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Best places to visit in Europe

Discover the diversity of Europe across these 10 incredible countries that will leave you in awe.

Europe is packed with opportunities to experience its food, culture, languages, landscapes and more. This can make choosing where to go difficult, but these top 10 countries will show you just how magical Europe is. You can visit castles in Germany, beaches in Greece and waterfalls in Iceland as well as enjoy the food in Italy.

This guide will help you create the perfect itinerary, so you can see the best Europe has to offer.

1. Italy

Italy is a country that has had a lot of influence over Western culture, ranging from Italian food and wine to fashion and more. It’s a country in Europe that can’t be missed. On your visit, you can try the best pizza and pasta first hand, see the latest fashions modelled by locals on the street and experience the destinations that you see in movies such as Florence, Rome, Sicily, Venice and more.

  • Best for: Food and wine, culture, history, scenic sites, relaxation.
  • Where is it? Southern Europe.
  • Top 5 things to see/do: Ride a gondola in Venice, spend time in colourful Cinque Terre, visit historic sites in Rome, do a wine tasting in Tuscany and eat the world’s best pizza in Naples.
  • How long do I need? 1-4 weeks.
  • Recommended tour: A Taste of Italy tour shows you the best places in Italy from the Colosseum in Rome to Juliet’s balcony in Verona and everything in between with an expert guide.

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2. France

It’s difficult to find a city more romantic or European than France. France is a diverse country filled with history, beauty, world-class wine, famous food and fashion. In Paris, the cobblestone streets are lined with beautiful buildings, and in the south, you’ll find picturesque Mediterranean views. In the east, the French Alps are famous for its skiing.

  • Best for: Food and wine, history, scenic sites, beach holidays and winter activities.
  • Where is it? Western Europe.
  • Top 5 things to see/do: Get lost on the streets of Paris, relax on the beaches of Nice, spend a day exploring Versailles, hit the slopes of Mont Blanc and unleash your inner foodie in Lyon.
  • How long do I need? 1-4 weeks.
  • Recommended tour: The Highlights of France tour allows you to see the must-see spots in the country in just nine days without being rushed from Paris to Nice.

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3. England

England is home to London, one of the most visited cities in the world, as well as the Beatles and Big Ben.

The countryside is full of lush green rolling hills and quaint towns while the cities draw attention for their multicultural population, history and world-renowned tourist sites.

England is a breeze to travel though and has something for everyone.

  • Best for: History, cities, scenic country sites.
  • Where is it? North-western Europe.
  • Top 5 things to see/do: Check out the must-see attractions in London, take a trip to Stonehenge, follow in the footsteps of Harry Potter on a tour in London, see history up close at Cambridge University and catch a football game in Manchester.
  • How long do I need? 1-4 weeks.
  • Recommended tour: In 7 days on a Taste of England tour, you’ll be able to visit 18 different destinations across the country that highlight all of the cultural aspects of the country.

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4. Portugal

Portugal is often an underrated destination in Europe, but it shouldn’t be overlooked. The colourful streets of Lisbon are packed with culture, Porto has gorgeous city views along the river, Douro Valley is famed for producing port wine and the south is filled with stunning Mediterranean beaches.

Food, culture and cheap prices make Portugal a must-visit destination.

  • Best for: Beaches, history, culture, scenic sites, food and wine, budget holidays.
  • Where is it? South-western Europe.
  • Top 5 things to see/do: Try port wine in Douro Valley, listen to fado music in Lisbon, take in the colourful sites of Sintra, discover the history of Porto and kayak and snorkel in Lagos.
  • How long do I need? 1-3 weeks.
  • Recommended tour: The Portugal In Depth tour takes you to 13 destinations across Portugal, ranging from Lisbon to all of the best spots in the south.

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5. Ireland

Ireland is a magical country with a rugged landscape that will impress everyone.

With greenery that spans the country and the unbeatable Irish humour as well as the welcoming pubs, charming towns and history that dates back centuries, Ireland is a country that cannot be missed.

It’s the perfect country for road trips and it’s not just the landscape that makes this country so beautiful but also the people.

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6. Spain

Spain is more diverse than you could ever imagine with shores that reach the Mediterranean, snow-capped mountains, hilltop towns and sprawling cities that are so colourful they look as if they’ve come out of a painting.

You can enjoy a number of different experiences in Spain. You could hike through nature, eat your way across the country, see art come to life in front of your eyes, dive into the history or join a fiesta.

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7. Netherlands

The Netherlands, best known for its capital city Amsterdam, is a country with a flat landscape, numerous tulip fields, iconic windmills and canals.

The Netherlands holds a ton of history, including the story of Anne Frank, and artists such as Rembrandt have been inspired by the land. Cycling routes run throughout the country and cheese wheels are abundant.

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8. Greece

Greece is an idyllic country made of up thousands of islands known for their beaches, parties and iconic white and blue buildings.

The country holds so much ancient history that you could spend an entire trip just exploring magnificent ruins.

Greek culture, tradition and food have spread throughout the world, but there’s nothing like experiencing it all first hand from the capital city of Athens to the shores of Santorini.

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9. Germany

Germany is famous for more than just beer, but that’s exactly what you’ll find in Munich.

In Berlin, there’s some of the best nightlife in the world, and throughout the country, there are forests and historical sites. You can also find beaches in the north.

Signs of traditional Germany still appear at Oktoberfest and WWII history is ever present. You can also enjoy the hearty, delicious dishes served in local restaurants.

  • Best for: History, culture, beer.
  • Where is it? Western Europe.
  • Top 5 things to see/do: Experience Oktoberfest in Munich, visit Neuschwanstein castle, see history at a concentration camp, bike along the Berlin Wall and shop at the Christmas markets in Nuremberg.
  • How long do I need? 1-3 weeks.
  • Recommended tour: A Best of Germany tour will take you on a cruise along the Rhine River, through the black forest, to picturesque Nuremberg and more in 12 days.

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10. Iceland

Iceland has taken off as one of the best places to visit in the world and with good reason.

This Nordic region has dramatic landscapes, incredible waterfalls and is one of the top spots to see the Northern Lights.

In Iceland, you can discover the unique culture, see wildlife and explore the country through many outdoor adventures.

  • Best for: Scenic sites, outdoor activities, adventure, nature.
  • Where is it? North-western Europe.
  • Top 5 things to see/do: Relax at the Blue Lagoon, catch the Northern Lights, visit the West Fjords, travel around the Golden Circle and explore Reykjavik.
  • How long do I need? 1-2 weeks.
  • Recommended tour: Iceland Discovery tour will take you to nine destinations in Iceland, including the famous Ring Road, fjords and waterfalls.

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Top tour deals in Europe

Deal

Up to 30% off New Zealand car rentals

Available on select dates. Destinations include Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Queenstown and more. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Up to 30% off advance purchase

Available on stays across Europe when you book at least 21 days in advance. Pre-payment is required. T&Cs apply.

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