What are the top 3 summer destinations in Europe this year? You voted, and here are the results!
First, we wish to thank took part in these choices. An amazing 320,793 people voted, including people from Tourism offices, community managers, and many others. Here is what they chose:
1. Wroclaw – Poland
Wroclaw won the top spot as the Best European Destination this year!
Wroclaw’s is nicknamed “Polish Venice” because of the beautiful canals throughout the city. The city has over 120 bridges connecting its 12 fascinating islands, including Cathedral Island.
You will be enchanted the moment you walk into Wroclaw’s Market Square “Rynek”. The square features both of the city’s Town Halls, Salt Market Square, the scintillating Flower Market, and a covered market you can spend hours exploring. Then you can take a stroll across the elegant campus of the University, or check out the grandeur of Centennial Hall and the Botanical Garden.
All of your explorings will have you ready for lunch. Step back in time and enjoy lunch at Piwnica Swidnicka, the world’s oldest restaurant. Since you are exploring the history, stroll through Ostrow Tumski, the most ancient area of the city of Wroclaw. You will be entranced with its historical beauty.
Pay close attention as you explore Wroclaw to see if you can spot the emblematic dwarves hidden throughout the city. Every dwarf is unique. You could spend the entire day trying to find all 350 dwarves, especially since new ones are added every year. Want to try something a little different? Explore Wroclaw by both, or with an electric car tour.
The best part of Wroclaw is not the sites and dwarves, it is the people. They are fantastic hosts. You will discover they are excited to share stories about their city and help you discover hidden sights.
2. Bilbao – Spain
Bilbao grabbed the second spot as a top destination in Europe with a stunning 39,845 votes. Bilbao is hard to understand until you visit, then you will want to return again and again. Bilbao is a city of constant change, a unique window to the world. It has become a destination loved by families, including parents, grandparents, children, and grandchildren. They laugh and play among the pleasant evenings as they wander through the streets and alleys of Bilbao’s historic centre, Casco Viejo.
Bilbao is connected to the sea by the Estuary of Bilbao River, similar to Porto and Bordeaux who were winners of top Europe destinations in 2015 and 2017. The food is fabulous and the wines enticing.
Exploring Bilbao will lead you to many incredible discoveries. Take time to explore the Guggenheim Museum and The Bilbao Fine Arts Museum. Waltz over to the Rioja Wine Region to discover beautiful landscapes. Are you a fan of sustainable tourism? Then you don’t want to miss County of Goeirri and their amazing Idiazabal Cheese. Explore the Basque Country and their world famous cuisine. An easy way to explore is taking the Guggenheim and Gourmet Pintxos Tour.
You can take a step back into medieval times by expanding your tour to include the towns of Balmaseda and Orduna. The incredible Basque Coast is just 30 minutes away from the town centre.
Bilbao is the where Basque country and the rest of the world connect. Another fun thing to do in Bilbao is to sign up for Basque cooking lessons. Make sure you book your stay in Bilbao quickly before local hotels are full. The city of San Sebastian is just one hour away from Bilbao and is another great destination. Enjoy your time exploring Basque country.
3. Athens – Greece
Athens manages to make it into our top 10 choices every year, and this year was selected as the #3 top destinations with 19,424 votes. Athens is a top tourist destination for Europeans seeking their roots, and for travellers from around the globe.
Athens is a city of legends, history, and the birthplace of European philosophy. The city merges its unique history and incredible historical sites with a bustling modern city moving into a bright future. Visitors come to Athens to explore ancient architecture, monuments, and the Plaka district. They get immersed in Greek dining, exciting shopping, and the city’s nightlife. Athens is only 15 minutes from the sea, making it a great place to stay when you want a mix of history and sun.
Tourists quickly discover the people of Athens are excited to share information on what gastronomical delights you should try, and how to find tourist treasures. A fun day excursion is taking the train to Meteora. Make sure you book your flight and hotel well in advance as places like the Paloma Orenda Resort get booked up very quickly.