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Posts Tagged ‘Madrid’

20 Travel Destinations In Europe To Visit In 2021

Aya Sophia

The Continent of Europe offers a lot of destinations for all interests and tastes. From sandy beaches to winding mountain trails, from blue coastlines to historical sites dating back to thousands of years, Europe has it all. If you are planning to go to Europe, let me help you out. Here are some of the best travel destinations in Europe you can go for.  

Cheapest Countries To Visit In Europe

Travel Destinations In Europe

A lot of people believe that when it comes to cheap travel, Europe is not the place to look out for. But, this is not true. Here are some of the cheapest countries Europe has to offer.  

1.Bulgaria

Bulgaria is among the cheapest countries in Europe and with good reason. To start things off, Bulgaria is 80% undiscovered by travelers. Due to this the accommodations, entertainment, and flights here are cheaper than in the majority of the travel destinations in Europe.

2. Romania

If you are looking for a cheap destination in Europe, Romania wins the race. Especially if you head towards the Carpathian mountains. Romania provides a lot of beautiful and mesmerizing sites, and that too at a low cost. 

3. Poland

Poland is only cheap for a few months. Therefore, you should not visit Poland in the summer if you are looking for a cheap trip. The ideal time to travel to Poland is in March and April. 

Best Road Trip Destinations In Europe

Travel Destinations In Europe

Want to discover the most beautiful places and landscapes in Europe? We have selected for you the best road trip destinations Europe has to offer. So, here we go. 

From Dubrovnik To Pula (Croatia)

The journey will start from Dubrovnik. Dubrovnik is a wonderland that is most suitable for road trips. The city has inspired a lot of moviemakers and celebrities to have their holidays there. 

Madeira – Along The Island (Portugal)

You may think that Madeira is one simple island. But, this is not the case. Madeira consists of numerous islands, but the best of these islands is the island of Porto Santos. The Island is famous for its golden sand beach. This is the perfect destination for a road trip because it is peaceful and offers a lot more than just sand and water. 

Honeymoon Destinations In Europe

Travel Destinations In Europe

Those who seek romance should know that Europe conjures an unforgettable allure. This makes Europe the best continent for honeymooners. Thus, here are the best travel destinations ins Europe you can go for with your love. 

Florence, Italy

Florence, Italy is made for love birds. Florence provides a heap of a small-town charm thanks to the pint-sized city center and the winding cobblestone streets. The city offers a lot of mesmerizing destinations for newlyweds. 

Santorini 

Santorini lures couples with its magnificent scenery. Here you can spend your honeymoon hiking in the caldera or you can swim in the famous Aegean sea. 

Family Destinations In Europe

Travel Destinations In Europe

From touring the colosseum in Rome to playing football in Madrid, Europe provides attractions and activities for tourists of all interests and ages. If you are looking for a suitable family-friendly destination in Europe, let me help you out. Below are some of the best travel destinations in Europe for families. 

London

In case if you didn’t know, London is the world’s most beautiful capital city. The city attracts tourists from all over the globe with its London dungeon, London zoo, and London eye. The majority of the top attractions in London provide guided tours. This makes London the best place for families. 

Amsterdam

The second most suitable family destination is again the capital city. This time we go all the way to Amsterdam. The capital of the Netherlands offers a lot of kid-friendly attractions that include ARTIS Amsterdam Zoo and Zandvoort beach. 

Unique Places To Visit In Europe

Travel Destinations In Europe

Europe offers a lot of unique places for tourists. Read on below to find out more about the best and unique travel destinations Europe offers. 

Mantua, Italy

Love Italian art and architecture, Mantua Italy is the best place to go to. The place has a lot of hidden surprising and hidden gems. This place is the best for people who are not fond of crowds. 

Cuenca, Spain

Cuenca is a seriously underrated hidden gem in Spain. This medieval city is on the Casa Colgados with hanging houses that seem to dangle off the side of the rock. 

Best Travel Destinations In Europe For Solo Trips

Travel Destinations In Europe

Traveling solo is always fun. The good thing is that Europe is a continent that always lends itself to solo travelers. The journey itself tends to be short and straightforward. Therefore if you are interested, here are some of the best solo travel destinations in Europe. 

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Just forget the Dutch capital’s reputation for being stoner tourism. The capital ticks all the boxes for solo travelers. The city is safe, gentle, progressive, and friendly for tourists.

Tresco, Scilly Isles

Scilly isles are earning a reputation for being the subtropical paradise. Tresco is a great choice for solo travelers. It provides affordable cottage rentals and hotels with pools. 

Safest Places To Visit In Europe

Travel Destinations In Europe

Whenever you go on a trip, safety must be kept optimum. Here are the safest destinations in Europe you could go for. 

Basel, Switzerland

Being a vibrant and culturally exciting city with renowned major attractions, Basel is among the safest places you can go to in Europe. Basel has the lowest crime rate in all of Europe. 

Geneva, Switzerland

Imagine a place that provides beautiful scenery, an extraordinary shopping experience, and is among the safest places in Europe. Welcome to Geneva. 

Historical Places In Europe To visit

Travel Destinations In Europe

Hello, history lovers! If you are looking for a historical destination, turn your gaze towards Europe. Here are some of the best Historical places Europe has to offer. 

Colosseum, Italy

Ever heard of the mighty Roman empire. The Colosseum is the symbol of power the Romans possessed. Built-in Rome, the largest city in the world at that time, the Colosseum does not require any presentation. It is the largest amphitheater ever built. The Colosseum could hold between 50,000 to 80,000 spectators gathered for the famous gladiatorial contests. 

Stonehenge, Britain

Is it a burial mound or a pagan prayer site? How could the Druids transport these huge and massive sarsen stones? Even 5000 years after construction, archeologists are unable to understand why this magnificent monument was built. 

Hagia Sophia, Turkey

Hagia Sophia has been the symbol of power for two of the world’s greatest empires, the Byzantine Empire and the Ottoman Empire. Although the great Christain church was turned into a mosque by the Ottomans after Sultan Mehmed the 2nd conquered Constantinople (Istanbul), and later turned into a museum in the 20th century, the Aya Sophia remains Istanbul’s most cherished landmark. 

Destinations For Food In Europe

Travel Destinations In Europe

Europe is the best place for all foodies. The continent offers a lot of food destinations. Here is a list of some of the best food destinations in Europe. 

Ibiza, Spain

Ibiza is known best for the quality of food. The destination offers a lot of delicious food. Ibiza is a heaven for all food lovers. 

Cornwall, England

Cornwall is the best place to go to when you want to eat the best food. The place is full of restaurants that offer both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food. Therefore, Cornwall is a must-visit place when going to Europe. 

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What Are the Best Destinations for Student Travel in Europe?

accessible food

What makes a city particularly suited to ‘youth travel‘? Often nothing at all – a beautiful cathedral, fantastic cuisine or a sandy beach can be enjoyed whatever your age. Many articles like this one are simply ‘best cities in Europe’ lists, with a nod to ‘young people would like this’. But cities your parents would like are not the same as those that appeal to your child making their first visit to Europe.

Virtually every destination on this list is cheap and well-connected, with a mixture of culture and the kinds of activities young people are interested in: a vibrant social scene, an accessible food and drink culture and enough activities to keep you busy for a few days.

See also: Top European Cities from the Cheapest to the Most Expensive

01 of 10

Berlin, Germany

Athanasios Gioumpasis/Getty Images Address Berlin, Germany

The youth capital of Europe. Fantastic nightclubs, a liberal policy on drinking alcohol in public (it’s totally allowed) and so much green space. And it’s a very cheap city to spend time in.

Could any other city have topped this list?

02 of 10

Brussels, Belgium

EyesWideOpen/Getty Images Address Brussels, Belgium

Chocolate and beer, chocolate and beer, chocolate and beer. Learn what’s wrong with Bud Light and ​Hershey’s before it’s too late.

03 of 10

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Paulo Amorim/Getty Images Address Amsterdam, Netherlands

The land of sex and drugs: done the European way. Buy cannabis from an actual menu and peek at the legally regulated red-light district. Nowhere are you safer doing the things you probably shouldn’t.

04 of 10

Salamanca, Spain

Xurxo Lobato/Getty Images Address Salamanca, Spain

One of the oldest university cities in Europe and a popular destination for European Erasmus and American Study Abroad exchange students, this is a vibrant place to learn Spanish. Also close to Madrid, the Spanish capital.

Continue to 5 of 10 below.

05 of 10

Budapest, Hungary

Alessandra Benedetti/Getty Images Address Budapest, Hungary

Budapest is famous for its ruin pubs (bars that have been set up in dilapidated old buildings) and the Sziget music festival, a week of music and performances on an island in the Danube. Budapest also has one of the best craft beer scenes in Europe.

06 of 10

Český Krumlov, Czech Republic

Sean Gallup/Getty Images Address 381 01 Český Krumlov, Czechia

A once-abandoned town that got cleaned up in time for the party buses that now tour Eastern Europe. Enjoy water sports on the river and cheap Czech pilsners, set against the beautiful UNESCO-protected architecture of the old town.

07 of 10

Reykjavik, Iceland

James Farley/Getty Images Address Reykjavík, Iceland

The capital of Iceland actually goes against the criteria I used at the start of this article – it is expensive and in the middle of nowhere (though Icelandic budget airline WOW air allows for great stopovers on the way from New York and Boston to Europe).

The home of Icelandic superstars Sigur Ros and Björk and the setting for a lot of HBO’s Game of Thrones, is anywhere hipper than Reykjavik? 

08 of 10

Lisbon, Portugal

Pauline Price/Getty Images Address Lisbon, Portugal

The cheapest capital city in Western Europe had to appear on this list. Lisbon has a strong influence from its Brazilian expat community, which means you won’t get a better – or cheaper – caipirinha anywhere in Europe.

Continue to 9 of 10 below.

09 of 10

Tarifa, Spain

Lutz Bongarts//Getty Images Address 11380 Tarifa, Cádiz, Spain

The most southerly point in Spain, Tarifa is great for water sports, whale watching and for crossing the narrow Strait of Gibraltar to visit Morocco.

10 of 10

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Luis Davilla/Getty Images Address Dubrovnik, Croatia

Another city on the Eastern Europe party circuit, Dubrovnik is well connected to the Croatian coastline and to the historic Bosnian cities of Sarajevo and Mostar. Also a filming location for many scenes in Game of Thrones.

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6 Of The Best Countries To Visit In Europe With Kids

Arc de Triomphe

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Europe is one of our families favorite places to travel to, regardless of when we travel there. There is so much history, so much to see, learn and do as well as so much to eat. We’ve been to Europe as a family several, and visited several cities, so coming up with this list of our  favorite European countries wasn’t the easiest thing to do.

The Best Countries To Visit In Europe With Kids

If you’re planning a trip to Europe soon, make sure to check out this list of 6 best countries to visit in Europe with kids.

France

France is a magnificent country and it is famous for its beauty, architecture, art, fashion, and world-class cuisine. This country is among the top travel destination and the best part about the country is that it is family-friendly with many attractions and landmarks waiting for them.

Top Things To Do In France With Kids

  • Disneyland Paris: this is one attraction that you should not miss while in France with kids with many great rides, play areas, parades, and shows, your kids will also get to see their favorite Disney characters.
  • Eiffel Tower: This is one place that most children dream of visiting. Make sure to climb up to the top of the tower for amazing views of Paris. Have lunch at the restaurant also.
  • Palace Of Versailles: this palace is so huge that you need a golf cart to explore it.If you have older kids, they will enjoy the history and younger kids will love the park area where they can run around and play.
  • Nice: this is among the top family-friendly destination in France and it is filled with many attractions from the beach to Piazza Rossetti, to Park de la Colline du Chateau and many more.
  • Parc Asterix: This is a theme park with numerous roller coasters rides and large adventure play area.

Kid Friendly Hotels In France

  • Château de Béhen: this is a family home turned guesthouse with pint-sized Falabella horses which your kids will love.
  • Goldstar Resort & Suites: this hotel is situated in Nice close to the beach and the boulevard with numerous eateries, rooftop terrace with sunbeds, swimming pool, cafes, and so on.
  • Four Seasons Hotel George V: this is a family-friendly hotel with children’s menus in the restaurants, indoor pool, babysitting services, game consoles and more.
  • Hôtel Barrière Le Fouquet’s: this is a luxurious hotel with an indoor pool with a lifeguard, kids’ menu in the restaurant, welcome gift for the children, and so on.
  • Residence Alma Marceau: it is close to the Arc de Triomphe with complete kitchenettes which include washing machines, ovens, dishwashers, baby equipment, and amenities like car hire, dry cleaning service, babysitting service, and many more.

Sweden

Although expensive, Sweden is a fun and easy place to travel with kids of all ages from infants to teens. The country is filled with plenty of sights and activities which are designed specifically for kids with reduced admission to several attractions for kids under the age of 18.

Top Things To Do In Sweden With Kids

  • Liseberg Amusement Park: this attraction is filled with lots of rides and it also hosts large-scale events like concerts and so on which will thrill your young ones.
  • Vasamuseet (Vasa Museum): This is a unique experience for your kid as they will get to explore the ruins of this warship and this attraction is the perfect place for Instagram worthy pictures.
  • Medieval Week, Gotland: This is a one of its kind experience for your kids as they get to learn what life is all about in Medieval times while they get to try out medieval activities. This week happens during August.
  • Kamelranch: This is a ranch where your kids will get hands-on experience with some farm animals and the ranch also features playground which your kids will love.
  • Skansen: Your kids will love this miniature Sweden and open air museum in the summer and in the winter. The winter market here is amazing and there are several sections of the museum to explore.

Family-Friendly Hotels In Sweden

  • Radisson Blu Royal Viking Hotel: You will love as the hotel is located in a central location and it features a small swimming pool, sauna, hot tub, and on-site restaurant with children’s menu.
  • Grand Central by Scandic: This hotel is family-friendly with welcome gifts for kids, daily free breakfast with organic and gluten-free options, free bicycle rentals, sauna, etc.
  • Motel L: This is a mid-range motel with family rooms equipped with two bunk beds, colorful carpets, spacious restaurant with a bar area, and many more.
  • Scandic Victoria Tower: Your children will be treated like royalty as they arrive at the hotel with lots of gifts bestowed upon them as you enter. The hotel also offers free breakfast daily.
  • Hilton Stockholm Slussen: Your kids will love the wide array of breakfast foods as this hotel and you will love that kids eat free with the purchase of an adult meal at their in house restaurant.

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom is one great place to go with kids with a many historic landmarks, awesome accents and many free kid-friendly activities. Your kids will have a lot of things to do in this city from roller coaster rides to adventure trails, to stunning performances to a kid-friendly museums.

Top Things To Do In The United Kingdom With Kids

  • Science Museum: This is a stunning place for kids where they will get to learn about the physical world and the people that helped to advance our understanding of the world.
  • Legoland: theme park with lots of thrilling adventure, from interactive adventures to Lego-themed rollercoasters.
  • Natural History Museum: this is a museum where your kids will get to see dinosaur fossils and eggs and other mesmerizing collections of dinosaurs.
  • Zipworld: this is an out of this world underground environment with zip lines, climbing grips, and also the huge bouncy net. The things to do here are so fun that it will leave your kids exhausted.
  • Tower of London: This is the perfect place to go if you want to learn about the history of London and England as a whole. You can explore this tower and then see the famous Traitors’ Gate.
  • Stonehenge: The United Kingdom is well known for this historic monument and your kids will have lots of questions to ask about it. So, make sure to read about it before your trip or get a guide.

Kid Friendly Hotels In The United Kingdom

  • Lime Wood, New Forest: This is a gorgeous hotel with fantastic spa, children pool, a babysitter, and a great kid friendly menu,
  • The Swan Hotel & Spa: This hotel features extravagant rooms with a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. The hotel is filled with numerous kids’ friendly adventure playground with a nature trail with indoor playroom.
  • Another Place: This is the best place for families and younger adults. The hotel features an indoor pool, spa treatments rooms, outdoor hot tub, water sports like paddle boarding, kayaking for older children, there is also an indoor play area, and so on.
  • Cliveden, Berkshire: this is a magnificent hotel surrounded by ancient woodland and it has special children’s swimming hours with children’s menu at the restaurant.
  • Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire: This is a superb hotel with a kids’ club, family swim times, two wooden climbing frames, and many more.

12 Best US States To Visit With Kids In 2019

Denmark is popular for its numerous palaces and castles with mesmerizing landscape and this is a perfect place to go if you love and want to learn about history. The country is also family-friendly with many outdoor attractions that you can try out. Your kids will have many intriguing things to spend their energy while going sightseeing in this country.

Top Things To Do In Denmark With Kids

  • Go sightseeing at Copenhagen zoo: this is among the oldest zoos in Europe and it is the best place to go with kids as you will see numerous animals. There is also a children zoo for young kids as they will get close up interaction with the animals like dwarf goats and so on.
  • Visit the Maritime Museum: this is a unique underground museum and this is a perfect place to go with your kids as they will learn about the maritime history of Denmark.
  • Have fun in Legoland: this is a theme park with lots of fun things waiting for your kids with its numerous rides and themed areas that they can explore.
  • Visit the Little Mermaid statue: this will be a mesmerizing sight to your kids and you can also take Instagram worthy pictures here.
  • Watch the wild horses of Langeland: this is a perfect chance for your kids to see flocks of horses as they run freely all over the island.

Family-friendly Hotels In Denmark

  • Manon Les Suites: this is an eco-friendly hotel which features family suites with kitchenettes and refrigerators, and the hotel is equipped with kid-friendly amenities like swimming pool, bike rental, on-site restaurant and so on.
  • Generator Hostel: budget-friendly hotel with quad rooms for family. The hotel is also equipped with a restaurant, bike hire, shuffleboard center, etc.
  • Copenhagen Crown Hotel: This is another budget hotel with simple and clean family rooms and it is close to many restaurants, and possess facilities like bike rental, bar, and restaurant.
  • Stay Seaport: this offers modern luxury with fully equipped kitchens, mesmerizing views of the harbor, washing machines, a rooftop terrace, lounge area, and many more and it is a close to the train station.

Italy is a stunning country with a magical experience awaiting your kids in this city. Your kids will be treated like a prince and princess which will make a trip here delightful for them. There are many family-friendly attractions and iconic landmarks that you can explore in this country.

Top Things To Do In Italy With Kids

  • Visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa: Your kids will marvel at this leaning tower and enjoy running around the grassy playground right in front of it.
  • Eat gelato: this is one of the special treats that you can use to spoil your children during your trip to Italy which is available everywhere in Italy.
  • Tour the canals of Venice: Your trip to Italy will not be complete without coming to Venice where you will get to see mesmerizing architecture and your kids will love guided canal boat tour where they will get to learn about the intriguing story of the waterways.
  • Relax on the stunning Amalfi Coast: this is a magnificent resort town with stunning scenery and iconic ancient building that you can explore.
  • Learn about the past in Pompeii: this is one of the adventurous and thrilling things to do in Italy as you will get to learn about the life of people in Pompeii.

Family-friendly Hotels In Italy

  • Castello di Gargonza: This hotel is perfect for kids of all ages with magnificent atmosphere with a large family villa. It also features pool, bread and pizza making lesson, and bikes for hire for kids.
  • Masseria Ciancio: lovely hotel with spacious room and it has kid-friendly amenities like lovely pool, playground, flowering gardens and so on.
  • Borgo Egnazia: a family resort with unique interior design and kid-friendly amenities like kid’s club, soothing spa, etc.
  • Hotel Santa Maria: this is a family-friendly hotel in Rome located in a serene environment with large suites perfect for families.
  • Residence Hilda: this is a tranquil oasis close to many shops and playground that your kids can spend their time.

Spain

Spain is a perfect family destination with family-oriented attractions and activities which is going to keep you and your kids entertained. The country is also filled with many historic landmarks and magnificent culture with distinctive areas.

Top Things To With Kids In Spain

  • La Sagrada Familia: this is in the heart of the city of Barcelona and will wow you and your kids. It is still being built, but looks beautiful. This church also gives you the chance to take family photos.
  • Parc Guell: this is a garden complex with stunning views, magnificent exhibits, interpretive visitor center, and your kids will also learn the history of the park while they are here.
  • Retiro Park: this Madrid park is perfect for a family stroll, or picnic. You can also go on an entertaining boat ride around the lake while also enjoying art exhibitions and live performances.
  • City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia: Valencia has several famous futuristic buildings your kids will enjoy looking it. There is also an interactive science museum and an underwater world of Oceanografic the whole family will love. Bike riding here is also quite exciting.

Family-friendly Hotels In Spain

  • Nakar Hotel: the hotel is equipped with an outdoor pool with magnificent views of the city, onsite restaurant with kids’ menu.
  • Palma Old Town – Turismo de Interior: the hotel is equipped with a family-friendly room with private bathroom, dining area, kitchen, and an outdoor pool.
  • Hotel Bosch Boutique: Boutique hotel with a tour desk and the perfect place to try out Mediterranean dishes at the restaurant.
  • Fil Suites – Turismo de Interior: this is a well-equipped accommodation close to the Palma port and yacht club.

The Mom Trotter’s 2018 Travel Year In Review

Tips & Tricks For Booking An Affordable Family Vacation

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  • Purchase must have travel insurance through Allianz

Looking to save even more money when you travel?

Visit my Travel Resources page to see all the reliable and trustworthy brands that I use to book my travel with. I only recommend brands that I’ve used and can vouch for, so you’re in good hands! ? Also check out these posts below:

Top Travel With Kids Tips

Traveling with kids and have a few questions you need answers too, these posts below will help your trip run smooth.



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The 20 Best European Destinations To Visit In 2020 Revealed

Bruges

Colmar, France: New European Best Destination 2020

European Best Destinations

The city of Colmar, in France’s northern region of Alsace, has been voted the #1 European destination for 2020, chosen from 20 ‘must-see’  locations that made the finalists’ list of contenders for the coveted title organized by European Best Destinations (EBD).

For its 11th edition, the competition collected a record of more than 600,000 votes for the trendiest destinations in Europe, a list that will be promoted throughout the year to millions of travelers — and will be authorized to display the title “European Best Destination” in their marketing.

Colmar got the highest number of votes since the creation of the competition in 2009. (179,723 votes). The previous record was Porto in 2017 with 138,116 votes.

“Whether you look forward to a city break, a romantic getaway, a family or beach holiday, a cultural or gastronomic trip, alone or with friends, you will be spoilt for choice,” the organization promises.

Since 2009, European Best Destinations (EBD), has been promoting culture and tourism in Europe to millions of travelers, tourism professionals and the media. Working with the European Commission to promote sustainable tourism, EBD organizes some of the main tourism competitions in Europe, including Best European Christmas Markets, Best European Beaches, Most Romantic destinations and Best European Ski Resorts.

In partnership with over 300 tourism offices in Europe and the EDEN Network created by the European Commission, the European Best Destinations is, for the eighth year in a row, the most visited website dedicated to travel in Europe.

As a result of their selection, the various destinations get a significant boom of tourists — +17% in growth for Porto after its selection in 2017, + 13% for Bordeaux in 2015, + 25% for Zadar in 2016 — as well as extensive media coverage.

This is the list of the 20 trendiest European Best Destinations to visit in 2020: Athens (Greece), Berlin (Germany), Bydgoszcz (Poland), Cascais (Portugal), Colmar (France), Cork (Ireland), Héviz (Hungary), Madrid (Spain), Menorca (Spain), Namur (Belgium), Paris (France), Prague (Czech Republic), Rome (Italy), Reykjavik (Iceland), Rijeka (Croatia), Rotterdam (Netherlands), Rochefort Océan (France), Sibiu (Romania), Tbilisi (Georgia) and Vienna (Austria).

Here you can find the complete guide to plan your next vacation.

Colorful facades of timber-framed houses in Colmar, known as Petite Venise, in Alsace, France.

Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Colmar, France

First on the podium of best European destinations: a well-deserved award for Colmar, a destination known worldwide, that has it all: It’s the capital of Alsace wines and a leading wine-tourism destination. It’s also a perfect destination for romance, history buffs, foodies, music and culture lovers.

Colmar is known as the sunniest city in France, enjoying 300 sunny days a year. It is particularly magical at Christmas time. Around Colmar are the picturesque villages of Eguisheim, Riquewihr and Ribeauvillé. You can drive along the wine route and visit wineries or simply stroll among the vineyards.

Trendier than ever, Athens is a city in constant evolution

Best European Destinations

Athens, Greece

Trendier than ever, Athens is a city in constant evolution. Tradition meets modernity in museums and shops, restaurants and bars. Together with Rome, Athens is the cradle of our civilizations, an incredibly dynamic, lively, sparkling open-air museum.

With equal measures of grunge and grace, Athens effortlessly merges the past with the present. A city of paradoxes and great contrasts, in the country that first invented courtesy and generosity towards people who are far from their home, hospitality (xenia) reigns supreme.

An intellectual beacon of the ancient world with spectacular Mediterranean landscapes bathed in the famous light, Athens is a sophisticated cosmopolitan hub with many gastronomic offers, livelynightlife and a booming art scene.

An aerial picture shows the buildings of Old Tbilisi.

AFP via Getty Images

Tbilisi, Georgia

The Capital of Georgia is the ideal destination for culture, gastronomy, diversity and architecture lovers. 

Magnificent Haussmannian buildings mingle with structures dating from the Middle Ages. You can enjoy neo-classical, Soviet and extremely modern buildings — at the same time. “Be sure to climb to the top of Tbilisi and admire the Kartlis Deda statue, the protector of the city. This site offers an exceptional panorama of the Georgian capital, the Peace Bridge, the Metekhi Church, the thermal baths, the new theatre and the Mtatsminda Amusement Park for young and old,” EBD recommends.

Austria, Vienna, Graben, Street Scene.

LightRocket via Getty Images

Vienna, Austria

Along with ParisRomeBruges and Prague, it’s one of the European capitals of love. As one of the safest destinations in Europe, Vienna is also an ideal destination for families.

Vienna offers history with a capital H, gastronomy, wine, organic and local markets — as well as incredible architecture.

“Climb aboard one of the most beautiful big wheels in Europe and whistle Strauss’ Blue Danube,” advises EDB. “You can also make your marriage proposal or treat yourself to a guided tour of the Schönbrunn Palace and learn how to cook the famous ‘Strudel’.”

Cascais, Portugal.

Corbis via Getty Images

Cascais, Portugal

Cascais is one of the most beautiful and prestigious coastal destinations in Europe.

Located on the Lisbon Coast, Cascais is perfectly situated just two steps away from the capital city and other must-see locations such as Sintra (UNESCO Heritage Site), Ericeira (World Surfing Reserve) and Mafra (the Portuguese Versailles).

With its year-round mild climate, Cascais is known as the ‘Portuguese Riviera.’ “From pure leisure to business, golf, sun, sea and water sports, it simply has it all and offers a new definition of the concepts of eco- and activity based tourism,” according to EBD.

A street in Sibiu, Romania

European Best Destinations 2020

Sibiu (Transylvania), Romania

Which other destination can offer Bruges or Parisian-level culture and gastronomy, be as instagrammable as Prague or Santorini, as romantic as Rome or Venice? Look no further than Sibiu (in Transylvania).

There’s poetry and beauty on every street corner and eyes on every roof. This rich city, one of the most visited in Romania, represents 800 years of history in an unspoilt setting yet remains one of the most modern and dynamic cities in Europe.

A gastronomic tourism destination – the only city in Romania to be awarded three Michelin stars — Sibiu is a destination for history buffs, outdoor activities fans, photographers and hikers. 

A street in Namur.

European Best Destinations

Namur, Belgium

For foodies, instagrammers and those who love shopping, cocooning, culture, nature walks, evenings with friends or romantic city breaks, Namur is a must-visit.

A charming city with the Belgian surrealism of Brussels and the romanticism of Budapest or Bruges.

Among the most interesting destinations in Belgium, Namur is not just about relaxation and pampering. It also offers outdoor sports, paddling, hiking and other activities for young and old. “During your stay, do not forget to climb to the top of the Citadel and treat yourself to a romantic cruise on the Meuse,” recommends EBD. If you have some time left, don’t miss neighboring Dinant, where the river Meuse also flows. Both towns share the moniker “daughters of the Meuse.”

Rijeka, Croatia

European Best Destinations 2020

Rijeka, Croatia

One of the most fashionable cities in Europe, it’s at the top of the wish-list of travelers who have already toured major cities and are looking for something different.

Croatia’s third-largest city, it also was declared ‘European Capital of Culture’ in 2020. Rijeka is a destination for discerning travelers who don’t want to choose between beach and city, culture and nature, tradition and modernity. It has it all.

“Do not miss the Rijeka Carnival, one of the most beautiful in Europe,” EBD insists. Art lovers shouldn’t miss a visit to the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art.

Hévíz, Hungary

European Best Destinations

 Hévíz, Hungary

Relaxation and wellbeing are key words for travelers to Hévíz, a name that means “hot water” in Hungarian. The city has the world’s largest natural thermal lake surrounded by lush forests.

Located near Budapest and Vienna, Hévíz has been welcoming spa visitors since the 18th century. It’s probably the only spa destination where you can swim among white, pink and purple lilies, relax with thermal mud massages on a floating pavilion on the lake, row a canoe in the steamy warm water of the stream or have a winter swim in the 24°C thermal lake while large snowflakes fall around you.

This destination is ideal for families and lovers of outdoor sports (kayaking, golf, cycling, hiking) as well as gourmets.

Bydgoszcz, Poland

European Best Destinations

Bydgoszcz, Poland

One of the trendiest destinations in 2020 for those who like to think outside the box and want an unforgettable urban break.

The city has an incredible cathedral, considered one of the most beautiful Gothic churches in Europe with its unexpected explosion of colors inside. EBD recommends that you take “a walk along the photogenic Brda River or relax on the Mill Island or go paddling.”

Looking for another place to blow up your Instagram account? Visit the Museum of Soap and History of Dirt, which attracts visitors from all over the world.

Bydgoszcz offers trendy and traditional bars and restaurant as well as affordable hotels.

Cork, Ireland

European Best Destinations 2020

Cork, Ireland

A colorful, jazzy, sporty, culinarily innovative and traditional destination. In one word, Cork is very…Irish. 

More than merely a common city break, this is a holiday by the sea, hiking or biking with the children, great restaurants, wellness retreats, kayaking, windsurfing. The point: Cork has it all, from dramatic natural landscapes and mountains to river valleys and coastlines.

Cork city and county offer visitors history, heritage and landmarks, artisan food and drink and a strong cultural, musical and artistic vibe.

Rochefort Océan, France

European Best Destinations 2020

Rochefort Océan, France

The most family-friendly of the 2020 selections, Rochefort Océan, located in Charente-Maritim, is a favorite sustainable-tourism destination in Europe and has been selected and rewarded by the European Commission for its commitment to the environment.

On the French west coast, Rochefort Ocean combines history and heritage, nature and scenery. “Go bird watching, have a cruise around Fort Boyard, visit the former naval rope-making unit, enjoy the thermal baths,” invites EBD. “Or what about lazing or sunbathing in the typical and historical French seaside resort of Fouras? Or fishing or sailing or windsurfing in Port des Barques?”

With a 25 kilometer-long coastline and five beaches, Rochefort Océan is a dream destination for seaside holidays. On the other side of the estuary, the oyster farming Port-des-Barques is ideal for a walk to Ile Madame, the smallest of the four Charente Maritime islands.

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Best Places To Visit In November: Where To Travel This Fall

Berlin

November is a great month for off-season travel and you’ll be thankful for the cheaper prices and shorter lines at tourist attractions. Here you’ll find cheap travel deals on flights, hotels, vacations, and cruises that allow for travel during the month of November.

Check out our best November travel deals:

Where are we traveling in November?

At TravelPirates, we’re always on the move and we love nothing more than exploring new destinations. We sat down with one of our editors, Carmen Morion Castilla, to find out where she’s traveling this November. Read on for her top tips on how to make the most of your trip, travel hacks, and where she’s headed this fall.

How To Travel Like a Pirate! An Interview with Carmen Morion Castilla

Carmen in Vancouver, Canada

Name

Carmen Morion Castilla

Job Title

I’m a content editor and deal hunter. My job is to make it easy, enjoyable, and affordable for people to travel. My job is also to motivate potential travelers, inspire them, and ease the whole travel search and organization process for them.

Background

I originally come from Cadiz, Spain. After I studied in Ireland during my fifth year of high school, a whole new world opened up for me. I realized, traveling, getting to know different people, and basically getting out of my comfort zone made me grow as a person, and I wanted more. I started a degree in Business Administration in Seville but thanks to some academic merits-based scholarship, I was able to study two semesters in Germany, one in Canada, and one in Madrid. After getting some work experience in the marketing department of a hotel headquarters, I headed to Germany to improve my German. Once there, I found a job in the travel industry, which led me to stay there for over 3 years. After having lived outside Spain for over six years, I felt homesick and started to look for options to continue to develop myself professionally in Spain and…here I am!

How many countries have you visited?

19

Carmen in Berlin, Germany

What is your favorite place you’ve traveled so far and why?

Hong Kong. It was the most random and unplanned travel ever. We decided to go somewhere in two weeks and found cheap flights to HK. Since my passport was expiring in 5 months, we could not visit anywhere else in China, we needed to stay in HK province. It turned out that Chinese New Year was the first week we were there. It was just an amazing experience, we were able to participate in the local traditions, and we discovered many beautiful isolated places in HK like paradise beaches and traditional fishing towns..

Where are you traveling in November?

I’m going to Florida because I have a friend living in Tampa who I’ve been meaning to visit for over 5 years! I will be there with my boyfriend for 10 days. We will arrive in Orlando and my friends will pick us up and take us to Tampa, where we will spend two days before flying to Key West together. We will spend two nights there, then take a road trip through the Florida Keys on our way to Miami, where we will spend one or two nights. Then it’s Tampa to celebrate Thanksgiving with my friends. The day after, we will buy a huge suitcase to fill on Black Friday. For the last 3 days, my friends will show us around, and we will probably explore Orlando a bit more.

What are 3 tips you have for someone looking to plan a vacation on a budget?

1. Book either with far in advance or at the last minute (or just use TravelPirates!)
2. If possible, pay with cash instead of a credit card. It helps not to lose track of what you are actually expending.
3. Avoid eating right in the city center, where the most touristy places are, and instead look for somewhere that caters to locals.

Carmen in Hong Kong, China

What are the most underrated travel destinations?

The Moselle Valley in Germany, Gibraltar, Iran, and Madagascar.

What song/album/artist gets you in the mood to travel?

Lonely Traveler by A. Blue 

Some people like to plan everything down to the tiniest detail when they travel, and some prefer to be completely spontaneous. Where do you fall on the spectrum?

I tend to plan everything but thankfully, don’t stress out if we change plans at the last minute or cancel them altogether. I think it is good to do research and get the big picture of what you are going to find, and to define you priorities. However, you will just truly see what there is, once you are there. That’s why it’s normal and perfectly fine to change plans or even to decide not to do anything for a day, and instead just hang around and enjoy the city like a local.

You’ve been gifted an all-expenses-paid trip anywhere in the world–where do you go?

I’d go to the Bahamas to swim with the wild pigs.

What were your most memorable/unique travel experiences?

Going dog sledding in the Rocky Mountains in Canada & spending Chinese New Year in China.

What kind of trip/destination would you recommend for someone who has never traveled outside the US?

I would recommend that they travel in Europe. I think it’s interesting for someone who has never left the US to see so many different countries, so close to each other but still so different, with their own customs, architecture, languages, etc.

Fill in the blank: When I travel to a new city, the first thing I like to do is ___________________

Find out what the typical food is and try it.

Fill in the blank: When I discovered ________________ it made travel so much better

Sketchers.

Carmen in the Rocky Mountains, Canada

Fill in the blank: I know a lot of people love ______________ when traveling, but I hate it.

Going on guided bus tours.

What was your longest trip?

10 days in Hong Kong.

What was your shortest trip?

A road trip from Saturday to Sunday, traveling from Düsseldorf to Luxemburg, passing by a few a few cute towns in Germany, and sleeping over in the Netherlands.

Tell us about a time when you felt like a pirate on your travels.

Well, once I went to Amsterdam with two friends. Once we got there, we realized we had been scammed with the house where we were supposed to stay in. We found ourselves, three people, in Amsterdam at midnight with our suitcases and nowhere to sleep and found some random hostal with a big poster on the door saying “Free Room”. The receptionist/owner slept on the sofa in the hall, in his underwear, with his cat. We squeezed in a super tiny room with 1 bed, where I saw a mouse.

Anyhow, we took it all with good humor. The receptionist/owner turned out to be super nice, the hotel was right in the city center, we spent very little money, and we had lots of fun and laughed a lot throughout the trip.

Looking for more travel inspiration? Browse more of our latest November travel deals:

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Europe Travel: The 15 Coronavirus-Safest Christmas Trips According To European Best Destinations

Bavaria
Snow Ball With Christmas Tree In It

getty

Every year around this time, the European Best Destinations (EBD) organization, which is part of the European Commission’s EDEN Network (“European Destinations of Excellence”) working to promote sustainable tourism on the continent, releases its approved list of beautiful European cities that host the best Christmas markets.

It’s no exaggeration to say that practically every European city and town carries on its own traditional end-of-the-year holiday festivities, many of which have been occurring for centuries.

Although the process and the criteria for the selection this year had to be adjusted to account for Covid-19 measures and circumstances according to each country, EBD has unveiled a carefully-chosen list of destinations where it will be possible to enjoy the magic of Christmas while still following strict health and sanitary rules.

MORE FROM FORBES18 Gorgeous Hidden Gems To Visit In Europe When Travel Bans Lift, According To European Best DestinationsBy Cecilia Rodriguez

“Find out which are the safest Christmas markets in Europe for Covid-19,” EBD announced. “Since the start of this worldwide “Covid-19” crisis, we have kept you informed of the situation day after day by following the recommendations of the World Health Organization.” 

The Safest Christmas Markets/Destinations in Europe were chosen on the basis of the following criteria: number of Covid-19 cases per million inhabitants, number of hospital beds per inhabitant, proximity of airports, establishment of sanitary measures, hygiene charts in hotels, shops, restaurants, public transport and public places, provision of hydroalcoholic gels, masks and, last but not least, circulation routes inside the Christmas markets. 

MORE FROM FORBESGlobal Travel Bans: 115 Worldwide Destinations Easing Covid Restrictions Says U.N, What To KnowBy Cecilia Rodriguez

They’re all located in destinations less affected by the coronavirus, up to 80 times fewer cases of Covid-19 and sometimes even no deaths linked to Covid-19 (such as the Madeira Islands, which tops the 2020 list). 

In the safest Christmas Markets in Europe, contactless payment methods are the norm, merchants have protective masks or visors and a signposted route stops visitors from crossing paths.

Among other recommendations, EBD advises travelers to remain vigilant and to remember the gestures, social distancing and mask if possible and necessary and to avoid traveling in case of poor health.

“People over 70, overweight or with respiratory problems should be particularly vigilant,” the organization warns.

Christmas decorations in Madeira, Portugal

Madeira, Portugal, Best and Safest European Christmas destination 2020

Photo: European Best Destinations

Madeira is the safest European destination this winter. With up to 12 times fewer cases of Covid-19 per million inhabitants than other European destinations and no deaths, the Portuguese island has been selected as the best destination for the Christmas holidays.

In addition to the “Safe and Clean” label established by the Portuguese National Tourist Office, Madeira officials have set up very rigorous health charters to welcome travelers in the best safety conditions while guaranteeing holidays for leisure, discovery and relaxation. 

They impose no quarantine on arrival for travelers that have taken the Covid-19 test before the trip (maximum 72 hours before departure). Scanning at the airport reinforces these security measures and various devices are in place, including hydroalcoholic gels and masks in crowded streets.

Everything is simply and well explained on the Madeira Safe to Discover site. Masks are compulsory in some places but not on the beaches.

Madeira’s Christmas market has been awarded the title of ‘Best Sunny Christmas Markets in Europe’ for its breathtaking tropical scenery, shiny illuminations, exotic fruits and flowers, local crafts and wines.

On several occasions, the market was previously awarded the title of “Best New Year’s Eve Destination in Europe.”

Christmas market dates:  December 1, 2020 to January 10, 2021. (Market Night is held on December 23.)  

Sanitary measures: Passengers flying to the Madeira archipelago must present a negative Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours prior to departure or they can perform it upon arrival. Masks are not required for beaches, sports activities or nature walks. Here is the form to be completed before travel.

Christmas market in Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn, Estonia: Best and Safest European Christmas Destination 2020

Photo: European Best Destinations

Awarded the title of Best Christmas Market in Europe in 2019, Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, is second on the list of favorite destination for winter holidays in Europe, with its family atmosphere, magical illuminations, traditional and artisanal products and delicious local delicacies.

To date, Estonia has recorded 18 times fewer severe cases of Covid-19 per million inhabitants than the most affected European countries. Hospitals have never been overcrowded and the virus has done much less harm than elsewhere in Europe. More quickly than other countries, Estonia was able to resume “normal” life while applying measures of social distancing, protection (masks) and the provision of hydroalcoholic gels in public spaces.

Christmas market dates: November 15, 2020, to January 5, 2021. 

Travelling to Estonia: An updated list of countries for which entry to Estonia is subject to limitations is available at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.

Latest info here.

Christmas market in Vienna, Austria

Vienna, Austria: Best and Safest European Christmas destination 2020

Photo: European Best Destinations

Vienna, third on the list of safest places to visit for the Christmas holidays, has also been recognized as one of the safest destinations in Europe. By reacting quickly to the pandemia and by taking a series of sanitary measures, Austria was up to 10 times less affected than other European countries. The number of serious cases of Covid-19 has remained far below the capacity of Austrian hospitals.

During the winter, Vienna has a multitude of Christmas market all around the city to suit every taste for family, food lovers, whether sustainable, vegan or terribly romantic.

From mid-November to Christmas, Vienna’s prettiest squares are transformed into magical spaces full of the Christmas atmosphere. The markets will be organized to ensure Covid-19 safety to make it possible for guests to enjoy a pleasant visit with enough space for everyone.

Christmas market dates: November 18 to December 26. 

Travelling to Austria: Entry from a country with a stable Covid-19 situation is possible without restrictions. The corresponding countries are listed in the Entry Ordinance.

 Sanitary measures: An entry and transit declaration are required. 

Luminous Christmas market in Craiova, Romania

Craiova, Romania: Best and Safest European Christmas destination 2020

Photo: European Best Destinations

Off the beaten track, the city of Craiova, Romania’s sixth-largest city and capital of the Dolj Countyin region, offers luminous Christmas markets that are both safe and authentic. If Craiova has experienced significantly fewer cases of Covid-19 than other European destinations, it’s thanks to the preventive measures put in place early by national and local authorities.

“This destination, which brings together internationally-renowned cultural institutions as well as world-renowned artistic events, was able to put its tourist offers on hold in order to be well prepared this winter and welcome you in the best conditions of health and security,” reports EBD.

Romania has more hospital beds per capita than Norway, the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Christmas market dates: November, 28, 2020 to January 1, 2021.

Travelling to Romania: Entry from EU+ countries is allowed without restrictions, with the exception of Luxembourg, Malta and some regions in Spain (Aragon, Catalonia, Navarra, Community of Madrid, Balearic Islands, Basque Country).

Sanitary measures: Travelers coming from countries with an incidence rate of new cases of Covid-19 in the last 14 days less than or equal to that registered in Romania are allowed to enter without restrictions.

Citizens coming from countries with a high incidence of COVID-19 infection should self-isolate at home or quarantine for 14 days.

Latest information here.

Christmas market in Prague, Czech Republic

Prague, Czech Republic: Best and Safest European Christmas destination 2020

Photo: European Best Destinations

Prague, Czech Republic 

With 15 times fewer severe cases of Covid-19 per million inhabitants than the most affected countries in Europe, the Czech Republic has made it to the list of the safest destinations for this winter holiday.

Recognized as one of the most beautiful Christmas markets in Europe, the Prague Christmas market will also be one of the safest this year. 

Strict health measures have been taken by the organizers to ensure the safety of visitors, such as signposted routes to respect social distancing, dispensers of hydroalcoholic gel, availability of masks and protective gloves for merchants, plexiglass protection and specific protocols for stalls that sell food and drink. 

Set in the heart of the city is a traditional Czech marketplace where in dozens of wooden stalls merchants offer typical Christmas goods and items such as traditional Czech blown glass balls, products made of glass pearls or straw, hand-embroidered tablecloths, wooden toys, biscuit cutters and many other traditional Czech products. Both young and adult gourmets can enjoy typical Czech Christmas biscuits, hot roasted chestnuts, gingerbread and typical Czech grilled sausages.

Christmas market dates: November 28, 2020, to January 6, 2021.  

Travelling to Czech Republic: Entry from EU+ countries is allowed without restrictions, with the exception of countries defined as “high risk” from an epidemiological point of view.

Sanitary measures: A Passenger Locator Form is mandatory for people traveling from countries that are not on the list of those with a low risk of infection

Latest information here.

Christmas in Gdansk, Poland

Gdansk, Poland: Best and Safest European Christmas destination 2020

Photo: European Best Destinations

With 13 times fewer severe cases of Covid-19 than the most affected European countries, Poland is among the safest countries in Europe.

“As a result of the pandemic, we all want to travel less and make the trips we want unforgettable by discovering exceptional places and a unique atmosphere,” says EBD. “Gdansk is the perfect mix of safety and leisure, relaxation and discovery for this winter holiday.”

Situated in the historical centre of Gdansk, the Christmas Fair is like a fairytale “thank you” to the unique atmosphere and beautiful scenery. Here you will find streets marked out only for this special time of year: Chocolate, Cinnamon, Angel or Christmas Eve Street.

Christmas market dates: November 23, 2020, to January 1, 2021. 

Travelling to Poland: Citizens of EU+ countries are allowed to enter Poland without restrictions.

Sanitary measures: A Passenger Locator Form and a Public Health Self Declaration are requested on flights.

Latest information here

Christmas market in Dresden, Germany

Dresden, Germany: Best and Safest European Christmas destination 2020

Photo: European Best Destinations

Considered one of the most beautiful and authentic Christmas markets in Germany, the Dresden Christmas market will also number among the safest in Europe this year, with Saxony, at up to 15 times fewer Covid-19 deaths than other European regions, one of the continent’s least affected by the coronavirus.

Given the pandemic, there is a particularly strong focus to make the Striezelmarkt, Germany’s oldest Christmas market, safe for everybody. 

With glittering lights, twinkling stars, the scent of gingerbread and Christmas carols, Dresden’s Striezelmarkt will boast a unique character for its 586th year. Regional specialties, such as Ore Mountain wood crafts, Lusatian blue-printed fabrics and Moravian stars, are particularly popular.

Christmas market dates: November 26 to December 24. 

Traveling to Germany: According to the Federal Ministry of Health’s Testing Obligation Ordinance, anyone having spent time in a risk area up to 14 days before their entry into Germany must either provide proof of having tested negative or get tested within 14 days of their entry into Germany. A country or an area is defined as “high-risk” when there are more than 50 new infections per 100,000 people over the last period of seven days.

Sanitary measures: No special documentation is required.

Latest information here.  

Best Christmas in Zagreb, Croatia

Zagreb, Croatia: Best and Safest European Christmas destination 2020

Photo: European Best Destinations

With 13 times fewer Covid-19 deaths per million inhabitants than other European countries, Croatia appears as a safe destination for the winter holidays.

Beyond the early sanitary measures put in place by the authorities, Croatia has a rich offer of tourist apartments, private villas, boutique hotels and small accommodations.

One of Croatia’s secrets was that her capital city Zagreb has one of the best Advent scenes in Europe. The secret is out now: Against strong competition, Zagreb was voted “Best Christmas Market in Europe” by European Best Destinations online polls for three consecutive years. 

Known worldwide as one of the best Christmas markets in Europe, along with ViennaBudapest and StrasbourgZagreb will welcome travelers this year with special sanitary standards adapted to the situation — dispensers of hydroalcoholic gel throughout the markets, disinfection of rides and ice skates, masks for vendors and protective plastic for those offering food. “The market is very large throughout the city and you will find the atmosphere that suits you for a safe and relaxed holiday,” according to EBD.

Christmas market dates: November 27, 2020, to January 3, 2021. 

Sanitary measures: Masks required on public transport, taxis, shops and other commercial premises. There are currently no requirements for travelers to produce a negative Covid test or self-isolate on arrival in Croatia. Screening on arrival. 

 Travelling to Croatia: Citizens of EU+ countries are allowed to enter Croatia without restrictions. Before entering the country, all travelers must complete the Enter Croatia form.

Latest information here.  

Christmas. Baden Baden. Baden Wurttemberg. Germany

Baden Baden, Germany: Best and Safest European Christmas destination 2020

REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

With a population equivalent to Belgium but five times fewer deaths linked to Covid- 19, the Baden-Württemberg region is one of the safest destinations for winter holidays.

Renowned as one of the best Christmas markets in Germany, the Baden-Baden Christmas market is implementing a series of health measures this year to combine safety and leisure.

Situated at the entrance of Baden-Baden’s splendid parks and gardens at the “Lichtentaler Allee,” the Christmas Market draws visitors into a romantic winter fairy tale with entertaining live-music programs and small streets of festive huts, where thousands of shimmering Christmas lights create a festive atmosphere.

“We are currently working into transforming our Christmas Market 2020 into a Corona-compatible market concept,” the organizers said. 

Christmas market dates:  November 26, 2020, to January 6, 2021.

Travelling to Germany: According to the Federal Ministry of Health’s Testing Obligation Ordinance, anyone having spent time in a risk area up to 14 days before their entry into Germany, if requested by the designated health office or other authority, must either provide proof of having tested negative or get tested within 14 days of entry into Germany. A country or an area is defined as “high-risk” when there are more than 50 new infections per 100,000 people over the last period of seven days.

Sanitary measures: No special documentation is required.

Latest information here

Best Christmas 2020: Bratislava, Slovakia

Bratislava, Slovakia: Best and Safest European Christmas destination 2020

Photo: European Best Destinations

Slovakia, along with Hungary, Austria, Poland and the Czech Republic, are destinations seen as safe, with far fewer cases of Covid-19 than elsewhere in Europe. Slovakia has so far recorded 75 times fewer deaths linked to Covid-19 per million inhabitants than the most-affected European countries. 

Thanks to these figures and stringent sanitary measures, Slovakia is seen as a safe destination for this winter.

Christmas time in Bratislava, the Capital of Slovakia on the Danube river and uniquely situated on the border of three countries, is connected with glowing streets, Christmas trees and stands full of goodies and craft products.

The Bratislava Christmas Market is located at the Main Square and Hviezdoslav Square in the city centre until December 23. In recent years, the Christmas Market has migrated to other locations of the city center as well, such as Bratislava castle.

Christmas market dates: November 23 to December 23. 

Traveling to Slovakia: Entry from EU+ countries is allowed without restrictions from countries classified as “low risk” from the epidemiological point of view.

Sanitary measures: No mandatory Travel Documentation

Latest information here.

Best Christmas 2020: Dusseldorf, Germany

Dusseldorf, Germany: Best and Safest European Christmas destination 2020

Photo: European Best Destinations

Not only is Düsseldorf’s one of the most beautiful Christmas markets in Germany, but one of the safest this year. The capital of the North Rhine-Westphalia region and the second largest city in this region after Cologne has had 10 times fewer severe cases of Covid-19 per million inhabitants than other European regions.

The city offers different Christmas markets to suit families, lovers and foodies.

Christmas market dates: November 23 to December 30. 

Traveling to Germany: According to the Federal Ministry of Health’s Testing Obligation Ordinance, anyone having spent time in a risk area up to 14 days before their entry into Germany, if requested by the designated health office or official, must either provide proof of having tested negative for Covid-19 or get tested within 14 days of their entry into Germany. A country or an area is defined as “high-risk” when there are more than 50 new infections per 100,000 people over the last period of seven days.

Sanitary measures: No special documentation is required.

Latest information here.

Best Christmas 2020: Ljubljana, Slovenia

Ljubljana, Slovenia: Best and Safest European Christmas destination 2020

Photo: European Best Destinations

With 12 times fewer severe cases of Covid-19 per million inhabitants than the most affected countries in Europe, Slovenia is positioned as one of the safest destinations this winter. Perfect for a break, far from stress in the middle of nature, Slovenia is the European destination most awarded by the European Commission for its commitment to sustainable tourism. 

“Treat yourself to unforgettable memories in Slovenia,” EBD recommends. “You can rent a car and discover other places in the country such as Bohinj, voted best hidden gem in Europe or Soca ValleyRadolca, awarded by the European Commission. 

 You can also treat yourself to a moment of pure relaxation and wonder as you walk through the illuminated streets of Ljubljana.”

This romantic destination, is one of the smallest European capitals and home to a Christmas market considered to be one of the most beautiful in Europe.

Christmas market dates: November 29, 2020, to January 5, 2021.

Travelling to Slovenia: Entry from EU+ countries is generally allowed without restrictions. Depending on their epidemiological situation, Slovenia divides countries in three categories (green, yellow and red). For each category, a different set of entry rules applies.

Sanitary measures: Face masks are required in indoor public spaces and public transport vehicles. Travelers from the red and yellow list must quarantine. No quarantine is required for travelers from the green list. No additional documentation is required.

Latest information here

Best Christmas 2020: Warsaw, Poland

Warsaw, Poland: Best and Safest European Christmas destination 2020

Photo: European Best Destinations

Poland is one of the European countries least affected by the coronavirus, along with Portugal and Greece. There are up to 13 times less deaths linked to Covid-19 per million inhabitants in Poland than in the most affected countries of Western Europe. No hospital has ever been overloaded and Poland has more hospital beds per inhabitant than the Netherlands or Switzerland.

Warsaw, the capital, with a historic center that has been declared a Unesco World Heritage, impresses with its resilience, respect for history and contemporary style. Its history is that of a people capable of facing any situation, of recovering and moving forward.

Facing Coronavirus, the Polish capital’s message has been: “Warsaw survived two world wars. We will get through this one too. See you very soon!” 

Warsaw will have two main, safe Christmas markets thanks to measures taken by local officials such as dispensed hydroalcoholic gel, signposted routes to ensure social distancing in the market and contactless payments.

Christmas market dates: November 29 to December 24. 

Travelling to Poland: Citizens of EU+ countries are allowed to enter Poland without restrictions.

Sanitary measures: A Passenger Locator Form and a Public Health Self Declaration are requested on flights.

Latest information here.

The streets illuminated for Christmas in Rothenburg, Germany

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, southern Germany: Best and Safest European Christmas destination 2020

DPA/AFP via Getty Images

With nearly five times fewer severe cases of Covid-19 per million inhabitants than in other parts of Europe, Bavaria is among the safest destinations in Europe. 

“Rothenburg ob der Tauber is probably the most magical destination at Christmas,” EBD writes. “The city appears to have been built to serve as the backdrop for one of Germany’s finest Christmas markets.”

With preventive measures but also many well-equipped hospitals, Germany has not experienced a critical situation during the pandemic. While measures are still in place for now, Germany is more open to travelers than many other European countries. Social distancing and wearing a mask are mandatory but not the Covid-19 test (except for travelers from countries at risk).  

Christmas market dates: November 23 to December 23. 

Traveling to Germany: According to the Federal Ministry of Health’s Testing Obligation Ordinance, anyone having spent time in a risk area up to 14 days before their entry into Germany, if requested by the designated health office or official, must either provide proof of having tested negative for Covid-19 or get tested within 14 days of their entry into Germany. A country or an area is defined as “high-risk” when there are more than 50 new infections per 100,000 people over the last period of seven days.

Sanitary measures: No special documentation is required.

Latest information here.

Best Christmas markets 2020: Graz, Austria

Graz, Austria: Best and Safest European Christmas destination 2020

Photo: European Best Destinations

Graz, Austria

Austria has remained a safe destination throughout the pandemic thanks to preventive and health measures taken early by the authorities. With up to 10 times fewer deaths per million inhabitants than the most other countries, Austria appears among the safest destination for the winter holidays in Europe.

Austria is welcoming travelers this winter with “the highest health and safety standards while doing everything to guarantee you wonderful moments for the winter holidays,” according to EBD.

 Graz, the capital of Styria and Austria’s second city, is a renaissance gem with a safe and unforgettable Christmas season. Numerous Christmas markets are located within walking distance, the oldest taking place around the Franciscan church. Close by is the Christmas market in front of City Hall with a giant Christmas tree and an old-fashioned merry-go-round for children.

The Eiserne Tor market is run exclusively by local charity organizations and the proceeds go to charity projects.

Christmas market dates: November 20 to December 24. 

Travelling to Austria: Entry from a country with a stable Covid-19 situation is possible without restrictions. The corresponding countries are listed in the Entry Ordinance.

Sanitary measures: An entry and transit declaration is required.

Latest information here.

Source

22 Best May destinations in Europe for 2020

Alps

BarcelonaThose looking for ideal destinations in Europe for the month of May have nearly endless choices. The May weather is warm enough to be nearly perfect in all but the most northern cities, and yet tourist crowds are still small since many people can’t get away until June or later.

Even though it’s “warm” in most of Europe in May, the only places warm enough for sunbathing are in the far south and the Mediterranean. Those looking for a hot-weather destination in May should be thinking about Asia or the Caribbean.

Contents

Important May holidays for Europe in 2020

  • May 1 – International Workers’ Day/Labour Day/May Day: A public holiday all over Europe
  • May 12 to 23 – Cannes Film Festival (France)
  • May 21 – Ascension Day (Germany, France, Italy, Spain etc)
  • May 25 – Spring Bank Holiday (United Kingdom)

Europe’s best May beach destinations

Costa del Sol/Malaga, Spain

  • May avg high: 75F/24C
  • May avg low: 56F/13C
  • May avg precip: 0.9″/2.3cm

cable carMay is the first month of the year that southern Spain has reliable enough warm days that you can book a beach trip for sunbathing. Most people have at least heard of Spain’s famous Costa del Sol, which is a group of beach towns just west of Malaga and the Malaga Airport. Each town has its own vibe and style, with Marbella being the most famous and most upscale of them.

Since the season doesn’t really begin until June, hotel and apartment rental prices in this area can be very good in May. And cheap flights into Malaga are easy to find on various discount airlines all over Europe in May. If you are coming from North America it’s probably cheaper to fly into Madrid or Barcelona and then book a separate flight from there to Malaga. On the other hand, if you are coming from North America it might not be worth stopping in this area at all. It’s a place most people visit simply to relax and sit in the sun.

  • Good 3-star hotels in May from €61 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in May from €92 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in May from €13 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Costa del Sol
>>>Costa del Sol/Malaga prices and travel tips

Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

  • May avg high: 75F/24C
  • May avg low: 64F/18C
  • May avg precip: 0.2″/0.5cm

Canary IslandsThe Canary Islands are warm pretty much all year round, and May is one of the better months because it’s warm enough for sunbathing but still not so warm that it can get uncomfortable. Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands, and the most popular island for English speaking tourists, but you could get similar weather in any of them.

Hotels and apartment rentals are good deals in Tenerife all year round. The best area that usually has the best weather in Tenerife is along the southwest corner of the island, in Los Cristianos and up the coast from there. Flights into either Tenerife airport are pretty cheap from the European continent. Often the flights into the North Airport are cheaper, and there is a public bus that connects it with the South Airport in one hour. Air+hotel package deals from major cities in Europe can be great deals as well.

  • Good 3-star hotels in May from €47 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in May from €70 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in May from €12 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Tenerife
>>>Tenerife prices and travel tips

Antalya, Turkey

  • May avg high: 79F/26C
  • May avg low: 58F/14C
  • May avg precip: 1.3″/3.3cm

central ItalyAntalya isn’t technically in Europe, but nearly all the guests who come here are European and it’s a fairly short flight from many large European cities. This is a historic city with interesting sights and ruins on display in the Old Town center, but most people who come here head straight to one of the larger beach hotels in either direction from the city center.

The value at hotels here is excellent, especially as the value of the Turkish Lira has struggled recently. Some areas in greater Antalya are popular with certain nationalities, so that’s worth looking into if you prefer to fit in. There are beaches where Germans or Brits or Russians or Swedes dominate, particularly at all-inclusive resorts. Many Europeans are skipping all of Turkey in the current political climate, which has helped bring room rates down even more. There have been no reports of any problems for tourists in Antalya, though it never hurts to check the news before you book.

  • Good 3-star hotels in May from €15 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in May from €26 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in May from €9 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Antalya
>>>Antalya prices and travel tips

Non-beach destinations that are nice in May

Rome, Italy

  • May avg high: 72F/22C
  • May avg low: 53F/12C
  • May avg precip: 1.3″/3.3cm

Croatian coastThe warmest summer days in Rome can be brutal, but May is pretty much lovely from start to finish so it’s the ideal time to come. Many of the famous sights here are outdoors, so being able to see them in pleasant and dry weather is a huge plus, and you get that all month long in May.

The busy tourist season in Italy starts in June, so May is really the perfect month to visit as you’ll get cheaper flights, cheaper hotels, and smaller crowds even though the weather is perfect. If you have extra days you might consider taking a train down to Sorrento for a few days along the Amalfi Coast nearby, which is also wonderful this time of year. It’s worth noting that Rome can be a rather hectic place to visit, so many savvy travelers prefer to stay only a few days and move on to someplace more relaxing.

  • Good 3-star hotels in May from €61 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in May from €68 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in May from €11 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Rome
>>>Rome prices and travel tips

Florence, Italy

  • May avg high: 74F/23C
  • May avg low: 52F/11C
  • May avg precip: 2.9″/7.3cm

GermanyFor most people who start their first Italy visit in Rome, the wonderful Tuscan city of Florence is their next stop. You get a bit more rainfall in this area, but it’s still dry most of the time here, and most of the sights here are indoors anyway.

Since Rome can feel a bit chaotic, it’s nice to linger in Florence if you have extra days. You can do a day trip to Pisa or Siena from here, as well as the Cinque Terre. There are also some very nice hill towns just a short train ride away, so Florence is an ideal hub for sightseeing in the central Italy region.

  • Good 3-star hotels in May from €72 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in May from €103 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in May from €23 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Florence
>>>Florence prices and travel tips

Venice, Italy

  • May avg high: 70F/21C
  • May avg low: 54F/12C
  • May avg precip: 2.7″/6.8cm

Greek IslandsIf you are going to Rome and Florence then you should head next to Venice. The May temperatures are very pleasant, which will help you deal with the crowds here. The key to a good Venice visit is to stay for one or two nights on the main island so you can do most of your sightseeing in the early morning and evenings, before or after the day-trippers are here.

Hotels on the main island are understandably more expensive than those on the mainland, but they are worth it at least for one night to avoid the crowds. The main sights can be seen in less than a day, and it’s so crowded that you really won’t want to linger for more than two days, although Venice is so unforgettable that no one regrets a visit.

  • Good 3-star hotels in May from €97 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in May from €177 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in May from €36 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Venice
>>>Venice prices and travel tips

Split, Croatia

  • May avg high: 72F/22C
  • May avg low: 59F/15C
  • May avg precip: 2.2″/5.5cm

IstanbulAs far as Croatian cities are concerned, Dubrovnik, is far better known, but Split is really the better choice for most visitors. Dubrovnik is a popular cruise port with a small (and stunning) walled city at its core, so it’s far more crowded and expensive than Split, which is actually a bit older with more interesting sights.

Split is also the main travel hub along the Croatian coast, as the train comes here but doesn’t reach Dubrovnik. There are also ferries in Split that can take you to the various nearby islands. The May weather may not be warm enough for sunbathing every day, but on some days it will be. And since the main tourist season doesn’t start until June, hotel prices and apartment rentals (called ‘sobes’ here) are very reasonable.

  • Good 3-star hotels in May from €36 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in May from €52 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in May from €11 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Split
>>>Split prices and travel tips

Paris, France

  • May avg high: 68F/20C
  • May avg low: 53F/12C
  • May avg precip: 2.4″/6.0cm

ItalyParis is farther north than you might realize, so it’s cooler in May than most of Europe, but it’s still pretty much a perfect month to visit. This city is popular all year with tourists from all over the world, but the May crowds are lighter than the June crowds, so it’s easier to hit the main sights in less time. Speaking of that, if you want to see the famous sights in a few days you should consider a Paris Pass.

Hotel prices are moderate in May, but this is also a major business capital so many of the 4-star hotels in the city center will be full for most of the month. You should be able to stay reasonably in non-business neighborhoods such as the glorious Rue Cler or the more edgy Montmartre.

  • Good 3-star hotels in May from €96 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in May from €121 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in May from €32 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Paris
>>>Paris prices and travel tips

Nice, France

  • May avg high: 68F/20C
  • May avg low: 56F/13C
  • May avg precip: 1.9″/4.8cm

MadridVisitors who fly into Paris and want to see something else in France will often end up in Nice. This Mediterranean city is packed all summer with French people on their annual holidays, but that doesn’t start until late June, so May is a perfect time to visit.

The city of Nice itself is a very worthwhile destination, but it’s also a great stop because it’s a 20-minute train ride from Cannes to the west and from Monaco to the east. Both of those cities are fascinating day trips, yet the hotels in both are quite expensive so Nice is the ideal base. The Cannes Film Festival is held in May so some people come to see the stars and that can fill up some hotels in Nice since it’s so close.

  • Good 3-star hotels in May from €74 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in May from €116 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in May from €30 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Nice
>>>Nice prices and travel tips

London, England

  • May avg high: 63F/17C
  • May avg low: 48F/9C
  • May avg precip: 2.0″/5.0cm

Malaga AirportLondon is famous for having only a few good weeks of weather each year, so the best you can hope for is to avoid the coldest and rainiest months. May is a very good month to visit because the crowds are smaller than they are in summer, and yet the weather is still warm enough and the days are long enough to do whatever you like.

Flights into London are particularly cheap for Americans these days, so it’s an ideal first stop for a European vacation. You can easily take the Eurostar train from here to Paris in a bit over two hours, and then be in Amsterdam in a bit over 3 hours from there. London hotels are expensive all year round, but you should have a better chance of finding a decent deal in May compared to July or August. The London Pass can be a good choice for those who want to do a lot of sightseeing in a short time.

  • Good 3-star hotels in May from €66 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in May from €128 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in May from €23 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for London
>>>London prices and travel tips

Barcelona, Spain

  • May avg high: 72F/21C
  • May avg low: 61F/12C
  • May avg precip: 2.3″/5.8cm

mykonosYou might expect Barcelona to be warmer in May than the temperatures listed above, but it’s farther north than you might expect, even though it’s on the Mediterranean. This city has become so popular with tourists that visiting in a mild-weather month is best because it’s easier to deal with the crowds at Sagrada Familia and along the Rambla than in summer.

Flights into Barcelona can be cheap, especially from within Europe, but even from the US and Canada the fares are reasonable. If you are visiting Barcelona you should really also visit Madrid (see below) and get there on the high-speed train in only 3 hours. Both cities are huge and quite different from one another.

  • Good 3-star hotels in May from €74 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in May from €96 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in May from €13 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Barcelona
>>>Barcelona prices and travel tips

Madrid, Spain

  • May avg high: 71F/22C
  • May avg low: 51F/11C
  • May avg precip: 2.0″/5.0cm

North AirportIn recent years it’s Barcelona (above) that has taken most of the spotlight in Spain, but Madrid is still a gorgeous and fascinating capital city. You should absolutely plan on spending about 3 days in each of them because they are so different and both so filled with worthwhile sights.

The May weather is pleasant enough for sightseeing in the day, and the evenings are mild enough that staying out late is still comfortable if you bring a jacket or sweater. You can get to nearby Toledo on a short train ride so it’s a popular day trip, and connections to Seville and Granada are also good so Madrid is an ideal hub for a full visit to Spain.

  • Good 3-star hotels in May from €45 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in May from €126 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in May from €23 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Madrid
>>>Madrid prices and travel tips

Lisbon, Portugal

  • May avg high: 71F/22C
  • May avg low: 56F/13C
  • May avg precip: 2.2″/5.5cm

SwitzerlandSpeaking of the Iberian Peninsula, Lisbon might be the most underrated capital in Europe. The remote location makes it difficult to combine with other cities unless you fly in or take the night train from Madrid. But those who do make the trip are rewarded with a lovely and interesting city that is also an unusual bargain.

Hotels and hostels in Lisbon are known for high quality at moderate prices, and May is one of the better month for deals before summer begins. The warm but not hot weather is also ideal for sightseeing in this hilly town. This is a good city to start a Europe tour in this month, because temperatures will get warmer as you move north and east as June approaches.

  • Good 3-star hotels in May from €51 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in May from €85 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in May from €27 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Lisbon
>>>Lisbon prices and travel tips

Berlin, Germany

  • May avg high: 66F/19C
  • May avg low: 48F/9C
  • May avg precip: 2.1″/5.3cm

AlpsBerlin is another huge tourism success story for Europe, as it’s now one of the continent’s most popular cities for holidays. The May weather might look a bit chilly, but it is pleasant enough and very nice as you avoid the even larger crowds starting in June.

There are a lot of outdoor attractions in Berlin, but at least May is a fairly dry month so you should be able to spend all day outside and be comfortable. One of Berlin’s many charms is that it’s one of the cheapest capital cities in western Europe. Hotel deals here are still quite good, especially in the areas of the former East.

  • Good 3-star hotels in May from €46 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in May from €79 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in May from €13 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Berlin
>>>Berlin prices and travel tips

Amsterdam, Netherlands

  • May avg high: 61F/16C
  • May avg low: 46F/8C
  • May avg precip: 2.0″/5.0cm

BarcelonaThose temperatures above might not look too appealing, but Amsterdam is another city that is so crowded from June through August that it can feel unbearable at times. May is a perfect month to come for decent temperatures and moderate rainfall. This is mostly an indoor city, but of course you’ll want to do a canal tour and perhaps a walking tour, so you can schedule those on the best weather days of your stay.

Flights into Amsterdam can be reasonable from all over the world. And if you are already in Europe you’ll find that trains here are wonderful. The high-speed train from Paris takes only a bit over 3 hours, and Berlin is only a bit over 5 hours away. A new hotel tax that launched in 2020 has made it even more expensive than it already was, but Amsterdam is amazing enough that it doesn’t sting as much as it might elsewhere.

  • Good 3-star hotels in May from €125 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in May from €162 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in May from €42 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Amsterdam
>>>Amsterdam prices and travel tips

Krakow, Poland

  • May avg high: 68F/20C
  • May avg low: 48F/9C
  • May avg precip: 2.2″/5.5cm

cable carWe consider Krakow to be Europe’s best big city travel bargain, and May is a great month to visit before the larger summer crowds descend on the place. There are a few cheaper large big cities in Europe, but none of them are this nice or interesting. Krakow has also become popular with the party crowd who fly in for weekend breaks to enjoy the cheap hotels, food, and drinks.

One of the reasons that Krakow isn’t even more crowded is that the trains are still fairly slow in this part of Europe, and the closest other large cities are Prague and Budapest. For that reason you might want to fly into Krakow, but you can also consider buses because they are usually cheaper and often just as fast as trains around here.

  • Good 3-star hotels in May from €39 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in May from €63 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in May from €12 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Krakow
>>>Krakow prices and travel tips

Istanbul, Turkey

  • May avg high: 71F/22C
  • May avg low: 54F/12C
  • May avg precip: 1.3″/3.3cm

Canary IslandsMany of us grew up with an image of Istanbul being surrounded by desert, but it’s actually on a similar latitude to Chicago, Rome, and Barcelona, so the May temperatures here are still mild. Easily one of the most fascinating and historic cities in the world, Istanbul had become somewhat expensive for a few years, but a fall in the currency here and drop in visits due to a few political protests have put it back into the bargain category.

Hotel prices in Istanbul in 2020 are now shockingly low, and restaurant prices are very reasonable as well. You’ll be amazed at how far your tourism fund goes in Turkey, as every other place is even cheaper than Istanbul. Consider a visit to the stunning Cappadocia area if you’ve got 2 or 3 extra days.

  • Good 3-star hotels in May from €24 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in May from €35 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in May from €10 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Istanbul
>>>Istanbul prices and travel tips

Prague, Czech Republic

  • May avg high: 66F/19C
  • May avg low: 47F/8C
  • May avg precip: 3.0″/7.5cm

central ItalyThe May temperatures in Prague don’t look great, and it does rain a bit this month. Still, the crowds in Prague have gotten so out of hand in summer that you’ll be far better off visiting before the main crush begins in June. The main sightseeing corridor in Prague is now almost like Venice in that it can be exhausting during peak season, so May is more enjoyable.

While Prague hotel prices have gone up in recent years, it’s still possible to get a well located hotel with good rates. And food here is still cheap as long as you avoid the most touristy places with the big English-language menus out front. If you have 2 or 3 more days in your trip you should consider a side trip to the wonderful small town of Cesky Krumlov, which is 3 hours away on a scenic bus ride or train.

  • Good 3-star hotels in May from €36 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in May from €47 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in May from €12 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Prague
>>>Prague prices and travel tips

Budapest, Hungary

  • May avg high: 71F/22C
  • May avg low: 51F/11C
  • May avg precip: 2.5″/6.3cm

Croatian coastIf Krakow is our best big-city bargain in Europe, Budapest is probably right behind it. The May temperatures are warm enough for sightseeing and the hotel rates here this month are still very modest. As long as you stay a bit away from the river, you can get excellent bargains in both accommodation and food.

The nightlife in Budapest is also a highlight, even for those who speak no Hungarian. The famous “ruin pubs” are like nothing you’ve seen before, with several forms of entertainment going on at all times, along with cheap drink prices.

  • Good 3-star hotels in May from €45 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in May from €64 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in May from €11 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Budapest
>>>Budapest prices and travel tips

Athens, Greece

  • May avg high: 79F/26C
  • May avg low: 57F/14C
  • May avg precip: 0.9″/2.3cm

GermanyThe month of May is perfect in Athens as it’s plenty warm enough to enjoy the outdoor sights such as the Acropolis, but not yet so hot and crowded that it can get miserable. May is also the first month of the year that visiting the Greek Islands is worthwhile, so many people will spend 2 or 3 days in Athens and then take a ferry or flight to an island for some serious relaxation.

Greece has hundreds of islands with hotels and tourism, spread over a large area. There are a few within a short ferry ride to Athens, but the most famous ones are farther out. If this is your first visit to Greece you should consider Santorini, Mykonos, or Rhodes. They are the most popular and can be reached by ferry or air.

  • Good 3-star hotels in May from €49 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in May from €60 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in May from €11 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Athens
>>>Athens prices and travel tips

Valletta, Malta

  • May avg high: 72F/22C
  • May avg low: 59F/15C
  • May avg precip: 0.5″/1.3cm

Greek IslandsIf you aren’t British or Maltese, you might not know much about this former British possession. This small group of islands is located just south of Sicily, and it has some of Europe’s best year-round weather. There aren’t many sandy beaches on these islands, but there is plenty of sunshine and places to enjoy it.

The value in Malta is also very good, as you can get hotels and meals even in the tourist-friendly areas such as Sliema at very appealing prices. Valletta itself is the small historic capital district with only a few hotels, so most people stay elsewhere on the coast and visit Valletta for a few hours here and there.

  • Good 3-star hotels in May from €82 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in May from €87 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in May from €22 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Valletta
>>>Valletta prices and travel tips

Interlaken, Switzerland

  • May avg high: 66F/19C
  • May avg low: 46F/8C
  • May avg precip: 4.8″/12.0cm

IstanbulMany people know they want to visit somewhere in Switzerland, but they aren’t sure where. That’s the main reason I wrote an article called where to go in Switzerland on a short visit. If you are thinking about Switzerland I hope you read it, but the short version is that you should probably head to the Interlaken area, and also Lucerne if you have more than 3 days or so.

Interlaken is Switzerland’s top outdoor sports capital, with skiing and snowboarding for almost half the year, as well as hiking and paragliding among other things for the rest of the year. May is usually too late to ski, but a perfect time for the non-snow adventure activities. The Alps views here are the best in Europe, particularly the Schilthorn cable car and observation deck, and the Jungfraujoch railway.

  • Good 3-star hotels in May from €78 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in May from €156 for two people

>>>Check hotel deals for Interlaken
>>>Interlaken prices and travel tips

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