Planning a vacation can be a tiring thing.
Luckily we have the internet nowadays and the information is more available than ever. Apart from that, at least in Europe, you can also make most of your reservations online. All you have to know is the right sites and apps. If you are currently planning a trip in Europe, we have done the research for you. And on this page we have listed some of the very best of these sites and apps.
Here are some of the best travel websites for travel in Europe.
First things first — the travel restrictions.
reopen.europa.eu should be your go-to website.
It’s the official website of the EU that provides information about everything related to COVID-19, current travel restrictions, quarantine and testing requirements, etc.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is American national public health agency. On CDC website you’ll find information about recommended vaccines and medications, as well as tips for staying healthy and safe on your trip. Now CDC also offers information about the COVID-19 situation worldwide.
They help travellers find the best flight deals and compare ticket prices of various airlines and travel agencies. Take into account that these sites don’t sell tickets. They only help you to find the deals and then forward you either to the website of an airline or some third-party travel site, where you can buy a ticket.
If the cheapest option is from a third-party travel agent, we would suggest booking a flight directly from the airline, especially if the price difference is not significant. Or make sure, the third-party travel agent you are choosing is reliable and trustworthy.
kiwi.com is another popular flight search engine.
Use it’s Nomad feature to plan a multi-country trip in Europe, and book it as a single reservation. These will still be self transfer flights but you won’t have to book every single flight separately.
sleepinginairports.net is the guide to sleeping in airports.
On this site you’ll find detailed airport reviews and airport guides, as well as the following:
In some situations you may have to do that (arriving super late and leaving super early in a few hours), in other situations you may choose to do so to save money. If you are new to it, check out this article about sleeping in airports. There we talk about how to make this whole experience better. Airport sleeping pods is one of the best options (if available).
Hotels, hostels, short-term apartments for rent.
Book accommodation with any of these sites.
booking.com — probably the most popular accommodation booking site.
Booking makes it easy to find and book good hotels, guesthouses and other types of accommodation. It’s easy to use, and it’s trustworthy. Booking offers various filters which can help you find the most suitable accommodation for your trip.
agoda.com — a hotel booking site similar to booking.com.
In some countries Agoda is more popular than Booking.
Before booking accommodation, we would suggest you to compare the prices on both of these sites. Sometimes, the price of the same hotel room is lower on agoda.com than on booking.com, or vice versa. When possible, you may also try to contact the hotel directly. It might be cheaper.
hostelworld.com — a booking site focused on the hostel market.
Since it’s users are more used to staying in hostels with shared facilities, also their reviews of hostels tend to be more accurate that the ones you may find, for example, on Booking or Agoda. Note that if you’ll see the same hostel available on two or more booking platforms.
airbnb.com — a home-sharing and vacation rental site.
Via Airbnb you can book private accommodation, such as an apartment or a house, or a room in a shared apartment or a bed in a shared room. When travelling in Europe, Airbnb may help you save money as sometimes Airbnb accommodation is not only cheaper but also better option than hotels. That's especially true in more expensive cities like Paris or London.
Visit TripAdvisor.com to read reviews of hotels, restaurants, travel agents and destinations.
In addition to reviews, TripAdvisor also offers destination forums where you can ask your questions about your travel destination. You can also use TripAdvisor to compare and book accommodation and tours. Most of the content on TripAdvisor is user-generated, and you can also contribute to this website — add reviews of places you’ve stayed at, dined in and services you've used.
GetYourGuide.com is an online travel agency.
It sells adventures and excursions all over the world.
You can also use it to learn of things you can do in any of the places you are going to. Compare the prices and read reviews before booking an excursion.
wikitravel.org is a free crowdsourced travel guide.
It's written by travellers themselves. While design of the website is very old, it still has a lot of useful information. On Wikitravel you can learn more about your destination’s culture, main cities, most popular destinations and transportation system. On the same website you can learn more about how to get into the country by plane, road, bus, rail, etc., what is the visa policy and the entry requirements (for up to date entry requirements use official government websites; you can also check travelbans.org as a starting point).
Use lonelyplanet.com guides for planning and inspiration.
Lonely Planet guides have been around since 1970s, and have been the backbone for millions of travellers. Lonely Planet also sells electronic guide books, and has an app. But some basic information on just about any country on the planet is also available for free on their website.
Komoot is a must-have app for travelling cyclists.
On Komoot you’ll find bike touring routes and trails. Komoot also offers a route planner which takes into account both your fitness level and other preferences you may have. It’s available both in desktop and mobile version (as an app).
Are you planning a hiking trip?
Check out alltrails.com. Available as an app and desktop version, AllTrails is an outdoor platform specialising in hiking trails. It offers crowdsourced reviews of trails, trail descriptions and routes.
rentalcars.com is a popular car rental search engine.
On it you can compare car rental prices from some of the best car rental companies. Choose the pickup location, your travel dates and see the offers available. You can make a reservation online.
omio.com is an online comparison website for rail and bus tickets.
Omio lets you find and book transport to and from almost any location in Europe and beyond. Not only you can find the tickets but you can also book them online.
The Interrail pass is a rail pass for European residents.
This pass allows unlimited rail travel in 33 countries in Europe. There is a range of passes — you can choose between one country pass and multiple country pass. There are different fare categories.
The Eurail pass is a rail pass for non-European residents.
Just like Interrail, Eurail pass is valid in all 33 participating countries and offers a range of passes and fare categories.
seat61.com is a great travel website with extensive information about train travel all around the world. The website focuses exclusively on train-based travel. On Seat 61 you’ll find information about the best routes, fares and times for train journeys, as well as information about train ticket booking, which in some countries may be far from straightforward.
roadtrippers.com is an online road trip planner app.
It helps travellers plan their road trip routes. The Roadtrippers route planner shows interesting landmarks, hotels, restaurants and campsites along the route, making it easier for you to plan your trip in a foreign country. It’s available as a mobile app.
Travel may have changed after 2020, but one thing haven’t, our urge to go out and explore is still here. We, people, want to visit new places. We want to try new things, eat new foods and meet new people. We want to travel, and whenever it’s possible we take that opportunity!