Europe is the most visited continent in the world. Each year millions of tourists travel to various destinations across the continent to get some much-needed relaxation or for business. According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, 713 million tourists visited European countries in 2018.
But which are the most traveled to countries in Europe? If 2019 is the year you finally take that trip to Europe, that you have been putting off for years, narrowing down on where to go can be a herculean task because there so many amazing places to choose from. So we have done the hard work for you and here are the most popular Europe nations you should consider visiting first.
France is not only the most visited country in Europe but also in the world. It has been the top world destination since 1995 when it received an estimated 60 million tourists. In 2017, the country had 86 million people come through its borders.
Paris its capital city is considered to be one of the most romantic places on earth. Nicknamed the City of Lights, its most visited attraction is the Eiffel Tower. This icon French landmark gives the best aerial view of the Paris from the top.
But France has a lot more to offer its guests than the Eiffel Tower, like the large and breathtaking castles, cathedrals, museums and palaces spread out across the country. The wineries in Bordeaux are also a major attraction among tourists who flock the famous wine region to taste some of the world’s best wines.
If you’re traveling with your children Disneyland Paris is a must-visit when you travel to France. A trip down the French Riviera is also a magical experience. In my opinion, France has it all from food, art, history, beauty, etc. This country should be among the first places you visit when you decide to go to Europe.
Spain and France are neighbors, so you can plan to visit both countries during your trip to Europe. You can get to and from the countries capitals, Madrid and Paris, in a couple of hours. For example, if you take a plane it will take about 2 hours to get to Madrid from Paris. By road, it will take you about 12 hours.
Just like France, Spain also receives lots of tourists. In 2017 it had 81.8 million travelers making it the second most visited destination in Europe.
My favorite city in Spain is not Madrid but Barcelona. Barcelona has a lit nightlife, lots of art, stunning architecture, good food, and world-class beaches. It is also a perfect destination for a family vacation. If you visit Barcelona ensure you make a trip to see the Sagrada Familia. This is Barcelona’s most visited landmark and trust me it will blow you away.
This country has so many cities you can visit to see historic and ancient sites, museums, beaches and of course enjoy some good Italian cuisine. Some of Italy’s cities that should be on your travel bucket list include Rome, Florence, Venice, and Milan, which is one of Europe’s wealthiest cities known for fashion and stylish shops.
From Rome you can easily visit Vatican City, also called the Holy See. Vatican City has been the home of the Pope since 1378. St. Peter’s Basilica one of the world’s holiest catholic shrines is also in the Vatican.
You can conveniently travel to different cities in Italy by train. If you find yourself in Italy a must-see attraction is the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
The UK has Europe’s most visited city after Paris, which is London. Like the other countries on this list UK attractions millions of tourists each year who come to see the centuries-old castles, churches, and palaces. Some of the most visited are Canterbury Cathedral, Warwick Castle, The Roman Baths, Georgian City of Bath and Stirling Castle in Scotland.
If you love royalty then you must visit Buckingham Palace in London. This has been the official residence and administrative headquarters of the UK monarch since 1837. Who knows you might get to see the Queen or a member of the royal family when you visit.
The pub culture in London is also something to look forward to when you visit the UK. The local watering holes are a fun place to knock back some pints as you learn more about UK history from the locals.
This country has one of the world’s strongest economies and tourism contributes immensely to it. Many tourists who travel to Europe make a stop in Germany making the tourism sector there boom. Also from Germany, you can easily access other European countries like France, Denmark, Poland, and Switzerland by train or plane.
Some of the key attractions in Germany include Leipzig Zoological Garden, Neuschwanstein Castle, Cologne Cathedral, Aachen Cathedral, The, Reichstag building and Heidelberg Castle.
The best time to visit this country is during events like Oktoberfest, the Cologne Carnival, the Berlinale film festival and Unity Day. During this time cities like Berlin are packed with fun loving tourists.
There you have it five of the countries I believe you should visit first in Europe. Other countries you’ll love visiting are Greece, Turkey, Russia, Austria, and Portugal.
Whether you’re planning a romantic getaway, family beach holiday, foodie or cultural trip, a solo or group tour you can’t miss a destination in Europe that will meet your needs. And with a visa like the ETIAS for Australians, for example, you can cover several European countries in one go.
The good transport infrastructure, which includes an excellent railway system, makes it possible to visit several countries in a few days with one visa. So when making your travel plans don’t limit yourself to one country.
However, the continent has such a wide variety of tourist attractions you cannot experience it all in one trip. Even a year wouldn’t be enough to see everything. So let this be your first journey to Europe. Hopefully, they’ll be many more to follow!