The 10 Best European Countries to Visit in 2023
With so much variation in climate, culture, language, and history, the list of the best countries to visit in Europe would be different for every person. We compiled a diverse list to satisfy any type of traveler.
Let’s jump right into it!
The Best European Countries to Visit
If you’re on a quest for the most beautiful European country, remember that all roads lead to Rome. And along with the roads, some buildings such as the Pantheon are still in use, two millennia and counting. Speaking of beauty, we can’t omit the maze of Venetian streets or museums filled with marvels such as Boticelli’s Birth of Venus. Or anything in Florence.
And yes, the food. At the heart of Mediterranean cuisine, you’ll find wine, pasta, and pizza, but also delicacies such as arancini and cannoli in the South. Italy, especially the South, is one of the best countries in Europe to visit in April, as it’s still not too hot or as crowded.
With all things beautiful we have to mention the Amalfi Coast, stunning enough to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With it, the cypress trees of Tuscany, Mount Etna, the Dolomite glaciers, and the Emerald Coast make Italy one of the top European destinations.
For many, France is synonymous with iconic fashion, cultural events, the arts, and among them, the art of living. Over 48 million people buzzed to its cities and countryside havens according to the latest numbers, making it the most visited European country.
While Paris is essential on any travel list, there is so much more to the most popular EU country than the City of Light. From getting lost in entrancing chateaus to skiing in the French Alps, from getting lost at the Nice Carnival to relaxing with a glass half-full in Burgundy, whatever you want from your travels—you’ll find it in L'Hexagone.
The fact that it offers such a vast array of experiences while remaining proudly authentic (try moving to France without speaking the language!) makes France one of the best countries to visit in Europe.
Greece is the cradle of European civilization, so its historical monuments are a must-see, from the Minotaur’s palace in Crete to the Acropolis and Parthenon in Athens, or the Meteora monastery complex. Take a walk in the Plaka district in Athens, or visit any of the gorgeous historical villages.
Crave a summer vacation with your family? Greece is among the best European countries to visit with kids. The Ionian and Aegean seas are warm, with many kid-friendly beaches.
It’s also one of the best European countries to visit in September when the tourist season wanes, but the weather and the sea remain pleasant and perfect for swimming and sunbathing. Cruises, Greek wine, and light, fresh, and tasty food will help you forget about your worries.
Spain is one of the most visited European countries, just slightly behind France. And it’s not hard to see why—otherworldly Barcelona inspires you with its nightlife and architecture (Gaudi!), Madrid charms you with its cosmopolitan feel and culture, and Bilbao gives you the Guggenheim.
Valencia, with its stunning blend of the historical and the futuristic, could easily make you feel like Spain is the most beautiful country in Europe. In the west, the town of Cáceres lures you in its time-traveling, fantasy setting.
And don’t forget the South. Seville gives you the Spanish guitar, flamenco, wine, and the Alcázar castle. In Andalusia, you’ll fall in love with the Alhambra, and the Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba, while its nature and the beaches will leave you speechless. And for night owls that are young at heart, life in Spain might be a thrilling source of inspiration.
If you enjoy the great outdoors, you will definitely find Sweden to be one of the most beautiful countries in Europe. In Sweden, you can enjoy 30 national parks and accommodations built to keep you close to nature, from tree houses to Viking-inspired camping sites. In the north, you can experience the Midnight Sun, learn about reindeer from the Sami people, and watch the Northern Lights (in winter).
From futuristic design wonders in Stockholm to the architecture of Gothenburg, to the Viking settlements of Birka, Sweden is a Scandinavian gem you have to experience. Also, if you're adventurous and athletic, you'll find Sweden to be the best place to explore your wild side.
And not just for canoeing or hiking, but for dancing as well—Gothenburg has one of the largest festivals in the world with over 700,000 visitors. With outdoor experiences at its center and famously open-minded people, it’s one of the most interesting countries in Europe.
6. The United Kingdom
The UK with its cool, oceanic climate and long, turbulent history is one of the best countries in Europe to visit. Its pristine, green landscapes will satisfy any adventurous spirit, while its culture and history, as well as shopping opportunities regardless of budget offer something to any type of traveler.
Visit the country’s charming castles with many grim and exciting stories, green Edinburgh, and the Lake District famous for its poetic walks. The Tower of London will strike you with awe, while all fans of the royals will love Buckingham Palace. And while English food doesn’t have the best reputation, no foodie will be left disappointed by London’s offer of restaurants.
Apart from the capital, don’t miss out on Cambridge University, the city of Bath, or the heart of the industrial revolution in Manchester. There is of course, Stonehenge, attracting travelers since prehistoric times, or the Cotswolds, with rural scenery that helps the UK rank among the most popular countries in Europe.
7. The Netherlands
The Netherlands is one of the best European countries to visit in April when its tulip fields blossom in magnificent colors. The canals interspersing the country and windmills that enrich its scenery make it one of the prettiest countries in Europe.
Holland offers something both to the partygoer and the family vacationer. Amsterdam is one of the party capitals of Europe, but it also offers outstanding architecture.
For a relaxing vacation that is sure to please your eyes, visit the Venice of Netherlands, and ride a boat through its fairytale streets. Rotterdam and Eindhoven are two of the coolest places in Europe, especially for design and photography enthusiasts, boasting outstanding modern architecture.
Sitting in the Atlantic ocean is one of the most beautiful European countries, Iceland. The small island country is unlike anything you’ve seen before, brimming with volcanoes, geysers, and glaciers.
Iceland is one of the coolest countries in Europe for those who want a different experience, especially nature lovers. Relaxing in hot geothermal spas like the Blue Lagoon and Mývatn is worth booking a plane ticket immediately, and so are glaciers, waterfalls, and volcano rock formations that look like they’re from another planet.
Iceland is one of the best European countries to visit in June, especially if you want to experience the 24-hour day or go on a whale-watching tour. On the other hand, the winter offers the Northern Lights, so if you are a child of the night, it's best to go between September and April.
9. The Czech Republic
So many things make the Czech Republic one of the top countries to visit in Europe. The Golden City of Prague, the country’s beautifully preserved historical buildings, amazing food, and world-famous beer.
Have time for only one city? Obviously, make it the Mother of Cities and visit Prague Castle, the Charles Bridge, and gorgeous streets that will inspire you to keep discovering them. Also, the capital’s centuries-old pubs and breweries make the Czech Republic the best country to visit in Europe for beer lovers.
The rest of the country is just as remarkable. We’ll name just a few teasers: the skeleton chapel in Kutná Hora, the city of Brno famous for its architecture, or Český Krumlov, a town so picturesque you’ll want to get lost in it.
While it’s not the most famous tourist destination, Germany is still one of the best countries to travel to in Europe. Its cities, charming villages, natural beauties, and countless castles will give you a unique perspective of the continent.
Berlin offers insight into the darker side of German history, however, it also offers the gorgeous Museum Island, Sanssouci, and the Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf. The Oktoberfest in Munich is a must for beer lovers, along with the fairytale castle of Neuschwanstein. Don’t miss Dresden and its renewed architecture, and see why so many people choose to live in Germany.
If you don’t mind the cold, Germany is one of the best European countries to visit in December, as it’s famous for its Christmas markets and the magical atmosphere in the city squares.
It’s time to let go of some of that stress and plan your next trip! We hope you added some of the best European countries to visit to your bucket list, and that you’ll experience the beauty and charm of these places. Happy travels!