Europe is full of dynamic cities brimming with culture and picturesque scenery spanning from the countryside of France and Italy to the Greek and Spanish islands. With so many stunning locations featuring natural wonders and must-see attractions, it’s no surprise that picking where to go in Europe may be tough.
That’s why U.S. News compiled a list of the greatest locations to visit in Europe based on the highlights of each trip, as well as user votes and expert comments. Use this list to start planning your European vacation, and vote below to influence next year’s list.
Best Places to Visit in Europe
It is no secret that Europe is full of wonderful destinations to visit. With its great capitals, fairytale-like towns, soaring mountain ranges, and beautiful beaches, there is a seemingly limitless number of beautiful places to visit.
Whether you’re planning your next trip to Europe or just trying to figure out where to go next, here are 10 gorgeous greatest locations to visit in Europe.
1. ITALY’S DOLOMITES
The Dolomites in Italy are one of the most beautiful places to visit in Europe, with craggy mountain peaks, lovely towns, and picturesque lakes.
This is a hiking paradise during the summer months, attracting people of all ages and abilities. Chair lifts transport hikers to some of the highest peaks, allowing you to enjoy some genuinely breathtaking vistas with little effort. Skiers glide down these same mountains in the winter months, creating a snow-covered winter wonderland.
2. SANTORINI, GREECE
Santorini is the remains of an ancient volcano. What remains is the caldera’s rim, which is dotted with some of Europe’s most picturesque villages.
Oia is one of the most gorgeous settlements on Santorini. The cascades of whitewashed buildings, interspersed with blue dome churches and windmills, provide a magnificent setting for photographers. As the sun goes down, the buildings light in pinks, oranges, and yellows, making this place even more enchanting. It’s a sight to behold.
3. THE FJORDS OF NORWAY
Southern Norway is lined with fjords, waterfalls, mountains, and some of Europe’s most exhilarating hiking trails. This is a great area to visit and one of Europe’s best road trip destinations.
You may explore the fjord by boat, train, automobile, or foot. There are also ways to combine all of these types of transportation into one amazing Norwegian vacation.
4. PARIS, FRANCE
Paris is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. The magnificent boulevards, architecture, parks and gardens, street cafes, and monuments all combine to make one of the most attractive cities in the world.
5. ALGARVE, PORTUGAL
The Algarve is a stunning stretch of coastline in southern Portugal. You can not only relax on the beaches, but also tour the towns that dot the coast, go hiking, golf, and explore the limestone grottoes.
6. THE WILD ATLANTIC WAY, IRELAND
The Wild Atlantic Way is a 1600-mile road that runs along Ireland’s west coast. Driving the Wild Atlantic Way is a challenging road journey. It would take nearly a month to visit every viewpoint and explore every nook and crevice of the Wild Atlantic Way. With less time, you can concentrate on a short portion of the drive or just hit the highlights.
7. PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
Prague is one of the most photogenic cities in Europe. This was the only significant Eastern European city to survive WWII unscathed. Prague is one of the most attractive cities in Europe, with Gothic towers, old cathedrals, and the world’s largest castle.
8. MONT SAINT-MICHEL IN FRANCE
Mont Saint-Michel is an island off the coast of France. This island is fortified with medieval walls and crowned by a historic settlement and abbey. Mont Saint-Michel is usually surrounded by sand, but when the tide is high, it appears to be a floating island.
9. ISTRIA, CROATIA, AND SLOVENIA
The Istrian Peninsula, located in northwest Croatia and western Slovenia, is a wedge-shaped peninsula. Istria may not have the same level of appeal as southern Croatia, but it is also significantly less crowded.
Consider visiting the Istrian Peninsula if you want to avoid the throngs that travel to Dubrovnik, Hvar, and Split while still enjoying breathtaking coastal scenery and lovely towns.
10. KEUKENHOF, NETHERLANDS
Keukenhof is a wonderland of flowering daffodils, tulips, and hyacinths between April and May. It is stunning and well worth seeing if you are in Amsterdam during these months.
11. THE ISLE OF SKYE, SCOTLAND
The Isle of Skye is one of Europe’s most attractive destinations to visit, with spectacular coastal vistas, small settlements, and lush landscapes.
This is a fantastic place for individuals of all ages. This little peninsula is easy to explore by automobile, with just enough short but lovely hiking trails to allow you to properly enjoy the beauty of this location.
Americans used to take several years to complete the Grand Tour of Europe. They had a good concept. You’ll need a lot of time to truly appreciate what Europe has to offer. Because most of us only get a few weeks off each year, we must pick and choose what we will see.
We can narrow down the list of top locations to visit in Europe by geographic region or special interest. We can always return to see new places because it simply takes hours to get to Europe these days, as opposed to weeks for our forefathers.