Best Places In Europe – The South – we get many emails from people asking us where we think the best places in Europe are, where we would recommend them to go and why.
Deciding where to go is one of the most important parts in planning a trip, and for someone who has never been to Europe, it’s a very difficult decision to make.
However comparing north, south, west and east is almost impossible – so we decided to break them up into different articles – this first one will feature the 4 best places in Europe to visit in the south.
Best Places In Europe – The South
Greece – Greek Islands
The thing with Greece is that we wouldn’t recommend one single island, but rather doing some island hopping between a couple of them.
Each island in Greece has their own charm, their own atmosphere and are famous for their own thing.
If you want to experience a bit of everything, then take mediterranean cruises around the Greek islands and explore the best of each island.
Exploring the ancient sites in Crete, the white and blue houses and sunset views in Santorini, the nightlife in Mykonos, and the quiet villages and delicious food in Samos – would be some of my suggestions.
Either arrange the trip beforehand or wing it and look for some cruise deals when arriving in one of the port towns.
Spain – Barcelona
For someone visiting Spain for the first time, the city of Barcelona is the given choice – there is simply no other city like it.
The architecture, the streets and alleyways, the long list of attractions – these are just a few of the reasons why Barcelona is one of the best places in Europe to visit.
If you’re looking for a good combo of beach and city, however, we would instead suggest San Sebastian, which has a beautiful old town full of pinxtos bars, and the best in-city beach in the country (where you can even go surfing!).
Portugal – Porto
While Lisbon is a great city, and we spent several days there, the place that actually made the biggest impression on us in Portugal, and is the reason we’re going back there later this year, is Porto.
There is something about this city that just makes you love it.
Maybe it’s the rough tiled buildings, the narrow, steep streets, the incredible views – whatever it is, we’re going back there for more.
It’s also a great place to sample the famous Port wine (while visiting the wine cellars, or even taking a cruise on the river to see the vineyards), and soak up some true Portuguese atmosphere.
But yes, Lisbon is a close second, so if you have time make sure you visit both!
Italy – Venice
Italy is perhaps the country in Europe which has the most places that are simply incomparable; there is no city like Rome, there is no city like Venice, and there is no coast like Cinque Terre.
We haven’t seen enough of Italy yet, in fact it’s a country we would love to explore from top to bottom and coast to coast this year.
Visiting Venice last summer was a dream come true for us, and so far it’s our favorite place in Italy.
When visiting Venice, we would recommend staying in nearby Padua, another pretty town with cheaper accommodation, beautiful streets and squares, and a great way to soak up some local Italian culture.
That way you get to experience two great places with different vibes and atmosphere.
Lanzarote, Canary Islands
If you want to go somewhere warm, Lanzarote is a good place to go – it’s an island which belongs to the Canary Islands, which are often referred to as the islands of eternal spring.
The weather there is always mild, with winter days at a comfortable 15 degrees.
People go on Lanzarote holidays all throughout the year, and while the climate is the one thing that attracts most tourists, there are many other reasons to go there – one especially being the beautiful black beaches contrasting the bright blue water.
The best time to visit Barcelona to get the best experience is when the tourist crowds have thinned out.
The clubs might not be as crazy as in the summer, but there are always a few local hangouts where you can experience a different pace of the city, and you will finally be able to enjoy the famous museums in peace and quiet.
Many people take Barcelona city breaks in summers, but I would say that the best time to do it is outside of the high-season.
During the summers the streets of Barcelona can get really hot, but now that winter is here you can walk around for a lot longer, and when your hands and nose get cold, pop into a cafe or tapas restaurant and warm up with some local food and hot beverage.
Bergamo, Italy – Romantic Atmosphere
Bergamo is an adorable city in northern Italy that offers a true romantic Italian experience on an intimate level – the city has a long history dating back over 2000 years, and in Citta Alta (the old part of town) you will be enchanted by its medieval charm.
The city has really preserved the small town feel with its narrow cobbled streets,small boutiques, cafes and bars around every corner.
Beautiful churches, Venetian architecture and amazing art is in abundance, which is one of the reasons Bergamo has been nicknamed ”the city of art”.
Bed and Breakfast places are cheap and the budget airline Ryan Air flies to the nearby Bergamo airport (that they call Milan, although it actually is in Bergamo) from many destinations around Europe.
Which other places in southern Europe would you recommend first-time travelers to visit?