Planning a Europe bucket list can be both exciting and overwhelming. There are 44 countries in Europe, which means there is quite a bit to do and a lot to add to your travel bucket list.
However, a lot of things continuously pop up among the Europe bucket list crowd that seem to be pretty standard, like seeing a sunset in Santorini. Social media can really be driving these bucket list items we see online and show us the things we want to experience for ourselves.
Don’t be afraid to continue adding to your list over time. It does not have to be final the moment you write it. Sometimes you will find things you never knew existed.
Have fun in Europe!
The Ultimate Europe Bucket List: Best things to do in Europe
1. See the Eiffel Tower dazzle at night
The Eiffel Tower in Paris is amazing anytime of day, but it is especially amazing at night when it dazzles. The Eiffel Tower is not the only thing to see in the city of lights either. Make sure to look at all the amazing things to add to your Paris bucket list.
2. Eltz Castle in Germany
One of the most popular castles in both Europe and Germany, Eltz Castle is located in Wierschem, Germany and open to visitors. Currently, you cannot book tickets in advance, you have to get them upon arrival.
3. Yachtweek in Croatia
If you have always wanted to sail and be on a boat for a week partying, this is your chance. Dubbed as a “floating festival” each boat has seven guests and you can either fill the boat with you and your friends or find other boats to join that are partially full.
4. Visit the New York Cafe in Budapest
Recognized as one of the most beautiful cafes in the entire world, the New York cafe lives up to its name. Make sure and order afternoon tea! It comes with Hungarian goulash, tiers of sweets, and more. It is the most delicious tea presentation.
There is typically a wait to get in but the line moves pretty fast because there are so many tables.
5. Northern Lights in Finland
Lapland is a great place to see the dazzling sky full of the Northern Lights. it is said that you can witness this moment about 200 nights a year here! What is even better, is that you can find a variety of accommodations that allow you to see this magic from your room! From igloos, tree houses and more.
6. Icehotel in Sweden
When it comes to unique lodging, make sure to add Icehotel in Sweden to your European bucket list! This is an opportunity to stay in a hotel and room constructed entirely of snow and ice. Because this is such a unique thing to do, staying one to two nights is plenty.
7. Blue Lagoon in Iceland
Looking for a soak in one of the most epic geothermal spas in the world? Known for its milky blue waters, Blue Lagoon is open year round.
While visiting during the summer months might be ideal because the sun is up all day and the weather isn’t as cold, going during the winter is just as amazing. A top winter bucket list destination for many because even though it is colder outside and shorter days because of the sun, the water will still keep you warm and you could even get snow!
Pro tip: do not get your hair wet if you can avoid it. The silica in the water will make your hair like hay.
8. See the Leaning Tower of Piza
And while you are visiting this iconic Italian landmark, make sure and get a picture of yourself pretending to hold it up!
9. Ride a Gondola in Venice
10. Visit Sintra in Portugal
This fairy tale town is unmissable. Most notable for the red and yellow splashed palace, Palacio Nacional da Pena, this is a must visit when checking off your Europe bucket list destination. The architecture of the palace is truly fascinating as you can see the romanticism throughout.
Don’t forget to go inside! It’s just as spectacular as the outside.
11. See the tulips in Amsterdam
One of the most colorful times to visit Amsterdam and Holland in general, is in the spring when the tulips pop up. If you head outside the city you can find fields with rows and rows of colored tulips as far as the eye can see. Visit this magical time of year in the spring and add it to your Amsterdam bucket list!
12. Frolic through the lavender in Provence, France
The most popular places to view the lavender fields in France are Luberon and Verdon plateaux.
Please note, these are private and delicate floral. You should get permission and not destroy the lavender. Also beware, there are bees around.
13. Visit a Christmas market
Europe is known for having the best Christmas markets in the world. No other place compares to the level of detail and tradition.
The Christmas market in Tallinn, Estonia is usually on the top of the list as one of the best and what is great about it, is that it does not get overcrowded like some of the bigger more popular markets. But it does have its charm.
14. Visit the baths in Budapest
While the baths in Budapest are popular, there are a lot to choose from. Széchenyi Thermal Baths is considered one of the best to visit and it is absolutely beautiful!
When you check in, you’ll get access to the baths on property and there are several to choose from. This is a great time to make new friends.
15. Island hopping through Greece
Can’t decide on which island in Greece you want to spend your time? Take a cruise or sail the island so you can see how similar, yet different, the islands are. There are so many great things to do in Greece you will never get bored.
16. Visit Admont Abbey Library in Austria
With about 200,000+ titles in this fairy-tale charm, Baroque library, this is THE library. As in, the one you absolutely must see if it is the only one you can visit in all of Europe.
17. Study abroad
While you are in college, one of the best ways to immerse yourself in European culture is through a study abroad program at your school. Bonus: you can easily and cheaply get to other countries while you are abroad.
If your college bucket list has studying abroad on it, Europe is one of the best destinations to do it.
18. See a Santorini sunset in Greece
Oia is the most popular place in all of Santorini to see the sunset. You can see the Caldera and the cascading white buildings with blue roofs.
Behind every great sunset photo in Santorini is the crowds. So plan to arrive early for your viewing spot and know that it will be crowded.
19. Take a tour of Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna
The palace was the summer residence for the Hapsburg’s. This palace in all its grandeur, will take a day to see it all, including the outside portions.
You will need to purchase a ticket for entry and photographs are not allowed.
20. Take a Viking River Cruise
Hailed as one of the best ways to see small towns on the Danube and Rhine Rivers, Viking pulls out all the stops. From the amazing food, incredible staff and included tours at each stop, this is a great way to see a portion of Europe without having to drive.
You get to wake up in a new city each day and you decide what your itinerary will hold for you.
21. The Dark Hedges in Ireland
Located in Northern Ireland and along Bregagh Road, this stunning street is best known for its appearance in Game of Thrones as King’s Road.
You are not supposed to drive on the road, but can access it by foot.
22. Visit the Blue Mosque
Most of Turkey is technically Asia, but the area around Istanbul is in fact Europe. No trip to Turkey would be complete without a stop and the stunning Blue Mosque.
Still a functioning Mosque, you will need to coordinate your visit around times of worship and you will need to make sure your body is covered. You also remove your shoes upon entering.
23. Walk to the top of the Acropolis in Athens
From the bottom it looks daunting, and it can be, but the view is worth it. Getting to the top is not that bad, especially if it is busier. You will walk up various sets of stairs but if it is busy, you won’t realize how far you have actually walked.
The Acropolis is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and you should be ever so careful while visiting.
24. Sail the Mediterranean
If you have spent even a sliver of time indulging in the show “Below Deck,” then you already want to sail the Med!
There are so many stunning places that boats can sail to that the options are bountiful. By sailing the Med you can get to smaller towns, anchor at sea and stay aboard, enjoy the water, and pretty much enjoy all the coastal views.
25. Visit Colmar, France
The beauty of Colmar is that you really only need a day to see the city and its an easy train trip from Paris. It looks a lot like the town from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.
The Christmas market draws in a lot of visitors and the city is the gateway to the Alsacian wine region.
26. Eat cheese fondue in Switzerland
Picture this, your epic Europe bucket list starts with you atop a mountain at a ski chalet, eating fondue outside with majestic views. It doesn’t get much better than this.
27. Drive the Amalfi Coast in Italy
Easily one of the most beautiful drives along Italy’s coast. This drive is about 34 miles in length connecting 13 towns with winding roads, pastel colored buildings, beautiful beaches, and finishing villages. This is one of the best things to do in Italy!
28. Eat Liege waffles in Belgium
There are a variety of waffles to indulge while visiting Belgium, but atop your food bucket list should be a Liege waffle. Now this waffle is not like others. The Liege waffle eclipses all other waffles.
This round waffle is cooked in a scorching hot waffle iron with chinks of pearl sugar that caramelize the waffle. The Liege waffle is so good, you do not need to add anything to it!
29. Visit House of the Black Heads in Latvia
Riga, locate din the Baltic’s, is fascinating in that some of its architecture almost looks like sugar cookies. Initially designed for unmarried men, it is now a museum. The outside of the building is unmissable.
30. Spend a day at the Palace of Versailles
An easy day trip from Paris and accessible via train, this palace is worth the visit. You could spend days exploring here, even if just the gardens alone.
For just over a hundred years, the palace was the royal residence of France. Then in 1789 came the French Revolution. If you love history and architectural grandeur, Versailles should absolutely be on your Europe bucket list.
40. Walk the Old Town in Tallinn, Estonia
Cobblestone streets and pastel medieval architecture are the allure of this Baltic city. One walk through the Old Town of Tallinn and you will immediately fall in love.
Summer is the busier time to visit, but if your Europe bucket list has Christmas markets, definitely plan to visit during the winter season. The market is just magical. And make sure to drink the mulled wine.
41. Oktoberfest in Germany
If you love beer and pretzels, then Oktoberfest should not be missed! Munich plays host to this 16+ day event held annually and what a party it is. About six million people attend Oktoberfest annually.
42. Toss a coin in the Trevi Fountain in Rome
Rumor has it, if you throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain there are a few wishes that will come true. You are to stand with your back facing the fountain and use your right hand to toss over your left shoulder.
For one coin: you will return to Rome, two coins: you shall return AND fall in love and three coins: everything from the first two throws and get married! This is one of the best attractions in Rome not to miss.
Hey if you are single, you have nothing to lose!
43. Visit Lake Bled in Slovenia
The most popular attraction in all of Slovenia and a beautiful site at that, Lake Bled should be on your Europe bucket list. The beauty of this area is that it still is not overcrowded from the masses of tourists and you can enjoy it.
44. Take a dip in the Algarve in Portugal
This southern part of Portugal is lined with coastal tows, beaches and cliffs. It would be a shame not to mention how blue the water is! If you are looking for a true escape, head to the Algarve and take a dip in the water.
45. Grand Prix in Monaco
Held annually, this Formula One race is held on the Circuit de Monaco. Most notable for its hairpin turn, this is an event you will want to see among gambling, shopping and eating insanely delicious food.
The Fairmont Hotel Is located right next to the infamous hairpin bend and if you stay at the hotel with a package, you can see it from the view there.
46. Visit Malta’s Popeye Village
Believe it or not, Popeye Village is from the musical “Popeye” from 1980 and now draws visitors each year to see it live in person. Now one of the most popular attractions in Malta, these buildings and the crystal clear water in front of it are highly sought after for visiting.
47. Take a trip to Hallstatt, Austria
Hallstatt is often considered the most romantic destination in all of Europe, and just seeing the village on Lake Hallstatt will seal the deal.
48. Cliffs of Moher in Ireland
When it comes to the Europe bucket list, a trip to the Cliffs of Moher should be on it! The cliffs are about 14 kilometres in length and at the highest point, just over 500 feet in elevation.
You can easily take a road trip to visit or book a tour from a city like Dublin. This is a popular tourist destination, so finding a tour won’t be an issue.
49. Visit the Red Square in Moscow
Even though Russia is part of Asia as well, the Red Square is part of Europe.
50. See the Hogwarts Express in Scotland
The actual name is The Jacobite, and this steam train runs through the Scottish Highlands.
Harry Potter fan or not, the train ride and bridge columns are simply magic.
51. Visit Stari Most (the old bridge) in Mostar, Bosnia
Even though Bosnia isn’t the most visiting European country, a visit to see the bridge is worth the trip!
52. Eat Sachertorte in Austria
If you have a sweet tooth, the sachertorte in Vienna should not be missed. This delectable dessert is made of chocolate sponge cake, dark chocolate icing and filled with apricot jam. It is unique and also decadent. You should add this incredible dessert to your food bucket list as well.
Hotel Sacher in Vienna is the best place to get this incredible dessert.
53. Walk the Whitewashed Alleys Of Mykonos
This Greek island is famous for many things, most notably, the white washed cobblestone streets and alleys of shops.
54. Buy a cuckoo clock in Germany
When visiting Bavaria, you will find a lot of shops that sell Black forest Cuckoo Clocks and each one is magnificent on their own. You should receive a certificate of originality and a fantastic program for repairs and returns.
The real trick will be finding the one that is just perfect for you! They are all so lovely.
55. Tour the inside of the Hungarian Parliament
A lot of people only view the Hungarian Parliament from the outside. The stunning location on the Danube allows it to sparkle at night as it lights up with nothing around it. However, the inside is just as beautiful.
You will need tickets for entry and there are a variety of languages so that each 45 minute tour has a guide for a specific language.
56. Fairytale town Rothenburg ob der tauber
Located in Northern Bavaria, this quaint town is laid with cobblestone and medieval architecture. The split in the cobblestone road is the most known shot of the city.
Fun fact, the Harry Potter movies did have a scene shot in the city!
57. See the windmills in Kinderdijk, Netherlands
Have you ever been curious about the windmills in the Netherlands? In Kinderdijk you can view them from the outside, on a boat ride through the waterway and even visit the inside of one, to see how life is.
Granted, the space is very tiny, but those who lived in them maximized that space to get the most out of it.
58. Eat your weight in croissants in Paris
You cannot walk five feet in Paris without smelling incredible pastries. And who makes the best croissants? Why Paris of course. It is all that butter!
59. Walk the Berlin Wall
There is a trail you can visit that is in about 14 sections. You can do the whole thing or just part of it, but it gives you a good idea of where the wall was.
60. Admire the architecture at La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona
Antoni Gaudi was a master in architecture and design and remnants of his work can be found throughout Barcelona. Probably his most popular works is the Sagrada Familia.
From a distance you see how beautiful the building is, but its truly remarkable up close and on the inside. The level of detail is incredible and a must while visiting Spain!
61. See a football game
Typically known as “soccer” in America, football takes on a whole new meaning in Europe. This may be one of the most intense and thrilling sporting events on the continent.
62. Visit Vatican City
A trip to Europe would not be complete without visiting the smallest city in the world! But this small country comes with a lot of punch. Home to the Pope and an abundance of iconic architecture and art, you could easily spend days here and never see everything.
For a truly remarkable experience. visit during the Christmas season for Mass or see the Pop on Christmas Day.
63. Eat your weight in Tapas in Madrid
Madrid is known for its architecture and food. Make sure to eat everything while visiting the city. One of the best things to do in Madrid is to sit down with friends or family and order endless tapas.
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