In honor of Europe Day today, I’ve created a ‘best of’ guide to Europe. There are probably a hundred more categories I could add to this list, but these are my most favorite categories and their winning cities. Here is what I consider the very best of Europe by category!
Eiffel Tower, Paris
The Eiffel Tower is one of the most iconic monuments of all time. It’s also the world’s fourth most visited monument, and there’s no denying why. Once you get to the very top of the Eiffel Tower, the views are absolutely unreal. You can nearly see every district sprawling through the gorgeous Parisian skyline.
Victory Column, Berlin
This monument commemorates the Prussian victory over the Danes, and opened in 1873. Since then, people have been climbing to the top and marveling at the views from the very center of the Tiergarten. What makes the view remarkably unique, is that you have a direct street view East, West, South, and then Northeast and Northwest.
The Parthenon is a former ancient temple that sits upon a hill. Once you make the climb, you are greeted with a complete 360 view of Athens. You can see nothing but homes for miles. It is the perfect view of a ancient Greece, and it will make your jaw drop to see just how many people call Athens home.
Old Town Square, Prague
Old Town Square in Prague is notoriously everyone’s favorite square. With good (yet a little touristy) beer, shopping, and people watching, you can’t go wrong. The square includes a beautiful gothic church that’s seriously vampire-esque, and a medieval astronomical clock. You can even climb to the top of the clock which has an amazing view of the square.
Red Square, Moscow
No other square compares to Red Square in Moscow. This square is considered the center of Moscow, and people flock here to see the unbelievable soviet architecture of Saint Basil’s Cathedral and the infamous Kremlin. In the winter, Russians enjoy a huge ice skating rink in the square.
The Louvre, Paris
I will never ever write anything pretentious about how the The Louvre is underrated. It is the best museum in the world. Not only for the famous works it houses, but for its brilliant design and architecture. You can spend all day walking through the marble rooms of The Louvre, and it really is something everyone must see in their lifetime.
A museum I recently discovered that stole my heart for its beauty, is the Glyptoteket in Copenhagen. This museum is so well designed and the rooms will leave you in awe. The collection of ancient statues is quite impressive, and the courtyard in the middle will have you thinking you’re somewhere warm and tropical.
Though somewhat subjective, France will always make the list of some of the best food you will ever eat in your life. Pastries, meats, cheese, wine, you name it. The French take pride in making food that’s very rich in taste, and full of buttery goodness. Visit France, and you are guaranteed to leave ten pounds heavier.
Another country that is dedicated to rich food, is Poland. A Polish breakfast will leave you full for days, and the pierogi will leave you reminiscing of your last meal. In Poland, hearty meats are a staple of most dishes, along with latkes, sour cream, and cabbage. All super rich and delicious!
London is truly one of the best destinations in Europe. I often recommend this for first time international travelers. There is so much history and so many things to do, and everyone speaks English. This makes it great for first time travelers! London is also one of those destinations you can keep going back to and never get bored with. The city is massive!
Lisbon is one of the most underrated destinations in the world. The city is thriving with good food, good people, and an amazing weekend vibe. Check out a castle from the 1800’s one day, and then hit the beach the next! Lisbon has all the markings of a really great city. Plus, the Portuguese are muito friendly.
Copenhagen is a bit different from a lot of other European cities, because it’s considered part of Scandinavia. If you want a unique European experience, then Copenhagen is your city. A picturesque winter with some hygge is what the Danes are all about. Ticket prices to Copenhagen are also always extremely reasonable, which is another reason it’s one of the best cities in Europe!
Best Up-And-Coming Countries
Situated off the Adriatic Sea, Montenegro is definitely a destination to watch. Tourism is booming, and rightfully so. This country has some of the most beautiful sea views and mountains. It’s a ‘hilly’ paradise of greenery and blue oceans. Montenegro is also a relatively cheap place to rent an Airbnb.
Typically forgotten about, Scotland is making a huge come back. Tourism here has grown by 14%, and road trips around Scotland are very popular. It’s a great option instead of Iceland (which is flooded with tourists now) to get out in to nature and experience a breathtaking countryside.
It was crazy hard to pick only one a few places in each category (and to only write a little about each), as there are so many great European countries and cites. These are all based on my opinion, as well as outside research, which I understand can be awfully subjective. But hey, you’re reading this blog for my advice, right?
If you have any countries or cities to add, please leave them below in the comments! I am always open to your opinions and collaborations. Travel is all about being open and sharing your experiences.
For now, I am quite happy with this comprehensive best of Europe list, and I hope I can add to it on future travels. Happy Europe Day!