With over 2,000 European destinations to choose from you might think, where do I even start? At GoEuro our goal is to make travel easy and we wanted to help undecided travelers find the best European destinations. Based on the popularity of our Beer Price Index, Accommodation Index and Fun City Ranking, we know how much rankings can help when it comes to planning the perfect holiday. This time around, we teamed up with HomeToGo and combined all these factors to create the ultimate guide to European cities. Each city has been ranked on the following criteria: day activities, nightlife, accommodation, food and drink, and transport.
What are the top European Destinations?
By carefully examining and combining the various criteria, 100 top European destinations stood out ahead of all the others. We went further and identified the 10 best in five different categories as well as the most convenient European cities for Americans looking to travel in Europe. Finally, you can find a calendar of events for 2017 with the best suggestions of where to go in each month. Click the icons below and start planning your Europe trip today.
But what do people look for in a European destination? We believe that depends on the individual. This study ranked the top 100 European destinations into five categories: day activities, nightlife, food and drink, accommodation and public transport. The best combination of these deciding factors resulted in the overall best European destination of 2017 - Barcelona.
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Top 100 European Destinations
Feel free to customize your ideal European destination using the table below. You can click on each category to sort the ranking and start planning your next Europe trip.
The total score per city is based on a total of
100 points. Take a look at the sources
3 Top European Destinations for American Travelers in 2017
What are our suggestions? Based on internal GoEuro data, we selected 3 cities in Europe that combine the best destination scores and the lowest prices. Cologne has recently become one of the most popular destinations for Americans traveling in Europe.
Bruges has also become quite popular with American tourists, receiving 5-star destination reviews. Bruges is particularly beautiful at Christmas and also one of the most popular European cities in 2017.
And finally, who doesn’t dream of a few days in the Irish capital? Dublin is massively popular destination for travelers flying from North America. Why not take a weekend and explore the city before continuing on to continental Europe?
A Europe trip is the perfect time to get cultured. If sightseeing and museum hopping at the top of your list then look no further. This study researched which European city offers the most activities including tours, attractions, and shopping opportunities.
Scoring full points, London grabs the top spot as the best European destination for culture. Whether you want to indulge in cultural attractions or do some shopping, London is the perfect European city for you. Paris comes in at a close second only because the city is smaller and has slightly fewer attractions. However, the City of Light is still full of things to do. Paris’ architecturally beautiful shopping galleries, famous art galleries, and world-famous landmarks guarantee that no tourist will ever be bored while visiting the city.
Europe has so many world-famous party cities that it can be difficult to know where to begin. When push comes to shove, which European destinations have the best nightlife? The results are calculated by comparing the number of bar/clubs in each city, each city's the last call time, and the average price of a beer.
Berlin offers over 500 nightlife venues for party seekers. With 24-hour bars/clubs and an average beer costing less than €5 it’s no wonder Americans love traveling to the German capital. Although Krakow’s nightlife scene has a limited number of venues, the bars never close if there are people inside. If you’re looking for a midnight snack while out on the town, head to ‘Kiełbaski z Nyski’ - a legendary old car which sells the best sausages in town!
Plenty of European travel deals come as inclusive flight and hotel packages. But did you know that by booking your own transport and accommodation you'll have more flexibility on your trip while also saving money?
The price and availability of accommodation are often deciding factors for choosing to visit a city in Europe. Most travelers don’t want to fork out a fortune on accommodation even if they're only staying for a few days.
Accommodation prices depend on the city’s popularity and the amount of available accommodation. This is why you won't see big European capitals like London, Paris or Rome on our list.
Most people like to treat themselves to the finer things in life while on holiday. However, with so many exotic cuisines and delicacies, picking the best city in Europe for food and drink can be a tall task.
We calculated the average cost and quality of a meal for each city in Europe. Barcelona and Madrid, Spain's two largest cities, top our list as the best European destinations for food and drink. What does that tell us about European travelers? That fresh tapas and sweet sangria remain tourist favorites.
People often forget to consider the cost of transportation while exploring a city. If you want to minimize transportation costs, you should avoid popular European destinations like Venice and Zurich. If you’re looking for a cheap city to visit, why not consider exploring Europe’s Eastern capitals?
Bucharest tops our list of cities in Europe with the cheapest public transportation with a taxi costing 55 cents per kilometer on average. A one-way ticket on Kiev’s public transport costs approximately 0.14 cents per journey. Ukraine's capital is full of beautiful architecture and incredible history- perfect for hosting Eurovision in 2017.
With 2017 on the horizon, there is no time like the present to start planning your next Europe trip. Love Eurovision? Head to host city Kiev, Ukraine, ranked 13th in our European Destinations Index. The city is known for its cheap transport and accommodation which you can check out above.
Are you more of a sports fan? Wrocław, one of the best cities in Europe for accommodation and nightlife, will be hosting this year’s World Games from the 20th - 30th of July. Soccer fans will be glad to know that Cardiff in the United Kingdom is gearing up to host the UEFA Champions League Final on June 3rd.
Popular Events in Top European Destinations in 2017
The criteria used to weigh and classify cities in each country are as follows in order of importance:
Nightlife: Based on the approximate number of bars/clubs, their closing time and the average beer price. All the information was gathered from the GoEuro Beer Price Index, TripAdvisor, ResidentAdvisor, TimeOut, The Culture Trip, Numbeo, Telegraph and tourism board websites.
Day Activities: Includes the approximate amount of activities and clothing shops along with the average shopping price, taking into consideration the average price between one pair of jeans and one summer dress in a chain store, based on Tripadvisor and Numbeo data.
Food and Drinks: Average price between a meal in an inexpensive restaurant and a meal in a mid-range restaurant. This is along with the average price of a coke and the approximate number of restaurants per city based on Tripadvisor and Numbeo data.
Accommodation: The average price of accommodation based on the price per person and per night and the approximate amount of accommodations per city based on Hometogo data. The prices of vacation rentals for max. 6 people were calculated on a basis of more than 800,000 bookings made via HomeToGo meta-search engine between October 2015 and September 2016.
Public Transport: Based on the average price of public transport including one-way ticket and average taxi costs, including the starting price and one-kilometer ride, taken from Numbeo data.
Total score: The final calculation includes other factors such as the Climate Index, Pollution Index, Safety Index, Purchasing Power Index, Health Care Index, Cost of Living Index, property price to income ratio, and Traffic and Commute Time Index based on Numbeo data. Along with these elements, a deduction of the overall score has been applied to those countries where a visa is required. These factors have been integrated into the final calculation but are not displayed in the ranking table.
Europe has hundreds of unique and interesting cities to explore all across the continent. We selected some European destinations that will be sure to delight travelers with their variety of cultural attractions and experiences. Wander through Paris' arrondissements, get lost in one of Berlin's Kiez or check out London's highlights as you travel through Europe! No matter if you're looking to plan the ultimate Europe trip or just looking for some travel itinerary ideas, GoEuro's got you covered with a variety of European tours. From the month-long odyssey of 'The Grand Tour' which combines 13 European destinations across 7 countries, to the more focused 2 week journeys in Italy and Spain, GoEuro has a route for every type of European traveler.
The European destinations listed below are the most popular with North Americans during late summer and fall based upon GoEuro's search and booking data. While Paris is the most popular city in Europe throughout the year, Italy and Spain are particularly popular with North Americans trying to make their summer last in a warm climate!
Paris is the most popular city for travelers from North America to visit during the beginning of fall. Paris' world-famous landmarks including the Louvre, Arc de Triomphe, and Eiffel Tower are always worth visiting, while strolls along the Seine are particularly picturesque when the leaves start to turn color! Be sure to spend some time in one of Paris' famous French cafés or visit a gourmet restaurant while your are in one of the world's most beautiful cities.
Italy is the most popular country in Europe during the last days of summer for North American travelers. While Italy is known for Roman history and renaissance art, Italian fashion and food remain famous around the world. Travelers in Italy can sample some fine Italian wine after visiting the Duomo in Florence or while taking a Gondola ride down one of Venice's numerous canals! From mountainous northern cities to beach destinations on the Mediterranean and Adriatic Seas, Italy has a variety of climates perfect for visiting during the last days of summer.
Located on an Italian lagoon that faces the Mediterranean, Venice is the perfect city to visit before the summer weather is gone. Venice's reputation for romance is enhanced by narrow stone bridges that transverse picturesque canals where gondoliers sing. Travelers from North America will not want to miss the Grand Canal, Piazza San Marco, or St Mark's Basilica. Be sure to take advantage of the finest Venetian goods while you're in town- Venice is world-famous for its silks, masks, and stained-glass!
Located on the coast of the Mediterranean, Barcelona is the ideal Spanish city to visit before the summer is over. Barcelona's numerous beaches are perfect for relaxing after a long day of sightseeing. While Barcelona is one of Spain's most modern and cosmopolitan cities, it is perhaps best known for the unfinished Sagrada Família Basicila and other examples of Antoni Gaudí's architecture. Lovers of electronic music will love Barcelona's nightlife with numerous parties throughout the city that sometimes continue until dawn.
Paris is the most popular European city for travelers from North America. Known around the world for both culture and romance, Paris is home to stunning landmarks like the Arc de Triomphe, Louvre and Eiffel Tower. Walk along the Seine river before visiting one of Paris' hundreds of gourmet restaurants serving delicious French food. While the Louvre and the Mona Lisa may be Paris' artistic highlight, the city itself has inspired many artists and has been represented frequently in literature, on the big screen, and in different types of art.
Most North American travelers fly into London before beginning their Europe trip, making the United Kingdom the most popular country in Europe for tourists. London is filled with iconic monuments and attractions, from Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament to Buckingham Palace and the changing of the guard. While the appeal of London's attractions is undeniable, the rest of the United Kingdom is filled with unique cultural activities and majestic scenery. Journey out to see Stonehenge or head north to Edinburgh in Scotland to see the variety the United kingdom has to offer North American travelers.
Besides being one of Italy's most romantic cities, Venice is also the most popular Italian city for North Americans traveling in Europe this summer. Located on a Mediterranean lagoon, Venice is world-famous for its singing gondoliers and narrow stone bridges. Venice is famous for its stained glass, silks, and beautiful theatrical masks. Tourists will be delighted by such attractions as St Mark's Basilica, The Grand Canal, the Lido di Venezia and the Piazza San Marco. Known as "The Floating City," Venice is truly a feast for the senses no matter if you're visiting for the first time or the fiftieth.
In addition to being one of Spain's most cosmopolitan and modern cities, Barcelona is also the most popular Spanish city for North American travelers this summer. Barcelona's location on the Mediterranean coast makes it a popular destination for travelers looking to relax on a beach. Architecturally, Barcelona is best known for the works of Antoni Gaudí and his unfinished Sagrada Família basilica. While Barcelona features a vibrant nightlife to suit all musical tastes, it is highly regarded for its electronic music parties in particular.
Widely regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Paris is best known for it monuments (the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe and the Grand Palais) and museums (the Louvre, Musee d'Orsay, Musee de l'Orangerie), which are visited every year by millions of tourists from around the world. Visitors will delight in walking through Montmartre, relaxing at a picturesque Parisian cafe, or dancing at one of the many bars located throughout the city.
Charles de Gaulle or Orly Airports
Best time to go:
Summer or Christmas
Most fun areas:
Canal St-Martin, Belleville and Abbesses
Things to do:
Museums, Monuments, Restaurants
London is the the perfect European destination for combining beautiful architecture, storied history and world-class shopping. London is full of emblematic monuments like Buckingham Palace and the changing of the guard, the Tower of London and the London Eye. Alternatively, museum lovers will be fascinated by the British Museum, Natural History Museum and National Gallery, while sports fans can watch one of London's 5 football clubs during the soccer season.
Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted Airports
Best time to go:
Most fun areas:
Brixton, Camden and Shoreditch
Things to do:
Museums, Parks, Shopping
Berlin is one of the most of the most popular tourist destinations in Germany. Millions of visitors visit Berlin to see monuments like the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag, and the East Side gallery. Berlin's museums are all conveniently located on "Museum Island" near the center of the city, while nature lovers will love Mauerpark's year round flea market and summer karaoke. Berlin is world famous for its nightlife and party scene. Many of Berlin's clubs do not close during the weekend allowing you to dance all night and into the morning!
Tegel or Schönefeld Airports
Best time to go:
Most fun areas:
Mitte, Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain
Things to do:
Monuments, Museums, Clubbing
What are the most romantic European destinations?
There's nothing more romantic than traveling Europe with your partner, with plenty of romantic cities and destinations to explore. While Paris and the Eiffel tower are internationally associated with romance, there are plenty of other romantic cities in Europe. Take a gondola ride for two through the canals of Venice or make a wish in Rome's Trevi fountain under the moonlight as you experience all of Europe's most romantic destinations!
While it's possible to travel anywhere in Europe on a budget, some European cities are way more expensive to explore. Specifically, the cost of food, entertainment and accommodation vary wildly throughout Europe. Generally speaking, London, Paris, and most Scandinavian cities are far more expensive than cities in central Europe like Berlin, Prague, and Budapest. Take a look at our list of Europe's most affordable destinations!
Europe is full of thousands of nightclubs and an untold amount of bars- with all of that selection it's hard to know where to start. Each city in Europe has its own unique vibe and party scene- techno heads will love Berlin's all-night underground clubbing scene, while beer aficionados will delight in Brussels' variety of beer halls serving their famous Belgian ales. While there is sure to be something to entertain in every city in Europe, we've put together a list of our favorite European destinations for those looking to party!
Where's the party at? Club Rust, Culture Box, and KB3 provide some of the best clubbing in Europe
Beach Cities in Europe
Can't decide between visiting a new European destination and spending a day at the beach? Why not combine both? There are plenty of coastal cities in Europe where you can relax and unwind at the beach after a long day of sightseeing. Get out of London for a weekend and visit the beaches of Brighton, or explore the pristine sand of the French Riviera while in Nice. Finally, Barcelona's location right on the Mediterranean makes it an ideal city for combining Spanish culture and beach relaxation.