Go just about anywhere in Europe and you’ll find yourself immersed in a plethora of cultures and breathtaking scenery. To decide the best destination then, is no easy task, but the World Travel Awards have gathered the opinions of travel experts, tourism leaders and the general public to award St. Petersburg the accolade.
Built from scratch by the westward-looking Peter the Great, the former Russian imperial capital exudes an elegance and old world charm that is unique to Europe with regal baroque palaces and an intricate web of canals and bridges. The City of Tsars was chosen over strong rivals such as Barcelona, Berlin, Dubrovnik, Lisbon, London, Paris and Rome.
With a multitude of exceptional museums and stellar gastronomic fare, Lyon also took the title of Europe’s leading city break destination, surpassing Berlin, Bordeaux, Venice and Dublin. The bustling city in France is not only steeped with culinary history, but is also developing a name for itself as an electronic music hub. The Nuit Sonores, a music festival that gathers some of the best local and international DJs is testament to this.
The European edition of the World Travel awards also sees the Ritz Paris being crowned the continent’s leading city break hotel. The historic 1898 five-star hotel recently reopened after a $450 million renovation after four years, and is reputed for its unrivaled service and bars that once hosted many a literary figure, such as Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald. The title of leading luxury hotel went to the ultra-glamorous Peninsula Paris.
Meanwhile, Lufthansa continues to dominate in the leading airline category, snagging Europe’s leading airline for the seventh year in a row, while the Ciragan Palace Kempinski in Istanbul was named leading hotel for the fifth consecutive year.
Check out the full list of winners at World Travel Awards now.