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Revealed: The Top European destinations on Americans’ Bucket list in 2023

Icelandair has identified the Top 20 Most Popular Cities in Europe that Americans currently Dream of Visiting and therefore are predicted to be the most popular destinations amongst US travelers in 2023. Looking at data scraped from Statista, Instagram, Twitter, and Reddit, the team has analyzed and ranked the cities based on the highest scores. 

The following table shows the top 20 most mentioned popular European destinations on Americans’ bucket list

RankingCitiesCountrySocial Popularity scoreSearch popularity scoreOverall score
1BrusselsBelgium909593
2LondonUnited Kingdom7610088
3RomeItaly985878
4HamburgGermany706869
5ViennaAustria448464
6AthensGreece339061
7LisbonPortugal575858
8SofiaBulgaria386853
9DublinRepublic of Ireland643750
10StockholmSweden543746
11BerlinGermany385345
12AmsterdamNetherlands731042
13CopenhagenDenmark106839
14OsloNorway591034
15SalzburgAustria243730
16BudapestHungary491130
17BernSwitzerland292628
18HelsinkiFinland262626
19ReykjavikIceland321624
20ZagrebCroatia251621

The top five have been revealed as: 

  1. Brussels
  2. London
  3. Rome
  4. Hamburg
  5. Vienna 

As well as reasons on why these cities make the top five, Icelandair offer their top tips on what there is to do, the best/cheapest time of year to visit, and the coldest/hottest time to go, to make the planning of your next city break a lot smoother.

1. Brussels, Belgium

Brussels, Belgium, also known as the political heart of Europe, is home to legendary jazz clubs, comic-book street art, and quirky flea markets. All of this alongside the must-see museums, architecture, and famous statues, means there is something for everyone. 

Home to the best Belgian waffles, famous fries, and chocolate you can imagine, but most importantly, the infamous beer. With an abundance of green space, there is plenty of scenery to take in a while walking it off. 

  • Best time of year to visit: March to May and September to October 
  • Temperature: Hottest month 17.5°C (July), coldest month 2.5°C (February)
  • Cheapest Time of year to visit: Early November 

2. London, United Kingdom

London, United Kingdom, nicknamed the ‘The Big Smoke’, is best known for its iconic skylines and world-renowned landmarks, such as The Tower of London and Big Ben. 

Shopping in the capital city is hard to beat and offers tourists the ultimate experience on every budget. At the same time, there are also some of the best, many being free, museums and galleries in the world as well as scenic royal parks if you’re looking to spend nothing at all. 

As for the nightlife, Londoners work hard but play harder. From quiet pubs and fancy clubs to some of the best theatre shows in the world, there is always something to do in the later hours.

  • Best time of year to visit: March to May 
  • Temperature: Hottest month 19°C (July), coldest month 5°C (Jan)
  • Cheapest Time of year to visit: November to March 

3. Rome, Italy

Rome, Italy, also known as the Eternal City, is small enough to walk around in one day, making it a great weekend getaway. But that’s not to say there isn’t more than enough to do and see. 

The whole city is a UNESCO World Heritage site steeped with some of the world’s most famous fountains, architecture, and churches, as well as home to the Colosseum and many works of Michelangelo.

The mild climate makes for a comfortable visit and means the sights can be enjoyed all year round. Not to mention the gelato and roman pizza. 

  • Best time of year to visit: Mid-March to May and September to November
  • Temperature: Hottest month 25.5°C (July), coldest month 8°C (Jan)
  • Cheapest Time of year to visit: September to February  

4. Hamburg, Germany 

Hamburg, Germany, the self-titled “Gateway to the World” comes third on the list. Home to the biggest port city in Germany, a jaw-dropping opera house, and magical Christmas markets every winter – there is something for everyone in Hamburg. 

The city has more bridges than any other city in the world and is home to incredible architecture, so there is plenty of scenery to take in while walking around the city. 

  • Best time of year to visit: May through September and December
  • Temperature: Hottest month 16.8°C (July), coldest month 0.25°C (January)
  • Cheapest Time of year to visit: October-November 

5. Vienna, Austria

Vienna, the capital of Austria, attracts culture lovers from all over the world thanks to its picturesque landmarks, diverse architecture, and abundance of museums.

From fine art to cool street art, there is something for everyone’s palette and with one of the best public transport systems in the world, it’s extremely easy to get around at a bargain price compared to cities like New York. 

Not only is it home to the infamous Sachertorte cake and the best quality coffee around, but it is also home to musical sensations such as Mozart and Beethoven and in turn live classical music events every day of the week. 

In Winter, Vienna is buzzing with Christmas markets and has charmingly decorated streets. 

  • Best time of year to visit: June to August and December
  • Temperature: Hottest month 19°C (July), coldest month -1°C (January)
  • Cheapest Time of year to visit: September to October

Icelandair also took a further look into how Iceland made the list and the statistics speak for themselves.

Most notably, Iceland makes the Top 20 due to its exponential growth in popularity in recent years and according to the Icelandic Tourist Board website, about 42 thousand or almost a third (30.7%) of all departures in November 2022 were US tourists.

Methodology:

To reveal the Americans’ European travel bucket list for the next year, we collated a list of 20 European cities based on their social popularity score (Reddit, Instagram, and Twitter) and search popularity score. We specifically looked at the following factors: 

  • Social Popularity – Number of mentions of European destinations in the US people’s travel bucket list on Twitter, Instagram, and Reddit. 
  • Search popularity – Based on the change in the average search volume of each travel destination by US internet users over the past year.

Sources:

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Disclaimer: The information in this article is provided for general education and informational purposes only, without any express or implied warranty of any kind, including warranties of accuracy, completeness or fitness for any particular purpose. It is not intended to be and does not constitute financial, legal, tax or any other advice specific to you the user or anyone else. TurtleVerse does not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information and shall not be held responsible for any action taken based on the published information.

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