Top destinations in Europe for 2022

Top destinations in Europe for 2022

Are you in need of inspiration for your next holiday on the Old Continent? Trends, sun, price, weekend getaways… In this article, discover the top destinations in Europe based on your criteria.

The most popular holiday destinations in Europe 

According to the most recent figures (2020) published by the European Commission on tourist visas (short-stay) granted by Schengen Area Member States, these are the top destinations in Europe:

1.    France 
2.    Germany
3.    Spain
4.    Italy
5.    Czech Republic
6.    The Netherlands
7.    Finland
8.    Greece

From 2016 to 2018, the number of short-stay Schengen visas (type C) granted by Schengen Area countries varied between 14 and 15 million per year. With the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, numbers plummeted to 2 million in 2020. Despite this temporary drop in world tourism, 2020 numbers do reflect a real trend. The number of visas granted in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 reveal a stable top 4 with France in first position, granting 2-3 million Schengen visas, followed by Germany, Italy and Spain with 1-2 million tourist visas each per year.

Top destinations Europe based on your criteria

 Low-cost destinations in Europe

Each year, the Post Office City Costs Barometer collects and compares various data such as the price of a drink, a meal, a 3-star hotel room, a visit or public transport in several European cities.  Results 2021: the "cheap destinations in Europe" include (almost) only Eastern European countries, with a few exceptions:

- Tirana (Albania). The capital of the land of eagles, which is in the midst of a major transformation, is a colourful, exciting and unique city. Head to Skanderbeg Square to discover all of the architectural jewels of the city.
- Vilnius (Lithuania) is a top destination in the Baltics. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, explore the city on foot to discover dozens of monuments!
- Lisbon (Portugal) is both the capital and the largest city in Portugal. It has a deep connection with the sea, as it is located where the mouth of the Tage River meets the Atlantic Ocean. Great news, since the city boasts 290 days of sunshine per year. 
- Riga (Latvia). Riga is a vibrant cultural capital on the coast of the Baltic Sea. Proud of its gorgeous architectural heritage, the capital of Latvia is the top Art Nouveau destination in all of Europe. 

Sunny destinations in Europe

Unsurprisingly, the sunny destinations in Europe are concentrated in Southern Europe (or Mediterranean Europe). A coincidence? Not really, because the Mediterranean climate in these destinations is ideal for catching some rays during your holiday:

1.    Greece. will take you back in time to a key period in the history of Western civilisation, but that’s not all. In addition to its famous archaeological sites, the Hellenic Republic overflows with breathtaking scenery, starting with the thousands of tropical islands. 
2.    Croatia. At the intersection of Mediterranean and Eastern traditions, as well as Central Europe and the Balkans, the mix of cultures is incredibly rich in Croatia. Not counting the thousands of paradise islands with picturesque landscapes.
3.    Cyprus. Sea, sand and sun… In the heart of the eastern portion of the Mediterranean, Cyprus brings together all the ingredients for a sunny destination in Europe, in addition to a rich history. This small island has an impressive cultural heritage that dates back thousands of years.
4.    Sardinia. With more than 2000 km of coastline and postcard-perfect views beyond count, this Italian island is a must-see for all travellers in search of the most beautiful destinations in Europe. 
5.    Malta. Beaches, sports, culture, nature, relaxation, parties, universities… Malta is a destination not to be missed in the summer. Simply put, there’s something for everyone.

Weekend getaways in Europe

Would you like to get away for the weekend? Why not discover or rediscover one of the major European capitals! Here are our top weekend destinations in Europe: 

1.    Paris (France). The Eiffel Tower, Montmartre, Notre-Dame de Paris, the Sacré-Cœur, Louvre Museum, and, of course, the Champs-Élysées. The City of Light has so much to offer, making it an easy choice for a weekend destination in Europe not to be missed.
2.    Rome (Italy). Friendly locals, a majestic river, UNESCO World Heritage architecture… The Italian capital is a unique city with much to offer. 
3.    London (United Kingdom). A true melting pot, the English capital offers incredible culture to visitors. From Buckingham Palace to the British Museum to Hyde Park… A visit to London is a rich in history as its country. 
4.    Amsterdam (The Netherlands) is known for historical attractions, cultural heritage, an elaborate canal system and narrow houses on stilts. It’s the perfect destination for a biking weekend in Europe! 
5.    Berlin (Germany) is witness to a tumultuous past, but so much more. The German capital is also a destination rich in alternative and avant-garde culture.

Top travel insurance for Europe

Depending on your country of origin, you may need to apply for a short-stay Schengen visa (type C) with the competent consular authorities in order to access these destinations. If so, taking out a travel insurance policy will be a requirement.

Do you need travel insurance for your Schengen visa application? Schengen travel visa coverage must meet several criteria. It must be valid in all Schengen Area countries and cover medical and hospital expenses up to at least 30,000 euros and repatriation. 

Are you exempt from the visa requirement to travel in Europe and don’t need travel insurance? Taking out a policy is still strongly recommended to cover any medical emergency that may occur during your trip.

A world leader in assistance and insurance, Europ Assistance offers two policies that meet government requirements for travellers to the Schengen Area, that are also flexible with unbeatable rates. Starting at 3 euros per day, Europ Assistance’s Schengen travel insurance covers you for illness or accidental injury up to 60,000 euros, but that’s not all. Throughout your entire trip, you will also have 24/7 emergency travel assistance (in English, French or Spanish) and coverage depending on your choice of policy. Depending on the policy, you may also enjoy a widened coverage area that includes Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania and the United Kingdom. All of which are among the top destinations in Europe!