In my recent article where travel bloggers shared their favourite UK destinations, there were so many new and interesting places to add to my bucket list that I thought it worthwhile to find out what bloggers regard as their European favourites.
Five different travel bloggers have shared their favourite destinations in Europe with me – so the bucket list is only getting longer!
Nominated by Mark Wyld of Wyld Family Travel. Mark, wife Bec and daughters Willow and Marley love to travel the world. They believe that "in a world with increasingly less family time available, traveling with our kids can only make us a closer knit family and make our kids more balanced and accepting children by exposing them to different cultures and nationalities along the way."
Kotor, Montenegro is an amazing beauty at the bottom of the Balkans. Whether you approach Kotor by car or cruise ship, you get to view the beauty of Kotor Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Kotor sits at the end of the bay, encompassed by hills that rise sharply from the waterfront.
Sitting above the small streets and medieval buildings of Kotor’s old town is the Castle of San Giovanni. 1350 steps take you to the top of this castle. It’s a view like no other and a photo memory everyone needs. The castle and its fortification walls have been protecting Kotor in one shape or another since the 6th century.
Kotor has a strong Venetian influence in its old town due to it belonging to the Venetian Empire for a long stretch of time.
There are plenty of close small towns dotted around the bay that can be visited such as Perast, and the two islands that sit in Kotor bay.
Our Lady of the Rocks is a must-visit island that was built by locals over a period of 500 years and now holds a pilgrimage church.
The food in Montenegro is fresh and locally grown. One hot tip though – don’t eat in the old town. Find restaurants outside as they will be better value and better quality.
We visited Kotor in the winter when there were literally no tourists and no cruise ships. We fell in love with its location, the friendly people, the great food and the amazing sites.
Nominated by Chrysoula, a passionate traveler who loves history, nature, and food. Her blog Travel Passionate is focused on her trips to Greece and Europe and she provides travel tips, destination guides, hotel, tours and restaurant reviews.
One of my favorite destinations in Europe is Mykonos, a Greek island that combines the natural beauty of the Cyclades complex of islands with the luxury lifestyle that attracts visitors and celebrities from around the world.
There are many things to do in Mykonos; swim in one of the beautiful beaches with the turquoise waters, explore the picturesque Mykonos town with the small alleyways, colorful bougainvilleas, and the characteristic windmills, indulge in gourmet dining, and enjoy the vibrant nightlife.
Another great idea is a day trip to the nearby island of Delos, the birthplace of Apollo and a visit to the archaeological site.
Mykonos also boasts some of the most luxurious hotels. One of my favorites is Kouros Hotels and Suites. Located within walking distance of Mykonos Town, this luxurious hotel offers rooms with private pools, jacuzzis and private terraces with Aegean views. Check current rates here.
Mykonos is an island that will blow you away with its beauty.
Nominated by Sydney-based travel blogger Kirralee Baker. Kirralee shares her love of fun family travel and stylish travel wardrobes on Escape With Kids.
Tootling along the Seine is my favourite way to see Paris.
From the water you can admire the Notre Dame, feel dwarfed by the Eiffel Tower and enjoy the unique ex-train station architecture of the Musee D'Orsay, without a thought given either to traffic or sore feet.
There's no doubt that Paris is jam-packed with art and history inside all those glorious buildings, but for me its number one attraction is that you can have a wonderful visit without ever going inside any of those buildings.
Start your day sipping coffee at a corner cafe, listening to the French spoken around you (it's worth the price!). Choose a route and take a walk around the Left Bank, the Marais, the Ile de la Cite or anywhere else that takes your fancy.
Pick up fresh pastries, bread and cheese, or a crepe towards lunchtime and eat alfresco in one of the uniquely formal Parisian gardens.
Put your feet up at your hotel in the afternoon, then try somewhere new for dinner. Or catch the Eiffel Tower's hourly after-dark sparkles.
To fully immerse yourself in Paris (and for the convenience of popping in and out of your hotel anytime), I recommend staying as centrally as budget allows.
My favourite, the Hotel Britannique, lies between Chatelet metro station and the Seine, which means everything is only a short walk or metro trip away. Check rates for Hotel Britannique here.
Further reading - 3 Days in Paris: What to See and Do
Nominated by Anke of Fun Traveling With Kids. Anke lived in Berlin for more than 13 years. She loves the city's rough charm and its diversity in culture, art, food and of course the nightlife. She now lives in New Zealand with her Kiwi husband and their three children. Read more about Berlin on her blog.
When visiting Europe, a trip to Berlin, Germany’s capital and situated right in the center of Europe, should be on top of your priority list.
This vibrant and multicultural city has a rough but laidback atmosphere. The city is well known for its culture, nightlife, and various architecture.
Sit back and relax in one of the many cafes and watch the world go by. One of my favorite places to enjoy a coffee is Cafe Klunkerkranich in Berlin-Neukölln.
Neukölln is one of the twelve Berlin districts which has become hugely popular in the last few years. You will sit on the rooftop of a shopping mall in a garden-like setting overlooking the vast city of Berlin.
Had enough coffee? Take the U-Bahn 8 and exit at Station Schönleinstrasse to visit one of the most colorful and vibrant markets Berlin has to offer.
The Turkish Market will take you on a journey to Istanbul with the smell of marinated olives, freshly baked bread, and grilled lamb kebabs. The market is on every Tuesday and Friday.
As for sightseeing, where shall I start? Perhaps with the Gendarmenmarkt, the most magnificent square where you will admire the French and German Church as well as the Concert Hall.
From there it is only a 10-minute walk to visit the famous Checkpoint Charlie and discover the era of the Cold War when Berlin was divided into East and West.
Getting around is easy with the Berlin Welcome Card (check prices here) that will not only give you unlimited access to the public transport system but also discounted admission to over 200 attractions.
As for a hotel stay, I'd recommend booking accommodation not too far outside of the city center. My top districts to find a hotel are Berlin-Charlottenburg, Berlin-Mitte, Berlin-Wilmersdorf and Berlin- Schöneberg.
I hope you will love Berlin as much as I do!
Nominated by Dan Bagby. Dan Bagby writes about couples travel on HoneymoonAlways.com.
There isn't a place in Europe that I would rather be than the Tuscany region of Italy. Throughout the area you find picturesque rolling hills and landscapes that seem unreal.
From the hilltop city of San Gimignano there are several viewpoints to take advantage of. Florence, the capital city, is full of amazing art and architecture. Michelangelo’s “David” is so realistic, it seemed ready to walk away from his spot at the Galleria dell'Accademia.
The Duomo in the center of the city is a marvel that took over 2000 years and two architects to complete.
Heading west of Florence is Pisa, where you will find the iconic Leaning Tower, followed by the Italian coastline with beautiful beaches and later the Elba Island.
Wherever you go you will find truffle flavored dishes the region is known for, as well as the other typical Italian favorites like pizza, pasta and gelato.
We spent about a week in Tuscany last time we were in Italy and cannot wait to go back.
For rural stays, we recommend finding a bed and breakfast on the hillside somewhere, relaxing and going horseback riding. We also stayed in Villino Fiorentino, a lovely bed and breakfast in Florence. Check prices here.
Further reading - 3 week self-drive tour of Italy
As you can see, there are no shortage of European destinations to be explored. Each one offers something different but as the travel bloggers above explain, they are all special in their own way. Which ones will you include in your European itinerary?
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