Get ready to find out which three summer destinations in Europe made it into the top three most voted for locations. We thank everyone that made the list possible including the community managers, tourism offices and 320,793 voters.
1. Wroclaw in Poland
After counting the votes, we can reveal that Wroclaw wins the title of Best European Destination 2018! The city is exceptionally beautiful and is often referred to as “Polish Venice”. It is surrounded by canals and there are over 120 bridges linking 12 small islands including cathedral island.
It’s easy to become seduced by the radiating charm of Wroclaw, the historic Market Square “Rynek”, the Salt Market Square, the covered market, the Flower Market, the botanical gardens, the beautiful university and the Centennial Hall, which has exquisite architecture.
If you are looking for a good lunch in the city, check out “Piwnica Świdnicka”. It is one of the oldest restaurants on the planet. To take in the history of the city, be sure to walk around the “Ostrów Tumski” area, which is the oldest part of the capital city.
If you pay close attention while visiting, you notice that there are emblematic dwarves dotted all over Wroclaw. Each one is different. There are 350 in total and new ones are added every year. You can explore Wroclaw via car, boat or public transport and there are lots of free city tours.
Don’t forget to experience the best thing about Wroclaw, which is the locals. They are friendly, warm and incredibly welcoming to international guests. They can help you to discover hidden gems in the city.
2. Bilbao in Spain
In 2nd place with 39,845, the city of Bilbao just missed out on the top spot of the best European destinations for 2018. The city is amazing and its atmosphere cannot be described with words or captured in photos. The city is always changing and evolving and it’s open to the world. Unlike many European cities, Bilbao is particularly popular with families with small children and grandchildren. It’s safe to stroll through the streets and “Casco Viejo” alleys during the early evenings and into the historic city centre.
Bilbao, like Bordeaux and Porto, which were awarded the best European destinations in 2017 and 2015, is connected to the sea and the river. The culture and local cuisine are fine the region’s wines are delicate.
To make the most out of your visit to the city, be sure to check out its two main museums, The Bilbao Fine Arts Museum and the Guggenheim, as well as the beautiful landscapes in the Rioja wine region. If you are passionate about sustainable tourism, you should visit the County of Goeirri and buy some of the local “Idiazabal cheese“. After visiting the Guggenheim museum you can sample the famous cuisine from the Basque Country on a Guggenheim and Gourmet Pintxos Tour.
The city of Bilbao is surrounded by multiple medieval towns like Orduna and Balmaseda. Be sure to check out the Basque coast, which is just 30 minutes from the city centre.
Some fun activities to take part in while staying in Bilbao include Basque cooking lessons and an excursion to the city of San Sebastian. Bilbao is the central meeting point for all those wanting to explore the Basque country.
3. Athens in Greece
In third place with 19,424 votes, the Greek city of Athens is a must-visit destination. It features in top 10 destinations lists every year and it attracts visitors from all over the world during all seasons of the year.
Athens is a very historic city and the birthplace of European philosophy. While the city is steeped in history, it is also focused on adapting to the modern world and dealing with many economic and cultural issues. Visitors always fall in love with the architecture, food, shops and nightlife. Furthermore, it is very close to the sea and a selection of breathtaking beach resorts such as the Ikos Aria Kos.
Most travellers enjoy the welcoming local inhabitants, who are only too happy to share tips with visitors about where to find the best restaurants and tourist treasures. You can enjoy great deals by booking your flight and hotel accommodation together. ‘You might also want to prebook a day trip ticket to Meteora by train.