Having travelled Europe pretty well with 31 countries ticked off our list, we have based all of this list on our personal experiences, in the hope to lead you to some places that you may not have initially thought of. Each destination on our list is incredibly beautiful in its own right, and we promise it’s worth a visit – with varieties of culture, food and adventure, you won’t be disappointed.
© All photos used below are our own
Here are our top Europe destinations…
» Reykjavik, Iceland «
We’ve put this at the top of the list as we’re confident this is still our favourite trip to date! It’s not for everyone as it’s so cold, but we wrapped up warm and embraced the weather and had the experience of a lifetime. We visited in February, but if you visit during summer months it will definitely be milder, and easier for hiking.
We stayed in a cute, modern Airbnb apartment in the capital of Reykjavik, with restaurants, bars, cathedrals, museums and fabulous views. Alternatively you can hike the mountains in the north of Iceland, or walk the beautiful black sandy beaches, and explore the ice caves on the south coast.
- We highly recommend taking a trip to the Blue Lagoon to bathe in the thermal blue waters, and relax with a mud mask and a beer while you soak. You can get single entrance tickets, or tickets to include the shuttle bus there and back also.
- The highlight of our trip was the Golden Circle excursion via bus. The stops include the Pingvellir National Park, the famous Gullfoss waterfall, and the geothermal area in Haukadalur, which contains the amazing geysirs pictured below.
- Northern lights tour. Due to huge amounts of light pollution, the lights are only really visible in low light areas. Taking part in the tour includes a bus ride out to the darkest park of your current location, to find the best spot for star gazing, and experiencing the heavenly lights firsthand. It’s incredible. The best part is, if you don’t manage to witness the lights for any reason, you get to go on the tour as many times as you like until you do!
- Visit the Hallgrimskirkja Church – we were lucky to have our apartment directly opposite this church. It has fascinating architecture and stands 74.5m tall, and is the largest church in Iceland – we recommend a climb to the top.
» Venice, Italy «
Venice most certainly lives up to expectations, with its charm and uniqueness, and surprises around every corner. Filled with little cafes, bistros and markets, take a stroll through the narrow cobbled streets along the winding canals – a top spot if you’re looking for somewhere romantic with a loved one. There are plenty of places to stay within Venice, however if you wanted to set up camp on the mainland, the ferry into Venice is just a 2-hour ride, which is what we did and worked out great.
- A relaxing cruise along the Grand Canal on a famous Gondola will be the finishing touch to your trip.
- Visit the Saint Mark’s Basilica Cathedral.
- Pop into a local shop specialised in Venetian masks, they’re hard to miss! It’s great to see, and we’re sure one would lovely at home on your wall.
» Poreč, Croatia «
This place is absolutely stunning. Quiet and tranquil in the day, and plenty of places to relax with a drink by night, with panoramic sea views out on a peninsula. This is still one of the most gorgeous places we have come across, and is on our list to go back to explore some more!
- Visit the Old Town of Poreč
- Take a day trip to Venice!
» Budapest, Hungary «
A very well known destination and was big in 2017, and I’m sure will be even bigger this year. We absolutely loved Budapest, and felt like we didn’t have enough time here as there were a few things we missed, there’s just so much to see.
- Hungarian Parliament building in which we had a private tour, and was honestly stunning inside and out.
- Visit the Fisherman’s Bastion and Matthias Church, with pointed towers and turrets dating back to the 19th century. Stunning place to explore and a fantastic photo spot, with a view of Parliament over the Danube River!
- Cruise/guided tour on the Danube River.
- 360 Rooftop Bar – on the top of the tallest building in the area, loved it! Great atmosphere, chilled music, delicious cocktails and the perfect panoramic view for sunset. Now with cosy igloos for winter drinking!
- Szechenyi thermals baths, which Budapest is best known for.
- Find your way through dark underground caves at the Labyrinth, Dracula’s Chamber. It is believed this is where St Matthias held Dracula captive! Very creepy and some super dark spots so make sure you have a torch/phone torch.
» Slovenia «
What an impressive country. Natural beauty around every corner, and we have a couple of our favourite spots to share with you – Lake Bled, and the largest city and capital, Ljubljana.
★ Lake Bled is great for a day trip, and is a must for your Europe bucket list. Situated in the Julian Alps with gorgeous mountain views, you can take a stroll around the lake, and can even stop off on the dock to take a dip, so remember your swimsuit! You can also visit the island in the middle on a traditional pletna boat, or walk up to the castle on the hill for birds-eye views.
★ Ljubljana has lots to offer, and we really did love it here. We stayed in an amazing modern hostel right in the town centre, and were surrounded by restaurants, bars and shops. This was also our base camp when we took our trip to Bled, which was really convenient.
- Visit Ljubljana Castle. It’s quite a walk up the steep mountain path, but it’s the best view in the house once you get up there.
- Have dinner alongside the Canal
» Alsace, France «
We’ve chosen a whole region in the East of France as there are just so many remarkable places to visit! We’ve just visited the following places in February, our favourite being Riquewihr.
★ Riquewihr – like something out of a movie! Enchanting narrow cobbled streets with half-timbered shops, wine makers and tasting rooms, dating back to the 16th century. We were lucky enough to catch this place when it was empty, but in the summer you’d be drowning in a sea of tourists, so definitely try to go out of season or you will miss all its beauty.
★ Colmar – again another old town to enjoy, with unbelievable architecture
★ Vosges Mountains – if you get the chance, we recommend a drive up the mountains – great views and amazing photo opportunities (lovely windy roads too!).
★ Strasbourg – known for the huge Notre Dame Cathedral, with one of the largest astronomical clocks in the world – and yes, we did climb to the top!
- Visit the Notre Dame Cathedral and climb to the top!
- Guided Batorama Canal cruise – very relaxing and fascinating.
- Try the local food, such as Choucroute Garnie – consists of wine pickled cabbage, and a selection of meats.
» Prague, Czech Republic «
Prague was absolutely breathtaking, but unfortunately we didn’t get to spend much time here due to our schedule. The Old Town Square is nothing short of spectacular, and a walk along the Charles Bridge just puts the place into perspective.
- Go to see the astronomical clock (Prague Orloj). It’s located outside in the square on the southern wall of the Old Town Hall, and watch the whole town crowd around to wait for the clock to strike.
- Stroll across the Charles Bridge, which has linked the town to Mala Strana since 1357. It’s made of stone, and beautifully frames the Vltava River and Prague Castle.
- Be sure to check out the Prague Castle itself.
» Amsterdam, Netherlands «
Leaning buildings and weaving canals are the charm of Amsterdam, which is why everybody loves it. This place is sensational, with vintage shops and diverse place to drink and dine, and the cutest bridges all over the city. The main mode of transport is bicycle, which is great to see in such abundance, and they even have their own… road – I wouldn’t even call it a lane!
- Visit the famous Anne Frank house – this was finally ticked off our bucket list! Great experience, but gets very busy so recommend going as early/late and possible to avoid disappointment, and kicking the heels of other people.
- Everyone has to get the obligatory photo with the Amsterdam sign, or did you even go?
- Crepes and waffles on every corner, it has to be done!
- A relaxing canal boat ride by day, or light festival colour cruise by night.
» London, England «
We of course can’t miss out our home town. I think we take it for granted as it’s right on our doorstep, and we’ll definitely be exploring more this summer. London is always bursting with things to do and things to see, with diverse cultures and great atmospheres everywhere you go.
We’ll try to just list the main things, but stay tuned for our next post which will be our Ultimate London Guide, where we will cover everything in more detail so you don’t miss a thing!
Most attractions in London are within walking distance from each other, so don’t be surprised if you end up covering most of London by foot, as we usually do. Nevertheless, there are tube stops on nearly every corner with trains arriving every minute, with the next stop only a couple of minutes away.
- Take a ride on the London Eye – see London from above with this fantastic experience, it’s a must!
- Be on top of the world – The Shard is the tallest building in the UK, and even in the EU, and is the 4th tallest building in Europe. Enjoy the view over dinner, or just some cocktails in the lounge.
- Experience our iconic Underground – we suggest travelling via train regardless, as it will be cheapest and easiest. The roads are crazy, even for us, so wouldn’t recommend renting a car – you wouldn’t be able to park either.
- Visit Buckingham Palace, extraordinary home of our Royal Family.
- See Big Ben and the Westminster Parliament (Big Ben is currently being restored and will be finished in 2021)
- See the Tower Bridge and the Tower of London.
- Visit Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden, Piccadilly Circus, Hyde Park (and every stop on the monopoly board!)
- Take a trip to St. Paul’s Cathedral
- Go shopping on Oxford Street
Other top Europe destinations to see
⚑ Eltz Castle – Germany
⚑ Viewing platform over the River Saar – Saarschliefe, Mattlach, Germany
⚑ Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove – England
⚑ Stonehenge – England
⚑ Take a canoe on the Moselle River and be in Luxembourg and Germany at the same time!
⚑ Climb the mountains in Andorra, one of the smallest countries in the world
If none of these wonderful places were on your list before, we hope we’ve been able to help you decide on your next destination! We’re definitely considering making a second visit to some of these locations, so when we do, we will develop our information further.
This list will soon grow longer as we explore more of Europe, and we will be updating it live as we go along!
Enjoy, and safe travels!
Kelly and Luke