visit: May • June • September • October

Pairs Well With: London • Rome

Sample Itinerary

Highlights of France Tour: Paris, Bordeaux, Lyon, and Nice sheds a wonderful light on the grandeur and glamour of Paris during a 14-day immersive exploration.

Highlights: Stroll the scenic waterfront of the Seine River • Celebrate Paris with a private cooking class • Wander the galleries of the most famous museum in France • Stand in the shadow of the iconic Notre-Dame Cathedral

Learn more: France Tours & VacationsFrance Travel Guide

3. Athens, Greece

The Acropolis in Athens, Greece

The Acropolis in Athens, Greece

Athens has acted as a symbol of western civilization for more than 3,000 years. The city blends classical antiquity and contemporary culture with breathtaking ancient ruins and museum galleries.

The neighborhoods feel like removed villages and the domes of Byzantine churches add to the unique skyline.

Restaurant terraces, historic narrow lanes, and charming homes draped in bougainvillea create an idyllic atmosphere away from the feeling of a big city, harboring endless creativity and views to the Acropolis for an exciting way to explore on Athens tours, one of the best places to go in Europe.

Highlights: Acropolis • Acropolis Museum • National Archeology Museum • The Plaka • Ancient Agora

Recommended Length of Stay: 2-3 days

Best Time to Visit: April • May • September • October

Pairs Well With: Santorini • Rome

Sample Itinerary

Discover the joys and thrills of Athens during a Family Vacation in Athens and Western Greece for historical heritage and welcoming culture.

Highlights: Witness history and architectural mastery on a private Acropolis tour • Enjoy an authentic Greek food tour

Learn more: Greece Vacations & ToursGreece Travel Guide

4. Lisbon, Portugal

Hilltop Castelo de São Jorge with pastel houses below in Lisbon, Portugal

Castelo de São Jorge in Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon is one of the most beautiful and cosmopolitan cities in Europe and among the most underrated. The cinematic hillsides spread across the riverside panorama, leading to cobbled alleyways and ancient ruins, cathedrals crowned with white domes, and a charming, unhurried pace of life.

The colorful streets reflect centuries of history, underpinning the nation’s age of discovery with monuments, fascinating museums, and exceptional food hidden on narrow streets or opening to the riverbank promenade on Lisbon tours.

Highlights: Castelo de São Jorge • Mosteiro dos Jerónimos • Calouste Gulbenkian Museum • Torre de Belém • National Museum of Azulejo

Recommended Length of Stay: 2-3 days

Best Time to Visit: April • May • September • October

Pairs Well With: Madrid • Barcelona

Sample Itinerary

Legends of Portugal: 12-Day Highlights Tour lets you discover the dreamy architecture and cultural expression of Lisbon that’s steeped in fascinating history and timeless heritage.

Highlights: Explore the vibrant districts on a guided walk • Visit fairytale architecture in neighboring Sintra • Enjoy delicious Portuguese cuisine • Listen to the sounds of traditional fado

Learn more: Portugal Tours & VacationsPortugal Travel Guide

5. Madrid, Spain

Royal Palace gardens in Madrid, Spain

Royal Palace gardens in Madrid, Spain

Madrid is full of energy and jam-packed with traditional and contemporary culture. The city raises the bar on the quality of things to see and do, ranging from artistic treasures by renowned artists to the innovation of Spain’s gastronomic evolution.

Fascinating museums display masterpieces of Western Europe and the Royal Palace embodies opulence and historical importance. Whether as a center for heritage or the capital of culinary creativity, Madrid tours are unique, with locals who find joy in life’s little pleasures.

Highlights: Prado Museum • Royal Palace • Gran Via • National Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum • Buen Retiro Park

Recommended Length of Stay: 2-3 days

Best Time to Visit: April • May • September • October

Pairs Well With: Barcelona • Lisbon

Sample Itinerary

Tradition, authenticity, and heritage spring to life during this 11-day Exploration of Spain's Best: Barcelona, Madrid, Granada, and Seville Tour. It demonstrates Spain’s inspiring past and captivating present.

Highlights: Embrace the grandeur of the Prado Museum • Bask in the unparalleled opulence of the Spanish Royal Palace • Explore rich contemporary life in the Reina Sofia Museum • Visit the nearby medieval town of Toledo

Learn more: Spain Tours & VacationsSpain Travel Guide

6. Rome, Italy

Night view of the St Peter's Basilica in Rome, Italy

St Peter's Basilica in Rome, Italy

Rome personifies the ancient western world and shows how contemporary life can fill the crevices of preserved history. A flood of churches, ancient ruins, and celebrated restaurants focused on traditional recipes divide the Italian capital.

The many significant icons demonstrate overwhelming splendor, underpinning the pleasures of the city’s la dolce vita ambiance that’s found in buzzing sidewalk cafes.

Rome has a charisma all of its own, with inspiring art galleries and vibrant street life, chic style, and an endless sense of opulence to explore on Rome vacations.

Highlights: Colosseum • Vatican City • Pantheon • Roman Forum • Piazza Navona • Trevi Fountain

Recommended Length of Stay: 3-4 days

Best Time to Visit: April • May • September • October

Pairs Well With: London • Paris

Sample Itinerary

Best of Italy Tour: Rome, Florence, Tuscany and Venice captures the spirit of ancient history and the allure of Rome’s layered design, where contemporary life spills from preserved architecture to meet tradition.

Highlights: Uncover the secrets of ancient Rome with a guide • Experience the legendary beauty and prestige of the Sistine Chapel • Enjoy visiting the Baroque fountains in Piazza Navona • Witness Michelangelo’s Pieta in St. Peter’s Basilica

Learn more: Italy Tours & VacationsItaly Travel Guide

7. Munich, Germany

Marienplatz in Munich, Germany

Marienplatz in Munich, Germany

The capital of Bavaria embraces its history and the beauty of the surrounding mountains. Medieval walls ring antique streets that lead to the famous glockenspiel, while plentiful festivals showcase the city’s rich and historic culture.

However, Munich also looks to the future, with high-tech cars and edgy art juxtaposing the traditional landscape. Gorgeous churches, stunning museums, grand palaces, modern innovation, and a lively community make Munich a joy to visit.

Highlights: Marienplatz • Nymphenburg Palace • BMW Museum • Viktualienmarkt • Residenz

Recommended Length of Stay: 2-3 days

Best Time to Visit: April • May • September • October

Pairs Well With: Paris • Prague

Sample Itinerary

Discover traditional ambiance and contemporary vibrancy with this 12-day Best of Germany Tour: Berlin, Munich, Neuschwanstein, and More to find Munich’s individuality at the crossroads of past and present Germany.

Highlights: Visit famous beer halls and atmospheric royal palaces • Explore the medieval streets • Witness the joys of the glockenspiel • Visit the home of the 1936 Olympics • Enjoy the ambiance and views of the Bavarian Alps

Learn more: Germany Tours & VacationsGermany Travel Guide

8. Copenhagen, Denmark

Old Nyhavn Harbor in central Copenhagen, Denmark

Old Nyhavn Harbor in Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen is a friendly capital city with a distinctly European ambiance. Charming street life and a welcoming cafe culture blend with the contemporary ambiance of preserved architecture that lines the timeless streets.

The nautical theme stems from colorful shoreside neighborhoods and proud Nordic history, captured in tall ships docked along the long quays.

Cutting-edge restaurants reflect the local culinary revolution, while the pristine waters and ambiance represent popular Danish design and fascinating cultural riches.

Highlights: Christiansborg Palace • National Museum of Denmark • Nyhavn Harbor • The Round Tower • Amalienborg Castle

Recommended Length of Stay: 2-3 days

Best Time to Visit: April • May • August • September

Pairs Well With: Stockholm

Sample Itinerary

Splendor of Scandinavia 10-Day Tour: Best of Northern Europe brings you the heart and spirit of Copenhagen as a contemporary and colorful place shaped by history, while celebrating a vision of the future.

Highlights: Visit Michelin-starred restaurants • Traverse the longest pedestrian street in Europe • View the iconic Little Mermaid statue • Visit the Unesco World Heritage Site of Kronborg Castle, widely known as the setting for Hamlet

Learn more: Scandinavia Tours & Vacations

9. Florence, Italy

Skyline of Florence, with the Domes of Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and the Vecchio Bridge at sunset in Italy

Florence, Italy

Florence is the cradle of the Renaissance, with an enchanting labyrinth of streets that lead to seemingly endless numbers of museums and restaurants.

With dozens of churches and galleries that showcase masterpieces of art and architecture from Michelangelo to Brunelleschi, Florence guides you from medieval times to the Italian Golden Age.

Palaces, artisan workshops, and sensational boutiques are matched by culinary tradition, with wine-rich hills and a celebration of heritage to enjoy on Tuscany tours to Florence.

Highlights: Uffizi Gallery • Piazzale Michelangelo • Accademia Gallery • Basilica of Santa Croce • Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore • Palazzo Vecchio

Recommended Length of Stay: 2-3 days

Best Time to Visit: May • June • August • September

Pairs Well With: Rome • Paris

Sample Itinerary

Embrace the ethereal charms and timeless charisma of Italy on this seven-day Pleasures of Tuscany Tour: Florence and the Countryside, featuring the iconic Renaissance city as the heart of artistic expression and the essence of Italian heritage.

Highlights: Feel the staggering weight of centuries of history during a visit to the Florentine Cathedral • Delve into the colorful and aromatic atmosphere of a Florentine market • Choose your ingredients to use in a guided cooking course • Embrace the classical revival of Greek and Roman art with Michelangelo’s David

Learn more: Florence Tours & VacationsTuscany Travel Guide

10. Stockholm, Sweden

Aerial of Old Town Stolckholm, Sweden

Old Town Stolckholm, Sweden

Stockholm is a traveler’s paradise, surrounded by crystal-clear water and with a fantastic historical city center. A city of endless evolution, Stockholm shows how dynamic modernity can celebrate unique traditions.

Impeccable style defines humble cafes and luxurious restaurants, stylish boutiques, and elegant textiles, while a passion for local food has rekindled a close relationship with surrounding nature. The city spreads across 14 islands, connected by bridges, ferries, and the metro, only further revealing the beauty of the city on the water.

Highlights: Vasa Museum • Old Town • Djurgarden • Royal Palace • City Hall • Ostermalm

Recommended Length of Stay: 2-3 days

Best Time to Visit: July • August • September

Pairs Well With: Copenhagen

Sample Itinerary

Sweden Uncovered Tour: Stockholm, Gothenburg, and More gives you an eight-day excursion into the regal ambiance and architectural drama of Sweden in the powerful capital, Stockholm.

Highlights: Indulge in the luxuries of a yacht to travel along the coast of the Stockholm Archipelago • Tour the Grand Palace for historic splendor • Explore lively culture and heritage in Old Town • Visit the galleries of the Vasa Museum

Learn more: Sweden Tours & VacationsSweden Travel Guide

11. Barcelona, Spain

La Sagrada Familia Basilica in Barcelona, Spain

La Sagrada Familia Basilica in Barcelona, Spain

The enchanting seaside capital of Spain’s Catalonia region sings with fabled architecture, celebrated dining, and timeless cultural experiences. The splendor of the distinctive neighborhoods offers insight into the past millennia, with Roman foundations and medieval warrens, Gothic cathedrals, and surrealist facades.

Masters of art and gastronomy have changed the landscape under the Iberian sun, revealing an endless collection of activities, treasured artworks, and the ever-evolving culinary scene, where the streets have a remarkably different, but equally enticing atmosphere after sundown on Barcelona tours.

Highlights: La Sagrada Familia Basilica • Gothic Quarter • La Rambla • Parc Guell • Montjuic

Recommended Length of Stay: 3-4 days

Best Time to Visit: May • June • October

Pairs Well With: Madrid • Lisbon

Sample Itinerary

Discover the tradition and heritage that sets Catalonia apart from greater Spain on this eight-day Catalonian Coast Itinerary: Barcelona and Costa Brava that celebrates the history, culture, and beauty of Barcelona as the regional capital.

Highlights: Witness the staggering natural beauty of the Catalonian coastline • Find the work of iconic architect Antoni Gaudi • Embrace the charm of the Gothic Quarter • Discover contemporary art through the lens of Pablo Picasso

Learn more: Spain Tours & VacationsSpain Travel Guide

12. Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh city from Calton hill in Scotland, UK

Edinburgh, Scotland

The Gothic warrens and stately Georgian neighborhoods display two separate sides of Edinburgh, woven together by contemporary culture. Steep stairways and hidden passageways beg to be explored, while shops and cafes line pedestrian-friendly streets.

The idyllic atmosphere blends a history of art, literature, and philosophy with the surrounding haze of daffodils, steep foothills, and spires of Old Town. From festivals to family attractions, romantic hideaways to regal histories, Edinburgh tours blend the best of its past with the celebrations of the present.

Highlights: Edinburgh Castle • Holyroodhouse • The Royal Mile • National Museum of Scotland • Camera Obscura

Recommended Length of Stay: 2-3 days

Best Time to Visit: May • June • September

Pairs Well With: London • Paris

Sample Itinerary

Signature Tour of England and Scotland's Comforting Charms provides an iconic experience, with activities that showcase the diversity and grandeur of Edinburgh’s elaborate history in context with the marvels of greater England and Scotland.

Highlights: Delight in the atmospheric streets of Edinburgh on a private tour • Venture to the top of Arthur’s Seat • Delight in the cobbled lanes of historic streets while shopping • Sample delicious coastal cuisine • Explore Glasgow on a day tour • Discover the surrounding mythological scenery

Learn more: Scotland Tours & VacationsScotland Travel Guide

13. Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Sunrise over the canals in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam is a fascinating city of canals and inspiring artwork that embodies the nation’s cultural heart. Thousands of buildings date back to the 16th century, overlooking the peaceful waterways and picturesque bridges of the city’s island network.

Charming theaters, modern entertainment venues, and more than 40 museums set the foundations for the endless thrills of urban exploration at the point where Dutch design, history, and heritage meet, embellished by a surprising coziness.

Highlights: Rijksmuseum • Anne Frank House • Van Gogh Museum • The Jordaan • Rembrandt House

Recommended Length of Stay: 2-3 days

Best Time to Visit: April • May • September • October

Pairs Well With: London • Paris

Sample Itinerary

Travel deep into the wonders of the often-overlooked cultural wonder of Amsterdam on this 10-day Iconic European Cities: Amsterdam, Paris & Barcelona Itinerary as you uncover sensational art, architecture, and historical treasures.

Highlights: Uncover Amsterdam’s artistic legacy of Rembrandt and Van Gogh • Cycle and walk the canal-side lanes of the Old City • Enjoy the majestic green spaces • Explore Rotterdam on a day trip

14. Santorini, Greece

Santorini, Greece

Santorini, Greece

Santorini is renowned for its sunsets and glossy white buildings draped in bougainvillea or topped with blue domes.

Charming towns cling to the steep cliffside overlooking the shimmering caldera, reflecting a captivating island paradise. Hiking trails, wineries, and ancient cities dating back millennia bring the island’s wonder to light.

Beaches shine with pebbled sands, while the water near the submerged volcano bubbles with natural thermal springs that are accessible from the charming villages on Santorini vacations.

Highlights: Museum of Prehistoric Thira • Ancient Thera • Akrotiri • Black Sand Beach • Oia • Ammoudi Bay

Recommended Length of Stay: 3-4 days

Best Time to Visit: May • June • September • October

Pairs Well With: Athens • Rome

Sample Itinerary

Athens & Santorini Vacation: Exploring Greece’s Best Hotspots elaborates on the essential wonders of Greece, with seven days to uncover treasures and enjoy culture, heritage, and natural splendors.

Highlights: Indulge in a private helicopter tour • Explore the beloved Santorini beaches on horseback • Bask in the pleasures of an oceanside massage • Sample luxury during a five-star meal prepared by a private chef

Learn more: Greece Vacations & ToursGreece Travel Guide

15. Prague, Czech Republic

Vltava River and bridges in Prague, Czech Republic

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague is art and revolution wrapped up in the spectacle of historical architecture along the banks of the lazy Vltava River.

The hauntingly beautiful city lies beneath a hilltop castle, with museum galleries reflecting Bohemian from Gothic altarpieces to contemporary surrealists.

The charms of a millennium can be seen in Baroque and Art Nouveau architecture that’s underscored by lively beer gardens, hidden courtyards, and a maze of cobblestone lanes.

Highlights: St. Vitus Cathedral • Prague Castle • Charles Bridge • Staromestske Namesti • Lobkowicz Palace

Recommended Length of Stay: 2-3 Days

Best Time to Visit: April • May • September • October

Pairs Well With: Munich

Sample Itinerary

The unique wonders of Prague exemplify the shared and individual treasures you can find during your 10-day Magical Czech and Croatia Tour: City of Spires to Shining Adriatic.

Highlights: Immerse yourself in the city's Baroque architecture and warm hospitality • Stand in the shadow of Prague's main castle • Enjoy a private tour of the Cesky Krumlov community • Step back in time with Baroque gardens and rustic architecture

Learn more: Czech Republic Tours

Explore the Best Places to Visit in Europe

Black sand Perissa Beach on Santorini island, Greece

Perissa Beach on Santorini island, Greece

Europe is filled with exciting discoveries and iconic wonders that offer insight into the ancient world, captivating art, and exceptional landscapes. From masterpieces of the Renaissance to charming lakeside cottages, Michelin-starred restaurants to historic vineyards, a Europe travel specialist understands what can personalize your trip.

You can find more inspiration with our Europe travel guide or look for ideas on how to plan your trip with our European tours and vacations. If you prefer to indulge your senses, you can learn more about what to see and do with our Europe food and wine tours.

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