The number on the calendar may change each January, but there’s one thing that you can count on year in, year out: Europe will be the world’s most popular region to visit.
Home to five nations (France, Spain, Italy, United Kingdom and Germany) in the world’s top ten most visited destinations—six if you include Asia-straddling Turkey—Europe has paced international travel’s post-pandemic recovery and is expected to see its 2023 numbers equal or exceed the lofty levels of 2019.
Why is Europe always in fashion?
For starters, It’s the continent of romantic castles & canals, masterful works of art, majestic cathedrals, ancient ruins, medieval cobbled streets and some of the finest food & wine on the planet. Europe is also home to jaw-dropping landscapes, once-in-a-lifetime festivals, quaint villages and cosmopolitan cities—all connected by what is arguably the world’s best network of railways and urban public transportation.
Overwhelmingly safe and visitor-friendly, Europe is the perfect destination for first-time international travelers, but it consistently satisfies the most seasoned explorers, too. You may arrive looking to tick sights off your bucket list—and you’ll have a blast doing so—but your most cherished memories will probably come from those fleeting moments when you got to simply just experience the European lifestyle.
The only downside of this perpetual popularity is that some corners of Europe can be overly congested, especially during summer. Luckily, you can usually side-step the crowds by simply turning down a side street or heading to an interesting neighborhood, a move that often rewards you with a memorable serendipitous travel experience.
Click on the slideshow to get fully prepped for what is sure to be a banner year of European travel.
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