Best Places In Southern Europe To Visit

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 best places in Europe to visit in the south.

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
Spain – Barcelona

Barcelona, Spain

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
Portugal – Porto

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 – Venice

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

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.

Bergamo, Italy

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 RyanAir 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?

(photo credit: 1 – 1 – 2 – 3 – 4)

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19 thoughts on “Best Places In Southern Europe To Visit”

  1. I need to get to Greece and Porto considering I have been to the other two.
    I absolutely fell in love with Barcelona, there is something about that city that just makes it perfect! 🙂


  2. Hi.

    I love your articles and the videos as well, but I have a question. What do you do for a living? I mean you travel all year and have fun, I don’t really understand how you can afford it, however it’s really cool.

  3. I have to go to barcelona everybody says its fantastic. Greece is a good choice these times I think you can easily find low prices.

  4. Always wanted to go to Porto. I’ve been to Lisbon and it felt like one of the most authentic capital cities I’ve been to in Europe. Still not overrun with teva wearing brits!

  5. I agree there is definitely something special about Barcelona, but Porto and the Greek islands are also very unique, hope you get to visit them soon. 🙂

  6. Hi Palu,
    I don’t know exactly how much their economy has affected the prices, but visiting the country and spending your money there would definitely help them anyway.

  7. Hey Peter,

    glad to hear you like our site! I think the guy above made a good point, if you do what you love you will find a way to make money doing it, haha.

    We work online, which makes it possible for us to be wherever in the world we want – as long as there is an internet connection 😉

  8. We loved Lisbon too, a very authentic bustling place. We’ll probably visit some cities north of Porto later this summer too, which will be pretty exciting.
    There are so many beautiful places around Portugal I can’t wait to explore.

  9. Great list of places! For me Porto would be my choice to visit. It is such a fascinating and beautiful place.

  10. I’m glad you picked Barcelona as a top choice. My wife and I are going to be there for a couple months and it’s nice to know that you think this is a good place. Did you get to see the house built by Gaudi? I hear its pretty cool.

  11. Hey Clayton,

    Great to hear that you’re going there soon. There are actually a couple of buildings built by Gaudi in Barcelona, but aside from Sagrada Familia (the church), Casa Battló and Casa Milá are some of his best buildings, and the two are only a 10 minute walk from each other.

    Have fun in Barcelona!

  12. @Sofia – How much do you think is the budget visiting and spending with those places in Europe?

  13. Hey Sandy,
    it depends on what type of accommodation you’ll be using, and if you’ll be eating out or cooking your food in a hostel/apartment.

    Looking on search engines right now, I found some decent double rooms in Santorini for just 20€, but I would say that on an average for Greece, Italy and Spain, a budget double room is around 40€ for 2ppl and a bed in a dorm around 15€ per person, sometimes less sometimes more.

    If you eat out, you can get cheap snacks like sandwiches for 5€ and cheap dinner meals for 10€, but restaurants meals often cost more.

  14. I didn’t know there were three. I hear that the architecture there is really good. Thanks, I think it will be a really good trip.

  15. It is a very beautiful place indeed, the views from the city are fantastic. I can’t wait to explore more of the city and surrounding nature.

  16. Hi Cristina, I agree Croatia is an amazing country with many beautiful places.

    We’ll include it in our next post about the best places in eastern Europe.

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