The Best Destinations in Europe: 2016

The Best Destinations in Europe: 2016

The Best Destinations in Europe 2016

Every new year all the big-wigs of travel come out with their ‘best destinations’ lists. I love it. Travel + Leisure, Lonely Planet, TripAdvisor, I’m on all their email lists and eagerly await their press releases. This year I compiled the listings and pulled out all those in Europe, my favorite place to travel. Grouped by City, Region and Country, take a peek at the best destinations in Europe for 2016 then tell me where you want to go to most!

(Full lists are at the bottom of the post!)


Kotor, Montenegro // #1 Lonely Planet | Top 10 Cities

(image via)

London, England // #1 US News & World Report | World’s Best Places to Visit 2015 – 2016

London, England

Porto, Portugal // #3 Trip Advisor | Travelers’ Choice Destinations on the Rise

Porto Portugal
(image via)

Dublin, Ireland // #3 Lonely Planet | Top 10 Cities

Barcelona, Spain // #3 US News & World Report | World’s Best Places to Visit 2015 – 2016

Check out my day exploring Barcelona on 3 wheels!

Paris, France // #4 US News & World Report | World’s Best Places to Visit 2015 – 2016
Lille, France // #4 Travel + Leisure | Best Places to Travel 2016
Rotterdam, Netherlands // #5 Lonely Planet | Top 10 Cities
Brighton, United Kingdom // #6 Trip Advisor | Travelers’ Choice Destinations on the Rise
Manchester, England // #8 Lonely Planet | Top 10 Cities
Frankfurt, Germany // #9 Travel + Leisure | Best Places to Travel 2018
Rome, Italy // #10 Lonely Planet | Top 10 Cities
San Sebastian, Spain // Top 25 Fodor’s | Go List
Stratford-upon-Avon, England // Top 25 Fodor’s | Go List


Transylvania, Romania // #1 Lonely Planet | Top 10 Regions

Translyvania Romania
(image via)

West Iceland // #2 Lonely Planet | Top 10 Regions

Check out Kaelene’s 10 Must See Places in Iceland!

Friuli’s Wine Vineyards, Italy (near Venice) // #4 Lonely Planet | Top 10 Regions

(image via)

Auvergne, France // #6 Lonely Planet | Top 10 Regions

(image via)

Bavaria, Germany // #8 Lonely Planet | Top 10 Regions & Top 25 Fodor’s | Go List

Neuschwanstein Oct 2013-20- Margo Paige - The Overseas Escape
Seriously thinking about going? Check out my Mini Guide to Bavaria

Douro Valley, Portugal // #8 Travel + Leisure | Best Places to Travel 2016
Sicily, Italy // Top 25 Fodor’s | Go List
Faroe Islands, Denmark // Top 25 Fodor’s | Go List
Normandy, France // Top 25 Fodor’s | Go List


Latvia // #5 Lonely Planet | Top 10 Countries

(image via)

Portugal // #5 Afar Magazine | Best Destinations for 2016

Check out this Quick Guide on What to See, Eat & Do in Lisbon!

Poland // #7 Lonely Planet | Top 10 Countries

Viator Photo ID: 110274 / Orig name: Poland_Warsaw_Castle Square in the Old Town of Warsaw in Poland_Square_Christmas_Night_Illuminated_Palace_Cityscape_shutterstock_143245774.jpg / Source Type: Shutterstock / Source ID: 143245774 / Tags: Castle Square in the Old Town of Warsaw, Poland, Warsaw, Square, Christmas, Night, Illuminated, Palace, Cityscape / Uploaded by: pconnors /
(image via)

Greenland // #9 Lonely Planet | Top 10 Countries

(image via)

Ireland // #10 Afar Magazine | Best Destinations for 2016

Ring of Kerry, Ireland
Read about my beautiful drive around the Ring of Kerry!

Spain // Top 25 Fodor’s | Go List
Lithuania // Top 25 Fodor’s | Go List

Complete Lists

Lonely Planet | Top 10 Cities

1. Kotor
2. Quito
3. Dublin
4. George Town, Malaysia
5. Rotterdam
6. Mumbai
7. Fremantle
8. Manchester
9. Nashville
10. Rome

Lonely Planet | Top 10 Regions

1. Transylvania (Romania)
2. West Iceland
3. Valle de Vinales (Cuba)
4. Friuli’s Wine Vineyards (near Venice, Italy)
5. Waiheke Island (Australia)
6. Auvergne (France)
7. Hawaii
8. Bavaria (Germany)
9. Costa Verde (Brazil)
10. St. Helena (South Atlantic Ocean)

Lonely Planet | Top 10 Countries

1. Botswana
2. Japan
3. USA
4. Palau
5. Latvia
6. Australia
7. Poland
8. Uruguay
9. Greenland
10. Fiji

US News & World Report | World’s Best Places to Visit 2015 – 2016

1. London
2. Bora Bora
3. Barcelona
4. Paris
5. Sydney
6. NYC
7. Maui
8. Rio de Janeiro
9. Cape Town
10. San Francisco

Travel + Leisure | Best Places to Travel 2016

1. Bocas del Toro, Panama
2. Guadalajara, Mexico
3. Richmond, Virginia
4. Lille, France
5. Iran
6. Lanai, Hawaii
7. Hangzhou, China
8. Douro Valley, Portugal
9. Frankfurt, Germany
10. Asbury Park, New Jersey

Afar Magazine | Best Destinations for 2016

1. American Southwest
2. Nepal
3. Tasmania
4. Cuba
5. Portugal
6. Granada, Nicaragua
7. Mongolia
8. East Africa
9. Cabo
10. Ireland

Fodor’s | Go List

(all else unranked)
America’s National Parks
North Loop, Minneapolis
Palm Springs, California
San Sebastian
Stratford-upon-Avon, England
Sicily, Italy
Faroe Islands, Denmark
Bavaria, Germany
Normandy, France
St. Helena
Fez, Morocco
Adelaide, Australia
Abu Dhabi

Trip Advisor | Travelers’ Choice Destinations on the Rise – World:

1. Tulum, Mexico
2. Cartagena, Colombia
3. Porto, Portugal
4. Gatlinburg, Tennessee
5. Moscow, Russia
6. Brighton, United Kingdom
7. New Delhi, India
8. Banff, Canada
9. Lima, Peru
10. Foz do Iguacu, Brazil

  • Kari Guastella

    These are gorgeous photos! I would spend all of my time traveling if I could!

    • ha, right there with girl! especially if I had a personal luggage carrier… then I’d be totally set. 🙂

  • Montenegro is definitely on my List for this Year 🙂

    Lisa – German Travelblogger

  • Frank Thomae

    Sorry to see Kotor on the list. We spent a week there earlier this year and loved it, felt much more genuine than Dubrovnik which is only a couple of hours away. And the views! We’ll be heading back this year and hope that it hasn’t caught on with the tourist hordes…
    Frank (bbqboy)

    • I totally understand – not sure if you follow Rick Steves like I do but every time he suggests a restaurant it turns out to be a bust because it’s packed with tourists and the quality drops. Such a shame but I guess it’s the nature of the beast.

  • I love so many of these places – we visited Iceland last year for a few days and we can’t wait to explore more of the country – it’s one of our favourites! I’ve been to Portugal before, but only as a kid so it was more of a beach holiday so I’d love to go back – it’s actually on my wish list for the year! But top of my list for this year is definitely Croatia – Dubrovnik and Split look absolutely amazing and some of the National Parks around the area too!
    xo April | April Everyday

    • Oh I totally agree with you on all 3 of those destinations, though I’ve only been to Portugal (absolutely loved Lisbon). Iceland seems SO exotic and beautiful and Croatia/Montenegro is definitely the place people seem to be buzzing about. I hope we both in get to visit there this year!!

  • I went to Brighton last year and totally loved it, I would pick up and move there if I could! Have to admit I’m shamelessly happy to see my beloved Charleston continue to fly under the radar 😉

    • ohh you’re so right! Charleston definitely gets the love on best places to visit in the US but for some reason on these international lists it gets overlooked. I wonder if it’s because the airport is so small? either way, I totally agree – flying under the radar is a great thing.

  • I’d like to go back to London. Visit Dublin and Poland:) and a couple of other places too, but I’ll see.

    • London is always on my list. It’s an amazing city and isn’t slightly overrated. Plus, not sure how the Brits got the rumor about having bad food – I’ve loved every meal I’ve had in the country!

  • This post makes my list-happy heart so happy!

    Like I mentioned recently Portugal is way high on my list so I loved seeing it included so many times! I’ve also heard such great things about Poland, so I want to make that happy some time. Also, just this past year I started hearing about and seeing pictures of Montenegro and it just looks so stunning and a little untouched by tourists yet so that one has to go on my list too!

    xo Mary-Katherine |

    • ha, I love your ever-growing list! I totally hear ya know- I think for you and your guy, the perfect trip would be Portugal or Croatia/Montenegro. both would be SO amazing. could I be y’alls private tour guide?! baggage handler? anything, really!

      • Yes please, private tour guide would be much appreciated! Come along and write it off as a business expense as “research” for your next Escape Guide! 😉

  • All of these places look absolutely amazing, the photo of Greenland has really motivated me to get there quickly!!

    Danielle /

    • ha, seriously that picture is absolutely amazing. I’d LOVE to go on a photography/hiking tour there or something. maybe a photography/heli tour, yeah… that! those mountains look intense. ha

  • I’m so glad to see my hometown of Manchester in Lonely Planet’s recommendations as it often gets overlooked for London. Brilliant post, I’m feeling very inspired to visit somewhere new!

    • wonderful! thats exactly why I love these top 10 lists – so inspiring to get up and go somewhere new! I haven’t made it to manchester yet but I heard the art/music scene there is really awesome- kind of like camden town?

  • The slow pace

    And only a few mentions to Spain?! Ugh… What can I say? I love my country! 😉

    • ha, and where exactly in spain would you say is #1? can I vote for Nerja? I know that locals consider it touristy but I absolutely adored it.

  • Riga is a wonderful city!! And it’s so nice to see Greenland on the list – best country ever!!

    • oh yeah? I honestly haven’t thought much about greenland. it seems SO exotic though, I’d LOVE to go and see the wildlife there. where did you visit when you went?

      • I spent a week in Nuuk, the capital city, and it was the perfect combination of art and culture with nature and wildlife! Definitely recommendable 🙂

  • Lauren @

    Oo Poland is definitely WAY up on my list. Thanks for sharing!

    • that’s awesome! I’ve definitely heard a lot of interesting things about the country- especially krakow! I hope you make it this year!! 😀

  • Awesome list! We went to Kotor last summer, and definitely took our breath away! I’m happy I’ve been to some of the places before they became too touristy 🙂

    • yeah, totally agree! I think the one problem with these major top 10 lists is that they can really affect the quality of a place. I’m not sure if you’re a Rick Steves’ fan like me (kind of obsessed) but every time I’ve tried a restaurant he’s recommended I’ve been disappointed. I think the quality just goes down with mass tourism.

  • Great list! I hope to see some of these in my travels this year!

  • So many amazing places! We went to Kotor over the summer and I just blogged about it last week! I need to go back and link to this post 😉

  • This list is giving me serious wanderlust! I just learned about Montenegro this year but don’t know too much about it. I’m thinking Ireland will be a stop for me this year!

    • oh yay, Ireland is one of my favorite places ever – definitely go to the little town of Dingle, it’s that beautiful quintessential irish village that I’m sure you’d love just as much as I did!

  • Mentally cheered when I saw many of my favorites on this list. Definitely want to hit up more of the Balkans in the future… Montenegro, here I come!! 🙂

  • Ksenia Ruzanova

    A perfect to-do plan:) Love, how you collected everything in one place! Thanks a lot!


    • absolutely, dear! It was really fun for me actually! Pinterest search ‘Greenland’ it’s crazy how beautiful that country is!

  • I feel like this might be the first time I have even seen a picture of Transylvania. It looks amazing!

    • Yeah! So in Heidelberg I met a gal from Transylvania and I could hardly believe it! Like… it’s actually home for some folks. Amazing! It looks so beautiful too. 🙂

  • Goodness, so many amazing destinations! I am plotting a trip to Porto for Easter and I’d love to see more of the Balkans too…

  • Elisa Fabbi

    hi so I usually lurk here around, but when I see my home I couldn’t comment! The Friuli’Wine Vineyards is called Collio (Brda in Slovenian) and it’s pretty good, just 45 minutes from gold beaches of Grado and 1.30/2 hours from Alps. The image you put here is very awesome. Thank you and great blog 🙂

  • Really wonderful pictures,I love to visit europe because my favourite surf spots located in europe.

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