Best places in Europe to visit: A modern-day Grand Tour

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(CNN) – The Grand Tour was a passing ceremony In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, for men and women of certain wealth and status, the best was to be offered in Europe.

While high prices are affecting the aspirations of some tourists these days, many globetrotters in demand for more than two years are also heading full throttle with lavish European vacations.

And with convenient high-speed rail connections and plenty of stunning, off-the-radar, not to mention the sights on offer, there is enough room for the modern traveler to make their own epic, cross-continental journey.

Here are 17 of the best places in Europe to visit:

Picos de Europa, Spain

Home to Spain’s first national park, Picos de Europa is one of the most neglected mountain ranges in Western Europe. Jagged limestone peaks and diving gorges are crossed by well-marked hiking trails, with deep caves enticing more fearless tourists. The Vertiginus Fuente Day cable car offers beautiful views and access to excellent walking routes.

Lofoten Islands, Norway

Lofoten Islands: Northern Lights hotspot.

Lofoten Islands: Northern Lights hotspot.

Jonathan Nextrand AFP / Getty Images

Within the Arctic Circle, the Norwegian Lofoten Islands is a dream destination for outdoor fanatics, nature lovers and those who love their adventures well. Comes between May and July and the sun does not set below the horizon. Visit in the middle of winter and dance the Dark Sky with Aurora Borealis.

The island’s Crazy Mountains and Crystal Clear Inlets are home to a wide range of seabirds and marine life, while the beaches are considered the best in the Northern Hemisphere for surfing.

Throw in picture-postcard fishing villages and Viking archeology is perfectly preserved and you have enough reason to make an effort to get here.

Mountains of Apuse, Romania

The mountains of Apuse in Romania offer cool temperatures and uncrowded trails for hikers in the summer.

The mountains of Apuse in Romania offer cool temperatures and uncrowded trails for hikers in the summer.

Alamy Stock Photo

Part of the Western Carpathian Mountains in Transylvania, with the cool temperatures of Apuse and the uncrowded trails passing through ancient woodlands and limestone crags make for an ideal summer break.

Brown bears and wolves roam these hills, although it takes patience and keen eyes to see them. Mountaineers can try out various safe routes along the ferrata routes that run along the river south of the village of Wadu Krisului.

Ephesus, Turkey

Ephesus: Europe's most complete classical city.

Ephesus: Europe’s most complete classical city.

Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

The ancient Greco-Roman city of Ephesus, located near Selkuk in modern-day Turkey, is the most complete classical city in Europe, thanks to a great deal of hard work and restoration.

It pays to take a guide here, as there is a large amount that can be easily missed. The 2nd Century Library of Celsus is one of the most famous sights of the ancient metropolis, closely followed by the main street of Curates Way and the great Great Theater. The latter can apparently seat 25,000 people, Saint Paul is believed to have preached there.

Avignon, France

Avignon: History and culture in the south of France.

Avignon: History and culture in the south of France.

Alamy Stock Photo

For a city of less than 100,000 inhabitants, Avignon has an incredible abundance of both historical and cultural attractions.

After playing at Popes’ house during the 14th century, the Papal Palace, the 12th-century cathedral and the ruins of Pont Saint-Benezet (the fame of the song “Sur le Pont d’Avignon”) make it worth more than just a couple. Days here.

Its Annual art festival, Held every July, is one of the largest cultural events in Europe. Add to the casual wine bar selling the best tipples from all over Provence and there’s no reason to rush home.

Lisbon, Portugal

Cascas fishermen wake up early in the morning to catch seafood which will later become the dish of the day

In recent years there has been a boom in the Portuguese capital’s foodstuffs, which come on the road with the sole purpose of eating and drinking.

This Time out market Organizes a variety of small stalls, attracting about 4 million visitors a year before the epidemic. All the stalls are superb, but Marisqueria Azul is perfect for seafood and has a good line in Café de São Bento steaks.
For the classic Pastis de Nata (Custard Tarts), Pestis de Belem Ground is zero: this is where the first sweet things were made. Ultra Hip Park, located on top of a high-rise parking lot, is the perfect place for sunsets.

Dingle Peninsula, Ireland

The rolling landscape and rugged coastline of the Dingle Peninsula is a paradise for outdoor adventurers.

The rolling landscape and rugged coastline of the Dingle Peninsula is a paradise for outdoor adventurers.


Dingle Peninsula, located in County Kerry on the southwest coast of Ireland, is a paradise for those who choose to travel actively and adventurously.

Mount Brandon offers rigorous tourism, benefiting walkers with views of the Atlantic and the entire peninsula. Surfers can jump into the water on an inch beach, with waves that suit a first-timer or a harder seeker.

The colorful streets of Dingle’s small harbor have plenty of bars to kick back on the pint and soothe sore joints.

Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Walk the streets of Bulgaria’s second largest city, from its Roman amphitheater to its colorful buildings.

Another city in Bulgaria, Plovdiv shared European Capital of Culture Duties with Matera in Italy in 2019. And for good reason: the city is one of the oldest settlements in Europe.
The well-preserved 2nd-century Roman theater is one of the best archeological sites in Eastern Europe, while the Cobalt Old Town, with its colorful houses and streets like Warren, is designed for walking. There is also a rich Archaeological Museum.

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Pompeii, Italy

Pompeii: A perfectly preserved ancient city.

Pompeii: A perfectly preserved ancient city.


With more than 2.5 million visitors a year in general, there is hardly a quiet time to visit Pompeii. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth spending as much time as possible for him while in southern Italy.

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The ancient city, completely preserved under ashes when Mount Vesuvius erupted in AD 79, is unlike anything else in Europe. It’s possible to see how life was lived before the disaster, from the graffiti on the walls to the utensils used by the people of the city. Baths, forums and villas are almost the same as 2,000 years ago.

Athens, Greece

A decade after Greece’s financial crisis, the people of Athens are enjoying life as never before.

The UNESCO-protected Acropolis is the most popular in Athens, the most obvious not to mention the view. Its ancient relics are a huge attraction, with the attached museum being the most fascinating in Europe.

But in addition to sightseeing, the Greek capital has a lot to offer. The elaborate, graffiti-covered neighborhood of Exarcheia is the perfect place to have coffee on a street corner or watch jazz at a smoky bar. Just keep in mind that the pace of softening is not to the liking of all locals.

Salzburg, Austria

Salzburg is home to the blockbuster Mozart and "The sound of music" Tours

Salzburg is home to blockbuster Mozart and “Sound of Music” tours.


With a wave of the Alps on the 11th-century Hohensalzburg castle and a series of beautiful palaces and churches, Salzburg is the most picturesque city in Central Europe.

Protected by UNESCO, the modern world feels blissful elsewhere. Mozart, the city’s most famous son, attracts the attention of tourists with “The Sound of Music”, which was filmed and set here.

Both are the subject of excellent city tours. Just be sure to take the time to kick back and try the local beer. This StiglabryureiHaving been producing Stiegl beer for over 600 years, this is a great place to start.

Henne Strand, Denmark

Henne strand: wild and windy.

Henne strand: wild and windy.


The beaches are not more windy than this. On the west coast of Jutland, Henne Strand is a holiday resort for Danes who prefer an outdoor space.

The hills provide plenty of shade, while the forests only have enough trails for inland walkers and wildlife observers to explore. Throw food on the stunning two Michelin-starred Henne Kirkeby KroAnd this is a winning alternative holiday destination.

Bruges, Belgium

Bruges: Filled with medieval charm - and beer.

Bruges: Filled with medieval charm – and beer.

Alamy Stock Photo

It is very easy to fall in love with Bruges. Its medieval streets and winding canals have a distinct charm, while the market, the city’s main square, is the perfect place to sip local Belgian beer and watch the world go by.

Brave the queues and climb to the top of the 83-meter (272-foot) Belfort or Belfrey, with Zeibrug harbor at a distance, for roof views. Bruges is small and can be crowded, so pay to visit in the winter when things are quiet, especially in January and February.

D ડsseldorf, Germany

Dસેsseldorf: Germany's destination for hip tourists.

Dસેsseldorf: Germany’s destination for hip tourists.


The ultra-modern Dસેsseldorf Grand Tour may not seem like Germany’s most obvious city for a stop-off, but thanks to the booming art scene – not a small part helped by the internationally respected Art D ડsseldorf Art Fair – it has become a pasture. For the most hippie tourists in Europe.

This K21 The gallery, which houses modern art built in the 19th century Parliament building after 1980, is one of the hottest attractions. Head for Medinhafen District to inspect state-of-the-art architecture, including Frank Gehry’s indispensable Neuer Zolhof skyscrapers.

Wroclaw, Poland

    Wroclaw, Poland, has superb architecture.

Wroclaw, Poland, has superb architecture.


Krakow and Warsaw often get headlines, but Wroclaw is a Polish city worth seeing, due to its really superb architecture. The Gothic Old Town Hall, located on the main square of the city, is probably the most famous building in town, but there is a lot to see for the culture buffs.

The University of Wroclaw illuminates the night sky on the banks of the Oder River, while St. John the Baptist’s Cathedral dominates the skyline. Be sure to head to Reclavis Panorama, a circular painting housed in the Brutalist Rotunda, which celebrates the victory of the Poles over Russia in the Battle of Reclavis in 1794.

Groningen, Netherlands

Groningen: A winning option for Amsterdam.

Groningen: A winning option for Amsterdam.


Young and hip, Groningen is Amsterdam’s winning option. Canals and classic Dutch buildings are all in evidence, but without the hustle and bustle of tourists. Here is the bike king, in which most of the journey is done on two wheels.

The routes are flat and easy, so hire one and set off to explore. Climb to the top of the Martini Tower and go for a stroll around Noorderplants Park

Kerangormes, Scotland

Cairngorms: Britain is its wildest and most beautiful.

Cairngorms: Britain is its wildest and most beautiful.


Scotland’s second national park is widely regarded as one of the wildest places on mainland Britain. Kerangorms The Ben McDuy and Cairn Gorm peaks are a haven for those who prefer to spend their lives outside, attracting hardy hikers all year round.
Skiing is available in the depths of winter, while wildlife lovers can spend days in search of golden eagles, red squirrels, mountain rabbits and the rudely difficult Scottish wild cat. Those who prefer time indoors can explore Blair or Corgarf castles or sip on a single malt. Dalwini Distillery.
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