The Portuguese town of Braga has been voted the number one destination in Europe by the readers of the European Best Destinations website, who called it the ‘Portuguese Rome’ and complimented its history, architecture and food. The actual city of Rome came in second, followed by Cavtat in Croatia, Florence and the Romanian city of Sibiu.
The UNESCO-protected city of Braga in northern Portugal is described by the site – which is visited by six million users every year – as “a must-see destination for gourmets, but also for shopping addicts (with one of the largest shopping centres and a wide range of independent shops in the city centre).” Besides its rich history and fine architecture, Braga was also praised as “a must-see destination for spirituality with sumptuous churches, monasteries and shrines.”
Rome and Florence came in second and fourth respectively, with the Croatian seaside town of Cavtat coming in third. Only 18km from Dubrovnik, Cavtat is “picturesque and charming” and “its best kept secret is the old town centre that hides many lovely cafes and restaurants. It has a stunning waterfront lined with palm trees and has been described as closely resembling Saint Tropez.”
Fifth on the list is Romanian city of Sibiu, which is described as “probably one of the most beautiful cities in Romania.” In the heart of Transylvania, 800-year-old Sibiu is “a wonderful combination between history and the vibrant spirit of a modern European city.” It’s also the only city in the country with a three-star Michelin restaurant.
The rest of the top 10 is:
6. Paris, France
7. Kefalonia, Greece
8. Kotor, Montenegro
9. Soca Valley, Slovenia
10. Canary Islands, Spain
The President of Turismo de Portugal, Luís Araújo said: “more than a destination, Portugal is an experience that impacts the tourist, because our country has everything, for everyone. From North to South, inland or coastal, and islands, those who visit us want to return. And this ranking shows us that, notwithstanding everything that has happened in the last few months, tourists do not forget Portugal and are eager to return. And we will be here, as always, to welcome them safely and well.”
(Photo by Ana Teixeira)