Countries around Europe open their borders and ease or eliminate coronavirus restrictions. As flights, hotels, restaurants, and cafes reopen, vacations in Europe are a good option for people who want to get away.
The European Best Destinations organization (EBD) has listed the 20 most popular places to visit in Europe in 2022. The list is based on votes from more than 500,000 travelers from 182 countries and the safety measures taken by countries and regions.
The winners of the coveted “Best European Destinations 2022” title will be promoted to millions of travelers throughout the year. They will be allowed to use “European Best Destination” in their marketing. Find your top places to visit in Europe and get ideas from great places for a city break, a sunny vacation, a romantic getaway, shopping, culture, or being in the middle of nature.
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1. Ljubljana, Slovenia
The proud green capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana, welcomes all wanderers who are hungry for culture, art, entertainment, and large green areas that make the city feel calm. Ljubljana is a city for people who like exploring and trying new things. The city is full of exciting secrets and natural pleasures.
People from all over the world don’t seem to be the only ones who visit Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. Whole groups of mayors, environmental experts, and city planners come to Ljubljana to learn about the city’s “green miracle” and how it works.
Ljubljana decided on a pedestrian-only historical center before many other places in Europe. In its center, you can hear birdsong as you walk from a trendy store to an old store, a trendy restaurant, or a trendy café.
Your first trip won’t be the last one you make. The big heart of Ljubljana is full of the city’s rich history and natural heritage. People who keep coming back to Ljubljana for the incredible culture, food, and variety of city life love its authentic charm.
2. Marbella, Spain
Marbella is known as the “sun capital” of Europe. It is a popular vacation spot for people who want to relax, shop, stay in friendly hotels and restaurants, and enjoy local handicrafts, golf, outdoor sports, elegance, and sophistication for a vacation they will never forget. Marbella can also be called one of the “Best destinations in Europe for 2022.”
Marbella builds very high-quality tourism that is sustainable and responsible. Thanks to the work of the City Council, Marbella is attracting more digital nomads, sports fans, gourmets, companies, and investors than ever before. It is an excellent example of how things should be done at the European level.
Get out of your 4- or 5-star hotel and go to Puerto Banus Beach to recharge. In the old part of Marbella, you can treat your taste buds to lunch at a restaurant or tapas bar with a Michelin star. Authentic alleys with thousands of flowers and plants hanging from walls and balconies are the unmistakable mark of this destination, which has been your favorite for decades.
Marbella is an excellent place for outdoor sports because it has a warm microclimate and is sunny. This sunny place is also number one on the list of the most prestigious and exclusive places in Europe.
3. Amiens, France
Do you want to go on an amazing journey in the footsteps of Jules Verne, relax in a peaceful place with canals and floating gardens, see France’s most beautiful and largest cathedral, and have a great family vacation? You don’t need to look any further. Amiens should be at the top of your list of places to visit.
Amiens is a beautiful town that is the fourth greenest in France and is right in the middle of the triangle made up of Paris, London, and Brussels. Amiens is the only French city with three UNESCO World Heritage sites, and its impressive cathedral is the city’s most famous landmark. It also has a lot of beautiful architecture and natural heritage. When Jules Verne moved to Amiens in 1871, the city gave him ideas for his books. The famous author left his mark on the city, and you can see his influence everywhere in Amiens.
In the famous Hortillonnages site, which was the most beautiful City Park in Europe, you can find an international garden festival. The 300-hectare Hortillonnages is a green paradise in the middle of the city that can be explored on foot, by bike, in a rowing boat, kayak, or even with a paddle.
Don’t miss the must-see Musée de Picardie. Ride a bike to the Amiens Zoo, a real island of biodiversity where endangered species are protected in the quiet of nature. Take a ride on the tourist train or in a horse-drawn carriage. Both will take you through Saint-Leu, a typical old neighborhood with colorful houses. This is a great place to try local dishes like “ficelle picarde” or to have a drink on one of the many terraces along the Somme river in the evening.
People most of all like to take it easy in Amiens. You don’t have to be in a hurry to get from one place to another. Instead, you can enjoy the friendliness of the locals, the quiet bustle of the pedestrian shopping center, or the beauty of nature.
4. Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Did you know that Plovdiv is the oldest city in Europe that has continuously been inhabited and one of the oldest globally? It is also one of your European Best Destinations for 2022.
Plovdiv was chosen as the 2019 European Capital of Culture because it is Bulgaria’s leading cultural center.
The theatre from the 1st century, the Roman Stadium from the 2nd century, the Ancient Forum, as well as the Bishop’s Basilica of Philippopolis (4-6th century), and the Small Early Christian Basilica (4-6th century), are just a few of the impressive ancient buildings in the city.
The best part of the city is Plovdiv Old Town, which is a cultural phenomenon with beautiful, well-decorated Revival homes. Thanks to the Mayor of Plovdiv, Mr. Zdravko Dimitrov, the Deputy Mayor in charge of Culture and Tourism, Mr. Plamen Panov, and the Tourism Department of Plovdiv, this place is also number one on your list of the Best Cultural Destinations in Europe for 2022. Since this competition began in 2009, Plovdiv has also been Bulgaria’s most popular place to visit.
Plovdiv is a city with a thousand years of history, culture, and heritage. It is both old and new, artistic and modern, cosmopolitan and romantic. This city is so beautiful and full of life.
5. Leuven, Belgium
Welcome to Leuven, a beautiful city in the middle of Belgium, a great place to visit with friends, family, or yourself any time of year. It was named one of the “European Best Destinations 2022.”
This town is a great place to walk around and discover because it has so much history, art, culture, science, beer, food, and shopping to offer. Also, it is straightforward to get to, and you can walk or ride a bike to everything. As soon as you leave the Leuven Railway Station, you can feel a hip, urban vibe in a historical setting that will pull you into its energy. People from 157 countries and all walks of life live there. They are the heart of this university town, founded in the early 21st century.
This beautiful place is also in the first place on the list of the Best Open-Minded Destinations in Europe, a ranking of places working hard to improve accessibility, social diversity, solidarity, tolerance, respect, and living together.
Enjoy shopping on streets that are nice to look at and don’t allow cars. You can find everything from eco-fashion to big chain stores to markets with local goods to souvenirs and gift shops. You are in the land of chocolate, beer, and good food, so don’t forget to stop by one of the many cozy cafés and charming restaurants. You can find one on every corner. Leuven is the home of the legendary and world-famous Stella Artois Brewery. The city has a very long brewing history (it dates back to 1366!). See how the local breweries work, and then have a great beer after the tour. It’s the capital of beer for sure.
6. Oradea, Romania
Oradea is one of the places you must visit in 2022. It is thought to be one of the most beautiful cities in Romania.
Oradea is a city that enjoys each season to the fullest and has a stunning architectural landscape that pumps with life. It has become one of the best-known places in the area for slow, stress-free travel.
Since its inception, Oradea, located on Romania’s western border and only 490 kilometers from Vienna, has been impacted by the West. Oradea was voted Europe’s most beautiful Art Nouveau town because of its unique architecture.
Oradea is a city of young people, good health, and rest. It was chosen as “Romania’s most beautiful city.” Oradea is a great place to visit for a city break because it has so many significant events going on all year long. Culture lovers can see a wide range of exhibits at the city’s museums and relax by going to a Philharmonics or Oradea National Theatre show. The Nymphaea Aqua Park is a great place to “recharge your batteries.” It has ten water slides and 15 pools in a substantial 7-hectare area.
7. London, UK
After Brexit, Covid, and the closing of borders, 2022 is the perfect time to rediscover London, one of the most expensive places in Europe. London, the capital of the United Kingdom, brings together business people, traders, creators, designers, artists, oddballs, and more like no other place. It has more to offer tourists than just Big Ben, the London Eye, and Madame Tussauds, which kids and adults will always enjoy. London also has a great atmosphere and some of the most beautiful city parks in Europe.
Go to the Portobello flea markets and colorful houses that have been infamous in movies like “Notting Hill.” Find out about the weird and bright area of Camden Town. Walk along the well-kept business streets of Regent Street and Oxford Street to Carnaby Street or Covent Garden for a designer, artistic, and independent shopping. Don’t miss the gay and LGBTQ area of Soho and look at the theater posters for world-famous musicals.
Spring and summer are our favorite times to see London. It’s less crowded, and the parks in the city center and nearby, like Richmond Park, are beautiful, with flowering plants, old trees, and free-roaming deer. This year, there are a thousand excellent reasons to go to London.
Book your flights to London, your accommodations, and your tours and activities in London, such as a “Magical London: Harry Potter Guided Walking Tour.”
8. Nijmegen, Netherlands
Nijmegen is the oldest city in the Netherlands, and the city center is full of important historical sites. Nijmegen has a rich cultural history, but it also has a lot of students, a lot of events and festivals, unique hot spots, and cozy restaurants. All of these things make the city livelier than ever. Just put your feet in the sand at the city beach next to the river Waal or relax at one of the many sidewalk cafes.
Whether you’re in Nijmegen for a day or the whole weekend, you’ll find many chain stores and small, unique specialty shops. Don’t forget to stop at one of the many restaurants or cafes for a drink or a bite to eat.
This year, give yourself a city break that combines nature, culture, shopping, excursions, and food in one of Europe’s most exciting cities. Nijmegen, a city in the Netherlands, has gotten more votes than Amsterdam and Rotterdam since this competition began. It is also named the Best Place in Europe for Young People.
9. Lahti Region – Finland
This year, you put the best places for sustainable tourism at the top of your list.
The water in Finland’s more than 188,000 lakes is the cleanest globally. The Finnish Lakeland, which is the largest in Europe, is easy to get to from the city of Lahti. Lahti is only an hour’s drive north of Helsinki’s capital, where there is an international airport and port. St. Petersburg is only 2.5 hours away by train.
As the European Green Capital, Lahti is at the forefront of climate work and a leader in intelligent and sustainable solutions. In the Lahti area, you can enjoy nature in a way that doesn’t hurt the environment.
A trip to Lakeland, Finland, is about relaxing in the great outdoors. From Lahti, a waterway connects the nearby lake Vesijarvi to Lake Paijanne, the second largest lake in Finland and a source of drinking water for the whole area around Helsinki. About 74% of the city is made up of forests, and 11% is made up of bodies of water. The Salpausselka ridges naturally filter and clean the tap water, making it the best. This is a luxury that the people of Lahti can enjoy every day
Every trip to Finland must include a traditional Finnish sauna, a swim in one of the clean, open lakes, a slow walk through the forest, and a night in a private villa by a lake. The Lahti area is one of Finland’s most popular places for cottage vacations.
10. Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul has been “the place to go” for decades for travelers looking for a change of scenery, an authentic experience, culture, traditions, and a certain sweetness to life.
Istanbul is a cosmopolitan city that spans two continents and two seas, but surprisingly, it is still a city where people can live. It has a rich history and is full of unique sites like the Topkapi Palace, the Maiden’s Tower and its stories, and beautiful mosques that visitors can check out. There are a lot of off-the-beaten-path places to go if you want to learn about the local culture and leave the tourists behind.
One of the city’s typical ferries will take you quickly across the Bosporus to Üsküdar, a busy town with significant examples of Ottoman architecture and excellent food shopping. If you want to go further out, the “villages” on the other side of the Bosporus have many. Arnavutkoy has wooden Ottoman houses and a village feel, and Rumeli Hisari has a fortress with amazing views of the water and fresh seafood.
While you’re there, don’t miss out on Turkey’s best-hidden gems, like the Cappadocia Region.
Do you want the sun to take it easy? Find out which beaches in Turkey are the best. Extend your stay and check out the Best Castles in Turkey and the Best Tours and Activities in Turkey to make your trips even more memorable.
11. Italy’s Amalfi Coast
The Amalfi Coast is one of Italy’s best-kept secrets. It’s an excellent place for a honeymoon or a marriage proposal, and the whole coast is ready to welcome you for sunny, delicious, romantic, and genuinely unforgettable vacations.
The Amalfi Coast is more than 50 kilometers of beautiful scenery, with cliffs that look like the cliffs in Madeira, Portugal. Traditional fishing villages along with the Amalfi coast nest like eagles on the cliffs and the rocky spurs. They are very colorful and very charming.
The Amalfi Coast is rightly thought of as a jewel of Italy. See it outside of the busy season. In the spring, the Amalfi Coast smells like lemon trees, and in September and October, the fantastic vineyards carved into the cliffs come to life. It is also a legendary place to visit, where the sirens have turned the heads of famous heroes like Ulysses. On the Amalfi Coast, you can visit places like Amalfi, Ravello, and Positano, which are colorful towns.
Book your flights to Naples, your hotel on the Amalfi Coast, and your tours and activities, like the “From Naples: Sorrento, Positano, and Amalfi Full-Day Tour.”
12. Prague, the Czech Republic
It used to be a bit crowded, like Barcelona, London, or Paris, but in 2022, Prague will be the best place to visit. Many travelers have left the big cities because they want to get away from the crowds and go somewhere less popular. What happened? Like Lisbon, Venice, and London, Prague is much nicer to visit these days.
Don’t think twice about putting this romantic place at the top of your list of places to visit. Do you like to see cities when there aren’t many people there? Wake up a little earlier than usual, between 5.30 and 6 a.m., and take a walk around Prague before the city wakes up. Find its markets, cafes, and restaurants before dawn and watch the sunrise over some of Prague’s most beautiful buildings. This little tip won’t cost you anything (except maybe a few hours of sleep), but it will give you a different view of Prague.
Do you need any more reasons to go to Prague in 2022? You put it on your lists of the Best Christmas Markets in Europe, Best Places to Celebrate New Year’s Eve, Best Honeymoon Destinations in Europe, Best Places to Propose in Europe, and Best Fairy Tale Destinations in Europe.
13. Rome, Italy
Rome is one of the most visited places globally, along with London, Paris, Prague, and Barcelona. Rome is a real open-air museum that is very interesting. People come here to see “Roma Caput Mundi,” which means “the capital of the world,” and shows how mighty the Roman Empire was. We are amazed by the Colosseum, one of the Seven Wonders of Europe, and the Spanish Steps, which is one of the best places to ask someone to marry you.
Rome has been on the podium of your best places to visit in Europe for over ten years, and it’s clear that it’s the best place to go in Italy. Rome is much more than just a city, so why not stay for a few extra days and see what else to see?
The province of Rome is like a frame for the many treasures of the capital, and the history of the Eternal City has affected the area around it in some way or another. The site has a lot to offer, including the sea, nature, good food, and villages with many art and history. Sea, hills, lakes, rivers, and vineyards: the area around Rome is full of different things to see and do for people who like nature.
14. Bavaria, Germany
Bavaria is the most visited part of Germany and one of the most popular places for new people to Europe. Bavaria is both old and new. It has many legendary castles that are considered some of the most beautiful in Germany, such as the “Neuschwanstein Castle,” a fairy tale castle just a few kilometers from Munich Airport.
Bavaria borders Austria and Switzerland. It has a rich history and traditions that draw tourists worldwide to its capital, Munich, for the colorful Oktoberfest, which combines tradition, a fair, regional food, songs, and dances.
Bavaria is green and full of wild plants and animals. It also has the largest forest in Europe, which is excellent for people who want a trip that includes nature, outdoor sports, culture, food, and history—leaving in the winter? Don’t miss the best ski resorts in Germany. Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Oberstdorf in Bavaria are two of the most beautiful.
While you are there, visit some of the most beautiful Christmas markets in Germany, like Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Bavaria has some of the most gorgeous Christmas markets.
15. Athens, Greece
Over the previous ten years, Athens has been consistently listed among the best European destinations. Travelers will return time and time to see the Acropolis or the Temple of Poseidon, but they will also discover much more in Athens, a vibrant city focused on the future.
During your stay, you should go to the Varvakios Agora, a great food market that is both inside and outside. Varvakios Agora is the best place to meet real Athenians and get a feel for the unique atmosphere of a real need. You will love to walk with them through the Monastiraki neighborhood, full of bars, cafes, restaurants, markets, small shops, flea markets, and Greek handicrafts.
Did you know that many theories say that Greece was the birthplace of philosophy because it has wide, apparent horizons that let the spirit escape? Take a walk out of the city center to see Athens’s seaside, restaurants, and fish markets, or flee to the “National Gardens,” a 16-hectare green oasis in the Greek capital. Kids will love the small zoo, where they can see cute little Greek goats, chickens, peacocks, and other birds.
If you stay longer, you can find the best-hidden gems of Greece, like the monasteries on the cliffs of Meteora. Book your tours and activities in Greece, like the “From Athens: Full-Day Meteora Trip by Train,” online.
Do you want the sun to take it easy? Find out which beaches in Greece are the most beautiful. You can choose between the best castles in Greece, the best things to do in Greece, the best natural wonders in Greece, and the best islands in Greece. Still in need of some ideas?