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These Are The Top 4 Trendiest European Destinations To Visit Right Now

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While Europe has always been a treasure trove for tourists looking to experience the continent’s one-of-a-kind culture, attractions, and natural marvels, emerging travel trends show that visitors are seeking to explore the region beyond the likes of Paris, London, or Barcelona.

Traveling tourist woman on vacation in Heraklion Crete walking at the port. Lovely elegant girl visiting the famous Mediterranean Venetian port

Wizz Air, one of the major low-cost carriers currently operating in the airline market, recently conducted a study on the ratio between visitors and locals among all European hotspots.

The four cities that made it to the top of the list welcomed the most tourists this past year relative to their population, showing that a destination’s size has nothing to do with its value as a welcoming tourist hub.

1. Heraklion, Greece

Crete’s stunning capital hosted over 6,8 million visitors this past year, which marks a whopping 4,333% increase from its local population of just over 150,000. 

Harbour with fishing boats by the Koules Fortress in Heraklion, Crete, Greece

As one of those lucky 6.8 million travelers, I can attest that Heraklion’s position on today’s list is well-deserved.

The Greek gem is not only a gateway to the legendary Minoan civilization but also a dynamic hub and home to some of the region’s most breathtaking beaches. 

Old walls of Knossos near Heraklion. The ruins of the Minoan palaces is the largest archaeological site of all the palaces in Mediterranean island of Crete

The imposing silhouette of the Heraklion Fortress and the iconic Palace of Knossos are beautifully contrasted by the trendy cafes, beautiful little boutiques selling hand-made goods, and great cocktail bars running “Buy 1 get 1 free” deals all summer long.

Speaking of deals, the prices on the Cretan capital are pretty reasonable, especially compared to other Greek island hotspots.

Heraklion, Crete, Greece, Venizelou square

For example, the same exact dinner that cost me around 52€ ($57) in Zante (Zakynthos), only cost 27€ ($29) in Heraklion, which is a stark difference.

What’s more, the food in the city and its surrounding regions is some of the best I’ve had in all of Greece – the gyros, in particular, were the best I’ve ever tried.

2. Porto, Portugal

Nestled along the banks of the Douro River, Porto has evolved from a forgotten town living in the shadows of Lisbon to one of the world’s most coveted destinations, offering travelers the perfect blend of charm, natural allure, and affordability.

Aerial view of Porto, portugal

Art enthusiasts, in particular, will have the time of their lives here.

While exploring the trendy neighborhoods of Ribeira and Foz and the many galleries, installations, and innovative design studios that line the narrow streets of Porto, travelers will be able to get in touch with their creative side.

The city’s iconic architecture is as much part of the area’s art and culture as everything I’ve mentioned thus far.

Tourist walking, azulejos tiles over Chapel Of Souls, Porto, Portugal

Renowned for its intricate azulejo-tiled buildings and the iconic Dom Luís I Bridge, the local architectural scene will make even the simplest walk around the city feel like the ultimate sightseeing experience.

3. Nice, France

The 948,000-people city welcomed more than 3.9 million visitors this past year, nabbing the no. 3 spot on today’s list.

Considered by many the crown jewel of the French Riviera, Nice has long been synonymous with dreamy sights and sophistication.

Nice, France

The Promenade des Anglais, with its stunning Mediterranean views, remains one of the most iconic symbols of the city, but it's the eclectic neighborhoods and contemporary culture that are now propelling Nice to the forefront of European travel trends.

When in the area, you won’t want to miss out on a walk across the Old Town.

Featuring narrow winding streets and vibrant markets, the neighborhood offers the perfect juxtaposition to the surrounding sleek architecture and state-of-the-art museums. 

4. Antalya, Turkey

After breaking its all-time tourism record just a couple of months ago, Antalya is enjoying a new tourism success as one of the trendiest European destinations that emerged this past year.

Aerial view of antalya turkey

Though the gorgeous resort town is mainly known for its yacht-filled Old Harbor and high-end hotels that line the dreamy beaches, Antalya actually boasts a rich history that’s worth exploring in between sunbathing sessions.

hıdırlık tower, Antalya, Turkey

The city's Old Town, Kaleiçi, for example, comes with a wealth of Ottoman architectural wonders, traditional streets, and abundant historical landmarks, including Hadrian's Gate and the world-famous Hıdırlık Tower. 

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