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The Most Unforgettable European Luxury Destinations in 2023

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When it comes to luxury destinations, Europe can meet every traveller’s preference. From once-unpopular places whose potential has been recently discovered to already-hyped locations that have more to offer than glitz and glam, there’s something to suit every taste. Let’s see why the following five European destinations are among the best choices when planning your extravagant vacation itinerary this year.

Florence, Italy

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Florence, one of the most exquisite destinations for shopping, architecture, and art, boasts eclectic experiences, whether it’s a walk in one of the city’s blooming gardens, a trip to the opera, or taking in the view from the magnificent Renaissance dome. 

With several haute-couture shops open for around 100 years, this city is among the most popular luxury shopping destinations. Almost every international designer owns a boutique on Via Tornabuoni Street, which is why this is in the public eye the most. Still, there are other independent shops and ateliers with great offerings in Florence’s hidden streets, whether you’re looking for artisanal perfumes that are not found anywhere else, or hand-crafted clothing. 

As stated, Florence’s art culture is nothing short of iconic. The Renaissance era inspired the city’s architecture, and with so many complex and impressively built buildings, it’s no surprise that UNESCO has designated the city a World Heritage Site. 

Its open-air museum look reveals something about the most luxurious experience you can have here: art galleries. The world’s greatest artists, Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, lived in Florence in the sixth century, and you can find some of their art works in the Uffizi Gallery. Palazzo Vecchio, the town hall of Florence, is open for visits, and is a must-see while you’re in what is considered the birthplace of Renaissance by many academics.  

Milan, Italy 

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What better city to be linked with luxury than the fashion capital of Italy? Ever since the 16th century, Milan has proudly held this title, being regarded as the fashion capital of the world by some experts. Along with Paris, London, and New York, this city is one of the “Big Four” that receive the majority of the press coverage regarding fashion weeks. 

The galleria space hosts almost any high-end brand you’d think of. From Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada, Armani, and Versace, you will struggle to leave without having acquired a priceless “souvenir”, especially if you’re irritated at the thought of rip-offs. The trade in counterfeit per year is worth $600bn and chances are that you, too, held a counterfeit, even if unwittingly, once in your lifetime. They’re everywhere, the subtle differences are often difficult to tell by the average shopper, and one can easily fall prey to the scams online or buy an expensive fake. But by going to your favourite designer store, not only will you have one of the most luxurious and authentic experiences, but you’ll also stay away from counterfeits and security threats. Bank details and other sensitive data can leak when surfing online without taking precautionary measures, and if you ever worry about being implicated in a cyber security breach or attack, you can find out more about this topic at https://www.publicinterestlawyers.co.uk/data-breach-compensation/data-breach-compensation-claim-examples/.

Enough with shopping, because Milan isn’t just about designer bags and shoes. The Cathedral of Santa Maria Nascente, with its 2,245 marble statues on the exterior, is a significant opulence trademark that shouldn’t be overlooked. When you’re done gazing at the city’s beauty, the vibrant grand Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, home to several elegant cafés waits for you to unwind with a latte.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

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Despite the breathtaking scenery in Dubrovnik, this city has flown under the radar for many years. It wasn’t until the producers of the famous cult television series Game of Thrones chose it as a filming location that it rose to international fame, making its way into the top luxury destinations in Europe. 

The city is most recognised by the impressive baroque buildings taking travellers back to the 17th century, majestic 13-th century walls, and earthy terracotta rooftops. Stunningly surrounded by the crystal-blue waters of the Adriatic Sea, the Pile and Ploče gates mark the entry to the pedestrianised Old Town and the many modern and historic monuments and shops. In the main square, you’ll find a statue of “Dubrovnik’s Shakespeare” and a landmark bell tower near the Church of Saint Blaise. And once you approach the outer side of the walls, you’ll find restaurants offering outside seating so you can gaze at the sea and savour the breeze along with a cold beverage.

St Tropez, French Riviera

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The name of this luxury destination is generally enough to conjure images of opulent yachts and champagne-sprayed parties. But despite its well-earned reputation, St Tropez is a premium city offering more than just showiness. While vacationing here, there are many hidden gems to discover, from the Provençal-style chapels to the baroque bell tower. For instance, the museum with historic artwork named Chapelle Notre-Dame de l’Ánnonciade houses six original paintings by Henri Matisse. At the same time, you can get a glimpse of the area’s history in the 17th-century Citadel of St Tropez.

The beaches here are, indeed, some of the best in the South of France. But if you’re looking for a more laid-back holiday and some good-old relaxation, Les Salins, the neighbouring beach, has a more laissez-faire atmosphere, and an equally appealing restaurant scene. 

Mykonos, Greece

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Mykonos, which sees more than 300 sun-filled days per year, has become a luxury destination lately, especially for those whose favourite time of the year is the summer. Usually, after a long day at the beach comes a wild night of partying, and once you’re hooked on this vibrant way of living and the island’s unparalleled breathtaking scene, you understand why many return again and again. 

The white-painted buildings with iconic blue doorways are a staple in some regions of Greece. Inside this stunning labyrinth, you’ll find the island’s hub, with quirky eateries and independent boutiques, waiting for you to stop by. 

Mykonos has beaches with some of the bluest waters in Greece, backing the shore wherever you look. But in the evening, Mykonos’ bustling beach clubs are perfect for the ultimate luxury experience. 

There are more unique locations to discover throughout Europe, but the ones mentioned above are best suited to five specific types of tourists.

Mario J. Soar
Information sourced by the author for luxuryactivist.com. All content is copyrighted with no reproduction rights available. Images are for illustration purposes only. Featured Photo de Valentin B. Kremer on Unsplash.

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