6 European Cities You Have to Visit This Year
There’s a new post-pandemic travel trend that emerged at the beginning of 2022 called “revenge travel.” With borders open and restrictions reduced, avid travelers are packing their suitcases and flying to Europe to make up for the lost time.
Why shouldn’t you do the same? Yes, the airports in many European cities are chaotic and prices aren’t cheap. But we know now more than ever that life’s too short and you need to tick off items on your bucket list while you can.
And if you’re looking for destination inspiration, you’ve come to the right place. This list of the best cities in Europe has a mixture of fan favorites and off-the-beaten-path alternatives.
1. Edinburgh, Scotland
There’s never a bad time to visit Edinburgh. It’s Scotland’s storied capital city that has all the amenities of a big place but the feel of an 18th-century village. Edinburgh is the perfect alternative to sprawling and expensive London.
You can explore Edinburgh Castle before sampling a dram or two of Scotch whisky in one of the local pubs. Walking down the cobble-stoned Royal Mile in Old Town while bagpipers play is a regular occurrence too.
Stretch your legs by climbing up one of the city’s seven hills. Calton Hill is an ideal place for watching the sunset. But the hike up Arthur’s Seat will get your heart pumping.
Edinburgh’s nickname is “the festival city” because it has so many events on its calendar. The Fringe Festival, the largest arts festival in the world, takes over the city for the whole of August. But if you’re visiting in winter, Edinburgh puts on a massive street party for New Year that will help you ring in 2023 in style.
2. Verona, Italy
One of the best European travel tips anyone could give you for this year is to think outside of the box. If you want to spend your vacation eating gelato and visiting old ruins, then you don’t need to go to Rome. You could enjoy all the same things in Verona with fewer crowds and a fraction of the price!
Verona is the gateway to the Dolomites region of Northern Italy. It’s only a few hours away from Milan to the west and Venice to the east. Unlike Rome where you will need to use the metro or cabs to get around, Verona is more compact and walkable.
Cross over one of the many historic bridges over the River Adige like the Castelvecchio or the Ponte Petro. Discover the ancient Verona Arena, which is like a mini version of Rome’s Colosseum. And if you’re a romantic, then you’ll love visiting Juliet’s House (from Romeo and Juliet) and stepping out on her balcony.
3. Munich, Germany
Berlin is one of the most popular European cities to visit in the north of Germany. But you should not overlook Munich in the south. It’s the heart of the old Bavaria region, and the city’s neo-gothic architecture is breathtaking.
It’s also the home of the annual Oktoberfest event. This beer-drinking festival takes over the city from the end of September to the beginning of October.
They have dozens of beer tents and funfair rides to make sure you enjoy yourself. Everyone dresses in traditional lederhosen and dirndl outfits, so it’s a great cultural experience too.
4. Lyon, France
Do you love French food? Are you passionate about cinema? In that case, you might feel tempted to book a flight to Paris, but Lyon might be the better option.
Lyon’s nickname is the “Capital of Gastronomy” and for good reason. It sits at the crossroads between many of France’s top-quality produce regions for cheese and wine. Plus, many of France’s most talented and creative chefs have ended up here, too.
It also happens to be the birthplace of cinema. The Lumière Brothers were the first people to screen a film back in 1895 and their old factory in Lyon is now Musée Lumière. You can find other landmarks and places dedicated to them in other parts of the city, too.
5. Vienna, Austria
Vienna is Austria’s capital city that sits on the famous Danube River. It boasts many palaces, museums, and upmarket cafes. If it was good enough for Mozart and Beethoven to live here, then you can be sure that Vienna is a special place.
One of the top things to do in Vienna is to visit the Schönbrunn Palace. It’s an epic estate with manicured gardens that is around 100 years old. You should also check out the Viennese Giant Ferris Wheel, which is the oldest operating Ferris wheel in the world.
The holidays are a great time to visit Vienna because that’s when they have their Christmas Markets. Underneath St. Peter’s Dome, some say these markets are even better and more picturesque than the ones in Germany.
6. Brașov, Romania
Do you have an adventurous spirit? Don’t want to visit European cities that everyone else is visiting? Make this the year you visit Brașov in Romania.
It’s in the Transylvania region of the country surrounded by the Carpathian mountain range. Brașov boasts beautiful and colorful baroque buildings. But it has its fair share of dark gothic ones with names like the Black Church.
Brașov is the perfect European city to visit around Halloween because it’s a stone’s throw away from the famous Bran Castle. The castle is a spectacular historic building perched on the edge of a hill and is the legendary home of Count Dracula.
Every year, the castle hosts huge Halloween parties on and around October 31st. You can dress up as your favorite horror character and dance to the Monster Mash until dawn … If you are still alive, that is.
Which European Cities Will You Visit First?
Each of these European cities has tons of unique experiences to offer every traveler. Whether you want to sip beer in Munich or dance the Highland jig in Edinburgh, you’re sure to have an amazing vacation you’ll remember forever.
Wonderful Tour has many informative guides on different European cities to help you plan your next trip. Read more about all the beautiful places to visit in Rome here!