The number on the calendar may change each January, but there is one thing you can count on year after year: Europe will be the most popular region in the world to visit.

Home to five nations (France, Spain, Italy, UK and Germany) in the world’s top ten most-visited destinations, six if you include Turkey, which straddles Asia, Europe has set the pace for post-pandemic recovery. of international travel and is expected to see its 2023 numbers match or exceed the elevated levels of 2019.

Why is Europe always in fashion?

For starters, it’s the continent of romantic castles and canals, masterful works of art, majestic cathedrals, ancient ruins, medieval cobbled streets, and some of the best food and wine on the planet. Europe is also home to stunning landscapes, once-in-a-lifetime festivals, quaint towns and cosmopolitan cities, all connected by what is arguably the world’s best urban public transport and rail network.

Overwhelmingly safe and visitor-friendly, Europe is the perfect destination for first-time international travelers but also consistently satisfies the most seasoned explorers. You may arrive looking for places on your bucket list, and you’ll have a lot of fun doing it, but your most cherished memories probably come from those fleeting moments when you simply experienced the European way of life.

The only downside to this perpetual popularity is that some corners of Europe can be overly congested, especially during the summer. Fortunately, you can usually dodge the crowds simply by turning down a side street or heading into an interesting neighborhood, a move that often rewards you with a serendipitous and memorable travel experience.

Click through the slideshow to fully prepare for what is sure to be a banner year of European travel.

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