Travel Tips

5 min read

Insider's Reveal: 7 Hidden European Gems to Conquer in 2024

Ever wonder where Europeans escape to during the summer? Hint: It's not just the typical tourist traps. Dive into our insider's guide to the top 7 local-approved hotspots!

Tobi Miles
June 9, 2023

International travel has seen a massive uptick in the past two years, and this trend shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Travel companies like Trip have reported a 72% increase in European bookings in the past year. Compared to 2022, international travel has seen a 200% increase in 2023 and is on track to compete with domestic travel.

There are 44 sovereign states or nations in Europe, and that gives prospective travelers a wide range of vacation spots to choose from. Europe is home to many unique cities ranging from Barcelona and Rome to Milan and Paris which each have unique identities and dining options. The culture, architecture, cuisine, and art that you can find in Europe are unlike what you will find in North America.

Just over 525 million tourists visited Europe in 2022 alone, and the European tourism trait has only increased in 2023. Traveling to Europe feels like visiting a different world in some cases, and that’s an experience many travelers seek out. While Europe has no shortage of great places to visit, 7 European destinations are particularly popular this summer.

1. London

London isn’t just the most popular city in England, it’s the top summer vacation destination in Europe. The weather in London can be somewhat unpleasant during fall and winter, so try to plan your trip for spring or summer. Popular destinations like Hyde Park, the Royal Tombs, and the Poet’s Corner are picturesque on nice summer days.

You can’t go wrong with a full English breakfast or some bangers and mash on your trip to London. The Natural History Museum, British Museum, and Museum of London are popular tourist destinations in the city. London sees nearly 20 million tourists per year, but the recent rise in international travel implies that this number will only rise in the coming years.

2. Barcelona

Barcelona is the most well-known city in Spain, and the art, architecture, and cuisine make it clear why that’s the case. You can catch a Barcelona Football Club game, eat paella, and visit the Picasso Museum all in a day. The city is also relatively inexpensive compared to other European destinations, and that explains why over 27 million tourists visit each year.

Barcelona is also known for being affordable for tourists. For example, most meals in Barcelona cost between 7 and 20 euros per person.

And, if you want to rent an apartment in Barcelona and save money, consider using Rentola Barcelona.

3. Madrid

Spain is home to no shortage of great cities to visit, but Madrid is the best option if you want to experience some vibrant nightlife. Whether it be Museo Nacional del Prado or Plaza Mayor, there are countless beautiful and historical landmarks to visit when you aren’t enjoying a meal or drink on a terrace. Madrid is also known for its coffee and has the oldest restaurant in the world, Restaurante Botín.

4. Paris

Paris is the most widely-recognized city in France, and that makes it the biggest tourist destination in the country. You can enjoy a trip to Paris without visiting tourist attractions like Disneyland Paris, but you can have plenty of fun at the theme park as well. Spring and summer bring many festivals and the perfect weather to peruse the streets and sample as much local cuisine as possible.

5. Milan

Whether it be the fashion, opera houses, or historical architecture, there are countless reasons to visit Milan for your European summer vacation. You get the chance to walk in Leonardo Da Vinci’s footsteps and explore one of the most amazing cities that Italy has to offer. Don’t forget to eat some risotto alla Milanese on your trip as it’s the city’s most world-renowned dish.

6. Manchester

Known for its significant industrial history, Manchester is one of the top European summer destinations. Located in North West England, Manchester is known for its festive culture, variety of restaurants, and historical landmarks. Whether it be the People’s History Museum or Manchester Art Gallery, there are countless chances to explore the culture and history of Europe in Manchester.

7. Rome

It should come as no surprise that Rome is one of the top summer destinations in Europe. This Italian city’s historical significance, unparalleled architecture, and amazing cuisine attract millions of tourists per year. As recently as 2019, Rome welcomed over 10 million visitors from all over the world.

Article updated:
January 5, 2024

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