Best Destinations in Europe

Tourist on the city walls of Dubrovnik during a culinary tour with TIKWhat are the best destinations in Europe for 2019? That’s a hard question to answer, but when we look at travel trends, “hot” destinations, and our own culinary tours, we believe 2019 (and beyond) will be amazing years to visit these amazing European cities:

Best European Destinations


Croatia has been a hot destination for several years, and it’s had to pinpoint a single “best” city to visit there. But how can we not choose Dubrovnik? You could spend a few days just strolling through the Old Town. Of particular note are the town’s famous walls, which run almost 2 kilometers around the city and which have been using in filming the HBO serious Game of Thrones. You can visit Dubrovnik as well as Split, another fabulous city on the Dalmatian Coast, on our Culinary Adventure on the Croatian Coast cooking vacation.

Entrance to la Boqueria Market in Barcelona during a culinary tour in SpainBarcelona

Barcelona is a place everyone should visit. A perfect mix of fabulous food, stunning art and architecture, a lively nightlife, and friendly locals, it has something for every traveler. Although Catalonia has recently been known for its political debates regarding succession, Barcelona is a laid back but energetic city with 2000 years of history ready to explore – for example, on our Barcelona Foodie Adventure!


Lisbon is another personal favorite, but Portugal has been a super hot destination in the past few years, with its tourism industry growing faster than perhaps any other European nation’s. Portugal’s capital city is a real gem – I’m not sure i have spent a lovelier day than the one my family and I passed exploring the hilltop Castel São Jorge on a sunny February day. You can visit Lisbon on our Lisbon Food Tour or our Lisbon and the Algarve tour, among others of our Portugal cooking vacations.

Bordeaux's water mirror, visited on a cooking vacation in FranceBordeaux

We could have picked Paris – one can always pick Paris! – but Bordeaux is a perfect spot to visit in 2019. The new Cité du Vin, dedicated to all things wine, is a must-see, as is the stunning “golden triangle” and UNESCO world heritage city center, and the iconic “water mirror,” which is one of the emblems of the city. Of course our Best of Bordeaux itinerary includes all of these, but also visits to nearby Bordeaux wineries, to St. Emilion, and to the Arachon Bay.


This coastal Sicilian town is a real jewel. Its ancient roots are evident in the stunning Greek ruins, and its history as an inspiration for artists and writers is obvious to anyone who experiences its magical charm. Always in the distance is the gorgeous, snow-capped vision of Mount Etna. And let’s face it, Sicilian food is amazing, making it a perfect destination for 2019. If you’d like to see Taormina on one of our culinary tours, check out our Elegant Taormina tour, or our Authentic Sicilian Experience for the Food Lover.

Culinary Tour in Italy - Bellagio StreetBellagio

Last but certainly not least, this small town on Lake Como is ideal for any traveler to Europe looking for a dream vacation. Lake Como itself needs no introduction – it has long fascinated celebrities, aristocrats, and curious tourists. And Bellagio is one of its crown jewels, a city whose unique position at the “fork” of the lake affords it incomparable views and easy access to the other towns by ferry. Our favorite way to visit Bellagio is on our Beautiful Bellagio culinary tour, but you can also visit it during our Luxury Lakes Gourmet Experience.

(An added bonus: you can also visit the Borromean Islands from Bellagio.)

A culinary traveler on a cooking vacation in Lisbon, PortugalThese are not the only hot European destinations, of course, but hopefully it’s plenty of food for thought when planning your trip for this year! And don’t forget, we offer custom itineraries in Europe and in all of our destinations.

By Peg Kern

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