Europe is undoubtedly a top vacation destination. In fact, 710 million people, about 51% of international tourist arrivals hit the EU in 2018. Numbers continued to rise in 2019 and are predicted to continue rising in 2020 —and for good reason!
Whether you’re traveling with friends looking for museums, outdoor adventure, gourmet food, and parties, or with kids and want to visit amusement parks, zoos, and quieter beaches, Europe has absolutely everything you can dream of.
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History and Architecture
From Medieval Castles and Roman Ruins to the Eiffel Tower (France) and the —yet unfinished— Sagrada Familia (Spain), Europe is full of unique buildings worth visiting.
Its charming streets and world-class museums like the Musée du Louvre in Paris (France), and the Museo del Prado in Madrid (Spain) can keep you enchanted for hours on end.
Easy Access and Transport
Europe is very well connected. It’s incredibly easy to hop on a train or take a low-cost flight from Athens to Rome in just a couple of hours.
That’s probably why many tourists choose to tour Europe’s major cities during a single trip rather than sticking to just one country. Once you’ve arrived in Europe, you will be able to travel the entire Schengen passport-free zone securely and conveniently. Check here for more details.
US citizens can enter Europe without a visa during 2020 but will need to register online for an ETIAS travel authorization starting in 2021. The ETIAS will allow eligible citizens to enter all 26 Schengen countries by filling out a single form.
Seaside Villages and Islands
From Greece’s dainty white villas to the French Riviera and Ibiza (Spain), Europe has options for every beach lover.
Some quiet, family-friendly European beaches include Carvoeiro in Algarve (Portugal), Llafranc in Costa Brava (Spain), and Copacabana Beach, in Dubrovnik (Croatia).
More bustling beaches for people looking for vibrant nightlife include Playa d’en Bossa in Ibiza (Spain) and Santa Teresa Gallura in Sardinia (Italy).
If you’re looking for lush vegetation, waterfalls, and vast countryside, head out to the Azores islands of Portugal, just a 2-hour flight from Lisbon.
Outdoor and nature enthusiasts looking for adventure —or the perfect Instagram pic— often head to the Verdon Gorge (France), the Dolomites (Italy), the Douro River Valley (Portugal), or the Melissani Cave (Greece).
Other worthwhile spots to connect with nature in Europe include Durmitor National Park (Montenegro), with its mountain peaks and glacial lakes or the Plitvice Lakes National Park (Croatia) with its breathtaking waterfall and 16 stunning lakes.
Theme Parks and Zoos
If you are traveling to Europe with kids and teens, you will surely enjoy Portaventura in Tarragona (Spain), Europa Park in Rust (Germany), Efteling in Kaatsheuvel (the Netherlands) or Legoland in Billund (Denmark).
Some of the best zoos in Europe include the Loro Parque in Tenerife (Spain), the Tiergarten Schoenbrunn in Vienna (Austria) and the Zoo Parc de Beauval in Saint-Aignan (France).
Aside from Amsterdam’s well-known love of bicycles, many other European cities now offer bike tours as a fun way to get to know the area while protecting the environment.
Family-friendly bike tours are available in Mossel Valley (Germany), Normandy (France), and Sardinia (Italy).
Bike rentals are also available in many European capitals if you’d rather venture out without a guide or do so at your own pace.
With such a vast offering of world-renowned food and wine, gourmets are sure to be delighted by the cuisine in Europe.
Aside from the obvious pasta in Italy, paella in Spain, and coq au vin in France, many European cities also offer specifically-tailored tours in wineries, cheese factories, and the best restaurants in their region.
Some of our favorite tastebud-dazzling activities include wine and cheese tours in Italy or France, ham-tasting tours in Spain, and truffle-hunting tours in Croatia.
With so many reasons to visit Europe —and a range of accommodation for every budget, from luxury villas or 5-star hotels to hostels— it’s no wonder an increasing number of tourists flock there year after year.
Daniel Moore is an experienced content writer. He is associated with many renowned travel blogs as a guest author where he shares his valuable travel tips with the audience.