It is no secret that Europe is filled with beautiful places to visit. With its grand cities, fairytale-like towns, soaring mountain ranges, and gorgeous beaches, there is a seemingly endless list of gorgeous places to explore. Whether you are planning your next trip to Europe, or just trying to figure out where to travel to next, here are 30 beautiful places to visit in Europe.
Beautiful Places to Visit in Europe
1. The Dolomites of Italy
With jagged mountain peaks, charming towns, and picturesque lakes, the Dolomites of Italy are one of the most beautiful places to visit in Europe.
During the summer months, this is a hiking paradise, attracting those of all ages and ability levels. Chair lifts whisk hikers to some of the highest peaks, so you can get some truly jaw-dropping views with very little effort.
In the winter months, skiers glide down these same mountains in a snow-covered winter wonderland.
Top Experiences: Tre Cime di Lavaredo is one of the most popular hikes in the Dolomites, but there are many more to choose from. Our favorite hike is the Puez-Odle Altopiano.
How Long Should You Spend in the Dolomites? It is possible to visit the Dolomites on a day trip from Venice or Verona. For the best experience, plan on spending at least two to three days here. This gives you enough time to ride the cable cars, enjoy the views, and go hiking in the summer months.
See More of the Dolomites: Hiking the Puez-Odle Altopiano
2. Santorini, Greece
The island of Santorini is the remnants of an ancient volcano. What remains is the rim of the caldera and perched along this rim are some of the most photogenic towns in Europe.
Oia is one of the most beautiful towns in Santorini. The cascades of whitewashed buildings dotted with blue dome churches and windmills form a stunning backdrop for photographers. As the sun goes down, this place looks even more magical, as the buildings glow in pinks and oranges and yellows. It’s definitely a sight to see.
Top Experiences: Go on a sunset cruise, explore the towns of Oia, Imerovigli, and Fira, visit the red, white, and black sand beaches, and get an aerial view of the island from Profit Ilias. And of course, watch the sunset in Oia.
How Long Should You Spend in Santorini? Three days on Santorini is the perfect amount of time to explore the towns, visit the beaches, and watch the sunset from a cruise and from Oia.
See More of Santorini: 20 Amazing Things to Do in Santorini
3. The Fjords of Norway
Southern Norway is laced with fjords, waterfalls, mountains and some of the most thrilling hiking trails in Europe. This is a beautiful place to visit and one of Europe’s best road trip destinations.
You can explore the fjord by boat, by train, by car, and on foot. And there are ways to combine all of these modes of transportation into one epic Norwegian holiday.
Top Experiences: Visit Geirangerfjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Cruise the fjords by ferry or on a cruise ship. Hike to Pulpit Rock, Kjeragbolten, and Trolltunga. Norway in a Nutshell is a tour that combines a cruise on the fjords with a scenic drive and one of the most beautiful train journeys in the world.
How Long Should You Spend in Norway? We recommend spending at least 7 days in this region of Norway but more time is better. This gives you enough time to also visit Oslo, Bergen, Stavanger as well as cruise the fjords and go hiking.
See More of Norway: 20 Epic Things to do in Norway
4. Paris, France
Paris is one of Europe’s loveliest cities. The grand boulevards, the architecture, the parks and gardens, the street cafes, and the monuments all come together to create one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
Top Experiences: Take in the view from the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe. Visit the Louvre, Musée d’Orsay, and Notre Dame Cathedral. Stroll up the Champs-Élysées and along the Seine River. Visit Montmartre, have lunch at a street café, and dine on French cuisine.
How Long Should You Spend in Paris? For the best experience, plan on spending 3 days in Paris. This gives you enough time for the top experiences and get to know this wonderful city.
See More of Paris: Paris Bucket List: 45 Wonderful Things to do in Paris
5. Algarve, Portugal
Algarve…this is the gorgeous coastline of southern Portugal. Not only can you relax on the beaches, but you can tour the towns that dot the coast, go hiking, play golf, and explore the limestone grottoes.
Top Experiences: Relax on the beach at Praia Sao Rafael, visit the towns of Faro, Lagos, and Tavira, hike the Seven Hanging Valleys coastal trail, and visit Benagil Cave.
How Long Should You Spend in Algarve, Portugal? Plan on spending at least three days here, in order to have enough time to explore the small towns, visit the beaches, and explore Benagil Cave. Learn more here.
6. The Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland
The Wild Atlantic Way is 1600 miles of road that snakes along the western coast of Ireland. Driving the Wild Atlantic Way is an ambitious road trip. If you stopped at each viewpoint and explored every nook and cranny of the Wild Atlantic Way, it would take over one month. With less time, you can focus on a small portion of the drive or just hit the main highlights.
Top Experiences: The Ring of Kerry, Dingle Peninsula, and Cliffs of Moher all are some of the sights on the Wild Atlantic Way. But there are also plenty of lesser known but just as dramatic viewpoints to visit. In fact, there are 157 Discovery Points to visit on the drive.
How Long Should You Spend on the Wild Atlantic Way? It takes a minimum of three days to drive the Wild Atlantic Way, but this barely gives you enough time to soak in the views. Plan on spending at least five days road tripping along the coastline for the best experience.
See More of the Wild Atlantic Way: 10 Day Ireland Itinerary: The Ultimate Irish Road Trip
7. Prague, Czech Republic
Prague is one of the most photogenic cities in Europe. This was the only large Eastern European city to survive WWII without being destroyed by bombs. With gothic towers, ancient cathedrals, and the largest castle in the world, Prague is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Europe.
Top Experiences: Stroll across Charles Bridge, visit the old town square, climb the towers, see the astronomical clock, visit Prague Castle, and visit the pubs and beer halls.
How Long Should You Spend in Prague? Two to three days gives you enough time to visit the highlights of Prague. With more time, you can day trip out to the nearby smaller towns.
See More of Prague: 13 Things to do in Prague
8. Mont Saint-Michel, France
Mont Saint-Michel is an island located in northern France. This island is surrounded by medieval walls and topped with an ancient village and abbey. Most of the time it is surrounded by sand but when the tide is high, Mont Saint-Michel looks like a floating island.
Top Experiences: Visit the abbey, wander the narrow streets, go shopping, and capture a photograph of Mont Saint-Michel at high tide.
How Long Should You Spend in Mont Saint-Michel? It is possible to visit Mont Saint-Michel on a day trip from Paris but for the best experience, plan an overnight stay in one of the nearby towns. Learn more here.
9. Istria, Croatia & Slovenia
The Istrian Peninsula is a wedge-shaped peninsula located in northwest Croatia and western Slovenia. Istria doesn’t share the same level as popularity as southern Croatia, but that also means that Istria is far less crowded. If you want to avoid the crowds that flock to Dubrovnik and Hvar and Split, but still enjoy extremely beautiful coastal scenery and charming towns, consider a visit to the Istrian Peninsula.
Top Experiences: Visit the seaside towns of Rovinj, Pula, Porec, Piran, and Koper, go cliff jumping at Cape Kamenjak, visit Roman ruins, dine on fresh seafood, and soak up the sun on the beach.
How Long Should You Spend in Istria? With three days you can zip through the top sights. More time allows you to slow down and savor this unique part of Europe.
See More of Istria: 3 Days in Istria: How to Plan Your Itinerary
10. Keukenhof, Netherlands
During the months of April and May, Keukenhof is a wonderland of flowering daffodils, tulips, and hyacinths. It is gorgeous and well worth the visit if you plan to be in Amsterdam during these months.
Top Experiences: Stroll through the gardens, take lots of photos, and go shopping in the gift shops.
How Long Should You Spend in Keukenhof? With transportation to and from Amsterdam, a visit to Keukenhof lasts roughly half of a day.
Learn More about how to visit Keukenhof and Amsterdam: 2 Days in Amsterdam Itinerary
11. Rakotzbrücke, Germany
Rakotzbrücke, also called the Devil’s Bridge, looks like something that belongs in a fairytale.
Rakotzbrücke was built in 1860. The entire bridge is manmade, including the jagged, rocky spires on either end of the bridge and the pointed rocks that sit in the lake.
How to Visit Rakotzbrücke: Rakotzbrücke is located in Rhododendronpark Kromlau near Gablenz, Germany. You can get here on a day trip from Berlin or Dresden.
12. Madeira, Portugal
Madeira is a small Portuguese archipelago located in the Atlantic Ocean, west of Morocco. The landscapes, hiking trails, beaches, food, and Madeira wine draw over one million tourists a year.
Top Experiences: Explore the town of Funchal, swim in the lava pools, visit the black sand beaches, and go hiking.
How Long Should You Spend in Madeira? For the best experience, plan on spending at least 7 days to soak up the sights, hike the trails, and enjoy the spectacular views. Learn more here.
13. The Isle of Skye, Scotland
With its dramatic coastal scenery, quaint towns, and lush landscapes, the Isle of Skye is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Europe.
This is a great destination for people of all ages. This compact peninsula is easy to explore by car, with just enough short but sweet hiking trails that allow you to truly appreciate the beauty of this place.
Top Experiences: Hike the Quiraing, see the Old Man of Storr, sample some whisky at Talisker Distillery, tour Dunvegan Castle, visit the Fairy Pools and the Fairy Glen, and watch the sunset at Neist Point.
How Long Should You Spend in the Isle of Skye? We recommend three days, to drive the Trotternish Loop, visit Dunvegan Castle and hike a few short trails.
See More of the Isle of Skye: 12 Must-Have Experiences on the Isle of Skye
14. Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina
With its cobblestone streets, old stone buildings, towers and minarets, Mostar looks like it was plucked from the pages of a fairytale. Stari Most, the unique stone bridge that spans the Neretva River, is the centerpiece of town.
Not only is it fun to wander the streets, but the shopping and the cafes make this town a delight to visit.
Top Experiences: Photograph Stari Most, wander through the old town, visit Koski Mehmed-Pasha mosque, and go shopping in the old bazaar.
How Long Should You Spend in Mostar? Ideally, plan on spending two days and one night in town. With an overnight stay, you get to explore Mostar at sunset and in the morning hours, when the streets are delightfully uncrowded.
See More of Mostar: Photographing Stari Most: Where to Get the Best Views in Mostar
15. The Cinque Terre, Italy
Five colorful, dazzling towns tumble down the coastal cliffs into the Mediterranean Sea. Not only is this a gorgeous spot to explore in Italy, it’s also one of the best places to visit in Europe.
Top Experiences: Explore the five towns: Riomaggiore, Vernazza, Monterosso al Mare, Manarola, and Corniglia. If you like hiking, you can hike between all five towns in one day. The more you hike the more gelato you get to eat. End in Monterosso and cool off with a quick swim in the Mediterranean.
How Long Should You Spend in the Cinque Terre? For the best experience, plan on spending at least one night (two or three nights is ideal) in one of the five towns. With one full day, hike or take the train to connect all five towns. With more time, relax on one of the beaches or day trip to Portofino.
16. Kirkjufell, Iceland
Kirkjufell is Iceland’s most photographed mountain. It’s unique arrowhead shape, coastal location, and isolation from other mountains makes it a very unique photography location. Throw in a series of waterfalls and you have a stunning photography location.
How to Visit Kirkjufell: Kirkjufell is located on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. It’s possible to visit Kirkjufell on a very long day trip from Reykjavík, but for the best experience, plan on spending one to two nights on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. This gives you enough time to capture Kirkjufell at sunset or sunrise, if you are a photographer, and to explore the other amazing sights on this peninsula (of which there are many).
See More of Iceland: Iceland Bucket List: 40 Amazing Things to Do in Iceland
17. The Alsace Region of France
The Alsace wine route, located in eastern France, is a wonderful blend of fairytale towns and picturesque vineyards.
The Alsace wine route is where France meets Germany. This blend of French and German culture is also reflected in the architecture and the cuisine.
Colorful, half-timbered houses line cobblestoned streets. Add in adornments of flowers, whimsical decorations on the buildings, and charming street cafes, and it really does feel like you are walking around in a fairy tale.
Top Experiences: Visit the long list of Alsatian towns (Colmar, Ribeauville, Riquewihr, and Eguisheim are several of the top towns), explore Chateau du Haut-Koenigsburg, dine on Alsatian food, and visit the wineries.
How Long Should You Spend in the Alsace? 3 days on the Alsace wine route gives you enough time to visit a handful of these charming towns and to explore the countryside.
See More of the Alsace: 10 Fairytale Towns on the Alsace Wine Route
18. Gdansk, Poland
Gdansk is a beautiful city located on the Baltic Sea. It is often overlooked by many travelers to Poland, in favor of the more popular spots like Warsaw, Krakow, and Wroclaw. However, its colorful streets, easy walkability, and collection of historical sites makes this city an underrated gem in Europe.
Top Experiences: Walk the Royal Way, take in the view from the Town Hall tower, visit St. Mary’s Church, stroll along the Motlawa River, look for the gargoyles on Mariacka Street, visit the European Solidarity Center and the Museum of the Second World War, and day trip to Malbork Castle.
How Long Should You Spend in Gdansk? On the fastest of itineraries, Gdansk can be zipped through in one day. However, if you want the best experience, plan on spending at least two to three days here. This gives you enough time to explore the old city, visit two of the best museums in Poland, and eat your heart out at some amazing restaurants.
See More of Gdansk: Top 10 Things to Do in Gdansk, Poland
19. The Swiss Alps, Switzerland
Towering mountains, alpine meadows, soaring cable cars, historic cogwheel trains, scenic walking trails, quaint villages and hamlets…the Swiss Alps tops the list as one of the most beautiful places to visit in Europe.
Top Experiences: Explore Lauterbrunnen Valley, ride the cable cars to Jungfraujoch and Schilthorn, visit Zermatt and ride the train to Gornergrat for views of the Matterhorn, visit the alpine towns of Mürren, Wengen, and Gimmelwald. During the summer months, hike the trails and during the winter months, spend your time on the ski slopes.
How Long Should You Spend in the Swiss Alps? As long as possible. 😊 On the quickest of visits to Switzerland, it’s possible to day trip into the Alps from Lucerne, Zurich, or Lausanne. In all honestly, put as much time here as you can. We spent ten days in the Swiss Alps on our most recent visit and more time would have been better.
See More of the Swiss Alps: 20 Amazing Things to do in the Jungfrau Region of Switzerland
20. Costa Brava, Spain
This rocky coastline in northeast Spain is well-known for its small towns and rugged coastal scenery. Costa Brava stretches from the border of France to the town of Blanes. With great weather and beautiful beaches, this is a top holiday destination for many Europeans.
Top Experiences: Take a wine tour, visit the town of Girona, relax on the beach at Lloret de Mar, dine on Mediterranean cuisine, visit the Dalí Theatre-Museum, and explore Cap de Creus Natural Park and Cadaqués.
How Long Should You Spend in Costa Brava? It’s possible to day trip to Costa Brava from Barcelona but several more days gives you more time to sample the cuisine and explore the small towns. Learn more here.
21. Hallstatt, Austria
This small town, with its picture-perfect setting, is undoubtably one of the most beautiful places to visit in Europe.
In recent years, Hallstatt has become one of the most popular places to visit in Austria. Expect big crowds during the summer and early fall. However, with proper planning, this can be a magical place to visit.
Top Experiences: Wander the old town, take in the view from the World Heritage Skywalk, tour the salt mines, and visit the Hallstatt Ossuary.
How Long Should You Spend in Hallstatt? A few hours are all you need to walk through town. For the best experience, plan an overnight stay, so you can enjoy these scenic streets once the day trippers disappear.
See More of Hallstatt: One Perfect Day in Hallstatt, Austria
22. The Lofoten Islands, Norway
Without a doubt, the Lofoten Islands are one of the most spectacular places we have been. With rugged coastlines, small harbors filled with red fishing cabins, winding roads through the mountains, thrilling hiking trails, and beaches that look like they belong in the Caribbean, northern Norway is a delight to explore.
Top Experiences: Take your pick from the amazing hiking trails (Reinebringen is the most famous but there are many more to choose from), explore the white sandy beaches, stay in a rorbu, explore the fishing villages, dine on fresh fish and seafood, and see the Northern Lights during the winter months.
How Long Should You Spend in the Lofoten Islands? At the bare minimum, you need two full days on the Lofoten Islands. Four days is even better but each day you add to your itinerary gives you more time to explore this region and gives you some contingency time, just in case you get bad weather (which is a very real possibility here).
See More of the Lofoten Islands: Lofoten Islands: Complete Guide for First-Time Visitors
23. Bay of Kotor, Montenegro
The Bay of Kotor resembles the fjords of Norway or New Zealand, with green cliffs plunging into the blue water of the bay. A two-lane road meanders along the edge of the Bay of Kotor, passing through small towns and villages.
Top Experiences: Visit Perast, take a boat ride out to Our Lady of the Rocks, explore Kotor, hike the Ladder of Kotor, and climb the city walls of Kotor for jaw-dropping views.
How Long Should You Spend in the Bay of Kotor? Two days is just enough time to visit the highlights. Add on a few more days to day trip to the nearby coastal towns and the interior of Montenegro.
24. Venice, Italy
Venice is romantic, historic, and gorgeous. The canals, the gondolas, the architecture, and the colorful towns of Murano and Burano make this is one of Europe’s grandest cities to visit.
Top Experiences: Wander the streets of Venice, visit St. Mark’s Square, climb the Campanile di San Marco for a bird’s eye view over Venice, walk across the Rialto Bridge, tour Doge’s Palace, day trip to Murano and Burano, and ride a gondola.
How Long Should You Spend in Venice? Three days is the perfect amount of time to explore the highlights of Venice and venture off-the-beaten-path.
See More of Venice: 9 Must-Have Experiences in Venice
25. The Faroe Islands, Denmark
Located northwest of Scotland is a jaw-dropping archipelago of rugged mountains and dramatic waterfalls. For photographers and outdoor adventures, the Faroe Islands are a must-see destination.
Top Experiences: See Múlafossur waterfall, visit the fishing villages, see the puffins at Mykines, hike to Sørvágsvatn Lake, and go kayaking or rock climbing.
How Long Should You Spend in the Faroe Islands? Three days is the bare minimum you should spend in the Faroe Islands. Five to seven days gives you enough time to visit the highlights and day trip to the smaller islands. Learn more here.
26. Plitvice Lakes, Croatia
Plitvice Lakes is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Croatia. With easy walking trails, boardwalks suspended over the turquoise water, stunning viewpoints, and photogenic waterfalls, these lakes are fun to visit for people of all ages.
Top Experiences: Walk the boardwalk trails, enjoy the viewpoints over the park, and explore the upper and lower lakes.
How Long Should You Spend in Plitvice Lakes? It takes roughly one full day to explore Plitvice Lakes. Plan on spending one night near the lakes for the best experience, so you can visit the park early and/or late in the day, when it is the least crowded.
See More of Plitvice Lakes: Complete Guide to Plitvice Lakes
27. Bavaria, Germany
Bavaria is located in southern Germany and this is the land of fairytale castles, Oktoberfest, and the Alps. With the Alps to the south and idyllic towns dotting its hillsides, Bavaria is a beautiful and romantic destination.
Top Experiences: Visit Neuschwanstein, tour the salt mines in Berchtesgaden, visit the Eagle’s Nest, take in the view from Zugspitze, explore the Bavarian towns and villages, go to Oktoberfest, and tour Munich.
How Long Should You Spend in Bavaria? Seven to ten days gives you plenty of time to visit the highlights of Bavaria and day trip to nearby places in Austria.
Learn More: 10 Day Bavaria Itinerary & Road Trip Guide
28. The High Tatras, Slovakia
The High Tatras of Slovakia are an outdoor paradise. Jagged mountains, emerald green lakes, rugged hiking trails, and cable cars all come together to form the perfect adventure destination. Go on short, easy walks around alpine lakes, ride a cable car to one of the highest peaks in Slovakia, and hike to Rysy, the tallest mountain in Poland. If you are an avid hiker, this is one of the best places to visit in Europe.
Top Experiences: Hike one or all of the many epic hiking trails, ride the cable car to Lomnicky štít, explore Slovak Paradise, visit the small Slovakian towns.
How Long Should You Spend in the Tatras? Two days would be the bare minimum that we would recommend but three or more days are ideal. This gives you plenty of time to go hiking, explore the towns, and visit Slovak Paradise, if this looks interesting to you.
29. Lake Bled, Slovenia
Lake Bled has all of the ingredients for the perfect getaway…a castle perched high on a hillside, a lovely little island to visit, hiking trails, secluded swimming spots, and a fantastic sweet treat.
Top Experiences: Visit Bled Island, hike to Mala Osojnica for the best view of the lake, go stand up paddle boarding, have a slice of Bled Cream Cake, stroll around the lake, and visit Vintgar Gorge.
How Long Should You Spend in Lake Bled? One day is all you need to visit the highlights. Many people do this as a day trip from Ljubljana. But if you have the time, plan on spending several days here or in nearby Lake Bohinj to fully experience this region.
See More of Lake Bled: Best Things to do in Lake Bled
30. The Bastei, Germany
The Bastei is one of Germany’s most unique landscapes. Giant pinnacles of sandstone rock tower over the Elbe River and the green countryside. Spanning these pinnacles is a stone bridge, dramatic in its appearance, as it connects these towers of rock and then seems to lead nowhere.
The term Bastei refers to the jagged groups of sandstone rocks located in Saxon Switzerland National Park. Hundreds of years ago, the Neurathen Castle stood on these rocks. Now, not much of that castle remains. It’s the bridge, Basteibrücke (Bastion Bridge), that is the main attraction here.
How to Visit the Bastei: The Bastei is located in Saxon Switzerland National Park, 40 km east of Dresden, Germany. You can visit this place on a day trip from Dresden or Berlin.
Learn More: How to Day Trip to the Bastei Bridge, Germany
Beautiful Places to Visit in Europe: On a Map
How to Use This Map: Click the icons on the map to get more information about each point of interest. Click the star next to the title of the map to add this map to your Google Maps account. To view it on your phone or computer, open Google Maps, click the menu button, go to “Your Places,” click Maps, and you will see this map on your list.
What do you think are the most beautiful places to visit in Europe? Let us know in the comment section below.
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