With its rich history, its mix of cultures, and its varied architecture, there’s no denying that Europe has a special allure for travelers. It's not hard to understand why Europe remains the most visited continent on the planet year after year. There’s something about this part of the world that evokes romance, mystery, and style like no other. If you’re considering flying across the pond, you may want to go all-in and plan luxury holidays in Europe, especially if you’ve long dreamed of taking a holiday in Europe or are in love with the Old Continent.
Living your best jet-set life in Europe may not come cheap, but it doesn't have to bankrupt you either. If you’re looking for ideas to enjoy a dream trip to Europe without completely breaking the bank, read on. Below, I share my top tips to indulge in memorable luxury holidays in Europe and make the most of what the continent has to offer - even if you’re not a millionaire!
Fly Business Class
How about experiencing a bit of luxury before you even land at your destination? You can start your dream holiday in Europe on the right foot - or rather, in the right seat! – by treating yourself to a flight upgrade. Not only will this set the tone for your luxury vacation, but you'll arrive refreshed and rested, ready to have an amazing stay from the get-go.
Many airlines flying from North America to Europe offer business and first-class tickets - especially if you’re flying into big European hubs like Paris, Berlin, or London.
Although the sole mention of business or first-class flights may conjure up bagfuls of dollars, scoring a business class ticket may be more affordable than you think. Today, there are concierge services that allow you to find great deals on business class flights. You can search cheap flights to travel to Europe in business class for up to 70% off, including on top airlines like Qatar Airways, Cathay Pacific, or Etihad.
Stay in a Castle...
Forget modern luxury hotel chains. Welcome, character and atmosphere! Part of Europe's unique charm lies in its old buildings and grand architecture. And amazingly, you can experience these first-hand and live a true fairytale by spending your holiday in Europe in a bona fide castle.
Many European countries have turned some of their most striking historic properties into luxury accommodations. And the best thing is: a stay in one of these independent hotels can actually cost you a lot less than in a standard big-brand 4- or 5-star luxury hotel. Here are a few of my favorite resources to find your perfect palace in Europe:
This is only a short list of options. To find your royal abode in a different European country, do an online search or browse your options on Booking.com, my favorite accommodation booking platform.
Note: Are you travelling to Europe with children? Kids are bound to love staying in castles! However, if you prefer to spend your luxury holidays in Europe in a more modern setting, check out our list of Top 7 Best All-Inclusive Resorts for Kids in Europe.
...or in an Epic Airbnb
If you prefer to stay in private accommodation and would rather spend your holiday in Europe in your own nest than in a hotel, rejoice! The Old Continent is also home to some of the dreamiest, most incredible Airbnb options across the globe.
Airbnb rentals can be often better value than hotels - especially if you book them by the week or the month, as many owners offer discounts for long-term stays.
From a cave villa with indoor pool & jacuzzi and sprawling caldera views in Santorini, to a period Paris apartment with prime Eiffel Tower view, you may be able to find a temporary home by one of the world's top landmarks. For some inspiration, check out for instance this list of 12 exceptional, ultra-luxurious places to stay in Europe.
Save Time with Skip-the-Line Tickets and Tours
We all know that one of the greatest luxuries in this world is that of time. Saving yourself time, effort, and frustration will go a long way toward making your holiday in Europe feel more special. You can give yourself the VIP treatment by booking skip-the-line tickets and private guided tours ahead of your visit, particularly if you're planning to take in busy, popular attractions.
My go-to for finding skip-the-line tickets, exclusive tours, and special experiences all over Europe is Get Your Guide. This booking platform for tours and activities offers plenty of options to visit the gems of Europe in style - and most importantly, without having to deal with the queues and crowds! It's also a great place to reserve private transfers. If you're looking to add another notch to your luxury holidays in Europe, luxury transfers in premium vehicles are also available.
In many cases, you can also look up the official website for the attraction or city you're planning to visit and purchase timed entrance tickets. These give you a time slot to enter so you can avoid waiting. In fact, they're a requirement to access certain sights, so make sure to check the rules for the sites you want to catch ahead of time.
Indulge in All the Gourmet Food
If you're anything like me, then a big part of your travels must revolve around food. (Okay, maybe it's just me!) But it's hard to ignore that Europe is home to some of the best - and fanciest - cuisines in the world. It's also where you can find many of the planet's finest restaurants. And surely, a holiday in Europe wouldn't be truly luxurious without indulging in all that gastronomy.
From caviar to champagne, rare wines, macaroons, truffles, iberian ham, or homemade gelatos, make sure to indulge of all of Europe's best delicacies. And whether it's Michelin-starred or not, round up your luxury holidays in Europe with a meal or two at a fine restaurant.
Final Tips for Your Holiday in Europe
I hope the tips and hacks I shared in this article gave you some ideas and inspiration to design a truly unforgettable holiday in Europe. Having a grand time in Europe doesn't have to leave you penniless. It's all about embracing a few conveniences and making the most of what the continent has to offer to infuse a bit of decadence into your European vacation!
Of course, remember that when you go can also make a big difference. Your budget can stretch a lot further if you decide to visit European countries in shoulder or low season, as there are many discounts and offers to be found in off-peak months.
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Do you have more suggestions to indulge in luxury holidays in Europe at a reasonable cost? Let me know in a comment below!