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These Are The 5 Most Popular Countries To Visit In Europe This Winter According To New Study

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Can’t wait until spring or summer for a trip to Europe? Fear not; this historic continent has a ton of places that are perfect to explore during winter.

While traditional destinations like the United Kingdom and France will always attract attention, there are a handful of other countries that are scoring well with travelers right now – at least, that’s according to a new study by luggage storage expert Bounce.

young traveler looks out at chimneys near Uchisar castle in Cappadocia Turkey

The company just published a 2024 Travel Intentions study within which it examined Google search data over the last three months to determine which European nations are currently getting the most traction with travelers.

The results bring up a couple of the usual suspects but also some countries that have really been trending in the travel world over the last year.

Here’s the top 5:

5) Croatia

Croatia’s popularity has been on the upward curve among travelers for the last decade or so.

The country boasts an awe-inspiring Adriatic coastline, historic medieval cities, and generally affordable food and accommodation.  

Croatia’s popularity has also been helped by the fact that it is well recognized as an excellent country for digital nomads – blessed with great co-working spaces, good weather all year round, affordable living costs, and it was one of the first European nations to launch a digital nomad visa.

female traveler looks out at medieval city on adriatic coast in croatia

4) Malta

One of the European countries that saw the highest growth in tourism in 2023, Malta looks set to remain a popular choice as we progress into 2024 too.

With more than 3,000 hours of sunshine per year, Malta is a great winter destination, with this time of year also being the cheapest to visit.

You can easily get by for less than $100 in Malta and enjoy a good standard of accommodation for that. 

view of st pauls cathedral in valletta malta

Malta is also part of the European Schengen Area so Americans can stay for 90 days without a visa, meanwhile English is one of the official languages on the island.  

3) Greece

This sunny southern European gem has been on a record-breaking streak when it comes to tourism, and the winter is actually a great time to see it in a different light.

The beaches will still have enough warmth and sun for most, but you can also enjoy an alternative and more wintry side of Greece if you head north to beautiful regions such as the Pindus or Olympus mountain ranges.

While the well-trodden destinations such as Athens and Rhodes will always be fan favorites, several other lesser-known locales in Greece are growing in popularity.

view of snowy mount olympus in greece with red leaved tree in foreground

And to be honest, you will probably have a more enjoyable experience if you avoid the overcrowded and clichéd Greek destinations and seek out some off-path locations.

2) Iceland

As the name suggests, Iceland is an ideal winter wonderland destination.

Expect beautiful snowy landscapes, warming natural hot springs, and a warm welcome from its friendly people.

woman leaps between two rocks at Jökulsárlón lake in Iceland

Iceland is one of the places that gives you the best chance of witnessing the northern lights, and 2024 looks like it might be a particularly eventful year for that particular phenomenon. 

As one of the safest countries in the world – it topped the 2023 Global Peace Index – Iceland is also an ideal destination for solo travelers.

northern lights in iceland

Just make sure you check the latest advice from the Icelandic government before you plan your travel as the country experienced some significant volcanic activity in January.

1) Turkey

Exotic, exciting, and eclectic – Turkey recently cemented its place as one of the most visited countries in Europe.

Of course, one of the things that’s unique about Turkey is that it straddles both Europe and Asia, making visiting a cultural experience like no other.

The country has some exquisite beach locations along its Turquoise Coast region, while cities such as Istanbul will enchant even the most experienced traveler – whichever you choose, the weather will still be relatively decent in the winter while the crowds will be fewer.

old style red trams moving along in streets of istanbul turkey

You can also enjoy Turkey on a relatively modest budget – between $75 and $100 per day is very achievable depending on where you are in the country. 

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