In considering the best places to go in Europe in 2024, Condé Nast Traveller asked their expert contributors to nominate the destinations that are on the up—either because of a flock of hotel openings, perhaps, murmurings of Michelin arrivals, shiny new museums, or a concerted conservation effort taking root. Across the continent, they heard about a first-time sports events in Italy; astonishing nature and new glampsites in Scandinavia; and an unexpected surf scene in France with heightening buzz. There are also classic Greek escapes, which are easier to reach than ever before. This is just a fraction of what Europe has on deck in the year ahead, but it's a good place to start. Happy travels.


Antwerp, Belgium 

So often overlooked in favor of its Dutch neighbor Amsterdam—or mistakenly written off as being as staid as Brussels—Antwerp is easily Belgium's most underrated city. In fact, the diamond capital of the world is somewhat of an undiscovered gem, with plenty of cool and culture for a weekend romp. There’s an impressive concentration of Michelin-starred restaurants to rival major European capitals. Perhaps best known is two-star The Jane, which was ranked number 39 in this year's World’s 50 Best Restaurants list and will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2024. If the exquisite 14-course tasting menu there is out of budget, the restaurant’s sleek new bar, Untitled, which opened earlier this year, offers rustic dishes at a more accessible price point, all lovingly plated before your eyes by chef Joeri Timmermans. After dinner, roll yourself next door to bag a bed at August (a former Augustinian convent turned supremely serene sanctuary), or for a sleepover in the heart of town, sister property Hotel Julien is a design-led favorite. Once you’ve eaten your way through the city’s culinary offerings, walk it all off Zuidpark, an ambitious development set for completion by spring 2024. Pinned to be one of Antwerp’s leafiest havens, the seven-hectare park will have 30,000 plants and several smart water features—all part of the city’s continual effort to be greener. 

Biarritz, France 

Just over the border from San Sebastián, the French resort town of Biarritz is prepped to step out of the shade of its Michelin-star-studded Spanish Basque counterpart and welcome a new generation of sophisticate. These travelers are booking into its artfully resuscitated Belle Époque hotels, including Experimental’s brand new Regina Biarritz, Unbound’s Hôtel du Palais, and enigmatic indie Villa Magnan (book a table at De Puta Madre and dine with local interior designers and filmmakers). The late 20th century was not kind to this beautiful town on France’s southwestern coast, its dwindling fortunes and faded grandeur standing in stark contrast to its late-19th-century and early-20th-century heyday, when Emperor Napoleon III had his summer palace here, and his Spanish wife Eugénie promoted Biarritz as a health resort. Happily, in-the-know Spanish and French urbanites have rediscovered this delight, lapping up a hip surf scene (Biarritz is one of Europe’s oldest surf destinations, thanks to a bunch of Americans who visited in the 1950s) and fueling a youthful Basque culinary scene, from the thrilling Les Halles covered market to neo-bistro Epoq and Michelin-starred favorites such as L’Impertinent. 

Cyclades, Greece 

Is there anywhere more popular than the Greek islands right now? This past summer, the Cyclades—an island group that includes Mykonos, Santorini, Paros, Milos, and Ios—dominated social-media feeds with beautiful blue and white backdrops, thrilling beach clubs and nightclubs, and unparalleled shopping. More smart stays will be unveiled in 2024. Hotel business is booming. Santo Pure in Oia on Santorini has just added 20 new suites, and next year it will be joined by sister hotel Santo Mine, a 37-suite luxury resort. Slick boutique hotel Kalesma on Mykonos will launch its spa for the 2024 season, including a hammam and cryotherapy area. Five-star, 80-acre Gundari Resort will open on Folegandros next May, while a new One&Only property will come to Kea in April. Such plush hotels are rare on these islands, expanding the options for luxury stays in the Cyclades. 

Northern Italy 

For the first time ever, the first three stages of the Tour de France will take place in Italy in 2024, a historic moment for the country, the sport, and the prestigious race. Competitors will saddle up in Florence, head east towards Rimini on the Adriatic Coast, follow the Apennines north through Emilia-Romagna, and complete stage three in Turin. With their truffles and terroirs, Italy’s northern regions are best known for their gastronomic heritage, but two-wheeled pursuits have long been part of the landscape. The 1998 Tour de France champion Marco Pantani was born here, while professional racer Davide Cassani was instrumental in developing the Via Romagna, a nearly 300-mile network of cycling routes throughout the region. Now, tour operators have upped their game in time for the event: Tourissimo’s week-long cycle holiday is designed to provide guests with live-action access to the tour itself, plus the chance to conquer the hills and thrills of Emilia-Romagna. Ride International Tours and Ride Holidays have released new routes to reflect growing interest in the region, while the looping, leisurely route between Parma and Modena by Inn Travel leaves more time for sampling local delicacies along the way. Those more comfortable on four wheels will find the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix and the annual Motor Valley Fest, both in May, irresistible—this is the birthplace of Maserati, Ferrari, and Lamborghini after all—while those who prefer life in the slow lane can board new railway routes between Turin and Canelli with Fondazione FS’s 1930s carriages or take Nightjet’s overnighter from Verona to Liguria (via Milan and Genoa). Make a final pit stop in Pesaro to find out why it’s been crowned the Italian Capital of Culture for 2024.

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