Here are the best European destinations to visit for 2023.
This is the year to think differently when it comes to travel, especially in Europe for 2023. From Lake Como to the Greek islands, Europe is home to some of the world’s most breathtaking cities, islands, coast lines and countries.
Europe has it all, including amazing European beach-side town to historical cities rich in culture and architecture, many are a joy to experience.
It isn’t easy to pick and choose, but here are some favourites Renae’s World recommends for 2023 that are worth visiting due to lower crowds, fabulous luxury hotels and off the beaten track restaurants and experiences.
Malta is the ultimate underrated Europe destination for 2023. It is a perfect choice for beach and food lovers and experiencing incredible cultural heritage. Malta has a range of ancient ruins, historic towns and museums that are a one-in-a-lifetime experience. Malta’s capital city, Valletta, was founded by the Knights of St John in the 16th Century. To this day, the buildings they’ve built still stand, granting Valetta the UNESCO World Heritage Site title.
Malta also has some fantastic local food you don’t want to miss. Their delicious cuisine includes rabbit stew, pastizzi and Ftira Bread. You can pair this with their famous Gozo wine. It also has some of the best swimming spots, including the Blue Lagoon, Blue Grotto, Popeye’s Village and St. Peter’s Pool.
The Xara Palace Relais & Chateaux is a gorgeous 17th-century, 5-star boutique hotel in the old capital of Malta, Mdina. Surrounded by amazing baroque architecture, the hotel will take your breath away with its luxurious accommodation, award-winning cuisine and a fantastic stay to pause and be pampered. It has seventeen luxury rooms and suites with a range of individually designed antique furniture and paintings, rich Parisian fabrics and king-size beds. The Xara Palace Hotel is perfectly designed for an unforgettable stay in Malta.
On your trip to Malta, invest in their Luxury Airport Lounger, with complimentary snacks and beverages, flight monitors, wifi, TV streaming and comfortable sofas.
- Lake Como, Italy
Lake Como has been a popular destination for aristocrats since the Roman Times. It is home to various holiday houses owned by some A-list celebrities, including George Clooney. You’ll experience some of the most breathtaking views in Lake Como, with stunning villas, including Villa Olmo, Villa Serbelloni and Villa Carlotta. The five stare hotels are some of Italy’s best. Click here for Renae’s interview with the CEO of Villa D’este, and top go inside one of Lake Como’s best hotels.
Lake Como is the deepest lake in Italy’s Lombardy region, about 40km north of Milan. It is a perfect choice for a day trip if you are staying in Milan or surrounding cities. Spend the afternoon in Bellagio’s harbourfront shopping arcades & luxury boutiques, where you can find one-of-a-kind items to bring back home.
Lake Como offers variety, including landscapes, spas and cuisine. You will always find something to keep you occupied for your time there. Sereno Al Lago, the 2023 Michelin Star Award winner, is the perfect fine dining restaurant to try. The restaurant is housed in the acclaimed Il Sereno Hotel and is led by Chef Raffaele Lenzi. Traditional and regional flavours characterise each dish. For dinner, there are three tasting menus: Homage to Tradition, the “Vegetali, Tuberi e Radici”. Sereno Al Lago is the best view Lake Como has to offer.
- Crete, Greece
Crete is one of the best relaxing options for a strictly beach-side holiday. Crete has four regions: Rethymnon, Chania, Heraklion and Lasithi. One of the most popular beaches in Crete is Agia Marina, just 9km for Chani, and it’s easy to access and a Greek favourite. If you’re looking for something different, Martsalo Beach in Heraklion is a quiet beach that offers an adventure.
This Greek Island offers only the best traditional Greek cuisine, from comfort to luxury. There are excellent options like Ntakos, Chaniotiko Boureki and Moussaka. Ariadne restaurant is the perfect option for a taste of Crete. Its gourmet yet traditional dishes include pita with souvlaki and fresh tomatoes, fresh salad with apáki and grilled local sausage.
Elounda Beach Hotel & Villas is the first fully-fledged five-star hotel in Greece. Winner of both Europe’s leading Luxury Villa Resort and leading Beach Resort in 2022, it is the ultimate luxury hideaway. Its unique waterfront location includes many mini-resort-like elements, including the Yachting Club with a state-of-the-art bungalow and retractable television screens. Guests are also welcome to enjoy two private beaches, a treatment at the Chenot Spa or even an appetising meal at one of nine world-class restaurants.
Crete is home to the oldest surviving city in Europe, Knossos. With a rich history, it is the destination of the famous ‘The Labyrinth and The Minotaur’ and is mentioned in renowned literature such as The Odyssey.
- Cannes, France
Cannes is known for the famous Cannes Film Festival, where they preview new films from all genres from around the world. Taking place very close to summer, you can look forward to spotting a few A-list actors vacationing there.
Take in the beautiful French Riviera, home to many private and public beaches like the famous La Croisette, a long strip of beach accompanied by boutiques and designer stores worth buying from.
There are over 50 Michelin-star restaurants in the region. Table 22 Pour Noël Mantel is one of many that truly masters the art of French cooking. If you’re looking for an authentic taste of traditional French cuisine, everything on the menu will deliver precisely that. Some of their best options include lobster ravioli with melting leeks, a rack of lamb from Provence and fish from the local catch.
If you aren’t convinced already, Cannes is home to some of the best architecture in the world, including Chateau Thorens, Palais Bulles and The Intercontinental Carlton Hotel. Cannes is an architecture and art lover’s dream. The Carlton in Cannes has unique room options that overlook the beautiful French Rivera and the city of cinema. The hotel also has great ways to treat yourself with self-care, including the fitness and wellness centre, Le C Club, the swimming pool and a gorgeous garden.
It will have you feeling relaxed and planning your next visit by the end of it.
- Warsaw, Poland
Warsaw in Poland has something to offer everyone in the family. It’s gorgeous, friendly, green and perfect for families. Warsaw’s Old Town is a UNESCO-listed World Heritage Site. The Old Town lay in ruins in 1944 after bombing campaigns during the Second World War and the Warsaw Uprising. It has rich war history, and your first port of call should be the Warsaw Uprising Museum.
Warsaw’s Old Town Market Square still remains beautiful with its colourful buildings. The Palace of Culture and Science and Lazienki Park are some places in Warsaw also worth visiting.
Warsaw is home to Europe’s highest pool at the Intercontinental Hotel, a stunningly luxurious hotel to stay in.
If you haven’t had the chance to try Polish food, this is the city to try it. Indulging in warm and delicious food is a must, from potato pancakes and Polish dumplings (pierogi) to Polish doughnuts and an impressive variety of soups.
Szóstka in Warsaw is a Polish and modern cuisine Michelin-star restaurant. Located on the 6th floor of Hotel Warszawa, it’s great for experiencing a new culinary experience like no other. With a large open kitchen, the dishes are prepared in front of the guests, accompanied by breathtaking rooftop views of Warsaw. Chef Dariusz Barański provides every guest with a unique experience. Warsaw is definitely an underrated must for a Europe trip.
Copenhagen is one of the most colourful cities in the world, from the fashion to the buildings. This trendy capital has some fantastic hidden gems, including independent boutiques, Tivoli Gardens, an amusement park and pleasure garden, and an iconic canal with a range of cruise choices to enjoy.
Copenhagen is home to many impressive Michelin-starred restaurants. Trio is three floors on top of the Axel Towers, providing a stunning view of Copenhagen’s roofs. A private room on the 8th floor accommodates up to 60 people. On the 9th floor, they have a gorgeous cocktail bar with impressive wines and drinks that match the menu. The resident head chef at Trio, Andrew Clatworthy, uses only the best Danish ingredients and flavours and will be the best Nordic cuisine you have ever had.
If this isn’t already impressive, the 5-star Nimb Hotel is one of Europe’s most gorgeous boutique hotels. The 38 uniquely decorated rooms and suites are like no other, both homely and grand at the same time. The original Moorish-inspired fairytale castle was inaugurated in 1909. Over the years, it has undergone several changes, including restoration using Italian marble stucco and adding the ultra-modern wing called Tivoli Hjørnet.
Experience Denmark’s greatest jazz clubs to end a beautiful day in Copenhagen. Denmark strongly associates with jazz, especially during the 50s and 60s, and the atmosphere is terrific. Try out Jazzcup and Jazzhus Montmartre for a great experience.