Trip Preparation

Choose Your Destinations

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 

🇬🇧United Kingdom32,61334,43635,81437,65136,316
🇺🇦 Ukraine12,71212,42813,33314,23014,104
🇧🇦Bosnia Herzegovina5366787789231.053
🇲🇰North Macedonia425486510631707
🇸🇲San Marino7554607884
Holy See-VaticanN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Data Source UNWTO – World Tourism Organization Compendium of Tourism Statistics Data 2020 Edition 
American Tourists Arrivals in Europe
Source; US Dept. of Commerce, National Travel and Tourism Office.
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


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

ETG Favorites

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

*Condé Nast Traveler readers cast hundreds of thousands of votes for the best cities in Europe in the 2018 Readers’ Choice Awards survey

§  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. Deciding on what interest you the most will help you to choose a city that will leave you with a memorable experience.

  • 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. 

The following web sites will list some of the most desirable destinations by travelers;

Popular Regions in Europe…
Tirol Region

Province high Alps with Innsbruck Boarders Salzburg, Halstatt, the Dachsteins & Bavarian Alps of Germany.

Danube River

Austria / Germany / Hungary
One of the largest cruise rivers in Europe that will include visits to Vienna and Budapest.

🇧🇪 🇳🇱
Benelux Countries

Flanders in Western Belgium the Netherlands. Historic WWI sites, Brussels, Amsterdam, The Hague, Antwerp and well preserved cities of Bruges & Ghent.

🇭🇷 🇲🇪
Dalmation Coast

Croatia, Montenegro
The Adriatic coastal of Croatia & Montenegro next to Bosnia & Herzegovina. Includes Dubrovnik, Split, Hvar, Kotor, Korcula, Rovinj, Pula 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.

🇫🇷 🇪🇸 Aquitaine – Basque Region

France – Spain.
Wine region of Bordeaux, Atlantic coast, Basque country, northern Spain with San Sebastian, Bilbao & Pamplona.


A cultural giant just on its own, the areas in and around Paris include Disneyland Paris & Versailles. Extras near are Burgundy, Champagne, Normandy and the Loire Valley.

Provence & Cote d’Azur

Southern Mediterranean coast of the French Riviera with Nice, Cannes, St. Tropez & Monaco. Provence to its west with Roman ruins, vineyards, hilltop villages, lavender fields & cities of Avignon, Arles, Aix-en-Provence and Marseille.

🇩🇪 Berlin Area

Historic Berlin is a city packed with things to see and do. Close by is Potsdam and Dresden. Adding near by Prague or Hamburg will fill anice agenda.

Upper Bavaria Region

( Oberbayern) The area in and around Munich in southeast Germany, also encompasses Nuremberg, Regensburg, the Bavarian Alps and the Romantic Road.

Rhine River

France / Germany / Netherlands / Switzerland
Popular cruises, pass castles, vineyards and villages from Basel to Amsterdam that includes popular stops Strasbourg, Mainz, Koblenz and Cologne.

Athens & Greek Islands

Island groups of the Ionian’s with Corfu, Cyclades with Mykonos & Santorini, Dodecanese’s with Rhodes & Crete. All accessible from historic Athens, which in itself, is a total experience.

Amalfi Coast

South of Naples & Pompeii where Sorrento, Salerno and Capri Island are located.


(Lombardia) Area in north central Italy. Milan is located here with the Italian mountain lakes like Como, Iseo, Lugano, Maggiore and Orta

Lazio Region

Area in and around Rome includes the ruins of ancient Rome, the Vatican City, Ostia and Tivoli. The museums, ruins and sights are endless.

Tuscany Region

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

Area in and around historic Venice and its’ lagoon islands. Near Verona, Padua, Vicenza, the Dolomites, Slovenia and Croatia.

The Fjords

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.

Central & Southern Poland

Areas of Silesia and Lesser Poland with historical areas of Kraków, Katowice, Oświęcim, Wroclaw with its capital Warsaw.

Algarve Coast – Lisbon Area

The Atlantic coast line in Southern Portugal includes Lagos and Faro. The historic capital of Lisbon and royal Sintra lie just north.

Andalusia -Madrid

Madrid, Spain’s capital offers plenty as do along with near by Segovia, Ávila and La Mancha. To the south lies the old Moorish region of Spain where Sevilla, Granada, Malaga, Marbella and the Costa del Sol are all located.

🇪🇸 CataloniaBarcelona

Cataluña, the province in Northeast Spain along the Mediterranean coast where Barcelona, Valencia and the Costa Brava are located.

The Bernese Oberland

Located at the base of Jungfrau, Eiger and Mönch with Lauterbrunnen Valley, Grindelwald just below. All along with Interlaken located just south of the Bern the capital of Switzerland.

London – Southeast England

United Kingdom
Located in southeast England, London with its long history, is the center of activity for most travelers. One could spend weeks just in London however, side trips to Bath, Brighton, Cambridge, Oxford, Stonehenge, and Dover are excellent.