12 Beautiful & Unique Destinations to See in Your 20s


12

Some places like New York and London are perfect any stage in life. These 12 destinations though are especially awesome in your 20s. New cultures, amazing food, fun nightlife, these places hit the mark when it comes to traveling in your youth. By the way, I’m Margo, an expat living in Germany and completely nuts about traveling in Europe and my schnoodle, Stuart!

Margo from The Overseas Escape

1 | Barcelona, Spain

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Have you ever been on a tapas and sangria bar crawl? No? Go to Barcelona. While you’re there do a bit of sightseeing (like the La Sagrada Familia, Spain’s most visited sight) and soak up the sun on the Spanish coast. Great restaurants, vibrant bars and great food, Barcelona is a winner!

2 | Positano, Italy

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Located on the Amalfi Coast, south of Naples, this little town is a true treasure. Stunning mountains leap from the clear Mediterranean for dramatic views while the UNESCO-approved village feels as though you’re in an Italian dream. The vacation destination for the stars, I claimed it here as the most beautiful place in Europe and I mean it.

3 | Burano Island, Italy

In the Venetian Lagoon, this little island is known as the residence for the large population of fishermen. The vibrantly colored rows of houses were historically used as beacons for finding their way home after a long day at sea. In recent years it’s become a Pinterest sensation and a true photographer’s paradise. While there be sure to try fresh octopus (but not coupled with espresso, like I did).

4 | Paris, France

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What can be said about the world’s most romantic and beautiful city? Culture (hello, Mona!) – check, fun nightlife – yep!, endless winding straights to stroll – absolutely. Paris is by far one of the most exciting and exotic large cities in Europe. Here is a helpful city guide for hitting the best of Paris with pointers like where to buy the tastiest macaroons and the location for perfect spot for a glass of wine at dusk.

5 | Oxford, England

Oxford England

Whether you’re a Harry Potter enthusiast or just appreciate history, Oxford is truly captivating. One of the oldest institutions in the world is riddled with stories and beautiful architecture. The vibrant town is full of great pubs, restaurants and shops. Charming cobblestone streets led through picturesque alleys walked by folks like Tolkien, Oscar Wilde, Margret Thatcher and… Hugh Grant.

6 | Hallstatt, Austria

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A shockingly beautiful lake village nestled in the Alps, Hallstatt is a true definition of European charm. Boating on the Hallstatt Lake is most scenic boat ride I’ve ever had and bucket list worthy for every traveler.

7 | Amsterdam, Netherlands

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Maybe the famous Red Light District is the first thing that comes when thinking of Amsterdam but don’t be fooled, this city has a tremendous amount to offer. Museums here (Ann Frank House, Rijksmuseum, Rembrandt, Van Gogh) are some of the best in the world but it’s the architecture that’ll really have you in awe. Spend a day on a boat with a bottle of wine in hand like I did and it’ll be a day you’ll never ever forget.

8 | Nerja, Spain

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On the Costa Del Sol near Malaga this white-washed beach town is a true retreat. During your visit expect high stress on deciding between which tapa to eat and which beach to relax on. The beauty and fun of the beach plus the vibrant culture of Spain makes it a win-win combo.

9 | Bruges, Belgium

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Known as the ‘Venice of the North’ the cozy town of Bruges is a photographer’s AND beer drinker’s dream. Take a canal cruise, munch down moules and frites (mussels and fries), admire the architecture or just sip that lovely golden Beglian goodness. A super-duper easy train ride from Brussels, Bruges is an absolute delight. (PS. It’s an easy city to pair with a visit to Amsterdam or Paris!)

10 | Annecy, France

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Beautiful as can be, with flowing french wine and baguettes and zillions of outdoor activities – Annecy is a gem and convenient from Lyon and Geneva. We visited in late summer and enjoyed a day on the water (Annecy Lake is the cleanest in Europe) and later did a gorgeous hike in the Alps. In the winter zillions of ski resorts are within close proximity in the Alps.

11 | Prague, Czech Republic

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A UNESCO old town, castle looming high above, lively cafe culture, rooftop bars, markets, and cheap prices, Prague fits the bill perfectly. I highlighted the best of Prague because the amount of activities in this city are endless.

12 | Dingle, Ireland

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Trad music in the air, a fresh glass of Guinness and a plate of mussels straight from the Dingle Bay. The town of Dingle has all the Irish charm you could ever hope for PLUS a friendly dolphin (no, seriously). My day in Dingle is one I will not soon forget.

To help out the map-oriented folks like me:


P.S. If you liked this post then you should check out 10 Amazing 1-Week European Itineraries and 9 Ways to Make Living Abroad a Reality.

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  • Colleen

    I love this post! I am studying abroad in the fall (Florence!) and this list will definitely help me figure out where I’m going to travel!

    • Wonderful! Glad you found it helpful! You’re going to have an amazing time in Florence, though I’m sure you already know that! 😀

  • Great list, Margo! I’ve only visited a few of these, but I lived in Dingle for a month when I was in college, and it might just be my favorite place in the world!

    • Oh wow, Dingle might be my absolute favorite place in Europe. I can’t imagine being able to get bowls of Murphy’s ice cream whenever I wanted! Lucky you! 🙂

  • I would like to go ALL of these places, please!

    • Yes! Have you visited Europe yet? If I had to pick just one from this list I’d shoot for Paris, because… it’s Paris! 😀

  • I’ve been to one! Prague was beautiful. I am so jealous of the places you’ve been in Europe, I’ve been dying to go to Spain and Italy for years now.

    • I’m definitely very lucky that all these places are in such close proximity. I hope you get the chance to go to Italy or Spain sometime soon! With the euro basically collapsing it definitely makes it far more reasonable these days! 🙂

  • I’ve never been to any of these places before, I’ve only traveled around Southeast Asia. Would love to go to the places you’ve mentioned though. Someday 🙂

    • Yes, exactly… someday I hope to get over to SE Asia. I’m dying to see Bali, have you been?

  • Fantastic picks! I’ve been to many of these countries but none of these exact cities! I would also HIGHLY recommend visiting South and/or Central America in your 20s. There’s just as much fascinating culture and food, and many times you can take a trip for much cheaper than going to Europe…something I think a lot of people relatively new to the working world could get on board with!

    • That’s such a great point! I’ve actually never been to South America, just made it as far as Costa Rica. It seems like such a beautiful, exotic part of the world, I’d love to see go. What cities/countries would you recommend?

  • Anna

    Amazing list, I’d add some great places in Soth America, like Machu Picchu, Río and Buenos Aires.

    • Absolutely! I’ve never been to South America so I can’t speak on those places but they sound absolutely amazing. After the World Cup last year I’m really love to see Brazil firsthand.

    • Absolutely! I’ve never been to South America so I can’t speak on those places but they sound absolutely amazing. After the World Cup last year I’m really love to see Brazil firsthand.

  • I want to see all of them! Even if I don’t make it in my 20s, I don’t care. These are all amazing. Some of them I had never heard of. The only one I can check off my list is Hallstatt and we weren’t there long enough to do much.

    • Yeah, 20s, 30s or whenever, it’d be great to see these places at any time in life. Lucky you for visiting Hallstatt! It’s a little off the beaten trail so not many people get to see it. What’d you think? So beautiful, right?

  • I came down with a serious case of the travel bug last night…how funny to wake up to a post like this! My sister lives in Bulgaria, so whenever I visit her, we always country hop – this list is so helpful! I went to Oxford last time and it really did feel like I stepped into Hogwarts. That little town in Italy looks absolutely perfect, though. Thanks for the tip! XO Sam

    • Wonderful! Glad you enjoyed the post! That’s so cool that your sister lives in Bulgaria. How does she like it? I’m really interested to see Eastern Europe, it seems so exotic!

  • Ahhh, Spain, Italy, France andPrague! These are dream destinations. I may be going to Prague this year, so exciting! 🙂

    http://www.coquettishmish.com

    • Woohoo! Prague is absolutely beautiful, lucky you! When are you planning on going? I know of a great rooftop bar that you need to visit!

  • fantastic suggestions! i think i have managed 50%. but we are off to Italy next month and hoping to knock off some more Europe trips in the last year of my twenties!

    • That’s awesome! Are you an expat as well? Where are your favorite places in Europe to visit? I’m always looking for recommendations! 🙂

  • If only I could do them all!

    xo

  • I live in Oxford and still feel like a tourist when I’m wandering around the place. Loved Paris and Positano when I went last year and Barcelona and Dublin are on my list for this year. So many beautiful places to see!

  • This is such a cool post! I have been in almost every city on the list, except for Dingle and Hallstatt. In fact, I live in Barcelona right now, but Bruges is close to my hometown. I totally agree with you!

  • look so amazing.
    wish there is any chance to get there someday

  • You’re driving my already huge travel desire NUTS!! These pictures are lovely and I just want to pack my bags and go right now!

  • Kate

    BORING! these are only places in Euro…what about the rest of the world? This looks like an ad for semester at sea or something…

  • i love italy and paris! will be visiting barcelona soon, cant wait 🙂
    http://trulyaddia.wordpress.com

  • Great list I’ve checked off only 4 of the 12 feel like I’m slacking. There ar some places on the list definitely want to make it too.

  • Very good choices!

    htttp://www.glossythings.eu

  • I’m only 21 and I miss just a couple of these wonderful places, that I’ll definitely visit soon!! 😉

    http://justsem.wordpress.com/

  • Fantastic photographs and great locations.

  • Tessa

    Such lovely places, I’ve been to a few of them already and Barcelona is next on my list!

    Holly Sparkle | Petite Fashion & Lifestyle Blog

  • All these cities look beautiful! It makes me want to backpack through Europe. I can’t help but notice that all these cities are in Europe though.

  • Chris

    I had been to many of these places in my 20s and went again in my 50s and 60s. All of my recent travels have been tons better than those earlier trips. I have difficulty thinking you can segment by age. It’s more attitude and joy of travel — opening to new adventures which is possible at any age. You may have more stamina in your 20s but that doesn’t mean you enjoy it more.

  • Great destinations 🙂 !

  • Sigh, I can only wish…

    http://itsjpei.wordpress.com/

  • Ugh! I want to go to all of these places! Great post! By the way, isn’t Dingle mentioned in that movie Leap Year? I recognized the name, haha!

    xo Hannah Kate

  • Loved the post! And love how you mapped it out for us at the end there 🙂

  • These places look so awesome in photo they must be incredibly wonderful in real live

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  • I miss Budapest in this list! thats a great city 🙂 great list though. I live in the Netherlands, Amsterdam is nice:)

  • Love this post, so many beautiful places to go and visit!

    http://www.spacedreamsandmarshmallows.blogspot.com

  • Love, love, love this post! I need to visit all of this places <3 <3 <3
    And Ireland is so close to me right now whoop whoop 😀

    Sending lots of love 🙂

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