15 Best Countries to Visit in Europe in 2024

by Jen
Best Countries to Visit in Europe in 2024
This post may have affiliate links, where I may receive a commission if you purchase through them. Here's our Disclosure and Privacy Policy for more info.

Are you looking for some of the best European countries to visit? Here’s our ultimate bucket list of the most awe-inspiring and iconic countries that this continent has to offer. From unforgettable Norwegian fjords to Insta-worthy Croatian islands, let’s dive into the best countries to visit in Europe right now.

Ever daydream about wandering through the historic streets of European cities? Think centuries-old buildings, cozy cafes, and those Instagram-worthy landscapes. Europe’s like this epic mash-up of history, art, and some seriously good food. A European tour is all about those “wow” moments that stick with you forever.

From sipping espresso in a bustling Italian piazza to chasing the Northern Lights in a frosty Nordic sky, Europe’s got it all. So, are you ready to dive into the best European countries to visit? With 50 countries to choose from, we’ll narrow down the best ones for you. Let’s get this adventure rolling and uncover the gems that make Europe the ultimate playground for travelers.

Best European Countries to Visit

Are you ready to discover the best European countries to visit? This ultimate guide is your first step to building the ultimate itinerary for your next European adventure. Let’s dive into these incredible European destinations where you could be experiencing the best that this continent has to offer.

1. For history lovers: Greece

Greece, often hailed as the best country to travel to in Europe, is where timeless history and modern vibes meet. Picture yourself in Athens, standing in the shadow of the majestic Parthenon, feeling like a character in an ancient myth. But Greece isn’t just about the past. Head over to Santorini for a sunset that’s straight out of a dream, with its iconic white buildings and blue domes.

For the party-goers, Mykonos is your go-to spot. Its vibrant nightlife is a magnet for young adults looking for fun under the starry Aegean sky. And let’s not forget the food – oh, the food! Dive into a plate of fresh Greek salad and some mouth-watering moussaka at a local taverna.

If you’re into quieter, more secluded spots, visit Nafplio or the island of Naxos. They’re less crowded but just as charming. Best time to visit? Late spring or early autumn, when the weather is perfect, and the tourist crowds are thinner.

Greece is one of the best countries to visit in Europe in 2024.
Greece blends rich history with contemporary allure, offering iconic landmarks and dreamlike sunsets.

2. For fun in the sun: Portugal

Step into Portugal, a must-visit European country that’s a feast for the senses. Start in Lisbon, where trams rattle up and down the colorful streets. Here, every corner sings with life, from the historic Belém Tower to the vibrant nightlife in Bairro Alto.

For beach lovers, the Algarve is unmissable. Golden sands, stunning cliffs, and hidden coves await. Surfing in Sagres or lounging in Lagos, the Algarve has it all. And let’s talk about the Azores – these volcanic islands are a paradise for nature enthusiasts, offering everything from whale watching to hiking in lush, green landscapes.

Foodies, get ready for a treat. Indulge in pastéis de nata in a Lisbon café or enjoy fresh seafood by the seaside in Porto.

Visit Sintra, just a short trip from Lisbon. Its fairy-tale palaces and misty forests are straight out of a storybook. The best time to visit Portugal? Spring or early fall for great weather and fewer crowds.

Explore Portugal, a sensory delight with colorful streets, historic landmarks and vibrant nightlife.
Explore Portugal, a sensory delight with colorful streets, historic landmarks and vibrant nightlife.

3. For food, art, and culture: Italy

Arguably Europe’s cultural capital, Italy is where every city is a living museum, and every meal is a work of art. Stroll through the streets of Rome, where ancient history stands proudly beside vibrant modern life. The Colosseum, the Roman Forum – it’s like walking through the pages of a history book.

Venture north to the floating city of Venice. Glide through its canals on a gondola, serenaded by the echoes of water against ancient buildings. Then, there’s Florence, a haven for art lovers. The Uffizi Gallery, Michelangelo’s David – it’s an art enthusiast’s dream.

For a unique experience, visit Cinque Terre. These five picturesque villages, clinging to the rugged cliffs of the Italian Riviera, offer breathtaking views and a slower pace of life.

Tuscany’s vineyards are perfect for wine enthusiasts. Plan a visit in the fall for the grape harvest and enjoy the region’s exquisite wines. Italy is at its best in May and September when the weather is pleasant, and the tourist crowds are smaller.

Venice, Italy is one of the best countries to visit in Europe in 2024.
Explore Venice, the floating city, on a gondola, serenaded by echoes of water against ancient buildings.

4. For Alpine wonders: Switzerland

If you’re into nature, carve out time for Switzerland. For me, it’s the best country in Europe to visit, brimming with majestic mountains, timeless traditions, and some of the warmest people you’ll encounter.

Zurich is a cosmopolitan hub set against a stunning Alpine backdrop – you might recognize its picturesque lanes and vibrant culture. Strolling along the Limmat River, you’re treated to enchanting views of the old town and the snow-capped peaks. Simply magical!

Then there’s Lucerne, with its lively lakeside setting and the breathtaking Pilatus mountain. And for a nature escape, the Bernese Oberland is a paradise of jagged peaks and emerald valleys. It’s like stepping into a postcard.

Swiss cuisine is a delight too. Think fondue and raclette in the mountains, and luxurious chocolates in every city. It’s all about indulgence and heritage. And let’s not overlook the pristine lakes – places like Lake Geneva and Lake Lucerne are perfect for a serene boat ride or a refreshing swim.

For a quieter retreat, visit Grindelwald in the Jungfrau region. It’s this quaint village where alpine charm meets artistic flair. If you’re looking for a top country to visit in Europe, add Switzerland to the list!

Switzerland is one of the best countries to visit in Europe in 2024.
Switzerland captivates with majestic mountains, timeless traditions, and warm hospitality.

5. For diversity of experiences: Spain

Hey, let’s talk about Spain. It’s like every city here’s got its own vibe. In Barcelona, you can’t miss Gaudí’s wild architecture – the Sagrada Familia is like something from another planet! And those narrow lanes in the Gothic Quarter? They’re like a time machine.

Then there’s Madrid! It’s all about art-filled days at the Prado and nights out that just don’t quit. And if you’re chasing that authentic Spanish vibe, Seville’s your spot. Imagine sipping sangria and getting lost in the rhythm of flamenco.

Nature lover? Spain’s got you covered. From lounging on the sunny beaches of Costa Brava to hiking in the Sierra Nevada, it’s a total playground. And the Canary Islands? They’re like a little piece of paradise.

Foodies, you’re in for a treat. We’re talking paella in Valencia, and those tasty pintxos in San Sebastián are a must-try. Each region’s got its own flavor, and you’ll want to taste it all!

Check out Asturias up north. Less crowded, stunning beaches, and their cider is the bomb.

Experience Spain's diverse city vibes, from Gaudí's surreal Sagrada Familia to the Gothic Quarter.
Experience Spain’s diverse city vibes, from Gaudí’s surreal Sagrada Familia to the Gothic Quarter.

6. For scenery and sophistication: France

Home of fine wine, the Eiffel Tower and the Tour De France – definitely a must-see country in Europe! It’s like walking into a painting where every scene is more beautiful than the last. Paris, with its iconic shopping districts and dreamy Seine River cruises, is just the beginning. Strolling through Montmartre, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into an artsy movie set.

The lavender fields and vineyards of Provence? Absolutely stunning. And if you’re into fairy-tale castles, the Loire Valley is where it’s at.

For the beach lovers, the French Riviera is a slice of heaven. Think sunbathing in Nice or rubbing shoulders with celebs in Cannes. And let’s not forget the French Alps – perfect for skiing or just cozying up with a hot chocolate in a chalet.

For a unique experience, visit the Dordogne region. It’s a bit off the beaten path, with amazing food and medieval towns. The best time to visit France? Late spring or early fall – the weather’s great, and the tourist spots are less crowded.

Explore the must-see country of Europe, a picturesque haven with fine wine, the iconic Eiffel Tower.
Explore the must-see country of Europe, a picturesque haven with fine wine, the iconic Eiffel Tower.

7. For Eastern and Western influences: Turkey

Next, let’s cover Turkey – and I mean the country, not the bird! This place is a wild mix of East meets West, and it’s got a vibe like nowhere else. Istanbul? It’s the star of the show. Imagine sipping Turkish tea while gazing at the Bosphorus, with Asia on one side and Europe on the other. The Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque have got centuries of stories to tell, so be ready to listen.

Ever heard of Cappadocia? I bet you’ve seen It’s this crazy landscape with caves and hot air balloons. And for a dose of sun and sea, the Turquoise Coast is where it’s at. Think crystal-clear waters and beaches that’ll make your Instagram pop.

And the food – oh man, the food! It’s a rollercoaster of flavors. From the zesty kebabs to the sweetest baklava, your taste buds are in for a ride.

Check out Gaziantep for some legit Turkish eats. It’s a foodie’s paradise. And for a history fix, Ephesus is like stepping back in time.

Discover the unique blend of East meets West in Turkey, with Istanbul as the captivating star.
Discover the unique blend of East meets West in Turkey, with Istanbul as the captivating star.

8. For coastal gems: Croatia

If you’ve not got long in Europe, make time for Croatia. It’s like this hidden gem that’s got it all – stunning coastlines, ancient history, and some of the friendliest people you’ll meet.

Dubrovnik is this gorgeous walled city right on the Adriatic Sea – you might recognize it from ‘Game of Thrones’. Walking along its ancient walls, you get these killer views of the old town and the sea. Pure magic!

There’s Split, with its buzzing waterfront and the incredible Diocletian’s Palace. And for a change of pace, Plitvice Lakes National Park is a wonderland of waterfalls and crystal-clear lakes. It’s like nature’s own masterpiece.

Croatian cuisine is a big deal too. Fresh seafood on the coast, hearty stews inland – it’s all about flavor and tradition. And let’s not forget the beaches – places like Hvar and Zlatni Rat are perfect for soaking up the sun and taking a dip in the sea.

For a quieter spot, check out Rovinj in Istria. It’s this charming little town with cobblestone streets and artsy vibes.

For a brief European escape, Croatia is a hidden gem with everything—stunning coastlines and ancient history.
For a brief European escape, Croatia is a hidden gem with everything—stunning coastlines and ancient history.

9. For fairytale cities and towns: Germany

Now, let’s swing by Germany, definitely one of the best countries to visit in Europe for a mix of old-world charm and cutting-edge cool. Think fairy-tale castles, hip cities, and some seriously good beer.

Berlin is where history meets hipster. The city’s got a story at every corner – from the Brandenburg Gate to the East Side Gallery, where the Berlin Wall still stands. Despite its historical pull, Berlin’s nightlife is legendary. Think ultra-exclusive underground clubs and rooftop bars. It is also one of the top places to live and visit in Europe.

Munich’s all about Bavarian tradition – yes, Oktoberfest is a must, but there’s also the English Garden, bigger than Central Park, which is perfect for a lazy afternoon. And those Bavarian Alps? They’re like a postcard come to life.

Now, if you’re into cars, Stuttgart’s where you can geek out at the Mercedes-Benz Museum. And for a taste of medieval Germany, Rothenburg ob der Tauber is like stepping into a time machine.

For a unique experience, visit the Black Forest. It’s not just the birthplace of the cuckoo clock; it’s a hiker’s paradise. Best time to visit Germany? May or September – great weather and fewer tourists.

Explore Germany, a top European destination blending old-world charm with cutting-edge cool.
Explore Germany, a top European destination blending old-world charm with cutting-edge cool.

10. For charm and personality: The UK

Embark on a British adventure that’s as rich in history as it is in diverse landscapes. The United Kingdom, with its timeless traditions and charming towns, awaits your discovery.

London– the pulsating heart of the UK– offers an eclectic mix of the historic and contemporary. From the majestic Tower of London to the modern Shard, the city is a feast for the senses. Don’t miss the chance to watch the world from the London Eye or to catch a play in the storied West End.

Venture north to Edinburgh, Scotland’s proud capital, where the Edinburgh Castle looms over the city with its centuries-old stories. The annual Fringe Festival transforms the city into a cultural hotspot, offering performances from around the globe.

Wales offers a quieter but equally captivating experience with its lush valleys and ancient castles. Snowdonia National Park is a hiker’s paradise, offering trails that lead to breathtaking views.

For a literary pilgrimage, the quaint villages of the Cotswolds are a must-visit. This area inspired some of England’s greatest writers and poets.

For those seeking a serene escape, the Lake District’s tranquil waters and poetic landscapes offer a perfect retreat. It’s an ideal spot for boating, hiking, or simply enjoying the serene beauty of nature.

The UK is a journey through time and culture. This makes it one of the cool countries in Europe that you’ll have to visit at least once in your lifetime.

The United Kingdom—a blend of rich history, diverse landscapes, timeless traditions, and charming towns await.
The United Kingdom—a blend of rich history, diverse landscapes, timeless traditions, and charming towns await.

11. For The Sound of Music lovers: Austria

Caught between the ancient history of Bavaria and the mountainous terrain of Switzerland, Austria is the best of both worlds. Vienna, the capital, is all about imperial vibes and coffee culture. You’ve got to try a Wiener Melange in a traditional café, trust me, it’s an experience.

Salzburg, with its charming streets and Mozart’s tunes floating in the air, is ridiculously picturesque. It’s like you’re walking through a postcard, especially with those Alps in the background.

Speaking of the Alps, if you’re into skiing or just love stunning mountain views, Austria’s your playground. Places like Tyrol are a dream in winter, but equally gorgeous in summer for hiking.

And let’s talk about the food. Austrian cuisine is hearty and delicious – think schnitzel, strudel, and all the good stuff. It’s comfort food at its finest.

Home of the 1976 Olympics, Innsbruck is a hidden gem – smaller crowds but just as much charm. It’s perfect for a mix of city vibes and alpine adventures. When to visit Austria? I’d say either spring or fall – you get the beauty without the tourist bustle.

If you’re looking to explore beautiful mountains and vibrant towns, Austria is one of the must visit European countries you should check out.

Experience the best of both worlds in Austria, with Vienna's imperial vibes and rich coffee culture.
Experience the best of both worlds in Austria, with Vienna’s imperial vibes and rich coffee culture.

12. For mythical landscapes and heartwarming hospitality: Ireland

Situated right on the edge of Europe, we have Ireland. This place is truly one of the best countries to visit in Europe if you’re after breathtaking landscapes and the warmest welcome.

Dublin is where most tales begin. It’s a city that’s as friendly as they come, with a pub culture that’s legendary. The Guinness Storehouse is a must-visit – one of the coolest and most tech-heavy brewery tours you’ll find.

But the real magic of Ireland lies in its countryside. The Cliffs of Moher? Breathtaking. And the Ring of Kerry – it’s a road trip that’ll spoil you with its views.

For a taste of true Irish charm, head to smaller towns like Galway or Kilkenny. The music, the people, the vibe – it’s Ireland in a nutshell.

Food-wise, it’s all about hearty meals and local produce. And if you’re into seafood, the oysters and fresh fish are top-notch.

For something off the beaten path, explore the wild beauty of Connemara. Best time to visit? Late spring or early fall – the landscapes are lush, and you won’t find many (if any) tourists.

Ireland is truly one of the best European countries for breathtaking landscapes and the warmest welcome.
Ireland is truly one of the best European countries for breathtaking landscapes and the warmest welcome.

13. For epic landscapes and natural wonders: Iceland

Now, let’s venture to Iceland, easily one of the coolest countries in Europe – and I’m not just talking temperature! This place is like nature’s own art studio, with landscapes that’ll have you thinking you’re on another planet.

Reykjavik is your starting point, a city that’s as quirky as it is cozy. It’s all about cool cafes, colorful streets, and a creative vibe that’s infectious. But the real magic of Iceland is beyond the city limits.

Take a soak in the Blue Lagoon, with steam rising around you against a backdrop of black lava fields. Or if you’re lucky, watch the Northern Lights dance across the sky – it’s a show you’ll never forget.

Iceland’s also a paradise for adventure seekers. Think glacier hiking, volcano tours, and epic road trips along the Ring Road. Every turn brings a new jaw-dropping view, from thundering waterfalls to massive icebergs.

And let’s not forget the food – fresh seafood, Icelandic lamb, and some unique delicacies for the brave (fermented shark, anyone?).

For a truly unique experience, explore the Westfjords. It’s a bit off the usual tourist track but so worth it. Best time to visit? Summer for the midnight sun or winter for the Northern Lights.

Explore Iceland, one of Europe's coolest countries, where nature's art studio boasts landscapes that feel otherworldly.
Explore Iceland, one of Europe’s coolest countries, where nature’s art studio boasts landscapes that feel otherworldly.

14. For fjords and northern lights: Norway

It’s like Mother Nature went all out here, with fjords, mountains, and a chance to witness the awe-inspiring Northern Lights.

Oslo, the capital, is a blend of modern architecture and historic sites. The Viking Ship Museum is a must-see – it’s not every day you get to see real Viking ships! But the true magic of Norway is found in its natural wonders.

Imagine cruising through the fjords – places like Geirangerfjord and Sognefjord are like scenes from a fantasy movie. And if you’re up for it, hiking to Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock) rewards you with views that’ll make your heart skip a beat.

For a unique experience, head north to Tromsø, one of the best places to see the Northern Lights. It’s surreal, like nature’s own light show.

And let’s talk about Norwegian cuisine – it’s all about fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. Seafood lovers, you’re in for a treat with some of the freshest fish you’ll ever taste.

For a quieter but equally stunning experience, explore the Lofoten Islands. The landscapes are breathtaking, and the fishing villages are picture-perfect. Best time to visit? Summer for the midnight sun and winter for the Northern Lights.

Norway boasts Mother Nature's wonders—fjords, mountains, and the mesmerizing Northern Lights.
Norway boasts Mother Nature’s wonders—fjords, mountains, and the mesmerizing Northern Lights.

15. For tulips and canals: The Netherlands

So, we’re wrapping up our Euro tour with The Netherlands, and trust me, it’s a blast! This place is like living in a postcard – think canals, windmills, and fields of tulips that look like they’ve been painted by a rainbow.

Amsterdam is the heart of the fun. It’s a city where you can cruise the canals one minute and dive into some amazing art the next. Ever seen a Van Gogh up close? It’s mind-blowing! And the Anne Frank House – it’s a real eye-opener. But Amsterdam’s also about chilling in cool cafes and zipping around on bikes like a local.

Utrecht’s got this cozy, small-town vibe with its cute canals. And Rotterdam? It’s like stepping into the future with all its funky architecture and it’s got a seriously cool nightlife.

Springtime here is a total color explosion – those tulip fields are no joke. Keukenhof Gardens turns into a flower paradise that’s like a feast for your eyes.

And the food – you’ve gotta try the stroopwafels. They’re like a hug for your taste buds. If you’ve time, check out Giethoorn, the village with no roads, just canals. It’s as quaint as it gets.

Wrap up your Euro tour in the Netherlands—a blast of living in a postcard with canals, windmills, and tulip fields.
Wrap up your Euro tour in the Netherlands—a blast of living in a postcard with canals, windmills, and tulip fields.
The top countries to visit in Europe in 2024 for all types of travelers
Enjoyed reading about the top countries to visit in Europe in 2024? Pin it!

You may also like

Leave a Comment