Jess Buck gives us her guide to this year’s hottest travel destinations…
We’re at the start of the second month of a brand new year, and we’re already sure that 2018 is going to give us some pretty memorable European travel moments. Whether you’re looking to take a number of short city breaks and spread your annual leave throughout the year, or planning to go large and take a few weeks off in a row to discover as many countries as possible, our beautiful continent provides plenty of places for you to tick off your bucket lists. Let’s see what’s hot in Europe for travel in 2018…
Topping this years Lonely Planet ‘Best in Travel’ list for 2018, Seville is one of the trendiest cities in Europe right now. Home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, this place is brimming with history and culture. Andalusia’s capital city promises to provide large amounts of flamenco dancing, tapas, churros, bicycles and stunning architecture to all who visit. For a true taste of traditional Seville, and the biggest annual fiesta in Spain, why not visit in Spring when the cities famous April Fair (Feria de Abril) is in town? With its gothic buildings, delicious food and ancient history, Seville is definitely one of the must see cities of 2018.
2018 is going to be a big year for Germany’s second largest city, with its tourist board launching their brand new ‘Come to Hamburg’ campaign. Bloggers, journalists and various press members will be invited throughout the year to experience everything that the city has to offer. Hamburg is the first city in the world to provide influencers from the USA, UK, Sweden, Norway, and the Netherlands with complimentary accommodation during their visit to the city. Set up by some of the cities best hotels, the Come to Hamburg pilot project has already been a huge success and looks to boost tourism enormously throughout 2018. With its famous shipping port, stunning Rathaus building and it’s vibrant Reeperbahn (red light) district, Hamburg provides it’s visitors with endless things to see and do.
Listed as one of this years European Capitals of Culture, Valletta is destined for great things and is sure to attract thousands of new tourists from all around the world in 2018. As well as boasting one of Europe’s most prestigious titles, the brand new Valletta 2018 Foundation will spring into action and see the implementation of a new Cultural Programme this year. The programme aims to promote a number of different aspects of the Maltese capital, encouraging participation from locals and tourists alike during 2018. Designated a World Heritage City, Valletta’s cobbled streets, waterfront location, ancient city walls and Baroque architecture make it one of the prettiest places in the Mediterranean.
Named the ‘Best Value Destination in the World’ in the Lonely Planet Best in Travel 2018 guide, Tallinn is a compact city but certainly packs a punch. What it lacks in size it certainly makes up for in charm and culture with its lively town square, mesmerising city skyline and it’s enviable location right on the Baltic Sea. Best explored on foot, without the need to splash out on taxis or public transport, and with numerous cheap hotels and inexpensive eateries, Tallinn is a great choice for those looking to take a city break on a budget in 2018. Well connected by many UK and European airports, the capital of Estonia has grown in popularity over the years and makes a great base from which to get around the rest of the beautiful Baltic states.
One of the most famous musical capitals of the world, Vienna is best known for its glamorous balls, theatrical operas and lavish concerts. Each year, more than 450 balls take place in the city, with the annual Carnival running throughout the months of January and February making the start of the year a wonderful time to visit. 2018 marks an incredible 650 years of the Austrian National Library, with numerous literary events taking place throughout the year. Vienna’s many palaces, gardens and churches provide stunning buildings, luscious green spaces and plenty of opportunity to discover all its beauty. Renowned for its strong musical links, highlights in the forthcoming 2018 calendar include a Vivaldi Opera, an a-ha MTV Unplugged Tour and a brand new Abba-Story Musical.
These cities are expected to be hugely popular and attract thousands of visitors across 2018, and we think they fully deserve recognition for being some of Europe’s best kept secrets. As we get older and our travel style evolves, we tend to skip past the famous capitals such as Barcelona, Paris and Berlin and take it upon ourselves to discover places that are equally as fantastic, but just a little bit more quirky. Seville is just as beautiful as Barcelona, as Hamburg is in comparison to Berlin, but as travellers we’re starting to take pleasure in finding new places to visit and tick off our ever expanding bucket lists. Have you ever been to any of the cities on this list? Let us know where you’re hoping to visit in 2018!
Jessica Buck is a travel blogger from Oxfordshire specialising in UK and European city breaks. It’s her target to visit 25 countries before she turns 25! To follow more of her adventures, head to www.journeyswithjessica.net or follow her on twitter, instagram or facebook.