Europe’s Leading Tourist Attraction Is Wild — And Kids Are Free!
— Xinhua News Agency/Xinhua News Agency/Getty Images
In early October, the World Travel Awards released their rankings of the best global travel destinations. The awards, which celebrate excellence in the tourism, hospitality, and travel industries, are “recognized globally as the ultimate hallmark of industry excellence.” Basically, these guys know what they’re talking about. And they just crowned one absolutely wild destination as the best tourist attraction for all of Europe.
According to the World Travel Awards, the crowned winner of Europe’s leading tourist attraction is the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin. Yes, the brewery. It comes in as the top attraction in all of Europe and beat out pretty significant competition, including England’s Buckingham Palace, Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia, France’s Eiffel Tower, and Italy’s Roman Colosseum, to name just a few. It seems like an odd choice — American travelers can throw a stone in their home state and hit a craft brewery. How could this one be so different? Well, it just is.
“The Guinness Storehouse, Ireland’s number-one visitor attraction, gives Guinness lovers the chance to experience the history, heart, and soul of Ireland’s most iconic beer,” the World Travel Awards shares in its winner profile writeup. “A visit to the Home of Guinness includes a behind-the-scenes look at the craft of brewing a perfect pint of the Black Stuff, an exhibition and cinema room dedicated to vintage Guinness advertising, and the chance to enjoy a pint in the Gravity Bar while enjoying Dublin’s best view.”
The brewery also has far more history than your local craft brewhouse. Guinness famously has a “9,000-year lease” on the location that Arthur Guinness, the inventor of Guinness, signed the same year he invented the beer, in 1759. There are self-guided tours, and tasting rooms, all of which are housed in a state-of-the-art facility that looks immersive and fun with bright lights and loads of history. And the Gravity Bar really is astounding — a huge, glass-walled, 360-degree bar atop the brewery gives visitors a near-panoramic view of Dublin, making photo-ops an easy win.
— NurPhoto/NurPhoto/Getty Images
Plus, for parents who want a budget break in their Europe travel adventure, kids under 13 get free admission, and the whole tour is accessible for strollers. Any kid under 18 needs to be accompanied by an adult, and all areas are accessible for buggies/pushchairs/strollers.
“Children can accompany their guardians, but they cannot partake in these experiences,” the FAQs explain. “In all circumstances, children will receive a non-alcoholic drink.”
Some North American winners of the World Travel Awards include American Airlines, as the leading airline, Miami Beach, scooping up best domestic destination, Ceasars Palace in Las Vegas, winning the leading casino resort, and Maui, Hawaii, winning the leading honeymoon destination. And the winner of the leading tourist attraction in North America? That went to Niagara Falls, Canada.
To read more about the World Travel Awards and browse the many winners, check out the company’s full awards website.