The nice problem with planing a trip to Europe is that there is so much to see and do one may never be able to see them in a lifetime. Most of us only have two weeks to go there so while you would like to see as much as possible, you’re going to be forced to pick and choose the places you’d like to see. You’ll need to eliminate some because will not have the time to see them all.Never make the mistake of trying to see too much as it will only lead to frustration and fatigue.
Some tours rush you into and out of sites so quickly you never get a chance to soak in the moment and create a lasting memory of Europe. Plan on taking more time at locations to see more of the area. You’ll regret not taking the time to see something when you were so near and not knowing if you’ll ever be back again.
Popular Countries in Europe…
Which countries should you visit? There are some countries that are more popular than other for obvious other than they are just larger than some others. Countries like England, France, Germany, Netherlands, Portugal and Spain where countries that established colonies across the globe. Extracting resources from those areas would fuel their economies at home, making them powerful and wealthy. Greece having given birth to western civilization and Italy home of the Roman Empire and birth of the Renaissance, makes them both culturally and historically significant. European countries offer travelers great history, culture, man made wonders and natural beauty.
The table below show annual number of tourist who arrive in each country and have at least one overnight stay. It would not include day trips into a country from another country or travel through a country without and overnight accommodation.
International Tourists Arrivals in Europe
Overnight visitors (tourists) in the millions
American Tourists Arrivals in Europe
The Popular Cities in Europe…
Some cities, like some countries, can have more to see and do than others because of the roll they played in history. Ruins from ancient Greece and Rome are spread across Europe from England to Turkey. Major cities served as the capitols of kingdoms and empires were their royalty and emperors would rule from. Vestiges of medieval life are found in preserved old town areas of cities as well as rural villages scattered across all of Europe.
In the top 25 of Condé Nast Traveler, fourteen of the top 10 Readers Choice Awards were European cities. Favorites among travelers and gaining honors were Florence, Budapest, Salzburg, Vienna, Rome, Siena, Bruges, Prague, Kraków, and Barcelona. According to the MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index, for top destination city by international visitor arrivals in 2014, eight of the top 20 cities are in Europe. They are London, Paris, Istanbul, Barcelona, Milan, Rome, Amsterdam, and Vienna.
1. Vienna, Austria
2. Salzburg, Austria
3. Hamburg, Germany
4. Lucerne, Switzerland
5. Basel, Switzerland
6. Cologne, Germany
7. Nuremberg, Germany
8. Florence, Italy
9. Paris, France
10. Barcelona, Spain
11. Antwerp, Belgium
12. Madrid, Spain
13. London, England UK
14. Budapest, Hungary
15. Tallinn, Estonia
16. Porto, Portugal
17. Amsterdam, Netherlands
18. Venice, Italy
19. Lyon, France
20. Edinburgh, Scotland,UK
21. Avignon, France
22. stanbul, Turkey
23. Stockholm, Sweden
24. Athens, Greece
25. Zürich, Switzerland
26. Rome, Italy
27. Bilbao, Spain
28. Sevilla, Spain
29. Granada, Spain
30. Cork, Ireland
31. Valencia, Spain
32. Copenhagen, Denmark
33. Lisbon, Portugal
34. San Sebastián, Spain
35. Oslo, Norway
TRAVEL & LEISURE
1. Florence, Italy
2. Rhodes, Greece
3. Istanbul, Turkey
4. Paris, France
5. Santorini, Greece
6. Barcelona, Spain
7. Kraków, Poland
8. Lisbon, Portugal
9. Sevilla, Spain
10. Salzburg, Austria
11. Madrid, Spain
12. Oslo, Norway
13. Edinburgh, Scotland,UK
14. Porto, Portugal
15. Budapest, Hungary
1. Paris, France
2. Berlin, Germany
3. Budapest, Hungary
4. Florence, Italy
5. Bruges, Belgium
6. Prague, Czechia
7. Munich, Germany
8. Barcelona, Spain
9. London, England UK
10. Vienna, Austria
11. Rome, Italy
12. Amsterdam, Netherlands
13. Kraków, Poland
14. Copenhagen, Denmark
15. Venice, Italy
16. Salzburg, Austria
18. Lucerne, Switzerland
18. Siena, Italy
1. London, England UK
2. Paris, France
3. Rome, Italy
4. Cork, Ireland
5. Barcelona, Spain
6. Istanbul, Turkey
7. Prague, Czechia
8. Lisbon, Portugal
9. Majorca, Spain
10. Tenerife, Spain
11. Santorini, Greece
12. Crete, Greece
13. Rhodes, Greece
14. Amsterdam, Netherlands
15. Venice, Italy
16. Ajaccio, Corsica, France
17. Bilbao, Spain
18. Madeira, Spain
19. Isle of Malta, Malta
20. Berlin, Germany
21. Edinburgh, Scotland,UK
22. St. Petersburg, Russia
23. Vienna, Austria
24. Manavgat, Turkey
25. Kraków, Poland
§ Travel + Leisure magazine’s readers survey of the top 15 cities. Respondents rate an excellent, above average, average, below average, or poor score to several categories. The final scores are indexed averages to those responses.
Everyone has a European city that is their favorite. People can love them for their natural beauty, culture, history and more. The list the top choices for these cities by travelers, magazines and web sites.
- Beauty – These cities receive high ratings for their natural beauty but, also their architecture that contributes majestic ambiance of the city.
- Culture – These cities are noted because of the role they played in shaping the culture of Europe in the arts, sciences, education and traditions. Here you will find some of the best museums.
- Historic – These cities played pivotal roles in European history.
- Old – These are some of the best preserved cities or sections of the past. While some may be reconstructed after war damage, many are in their original state and well preserved.
- Aachen, Germany (Culture)
- Alesund, Norway (Beauty)
- Amsterdam, Netherlands (Beauty, Culture)
- Annecy, France (Beauty)
- Antwerp, Belgium (Beauty)
- Arles, France (Culture)
- Athens, Greece (Culture, History)
- Augsburg, Germany
- Avignon, France (Culture, Historic)
- Avila, Spain (Old)
- Baden-Baden, Germany (Beauty)
- Bamberg, Germany (Old)
- Barcelona, Spain (Beauty, Cutlure)
- Basel , Switzerland(Culture)
- Bath, England UK (Historic)
- Bergen, Norway (Beauty, Culture, Old)
- Bern, Switzerland (Beauty)
- Berlin, Germany (Culture, Historic)
- Biarritz, France (Beauty)
- Bilbao, Spain (Culture)
- Bologna, Italy (Beauty)
- Bonifacio Corsica, France (Beauty)
- Bordeaux, France (Culture)
- Bratislava, Slovakia
- Brighton, England UK (Beauty)
- Bristol, England UK
- Bruges, Belgium (Beauty, Old)
- Brussels , Belgium (Beauty, Culture)
- Budapest (Beauty, Culture)
- Carassonne, France (Old)
- Chester, England UK (Old)
- Colmar, France (Old)
- Cologne, Germany (Culture)
- Copenhagen, Denmark (Beauty, Culture)
- Dresden, Germany (Beauty)
- Dublin, Ireland (Beauty, Culture)
- Dubrovnik, Croatia (Beauty, Old)
- Edinburgh, Scotland UK (Beauty, Culture, Old)
- Eisenach, Germany
- Erfurt, Germany
- Èze, France (Old)
- Ferrara, Italy ( Beauty)
- Florence, Italy ( Beauty, Culture, Historic, Old)
- Frankfurt, Germany (Culture)
- Glasgow, Scotland UK (Culture)
- Geneva, Switzerland (Beauty)
- Gdansk, Poland (Culture)
- Ghent, Belgium (Beauty, Old)
- Gothenburg, Sweden (Culture)
- Granada, Spain (Culture, Old)
- Hallstadt, Austria (Beauty, Old)
- Hamburg, Germany (Beauty)
- Heidelberg, Germany (Beauty, Old)
- Helsinki, Finland (Beauty, Culture)
- Ibiza, Spain (Beauty, Old)
- Innsbruck, Austria (Beauty, Culture)
- Istanbul, Turkey (Beauty, Old)
- Kotor, Montenegro (Beauty, Culture, Old)
- Kraków, Poland (Culture, Historic, Old)
- Lagos, Portugal (Beauty)
- Lisbon, Portugal (Beauty, Culture, Historic)
- Ljubljana, Slovenia (Beauty, Culture)
- London, England UK (Beauty, Culture, Historic)
- Luxembourg City, Luxembourg (Beauty)
- Madrid, Spain (Beauty, Culture)
- Manchester, England UK (Culture)
- Merida, Spain (Historic)
- Metz, France (Culture)
- Milan, Italy (Beauty, Culture)
- Mont Saint Michel, France (Old)
- Moscow, Russia (Beauty, Culture, Historic)
- Munich, Germany (Beauty, Culture, Historic)
- Mykonos, Greece (Beauty)
- Novi Sad, Serbia (Culture)
- Nîmes, Frances (Historic)
- Nottingham, England UK (Old)
- Nuremberg, Germany (Beauty, Historic)
- Ohrid, North Macedonia (Beauty)
- Oia, Santorini, Greece (Beauty, Culture)
- Oslo, Norway (Culture)
- Paris, France (Beauty, Culture, Historic)
- Pisa, Italy (Culture)
- Plovdiv, Bulgaria (Culture)
- Prague (Beauty, Culture, Historic, Old)
- Porto, Portugal (Beauty)
- Potsdam, Germany (Beauty, Historic)
- Regensberg, Germany (Old)
- Reykjavik, Iceland (Beauty)
- Riga, Latvia (Beauty, Culture, Old)
- Rome, Italy (Beauty, Culture, Historic, Old)
- Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany (Old)
- Rouen, France (Culture)
- Rovinj, Croatia (Beauty)
- San Gimignano, Italy (Old)
- Citte di San Marino (Beauty, Old)
- Saint Paul de Vence, France (Old)
- San Sebastián, Spain (Beauty, Culture)
- St. Petersburg, Russia (Beauty, Culture, Historic)
- Salzburg, Austria (Beauty)
- Sarajevo, Bosnia Herzegovina (Beauty)
- Seville, Spain (Beauty, Culture)
- Sibui, Romania (Old)
- Siena, Italy (Beauty)
- Sighisoara, Romania (Old)
- Sintra, Portugal (Culture)
- Stockholm, Sweden (Beauty, Culture, Historic, Old)
- Strasbourg, France (Beauty, Culture)
- Tallinn, Estonia (Beauty, Old)
- Toledo, Spain (Old)
- Valletta, Malta (Beauty)
- Valencia, Spain (Culture)
- Venice, Italy (Beauty, Culture, Historic)
- Verona, Italy (Beauty)
- Vienna, Austria (Beauty, Culture)
- Vilnius, Lithuania (Beauty)
- Vitre, France (Old)
- Warsaw, Poland (Beauty, Culture, Historic)
- York, England UK (Old)
- Zagreb, Croatia (Culture)
- Zakopane, Poland (Beauty)
- Zürich, Switzerland (Beauty)
Popular Regions in Europe…
Tirol Region – Austria
Province in the high Alps, Innsbruck is the largest town.
Danube River – Austria / Germany / Hungary
One of the largest cruise rivers in Europe that will include visits to Vienna and Budapest.
Flanders – Belgium
Western Belgium between France and the Netherlands on the North Sea coast. Historic WWI sites and well preserved cities of Bruges, Ghent, Leuven and Antwerp.
Dalmation Coast – Croatia
(Jadranska Hrvatska), the Adriatic coastal region of Croatia, Includes Dubrovnik, Split, Hvar, Korcula, Rovinj, Pula and Zadar
Baltic Sea – Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Russia & Sweden
Popular sea cruise area. Circular cruise trips from Copenhagen to Stockholm, Helsinki, Tallinn and Saint Petersburg and back
Bordering the Atlantic Ocean in Southwest France it is a major wine region with Bordeaux at its center. Basque country is in tis southern sections on the borer with Spain.
Île-de-France – France
The areas in and around Paris includes Disneyland Paris & Versailles. Close to Burgundy, Champagne, Normandy and the Loire Valley for easy trip extensions.
Languedoc-Roussillon – France
Area in Southern France with he Mediterranean on its east, Andorra, Spain and the Pyrénées to its south. The cities of Montpellier, Narbonne, Nîmes the historic citadel of Carcassonne and the Canal du Midi are here.
Provence – Alpes – Cote d’Azur- France
The region along the Mediterranean coast. The Côte d’Azur is the French Riviera with Nice. Monaco, etc. Provence is west of it with Roman ruins, vineyards, lavender fields, hilltop villages, the cities of Avignon, Arles, Aix-en-Provence and Marseille.
Rhone Alpes – France
Area of Southeastern France with the French Alps and its famous ski resorts. Also the cities of Annecy, Grenoble, Lyon and Saint-Étienne.
Berlin Area – Germany
Berlin is a city packed with things to see and do. Close by is Potsdam and Dresden. Also close and easy for trip extensions are Prague and Hamburg.
Upper Bavaria Region – Germany
( Oberbayern) The area in and around Munich in southeast Germany, also encompasses Nuremberg, the Bavarian Alps and the Romantic Road.
Black Forest – Germany
Located in southwest Germany’s Baden-Würtemburg and boarded by the Rhine river on the west. Mountainous region with dense forest and spa towns like Baden-Baden and Bad Wildbad. Old world charm cities Heidelberg and Freiburg.
Rhine River – Germany / France / Netherlands / Switzerland
Popular cruise, passes castles from Basel to Amsterdam that includes Strasbourg, Mainz, Koblenz and Cologne.
Greek Islands – Greece
( Kriti) Crete was the ancient home of the Minoan civilization prior to the rise of the Greek city states. Athens is an easy extension to this area.
South Aegean Islands
( Notio Aigaio) Cyclades and Dodecanese island groups that include Delos, Milos, Mykonos, Naxos, Paros, Rhodes, and Thira (Santorini) islands.
Laying off the west coast of Greece in the Ionian Sea. Know for Corfu and famous beaches.
Athens is an easy and convenient stopping off point for the islands.
Amalfi Coast – Italy
South of Naples & Pompeii where Sorrento, Salerno and Capri Island are located.
Lombardy – Italy
(Lombardia) Area in north central Italy. Milan is located here with the Italian mountain lakes like Como, Iseo, Lugano, Maggiore and Orta
Lazio region – Italy
Area in and around Rome includes the ruins of ancient Rome, the Vatican City, Ostia and Tivoli.
Tuscany Region – Italy
Florence, Pisa, Lucca, Siena and other towns on the rolling hills of Tuscany. Easy side trips to the Cinque Terra and Italian Riviera.
Veneto Region – Italy
Area in and around Venice’s lagoon. Near Verona, Padua, Vicenza, the Dolomites, Slovenia and Croatia.
Emilia-Romagna Region – Italy
Situated in northeast Italy with the towns of Modena, Parma, Ravenna, Rimini and with Bologna at its heart. The small country of San Marino lays at its southern boarder.
Noord – Holland – Netherlands
Area in and around Amsterdam with Alkmaar, Harlem, Zaandam coast North Sea cities. Close and easy access to The Hague, Rotterdam, Utrechtas well as, neighboring countries of Belgium, France and Germany.
The Fjords – Norway
Long deep narrow inlets with steep land on its sides located off west Norway’s Atlantic coast and the classic sea city of Bergen. Oslo is a stopping off point into and out of Norway
Southern Poland – Poland
Areas of Silesia and Lesser Poland with historical areas of Kraków, Katowice, Opole, Oświęcim and Wroclaw.
Algarve Coast – Portugal
The Atlantic coast line in Southern Portugal includes Lagos and Faro. Lisbon is an easy trip extension.
Andalusia – Spain
The old Moorish province in southern Spain where Sevilla, Granada, Malaga, Marbella and the Costa del Sol are located.
Balearic Islands – Spain
(Illes Belears) Group of islands off the Eastern Mediterranean coast and home to Fromentera, Ibiza, Mallorca and Menorca.
Canary Islands – Spain
(Canarias) Archipelago off the African Coast in the Atlantic. Main islands of Fuerteventura, Grand Canaria, La Palma and Tenerife are resort destinations for many Europeans.
Catalonia – Spain
(Cataluña) he province in Northeast Spain Along the Mediterranean coast where Barcelona, Valencia and the Costa Brava are located.
Transylvania – Romania
In the Carpathian Mountain region with dense forests and castles like Bran, Corvin and Peles.
The Bernese Oberland – Switzerland
Located at the base of Jungfrau, Eiger and Mönch with Lauterbrunnen Valley, Grindelwald and Interlaken
London Area – United Kingdom
In southeast England with inner London as the area of most interests. Side trips to Bath, Brighton, Cambridge, Oxford, Stonehenge, and Dover.