Awesome, you’re all set for your European vacation.
It's time to get awestruck by the epic history, the natural beauty, and the culinary diversity. I have spent days and nights preparing this Europe travel guide. Since, it was not just about one country, one culture, one tradition— it includes so much and that was difficult for me to describe everything in just about a few words.
But I have done everything possible to make sure, this Europe Leisure travel guide so fits into every traveler's needs. I have compiled the best tips for vacationing across the Old Continent in this Europe travel guide. While doing my research, I was not surprised to know, Europe was one of the most traveled destinations even during the pandemic. You can visit their official website for more information on Europe vacations.
I know I will have to create many such European travel guides to describe this beautiful part of the earth, but I am all sure this guide will definitely help you make the best choice, know where the best experiences belong, what should be taken care of— and this Europe leisure travel guide will help with an answer to a number of these questions.
Let’s read on to find out about this extremely culturally rich & diverse destination. Whether you like traveling lavishly or are a budget traveler, Europe brings something for everyone. So when you are planning a European vacation, I would suggest, you read everything but if you are looking for specific information, you can check out our Table of contents.
Well, from helping you save money while traveling to eco-friendly travel— this will help you plan your vacation efficiently.
Let's dive in to discover!
Table of Contents
1. Top Destinations in Europe
2. Best Things to Do & See in Europe
3. Top Islands in Europe
4. Best time to visit Europe
5. How To Travel Around in Europe
6. Top Tips on Saving Money while Traveling in Europe
7. Top Festivals in Europe
8. Travel Manners & language on Europe vacation
9. More enriching European Leisure Travel guides & Article on Europe Vacation
Wondering where you would be heading to in Europe once everything returns to normal? I have rounded up a few of the top destinations in Europe in this leisure travel guide where you would get to see the beauty of nature and the magic of the surrounding. Let’s discover the hidden gems:
We’ve listed Budapest, on the top of this list in our Europe travel guide for some obvious reasons. Budapest, the capital city of Hungary is one of the topmost countries to travel to in Europe. With plenty of historical heritage, rich architecture, the unmatched culture, and the growing gastronomy, and plenty of heritage sights— it makes for must-visit spots.
More Recommendations: Read here more recommendations on Hungarian vacations.
Located between the crossroads of Asia, Africa, and Europe— Greece makes for the longest coastlines in Europe and it is inclusive of as many as 227 inhabited islands. And, it has several beach resorts where you could enjoy your vacation to the fullest. In addition to that — the delicious food and the impeccable ancient Greek monuments, make Greece a special mention in my Europe travel guide.
More Recommendations: Read here more recommendations on Greece vacations.
It takes about 2.5 hours to reach Iceland from London and just about five hours from the high-octane city of New York. This is one reason that makes it one of the easiest destinations in any European travel guide. In fact, some of the airlines in Iceland also offer free stopovers that make it easy to visit the country for a week and continue your rest of the European vacation.
More Recommendations: Read here for more recommendations on Iceland vacations.
Have you ever wondered why people love Paris so much? It’s the massive churches, the huge monuments, and museums that make it one of the most sought-after destinations not only in Europe but throughout the world. No wonder you can spend months admiring some of its top tourist destinations including the Eiffel Tower. And, there are sidewalk cafes where munching on some fresh croissants is an amazing part of all vacation packages. There's a plethora of beauty here that is hard to describe in this Leisure Travel guide. We would be creating a full-fledged Paris travel guide where we will discuss all about Paris and the best place to visit in Paris.
Italy is another destination in our Europe travel guide that would make you fall in love at the first sight. Many high-end weddings are also organized in Italy. One of the amazing things about Italy is its food— an Italy vacation is incomplete without exploring a couple of its amazing foods. Italy is sometimes also called a utopia of gastronomes. And, when in Italy you cannot miss the museums, ancient buildings, squares, and plenty of other architectural masterpieces.
More Recommendations: Read here more recommendations on Italy vacations.
Located in central Europe, the Czech Republic, which is also sometimes referred to as Czechia is here in our Europe travel guide. The southern tip of Silesia, Moravia, and the historical provinces of Bohemia are together called the Czech Lands. Most people dream about visiting the Czech Republic because it is home to the world’s most beautiful city, Prague.
More Recommendations: Read here more recommendations on Czech Republic vacations.
All inundated with picturesque sceneries, Norway has to be in our Europe travel guide. Most leisure travelers say that they like going on Norway vacation for plenty of reasons, number one of which is its people. In Norway, you get to experience the Northern lights and the world-popular fjords.
More Recommendations: Read here more recommendations on Norway vacations.
London for the galore of beauty that it holds attracts as many as about 20 million visitors every year and I could not have forgotten about its mention in this Leisure travel guide. The capital city of London is all inundated with art, culture, entertainment, and the music scene still looks alive even after 50 so many years. London has the largest number of cultural attractions — from amazing cathedrals to museums to the royal palaces, it has so much for the history & culture buffs.
Spain is one of the most visited countries in Europe and its mention in any European travel guide is justified. From the towering mountain ranges to the architectural masterpieces, the hilltop villages, and the seaside cliffs— there’s no dearth of beauty, charm & magic. According to data, Spain was the most visited country in Europe in 2018. From the lovely Crystal Palace in Madrid to horses' hooves on cobblestone streets in Seville, everything is just wondrous. The famous Alhambra palaces of Valencia and the Costa Brava’s stunning beaches can’t be missed.
More Recommendations: Read here more recommendations on Spain vacations.
The Netherlands is all about tulips, windmills, and canals— and today it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Europe. And in addition to the picturesque villages and the breathtaking gardens— the vibrant capital city of Amsterdam will bring you some great experiences with some worth-visiting heritage sites, medieval castles, and cityscapes. We coil only come up with only precise information about the Netherlands in this Leisure travel guide, let's talk about it in more detail in our upcoming Netherlands travel guide.
I know everything including the best things to do and see in Europe is impossible to cover in my Europe travel guide. So, I have picked the ones you cannot just miss— these are going to be the ones that would just help you know Europe and what defines it the most. We’ve created this list after analyzing the feedback from leisure.com’s valuable intakes.
The Sete Cidades & Lagoa do Fogo are the most iconic lakes in São Miguel Island and you just need a day to discover everything about this spot. Formed in the crater, the two lakes on the island of Sao Miguel will leave you spellbound with its beauty. Here you also get an opportunity to explore the thermal pools in the natural park of Caldeira Velha and also get closer to the wonderful flora of Azores. Use this Europe travel guide to make this an amazing exploration of the lifetime.
A water taxi is going to be the quickest and easiest way of reaching your hotels or the apartment located in Venice, the historical city of Venice. If you are coming from the airport a water taxi is the best option— while it might get a little costlier, but there is no better way to reach your hotel from the airport. And, it sets the stage for perfect vacationing that you won’t get to see in any other city. Leisure travel guides would help with guiding you through the water taxi rides!
Paris has long been known for the "Iron Lady", the Eiffel Tower. The world over is amazed by the kind of galore this massive tower offers. The postcard-perfect tower that we often see in the keychains and other decorative pieces is something you can’t miss on a European vacation— and I could not have missed this marvelous piece of art missing a mention in my Europe travel guide. The Eiffel Tower is one of the topmost highlights of Paris and it opens every day until 11 pm at night. Paris is the fashion capital of France, so you would have to pack your style prudently. You can checkout here to choose your best travel outfit.
Reynisfjara black sand beach, located on the South Coast of Iceland is one of the most visited beaches. From its powerful waves to the beautiful black sand along with the Reynisdrangar seam where the popular Game of Thrones series was shot. Of all the black sanded beaches in the world, Reynisfjara Beach is most popularly known among the globetrotters. The dramatic beauty of the place has also been featured on the list of the top ten world’s most beautiful non-tropical beaches so how I could have forgotten its mention in our Europe Travel Guide—I obviously had a strong reason.
Albania is one of the best destinations to start with your European vacations. I’ve been on an Albania vacation and believe me, I had never thought it to be so beautiful. Be it Gjirokastër, or the other bigger beach resorts near Vlorë and Dhërmi— you have so much to explore in this small stretch of land. And, if you could get an opportunity to stay near the beach huts on Drymades Beach, you would get to experience the ultimate European experience. If you have never been to Albania, check out our Albania vacation travel guide here.
At the Meteora-Greece and the monasteries, you get to experience nature's unique perspective all laden in the architecture, history, and divinity. The cliffs of Meteora are considered to be one of the best places in Greece to find seclusion. It's a place for attaining absolute eternity, peace, and building a harmonious relationship with nature. It was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1989 and has been a holy place for the people of Greece since 1995.
Berling has been long known for being a cultural hotspot and it’s obvious some of the most interesting theatrical plays happen around the town. In fact, Germany is home to some of the world’s popular theatres including avant-garde theatre and Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz. Schaübuhne used to be a cinema and was built in the Bauhaus style, which in the late 70s became the Schaübuhne ensemble home. Today most of the performances are done in German but sometimes they also feature English or French subtitles.
More on German vacations: https://www.leisure.com/vacations/Germany-Vacations
The Austrian Alps stretched almost all around the country holding almost 28.7% of the total mountain range of all the eight Alpine countries. All filled with vast green meadows, magnificent valleys, spectacular peaks, and much more— it does not disappoint travelers & adventurers at any time. For nature lovers, this is a perfect destination and I could not have missed its mention in this Europe Travel Guide.
Liverpool has got a mention in the world heritage sites since 2004, and fittingly enough for its maritime history and the waterfront from the Albert Dock. In Liverpool's Baltic Triangle, you’ll get to find everything from spectacular art to street foods, and much more. At the Baltic’s historic warehouses, which were heavily bombed during World War II, you’ll get to see plenty of music venues, boutiques, and art spaces.
Europe is home to some of the world’s top islands! In this Europe Travel guide, we have rounded up some of the top Islands in Europe. You would surely happen to be one of them if you are planning a European vacation anytime soon. Let’s know about some of these top Island in Europe:
Looks amazingly beautiful when the sunsets! The island boasts magical cliffs. When in Corsica, you can’t miss visiting the Calanche de Piana Cliffs that are made of startling red granite. The roads are beautiful and have plenty of hiking trails to enjoy your vacation. And, you should not miss visiting the Maison Bonaparte.
Located just about a few minutes from the flamboyant Hvar Island along Croatia’s Dalmatian coast, the Pakleni Islands is the perfect destination if you are looking for a vacation hopping around islands across several beautiful islands. The Pakleni Islands will let you see some of the most beautiful secluded beaches, sun-drenched hills, and deserted coves— the perfect opportunity for ardent travelers and I thought it’s a great idea to introduce it in our Europe Travel Guide.
Located beautifully amidst the Mediterranean Sea, this mountainous region with plenty of high peaks, and the perfect natural environment— is one of the perfect places to visit when on a European vacation. One interesting fact about the super laid-back Italian gem is that it is home to the most centenarians in the world and that goes to the sunshine, complete lack of motorways, stress, and most importantly the steady diet.
Located between Leros and Kos— Kalymnos is another amazing addition for you to this Europe travel guide. Since the island only recently opened its borders to travelers, it looks all untouched just born. Kalymnos used to be known for fishing, but today travelers come here for rock climbing. It’s a great place, particularly for creative people!
Santorini, located in the south of the Cyclades group of islands amidst the Aegean Sea is a popular volcanic island in the world. With a 4.000-year-old history and a plethora of beauty, Santorini has found mention in many of the famous poems. Santorini is the most idyllic & beautiful of all the islands in Greece. I could not have completed this Europe travel guide island list without mentioning Santorini.
Crete is the largest of all the islands in Greece including Samos, Mykonos, and Corfu— and is the 5th largest in the Mediterranean Sea. It’s all inundated with beautiful scenery, yummy Greek food, and historic forts— and there’s a lot more to do in Crete. It's the most sunnier for its location in the southern part of Europe. On my trip, I have loved the rich history it upholds and I could not have missed its mention in my Europe Travel Guide.
Malta is one of the most crowded places in the world! In an area which is just about one-fifth the size of Greater London, it packs about 423,000 people. But don’t worry there is still a place left for travelers. Malta saw a rise in tourism in the 60s and surprisingly, it contributes to Malta’s GDP by about 12%. For Malta being one of the most photogenic places, and for its beautiful beaches, it is today one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe.
Located in the Sea of Marmara, the Princes Islands is the chain of nine tiny islands. These islands have evolved from the Byzantine era, which has now turned into one of the most popular destinations for tourists. But you must also know that of all the nine islands, only four are open to the public that includes Kınalıada, Heybeliada, Büyükada, and Burgazada. Büyükada is the biggest of all of them!
If you are more interested in exploring the Italian culture, Capri is the right fit for you in the Europe Travel Guide. From the plenty of great beaches to the yummy food to some great rock formations, you’ll find plenty to explore in this place. Since Roman times, Capri has been a resort destination and there are numerous reasons for that.
Skye is one of the top destinations in Scotland and in Europe! The popular landscape, the scenery, everything will for sure leave you spellbound. The 50 miles long Island is the largest of the Inner Hebrides. One of the great things about this is an opportunity to discover the rich history of the Clan Warfare, the infamous ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’, Dinosaur Fossils, and Both Clan MacDonald.
In this Europe Travel Guide, I specifically thought of introducing you to the best time to visit Europe. During summers between June to September is the perfect time to travel to Europe. It is when the beaches are warm, the sun is at the peak, and the sun looks all over. It’s the time when you should make the move only after checking out the weather conditions, as the temperature in most countries goes above thirty. Besides the weather conditions, it is also the time when most cultural events are being organized and end of the season sales are on. Summers are also the perfect time for adventure activities, road trips & hiking trips. But if you are traveling during the winter months then you cannot rule out snow and showers. But winter is a good time if you want to see the Northern Lights. But you must always check the official website of the particular country to know about the weather conditions because it might not be the same in all the countries. If you wish to know more about the best time to visit Europe, you can visit the “vacations” section of our website where we have made the mention of the best time to travel to different parts of Europe.
Local trams, buses, or subways are some of the most typical types of transportation in most parts of European cities— and it will cost you (in most cases) 2 EUR from one side. There are plenty of budget domestic airline companies like Wizz, EasyJet, and Wizz — that run through Europe. But if you wish to get exciting vacation package deals, make sure you have booked your tickets, a few months earlier. Know that on these flights, you’ll have to pay for the baggage also but it won’t cost you much.
Hitchhiking: Hitchhiking is another mode of transportation in Europe. It’s safe and is popular in most parts of Europe. While some countries will support it, in others, it might be a little bit time-consuming.
Buses: Buses are not as comfortable as trains in Europe. However, in a few countries, you might find proper amenities. While buses are reliable and cheaper — they are certainly not efficient when it comes to traveling around the continent.
Trains: Trains are the best way to see Europe! It’s reliable, cost-effective, and the best way to see Europe. And, most countries offer online facilities for booking tickets— the booking costs might differ from country to country. Ridesharing is also one of the great ways of traveling through Europe.
Europe is one of those destinations where you have to spend more than when in any other parts of the world. The cost of accommodation, food, and transportation are high in most parts of Europe. But, if you know about certain money-saving tips while traveling, it will help you travel on a budget.
1. Show flexibility with airport & dates.
2. Choose the right time to book your tickets.
3. It is important not to bounce from country to country. Explore your destination with absolute focus.
4. Save when traveling museums and monasteries.
5. If you can, get a pass to avail discounts on admission to museums and other tourist sites.
6. Save by choosing a vacation car rental and avoiding costs on hotels.
7. Save big bucks by staying outside the city.
8. Keep some cash handy. Don’t pay extra using your card every time.
9. Haggle. It’s acceptable.
10. Get yourself a Eurail pass.
11. Get your own Grocery & cook for yourself.
12. Rely on local eateries.
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Europe is a king of festivals and you get to see a lot of activities happening around when in Europe. The industry is just about popping up with festivities all through the year. I thought of introducing you to some of these festivals in this Europe travel guide that you might experience on your next Europe vacation.
Festivals in Greece
1. The Carnival (February-March)
2. Feast of the Annunciation (March 25th)
3. National Anniversary (October 28th)
Festivals in Iceland
1. Dark Music Days Festival (Late January Into Early February)
2. Winter Lights Festival (February 6 – 9)
3. Saga Fest (Late May)
Festivals in Paris
1. Truffle Season (January)
2. Féria d'Arles (March)
3. Fête de la Musique (June)
Festivals in Italy
1. Carnevale (February/March)
2. Battle Of Oranges (February)
3. Infiorata Festival (May/June)
Festivals in the Czech Republic
1. Ostrava (July)
2. Rock Festival (June)
3. Summer Shakespeare Festival (August)
Festivals in Norway
1. Oya Festival, Oslo (August)
3. The Polar Jazz Festival (January/February)
Festivals in London
1. Kaleidoscope Festival ( July)
2. Gala Festival (July/August)
3. 51st State (August)
Festivals in Spain
1. Jarramplas, Cáceres (January)
2. Cureton Film Festival, Madrid (January)
3. Sitges Carnival (February/March)
Festivals in the Netherlands
1. Flower Parade (Bloemencorso) (April)
2. Bloemencorso Zundert Flower Festival (September)
3. King’s Day (April)
Read this Europe travel guide, to be sure that you don’t get wrong with the local dining rules and travel & food etiquettes. Brush them off so you don’t make any mistakes when you actually reach there. This is your first European vacation and it has to be the perfect thing. Let’s acquaint you with some essential tips & etiquettes you must be aware of. Here we go:
1. Control your volume. Europeans do not appreciate being louder in public places, bars & restaurants.
2. Make sure you know the boarding & passport rules for traveling in any part of Europe. Make sure your passport has not expired.
3. In Spain, Italy, or France, you cannot rush the meals. In these countries, meals with friends can last for hours.
4. Act politely when standing at the vendor's store. Use phrases like “excuse me please” to build a healthy inquiry with the host.
5. Instead of opting for a cab, ride a train or subway—that might save you a lot of money. Before venturing out research about the place— most European destinations have cheap train ride options.
6. While in America tipping is pretty common but in Europe tipping might not be appreciated.
7. In European countries like Spain, Germany, France & Portugal— you get orders on the table only when you order.
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