There may be other "top 5" posts, but places change and I thought with 2013 soon approaching it may be interesting to hear your current top 5 favorite European destinations. They may be cities or out in the country. Please include why they are your favorites. Thanks!
I dislike ranking one place over another because they all represent slightly different things. So I will abstain from using the numbers 1-5. The following are "favorites" of mine, in no particular order; Paris; Because for reasons I find difficult to define, Paris makes me feel at home more than any other major city in Europe. I don't mean "at home" as in "just like home", but rather; comfortable, welcome, inspired and happy. Stockholm; Because it's position spread among islands with expanses of water between neighborhoods is particularly picturesque, especially at night. In combination with the slightly unique Scandinavian architecture and laid-back sophistication, it somehow feels both familiar and quirky at the same time. Provence, and in particular, the tiny village of Crestet; Because it was bathed in picturesque history, yet full of life in a way that I don't think is as common as we assume. Slovenia; Because of its scenic charm and unpretentiousness. Rome; Because of its layers of history and constant energy. Honorable Mention; Venice, for being utterly unique.
Ulm, Linz, Plzen, Lviv, Odessa. They are my favorites because I had a good time in them. There are some runners-up too: Delft, Tubingen, Ivano-Franivsk, Krakow, Stara Zagora.
On my want to see list for 2013: Rome London Croatia and Almalfi coast Avigon and surrounding area
Top 5 because they're interesting right now (as in up and coming?) Or Top 5 because they're always awesome and remain so? Eastern Europe would top my list in general (depends on how you define eastern I guess). Croatia is already "discovered" no matter who wants to tell you that Dubrovnik is "hot right now" but the good news is Serbia, Bosnia and Hergozevnia, and possibly Montenegro and Bulgaria (I haven't been to the last two, hence the "possibly") strike me as places that are awesome yet not discovered (or rediscovered) by the tourist hordes yet and the pricing reflects that. Similarly, based on word of mouth and not personal experience, northern Eastern Europe seems like a good bet too - Poland, Estonia and so on. I still think the not exactly new or undiscovered capitals Budapest and Vienna are great places to visit and remain exciting. Berlin has been "up and coming" for a decade now but it remains IMO the most inventive and surprising and fun European capital. That's not really a top 5 list, but it's where I'd be looking at touring knowing what I know know were I back in the States. Since I'm not, I'm focusing my 2013 travel mostly on places I haven't been: 1) Israel (not really "European" but they get to compete in Eurovision so I'm including it) 2) Sweden 3) Switzerland (thanks to helpline responses I think I've figured out how to keep costs cheap in both countries) 4) Greece (Hoping for Croatian-style coastline without Croatian prices/service
5) Italy, I guess, because I have to do it sooner or later
Well here my top 5 that I have been to: 1) Prague: to me this is the most beautiful city in Europe. There are places you are glad you've been to but won't go back, places that you don't mind going back but Prague is somewhere that I would go everytime. 2) Bacharach: just love the feeling in that place 3) Toscany: for everything, agriturismo near San Gimignano my favortite 4) Amalfi Coast: Hotel, Open Gate for making us feel so important and welcome 5) Portugal: for the azulejos, porto and pasteis de nata! My top 5 of where I would like to go: 1) Slovenia, on Rick's TV show, it looked so beautiful 2) Moscow ans St-Petersburg 3) Berlin for it's history 4) Greece
5) Turkey, and the old Yougaslavia I need to will the lotery!!!!
This is not a top five list for 2013, in particular, but is priority for future trips outside of France and Germany. Maybe I might be able add a couple of these places on the itinerary in 2013...we'll see. Priority goes to: Poland...Warsaw, again, Wroclaw (Breslau), Pszczyna (Pless), Gdansk (Danzig) again, Kwidzyn (Marienwerder); why? All historical and cultural. Finland...Helsinki; Austria...Vienna, always, Graz, again, Eisenstadt; Hungary...Budapest, Debrecen; (historical)
CZ...Prague, Brno (Brünn)...historical
Can you clarify? Are these our top 5 favorite spots in Europe, or our top 5 priority to visit in 2013?
My top 5 wishlist to visit in 2013: * Erfurt * Hamburg * Porto * Vienna * London My top 5 favorite destinations: * Berlin * Edinburgh * Rome * Büdingen
1. Ukrainian Carpathians 2. Warsaw/Moscow/Kiev 3. Sardinia/Corsica 4. Portugal 5. Serbia
6. Belarus Sorry went over 5..
No one listed Istanbul?? It's European on the west of the Bosphorus and Asian on the east. It has supplanted Paris as our favorite European city and is home to the most friendly, welcoming populace anywhere. Be sure and take in the stunning Tulip festival in the spring, just for starters.
After 3 trips to Europe, my top 5 are... 1. Venice...still my fav - we squeezed it into all 3 trips - I think it is magical and grand - especially late evening or very early morning before the place fills with daytrippers. 2. Alps - we really enjoyed Murren and area, Bern was nice but we didn't see much. If Venice is my fav city, Switzerland is def my fav country. The mtns are just amazing, everything is very clean and orderly (unlike chaotic Italy, which would rank #2)
3. Well, I guess my other favs would all be tied - we visited Bath, UK for the 1st time and really enjoyed our stay and would love to return. Strasbourg, Fr was another lovely city we visited 2 years ago and really want to return to. And having seen a smidge of the south of France, it has wetted my appetite to return - Nice, Villefranche, Monaco, Eze...the whole Cote D'Azur...(and honourable mention to Cinque Terre, tho some of the charm wore off on the 2nd visit).
It's easier for me to do a bottom five, because I like lots of places and dislike very few (still my bottom five would be on many others' top five). I start thinking my top-five should include a Tuscan hill town (to add to Rome and Venice), a less-visited Spanish city (to Add to Barcelona, Seville and Granada), probably Krakow in Poland (though Gdansk/Malbork is worth seeing), Talinn is a great medieval town to walk but York has a great center too. Settling on one as the best representative of any class is impossible. Is any place more magical than Venice? Is any city center more beautiful than Salzburg? Is there any place better than ANY Irish pub during a trad session? It just goes on... So many great choices, how can I choose only five?
I'll consider myself very lucky if I can get to Europe again before 2014, but here's my 2013 wish list: Scotland (Isle of Skye) Ireland (not sure exactly where yet) Vienna Amsterdam (LOVE it, haven't been back since 2010)
To clarify for those who have asked, you can give your top recommendations (favorites) and/or your top 5 "2013 wish list". Thanks for all the replies! I was looking for your faves but interested in hearing your wish list too if you want to list that.
OK, now that you've clarified... Top 5 wish list (actually, more than 5): 1) Alpine skiing in Flumserberg, Oberstdorf, Hintertux and perhaps Engelberg 2) Budapest 3) Areas of Germany I haven't seen yet, such as Sachsen (Dresden), Schleswig-Holstein, and perhaps Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Schwerin) 4) Skiing in Scandinavia, Trysil Norway 5) Denmark outside Copenhagen Top 5 recommendations: 1)Hamburg... as always 2)Quedlinburg 3) Oslo 4) Helsinki
5) Hüttenfeld (kidding!)
My favorite places in Europe so far: Paris, food, art, shopping, history, and the Metro makes it so easy. Giverny, the most magical place if you like Monet. Hallstatt, Austria, thanks to Europe Thru the Back Door, we found this gem. Cinque Terre Italian, Mediterranean, glorious coastline, what more can I say? Rome the sights are amazing, and the food's pretty good too, including gelato. My wish list: Vienna for the music
Lake Como for the atmosphere (so, in summer) Happy Travels! And planning is half the fun!!!
My top favourites in terms of cities, not the wish list for 2013: 1. Berlin and Potsdam...they go together. Why? For the atmosphere, historical reasons, museums, food and drink, architecture, charm, culture, etc. 2. Paris and Fontainebleau...they go together, same reasons as above. 3. Vienna...captivating, charming, same reasons as above. 4. London...intiguing, fascinating, same as above. 5. Poland...interesting, historical, very positive.
I have lots of favorites, but here is where I go back to in Europe, time and time again: Florence London Barcelona Paris South-western France Here's where I'm really itching to go back: St. Petersburg Istanbul Budapest Lisbon Krakow The top of my wish list, where I have not been, but is planned for 2013:
There's a lot of travel experience that's been written about here. My favorite 5: Amsterdam Munich Vienna Rome Paris Honorable mentions: Salzburg Venice Innsbruck and Austrian Alps
Top 5 that I've been to and want to return to: Paris - I love just being in Paris, and the wealth of Impressionists WOW London - theatre, theatre, theatre, and so much other cool stuff in ENGLISH Venice (going June 2013) - it's just romantic St Petersburg - I was only there for 3 days, not nearly enough time Bangkok - no one other European destination stands out for me. Top 5 that I haven't been to: Andalusia (going in February 2013) - the Alhambra and everything else Christmas markets (going in THREE DAYS - Alsace, southern Germany and Salzburg), because everyone raves about them Krakow (maybe in June 2013) - because they tell me it's like Prague before megatourism Sicily because I've seen my friends' photos Istanbul - to see Byzantium
Heather, we've shared ours. What are yours?
Places I've been and would return to as often as possible. 1. London 2. Austrian Alps 3. Venice 4. Krakow 5. Amalfi Coast Wish List 1. Istanbul 2. Ireland 3. Christmas Markets 4. St. Petersburg/Moscow
For sheer atmosphere and gloriousness, Euro-centric: 1. Edinburgh: Especially if you walk the vaults and see the city by night. 2. Vienna: Chocolate, music, and Hapsburg glories. 3. Berlin: The capital of 20th century European history. 4. City of London: It's London, and I'm an Anglophile. ;)
5. Provence: Sun-drenched, historic, and wonderful people.
Top 5 to go back to on a moment's notice: 1. Vienna 2. Paris 3. Berlin and eastern Germany 4. Seville and Andalusia, esp. Ronda 5. Berner Oberland,Switzerland Top 5 want-to-go destinations (some are already in the planning stage) 1. Switzerland APR hut to hut hiking 2. Scotland (my son's pipe band is headed there again 2014, so it must be on the list!) 3. Bulgaria/Romania/Poland 4. Trans-Siberian railway (it starts in Moscow, so I hope I can count it here)
5. Tuscan hill towns