Where to travel in Europe in your 50s, 60s and 70s

Europe is a timeless continent that offers its travellers a wealth of history, breathtaking natural beauty, endless architecture and cuisine as diverse as its residents. From the wild landscapes of Iceland’s Arctic Circle and sun-kissed shores of Italy’s “heel”, to the charming Cotswold villages of England and gluttonous grape growers in Bordeaux, it doesn’t matter whether you’re 22 or 102, Europe caters to all. However, to help make your travel planning a little easier, we’ve chosen nine excellent countries in Europe to travel to, depending on if in you’re in 50s, 60s or 70s.

Where to travel in Europe if you’re… in your 50s

1. Akuyeri, Iceland

Akureyri (ah-koo-rare-ee) is the heart of Iceland’s wild north. You’ll find this rural “city” at the head of Eyjafjörður – Iceland’s longest fjord – a stone’s throw from the Arctic Circle. With lively cafes, top quality restaurants, art galleries and some late night bars, Akureyri is the perfect place to base yourself before a Northern Lights expedition. Experiencing the other-worldly beauty of the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) is one of life’s ultimate bucket list moments.

Top tip: The Northern Lights can be seen from September through April on clear and crisp nights.

EXPERIENCE ICELAND ON: Iceland including the Blue Lagoon

2. Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen is the capital of cool. With its beautiful streets, excellent restaurants, clean Scandi design and cultural gems, this Danish capital certainly doesn’t scrimp on quality. When it comes to Copenhagen, you get what you pay for and this city is worth every penny. So while you’re there, definitely splurge on one of its 15 Michelin-starred restaurants (more than any other Scandinavian capital). If you have to pick one, make it Noma. René Redzepi’s restaurant is sublime and perfect for a memorable night celebrating a 50th birthday or wedding anniversary.

Top tip: Prepare to book Noma months in advance.

EXPERIENCE COPENHAGEN ON: Capitals of Scandinavia

3. Puglia, Italy

This is the Italy you haven’t seen before. Known as the “Florence of the South”, escape the crowds of Tuscany and the hordes of tourists on the Amalfi Coast and head southeast to the boot of Italy’s heel, Puglia (poo-li-ya). Here, you’ll find prehistoric trulli (or stone huts), earthy Italian cuisine, wineries, caves, and relaxed villages with gorgeous vistas overlooking the Mediterranean and Adriatic coasts.

Top tip: Head out of Puglia’s cities towards its beautiful countryside like Forest of Umbra in the north and sun-baked Salento in the south.

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Where to travel in Europe if you’re… in your 60s

1. Cotswolds, England

Escape the hustle and bustle of London to the picturesque villages of the Cotswolds. Designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1966, the Cotswolds beautifully spans six counties with each village encapsulating a bygone era of England. Step back in time as you explore the medieval Warwick Castle (built by William the Conqueror in 1068), discover the “Venice of the Cotswolds” at the riverside village of Bourton-on-the-Water and feel like you’re on the set of a period drama with Afternoon Tea at Tisanes Tea Room in the village of Broadway.

Top tip: A great alternative way to see the Cotswolds is by steam train. We recommend Avon Valley Steam Railway.

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2. Dubrovnik, Croatia

Another fantastic destination in Europe to visit in your 60s, (or your 50s, or at any other age really), is Dubrovnik. Few places retain the charm and sophistication of old Europe like Dubrovnik, and fewer still blend that with the idyllic setting of bright blue seas, ancient architecture and exquisite cuisine. While you’re there, take a gentle stroll around the uninhabited island of Lokrum, enjoy a glass of wine at hole in the wall Buža Bar overlooking the Adriatic Sea, and join a Game of Thrones tour around the ancient city walls (the filming location for the fantasy city of King’s Landing).

Top tip: Aim to visit Dubrovnik in September and October, you’ll enjoy milder temperatures and cruise ships will have left the ports.


3. Istanbul, Turkey

A vibrant city where East meets West, Istanbul is home to a plethora of cultural attractions and a cuisine more diverse than its heritage. We recommend visiting in the shoulder months of May and September through to November, as temperatures are cooler and the crowds more manageable. While you’re there, take a moment to marvel at the Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque, explore the fascinating Topkapı Palace Museum and haggle for a bargain at the Grand Bazaar.

Top tip: Remember to dress modestly and cover your hair at many of Istanbul’s religious sites.

EXPERIENCE ISTANBUL ON: Highlights of Turkey

Where to travel in Europe if you’re… in your 70s

1. Seville, Spain

The capital of Andalucia, Seville is alive with culture, fiestas, architecture and fantastic food. A very accessible city, you don’t have to walk far to find some of the city’s most spectacular cultural gems. Feel awestruck at the largest cathedral in the world (by volume) Seville Cathedral and see if you can find Christopher Columbus’ tomb, wander the royal rooms and grounds at the UNESCO-listed palace Real Alcázar and enjoy a fiery flamenco show over a glass of wine at a local bar.

Top tip: If you’re visiting Seville in spring or autumn, catch the Peñas de Guardia, a series of shows organised for local or up-and-coming flamenco talent.

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2. Edinburgh, Scotland

Uncover historical treasures in Scotland’s capital, a city full of secret nooks and curious crannies. This British gem is an ideal place to travel in Europe in your 50s, 60s or 70s. Home to the grandiose Edinburgh Castle, the historic Leith Theatre (a haven for music and theatre lovers) and the tranquil Scottish National Gallery, we can see why it is one of Europe’s most enchanting cities.

Top tip: Edinburgh has a few hills so definitely purchase a hop-on hop-off
bus pass to see the best of the city with ease.

RELATED CONTENT: 13 things you should never say to a person from Scotland

3. Bordeaux, France

Regardless of whether or not you like to drink wine, Bordeaux is one of France’s most intoxicating cities and will quickly leave you thirsty for more. It’s the world’s largest urban World Heritage Site and a Unesco-listed treasure chest. Take your pick from admiring the Place de la Bourse, strolling along one of the world’s most beautiful waterfronts Quais de Bordeaux and sipping your way round Saint-Émilion, The Médoc, Sauternes and Graves.

Top tip: Visit the Jardin Botanique, the city’s largest public garden, home to walking trails and lots of spots for bird watching.

So there you have it, our pick of the best places in Europe to travel to in your 50s, 60s and 70s. Planning on marking a special birthday in Europe next year? Take a look at our favourite Europe trips and start planning your next getaway. Do you have a destination you’d like to add to the list? Let us know below.

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