Everyone remembers their first holiday overseas.
If you’ve never taken one, don’t you think it’s about time? Check out these 7 incredible destinations in Europe which are guaranteed to be a delight for first-time travellers.
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A city of love, culture, and cuisine. Whether it’s a romantic escape for two, wandering the streets from bakery to boulangerie to museum, or whether it’s a family holiday to take in the big-name sights at the Eiffel Tower, the Notre Dame, and France’s very own Disneyland, you’re guaranteed to find something to love in this cosmopolitan city.
Booking.com’s top recommendation for where to stay? The Villa du Square Luxury Guest House in the 16th arrondissement (district), a stone’s throw away from the Eiffel Tower and the Champs Elysees. There’s a large private garden – perfect for sunny breakfasts in the City of Love.
With 56 attractions, 203 points of interest, and 34 separate neighbourhoods, there’s tons to see and do in Paris. Check out Booking.com’s Paris page for more info, and remember: you get 5% cashback when you book through PokitPal’s link!
Barcelona is the place to go if you’re dying for some summer sun to rejuvenate and refresh. The lively beach culture will keep you moving, and there’s always more to see with the eye-catching Spanish architecture and the iconic monuments like the Sagrada Familia, the Casa Batllo, and the stunning stained-glass dome of the Palau de la Musica Catalana.
When you need some fuel to keep the day going, you can’t go past the delicious local cuisine. For an accommodation spot super close to great restaurants and bars, you can’t go past Booking.com’s recommended accommodation at the Midtown Apartments, with its stylish, modern decor – including a seasonal rooftop pool and sun deck. Its great location is just a short stroll away from both Paseo de Gracia and the central Plaza Catalunya – you won’t miss a thing!
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
There’s something special about London. Known for its fashion, its art and culture, and its theatre, it’s certainly not the weather that keeps people coming back time and time again. Whether you’re keen to explore ramshackle markets like Portobello and Borough, or shop upscale in trendy boutiques; whether you want to see the natural beauty of the parklands or take in the culture at museums, galleries and big name spots like the London Eye, Westminster Abbey, and Buckingham Palace, London’s got a little bit of everything.
For a truly unique experience, Booking.com recommends staying at the Sunborn London, a floating super-yacht hotel featuring its own bar and restaurant. You can wake up the views overlooking the Royal Docks and the Thames, and you’re super close to one of London’s arteries – the DLR, or Docklands Light Rail, feeds straight into the London Underground subway (the infamous “Tube”) and can take you anywhere you want to go.
Vienna offers plenty of trendy options for travellers, whether you’re in the mood for historical and modern. We heartily recommend taking in some kind of classical music or opera – it’s tradition – and spending your time wandering the museums and shopping on the Graben and Kartner Strasse. If that doesn’t excite, how about the beautiful Belvedere Palace, the mediaeval St Stephen’s Cathedral, or the iconic giant wheel at Prater Park?
To get your historical fill, Booking.com recommends choosing Vienna’s oldest hotel in the city center, the Hotel Konig von Ungarn. It was founded in 1746 and originally served as the guesthouse for the archbishop. It has a stunning glass-covered interior courtyard, and serves classic Viennese and Austrian cuisine.
Yes, we’re circling back around to Spain. Thinking about expanding your Iberian trip? Don’t go past Malaga. Called the ‘capital of the Costa del Sol’ (Sun Coast), it’s a gorgeous introduction to the beauty of southern Spain. With chic cafes, trendy bars, and a waterfront promenade, it’s perfect for getting into that beachy Mediterranean swing. Want some history and culture? Over thirty museums and the top spots of Alcazaba Fortress, La Manquita Renaissance Cathedral, and the 10th century Gilbralfaro Castle will not disappoint.
Booking.com recommends staying in the heart of the city. How about Molina Lario, which has one of those fabulous rooftop terrace and pools – this one with a cathedral view. Best of all, it’s within walking distance of some of those cultural must-dos, and Malagueta Beach!
Venice has been voted #4 by Booking.com’s travellers for first-timers. The museums, culture and romance of this iconic city tell an epic story of a city founded on merchant trade (meaning shopping is always at the heart of Venetian fun). The waterways of Venice are not to be missed, whether you take a romantic Gondola ride under the Rialto Bridge, or zip along on a vaporetto. St. Mark’s Basilica with its gilded domes, the gothic architecture of the Doge’s Palace, and the stunning islands of Murano and Burano should all rate your must-see list.
Many tourists stay on the mainland and head over to Venice during the day, but if you want to stay in the city at night – a breathtaking experience, with all the lights – Booking.com recommends the Hotel Ai Reali, with its antique Venetian-style hardwood floors, and canal views.
Book right now through PokitPal’s link and secure your 5% cashback on everything you do. If you’re still not convinced by Venice’s wistful beauty, check out Booking.com’s Venice page for more information.
With over two and a half thousand years of rich history and an astonishing mix of classical beauty and modern chic, Rome’s nickname of the “Eternal City” is well placed. When you walk around a corner and suddenly bump into the Colosseum, the Pantheon, or the Trevi Fountain, it’s a feeling like no other – one you’ll never forget. Enjoy a freshly-brewed espresso in a piazza, and then jump over the border into another country: the Vatican City, right there in the heart of Rome, with its exquisite Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica.
For accommodation options, Booking.com recommends the Casa Roma Luxury Apartments. With the Colosseum and the Trevi Fountain just 10 minute walks from the apartment, you’ll be in the best spot to head out and explore the city’s highlights your first time in Rome – or your tenth, or your twenty-seventh.
Head on over to Booking.com’s Rome page for more information, history and options to book, or get your 5% cashback right now when you book through PokitPal’s link.