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Best Places to Visit in Europe: 27 Things You Have to Do

Best Places to Visit in Europe: 27 Things You Have to Do

Deciding the best places to visit in Europe can be overwhelming. To help you plan the perfect European travel itinerary we’ve asked our fellow travel experts to recommend their must do adventures in Europe. The more remote the better!

Check out this  list of the top 27 things you have to do in Europe. Our contributors suggested a unique mix of must-see points of interest, historic sites, must do activities & tips for foodie fun giving travelers the option to see and do things in Europe that are sure to make memories.

Discover The Best Places to Visit in Europe:

Points of Interest Historic Sites Activities Foodie Fun
Berlengas Islands
Kay Dougherty’s Pick
See Ancient Ruins of the Soviet Buzludzha Monument
Will Hatton’s Pick
Hike the French Alps
Janice Chung’s Pick
Become a Pizza Expert
Emi Ribgy’s Pick
Iceland’s Lava Caves
Bruised Passport’s Pick
Corrie Ten Boom House
Howard Blount’s Pick
Hoist a Ginja with the Locals
Jayme Hengrique’s Pick
Take a Cooking Class in Paris
Bob Caputo’s Pick
Marble Quarries of Italy
Margie Miklas’s Pick
Visit the Calanais Standing Stones
Steve Jarvis’ Pick
Sled in Switzerland
Shaun’s Pick
Taste the Freshest Seafood
Lynne’s Pick
Basque Country, Spain
Jules Hatfield’s Pick
Visit Barcelona’s Golden Quarter
Andre Arriaza’s Pick
Rent a Boat on Lake Bled
Daniel’s Pick
Eat at Barcelona’s Boqueria Market
Marta’s Pick
Zakopane, Poland
Natasha’s Pick
See a Medieval Castle
Charles’ Pick
Climb Mount Trebevic
Gemma’s Pick
Take a Wine Tour in Slovenia
Klarisa Klee’s Pick
Sa Calobra Beach, Mallorca, Spain
Avichai’s Pick
Visit a Thousand Year Old Cave Hotel
Mindi’s Pick
Travel on a Luxury Barge
Amie’s Pick
Cordoba Patio Festival in Spain
Sher’s Pick
Paddle the Lagos Coastline
Daisy’s Pick
See the Amalfi Coast
Suze’s Pick
Experience Plitvice Falls
Shirley Hollick’s Pick

1. Location: Berlengas Islands, Portugal 

Berlengas Islands Portugal

Berlengas Islands in Portugal. Picture courtesy of Blonde Brunette Travel.

“If you go to Lisbon set aside time for a day trip to the Berlengas Islands. The islands are a UNESCO World Heritage site and have had human occupation since 1 millennium B.C. An old monastery was built to provide religious teaching to sailors. That may not have worked out as it is now an excellent, casual seafood restaurant. There’s also St. John the Baptist Fort where two dozen Portuguese men defeated an invasion of 100s of Spaniards in the 16th century. You can hike along several trails and snorkel at one of the beaches and have a break from city life for the day.”

Location: Located off the Cape of Peniche, Portugal

Contributor: Kay Dougherty is the blonde contributor to Blonde Brunette Travel, a humorous (and surprisingly useful) blog about the adventures of two Baby Boomer sisters traveling the world.

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2. Historic Site: Ancient Ruins of the Soviet Buzludzha Monument

Ancient Ruins of the Soviet Buzludzha Monument courtesy of Will Hatton

Will Hatton's Headshot“The ancient ruins of the Soviet Buzludzha Monument in the Bulgarian countryside… You can get inside winding tunnels covered with striking graffiti and climb a zillion ladders to reach the top of the tower. Peering through the shattered glass remains of the rub star, striking views of rolling hills and dancing clouds across the plains of Bulgaria… The holy grail of urban exploring and a hell of a place to kick back and soak in the view, this is my favorite off the beaten track trip in Eastern Europe.”

Location: Kran, Bulgaria

Contributor: Will Hatton is a writer and photographer. Adventurer and vagabond. Master of the handstand pushup. Conqueror of mountains, survivor of deserts and crusader for cheap escapades. Will is currently hitchhiking from England to Papau New Guinea, a journey which will take over two years. Will blogs over at The Broke Backpacker about his adventures in some of the world’s least visited countries.

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3. Attraction: Lava Caves, Iceland

Grjótagjá

Grjótagjá-Lava Caves in Iceland. Picture courtesy of Bruised Passport.

Savi and Vid of Bruised Passport“Hidden off the bustling ring road in the North of Iceland is a small lava cave with a natural hot spring inside. It’s called Grjótagjá, and other than the inconspicuous marking on the ring road, you wouldn’t find much reference to this offbeat gem. Locating it can be difficult but once you get there, you’ll probably have the whole place to yourself. What’s more, entering the cave through a tiny opening lends that adventurous touch to the experience. On a cold freezing day a dip in the naturally heated pool is as relaxing as a massage. Bring a bottle of wine and enjoy the toasty warmth of the mineral rich water.”

Location: Northern Iceland

Contributor: Savi and Vid are a journalist and photographer duo who love doing road trips around the world. They blog about their colorful adventures over on their blog Bruised Passports.

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4. Activity: Take a Pizza Making Class from the Experts

Pizza Making Class Naples Italy

Learn to make pizza from the experts! Picture courtesy of Well Traveled Wife.

Well travelled wife“A pizza-making class in Naples was one of our favorite European experiences! Flipping pizza dough and spreading homemade sauce in the birthplace of pizza itself was one for the memory books, and our homemade creations tasted pretty amazing if I do say so myself :) Now I love pizza even more than before!”

Location: Naples, Italy

Contributor: Emi Rigby lives in San Francisco and documents her travels around the world on her food & travel blog Well Traveled Wife.

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5. Point of Interest: Marble Quarries of Carrara, Italy

Carrara Marble Quarries

Carrara Marble Quarries Photo by Margie Miklas

Margie Miklas “Just 45 minutes by train from the touristy town of Pisa are the incredible operating quarries of Carrara, where the marble for Michelangelo’s David originated. Where the S-bends in the road are not for the faint of heart, this adventure takes you to the enormous Fantascritti quarries, 6000 feet above sea level, where marble is still being extracted from inside the mines as well as outside. Don’t miss it!”

Location: Carrara, Italy

Contributor: Margie Miklas is a travel blogger and published author who has a passion for Italy and can never get enough of it. Follow her on her blog, Margie In Italy.

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6. Historic Site: Corrie ten Boom House

Corrie Ten Boom House

Corrie Ten Boom House. Picture courtesy of Backroad Planet

Howard Blount Backroad Planet“The Corrie Ten Boom House, located in Haarlem, 20 km west of Amsterdam, Netherlands, gained notoriety through the book and movie The Hiding Place. The original home and secret room above the watchmaker’s shop is now a museum and living tribute to the author and her family who risked their lives to shelter Holland’s Jews during the Holocaust. When the lines are too long at the Anne Frank House, the Corrie ten Boom House is a worthy alternative!”

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Contributor:Howard Blount runs the travel web site Backroad Planet. He has traveled internationally since boyhood, and his passion is navigating the roads-less-traveled of this amazing planet in search of anything rare and remote.

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7. Destination: Explore Basque Country, Spain

San Sebastian Basque Country

San Sebastian, Basque Country. Picture courtesy of Don’t Forget to Move

dontforgettomove“If you’re travels take you to Spain, be sure to put aside some time to explore the Basque country. You’ll be surrounded by lush green rolling hills, rugged coastline, exception wine and a proud culture of people who know how to cook, eat and enjoy delicious food. You’ve got everything from adventure activities like hiking and surfing, to relaxing in the old towns with a local bottle of Txakoli and some pintxos!”

Location: Basque Country, Spain

Contributor: Jules is one-half of the website Don’t Forget to Move. Jules and partner Christine are adventure travel bloggers and responsible tourism advocates! You can find out all about their travels around the world at Don’t Forget To Move.

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8. Activity: Sledding in Switzerland

Sledding in Switzerland

Sledding in Switzerland. Picture courtesy of Life In Trips.

Shaun Robertson - This life in trips“Although Interlaken Switzerland is known as one of the world’s greatest extreme sport destination, nearby Grindelwald should not be overlooked. This hillside ski town is home to one of the most hilarious (and surprisingly dangerous) winter sports – tobogganing down a mountain. Guests can rent a hard piece of plastic and navigate their way down groomed trails that run along mountain ravines and drop offs. In my case, this meant a lot of snowplowing with my feet, getting completely covered in the process. I am not sure if my laughter or screams were louder, but an awesome experience either way.”

Location: Grindelwald, Switzerland

Contributor: Shaun is a lover of memorable experiences, great food, and overall awesome times. He lives to travel and aims to measure his life by the experiences gained through it. This Life in Trips is a collection of those experiences as well as a place to inspire and educate others who are looking to find more out of life and more out of travel.
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9. Activity: Rent a Paddle Boat on Lake Bled, Slovenia

Lake Bled, Slovenia

View from the boat on Lake Bled, Slovenia. Picture courtesy of Dan Flying Solo.

Dan Flying solo“Slovenia was a hidden gem until a few years ago but as more of its beauty is unleashed on the world the crowds are starting to flock. The picturesque Lake Bled with its little island tower in the middle and the impressive mountains surrounding it is equally as beautiful with snow capped tips in winter as it is in full green beauty mid summer. Be sure to skip the regular boat transfer to the little island and hire your own. Nothing beats a couple of hours paddling around the lake and soaking in the stunning nature surrounding you.”

Location: Lake Bled, Slovenia

Contributor: Dan is a travel photographer and writer who has been exploring the world full time for the past two years. He lives by the motto #BeyondTheGuidebook and loves hunting out stories and unique experiences that will be memories for years to come. He lives full time at Dan Flying Solo.
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10. Location: Zakopane, Poland

Rysy Mountain Zakopane Poland

Rysy Mountain Zakopane Poland. Picture courtesy of The World Pursuit.

Natasha Alden“In the south of Poland, about two hours away from Krakow, is the wonderful town of Zakopane. Zakopane lies at the foot of the Tatra Mountains, which are the highest mountain range in the Carpathian Mountains. An outdoor snow adventure here will make you feel like you’re in Switzerland at a fraction of the cost. Enjoy the fresh mountain air, hot mulled wine, and Oscypek cheese in Zakopane!”

Location: Zakopane, Poland

Contributor: Natasha is one-half of the website The World Pursuit. She has traveled to over 50 countries and 6 continents and is currently touring the world with her partner.

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11. Historic Site: The Calanais Standing Stones

Calanais Stones Courtesy of Road Not Taken

Calanais Standing Stones Courtesy of Road Not Taken

SteveJarvis“The Calanais Standing stones mark the early dawn of European civilization.They are in the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides in Scotland. Interestingly (or perhaps not!) Donald Trump’s Mother was born on the Isle of Lewis. That aside, the Isle of Lewis (in the Outer Hebrides) is very remote and very beautiful. The stones date back to the end of the Stone Age / beginning of the Bronze Age and were built about 4,500 years ago (2900 – 2600BC). This makes them older than the famous Stonehenge in Somerset (The site of Stonehenge is older, but the stones were put there between 2400-2200BC). It feels so very strange to visit such a remote and empty location knowing that people lived there 4,500 years ago!”

Location: Isle of Lewis, Scotland

Contributor: Steve Jarvis is a co-founder of Independent Cottages which he runs with his wife Sarah. Steve is passionate about British tourism and spends his time travelling around the UK.

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12. Destination: Sa Calobra Beach, Mallorca, Spain

Sa Calobra Mallorca, Spain

Scary road heading to Sa Calobra, Mallorca. Picture X Days In Y.

Avichai of X Days in Y“The beautiful hidden cove of Sa Colabra beach lies in the Tramuntana Mountains on the west coast of one of the prettiest Mediterranean Islands! To get here, you’ll need to drive down one of the scariest roads in the world, overcoming mind boggling 270 degree turns! It’s all worth it though, especially if you come in the morning when no one else is around. And here’s a local secret, on the way, stop at Sa Calobra’s sister beach – Cal Tuent. This is a local’s beach, with a drive offering great views and photo ops of the dramatic peaks on one side and the turquoise bay on the other. Tranquility wins over here. ”

Location: Mallorca, Spain

Contributor: Avichai is the publisher of X Days In Y, focusing on detailed point-to-point itineraries and travel guides for independent travelers. Avichai has extensively traveled in Europe, North America and most recently, the remote tropical islands of the South Pacific.

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13. Activity: Hike the French Alps

French Alps

Views from the French Alps courtesy of Janice Chung

Janice Chung“Summertime is the perfect time for hiking in the French Alps. Take the cable car to the Plan de l’Aiguille, located 2310m above Chamonix and hike back to town with breathtaking views and some exercise to boot!”

Location: Chamonix, France

Contributor: Janice Chung is a seasoned traveler who has journeyed to France more than 26 times and loves sharing unique experiences and insider tips on her blog, France Travel Tips. Jan has a passion for authentic experiences that involve food, wine, fitness, learning, the outdoors, and the arts.

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14. Activity: Hoist a Ginja with the Locals

Ginjinha in Portugal

Waiting for Ginja with the locals. Picture courtesy of Christine Zenino.

Jayme Henriques Simoes“Ginja is a famous Portuguese sweet cherry liqueur. Walking around Praça do Rossio, in Lisbon, you may find a group of people waiting at a corner in front of a little storefront. Join the crowd and make sure you already know if you want with or without cherries. The ginjas are on the bottom of the bottle and it requires a fair bit of skill to get just one or two into your glass. But you can do it! They have quite a kick to them, but we suggest you try them (as long as you are not driving). For 1.10€, you can have a truly local experience and hang around at Largo de São Domingos with the locals, while you wonder if you should pop back in for another.”

Location: Praça do Rossio, Lisbon, Portugal

Contributor: Jayme Henriques Simões, works at Louis Karno & Company in Concord, NH, and is a Chicago native. He goes to Portugal a couple times a year and is fluent in “ginja.”

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15. Activity: Take a Cooking Class in Paris

International Kitchen Paris

Take a cooking class from a local chef in Paris. Picture courtesy of International Kitchen.

Bob Caputo “Take cooking classes while in Europe — it will do wonders to expand your range of cooking. You’ll be able to bring a taste of Europe home with you with everything you’ve learned. Our class with The International Kitchen in Paris started with a visit to the local market with the chef to select ingredients, followed by a hands-on cooking class where we prepared a full French meal complete with dessert and a French wine pairing!”

Website: International Kitchen

Location: Paris, France

Contributor:Bob Caputo wants to share his passion for healthy living by showing you how you can live healthily through working out. He has long been a proponent of living healthily, and his motivation behind creating Bob Caputo Living Well was so he could share his knowledge with the world.

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16. Destination: Cordoba Patio Festival

Cordoba-Patio-Festival-Spain

Cordoba Patio Festival in Spain. Picture courtesy of Sher She Goes.

SHer she goes“My top must-see landmark in Europe is the Cordoba Patio Festival in Andalusia Spain. In the month of May, the town comes alive to throw open their doors and welcome visitors to find shade in their flower bedecked courtyards (called patios in Spanish). The tradition of flower filled courtyards dates back to ancient Moorish and Roman times when installing walls and walls of flowers kept indoor courtyards provided relief from the sun and a private place for the women of the household to relax. The architecture and beauty of the spring flowers in bloom is so beautiful”

Location: Cordoba, Spain

Contributor: Sher is a photographer and travel blogger at SherSheGoes.com living in New York City.
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17. Destination: Plitvice Falls

Plitvice Falls, Croatia

Plitvice Falls, Croatia. Picture courtesy of Shirley Hollick.

Shirley Hollick“Plitvice Falls, Croatia, is a Garden of Eden with it’s huge forest park full of startling green/blue lakes, and waterfalls pouring down from its incredible layered lakes. Besides that, Croatia’s lush green countryside is as beautiful as Southern France! Croatia is a must-see.”

Location: Plitvice Falls, Croatia

Contributor: Shirley Hollick has been exploring the world all her life, each year travelling further and further off the beaten path sharing her experiences on her blog Travel To Little Known Places. Both she and her husband love to be take in any local festivities, exotic foods, and try a few exciting new things!

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18. Activity: Taste the Local Cuisine

Chez Albert Seafood Platter

Chez Albert seafood platter + Biarritz Grand Plage. Photo courtesy of Trip & Repeat

Lynne from Trip and Repeat“My must do European experience is a visit to the picture perfect Chez Albert restaurant in Biarritz, a seaside resort town on the French side of Basque country. Chez Albert is located right on the fishing wharf, where the seafood comes from the ocean to your table – and the short and scenic walk to the restaurant from town makes for a perfect afternoon stroll. Head over for a late lunch, take a seat in the sun, order the seafood platter and thank me later! Afterwards, don’t forget to stick around for one of Biarritz’s spectacular sunsets. “

Location: Biarritz, France

Contributor: Lynne has traveled to the most beautiful places in the world and highlights her experiences on her blog Trip & Repeat.
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19. Activity: Hike Mount Trebevic, Sarajevo

Mount Trebevic Sarajevo

Views from Mount Trebevic, Sarajevo. Picture courtesy of Two Scots Abroad

Two Scots Abroad Bobsled Track“Once a city known internationally as suffering from a siege, now an untouched beauty waiting to be discovered. Bosnia and Herzegovina’s capital city is where East meets West and the best views of the city are found by climbing Mount Trebević. This challenging trek is worth it, not only to see the city in a valley from up high but also to explore the ‘84 Winter Olympics bobsled track, abandoned of course!”

Location: Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Contributor: Gemma is half of the travel blog Two Scots Abroad, full time workers with a life-long travel habit. Flirting with 30 and let loose on the world

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20. Activity: Stroll Barcelona’s Golden Quarter

Barcelona’s Golden Quarter. Picture courtesy of Andrea

Andre Arriaza“Barcelona’s golden age architecture concentrates in an area that the locals call “El Quadrat d’Or”(The Golden Quarter). During the industrial revolution well-off families contributed vastly to develop central Barcelona, or the so-called Eixample district, by building appealingly refined homes rich in decoration and organic ornaments, wrought iron, ceramics and leaded glass. This was part of the Modernist arts movement. Travelers should keep their eyes wide open as they will uncover amazing buildings.”

Location: Barcelona, Spain

Contributor: Andre Arriaza is the co-founder of Barcelona Eat Local Food Tours, that celebrates people passionate about culture and gastronomy in fascinating neighborhoods of Barcelona with a sustainable approach.
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21. Activity: Take a Tour on a Luxury Barge

Luxury Barge

Athos du Midi barge on the Canal du Midi in France. Picture courtesy of Ciao Bambino.

“If you are planning a trip to Europe and want to experience something truly memorable, look no further than a going down the UNESCO-protected Canal du Midi in France on the Athos du Midi, a full service luxury barge. The Athos is part of the Barge Lady Cruises with barges that can sleeps up to 10 guests and comes with a captain, chef, guide, and staff to take care of every need. Barging is a phenomenal way to pair relaxation with sightseeing and get off the beaten path in Europe.”

Location: Canal du Midi, France

Contributor: Amie O’Shaughnessy is the Founder and CEO of Ciao Bambino, an award-winning global travel planning resource and Virtuoso travel agency for families with children of all ages. Amie has traveled extensively throughout North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia.

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22. Destination: Medieval Castle of Helmsley, England

Helmsley North Yorkshire England

Helmsley North Yorkshire England. Picture courtesy of Charles McCool.

Charles McCool“Helmsley in North Yorkshire England really surprised me. It is an historic village, with a medieval castle and layout, but it is truly historic because it is one of the 26 places in England connected to the Magna Carta. The historic Helmsley market has existed for 600 years but the picturesque small town also offers outdoor activities, shopping (art galleries and boutiques), varied cuisine (take out to pubs to upscale fine dining), and performing arts.”

Location: Helmsley, North Yorkshire, England

Contributor: Charles McCool is a how-to travel expert, author, trainer, and blogger at McCool Travel; his articles and travel advice have appeared in hundreds of sources. His road trip travels seeking epic ice cream, BBQ, and mojitos have taken him to all 50 states and several dozen countries.
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23. Activity: Eat at Barcelona’s Boqueria Market

Boletes from Boqueria Market

Marta Laurent Veciana“Eating at the Boqueria Market in Barcelona is an extraordinary experience: you taste spectacular foods fresh from the market that you see the chefs cooking in front of you, and are surrounded by the smells and sounds of a day at a very busy and lively market. Pinotxo and el Quim are our favorite.”

Location: Barcelona, Spain

Contributor: Marta Laurent Veciana is a blogger, founder of ForeverBarcelona Private Tours and a mother of a baby girl. She’s been giving Barcelona tours since 2000 and was one of the first in town to offer tapas tours. Food and architecture are her specialties. She’s also the resident food expert for FoodieHubTV in Barcelona

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24. Activity: Paddle the Lagos’ Coastline

Lagos Coastline

Lagos Coastline courtesy of Insight Guides.

Daisy Insights Travel“This is no ordinary tour of Lagos’ coastline. Watch a stunning sunrise from a stand-up paddle board before cruising alongside craggy cliff faces, dodging crashing waves, gliding through arches and uncovering secret coves as you go. If you want to really see what is often touted as Portugal’s most beautiful coastline, this is the way to go!”

Website: Bura Travel
Location: Praça do Rossio, Lisbon, Portugal

Contributor: When Daisy isn’t exploring the world or planning her next adventure, she works for Insight Guides – an online trip provider and international guidebook publisher – as their Digital Content Specialist. Essentially, she spends her time finding the best and most beautiful places for readers to travel to next.

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25. Destination: Matera Italy

Matera, Italy Skyline

2foodtrippers “Visiting Matera, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a must for anybody visiting Europe. Although it’s off the typical tourist track, stunning Matera is rich with history, filled with hotels built into thousand-year-old caves and teeming with authentically rustic Italian food.”

Location: Matera, Italy

Contributor: Daryl and Mindi Hirsch, married culinary travel influencers, are traveling the world in search of the next great meal. They share their food photos and the stories behind the food on their blog, 2foodtrippers.

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26. Activity: Take a wine tour in Slovenia

Wine Tasting in Slovenia. Picture courtesy of Flirting with the Globe

Flirting with the Globe“Slovenian wine country often gets overshadowed by the wine regions in neighboring Italy, but it shouldn’t! Vipava Valley and nearby Goriska Brda have it all – stunning views, world-class wines and a farm-to-table culinary scene that will satisfy even the most discerning foodie. I’d recommend booking a full-day wine tour through Faladur Wine Shop and indulging in a multi-course lunch with wine pairings at Restavracija Dam .”

Location: Vipava Valley, Slovenia

Contributor: Karisa Klee of Flirting with the Globe is a full-time attorney and part-time adventuress with a serious case of wanderlust. Her blog caters to those travel-obsessed souls who are limited to two, three or four weeks of annual vacation time and forced to “flirt” with travel destinations across the globe.

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27. Destination: Ravello, Italy

Ravello Italy

Ravello, Italy. Picture courtesy of the Luxury Columnist.

luxury columnist“Exploring the garden villas of Ravello is a must-see if you’re visiting Italy’s Amalfi Coast. Whilst many visitors simply see the coast, Ravello is a charming hillside town with amazing views over the Mediterranean from both Villa Cimbrone and Villa Rufolo.”

Location: Ravello, Italy

Contributor: Luxury Columnist is one of the leading luxury lifestyle blogs and has over 1,399,000 monthly hits. Our readers are based mainly in the UK, the United States, Europe, Canada, Australia and Russia. Our aim is to help everyone experience a little luxury in their lives!.

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Best Place to Visit in Europe 27 things you have to do

Tour the Best Places to Visit in Europe by Car

Feeling inspired yet? Auto Europe can get you to and from any of these fabulous location with a fantastic deal on European car rental. We guarantee the lowest rates in Europe and would be happy to help you find the perfect car to enhance your trip!

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One Response to Best Places to Visit in Europe: 27 Things You Have to Do

  1. Gemma says:

    I do love Slovenian wine, and Hungarian, and Portuguese… Luckily Craig is the driver! Thanks for featuring us.

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