Some days, it’s great to wake up and realize you’re an expat in Europe, which is packed with more great travel destinations than any other continent.
Well, the New York Times has just unveiled its elaborate, active-video annual post of the world’s best destinations, and Europe owns 18 of the 52 spots.
Other than 52 being the number of weeks in a year, there’s no real thematic intro or explanation of the methodology. “52 Places to Go in 2016” is simply this year’s list of the Times’ annual “top destinations to visit” assuming you dedicate part of each week to exploring.
Which you can actually do in Europe.
The list opens with increasingly popular Mexico City at No. 1. But Bordeaux is No. 2, which gets a plug because of the 2017 opening of the Bordeaux Wine and Trade Museum, dedicated to the history of French viticulture.
What we like about the list is it includes a lot of the places from the countries where we’ve lived including No. 5 Cesme, Turkey, a beach resort familiar to Brits, but definitely not on the radar of most American travelers.
Spain alone gets three mentions – No. 18 San Sebastián, No. 29 Barcelona and No. 43 Málaga.
“52 Places to Go” also reminds us Europe has fair number of off-the-beaten-path destinations including Malta, No. 3 on the list. Malta makes the list by virtue of its Mediterranean climate, affordability and the fact Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt filmed their latest movie there. Unspoiled Korkula Island and the Dalmatian coast of Croatia also make the list at No. 17.
Globally, the New York Times editors make a couple of odd calls including recommending Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. But they helpfully note the M23 guerrillas have been routed and likely aren’t a threat. Ohh-kay, then.
Another is Rosine, Ky. for its Bluegrass music heritage. Hmmm, do we want to go to Barcelona, or rural Kentucky?
European destinations making the list include:
• No. 9 Skane, Sweden for Nordic cuisine
• No. 13 Aarhaus, Denmark for its food culture and college-town vibe.
• No. 18 San Sebastián, Spain, the 2016 European Capital of Culture.
• No 22 Dublin for its history.
• No. 25 Vaud, Switzerland, museums and mountains complete with a lake view.
• No. 27 Brno, Czech Republic, for its architecture and cuisine.
• No. 29 Barcelona, architecture and everything else ….
• No. 31 Turin, for its museum, art galleries and food.
• No. 34, the Mosel Wine District for the grape pop and quaint towns.
• No. 36 Tyrol, Austria for the best in skiing and Alpine hiking.
• No. 37 Colmar, France for the 44 million euro renovation of the Unterlinden Museum.
• No. 47 Thessaloniki, Greece for its restaurant scene.