20 selected destinations competed for the prestigious title of Best European Destination 2015. After a three weeks’ period of online voting, Bordeaux is elected the Best European Destination 2015 and won this prestigious title.
Lisbon, Athens, Valetta, Riga, Zagreb, Ljubljana, Innsbruck, Milan, Brussels, Vienna, Rome, Barcelone, Istanbul and Madrid are the next best destinations for a holiday or city-trip in 2015.
We thank all the participants from Tourism Offices, community managers of social networks and the 244,696 voters who made their choice and influenced the result !
1- Bordeaux has always been a dynamic, cosmopolitan city and never ceases to reveal exciting, new facets of its character. The city of Bordeaux’s inscription as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007 and its bold modernism have made it a key destination for everyone interested in French culture, lifestyle… and wine!
Center of a legendary wine-growing region, this vibrant and sophisticated city is a top gourmet and culture destination. Synonymous with fine wines, Bordeaux is one of France’s most elegant cities.
Bordeaux’s setting on the River Garonne has made it an important port for centuries. Bordeaux is the ideal base for exploring wine châteaux of Médoc, St Emilion and Bordeaux, fringed by the largest pine forest in Europe, just 45 minutes from Arcachon Bay (famous for its delicious seafood and oysters!) and superb beaches. The Basque Country and Spain are only 2 hours away and in 3 hours you can be on the Pyrenean ski slopes.
2- Lisbon is an illuminated city. The almost constant presence of sunshine and the River Tagus transforms the Portuguese capital into a mirror of a thousand colors – highlighting the city’s unique architecture and beauty.
Have fun in Lisbon, where nightlife continues till dawn. Experience calmer moments in Lisbon in the city’s parks, gardens, belvederes, cafés and esplanades. Or simply enjoy the pure pleasure of being in Lisbon, through its gastronomy, luxury hotels, spas and shopping centres.
3- Athens is considered the cradle of western civilization. Over the years, a multitude of conquerors occupied Athens, and erected unique, splendid monuments – a rare historical palimpsest, evident everywhere in the city.
The contemporary urban scenery of the sprawling city reflects its exciting history, its multi-cultural modern personality as well as the infrastructure and facilities. In other words, Athens is a must destination that combines modern urban innovation with history, culture and natural beauty throughout the year.
4- Valletta. In Malta you can span the millennial with an astonishing array of things to discover. And wherever you go, the scenery and architecture provide a spectacular backdrop. The colors are striking, honey-colored stone against the deepest of Mediterranean blues.
Malta is holidaying as the mood takes you. And with near year-round sun, you can indulge in outdoor living at its best. And, if this were not enough, there are the other two islands – Gozo and Comino -which can be a pleasant change-of-scene during your stay.
5- Riga. The first, indelible impression that most visitors get of the Latvian capital is its majestic skyline, as viewed from the left bank of the Daugava River.
One will find a breathtaking range of architectural styles in the historical center. Furthermore, Riga’s wealth of Jugendstil or Art Nouveau buildings, complete with their fantastically ornate flourishes, stands out as unparalleled anywhere in the world. Proud of its heritage, it is a thoroughly modern city with a highly developed infrastructure and opportunities for a variety of activities.
6- Zagreb. The impressions of many foreigners who live in Zagreb, business people and tourists can be summed up in a single sentence : a large city which managed to stay romantic and safe. There are unlimited possibilities for visiting music and theatre events, art exhibitions, museums, sporting events and enjoying pleasant walks, interesting architecture, plentiful parks in the centre of the city, pedestrian zones and the atmosphere.
Spacious pedestrian zones with many open cafes with garden and street terraces scattered all over the city add to the charm of Zagreb hospitality.
7- Ljubljana. What is it that sets Ljubljana apart from other cities and capitals ? A vibrant city of delights characterized by its unique historical heritage, cultural creativity, friendliness and relaxed atmosphere.
Due to its compact size, Ljubljana is a walking and environmentally friendly city, dotted with many green spaces. Nestled on a hill above the Old Town, the medieval Ljubljana Castle looks like a mighty guardian protecting the city at its foot. Even at first glance, Ljubljana seems pleasant and familiar to visitors.
8- Innsbruck. Picturesque and snazzy, on the pulse of nature and the city at the same time, that is how the city on the banks of the river Inn presents itself to its visitors.Innsbruck, the capital of the Alps, is a vibrant and refreshing city that combines alpine, urban and historical components in a unique way and offers a myriad of possibilities to its visitors.
It fascinates with the beauty of the nature surrounding it, its long history and traditions that are interwoven with modern elements: star architects and gourmet restaurants coin the face of this city just as much as the alpine scenery surrounding it.
9- Milan has been interesting and vibrant at least since it was the capital of the western half of the Roman Empire. Have a look at the imposing marble Duomo, at our churches, palaces and museums. You will also be delighted by contemporary art and architecture.
While you visit, let the atmosphere of Italy’s most modern and advanced city seep in. You will be captured by the elegance and style; by the energy and the international flair. An incredible shopping experience for all tastes and pockets, in a place where design and fashion have made their home.
10- Brussels, the capital of 500 million Europeans, is waiting to share its treasures and talents with you and to tell you its story. It has an ability to adapt to its visitors: no matter when you come, there’s always something happening here; no matter how long you stay, there are several different ways to experience Brussels, each with some brilliant surprises in store.
A multicolored heritage of the most diverse styles, a contagious creativity tinged with surrealism and humor, a sociable and epicurean art de vivre.
11- Vienna‘s Ringstrasse is the most beautiful boulevard in the world. Nowhere else can you find such a dense concentration of so many representative buildings, palaces and parks.
All of these splendid buildings still have their full radiance today. An elegant promenade for the wealthy and beautiful has become a modern boulevard for everyone. And the section of the Ring along the Danube Canal has become a hotspot: an urban bar scene and modern architecture attract a primarily young audience.
12- Rome. The province of Rome is a matching frame for the many treasures of the capital, and the surrounding area has, more or less directly, experienced the influence of the history of the Eternal City.
A region with a great deal to offer: sea, nature, good food and villages rich in history and art. The sea, the hills, lakes, rivers and vineyards: the surroundings of Rome offer a kaleidoscope of diversity and attractions for nature lovers.
13- In Barcelona, you don’t have to choose between going shopping or sightseeing. Wherever you go, you’ll see that shops are part of city life. And while you discover unforgettable sights, you’ll be welcomed by the window displays of leading international brands, modern designer shops and traditional shops that have been there since time immemorial.
The city has set the benchmark for the international electronic music scene and dances to the sounds of the world’s top DJs. It’s also the perfect place for lovers of jazz, rock, Latin rhythms and pop.
14- Istanbul. With one foot in the East and the other in the West,Istanbul is the perfect city destination with its captivating blend of sights, sounds and colors. Admire magnificent mosques, atmospheric churches, intriguing museums and Sultans’ palaces or take to the waters of the Bosphorus to enjoy fresh fish overlooking the Black Sea.
Explore the warren of streets in the Grand Bazaar and discover the metropolis of the moment that Istanbul is today with its stylish art galleries, world-class restaurants and electrifying nightclubs.
15- Madrid is an open-minded city where culture and entertainment share a thriving space. The Spanish capital makes everyone feel right at home while providing them with some of the world’s most interesting tourist attractions.
Madrid is one of the world’s liveliest, most entertaining and vibrant cities during the day, but even more so at night. The Spanish capital does not only offer art, shopping, nightlife and excellent gastronomy but it also presents both visitors and locals with all imaginable options for leisure.