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12 Best European Destinations for Women Over 50

By Sandra Roussy December 05, 2023 Travel

Looking at taking a trip to Europe? There are plenty of wonderful European destinations that are perfect for women over 50, offering a mix of culture, relaxation, and adventure. Here are some top picks:

  1. Barcelona, Spain – Barcelona offers a vibrant cultural scene, beautiful architecture, and a Mediterranean climate. Explore the historic Gothic Quarter, visit museums, and enjoy the city’s beaches.
  2. Santorini, Greece – This stunning Greek island is known for its breathtaking sunsets, white-washed buildings, and crystal-clear waters. It’s an ideal destination for relaxation and rejuvenation.
  3. Amsterdam, Netherlands – Amsterdam is known for its picturesque canals, historic sites, and world-class museums. You can explore the city by bike, visit art galleries, and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere.
  4. Prague, Czech Republic – Prague boasts fairytale-like architecture and a rich history. Stroll through Old Town Square, visit Prague Castle, and cruise along the Vltava River.
  5. Provence, France – This region in the south of France is famous for its lavender fields, charming villages, and exquisite cuisine. It’s an excellent destination for wine lovers and those seeking a slower pace of life.
  6. The Scottish Highlands, Scotland – Nature enthusiasts will appreciate the rugged beauty of the Scottish Highlands. Discover photogenic landscapes, visit Loch Ness, and take scenic drives.
  7. Istanbul, Turkey – Istanbul straddles Europe and Asia, offering a unique blend of cultures and history. Discover the Grand Bazaar, visit historic mosques, and take a Bosphorus cruise.
  8. Copenhagen, Denmark – Copenhagen is known for its design, gastronomy, and bike-friendly streets. Explore the Tivoli Gardens, visit museums, and enjoy Danish pastries.
  9. Amalfi Coast, Italy – The Amalfi Coast is a stunning coastal region with dramatic cliffs, picturesque towns like Positano and Amalfi, and some of the best Italian cuisine.
  10. Dubrovnik, Croatia – Dubrovnik’s well-preserved medieval walls and historic Old Town make it a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can take in the city’s history, relax on beautiful beaches, and take boat trips to nearby islands.
  11. Vienna, Austria – Vienna is renowned for its classical music, palaces, and coffee culture. Visit the Belvedere Palace, enjoy a concert, and indulge in delicious Viennese pastries.
  12. Porto, Portugal – Porto is famous for its port wine, historic architecture, and scenic Douro River. Take a wine tour, walk the old town, and relax along the riverbanks.

Remember that the best destination for you depends on your interests and preferences. Europe offers a wide range of experiences, from cultural immersion to relaxation by the sea, so you can tailor your trip to suit your desires.

How to Choose a European Destination

Choosing a European destination can be an exciting but sometimes overwhelming process, given the continent’s rich diversity. Here are some steps to help you select the right European destination for your interests and preferences.

Define Your Interests and Goals

Consider what type of experience you want. Are you looking for cultural immersion, relaxation, adventure, or a combination of these?

Identify your interests, whether it’s history, art, cuisine, nature, shopping, or a specific hobby or activity.

Consider Travel Dates

Determine the time of year you plan to travel. Europe experiences different seasons, and some destinations are more appealing during specific months.

Travel tip: Be mindful of peak tourist seasons, as prices can be higher, and crowds can be larger.

Duration of Your Trip

Decide how long you plan to stay in Europe. Some destinations may be better suited for a short city break, while others are ideal for longer vacations.

Safety and Health Considerations

Check travel advisories and safety conditions in your desired destinations. Research any health precautions or vaccinations required or recommended for your chosen destination.


Evaluate the ease of getting to your chosen destination. Check flight availability, transportation options within the region, and visa requirements.


Consider the language spoken in the destination. While English is widely spoken in many European cities, knowing some basic phrases in the local language can enhance your experience. Use an app like Duolingo to learn a few basic phrases and also a translation app like Google Translate to help you when on the ground.

Activities and Attractions

Research the specific attractions and activities available in your chosen destination. Are there must-see landmarks, museums, or outdoor activities that align with your interests?

Local Culture and Etiquette

Learn about the local customs and etiquette of your chosen destination to ensure you’re respectful of the local culture.

Travel Resources

Utilize travel guides, websites, and forums to gather information and read reviews from other travelers who have visited the destination.

Create a Shortlist

Based on your research and preferences, create a shortlist of potential destinations that align with your interests and practical considerations.

Consult with a Travel Agent

If you find it overwhelming to plan your trip independently, consider consulting a travel agent who specializes in European travel for personalized recommendations and assistance.


Remember that there is no one-size-fits-all answer when choosing a European destination. The key is to know your interests, budget, and practical considerations to find the perfect match for your next adventure in Europe.

Top European Destination Ideas

Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is an excellent destination for women over 50 due to its diverse appeal and rich cultural experiences. This vibrant Spanish city offers a unique blend of history, art, and relaxation. Its beautiful Mediterranean climate makes it ideal for exploring historic sites like the Gothic Quarter, where narrow streets reveal hidden gems and charming cafes.

For art enthusiasts, Barcelona is home to the iconic Sagrada Familia and the renowned Picasso Museum. You can also indulge in rejuvenating experiences at the city’s many spa resorts or relax on the golden beaches along the coast. The culinary scene is diverse, catering to various tastes, and the city’s tapas bars offer a chance to savor traditional Spanish flavors.

Barcelona’s friendly locals and well-developed public transportation system make it a safe and accessible destination, ensuring an enjoyable trip for you if you are seeking culture, history, relaxation, and culinary delights.

Santorini, Greece

This stunning island in the Aegean Sea is known for its iconic whitewashed buildings, crystal-clear waters, and unforgettable sunsets.

You can explore the charming villages perched on cliffs, such as Oia and Fira, which offer breathtaking panoramic views. Santorini’s beaches, like the Red Beach and Kamari Beach, provide opportunities for leisurely swims and sunbathing.

The island’s rich history is reflected in archaeological sites like Akrotiri, often referred to as the “Minoan Pompeii.” Santorini’s local cuisine, featuring fresh seafood, Greek specialties, and local wines, offers a delightful culinary experience.

The laid-back atmosphere, warm Greek hospitality, and opportunities for boat trips to neighboring islands make Santorini an ideal destination for beauty, tranquility, and a taste of Greek culture.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam’s charm lies in its picturesque canals, historic neighborhoods, and rich cultural heritage.

For those interested in art and history, Amsterdam offers world-renowned museums like the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum. Exploring these cultural gems can be both educational and enriching.

Amsterdam’s bike-friendly infrastructure makes it easy to travel at a leisurely pace, and the city’s historic neighborhoods, such as Jordaan and the Nine Streets, are perfect for unhurried strolls, boutique shopping, and sipping coffee at cozy cafes.

The city’s culinary scene, from Dutch specialties to international cuisine, ensures diverse dining options. With its well-preserved history and welcoming atmosphere, Amsterdam promises an enriching and enjoyable European travel experience.

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague is a fantastic destination for women over 50, offering a perfect blend of historical appeal, captivating architecture, and a relaxed atmosphere. Its well-preserved Old Town is like stepping into a living museum, where you can explore centuries of history through its medieval and Baroque architecture.

The city is home to numerous art galleries, museums, and iconic sites such as Prague Castle and Charles Bridge. Prague’s hilltop locations, including Petřín Hill and Prague Castle, offer amazing panoramic views of the red-roofed cityscape, making it a haven for photographers and sightseers.

With its laid-back ambiance, affordability, and reputation for safety, Prague ensures a pleasant and unhurried travel experience. You can savor Czech cuisine, enjoy coffee in historic cafes, and get to know the city with ease.

Provence, France

Provence is a quintessential destination for women over 50, offering a serene blend of natural beauty, rich history, and a relaxed pace of life. This region in the South of France is characterized by its rolling vineyards, fragrant lavender fields, charming hilltop villages, and a Mediterranean climate that make it an ideal spot.

The allure of Provence lies in its ability to transport travelers to a simpler time. You can explore historic towns like Avignon, Arles, and Aix-en-Provence, each brimming with Roman and medieval history. Stroll through bustling markets where you can sample delicious local produce, wines, and artisanal crafts.

The countryside is a patchwork of vineyards and olive groves, inviting visitors to indulge in wine-tasting tours and enjoy the region’s delectable cuisine. Provence also offers a wealth of outdoor activities, from leisurely hikes in the Luberon Mountains to picnics by the lavender fields.

With its gentle pace of life, stunning landscapes, and a rich tapestry of culture and history, Provence provides an enchanting place to discover the timeless beauty of the French countryside.

The Scottish Highlands, Scotland

The Scottish Highlands, located in the northern part of Scotland, is a rugged and remote region known for its breathtaking natural beauty, rich history, and a sense of tranquility that allows for introspection and exploration.

The Highlands offer a pristine environment for outdoor enthusiasts. You can go on scenic hikes amidst rolling hills, explore dramatic coastlines, and enjoy the serenity of serene lochs. Notable destinations like Glen Coe and Loch Ness provide ample opportunities for adventure.

For those interested in history and culture, the Highlands boast a wealth of historic sites, including ancient castles, clan heritage centers, and the Culloden Battlefield. Learning about Scotland’s fascinating past can be a deeply rewarding experience.

The welcoming and friendly nature of the Scottish people, combined with the region’s renowned hospitality, ensures that visitors feel embraced by the local culture. Whether enjoying a traditional Scottish meal or listening to traditional music in a cozy pub, the Highlands offer opportunities for delightful and immersive experiences.

With its untamed beauty, historical significance, warm hospitality, and a sense of adventure, the Scottish Highlands offer women over 50 a unique and soul-nourishing travel experience.

Istanbul, Turkey

This transcontinental city, straddling Europe and Asia, seamlessly blends the past and present, offering a diverse range of experiences.

One of Istanbul’s most alluring features is its deep historical significance. The city is home to iconic landmarks such as the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, and the Blue Mosque. Exploring these architectural marvels allows travelers to immerse themselves in centuries of history, art, and culture.

Istanbul’s vibrant bazaars, including the Grand Bazaar and Spice Bazaar, provide an opportunity to engage with local merchants, sample exotic spices, and find unique souvenirs. The city’s cuisine is a delight for food enthusiasts, with Turkish delights, kebabs, baklava, and other delectable dishes to savor.

The Bosphorus Strait, separating Europe and Asia, offers boat cruises that showcase Istanbul’s stunning skyline and the intersection of two continents.

Istanbul’s warm hospitality and the friendliness of its residents make it an inviting destination for travelers of all ages. The city’s accessibility, extensive public transportation, and safety measures ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience.

Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen’s historical allure is evident in its well-preserved architecture, particularly in the charming district of Nyhavn, with its colorful buildings and waterfront restaurants. You can visit historic sites like Rosenborg Castle, Amalienborg Palace, and the Round Tower, each providing insights into Denmark’s heritage.

Copenhagen is renowned for its bike-friendly infrastructure, making it easy for visitors to cycle through the city’s scenic parks and along canals. The city’s laid-back atmosphere encourages strolls, cafe-hopping, and taking in the relaxed Danish way of life.

Culinary enthusiasts will delight in Copenhagen’s gastronomic scene, which includes Michelin-starred restaurants, street food markets, and a focus on New Nordic cuisine. The vibrant Torvehallerne market offers a feast for the senses with its diverse food stalls.

For those interested in art and culture, Copenhagen boasts world-class museums, including the National Gallery of Denmark (SMK) and the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art.

Copenhagen’s commitment to sustainability, safety, and its reputation as one of the world’s happiest cities ensure a comfortable and enjoyable stay. The warm and welcoming demeanor of the Danish people makes it an inviting destination for solo travelers and groups alike.

Amalfi Coast, Italy

The Amalfi Coast in Italy is a captivating destination that holds immense appeal for women over 50, offering a perfect blend of natural beauty, coastal magic, and cultural richness.

The rugged coastline is a sight to behold, with its dramatic cliffs, pastel-colored villages clinging to the hillsides, and stunning views of the sparkling Mediterranean Sea. You can take leisurely drives along the winding coastal roads, stopping at picturesque towns like Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello to explore charming streets, artisan boutiques, and enjoy traditional Italian cuisine at seaside restaurants.

The Amalfi Coast offers a serene atmosphere, making it an excellent spot for relaxation and rejuvenation. Its idyllic beaches, such as Spiaggia Grande and Fornillo Beach, provide opportunities for sunbathing and swimming in the crystal-clear waters.

For cultural enthusiasts, the region is steeped in history, with historic churches, monasteries, and medieval architecture. The town of Ravello, in particular, is known for its classical music festivals and historic villas with beautiful gardens.

The warm hospitality of the locals and the chance to savor authentic Italian dishes, including fresh seafood, pasta, and limoncello, enhance the overall experience. It’s a destination where history and nature seamlessly converge, promising memorable and enriching travel experiences.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

The city’s historic Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a treasure trove of medieval architecture, cobblestone streets, and well-preserved fortifications. You can walk the ancient city walls, visit the iconic Dubrovnik Cathedral and Rector’s Palace, and stroll along the fascinating Stradun, the city’s main thoroughfare.

The city boasts beautiful beaches like Banje Beach and Copacabana Beach, where you can unwind and swim in the crystal-clear waters. For cultural enthusiasts, Dubrovnik has numerous museums, galleries, and cultural events, including the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, featuring music, theater, and dance performances.

Taking a boat tour to the nearby Elafiti Islands or the charming town of Cavtat allows for exploration beyond the city limits, giving you a perfect view of the stunning natural beauty of the Croatian coast.

The warm and welcoming nature of the local people, along with their delicious Mediterranean cuisine, adds to the overall appeal of Dubrovnik. The city’s safety and accessibility make it a comfortable and enjoyable destination for travelers of all ages.

Vienna, Austria

Vienna is a splendid destination for women over 50, offering a harmonious blend of classical elegance, cultural richness, and a relaxed European way of life.

The city is steeped in history and boasts a wealth of magnificent palaces, museums, and historic landmarks. You can discover the opulent Schönbrunn Palace, admire the imperial grandeur of Hofburg Palace, and indulge in the artistic treasures of the Kunsthistorisches Museum.

Vienna is renowned for its classical music heritage, and attending a concert or opera performance in venues like the Vienna State Opera or Musikverein can be a truly transcendent experience.

The city’s cafe culture provides opportunities for leisurely coffee breaks in historic coffeehouses, where you can savor traditional Viennese pastries like Sachertorte.

For nature enthusiasts, Vienna offers beautiful parks and gardens, including the Schönbrunn Gardens and the Prater Park, where you can enjoy a peaceful stroll or even take a ride on the historic Ferris wheel.

Vienna’s safety, excellent public transportation, and welcoming atmosphere make it a comfortable destination. The city’s commitment to quality of life and its reputation for being one of the world’s most livable cities ensure that visitors can relax and savor every moment of their stay.

Porto, Portugal

Porto’s historic center, known as Ribeira, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a charming labyrinth of narrow streets, colorful buildings, and historic architecture. You can go to iconic landmarks like the Dom Luís I Bridge, visit the magnificent São Bento Railway Station with its stunning azulejo (ceramic tile) interior, and wander along the Douro River promenade.

Porto is famous for its production of port wine, and visitors can enjoy wine-tasting tours in the nearby Douro Valley and Vila Nova de Gaia, where the wine cellars are located.

The city’s culinary scene is equally enticing, with opportunities to savor Portuguese dishes like francesinha (a hearty sandwich) and fresh seafood in traditional tascas (taverns) and upscale restaurants alike.

For relaxation, Porto offers beautiful beaches just a short drive away, such as Matosinhos Beach and Foz do Douro, where you can soak in the sun and take leisurely walks along the shoreline.

Porto’s warm and friendly locals, known as “Tripeiros,” contribute to the welcoming atmosphere, and the city’s safety and accessibility make it a comfortable destination for travelers of all ages.



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The Author

Sandra is the middle-aged woman you hear about who sheds everything she owns and sets out into the world to rediscover and redefine herself. After more than twenty years spent in the fashion industry designing collections for brands such as La Senza, Victoria’s Secret, and JACOB Lingerie, she shifted her path and pursued her longtime passion for writing, traveling, and photography. Sandra was published in the NY Times best selling book Eat Pray Love Made Me Do It. A deeply personal essay hand-picked by Elizabeth Gilbert about loss, facing fears, and going after dreams. Visit her website:

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