Skip to Content

These Are The Top 5 European Destinations For 2024 According To New Report

Share The Article

Last Updated

Europe, a continent steeped in history and culture, has always been one of the first destinations to make it into any American traveler’s bucket list.

However, as the travel industry expands and evolves, tourists are starting to seek more unique, off-the-beaten-path experiences that add some extra flair to the traditional European getaway.

Hiker standing on the top of Husfjellet Mountain on Senja Island in northern Norway, Nordland

Luckily for those in search of their next destination, National Geographic just released its long-awaited list of the most exciting places to visit around the world in 2024.

These were five of the European destinations that made the cut:

5. Nordland, Norway

Starting off the list, we have Nordland, a northern region of Norway best known for its Arctic wilderness, dramatic fjords, and mesmerizing northern lights. 

Hamnoy in snow in winter in Lofoten islands, Norway

The county is also the perfect gateway to the Lofoten Islands.

There, you can marvel at the iconic towering peaks, explore gorgeous little fishing villages, and hike to breathtaking viewpoints overlooking the Norwegian Sea.

Other items to add to your Nordland itinerary include marveling at Svartisen Glacier, Norway’s second-largest glacier, as well as witnessing one of the strongest tidal currents in the world in Saltstraumen.

woman standing in front of Svartisen Glacier, Norway

4. Galloway and Southern Ayrshire, Scotland

Located in southwestern Scotland, Galloway and Southern Ayrshire are dotted by rolling hills, charming coastal villages, and ancient castles, providing the most picturesque backdrop for your next batch of travel pictures.

The region is a haven for nature enthusiasts, who can enjoy birdwatching in the RSPB Mull of Galloway and hiking along the Southern Upland Way, Scotland's longest coast-to-coast trail. 

Waterside Hill on the Southern Upland Way

One unique feature about Galloway and Southern Ayrshire is that the sky here is exceptionally dark, creating the perfect opportunity for stargazing.

3. Emilia-Romagna, Italy

The northern Italy region is synonymous with delectable cuisine, gorgeous historic cities, and world-class artistic heritage.

Bologna Italy

Here, foodies can finally try the traditional balsamic vinegar of Modena, the authentic Parmesan cheese of Parma, and the iconic handmade pasta of Bologna (fun fact – ragu alla bolognese is Italy’s national dish, so a warm plate of pasta accompanied by the rich sauce is a must-try).

History buffs, on the other hand, will be able to experience the idyllic medieval towns of Ferrara and Ravenna, where they can see the stunning architecture and ancient mosaics firsthand.

2. Belfast, Northern Ireland

If you’re looking to explore the wonders of Western Europe instead, you can’t go wrong with Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland and home to the iconic Titanic Belfast Museum.

Between its rich history, vibrant spirit, thriving arts scene, and warm atmosphere, the region has a lot to offer travelers looking for a unique European getaway away from the chaotic crowds of Paris or Barcelona.

The classic Belfast city hall building with columns and cupolas on Donegall square, the headquarters of city council

The Titanic museum I mentioned before is truly a must-see. It offers 9 interactive galleries that re-tell the story of the ill-fated ship in a way it’s never been told before.

Other attractions to add to your Belfast itinerary include the Cathedral Quarter, the Giant’s Causeway, St. George’s Market, the Belfast City Hall, and the Botanic Gardens.

1. Albanian Alps, Albania

Once a hidden gem nestled in the heart of the Balkan Peninsula, Albania has now become the fastest-growing destination in Europe, beckoning tourists with its idyllic views, warm hospitality, and reasonable prices.

Albanian Alps

However, it’s worth noting that most tourists are flocking to the country’s iconic Riviera, which, while gorgeous, is far from Albania’s only natural attraction.

If you were to travel a bit further north, you’d be able to experience the stunning Albanian Alps, a rugged, unspoiled region that promises visitors the views of a lifetime.

Here, travelers can embark on scenic hikes through the Valbona Valley National Park, Theth National Park, and Komani Lake and enjoy the endemic flora and fauna firsthand.

Picturesque Church In The Remote Village Of Theth, Albanian Alps, Albania

Those looking for more of an adrenaline rush will be happy to learn that rock climbing, kayaking, and paragliding opportunities are also abundant in the area.

One thing I do want to mention is that I’d highly recommend hiring a professional guide or going on an organized tour while visiting the Albanian Alps.

Don’t get me wrong, the region is pretty safe, and most locals are more than welcoming to foreigners; however, having a professional help you navigate the rugged terrain will make you feel much more at ease – and thus, better able to enjoy the experience.

↓ Elevate Your Travel↓

Sign Up Now For Travel Off Path Premium! No ads, VIP Content, Personal Travel Concierge, Huge Savings, Daily Deals, Members Forum & More!

✈️Join Our Travel Off Path Community Forum: Where travelers unite, ask questions, share experiences and even find like-minded travel buddies!


Enter your email address to subscribe to Travel Off Path's latest breaking travel news, straight to your inbox.

This article originally appeared on

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.