Top 25 European travel destinations for 2023 – Rome and Barcelona top the list

One in ten Brits (9%) feel that holidays are a top priority for them in 2023 – with Rome, Barcelona, and Venice named as the European destinations they most want to visit this year.

Two in five holidaymakers (41%) are hoping to visit somewhere they have never been before – with Florence, Lisbon, and Seville appearing among their top 10 bucket list cities.

And the poll, of 2,000 adults, found that Italy, Spain, and Greece are the most popular countries on the travel list for this year, with five cities apiece appearing in the top 25 European destinations list.

Island holidays seem to be a popular choice for this year, with Ibiza and Palma de Mallorca both appearing on the list, as well as Corfu, Santorini, and Mykonos in Greece.

And the top factors people consider when booking their break for 2023 are location, value for money, and affordability.

The research was commissioned by Celebrity Cruises to launch its interactive Find the “X” challenge, to win a free luxury cruise holiday for two.

Jo Rzymowska, EMEA managing director at the company, said: “It’s just on our doorstep, yet Europe holds so much to experience.

“I’m not surprised to see iconic cities in Italy, Greece, and Spain feature so high on travellers’ priority list.

“There are so many unique places to visit throughout Europe, and Celebrity Cruises sails to every one of these top 25 destinations.

“As people are wanting to explore unknown shores, they should feel inspired to join us to visit some of the most loved locations such as Barcelona and Rome, sailing on our Edge Series ships – but also visit some of the lesser-known places on this list, too.”

The study also found that 39% agree holidays are a high priority for them in 2023, with the same number looking forward to embracing a bit of local culture in their holiday this year.

Cultural authenticity, lots of activities to take part in, and being able to take beautiful photos, all influence those looking to book a dream trip.

And when it comes to accommodation, connectivity is key – with 58% of people putting Wi-Fi at the top of their list of must-haves.

Brits are looking to get more for their money in 2023 by consolidating holiday costs, with 36% appreciating the benefits of booking everything together in one go as a package holiday.

  • Inside Santorini hotel with secret tunnels, hidden infinity pool and dream view

And holiday goers are still looking for value, even for luxury offerings – and are delighted to get extras included like dining options, drinks, or a spa.

Discounts for booking early, and managing to secure premium accommodation as part of the trip, are also highly appreciated.

The Find the “X” competition, launched by Celebrity Cruises to celebrate its European seven-night sailings, challenges the eagle-eyed to examine five mega-high-resolution images of Dubrovnik, Florence, Santorini, Barcelona, and Athens.

Camouflaged within the scenery of each image is an X-shaped logo containing a unique code.

Zooming in and cracking the puzzle with all five codes allows entry into a draw to win a trip aboard a Celebrity Cruises ship, with a choice of sailings across Europe.

The four billion pixel images were created by specialist gigapixel photographer, Will Pearson.

Jo Rzymowska, from Celebrity Cruises, added: “We are thrilled to announce the launch of this new interactive challenge, which brings to life some of the stunning destinations we sail to in Europe, as well as giving away an incredible luxury cruise holiday for two to a lucky winner.

“The beautiful images highlight the unique beauty and charm of these magnificent cities, allowing in-depth discovery of the places our ships visit, and give a small glimpse into just what you can discover when you travel with us.”


  1. Rome
  2. Barcelona
  3. Venice
  4. Rhodes
  5. Florence
  6. Corfu
  7. Athens
  8. Lisbon
  9. Santorini
  10. Seville
  11. Naples
  12. Mykonos
  13. Bruges
  14. Dubrovnik
  15. Corsica
  16. Split
  17. Porto
  18. Ibiza
  19. Marseilles
  20. Palma de Mallorca
  21. Rotterdam
  22. Portofino
  23. Cannes
  24. Malaga
  25. Bergen

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