Europe has a diverse range of amazing holiday destinations that harbor the promise of a unique experience. Whether you’re interested in city breaks, a romantic getaway, awe-inspiring adventure, the thrill of sailing, sumptuous foods or simply recharging your batteries on a golden-sand beach, holidaymakers are spoilt for choice in Europe. Need some inspiration? Here are our top 5 European holiday destinations and tips for 2019.
1 Budapest, Hungary
Budapest has been voted the best European destination for 2019 in several travel polls. It’s hardly surprising, really. When you consider Hungary’s capital has the gothic charm of Prague, the elegance of Paris and the architectural heritage of Vienna, you get itchy feet just thinking about a visit. Perched on the majestic Danube, the “City of Spas” is best known for its wealth of thermal baths, but this enigmatic city is also a gastronomical hotspot, an art haven and stacked full of world-class museums. It’s not expensive, either – which is a bonus.
2 Helsinki, Finland
Finland tends to get overlooked as a European tourist destination. Perhaps it’s the weather. Visit in summer, however, and the clement temperatures bring this hip and youthful city to life. Helsinki is otherworldly; a photogenic harbour and Art Nouveau architecture surrounding a throng of pretty parks are just part of its charm. Not to mention its quirky locals. There are also several coastal towns a mere day trip away including the medieval Porvoo and the enigmatic Turku – the oldest settlement in Finland.
3 Transylvania, Romania
The legendary home of Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Vlad the Impaler may not be at the top of most bucket lists. We know that. However, for travelers that enjoy the mystery and suspense of an adventure, you won’t find another European destination as mystical or magical as UNESCO-listed Transylvania. Nestled in rural Romania, the sleepy medieval village is steeped in folklore, and its fairytale charm accentuates its mysterious backstories. There is a thriving wine and artisanal scene here, fabulously renovated guesthouses and the lure of nature. Take a hike, ride a bike, and escape the rigors of the city this summer. You can kick back and relax in Transylvania. You can relax…honestly.
4 High Tatras, Slovakia
When you feel you need to wander the wilderness, the mountain valleys of High Tatras in Slovakia tick all the right boxes. With jagged mountain peaks, emerald green lakes and an abundance of hiking trails, the ‘mythical landscapes’ of the Carpathian Mountains feel like you’re in dreamland. The Tatra Mountain range lies on the border with Poland, and adventurous trekkers can take a day trip to Rysy – the tallest mountain in Poland. Alternatively, take any number of hiking trails and look for the local wildlife, including foxes, bears, and lynx.
5 Mostar, Bosnia, and Herzegovina
For travelers that enjoy city breaks to Europe’s most attractive medieval enclaves should consider Mostar – the uncrowded alternative to Dubrovnik. Regarded as yet another jewel of the Balkans, Mostar is a hodgepodge of Ottoman, pre-Ottoman, Mediterranean and western European architecture. The town’s landmark is undoubtedly the distinctive hump-backed bridge, the Stari Most, which has been a symbol of the city for 400 years and connects the two sides of the city otherwise separated by the enigmatic Neretva River. There are also several day trips from Mostar that are worth a visit including the extraordinary Kravica cascades on the Trebižat River, just 40 kilometers south of Mostar.
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