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The Best Places in Europe in 2024 to visit

Plan an unforgettable European adventure in 2024 with our guide to the best places to visit throughout the year, including captivating landscapes, vibrant cities, and rich cultural heritage.

5 minutes
Krakow, Poland is the best places in Europe
Krakow’s welcoming atmosphere and affordability make it an best destination for travelers seeking an authentic European experience in 2024.

44 contrasting countries make it easy to step off the tourist carousel and plot slow travel escapades in Europe. Deciding where to go is just part of the equation. A sweetly timed visit can tease a little more out of the best destinations in Europe for slow travel.

In that spirit, we’ve compiled a month-by-month guide spotlighting exciting events and the perfect months to visit Europe’s most compelling cities. A calendar of slow travel ideas to nourish daydreams about where to go in Europe in 2024.

January – Czech Republic, Prague

Prague is a magnet for travelers of all stripes most of the year. Buck the flow and go in January to dodge the crowds and rachet up the fairytale factor by (potentially) seeing the dreamy city blanketed in snow.

While snow is not guaranteed, even in Prague’s snowiest month, the cobblestones of the atmospheric Old Town are assuredly quieter. There’s probably no better time to leisurely take in sights like the soaring Prague Castle, medieval Charles Bridge, and the world’s oldest astronomical clock.

Catch the tail end of a magnificent Christmas market (until 6 January 2024) or ward off the cold in the Prague National Museum and cozy cellar bars. Layer on arguably Europe’s finest beer at thirst-inducing prices, a culinary scene flush with winter comforters, and low hotel prices, the merits of visiting Prague in January make it one of the best places in Europe in 2024.

Prague, Chechia - best places in europe to visit in 2024
Prague’s magical Christmas market in Old Town.

February – Italy, Venice

The inimitable Carnival of Venice was revived in 1979, adding a surreal splash of medieval magic to one of Europe’s OG travel destinations every February.

Narrow streets and pretty squares swell with carnival goers in ornate masks and elaborate costumes celebrating a tradition of masked balls that began in the 12th century.

Events get underway with a riot of colorful costumes and gondolas on the Grand Canal. Themed shows, concerts, and street theater recall the golden age of Venice for an extended party that concludes on Mardis Gras, Shrove Tuesday.

Around 3 million visitors flock to the spellbinding canals and myriad cultural wonders of The Queen of the Adriatic for the two-week spectacular in one of the best places in Europe. Tranquility is not on the menu, and the city barely stays afloat.

Hang around after the symbolic Flight of the Lion closes the carnival to admire landmark sights like St. Mark’s Basilica, Rialto Bridge, and the art of the Doge’s Palace in one of Venice’s rare quiet periods. A win-win for slow travelers.

Venice Carnival Dates (2024): Saturday, 27 January – Tuesday, 13 February

Venice Italy Grand Canal
The Grand Canal of Venice, is also known to Venetians as the Canalazzo.

March – Slovenia, Ljubljana

Visit Ljubljana in March to see the first whispers of spring revitalize Europe’s greenest capital. With more green space per inhabitant than any other city on the continent, the capital of tiny Slovenia is one of the best places in Europe in 2024 for slow travelers who like a generous helping of nature on their city breaks.

The emerald waters of the Ljubljanica River meander through a compact city with a vibrant café culture and a pleasing shortage of cars. An abundance of trees, cycle paths, the pristine green spaces of Tivoli Park, and the Bee Path lined with thousands of bee hives sets the nature-friendly vibe. Just 34 miles (55km) away is the picturesque Lake Bled and trails of the Julian Alps.

A sizeable student population feeds a lively social scene, and numerous museums and theaters fill the city’s role as the cultural heart of Slovenia. Photogenic landmarks abound, from Ljubljana Castle overlooking the picturesque Old Town to bridges crisscrossing the Ljubljanica, notably Instagram favorite and city icon, the Triple Bridge.

In March, winter temperatures recede, tourist attractions are quiet, hotel prices are tantalizingly low, and Ljubljana’s slow travel appeal blossoms in March.

Ljubljana Old Town, Slovenia is the best places in Europe in 2024
Ljubljana Old Town is the historic city center of the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana.

April – The Netherlands, Amsterdam

Suckers for picturesque canals and cities dripping in history will not be surprised to see Amsterdam on any list of the best destinations in Europe. During April, spring is well and truly in the air as the Tulip Festival gives the Dutch capital a splash of floral vitality, celebrating a tradition dating back to the 19th century.

Although spread over spring, the emblematic flowers bloom in April, appearing at museums, landmarks, markets, and countless public spaces. Botanic beauties are at their most radiant in the Keukenhof (Kitchen Garden) in Lisse, a 30-minute drive outside Amsterdam. The ‘Garden of Europe’ is one of the largest flower gardens anywhere and is only open to the public for 8 weeks annually. Our post about the Tulip Festival in Amsterdam has more info.

Tulips aside, April is a relaxing time to visit one of Europe’s city break hotspots. Winter has melted away, and sunny days are back, but canalside brown cafes and green spaces of the Vondelpark are light on tourist crowds. And the famous tulips help make Amsterdam especially seductive in April.

Amsterdam Tulip Festival and Keukenhof dates (2024): 21 March – 12 May

The Netherlands, Amsterdam
If you’re looking to slow travel in Amsterdam, April is a great time to go.

May – Poland, Krakow

The slow travel delights of Krakow are legion. As the home of Monty, we’ve written many words on what to do in Krakow, and May is a particular highlight.

Temperatures are mild, and the peak-season crowds have yet to land. Slow travelers who like to prioritize the slow can revel in seeing sights around the atmospheric Old Town at their own pace.

It’s not just about shorter lines at leading attractions like Wawel Castle and the ever-popular Wieliczka Salt Mine. Or enjoying the gentler pace in the cafes and bars of the bohemian Kazimierz neighborhood. Flowers bloom in public spaces, and hotels are cheaper than in the upcoming summer months. In short, all the right buttons are pushed for memorable slow travel moments in Krakow. 

The shoulder months rubbing up against the summer peak season are always a pleasant time to visit Europe. Krakow is no exception. Take a soft landing with Monty to make even more of a visit in late spring.

Early May also sees two public holidays, Labor Day (1 May) and Constitution Day (3 May), with a military parade to mark Poland’s national day. Swerve these dates, though, as costs are invariably higher during an extended break for Polish residents.

Kraków Poland one of the best places to visit in 2024
The blooming of Wawel Castle and the Vistula River in May is a magical spectacle.

June – Greece, Naxos

The Greek islands are magnets for sun-chasing vacationers. Happily, there are enough islands to sate slow travel appetites, even as sunbeds fill up at resorts across the Med. Naxos is a slither of paradise that retains an authentic local, laidback vibe in June, just as smaller islands fill up with sunseekers.

The largest and most fertile of the Cyclades Islands is sparsely populated, creating a hiker’s paradise threaded by trails leading to archeological sites and gorgeous, uncrowded beaches. Pretty whitewashed villages and unhurried tavernas add to the easygoing island vibe. A noticeable downshift in pace from cruise ship-choked resorts in the Cyclades, like Santorini and Mykonos.

Head to Naxos in June, and you get all the sun plus the chance to kick back in an idyllic getaway before the summer crush reaches even this remote corner of Europe.

Greece Naxos is the best places in Europe in 2024
June is an excellent time to enjoy all that Naxos has to offer.

July – Croatia, Korčula

As cities bake and towel wars consume beach resorts, you must dig deeper to unearth slow travel adventures during Europe’s peak season. Korčula island in Croatia is a dinky pearl in the Adriatic with all the character of popular resorts along the Dalmatian Coast, but remote enough to feel like a hidden gem. Even during summer.

Olive groves, vineyards, and secluded coves dot the 20-mile-long island. Slow travelers with a taste for the outdoors and good wine can hop on bikes to vineyards or try their hand at surfing in one of the best places in Europe in 2024. Solitude seekers can reach even quieter islands by water taxi.

Korčula Town is known as ‘Little Dubrovnik’, boasting similar medieval walls and fortifications as the city immortalized as King’s Landing in Game of Thrones. The picture-book setting is an atmospheric place to get acquainted with local seafood specials and the local wines the island is known for.

If you crave a slice of island life where you can chill as Europe sizzles, isolated Korčula has a little bit of everything that makes the Dalmatian coastline such a big draw in summer. But without the endless crowds.

Korcula, Croatia is one of the best places in Europe in 2024
July is a peak season for visiting Korčula, a charming island off the coast of Croatia.

August – Spain, Barcelona

Gaudi’s inimitable architecture, cultural riches galore, and a buzzing nightlife ensure Barcelona is an eternal weekend break darling. And although August brings more heat and crowds to the Catalonian capital, it’s also a month of festivities.

The highlight is a week-long street festival in the funky Gràcia neighborhood. The Festa Major de Gràcia starts on the Feast of Assumption (15 August) with a parade of giant heads (distinctive capgrossos) and dragons, plus nerve-jangling human towers, AKA castellers. Neighboring streets compete for the best-decorated title, adding splashes of color and Catalonian character to the charming barrio.

Music festivals fill the weekends in August, including hundreds of concerts during the Festival Mas i Mas, an all-month showcase of jazz, world music, and classical performers.

Elsewhere in the city, the beaches are hives of activity. Picnics and sun-drenched panoramas await at Park Guell, while rooftop bars and clubs lively up as the cooling night falls. Summer flavors abound in tapas bars and Catalonian restaurants. It all adds up to one of the best places in Europe in 2024 for summer fun, but certainly it’s quietest.

Spain, Barcelona is the best places in Europe to visit in 2024
Antoni Gaudí’s creations in Barcelona are a must-see for any architecture enthusiast.

September – France, Bordeaux

Bordeaux is a dream destination for wine buffs, and September is harvest time in the fabled wine region. The vineyards take center stage at events like the annual Medoc Marathon threaded through vineyards and the Saint Emilion wine festival, Ban des Vendanges, which heralds the end of the season.

Bordeaux is a delightful city for unhurried exploration, mixing contemporary character with countless historic monuments and museums.  Wine lovers can sample their way around the modern wine museum, La Cité du Vin. Then drink in culture and history at UNESCO World Heritage sites in the ‘Port of the Moon’ like Place de la Bourse (best seen at night when the water-filled square mirrors the illuminated building) and the gothic Bordeaux Cathedral.

In September, the sun is still out and about, café terraces are less packed, with hotel prices edging down after la rentrée, when France abruptly ends the summer break and heads back to work. With myriad slow travel positives in Bordeaux, September is a top time to discover them and experience harvest time in the best places in Europe in 2024 and France’s most storied wine region.

France Bordeaux is the best places in Europe in 2024
Bordeaux is a city that will remain in your memory long after your visit.

October – Germany, Munich

October in Europe belongs to Munich, home to Oktoberfest.

Among the historic bierkellers and tents unfolds a 16-day party of Bavarian proportions lubricated by towering steins of beer and an unwavering affection for lederhosen and dirndls.

7 million liters of beer are poured. Nobody knows how much is spilled. Beer is not the only thing on the menu. There are pretzels, too. In fact, there’s a whole lot more than those knotty lager spongers, with food trucks, live music, and funfair rides giving Munich a carnival spirit in the dead of autumn, making it one of the best places in Europe to visit in October.

Stay on after the final prost to explore an absorbing city after the crowds and beer puddles evaporate. The city bursts with history and architectural marvels, from the Marienplatz public square of 1158 to the Baroque Nymphenburg Palace. The Bavarian Alps and the fairytale Neuschwanstein Castle are just a day trip away. We’ve got the lowdown on 2023’s Oktoberfest in Munich. No doubt 2024’s festivities will be equally exciting.

Oktoberfest, Munich dates (2024): 21 September – 6 October

Oktoberfest
October is considered the best times to attend Oktoberfest in Munich.

November – Italy, Alba

After spotlighting some of the best destinations in Europe for wine and beer, here’s one for hungry foodies. November is the height of truffle season in northern Italy, and the fragrant nuggets of white gold are celebrated with gusto at the Alba White Truffle Fair.

Spread over weekends from October to December are sensory exhibitions, cooking shows, and other events shrouded in the scent of Piedmont’s impatiently anticipated tubers, making it one of the best places in Europe in 2024 to experience the joy of the harvest season.

There is no better time or place to savor these culinary flavor bombs. Stay in pretty Alba, home to medieval churches and a handful of the 100 towers that once fortified the medieval town.

If you’re flying in to visit Europe, consider making time for some retail therapy in the fashion capital, Milan, on your way to the airport. The gateway to northern Italy bristles with boutique shops, fine dining temples, plus oodles of culture and history. Milan is a striking contrast to the rustic charms of Alba, adding some big city glamor to a unique slow travel getaway in November.

Alba, Italy is one of the best places in 2024
Alba is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking a taste of the Italian experience in November.

December – Poland, Wrocław

Winter is back with an icy blast in December as we reach the final month of our calendar of the best places in Europe in 2024 to visit. December is all about festive events, and we’ve previously shared our thoughts about the best Christmas markets in Europe. One that deserves a second mention is Wrocław’s festive spectacular.

This bright and colorful market is famed for its animatronic marionettes and is reputedly the largest and oldest Christmas market in Poland. A giant Christmas tree and elaborate Christmas lights look out over a picture postcard old town market filled with the aromas of warming winter delights and mulled wine.

Wrocław’s Christmas market is on throughout December, spilling into early January.

If you can make time for more festive adventures in Poland, link in Krakow’s Christmas market (our soft landing packages can help with the planning). The fairytale backdrop on the medieval market square has seen it hailed as Europe’s best Christmas market. A dream combo for Christmas market fans and an unforgettable way to celebrate the holidays.

Wroclaw Poland Christmas market
Wrocław’s Christmas markets are among the best places in Europe in 2024.

With the year over, the calendar is complete. Pick any month, and opportunities for unique and immersive experiences can be found in quiet corners and some of the best destinations in Europe for slow travel. Here’s to a year of new adventures!