Lonely Planet Writer

The best places to visit in Europe in 2019, according to us!

Whether you want to wander through high mountain ranges or lose yourself on city streets, travellers looking for inspiration for a European holiday will find everything they need on Lonely Planet’s Best in Europe list for 2019.

Brown bear in mountain landscape. Vysoke Tatry (High Tatras), Slovakia. Image by © vencavolrab / Getty Images

This year’s top destination in Europe, as chosen by Lonely Planet’s travel experts, is High Tatras, Slovakia. There, travellers can see mountains, waterfalls and even brown bears, which have been eradicated from most other regions of Europe.

The second destination on the list is Madrid, Spain, which earns its place for its emphasis on sustainable living, bicycle lanes and rental schemes, wide footpaths and so much more. In the third spot is a less-explored part of Iceland, the new Arctic Coast Way, which launched this year to bring travellers to the undiscovered coastline of North Iceland.

Old fortress town Pocitelj along the Neretva River in Bosnia and Hercegovina, framed by spring blossoms on hillside. The fortress dates back to the 14th century. Image by © Anna Gorin / Getty Images

The full top 10 is: Hercegovina, Bosnia and Hercegovina; Bari, Italy; Shetland, Scotland; Lyon, France; Liechstenstein; Vevey, Switzerland; and Istria, Croatia.

Many of the top 10 have strong reasons to visit this year, like Lyon, which will host the FIFA Women’s World Cup in July. Liechtenstein is celebrating 300 years since it became a sovereign nation and has created the Liechtenstein Trail, which allows visitors to walk around the entire country in a weekend.

Sandbar, known as a tombolo, connecting St Ninian’s Isle with the mainland of the Shetland Islands off the north of Scotland. Image by © Peter Burnett / Getty Images

Want to see one of these incredible regions for yourself? Lonely Planet is also running a competition in which one European resident will win a £500 easyJet voucher, and one non-European resident will win a FlightGiftCard voucher. To enter, you’ll have to explain in 25 words or less which European destination you’d like to visit and why. Find out more here.