Best places to travel in Europe
More than half a million of you have voted for their best European destinations for the tenth edition of the competition this year. Here is your ranking of the trendiest European destinations 2019.
Whether you look forward to a city break, a romantic getaway, a family or beach holiday, a cultural or gastronomic trip, alone or with friends, you will be spoilt for choice. Need even more inspiration? Discover dozens more themes such as the most beautiful Christmas markets and beaches in Europe.
1. Budapest, Hungary
Thousands of you from all over the world have voted for Budapest as the best European destination 2019. The capital of Hungary is number one on your travel bucket list.
The city setting is stunning with a rich architectural and historical heritage: it offers an unmatched combination of culture, blooming gastronomy and the advantages of thermal waters and world heritage sights. The pearl of the Danube is not only the best European destination, it is also one of the most beautiful and safest cities in the world. Budapest offers the elegance of Paris, the architectural heritage of Vienna, the charm of Porto, Stockholm’s gentle way of life.
Join Budapest lovers and book your flight, accommodation and best tours in Budapest such as a Danube Cruise, a visit to the Buda Castle or an alternative Budapest walking tour of both Buda and Pest and enjoy your stay in the best destination in Europe! A word of advice: your Instagram account is at risk of blowing up if you share all the photos you will be taking!
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2. Braga, Portugal
Braga has been attracting travellers from all over the world for thousands of years. Braga (1 hour by train from Porto) is sparkling, charming and full of life. The city offers the best of Portugal in a friendly and warm atmosphere.
Stroll through its shopping streets and marvel at the beauty of its Gothic Cathedral. Take a romantic break in the Santa Barbara Garden or walk to the top of Bom Jesus do Monte. Even the sky does not seem to be a limit for Braga and its inhabitants. Whether you are a believer or not, the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Sameiro is breathtakingly beautiful and inspiring.
Shopaholic? No problem, Braga offers a unique experience with a mix of traditional shops, young designer shops and shopping centres. Want to move, dance, laugh and share unforgettable moments? Braga offers high quality events throughout the year. More? The biggest White Night in Europe takes place in Braga with dozens of street concerts. Braga is made for lovers, adventurers, foodies, history buffs and those who seek new trends and experiences. Open your eyes, beauty is all around you!
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Best for: Culture, City break, Shopping, Nature, Gastronomy, Wellness, Instagram addicts
Nearest airports: Porto Airport (OPO)
3. Monte Isola, Italy
Monte Isola is probably one of the most beautiful destinations in Italy. Located on Lake Iseo, just 2 hours from Milan, Monte Isola offers the best of Lombardy on a few square kilometers. This great mountain emerging in the middle of a beautiful lake is paradise on earth. Monte Isola has been banning cars for a long time and has been awarded the "EDEN - European Destination of Excellence" by the European Commission for its commitment to sustainable tourism and the maintenance of local production.
Monte Isola seduces travellers from all over the world; it has inspired great artists such as Cristo who chose the island for one of his most stunning artistic installations. Monte Isola seduces families, lovers, hikers, those who want to relax, feel authenticity, human warmth and respect for nature. Discover local crafts, fishing nets, local produce such as salami, fish in oil, wild asparagus, extra virgin olive oil, sun dried sardines, fresh tomatoes, arugula or chubs and perches. Monte Isola is also a paradise for gourmets. Like Franciacorta’s wines, it is seductive, sparkling, incomparable.
Book your plane tickets to Milan or Bergamo as well as your train tickets to Brescia then take a bus or train to Iseo. You will get to Monte Isola by boat (did you notice that Monte Isola is an island?). There are crossings day and night. Book your accommodation at the best price and your best tours in Lombardia.
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4. Metz, France
If you want to discover one of the trendiest destinations in France, Metz is definitely the place to go! The city attracts artists and travellers from around the world. Young designers, investors, start-up companies, have settled in Metz for years. Major cultural institutions like the Pompidou Centre and renowned creators such as Philippe Starck have decided to launch their projects in the city.
Situated in the north-east of France and only 82 mins from Paris by train, Metz is the perfect sized town for a short break. Its combination of lively shopping streets and riverside walks makes it ideal for pedestrians, cyclists and people looking for amusement and relaxation. Family-friendly parks and gardens are part of the city lifestyle, just like the animated terraces, cafés and bars. Good quality food is easy to find. The Covered Market, patisseries run by award-winning pastry chefs, and the many restaurants serve local and international delicacies for every budget.
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5. Poznan, Poland
Poland is one of the trendiest tourist destinations not to be missed this year. Do you like history, castles? Poznań is made for you with its incredible Renaissance style town hall, its huge medieval-like castle or the colourful facades of Stary Rynek (the Old Market Square).
Do you like shopping and art? "Stary Browar" (Old Brewery) is one of the most beautiful shopping centres in the world as well as being a business art centre. Gastronomy is your weakness? Discover hundreds of restaurants recommended by the most prestigious culinary guides. Do you need more? Poznań is one of the greenest cities in Poland which many cyclists and pedestrians mostly enjoy in summer. Poznań also hosts incredible events such as the "Ethno Port" one of the best music festivals in the world.
Looking for a romantic or family trip? We recommend the Poznań Christmas market ranked among the most beautiful in Europe. Do not miss its ice sculpture festival, the only one of its kind in Europe.
6. Málaga, Spain
Forget Barcelona and Madrid this year and go for Málaga! Stroll through the alleys of the old historic centre, fill your lungs with fresh sea air on the quays, shop on the marinha or sip a cocktail on the rooftop of a trendy bar. For a panoramic view of the city, hop on the Grande-Roue or climb to the top of the Gibralfaro Castle for a 360-degree view of one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. Treat yourself to a day of thrills on the "Caminito del Rey", one of the most beautiful natural attractions in Málaga province. Finally, enjoy a moment of pure bliss in one of Málaga’s magnificent hammams.
Málaga is a unique destination in Europe and a mix of modern and traditional. The city combines leisure, tourism, beach, gastronomy and shopping together with business and extensive cultural offerings and events of worldwide recognition.
7. Geneva, Switzerland
You ranked it among the most popular destinations to visit in 2019. Geneva is surprising, sparkling and perfect for a city break, for shopping, culture and nature lovers.
Geneva offers a smorgasbord of unmissable experiences in a one-of-a-kind natural setting. From the shores of the biggest lake in Western Europe in just one hour, find yourself at the foot of Mont-Blanc, the continent's highest peak. Feel like skiing in the morning and shopping in the afternoon? No problem! Anything is possible here!
With its breathtaking views, Geneva will amaze you time and time again! From the famous Jet d'Eau jetting water 140 metres above Lake Geneva, to the picturesque countryside and its vineyard paths, enjoy being spellbound by its diverse and enchanting landscape.
Whether it's a trip to the heart of the legendary birthplace of fine watchmaking, savouring the delights of dining in top restaurants or soaking up the buzz of the international district, Geneva has it all! Be sure to live a great experience in Geneva!
8. Cavtat, Croatia
Croatia has to be one of the most beautiful countries in the world and Cavtat, located on the Adriatic coast, is a real gem. Breathtakingly splendid, this small town is only 20 kilometres from Dubrovnik. Cavtat will seduce you with the beauty of its landscapes but also the richness of its cultural and historical heritage… and its gastronomy!
Places like Cavtat offering so much to the visitors are quite rare. Its scenery, the rich cultural and historical heritage along with the range of services offered to tourists meet the demands of the present day tourists, thus making it one of the most attractive destinations on the Adriatic coast.
Cavtat caters for all types of travellers. You can walk, take a bike ride, go horseback riding or indulge in water sports. Cavtat is also the ideal choice for a family holiday to bask in the sun or for active holidays. Come recharge your batteries in Cavtat, one of the most beautiful destinations in Europe.
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9. Bratislava, Slovakia
The capital of Slovakia has to be on your travel bucket list. Bratislava is a modern city on the Danube, where centuries-old history combines with an exciting present. It is not just Bratislava's affordability and proximity to other capitals that attracts visitors to Slovakia's capital. If you are looking for a city break full of culture, exceptional cuisine, exclusive experiences and unique atmosphere, Bratislava is the place to be.
The dominant triangle – Bratislava Castle, the UFO tower and St Martin‘s Cathedral – offers a combination of a spectacular panoramic views over the town, wonderful culinary experiences, together with reminders of the city’s rich coronation history.
10. Sainte-Maxime, France
Sainte-Maxime is one of your favourite destinations in Europe. It is a haven of peace, a perfect destination for a holiday with family or lovers. Located between Provence and the French Riviera, this destination is authentic, warm and welcoming.
Sainte-Maxime is known worldwide for the beauty of its landscapes, its turquoise waters, its endless beaches. It is popular with travellers from around the world for its authentic Provencal soul. If you want to live new experiences, meet new people, discover new flavours, Sainte-Maxime is definitely the place for you.
Enjoy a delicious piece of bread covered with local extra virgin olive oil and a glass of rosé on a sunny terrace. Sainte-Maxime offers the best of Provence, the French Riviera and even some Corsican landscapes with "La Pointe des Sardinaux", a must-see place known as ‘Little Corsica’.
Want to keep memories for a lifetime? Go parasailing (what a feeling, what a view of the Esterel red rocks!) Finish the day with a game of pétanque, the ultimate Provencal sport, relax, talk, laugh, make friends… Sainte-Maxime is one of a kind, all for you.
11. Dinant, Belgium
Dinant is becoming the queen of Instagram, one of Europe's trendiest destinations. This charming city located in the south of Belgium has nothing to envy to other major Belgian tourist destinations such as the sublime city of Bruges or the vibrant and sparkling city of Antwerp.
As soon as you get to Dinant the panorama will captivate you: the River Meuse and the rocks frame this beautiful postcard. Visit its Collegiate church, get to the top of Dinant by funicular and discover the Citadel, a fortress that offers magnificent views of the River Meuse and one of the most beautiful valleys in Europe. Enjoy mussels and chips on the Croisette and do not miss the "Leffe Blonde". This famous beer is indeed brewed here by the monks of Our Lady of Leffe‘ Abbey just a few hundred metres from Dinant.
Dinant is also a city of adventure, gastronomy and history. Visit the house of the inventor of the saxophone, Adolphe Saxe who was born here and you will realize how much Dinant has influenced the history of music and Jazz. For a total experience, walk through the door of a bakery and buy a "Couque de Dinant". This incredible honey cookie is as hard as wood and will not fit into any cup of coffee but its taste is incomparable! These biscuits represent emblematic places of the city or motifs such as wild boars, fish, flowers, landscapes... Strong bet that you will not succeed in finishing the biscuit by the end of your city break in Dinant! Speaking of betting, Dinant also has a new Casino. Anyway, be sure to leave the city richer with lovely memories. In summer treat yourself to ‘frissons’ down the back with a kayak tour down the river Lesse and be stunned by a magnificent view of the Walzin castle as you paddle down one of Belgium’s most beautiful river.
12. Athens, Greece
Sun, gastronomy, culture, nightlife, monuments, the sea, a blue sky…Welcome to Athens, one of the best destinations in Europe! Athens is in the top 15 destinations every year and all year through it attracts European travellers in search of their roots but also travellers from all over the world.
The city is historic and is the cradle of European philosophy. Athens is both steeped in history and focused on modernity and tomorrow’s cultural and economic issues. Travellers love its architecture, the district of Plaka, monuments, gastronomy, trendy shops but also its nightlife; its proximity to the sea (15 minutes away from downtown) makes it very attractive too. A city of paradoxes and great contrasts, in the country that first invented the courtesy and generosity towards people who are far from their home.
Most travellers appreciate the inhabitants of Athens who share, heart on hand, their gastronomical and touristic treasures.
Best for: Culture, City break, Gastronomy, Nature, Nightlife, Sea, Instagram.
Nearest airports: Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos.
Where to stay:‘"Athens Tiare" located in the heart of Athens.
13. Kotor, Montenegro
Kotor is definitely the trendiest destination in Europe. Kotor is authentic, charming, breathtaking. The city is perfect for a relaxing stay, for gourmets, for lovers but also for fans of hiking, history, culture.
Kotor is the perfect destination for people looking for authenticity and new experiences. Visit the fortifications of the Old Town, walk up to the tops of Kotor or explore Kotor Bay "Boka Kotorska", one of the most beautiful bays in Europe.
Kotor is an excellent holiday choice for those who cannot make up their mind whether to have an active or relaxing sunny holiday or discover heritage, culture and history, a family holiday or a romantic trip. Kotor is suitable for everyone. This year, forget about big capitals and go relax in Kotor, one of the most beautiful destinations in Europe.
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14. Riga, Latvia
More trendy than ever, Riga is part of your travel bucket list again this year. Riga is a perfect destination to discover new horizons. Riga offers an unprecedented mix of architecture, history, modernity, trendy cafés and restaurants, shopping streets offering both traditional products and products by local designers.
Riga is a welcoming and dynamic city, a colourful and sparkling destination. This is the city you have to visit this year if you want to go mad on Instagram. Riga is also a perfect city for gourmets or architecture enthusiasts. Its old historic centre is full of traditional restaurants or fusion cuisine.
Riga is perfect for lovers, friends, singles, history buffs or just for people who want to relax and feel good. Riga is cut out for spa treatments and beauty procedures and you can do that in the very centre. When in Riga, a traditional Latvian bath is a must!
15. Florence, Italy
Florence is incomparable: its beauty, light and atmosphere will seduce you all. Florence has for centuries been inspiring the greatest artists who revolutionized the art world. The city has seen the birth of the greatest masterpieces ever produced by humankind. Its architecture is immensely rich and its museums, sculptures and paintings are known worldwide.
Florence is a city with roots and wings, a city that is at the forefront of sustainable development and creation. Florence is also very concerned about the future, the environment and major issues related to societal and environmental changes.
Discover Florence, its verdant hills and the incredible views which they offer. The wealthiest families, such as the Medici, made Florence the world capital of art and left the city an invaluable legacy. These treasures await you in one of the best European destinations.
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