In recent years, there has been an undeniable rise of European Travel Fever among US travellers, as they find themselves irresistibly drawn to Europe’s enchanting destinations. With a wealth of history, culture, and natural beauty, several countries have emerged as the most popular choices for American wanderers seeking to fulfil their European travel dreams. From the iconic landmarks of Italy to the romantic charm of France, the historical grandeur of the United Kingdom, the captivating allure of Germany, and the vibrant culture of Spain, these nations have captured the hearts and imaginations of US travellers. Whether exploring ancient ruins in Rome, strolling through the charming streets of Paris, or indulging in the culinary delights of Barcelona, each country promises a unique and unforgettable experience. These popular destinations invite visitors to immerse themselves in their rich heritage, embrace new cultures, and create lasting memories. With a blend of history, art, architecture, and natural wonders, Europe beckons travellers across the Atlantic to embark on a journey of discovery and create their own extraordinary travel stories. Here are the 5 most popular European countries that US travellers love to visit.
Portugal, located in southwestern Europe, is a captivating country that enthrals visitors with its rich history, stunning landscapes, and warm hospitality. Famous for its breathtaking coastline, Portugal offers a diverse range of experiences. From the rugged cliffs of the Algarve to the golden beaches of the Silver Coast, beach lovers are spoiled for choice. The country’s charming cities, such as Lisbon, Porto, and Coimbra, showcase a unique blend of old-world charm and contemporary vibrancy.
Portugal’s cultural heritage is celebrated through its architectural wonders, including medieval castles, ornate palaces, and ancient Roman ruins. The country is also renowned for its delectable cuisine, featuring fresh seafood, pastries, and world-class wines like Port and Vinho Verde. Additionally, Portugal’s fado music, a heartfelt and soulful genre, reflects the nation’s poetic soul.
Outdoor enthusiasts can explore the verdant Douro Valley, hike the stunning trails of Madeira Island, or surf the Atlantic waves along the western coast. Portugal’s warm climate and hospitable locals create an inviting atmosphere for travellers, making it an unforgettable destination for those seeking beauty, history, and adventure.
Places to Explore in Portugal
- Lisbon: Portugal’s vibrant capital city is a must-visit destination. Explore the historic Alfama neighbourhood with its narrow streets and Fado music, visit iconic landmarks like Belém Tower and Jerónimos Monastery, and enjoy panoramic views from Miradouro da Senhora do Monte.
- Porto: Known for its port wine, Porto offers a charming blend of history and beauty. Wander through the UNESCO-listed Ribeira district, cross the Dom Luís I Bridge, and explore the famous port wine cellars of Vila Nova de Gaia. Take a boat cruise along the Douro River for breathtaking views.
- The Azores: This archipelago in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean is a paradise for nature lovers. São Miguel, the largest island, boasts stunning landscapes and geothermal wonders. Explore Sete Cidades, a twin lake surrounded by volcanic craters, and relax in the thermal hot springs of Furnas Valley.
- Sintra: Just outside of Lisbon, Sintra is a fairytale-like town with enchanting attractions. Visit the colourful Pena Palace perched on a hilltop, explore the mystical Quinta da Regaleira with its secret tunnels, and enjoy panoramic views from the medieval Moorish Castle.
- Algarve: Portugal’s southernmost region is known for its beautiful coastline. Discover Lagos with its historic centre and dramatic rock formations, relax on the golden sandy beaches, and explore the Ria Formosa Natural Park near Faro, a haven for birdwatching and nature enthusiasts.
These top 5 places in Portugal offer a diverse range of experiences, from historic landmarks to breathtaking natural wonders, ensuring that visitors can immerse themselves in the country’s unique charm and create unforgettable memories.
Spain, a vibrant and diverse country in southwestern Europe, captivates visitors with its rich history, stunning landscapes, and vibrant culture. From the sunny beaches of Costa del Sol to the snow-capped peaks of the Sierra Nevada, Spain offers a wide range of natural beauty. The country’s iconic cities, such as Madrid, Barcelona, and Seville, are renowned for their stunning architecture, vibrant nightlife, and world-class museums.
Spain’s cultural heritage is deeply rooted in its historic landmarks, such as the majestic Alhambra in Granada, the medieval city walls of Toledo, and the magnificent Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. The country’s passion for food and drink is evident in its delectable cuisine, from tapas and paella to the world-famous wines of Rioja and cava.
Spain’s festivals and traditions are equally captivating, with flamenco dancing, bullfighting, and lively street celebrations like La Tomatina and Las Fallas. Outdoor enthusiasts can explore the rugged beauty of the Pyrenees, hike the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route, or relax on the picturesque islands of the Balearic or Canary Islands.
Places to Explore in Spain
- Barcelona: Nestled on the northeastern coast, Barcelona is a city that blends modernism and Mediterranean charm. Marvel at the extraordinary architecture of Antoni Gaudí at the iconic Sagrada Família and Park Güell. Take a stroll along Las Ramblas, soak up the lively atmosphere of the Gothic Quarter, and enjoy the city’s beautiful beaches.
- Madrid: As the capital and cultural heart of Spain, Madrid offers a mix of history, art, and vibrant nightlife. Visit the world-renowned Prado Museum, explore the grand Royal Palace, and soak in the lively ambience of the Puerta del Sol. Indulge in the local culinary scene and experience traditional flamenco performances.
- Seville: Located in the Andalusian region, Seville is a city brimming with rich history and captivating architecture. Explore the majestic Alcázar of Seville, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and marvel at the awe-inspiring Seville Cathedral. Take a stroll through the picturesque streets of the Santa Cruz neighbourhood and witness the passionate art of flamenco.
- Granada: Home to the iconic Alhambra, Granada offers a glimpse into Spain’s Moorish past. Explore the intricate palaces and stunning gardens of the Alhambra, and wander through the labyrinthine streets of the Albaicín neighbourhood. Visit the historic neighbourhood of Sacromonte, famous for its flamenco caves and stunning views of the city.
- Valencia: Situated on the southeastern coast, Valencia is known for its modern architecture, beautiful beaches, and lively festivals. Discover the futuristic City of Arts and Sciences, stroll through the picturesque Turia Gardens, and explore the historic city centre, home to the stunning Valencia Cathedral and the bustling Mercado Central.
Whether you’re captivated by the architectural wonders of Barcelona, the artistic treasures of Madrid, the historical charm of Seville, the Moorish splendour of Granada, or the vibrant energy of Valencia, Spain promises an unforgettable jou
Italy, a country in Southern Europe, is a treasure trove of ancient history, remarkable art, and breathtaking landscapes. Renowned for its rich cultural heritage, Italy is home to iconic cities like Rome, Florence, and Venice, each brimming with architectural marvels, world-class museums, and enchanting piazzas.
Italy’s historical sites, such as the Colosseum, the Vatican City, and the ruins of Pompeii, offer a glimpse into the grandeur of ancient civilizations. Art lovers are drawn to Italy’s Renaissance masterpieces, with works by Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and Botticelli adorning the walls of galleries and churches.
Beyond its cultural heritage, Italy entices visitors with its natural beauty. From the picturesque Amalfi Coast to the rolling hills of Tuscany, the country’s landscapes inspire awe. Indulging in Italy’s culinary delights is a must, with its world-renowned cuisine featuring mouthwatering pizza, pasta, gelato, and fine wines like Chianti and Barolo.
Places to Explore in Italy
- Rome: As the eternal city, Rome offers a captivating blend of ancient ruins and modern vitality. Explore iconic landmarks such as the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and the Pantheon. Visit the Vatican City to marvel at St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel. Take leisurely walks through charming neighbourhoods like Trastevere and indulge in authentic Italian cuisine.
- Florence: Known as the birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence is a city of immense cultural significance. Admire the magnificent art at the Uffizi Gallery and marvel at the architectural beauty of the Florence Cathedral, with its famous dome. Explore the charming streets of the historic centre, visit the Ponte Vecchio bridge, and immerse yourself in the world of Michelangelo’s David at the Accademia Gallery.
- Venice: Built on a lagoon, Venice is a city like no other, renowned for its picturesque canals and romantic ambience. Take a gondola ride along the Grand Canal, visit St. Mark’s Square with its stunning basilica and Doge’s Palace, and get lost in the labyrinthine streets of charming neighbourhoods. Experience the magic of the Venetian Carnival and indulge in delectable Venetian cuisine.
- Amalfi Coast: This stunning coastal stretch in southern Italy is famous for its dramatic cliffs, colourful fishing villages, and crystal-clear waters. Visit the charming town of Positano, with its pastel-coloured houses cascading down the cliffs. Explore the town of Amalfi with its striking cathedral, and discover the beautiful village of Ravello, known for its breathtaking views.
- Tuscany: Known for its rolling hills, vineyards, and medieval towns, Tuscany is a region that captures the essence of the Italian countryside. Explore the historic city of Siena with its stunning cathedral and Piazza del Campo. Visit the iconic Leaning Tower of Pisa in the city of Pisa. Discover the charming town of San Gimignano, known for its medieval towers, and indulge in the renowned wines of the region.
The United Kingdom, comprised of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, is a fascinating and diverse country that seamlessly blends centuries-old traditions with modern innovation. The UK is renowned for its historical landmarks, including the iconic Big Ben, the Tower of London, and the majestic Stonehenge, offering glimpses into its storied past.
The British cultural scene is renowned worldwide, with literature, music, and cinema playing pivotal roles. From the works of Shakespeare to the legendary bands of the British Invasion, the UK has made enduring contributions to the arts.
With its rich history, cultural heritage, and breathtaking landscapes, the United Kingdom invites visitors to delve into its past while embracing its dynamic present. Whether exploring ancient castles, immersing oneself in literary history, or enjoying the vibrant energy of its cities, the UK offers an unforgettable journey through time and culture.
Places to Explore in the United Kingdom
- London: The vibrant capital city of the UK, London is a global metropolis brimming with iconic landmarks and cultural attractions. Explore the historic Tower of London, marvel at the magnificent Buckingham Palace, and visit world-class museums like the British Museum and the National Gallery. Take a stroll along the Thames River, visit the bustling Covent Garden, and enjoy the vibrant nightlife of the West End.
- Edinburgh: The capital of Scotland, Edinburgh is a city steeped in history and charm. Visit the magnificent Edinburgh Castle perched atop the Royal Mile and explore the medieval streets of the atmospheric Old Town. Discover the elegant Georgian architecture of the New Town and hike up Arthur’s Seat for panoramic views of the city. Don’t miss the famous Edinburgh Festival, a celebration of arts and culture.
- Stonehenge: Located in Wiltshire, England, Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument that continues to captivate visitors. Marvel at the enigmatic stone circle, believed to have been constructed over 4,000 years ago. Learn about its mysteries and significance at the visitor centre and take in the ancient landscape that surrounds this UNESCO World Heritage site.
- The Lake District: Nestled in northwest England, the Lake District National Park is renowned for its breathtaking beauty. Explore the picturesque lakes, such as Windermere, Derwentwater, and Ullswater, framed by stunning mountains and charming villages. Enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, boating, and cycling amidst the idyllic landscapes that have inspired poets and writers for centuries.
- Cardiff: The capital city of Wales, Cardiff offers a blend of history, modern attractions, and vibrant culture. Visit Cardiff Castle, a medieval fortress with Roman origins, and explore the charming Victorian arcades. Experience the city’s dynamic waterfront at Cardiff Bay, home to the Wales Millennium Centre and numerous entertainment venues. Don’t miss the enchanting St Fagans National Museum of History, showcasing Welsh heritage and traditions.
Whether you’re exploring the iconic landmarks of London, delving into the history of Edinburgh, pondering the mysteries of Stonehenge, immersing yourself in the natural beauty of the Lake District, or experiencing the vibrant Welsh culture in Cardiff, the UK promises an unforgettable journey filled with remarkable experiences and captivating discoveries.
Greece, located in southeastern Europe, is a captivating country that beckons travellers with its ancient history, idyllic islands, and vibrant Mediterranean culture. Known as the birthplace of democracy and Western civilization, Greece is steeped in myth and legend, with iconic archaeological sites that include the Acropolis in Athens and the ruins of Delphi.
The Greek islands, such as Santorini, Mykonos, and Crete, boast picturesque landscapes of white-washed houses, azure waters, and stunning sunsets. Each island has its unique charm, offering visitors a chance to relax on pristine beaches, explore charming villages, and savour fresh Mediterranean cuisine.
Greek cuisine is a gastronomic delight, with dishes like moussaka, souvlaki, and tzatziki tantalizing taste buds. Olive oil, feta cheese, and fresh seafood are staples of the Mediterranean diet, creating a culinary experience that is both healthy and indulgent.
The warmth and hospitality of the Greek people add to the allure of the country. Whether in bustling city markets or remote island villages, Greeks welcome visitors with open arms and a zest for life.
Places to Explore in Greece
- Athens: The capital city of Greece, Athens is a treasure trove of history and iconic landmarks. Explore the majestic Acropolis, home to the iconic Parthenon, and visit the Acropolis Museum to delve into the ancient world. Stroll through the historic Plaka neighbourhood, visit the Ancient Agora, and marvel at the Panathenaic Stadium, the birthplace of the modern Olympics.
- Santorini: Known for its stunning sunsets and white-washed buildings, Santorini is a dreamy destination in the Cyclades island group. Explore the charming towns of Oia and Fira, perched on cliffs overlooking the azure Aegean Sea. Wander through the narrow streets, enjoy the breathtaking views, and relax on the unique black sand beaches. Don’t miss the opportunity to sample the delicious local wines produced from the island’s volcanic soil.
- Mykonos: Famous for its vibrant nightlife and picturesque landscapes, Mykonos is a beloved island in the Cyclades. Explore the charming town of Chora, with its iconic windmills, narrow streets, and vibrant waterfront. Relax on the beautiful beaches, such as Paradise Beach and Super Paradise Beach, and immerse yourself in the lively beach club scene. Mykonos is also known for its quaint villages and beautiful churches.
- Delphi: Delve into the ancient world at the archaeological site of Delphi, located on the slopes of Mount Parnassus. Explore the ruins of the Temple of Apollo and the Delphi Theater, and visit the Delphi Archaeological Museum to admire ancient artefacts. Delphi holds great historical and mythological significance, as it was once considered the centre of the world in Greek mythology.
- Crete: The largest Greek island, Crete offers a diverse range of experiences. Explore the ancient Palace of Knossos, the legendary labyrinth of the Minotaur, and discover the rich Minoan civilization. Relax on stunning beaches, such as Balos and Elafonisi, and hike through the breathtaking Samaria Gorge. Visit the charming towns of Chania and Rethymno, with their Venetian architecture and picturesque harbours.