15 Best Places to Visit in Europe for First-Timers

November 29, 2023

Dive into the charm of the Best Places to Visit in Europe. From historic wonders to breathtaking landscapes – your Euro adventure begins!

With its rich tapestry of cultures, history, and breathtaking landscapes, Europe beckons first-time travelers to explore its diverse wonders. Explore the best European cities and vibrant villages with this guide because it showcases diverse cultures and celebrates customs, history, legends, and cuisine. Whether you’re a tourist or a travel enthusiast, this list is your go-to for an unforgettable experience.

Embarking on Your European Adventure – Best Places to Visit in Europe

Zitango Travel reveals the 15 Best Places to Visit in Europe for First-Timers, whether you’re captivated by the romantic allure of Paris or the ancient history of Rome. The list ensures your journey is both memorable and enriching, guiding you through the continent’s most captivating destinations.

 

1. Paris, France: A Symphony of Romance

Palais de Chaillot, Paris, France
Palais de Chaillot, Paris, France

The capital of France, often hailed as the City of Love, is a destination that resonates with romance at every cobblestone corner. From the iconic Eiffel Tower to the charming Montmartre district, the city weaves a symphony of romance that captures the hearts of visitors. Furthermore, let’s embark on a journey through the enchanting streets of Paris, exploring its timeless allure and the myriad ways it embodies the essence of love.

Highlights of Paris: The Eiffel Tower: A Timeless Icon, Charming Cafés and boulangeries, Seine River: A Love Story in Itself, Art and Romance: Louvre and Musée d’Orsay, Montmartre: Bohemian Love Nest, Fashion Forward: Parisian Style, Love Locks on Pont des Arts, Hidden Gems: Secret Gardens of Paris, Lights, Camera, Romance: The City at Night

Best Time to Visit: March to May and September to October

How many days is enough to visit: 4-5 days

Zitango’s Sample Itinerary: Paris Mon Amour – A French Classic

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2. Barcelona, Spain: Architectural Marvels Await

Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona, Spain

The city, adorned with the genius of Antoni Gaudí, invites you to explore its artistic wonders because it is a captivating showcase of his creative brilliance. From the surreal Sagrada Família to the vibrant mosaic-filled Park Güell, the architecture is a visual feast for first-time visitors. Moreover, the city that seamlessly blends the old and the new is a testament to architectural brilliance and cultural richness. Embark on a journey through the enchanting streets of Barcelona, uncovering its architectural marvels and vibrant atmosphere.

Highlights of Barcelona: Exploring Sagrada Familia, The Artistry of Park Güell, Casa Batlló: A Modernist Masterpiece, Gothic Quarter: Historical Beauty, La Rambla: Barcelona’s Vibrant Boulevard, Culinary Delights in Barcelona.

Best Time to Visit: April, May, September, and October

How many days is enough to visit: 2-3 days

Zitango’s Sample Itinerary: Spain – Madrid, Valencia, Barcelona by train

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3. Rome, Italy: One of The Best Places to Visit in Europe

Vatican City, Rome, Italy
Vatican City, Rome, Italy

Rome is one of the best cities to visit in the world. Every cobblestone tells a story here because history breathes through its ancient ruins. As you step onto its timeless streets, you are transported to an era where gladiators battled in the Colosseum, emperors walked the Roman Forum, and artistic masterpieces adorned the Vatican City. Furthermore, immerse yourself in the Colosseum’s grandeur, marvel at the Vatican City’s treasures, and savor authentic Italian cuisine.

Highlights of Rome: Exploring the Colosseum, The Majestic Pantheon, A Glimpse into the Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, The Birthplace of Rome, Vatican City: The Spiritual Heart of Rome, The Timeless Beauty of the Sistine Chapel, Exploring the Vibrant Markets of Rome, Charming Trastevere Neighborhood.

Best Time to Visit: Spring and Early Fall

How many days is enough to visit: 4-7 days

Zitango’s Sample Itinerary: The Ancient City of Rome

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4. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Canals and Culture

Canal Waterway in Amsterdam
Canal Waterway in Amsterdam

Amsterdam’s canals and culture are inseparable facets of this enchanting city. The intertwining waterways provide a scenic backdrop and serve as the lifeblood of Amsterdam’s rich cultural heritage. Moreover, navigating through the canals, exploring cultural districts, and savoring culinary delights create an immersive experience that defines the essence of this unique destination.

Highlights of Amsterdam: Canal Tours and Boat Rides, Van Gogh Museum, Dam Square, Canal-Side Cafes and Restaurants, Anne Frank House, Rijksmuseum, Red Light District, Jordaan District.

Best Time to Visit: April to May and September to November

How many days is enough to visit: 2-4 days

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5. Prague, Czech Republic: A Fairytale in the Heart of Europe

Bridges in Prague
Bridges in Prague

The fairytale charm of Prague captivates first-time visitors. Additionally, wander through cobblestone streets, marvel at the majestic Prague Castle, and cross the enchanting Charles Bridge for a magical experience. Furthermore, this enchanting destination has captivated travelers with its historical charm, cultural riches, vibrant nightlife, and natural beauty.

Highlights of Prague: Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, Old Town Square, Astronomical Clock, Wenceslas Square, Josefov (Jewish Quarter), Petrin Hill and Petrin Tower, Vyšehrad, National Museum.

Best Time to Visit: Spring and fall (April, May and September, October)

How many days is enough to visit: 3-4 days

Zitango’s Sample Itinerary: Royal Tour – Budapest, Vienna & Prague

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6. Santorini, Greece: Aegean Beauty Unveiled

Santorini, Greece
Santorini, Greece

A beautiful Greek island in the southern Aegean Sea is one of Europe’s best places to visit. It is part of the Cyclades group of islands and is known for its stunning landscapes, white-washed buildings with blue domes, crystal-clear waters, and breathtaking sunsets. In essence, Santorini, Greece, is a testament to the beauty of the Aegean. Moreover, in this place, nature’s wonders and human creativity converge, creating an unforgettable tapestry of sights, tastes, and experiences.

Highlights of Santorini: Caldera Views, Sunset in Oia, Unique Architecture, Archaeological Sites,
Red Beach, Wine Tasting, Fira and Firostefani, Boat Tours to Neighboring Islands, Hiking Trails.

Best Time to Visit: late April to early June and September to early November

How many days is enough to visit: 3-5 days

Zitango’s Sample Itinerary: Greece – Cyclades Endless Love

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7. Edinburgh, Scotland: A Tapestry of History and Tradition

Edinburgh Castle, Scotland
Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

Scotland’s capital city is a living testament to the rich tapestry of history and tradition that defines this picturesque destination. Moreover, nestled between the rolling hills and the scenic coastline, the city seamlessly blended its medieval past with a vibrant modern present. Enjoy the city’s festivals, explore the Royal Mile, and experience the rich cultural scene.

Highlights of Edinburgh: Edinburgh Castle, Royal Mile, Holyrood Palace, Arthur’s Seat, National Museum of Scotland, Scottish National Gallery, Old Town and New Town, Scott Monument, Greyfriars Kirkyard, and Bobby’s Statue, Dynamic Earth, Scotch Whisky Experience.

Best Time to Visit: June to August

How many days is enough to visit: 2-3 days

Zitango’s Sample Itinerary: Scotland Highlights

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8. Vienna, Austria: The Capital of Classical Elegance

Schonbrunn Palace, Vienna
Schonbrunn Palace, Vienna

Vienna, the capital of Austria, stands as a testament to the enduring charm of classical elegance. Steeped in history and culture, this European gem effortlessly blends the grandeur of imperial palaces with the artistic resonance of classical music. Furthermore, Vienna, a city synonymous with classical music, invites you to indulge in its cultural richness. Attend a classical concert, wander through grand palaces, and savor the elegance of this European capital.

Highlights of Vienna: Schönbrunn Palace, Hofburg Palace, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Belvedere Palace, Vienna State Opera, Museums Quartier, Ringstrasse (Ring Road), Vienna Woods (Wienerwald), Vienna Coffee Culture, Naschmarkt, Vienna Secession Building, Hundertwasserhaus

Best Time to Visit: April to May or September to October

How many days is enough to visit: 3 days

Zitango’s Sample Itinerary: Vienna & Austria Tours & Vacations

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9. Istanbul, Turkey: Bridging Continents, Blending Cultures

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey
Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul’s unique position, straddling Europe and Asia, offers a cultural melting pot. Moreover, explore the Hagia Sophia, wander through the Grand Bazaar, and experience this vibrant city’s fascinating blend of East and West. Furthermore, Istanbul’s allure lies not just in its historical monuments but in the lively spirit of its people, welcoming visitors to experience a unique blend of tradition and modernity.

Highlights of Istanbul: Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, Grand Bazaar, Bosphorus Strait, Spice Bazaar, Galata Tower, Istiklal Avenue, Chora Church, Dolmabahçe Palace, Asian Side of Istanbul

Best Time to Visit: mid-spring, in April and May, and also fall, from September to October

How many days is enough to visit: 4 days

Zitango’s Sample Itinerary: Turkey – Aegean Pearl

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10. Budapest, Hungary: Thermal Baths and Architectural Gems

Buda Royal Palace, Budapest, Hungary
Buda Royal Palace, Budapest, Hungary

One of the Best Places to Visit in Europe is Budapest, the capital of Hungary, which stands as a testament to the harmonious blend of history, architecture, and wellness. Moreover, this enchanting city is not just a European destination; it’s a journey through time and a haven for those seeking both relaxation and cultural enrichment. Budapest’s thermal baths, including the iconic Széchenyi Baths, offer relaxation because of stunning architecture. Additionally, you can explore the Buda Castle, take a cruise along the Danube, and discover the unique charm of Hungary’s capital.

Highlights of Budapest: Buda Castle, Fisherman’s Bastion, Parliament Building, Chain Bridge, Heroes’ Square, Thermal Baths, St. Stephen’s Basilica, Great Market Hall, Danube Promenade, Ruin Bars, Margaret Island, Memento Park

Best Time to Visit: spring and fall — May, June, September, and early October

How many days is enough to visit: 3 days

Zitango’s Sample Itinerary: Royal Tour – Budapest, Vienna & Prague

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11. Swiss Alps, Switzerland: Majestic Beauty Year-Round

Swiss Alps and Lakes, Switzerland
Swiss Alps and Lakes, Switzerland

With their majestic peaks, the Alps in Switzerland generally offer an unparalleled experience for first-time travelers. Moreover, nestled in the heart of Europe, the Swiss Alps stand as a majestic testament to nature’s grandeur. Renowned for their snow-capped peaks and breathtaking landscapes, the Swiss Alps offer a year-round allure that extends far beyond the winter wonderland many associate with this iconic region. Whether skiing in winter or hiking in summer, the alpine villages like Zermatt provide a picturesque backdrop.

Highlights of the Swiss Alps: Matterhorn, Jungfraujoch, Eiger, Interlaken, Swiss National Park, Lake Geneva, Zermatt, Engadin Valley, Aletsch Glacier, Lauterbrunnen Valley, Bernese Oberland, Schilthorn.

Best Time to Visit: spring and fall — Summertime -May through September / Winter time -December to March

How many days is enough to visit: 3-7 days

Zitango’s Sample Itinerary: Northern Italy & Switzerland

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12. Dubrovnik, Croatia: The Pearl of the Adriatic

Dubrovnik, Croatia
Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik, often hailed as the “Pearl of the Adriatic,” is a captivating city that seamlessly blends rich history, stunning architecture, and breathtaking natural beauty. Nestled on the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia, this UNESCO World Heritage Site has become a must-visit destination for travelers seeking a perfect harmony of culture and relaxation. Additionally, Dubrovnik’s medieval walls and terracotta rooftops create a mesmerizing scene. Walk the city walls for panoramic views, explore Game of Thrones filming locations, and immerse yourself in the city’s rich history.

Highlights of Dubrovnik, Croatia: City Walls, Old Town, Rector’s Palace, Sponza Palace, Dubrovnik Cathedral, Onofrio’s Fountain, Fort Lovrijenac, Lokrum Island, Dubrovnik Cable Car, Pile Gate and Ploče Gate, War Photo Limited, Banje Beach

Best Time to Visit: April to mid-June and mid-September to mid-October

How many days is enough to visit: 3-4 days

Zitango’s Sample Itinerary: The Best of Croatia

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13. Copenhagen, Denmark: Nordic Delights Await

Copenhagen, Denmark
Copenhagen, Denmark

The capital city of Denmark’s laid-back charm and innovative design captivate first-time visitors. Additionally, Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, is a Nordic gem that seamlessly blends rich history, stunning architecture, and a commitment to sustainability. This city, situated on the eastern coast of the island of Zealand, welcomes visitors with open arms, offering a delightful fusion of historical marvels, architectural wonders, and natural beauty. Moreover, explore the colorful Nyhavn waterfront, visit the iconic Little Mermaid statue, and experience the city’s unique blend of history and modernity.

Highlights of Copenhagen, Denmark: Nyhavn, The Little Mermaid, Tivoli Gardens, The National Museum of Denmark, The Round Tower, Christiansborg Palace, The National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen Opera House, Freetown Christiania, The National Aquarium Denmark, Copenhagen Contemporary, Copenhagen Street Food on Papirøen (Paper Island)

Best Time to Visit:  March to May or between June and August

How many days is enough to visit: 3-4 days

Zitango’s Sample Itinerary: Arctic Route – Finland and Norway

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14. Dublin, Ireland: Literary Haven and Lively Pubs

Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland
Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland

Dublin, Ireland, is not just a city; it celebrates literature and a symphony of lively pubs. Moreover, as you stroll through its cobblestone streets, you can almost feel the whispers of literary greats and hear the laughter emanating from its historic pubs. Let’s embark on a journey through Dublin’s literary legacy and its vibrant pub culture. Dublin, a UNESCO City of Literature, also invites book lovers to explore its literary heritage. Another place to visit is Trinity College’s Old Library. Delve into the Book of Kells, and immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant pub culture.

Highlights of Dublin, Ireland: Trinity College and the Book of Kells, Dublin Castle, Temple Bar District, Guinness Storehouse, Dublin Zoo, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin Writers Museum, National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology, Dublin’s Spire (Monument of Light), Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin Bay and Howth, Chester Beatty Library

Best Time to Visit: June to August

How many days is enough to visit: 3-4 days

Zitango’s Sample Itinerary: Magnificence of Irish Culture

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15. Stockholm, Sweden: Archipelago Beauty and Scandinavian Elegance

Stockholm, Sweden
Stockholm, Sweden

The capital city of Sweden, where the archipelago’s natural beauty meets the elegance of Scandinavian culture. Furthermore, in this vibrant city, each cobblestone street tells a story, and each island in the archipelago is a chapter waiting to be explored. Spread across 14 islands, Stockholm generally seamlessly combines modernity with natural beauty. Discover the Vasa Museum, stroll through the charming medieval center of Gamla Stan, and embrace the Scandinavian allure. Let’s dive into the unique blend of nature and sophistication that defines Stockholm.

Highlights of Stockholm, Sweden: Gamla Stan (Old Town), Vasa Museum, Skansen, Djurgården, Royal Palace (Kungliga Slottet), City Hall (Stadshuset), The ABBA Museum, The Stockholm Archipelago, Moderna Museet, Nobel Museum, Drottningholm Palace, Nordiska Museet, Stockholm City Hall

Best Time to Visit: May to September

How many days is enough to visit: 3 days

Zitango’s Sample Itinerary: Capitals of the North – Denmark, Norway and Sweden

Crafting Your European Odyssey between 15 Best Places to Visit in Europe

Your journey through Europe as a first-time explorer promises to be a captivating adventure. From the iconic landmarks of Paris to the hidden gems of Istanbul, each destination on this list offers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. Pack your bags, embrace the diversity, and let Europe’s wonders unfold before you.

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