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Why These 2 Sunny European Countries Are The Trendiest Destinations Of 2024

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Europe has always been a popular region of the world for travel, but 2 countries in particular are breaking all-time tourism records right now.

Travelers just can't seem to get enough of neighboring countries Spain and Portugal.

These two European countries are the trendiest destinations of the year, with both of them receiving a record number of tourists in 2023.

Seville Spain

And that popularity is only set to skyrocket further in 2024 as more and more travelers flock to Spain and Portugal. Although each country is extremely distinctive with its own unique flair, they also share many similarities.

Here's why Spain and Portugal are two of the most popular destinations of the year:

Amazing Weather

Both Spain and Portugal have some of the best weather in Europe.

These two countries have become increasingly popular as off-season destinations because of year-round sunshine and warmer temperatures.

Woman overlooking Barcelona, Spain

Although things can get a little too hot in the height of summer, the “shoulder seasons” of spring and fall are absolutely perfect for enjoying warm and sunny weather in Spain and Portugal.

Even winter is typically very mild in Spain and Portugal (especially the southern parts), making it a welcome respite from the frigid weather in other parts of the world.

In particular, Spain's Costa del Sol and Portugal's Algarve are perfect winter and spring destinations for escaping the cold weather and enjoying some sunshine.

Nerja, Costa Del Sol, Andalusia, Southern Spain, Southern Europe

Great For Solo Travelers

Both Spain and Portugal are excellent destinations for solo travelers — as someone who has traveled solo in both countries and spent a significant amount of time in Spain, I can attest to how easy it is to get around on your own and find fun things to do.

Spain and Portugal are both very safe, and in both countries, it's easy to meet other travelers and locals alike.

There are plenty of activities you can do as a solo traveler, whether you're interested in museums, food, nature, or something else.

Young woman looking at Lisbon Panorama in Portugal

In a recent report about the best cities for solo travelers, Madrid, Barcelona, and Lisbon all made the cut!

Affordable Prices

Another reason Spain and Portugal are so popular is because they are significantly more affordable than other popular destinations in Western Europe, such as France, Italy, and the United Kingdom.

Although Spain is more expensive than Portugal, it's still fairly affordable. I was actually shocked at how cheap Portugal was—it was even cheaper than some destinations in Eastern Europe and the Balkans!

Porto, Portugal old town ribeira aerial promenade view with colorful houses, Douro river and boats

Portugal's affordability is one of many reasons it's one of the most popular destinations in the world for travelers in 2024.

Trending Destinations

Travelers have been flocking to major hotspots like Barcelona, Spain and Lisbon, Portugal for ages, but there are some lesser-known destinations in both countries that are becoming increasingly popular.

For example, Spain's Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands both set new tourism records in 2023, and many American travelers are discovering these destinations for the first time.

Woman in Mallorca

And in Portugal, travelers are heading to lesser-known towns to find cheaper prices and escape the crowds of Lisbon.

Spain Vs. Portugal

It can be difficult to choose between Spain and Portugal because both countries have so much to offer!

If you want to save money, Portugal is the winner because it's significantly cheaper than Spain overall.

When it comes to food, culture, and history, both countries are tied. Spain and Portugal each have amazing cities, vibrant culture, and delicious food.

Lisbon, Portugal - Yellow tram on a street with colorful houses and flowers on the balconies - Bica Elevator going down the hill of Chiado

When it comes to partying and nightlife, both countries are also excellent destinations — although Spain might have a slight edge when it comes to party hotspots like Ibiza and Barcelona.

Both countries also have exceptional beaches, but Portugal is where you should go if you want to surf or have a more active beach vacation. Meanwhile, Spain is perfect for a more relaxing getaway in the Mediterranean, to destinations like the Costa del Sol or the Balearic Islands.

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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com

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