Wego reveals travel search data for Q3 2021
Online travel marketplace, Wego revealed the top 10 European destinations that UAE travellers searched for from July to September 2021.
After several European countries opened their borders to leisure travellers, and key flights routes resumed, where pent-up demand was directed was evident from users’ searches.
Here are the European cities that UAE residents were looking for in order of popularity:
1 Zürich, Switzerland
Switzerland’s largest and most dynamic city, Zurich (pictured) tops the list of most searched European cities, accounting for 5.52% of searches in the 3rd quarter of 2021. Zurich has more than 50 museums and 100 galleries, appealing to history buffs and art connoisseurs. And, of course, there’s the Swiss chocolate and the cheese. Raclette stalls around the city ensure you’re never too far from the local staple of hot potatoes topped with molten cheese.
2 Vienna, Austria
Closely following Zurich is Austria’s capital, Vienna, standing at number two with over 5.38% of searches. The imperial past of Vienna resonates with the luxury traveller. Known as the City of Music, this is the city to visit for classical concerts and Sacher-torte, the most famous cake in Austria, supposedly invented by Franz Sacher in 1832 for Vienna’s Prince Metternich, made with dark chocolate icing and apricot jam.
3 London, UK
London accounts for 4.44% of European city searches on Wego. After the UK scrapped its traffic light entry system, classifying countries as red, amber and green, based on Covid-19 data, it’s far easier to visit. From the theatre of the West End to the guided tours of Buckingham Palace, there’s so much to see.
4 Athens, Greece
Athens scores 3.77% of European city searches. One of the first to open its borders to UAE travellers, Greece continues to welcome tourists with open arms, and the key attractions – including the Acropolis – are as busy as ever. CT INSIDER TIP: Visit the Acropolis Museum before you go to the Acropolis to make sense of it all, and, if you eat meat, drop by Kiouzin Restaurant for a traditional Greek feast of goat cooked in a bag.
5 Milan, Italy
As one of the world’s fashion capitals, with bustling streets filled with high-end stores, Milan is a favourite destination for well-heeled UAE visitors. Italy’s second-largest city, it accounted for about 3.64% of searches. Beyond the boutiques, there’s the sky-piercing Gothic Duomo di Milano cathedral and the Santa Maria Delle Grazie convent, housing Leonardo da Vinci’s most famous mural ‘The Last Supper’.
6 Geneva, Switzerland
Ranking 6th on the list, Geneva represents 3.04% of Wego searches. Life revolves around epic Lake Geneva (known locally as Lac Léman); 73km in length, the crescent-shaped water, with France on one side and Switzerland on the other, is sailed by vintage Belle Epoch steamers and punctuated by arresting sculptures, like the 26ft Fork of Vevy, protruding from the glossy surface in front of the Alimentarium food museum. CT INSIDER TIP: Stay at the charming Hotel Des Trois Couronnes, in the heart of Vevey on the waterfront between Lausanne and Montreux. Host to some of history’s greatest composers, writers and movie stars, including Tchaikovsky, Henry Miller and Sir Peter Ustinov, if this hotel could talk, it would have some interesting tales to tell. Just ask friendly general manager, Jay Gauer – and tell him we said hello!
7 Paris, France
Paris scores 2.69% of searches now that vaccinated UAE residents can once again pay a visit to the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower. A city for food and art lovers, there’s a concentration of Michelin-starred restaurants and world-famous galleries. CT’s favourite is Musée d ‘ Orsay, but the European health pass (EU Digital COVID Certificate) is required for entry. Presently, the health pass is only available to EU citizens and third-country nationals who reside in an EU Member state.
8 Salzburg, Austria
The second Austrian city in the top 10 is Salzburg, amassing more than 2.5% of the European city searches on Wego. Best known as the birthplace of music legend Mozart, Salzburg is a beautiful city of ancient forts and impressive museums.
9 Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Ranking 9th on the list is Amsterdam gaining 2.44% of searches. The capital of the Netherlands is renowned for its eccentric museums, vibrant nightlife and friendly locals, most of whom speak fluent English, making navigation easy in the UAE’s most commonly spoken language.
10 Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona makes up 1.9% of European city searches. The cosmopolitan capital of Spain’s Catalonia region, it’s a popular cruise destination, with Norwegian Cruise Line among the companies currently offering itineraries through Barcelona. Hop aboard and enjoy a stop in Barcelona, as well as at many of Europe’s other must-see cities, all in one trip.