Each year, just before the summer vacation, many outlets and organizations release their lists of best new European destinations. To take the guessing game out of your traveling equation we researched and cross references all said compilation to create the Ultimate Five, your go to travelogue to Europe’s emerging cities. Ideally visited once you have crossed Paris, London and Rome off your “Bucket List,” behold your next batch of “must do” cities.
Florence has for centuries been inspiring the greatest artists who revolutionized the art world. The city has seen the birth of the greatest masterpieces ever produced by humankind. Its architecture is immensely rich and its museums, sculptures and paintings are known worldwide.
A city with roots and wings, Florence is at the forefront of sustainable development and creation. This year might be a great time to discover Florence, its verdant hills and the incredible views which they offer. The wealthiest families, such as the Medici, made Florence the world capital of art and left the city an invaluable legacy. These treasures await you in one of the best European destinations. For great accommodations, The St. Regis Hotel offers a beautifully integrated architecture with Florentine polish. Food wise this great city offers a myriad of options. You can find dumplings, Persian kebabs, and no fewer than seven Michelin-starred restaurants in one of the world’s best-preserved UNESCO cities.
More trendy than ever, Riga is part of a travel bucket list again this year. The city offers an unprecedented mix of architecture, history, modernity, trendy cafés and restaurants, shopping streets offering both traditional products and products by local designers.
Riga is a welcoming and dynamic city, a colorful and sparkling destination that’s custom made for any Instagram lover. Riga is also a perfect city for gourmets or architecture enthusiasts. Its old historic centre is full of traditional restaurants or fusion cuisine. Try Restaurant 3. Recognizing the chefs’Juris Dukalski and Eriks Dreibants’ creativity and execution, the Nordic White Guide has shortlisted Restaurant 3 as one of the best restaurants in all of Latvia.
Another plus of the Latvian capital is its beauty appreciation. Riga is cut out for spa treatments and beauty procedures and you can do that in the very center. When in Riga, a traditional Latvian bath aka Balta Pirts is a must! Open since 1908, Balta Pirts offers a traditional Latvian sauna experience on Wednesday through Sunday.
Sun, gastronomy, culture, nightlife, monuments, the sea, a blue sky. Welcome to Athens, one of the best destinations in Europe! Athens is in the top 15 destinations every year and all year through it attracts European travelers in search of their roots and traditional Hellenic lifestyle.
The city is historic and is the cradle of European philosophy. Athens is both steeped in history and focused on modernity. Travellers love its architecture, the district of Plaka, monuments, gastronomy, trendy shops but also its nightlife; its proximity to the sea (15 minutes away from downtown) makes it very attractive too. A city of paradoxes and great contrasts, in the country that first invented the courtesy and generosity towards people who are far from their home.
Forget Barcelona and Madrid this year and go for Málaga! Stroll through the alleys of the old historic center, fill your lungs with fresh sea air on the quays, shop on the marinas or sip a cocktail on the rooftop of a trendy bar. For a panoramic view of the city, hop on the Grande-Roue or climb to the top of the Gibralfaro Castle for a 360-degree view of one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. Treat yourself to a day of thrills on the “Caminito del Rey”, one of the most beautiful natural attractions in Málaga province. Finally, enjoy a moment of pure bliss in one of Málaga’s magnificent hammams.
Sainte-Maxime is known worldwide for the beauty of its landscapes, its turquoise waters and endless beaches. It is popular for its authentic Provencal soul. Located between Provence and the French Riviera, this destination is authentic, warm and welcoming. This being France, food culture dominates here and that goes with out saying. Cote Jardin is a restaurant that embies all of the French ethos with a dash of fancy flair. But even a delicious piece of baguette covered with local extra virgin olive oil and a glass of rosé on a sunny terrace will do. Sainte-Maxime offers the best of Provence, the French Riviera and even some Corsican landscapes with “La Pointe des Sardinaux”, a must-visit beach known as ‘Little Corsica’.