From Amsterdam to Zagreb, 20 European cities fight it out for the coveted title of European Best Destination.
Voting is currently underway to decide which city is the ‘European Best Destination’ in 2015, a competition organised by the eponymous travel organisation based in Brussels, developed to promote culture and tourism in Europe with tourist board members representing some 150 different European destinations. There are 20 cities in contention for this illustrious accolade, each one pitching their famous landmarks, tourist attractions and gastronomic greatness against the other in an attempt to come out on top.
The 20 cities? Well, they include many of our most popular and respected city break destinations, the majority being the capitals of their respective countries with a sprinkle of smaller, but by no means less appealing, cities thrown in for good measure. In the latter category, the non-capitals include Barcelona, a classic yet cosmopolitan favourite on the short break circuit; fashionable Milan, the Italian epicentre of style; Bordeaux, favoured destination for the French wine connoisseur; and the Austrian city of Innsbruck, a stunning Alpine city and two-time host of the Winter Olympics.
And making up the remaining 20 are 16 crusading capitals, namely Amsterdam, Athens, Berlin, Brussels, Istanbul, Lisbon, Ljubljana, London, Madrid, Paris, Reykjavik, Riga, Rome, Valletta, Vienna and Zagreb. Each unquestionably has a wealth of treasures to bring to the table, whether cultural, historical, architectural, musical or natural, gastronomic, artistic or linguistic. How, for example, does one choose the perennial beauty and sophistication of Paris or Vienna over the historical and architectural prowess of Rome or Athens? The artistic richness of Madrid and Amsterdam over the stunning natural landscapes of Reykjavik and Valletta?
The 2014 voting saw Porto emerge as the winner of European Best Destination last year with Zagreb, Vienna, Nicosia (Cyprus), Budapest, Madeira, Milan, Madrid, Berlin and Rome fall in behind to make up the top 10. It also highlighted the British Museum in London as Europe’s top museum, Lisbon’s Ponte 25 de Abril, Sintra’s Pena Palace, Paris’ Parc des Buttes Chaumont and Lille’s annual Braderie, as Europe’s best bridge, castle, park and flea market respectively, with all manner of different categories from top events, shopping centres and Christmas markets to greenhouses, piers and lighthouses ranked and rated.
Voting closes on February 10th so if you wish to add your voice or learn more about previous winners, click here to head to the website. For me it’s a tough choice between Paris and Rome but where would your vote go?