HomeEuropean Tours & VacationsEurope Travel Guide

Top 15 Best Places to Visit in Europe

Ratings of Zicasso's Service
Paris, France

Paris, France

Europe is a dazzling continent with epic history and natural beauty, and the list of must-see destinations is endless.

Dramatic mountains lead to fairytale castles, and pebbled coastlines offer Mediterranean sunsets while traditional recipes lay the foundations for mouthwatering cuisine, and Roman foundations can lead to Moorish palaces.

This list gives you a guide to the best places in Europe to capture the diverse culture and celebrate the wonders of custom, history, legend, and cuisine.

1. 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 European culture. 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. Treasures troves of boutiques and vintage shops give way to the grandeur of inspiring restaurants or quintessential monuments with labyrinthine medieval lanes, legendary confections, and endless pockets of Bohemian ambiance.

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

2. 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 displaying dazzling artifacts. 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.

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

3. Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon is one of the most beautiful and cosmopolitan cities in Europe and one of the most underrated. The cinematic hillsides spread across the riverside panorama leading to cobbled alleyways and ancient ruins, cathedrals crowned with white domes, and the charming unhurried pace of daily life. The colorful streets reflect centuries of history underpinning the nation’s age of discovery with wealthy monuments, fascinating museums, and exceptional food hidden on narrow streets or opening to the riverbank promenade.

Highlights: Castelo de Sao Jorge | Mosteiro dos Jeronimos | Calouste Gulbenkian Museum | Torre de Belem | National Museum of Azulejo

Recommended Length of Stay: 2-3 days

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

Pairs Well With: Madrid | Barcelona

4. 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 Spanish culture. Madrid 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 capital of culinary creativity, Madrid is a unique city with locals who take 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

5. Rome, Italy

Night view of the Basilica St Peter in Rome, Italy

Night view of the Basilica St Peter 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 bring an overwhelming collection of accessible splendor, underpinning the pleasures of the city’s la dolce vita ambiance found along the active sidewalk cafes. Rome has a charisma all of its own with inspiring art galleries and vibrant street life, chic style, and endless sense of opulence.

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

6. London, England

Longdon, England

Longdon, England

London is 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 out of the banks of the River Thames. Whether looking for ancient history, contemporary artworks, or traditional British charm, London embodies the diverse highlights of the nation. London is a city that never tires of interesting things to see and unique experiences to enjoy for all ages.

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

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 the antique streets that lead to the famous glockenspiel, while plentiful festivals showcase the city’s rich and historic culture. However, Munich also looks dazzlingly into the future with high-tech cars and edgy art juxtaposing the reputation of the traditional landscape. Gorgeous churches, stunning museums, grand palaces, modern innovation, and a lively community make Munich an endless 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

8. Copenhagen, Denmark

Old Nyhavn port in central Copenhagen, Denmark

Old Nyhavn port 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 the 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

9. Florence, Italy

Sunset in Florence, Italy

Sunset in Florence, Italy

Florence is irresistibly the Cradle of the Renaissance with an enchanting labyrinth of streets that lead to seemingly endless collections 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 Italian boutiques are matched in culinary tradition with wine-rich hills and a celebration of delicious heritage.

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

10. Stockholm, Sweden

Aerial of Old Town Stolckholm, Sweden

Aerial of Old Town Stolckholm, Sweden

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

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 during the day have a remarkably different but equally enticing atmosphere after sundown.

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

12. Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh city from Calton hill in Scotland, UK

Edinburgh city from Calton hill in Scotland, UK

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 yellow daffodils, steep foothills, and spires of Old Town. From festivals to family attractions, romantic hideaways to regal histories, Edinburgh blends 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

13. Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Sunrise over the canals in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Sunrise over the canals in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Amsterdam is a fascinating city of weaving 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: May | June | September

Pairs Well With: London | Paris

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 layers of the island’s wonder to light. Beaches shine with pebbled sands from black to red while the water near the submerged volcano bubbles with natural thermal springs accessible from the charming and elegant villages.

Highlights: Museum of Prehistoric Thira | Ancient Thera | Akrotiri | Black Sand Beach | Oia | Amoudi Bay

Recommended Length of Stay: 3-4 days

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

Pairs Well With: Athens | Rome

15. Prague, Czech Republic

Vltava River and bridges in Prague, Czech Republic

Vltava River and bridges in Prague, Czech Republic

Prague is both art and revolution wrapped up into the spectacle of historical architecture winding along the banks of the lazy Vltava River. The city embodies haunting beauty set beneath the hilltop castle and crossing the famous stone bridge while museum galleries reflect the aesthetic of Bohemia from Gothic altarpieces to contemporary surrealists. The charms of a millennium become vertical that you can see in the Baroque and art nouveau architecture underscored by lively beer gardens, hidden courtyards, and the 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

How Many Days Should You Spend in Europe?

Aerial view of the Colosseum in Rome, Italy

Aerial view of the Colosseum in Rome, Italy

Fourteen days is an ideal amount of time for a trip to Europe. More time in Europe means you have more time to explore the remarkable diversity of the cultures and scenery that change from country to country and even from city to city. Two weeks gives you plenty of time to experience both popular highlights and travel off the beaten path for a good mix of the iconic and less traditional destinations in Europe.

Ready to Plan Your European Adventure?

Europe is filled with exciting discoveries and iconic wonders that offer insight into the ancient world, captivating art, exceptional landscapes. From masterpieces of the Renaissance to charming lakeside cottages, Michelin-starred restaurants to historic vineyards, a Europe travel specialist understands the details that can personalize your perfect trip. You can find more inspiration for your trip with our Europe Travel Guide. You can speak with a Europe travel expert by filling out a Trip Request or by calling 1-888-265-9707.

Your Dream Vacation

in 3 simple steps

  1. 1

    Describe your dream trip

  2. 2

    Get matched with top travel specialists

  3. 3

    Book the trip

Free service - no credit card required

Get Top Travel Specialists to Help Plan Your Trip