Destination guide

Take a grand tour of Europe's vacation rentals

In the 18th and 19th centuries, young men from the upper classes were encouraged to go on a Grand Tour of Europe, a rite of passage that involved spending months at various vacation rentals in different countries on the continent. The Grand Tour was supposed to expose these young men to the ancient histories, rich cultures, and extraordinary sceneries on display, from Turkey to the British Isles. Fortunately, nowadays you don't have to be a duke or duchess to tour Europe. In fact, Europe is the most visited continent on the planet, attracting around 500 million holiday-goers every year. And it's easy to see why – Europe's history and heritage date back thousands of years, and their evidences are painstakingly preserved. You can experience distinct cultures within hours of travelling. The scenery is magnificent, from the highlands of Scotland and the mountains of the Alps to the plains of Spain and the beaches of the Mediterranean. Plus, Europe boasts some of the best nightlife and food scenes in the world.


If you're a history buff, a trip through Europe is likely to be the holiday of your dreams. After all, Europe is the cradle of Western civilization, and a long period of expansion has extended its influence to various corners of the world. Europeans also take pride in their numerous heritage sites, and take pains to preserve them. London's Westminster Abbey, for instance, has been around since the year 960 and is the final resting place of many British kings, queens, and other luminaries. Rome's Sistine Chapel is a testament to the power and wealth of the Catholic Church, and the dedication of Renaissance-period artists to the application of science to art.


Laze away by the sea from your European vacation rental

With the Mediterranean Sea running along the entire southern side of the continent, Europe is home to some of the world's great beaches. The Greek islands have a mix of sand and stone beaches, and sunshine is almost guaranteed in the summer months. The same applies to Spain and Italy, where the famous seaside resorts attract the sun seekers of northern Europe in their millions. For a less crowded experience you could choose a vacation rental in Croatia or Montenegro, where you can alternate between days on the sandy beaches and days exploring the area's fascinating cultural attractions.

How to get around

Getting around from your next Europe vacation rental

Europe is a well-connected place in terms of transit. Most of the time, all you need to have to travel across the continent is a Schengen visa and the means to buy the tickets. The fastest way to get to any place in Europe is by plane. Major European airlines, especially the low-cost types, fly to almost all destinations throughout the continent. Travelling by train, though, is almost as fast as travelling by plane and, in many cases, more cost-effective. There's also that added romance of being able to drink in the scenery from your window when you're getting around Europe by train. If you're up for the backpacker experience, or if your destination is only a short trip away, you can travel across Europe by bus. And since much of the continent is surrounded by bodies of water, you can also make your way to your next vacation rental via cruise ship. If you'd rather take matters – and schedules – into your own hands, you can rent a car and drive your way across the continent. Europe also has 45,000 kilometres of interconnected bicycle lanes, so you can even pedal your way through it on 2 wheels.

Food & drink 

World class food from your European vacation rental

From sophisticated French cuisine to the fresh delight of the classic Greek dishes, wherever you choose to book your European vacation rental you'll never be far from fabulous food. And it's not only the well known wonders of Italian pasta, German bratwursts and Austrian schnitzels that await. You could also take the chance to experience Portuguese egg tarts or Polish pierogis, and wash it down with a Spanish rioja or a good old pint of Guinness. Best to pack some loose clothing.

Essential info

Fast facts for booking European vacation rentals

Europe is the smallest continent on the planet, covering about 10,180,000 sq km. Around 50 sovereign countries make up the continent. Just over half belong to the European Union, and many use the euro as their currency. The continent has a population of more than 740 million, and major languages spoken there include English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Polish, Dutch, and Russian.

Where to stay near Europe?

Our 2019 vacation rental listings offer a large selection of 949,368 house rentals near Europe. From 95,417 Villas to 254,725 Houses, find unique vacation rental for you to enjoy a memorable stay with your family and friends. The best place to stay near Europe for a long holiday or a weekend break is on HomeAway.

What are the most popular destinations to visit in Europe?

There are many lovely places to stay for a holiday trip or just for a weekend in Europe. From HomeAway travelers, the most popular destinations to visit are:

  • Paris: 6,012 vacation rentals
  • Portugal: 36,014 vacation rentals
  • London: 12,182 vacation rentals
  • Barcelona: 4,423 vacation rentals
  • Rome: 9,939 vacation rentals

And HomeAway offers you the chance to discover many other popular destinations in Europe! Please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available in other popular destinations.

What are the main cities to discover in Europe?

Whether you're travelling with family or friends, here are the cities with the largest selection of vacation rentals for a holiday trip or just for a weekend in Europe:

  • Paris: 6,012 rentals
  • London: 12,182 rentals
  • Barcelona: 4,423 rentals
  • Rome: 9,939 rentals
  • Lisbon: 5,268 rentals

For other cities, please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available.

Can I find easy-access vacation rentals when travelling by plane to Europe?

Yes of course. Our owners offer a large selection of vacation rentals near airports. The airports with a large selection of lodging choices in Europe are:

  • Sorrento (RRO-Sorrento Heliport): 6,691 home rentals
  • Gatwick Airport (LGW): 633 home rentals
  • Lucca (LCV): 6,409 home rentals

For other airports, please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available.

Near which points of interest can I spend my holiday in Europe?

HomeAway offers a large selection of lodging choices near lovely places in Europe. From HomeAway travelers, the most popular points of interest to stay for a holiday trip or just for a weekend are:

  • Las Ramblas: 4,579 vacation homes
  • Montmartre: 461 vacation homes
  • Eiffel Tower: 4,474 vacation homes
  • Ireland's Eye: 690 vacation homes
  • Bath (QQX-Bath Spa Train Station): 1,142 vacation homes

But there are many other points of interest around Europe listed on HomeAway where you can find your place to stay. Just write your wanted destination in our search bar and have a look at our selection.

Explore destinations around Europe

35,939 vacation rentals
Faro District
14,942 vacation rentals
9,950 vacation rentals
7,000 vacation rentals
71,241 vacation rentals
1,054 vacation rentals
22,083 vacation rentals
1,054 vacation rentals
1,208 vacation rentals
Canary Islands
18,711 vacation rentals
15,867 vacation rentals
Madeira Region
2,642 vacation rentals
15,315 vacation rentals
County Galway
755 vacation rentals
Lisbon District
6,580 vacation rentals
32,274 vacation rentals
Porto District
2,840 vacation rentals
Brussels-Capital Region
736 vacation rentals
11,623 vacation rentals
2,397 vacation rentals