Europe is on American travelers’ minds this year. According to a recent report shared by the World Tourism Organization, U.S. citizens have shown increasing interest in traveling to this continent and have had a positive impact on its recovery after the pandemic.
But where in Europe should travelers go? Usually, those taking long-haul flights crossing the Atlantic Ocean to reach the Old Continent want a multi-country experience. Here we have gathered a short list of the most special European destinations for 2023:
A Trendy Destination: Italy
We usually want to avoid large crowds, but the hype for Italy is definitely worth it. This country offers tourists the most delicious food, impressive architecture, a fascinating culture, and life-changing experiences.
Those looking for unforgettable culinary experiences can get the best carbonara and fried artichokes in the capital, Rome, and also admire the impressive Roman Colosseum and make a wish at the Trevi Fountain.
Travelers who love TV shows and enjoyed watching The White Lotus must go to Sicily. This spectacular island in the south of Italy offers visitors incredible beaches and the opportunity to explore fascinating locations featured on the show, such as Taormina or Noto.
For Digital Nomads: Albania
Albania seemed to join the cool European destinations club recently and is definitely on many travelers’ bucket lists in 2023. This country is not only budget-friendly for American travelers — they will take pleasure in seeing their U.S. dollars stretch here — but they can stay here for up to a year without a visa!
Here, visitors will find jaw-dropping landscapes—beautiful beaches, impressive mountains— and great architecture, including castles and medieval buildings. Those traveling to Albania in 2023 are still on time to enjoy its fascinating tourism offer before it gets too crowded.
To Soak Up The Sun: Cyprus
Yes, there are beautiful beaches in the United States and nearby in the Caribbean, but Cyprus offers also a fascinating culture and the best of the Mediterranean—food, wine, and great weather. Those looking to soak up the sun while traveling in Europe will definitely enjoy this island nation, the birthplace of Aphrodite.
Travelers will find fascinating history in its buildings and museums, luxurious resort areas, breathtaking coastline, and a relaxing vacation experience. Cyprus is very popular among European travelers but not so popular with American travelers, so there’s a great opportunity to brag about visiting this incredible country.
Best Villages: Spain
The old continent has the most amazing, ancient, and picturesque villages that are impossible to find in the United States. Those looking for original experiences and off-the-beaten-path destinations should definitely include Spain on their list.
The UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) recently named three impressive Spanish towns for their “inestimable cultural value”. The hidden gems are Rupit in Catalonia, Alquezar in Aragon, and Guadalupe in Extremadura. If you already have Barcelona or Madrid on your radar, why not add a historical detour for a uniquely enriching experience?
Cheap Round Trip Opportunity: Czech Republic
If you are booking your flights right now, try finding special sales for Prague. For nearly $400, American and Canadian travelers can get round-trip tickets at the moment. From a recent search on Google Flights—from Chicago to Prague, from August 16 to September 1—, Icelandair offers tickets for just $437, and American Airlines serves a similar route starting at $453 roundtrip.
Prague is one of those cities that you never forget after you set foot in it for the first time. Its confusing and yet fascinating architecture, the impressive and romantic bridges at night, its unique culture… there’s so much to see and do! Plus, there are other spectacular cities in this country like Český Krumlov and Brno that are worth visiting too.
If You Missed It In 2022: Portugal
Portugal was recognized as one of the most popular destinations of the year in 2022, and there are many reasons to visit in 2023, especially if you have never been here before. Travelers have learned that this country offers attractions, food, and landscapes similar to the ones they find in Spain, France, and Italy for a cheaper price.
Of course, Portugal is not replacing any of these destinations but is offering visitors great wine, beautiful beaches, great museums, impressive architecture, and castles, as well as great and unique local experiences and culture.
Underrated Destination: Estonia
Estonia is not usually in American travelers’ thoughts when they think of Europe travel, but it should be. The capital, Tallinn, has been considered one of the most underrated destinations in Europe. Here, travelers encounter interesting history, amazing architecture, tasty food, and very affordable prices.
Tallinn, a fortified walled city, has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and its beauty is breathtaking. In Taillinn’s Old Town, travelers will find great restaurants and museums, and if they want to explore further, they will find spectacular national parks, towns, spas, and shops across the country.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com