Best European Destinations for 2018 (6 Amazing Picks)
Are you looking for the best European destinations for 2018?
Do you want to knock your friends’ socks off when you tell them about the amazing and unique European vacation destination you’re hitting up in 2018?
Of course you do. You’re awesome.
I’ve asked some of the world’s best travel bloggers to give me their picks for the best European destinations for 2018.
And I told them to throw all the boring picks for the best European destinations of 2018 in the garbage (Paris? puhleez. Staying in London? #beentheredonethat. Budapest? Sure, that was a underrated destination … in 2008).
What did they pick? Well, you’ll have to read on. But here’s a hint:
Star Wars fans are going to love #4.
So whether you’re backpacking Europe or traveling in luxury, if you’re the kind of traveler who likes to blaze your own path, read on because Europe has a lot more to offer than just the tried-and-true cities, or overrun islands like Santorini and Ibiza. From islands to cities to mountains to fjords, we’ve got you covered below with six of the best European destinations for 2018 and beyond.
Best European Destinations 2018
1) Svalbard, Norway
Halfway between the North Pole and mainland Norway sits Svalbard, an archipelago of mountains and fjords. In the world’s northernmost city, Longyearbyen, the colorful wooden houses stand out against the white backdrop of glaciers and frozen tundra.
During the Winter, witness the magic of the Northern Lights, but in Summer, bask under the midnight sun. After a day of hiking, kayaking or exploring the islands by boat, a cozy fire awaits you.
With no roads outside the main settlements, snow scooter and dog sled are the preferred methods of transport and are both exhilarating ways to take in the landscape.
Spot polar bears, reindeer, walruses, whales, arctic fox and a menagerie of Arctic birds (but you won’t see any cats here; they’re prohibited to protect the bird population!). A truly magical and unspoiled destination, ideal for travelers looking for an unforgettable adventure in a location like no other.
-Joss from Little Green Globetrotter
Related Reading: The 5 Best Travel Backpacks for Europe
Georgia isn’t just one of the best European destinations for 2018 — it may well be the best destination on the entire planet for next year. Just check out these 9 incredible places to visit in Georgia and see if you can resist the urge to book tickets.
With a mild climate, a welcoming culture dating to the days of the Silk Road, and gorgeous landscapes, Georgia offers adventurers endless opportunities. City slickers, meanwhile, will feel at home in Tbilisi, where a burgeoning food scene and pulsating nightlife lights up the charming old town every evening.
You know what else?
Georgia will celebrate the centennial of its independence from the Russian empire. This year will also mark a decade since the short but violent conflict with Russia that helped suppress tourism to this Caucasian country. But with stability returning and the Georgian economy in full gear, it is poised for another year of dramatically increasing tourism numbers. The country, especially outside the capital and tourist hub of Tbilisi, is still relatively unspoiled, however, meaning that now is the time to visit Georgia before the crowds inevitably arrive en masse!
Go now because this will quickly become a top European destination.
3) Ljubljana, Slovenia
Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia is often overlooked by tourists. But this small capital city has so much to offer, that it’s only a matter of time before it secures a spot on the tourist maps. Situated on the Ljubljanica river, it’s a delightful city that’s perfect for just wandering around.
Ljubljana is packed with chilled-out cafes and laid-back restaurants, where you can sit back and watch the world pass by. Its architecture is a mix of baroque facades, twentieth-century buildings, and Plecnik-designed bridges that cross the river. Ljubljana is so small that you can easily cover it all by foot in a single day. Plus, it’s the perfect base for hiking, exploring, or rafting in the Slovenia countryside. With direct flights now available from major European capitals, Ljubliana will likely become much more popular, so be sure to check it out soon.
-Cindy from Free Two Roam
Read the full series: Best Places to Travel in 2018
4) San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, Spain
The hermitage of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe in Spain’s Basque country has a name that is not easy to remember. So even if you adore the views of the tiny chapel on a rocky outcrop that is connected to the mainland by a spectacular zig-zag staircase, you probably won’t remember the name. That’s probably one of the reasons why it has so far enjoyed a life of relative obscurity.
This is until the hit show Game of Thrones came along a couple of months ago to use the stunning location as a backdrop for one of the most important sites of the show: Dragonstone. So be it the amazing scenery or the connection to Game of Thrones, you can be sure that 2018 will see record numbers of visitors to San Juan de Gaztelugatxe as people will want to experience this beautiful place for themselves.
-Silke from Happiness and Things
👉 Related Guides: Best Places to Travel in Spain
5) Losinj Island, Croatia
Located in the north part of Adriatic sea, Losinj Island and its main town Mali Losinj hold some of the most vivid landscapes in Croatian seaside. Its popularity dates to 1910. when Austria proclaimed that region as an “air spa” location on the sea. Today you can enjoy nice rocky beaches with crystal clear water. Losinj Island is surrounded by a few extremely nice small islands, and one of them, named Susak, offers an incredible sandy beach. The road from Rijeka to here is very good, so it is easy to visit. And, while high season in Mali Losinj is from June to August, a lot of locals think that September is the most beautiful month to visit.
-Milos from Putuj.rs (Croatian language travel blog)
Read the full series: Best Places to Travel in 2018
Bulgaria is one of those countries you probably hear about from time to time but still have no idea what is all about. Well, it is everything you could wish for – splendid nature, gorgeous mountains, pristine beaches, diverse cultural and historical sites, irresistible cuisine, kind people and affordable prices, of course. It doesn’t take much to fall in love in Bulgaria and the desire to come back as soon as possible will hit you on your second day in the country.
Visiting Bulgaria has never been easier or more rewarding than it is right now. The most affordable prices in Europe, the abundance of tourist attractions, the vibrant cultural and religious traditions, as well as the accessibility of the small Eastern European country, make Bulgaria an all-year-round perfect tourist destination.
From the high mountains to the Black Sea beaches and rugged cliffs, from the vibrant fusion in the capital city Sofia to the Thracian temple ruins in the Valley of the Kings, from the rich traditions to the delectable dishes, Bulgaria has it all. If you’re searching for an authentic experience at an affordable price, now is the right time to visit.
-Naddya from NTripping & Maria from Travelling Buzz
Best European Destinations 2018: What do you think?
Have you been to any of these hot European destinations for 2018?
What did you think?
And do you think we missed a hot and emerging destination in Europe? Drop me in a note in the comments – I’d love to hear your take on the best European destinations for 2018 and beyond.
And be sure to check out the rest of my series on Best Places to Travel in 2018 by continent!
You might also like:
Hot Places to Visit in Australia & The Pacific
Hot Places to Visit in North America
Help us help you travel better!
Your feedback really helps ...
What did you like about this post? Or how can we improve it to help you travel better?
that’s a great collaboration and there are some absolutely stunning places on this list!
Keep up the good work and hope to see you somewhere off the beaten path 🙂
just wanted to say that there is a santorini weather guide that
might be useful to travellers there. https://www.visitgreece.com.gr/en/members/travel-blog/item/622-santorini-weather-guide.html
Hey Nate! All those places look great :). I think would opt for Georgia. Nature around has to be awesome!
Yeah, it’s incredible – one of the best places on the planet.
Great Job, Nate! I am eyeing Croatia as my next European destination! I will keep referring back to this list in the coming year. Let’s see how many I can cross off!!
Thanks Joel. Croatia has some stunning water!
Hi Nate, some great tips here and a few places that I haven’t yet backpacked. I’d add in Poland and Northern Ireland to your list just because I’m biased! Safe travels. Jonny
Georgia looks incredible, do you know where the photo was taken?
It is absolutely incredible! That’s a photo I snapped in Ushguli, Georgia – on of my favorite places on the planet. You can read more about it here: https://travellemming.com/places-to-visit-in-georgia-europe/