Most Visited Countries in Europe: Approximately half of all international visitor arrivals—710 million—arrived in Europe alone. The growth was driven by Southern and Mediterranean Europe, while Western and Central Europe continue to be the most popular travel destinations worldwide as well as in Europe.
The 10 most popular tourist destinations in Europe are listed below, along with information on why these destinations are so popular with travelers.
10. Portugal – 22.8 million visitors
22.8 million tourists traveled to Portugal, with the majority of them wanting to explore the country’s capital, Lisbon, as well as the cities of Porto, Odemira, Faro, and Sintra.
Portugal offers a variety of activities, such as surfing at the beach and touring historic castles and palaces. If you visit Portugal, you should see the waterfalls in the Azores, the Pena Palace, the Castle of the Moors, the historic fishing port of Cascais, and the old village of Sortelha.
Portugal has 1,794 kilometres of coastline and solely borders with Spain. It boasts beautiful beaches that are both popular and undiscovered. It is also renowned for awarding the renowned football players that took home the 2016 UEFA European Championship trophy.
9. Russia – 24.5 million visitors
The ninth most visited nation on the continent of Europe is the largest nation on earth. In 2018, 24.5 million tourists went to Russia.
In Russia, there is a lot to discover and take in. The Saint Basil’s Cathedral seems to have emerged from a fantasy. The Kremlin and Hermitage Museum both have a fairytale appearance. The Bolshoi Theatre, the Kazan Cathedral, and the Singer House are just a few of the magnificent structures that date back to Imperial Russia.
There are numerous natural wonders, including Mount Elbrus, Kizhi Island, the Valley of Geysers, and Lake Baikal. Europeans are particularly well-known for their love of Russian ski resorts.
8. Greece – 30.1 million visitors
Millions of tourists visit the Hellenic Republic of Greece each year, the birthplace of western civilization. Since ancient times, it has drawn tourists. After receiving 24.8 million tourists the year before, 27.2 million people traveled there in 2017. The number of travelers climbed to 30.1 million in 2018.
The Acropolis, the monasteries of Meteora, the mysterious ruins of Delphi, the Temple of Hephaestus, and many more attractions are among the most popular tourist destinations. Among the most popular cities and islands are Thessaloniki, Corfu, Santorini, and Crete, which is home to Athens. You can travel to more than 200 Greek islands, each more stunning than the last.
Greece’s cuisine is an experience all its own. It combines traditional Greek meals with elements of Italian and Turkish cooking. Greek cuisine is particularly well-known for its seafood and cheese.
7. Austria – 30.8 million visitors
In 2018, 30.8 million tourists came to Austria. Austria can satisfy your enthusiasm for either art or the outdoors.
A few days or even weeks won’t be enough to get a glimpse of the famed Austrian structures, given the gorgeous castles that can be found there—the majority of which were built during the Habsburg era—the Baroque castles and gardens, and the Middle Ages’ ruins and monuments.
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The Austrian Alps are a popular destination for winter sports. If you love skiing or want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, Innsbruck is a must-see.
6. United Kingdom – 36.3 million visitors
England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland are the four nations that make up the Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in the contemporary era. Throughout the history of Europe and the world, the nation has played a crucial role.
Millions of people visit the castles, palaces, churches, and other structures built at various points in history every year. Stonehenge, the Roman Baths, the Georgian City of Bath, Canterbury Cathedral, the Cotswolds, Warwick Castle, and Stirling Castle are a few of the most popular attractions.
In 2017, there were 37.7 million visitors, 600K fewer than in 2018, and 1.9 million more than the year before. During bank holidays and the summer, there are especially many tourists.
5. Germany – 38.8 million visitors
One of the most powerful economies in the world also has a thriving tourism sector. The German government’s budget is largely derived on tourism. It is uncommon for tourists to go around Europe without stopping in Germany. While 37.5 million tourists entered Germany in 2017, 38.8 million did so in 2018.
To the north, it borders Denmark; to the east, Poland and the Czech Republic; to the south, Austria and Switzerland; to the southwest, France; and to the west, Luxembourg, Belgium, and the Netherlands. By train or airplane, travelers from any of these nations can easily reach Germany.
Curious tourists can find a number of attractions in Germany. Some of the structures that draw the most visitors are the Cologne Cathedral, Reichstag building, Neuschwanstein Castle, Heidelberg Castle, Aachen Cathedral, and Leipzig Zoological Garden.
You might encounter occasions like the Oktoberfest, the Cologne Carnival, the Berlinale film festival, or Unity Day if you visit Germany at the correct time.
4. Turkey – 45.7 million visitors
Most tourists’ ultimate fantasy destination is Istanbul. Istanbul, the nexus of western and eastern cultures, was founded in 660 BCE and was previously known as Constantinople before being overrun by the Ottomans.
No visitor to Turkey will omit visiting Istanbul. The city offers a distinctive blend of Byzantine and Ottoman architecture, delicious Middle Eastern cuisine, pleasant weather, and a large number of amiable cats and dogs roaming freely around the city.
Turkey welcomed 45.7 million visitors in 2018, compared to 37.6 million in 2017. The ancient Greek city of Ephesus, the Cappadocia rock gorges, the snow-white travertine terraces of Pamukkale, the ruins of the former Armenian capital Ani, and more are all popular destinations for tourists who are interested in history.
3. Italy – 62.1 million visitors
Italy is the third most visited nation on the old continent of Europe and is home to some of the most well-known structures in the world, including the Colosseum and the Leaning Tower of Pisa. 52.4 million tourists entered the nation in 2016, 58.3 million did so in 2017, and 62.1 million will do so in 2021.
The nation is famous for its influential art, architecture, and culture in addition to being home to countless castles, palaces, cathedrals, wineries, and beaches. Another popular sight is the Vatican Museums, which are located in the center of Rome. After Paris and London, Rome is the third most visited city in Europe. Among the most visited cities in Italy are Florence, Venice, Milan, and Naples.
2. Spain – 82.7 million visitors
Spain, which is primarily on the Iberian Peninsula, is the second most visited nation in Europe. In 2018, there were 82.7 million visitors to Spain alone, an increase of 1 million over 2017.
Spain is home to 47 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, a large number of Atlantic and Mediterranean beaches, and a number of international festivals. Many people have compared Spain’s coastline to tropical islands.
A vacation to Spain has become more worthwhile because of the variety of cuisine, particularly the Tortilla Espanola, Pisto, Paella, and other traditional foods.
Some of the most well-known football teams in the world play for it. The Copa Del Rey championship is thought to draw thousands of spectators each year.
1. France – 89.4 million visitors
France is not just about the Eiffel Tower, museums, and wine—despite being the most visited country in the world. The nation has drawn more tourists than any other nation in Europe or the entire world for more than a decade. There are a number of causes for this. A year would not be enough to see and experience everything that the nation has to offer in terms of tourist attractions.
The various magnificent and colossal palaces, castles, and cathedrals that can be seen all around France are widely known. Among the most well-known are the Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Castle of Chambord, and the Palace of Versailles.
Every traveler puts France on their must-see list because of the medieval towns like Pérouges, St-Émilion, and St-Jean Pied de Port, coastal villages, snowy Alps, stunning beaches, and large outdoor markets. In 2018, the nation received over 89 million tourists, and it is anticipated that figure will rise further in 2023. Since 1995, when the nation welcomed more than 80 million visitors, France appears to be the top travel destination in the globe.