10 best places to visit in Europe

Planning a vacation to Europe and don’t know where to start? We’ve listed our top 10 places to visit in Europe along with the best things to see and do while you’re there. Soak up the history in Italy or get cultured in Scotland and enjoy each location’s personality and local cuisine. Each destination’s uniqueness is what makes it great.

1. Berlin, Germany

Berlin is rich in both history and art, has great food and thriving nightlife. There are lots of museums to visit such as the Museum of Design and the Jewish Museum. Remains of the Berlin Wall can be seen in various parts of the city. In 1961 a border crossing was created from East Germany to the American occupied side. Though the wall is gone, the Checkpoint Charlie border crossing remains and can be visited at Friedrichstraße today. This area is also great for shopping.


Things to do in Berlin

  • Climb to the top of the Berlin TV Tower for a 360-degree, panoramic view of the city
  • Marvel at the street art in the East Side Gallery
  • Shop at one of Berlin’s many flea markets. The city’s most popular flea market takes place on Sundays in Mauerpark.


2. Verona, Italy

The city of Verona dates back to ancient Roman times. It’s home to one of the world’s most preserved amphitheatres, making it one of the best places in Europe for history lovers to visit. The Verona Arena was built in 30AD and is still used today for events, most famously, large-scale opera performances. The city is also famous for featuring in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. You can see the famous balcony from which Juliet stood as she called “Romeo, Romeo, where art thou Romeo?”. Verona is also famous for its local wines and shoe production. Leave space in your suitcase for some shopping.

Things to do in Verona

  • See the intricate architectural features of the Verona Cathedral both inside and out
  • Visit the homes of Romeo and Juliet and sign the provided panels beneath Juliet’s balcony for good luck in your love life
  • Take a day trip to the beautiful Lake Garda.


3. Prague, Czech Republic

Home to a skyline like no other, Prague is known as “The City of a Hundred Spires”. The capital city serves as a perfect example of European architecture featuring structures from the Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque periods as well as the new-baroque styled Dancing House, built in 1996. Prague’s Old Town square is filled with quaint cafes that are perfect for people watching. Prague is the perfect city to get lost in, you never know what’s around the corner, making it one of the best places to vacation in Europe.

Prague at the sunrise

Things to do in Prague 

  • See the world’s oldest working example of an astronomical clock that dates back to medieval times
  • Sample the delicious local cuisine that includes dishes such as pork knuckle and Czech bread
  • Visit the Lennon Wall – a graffiti shrine to the Beatles and John Lennon


4. London, England

One of the most-visited cities in Europe, London is a busy metropolis bursting with things to do and see. Old meets new in London. You can visit the city’s ancient Roman roots, walk along medieval cobbled streets, visit the royal buildings and parks and then eat sushi on the 38th floor of one of the many high-rise buildings. The London transport system makes traveling around the city easy – giving you more time to soak up the sights.

british royal guards the military band performing the changing of guard at buckingham palace london

Things to do in London

  • Rent a rowboat on the Serpentine lake in Hyde Park
  • Enjoy the street food and eclectic mix of people in Camden
  • Hear London’s fascinating history aboard a sightseeing bus tour

If you have more time, we have lots more suggestions for things to do while on a visit to London.

5. Rome, Italy

Rome is renowned for its rich culture, art, history and architecture. It’s also famous for delicious Italian food. The city’s most well-known sights include the Colosseum, the Vatican, the Pantheon and St Peter’s Basilica, not to forget the Trevi Fountain which collects an average of €3,000 a day from tourists tossing coins in exchange for a wish. Rome is a hugely popular destination, you should pre-book any planned tours to reduce your time spent queuing.

Spanish Steps, Rome
Spanish Steps, Rome

Things to do in Rome

  • Try to catch a glimpse of the Pope at the marvellous St Peter’s Square
  • Climb the Spanish steps and visit one of the many cute cafes close by
  • Take a cooking course and learn to make homemade Italian pasta

If you have more time in Rome, there is no shortage of things to do in this cultural wonderland.

6. Geneva, Switzerland

Situated south of Lake Geneva and surrounded by the Jura Mountains and the Alps, the Swiss capital boasts spectacular views of nature, most notably, Mont Blanc. The city still holds a sense of magic and traditional charm that can only be found in the mountains. In winter the city hosts Christmas markets and provides a gateway to many of the world’s finest ski resorts. While in summer there are beautiful parks to explore, the Jet d’Eau Fountain display and other lake activities.

Things to do in Geneva

  • Buy the Geneva Pass for free access to museums, several tours, cruises and transportation for up to 72 hours. Prices start from €24
  • Visit the Bains des Pâquis public baths at Lake Geneva in winter or summer and catch a free musical recital
  • Visit the farmer’s market and sample some international street food or find a bargain at the flea market


7. Edinburgh, Scotland

The magical, medieval city of Edinburgh is filled with things to do and places to see. Home to the internationally acclaimed Edinburgh Fringe Festival and a place of inspiration to JK Rowling as she wrote Harry Potter, art and culture are a huge part of Edinburgh. Overlooking the city is its most famous attraction, Edinburgh Castle – home to Scotland’s crown jewels and Arthur’s Seat, an extinct volcano that provides visitors with amazing views of the city.

Edinburgh, Scotland

Things to do in Edinburgh 

  • Visit Princes Street for a spot of shopping
  • Take a ghost tour of the Edinburgh Vaults
  • Catch a show at the Edinburgh Playhouse Theatre


8. Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is the metropolitan capital of the Catalonia region in Spain. The bustling city is known for its art and architecture with many standout pieces of work by Gaudi to be found around the city, most famously, Park Guell and La Sagrada Familia. Barcelona is also home to tapas: a selection of small dishes ranging from olives to grilled prawns or ham and cheese croquettes that are shared between friends. Don’t worry if you only have a weekend in Barcelona, you can see and do a lot in this compact city.


Things to do in Barcelona

  • Hit the beach and check out the trendy beachfront cafes, restaurants and shops
  • Visit the Pablo Picasso Museum to view some of the artist’s earlier works
  • Wander through the narrow medieval streets of Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter and find some of the city’s best, most authentic cafes and eateries


9. Paris, France

A trip to Paris will be a trip that you’ll never forget. The city is filled with views resembling a fairy-tale, so many of them are perfect for sharing on Instagram. From the two-story carousel at Montmartre, the sparkling Eiffel Tower and the many old bridges, it’s easy to get swept up in Paris’ beauty. Explore the streets with high-end designer stores and sip on coffee in one of the many cafes and soak up the glorious atmosphere of the city of lights.

Paris Romantic Sunset

Things to do in Paris

  • Have a picnic on the grass at Montmartre while being entertained by the street performers
  • View the Eiffel tower at night time and drink champagne from a seat below it
  • Attend the world’s most famous cabaret show at the Moulin Rouge


10. Dublin, Ireland

Dublin has become a multi-cultural and creative hub within Europe. Cobblestoned streets are filled with traditional Irish pubs, theater spaces, galleries, museums and workspaces. One thing that will never change in Dublin is the sense of an Irish welcome. Dubliners are happy to help visitors with directions and recommendations for “having the craic”. Though Dublin has many sights and things to do, the city is also a base for many day tours to other places of interest in Ireland.

Tip: US Citizens can enjoy pre-clearance immigration at Dublin Airport. This facility allows all US immigration, customs and agriculture inspections to be completed at Dublin Airport prior to departure with a separate queue for US passport holders. Dublin Airport is one of the only airports outside the US to offer this service.

Dublin Liffey Ha'penny Bridge

Things to do in Dublin

  • Visit the Guinness Storehouse to learn how the famous drink is made and pour your own pint
  • Learn of Dublin’s dark history with a trip on the Ghost Bus Tour
  • Rent a bike in the Phoenix Park and see wild deer, Dublin Zoo, the Pope’s Cross and the Victorian Tea Room cafe

We know Europe. Aer Lingus fly to over 50 European destinations and offer spacious seats, superior inflight entertainment, free onboard Wi-Fi and a warm and welcoming Irish service to our passengers flying from the US to Europe. Get the best flight deals to Europe at aerlingus.com.