The 10 Best European Events and Incentive Cities 2018

27 September 2018

A lot goes into making a great events and incentives destination – from jaw-dropping experiences and breath-taking sights to great bars and dining options.

In the UK we couldn’t be better placed to take advantage of some of the world’s best destinations – Europe is on the doorstep, and it boasts more than its fair share of top-flight events and incentives cities.

We’re talking some of the world’s greatest sights, most beautiful landscapes and most unforgettable experiences, all within a few hours of home.

So let’s dive straight into it – in no particular order, here are the year’s 10 best European events and incentives cities.

1. London, England 

Sometimes overlooked by teams who think it’s a bit familiar, London is simply one of the best events and incentives cities in the world.

And with the budget you could save by keeping your incentive domestic, London has some amazing activities and experiences on offer…

  • Host a champagne reception in a private pod on the London Eye
  • Take a walk with a difference – 52m up over the roof of the O2 Arena
  • Enjoy a themed treasure hunt in vintage Minis
  • Go powerboating on the Thames – past Parliament, St Paul’s and Tower Bridge
  • Treat your group at one of London’s 70 Michelin-starred restaurants

2. Paris, France

Flight time from London: 1hr 10mins

More accessible than ever thanks to a 1hr 10min flight time or a 2.5hr direct rail link from London, Paris is unforgettable and evocative.

The City of Lights has a huge range of activities to suit incentive travel groups – our pick of them includes:

  • An evening river cruise through the heart of Paris, with dinner and live music
  • Hiring your group a fleet of Citroen 2CVs and tour the city’s sights
  • Taking a gourmet food tour of Paris’s artisan bakeries, cheese makers and wine merchants
  • Tour Versailles by bike and stop for lunch at the superb Gordon Ramsay au Trianon
  • Book dinner aboard Bustronome – Paris’s fine-dining restaurant on a glass-roofed bus

3. Dublin, Ireland 

Flight time from London: 1hr 20 mins

A little over an hour from London, Ireland's capital is a great value events and incentives destination that offers high-achieving incentive groups a myriad of unique, rewarding experiences.

Our picks include:

  • A tour of the Guinness Storehouse – Irelands #1 tourist attraction
  • Paddle-boarding in the Silicon Docks district
  • A gala dinner at the incredible Christ Church Cathedral
  • Gaelic games and abseiling at Croke Park
  • Golf at the nearby Portmarnock Championship course, and activities including clay shooting, Irish dancing lessons and archery just outside the city

4. Dubrovnik, Croatia 

Flight time from London: 2hrs 35mins

This compact, historic walled city sits on Croatia’s Adriatic coast, and what it lacks in size it makes up for in unique experiences and atmosphere. Our must-have Dubrovnik experiences:

  • Take a jaw-dropping boat trip to nearby Hvar and the Pakleni islands
  • Soak up incredible views of the Old Town and Elaphiti Islands from the Dubrovnik cable car
  • Explore ‘King’s Landing’ on a Game of Thrones location tour
  • 4x4 rally into the surrounding hills for wine-tasting and superb dining
  • Take sea kayaks around the city walls and explore hidden bays

5. Edinburgh, Scotland 

Flight time from London: 1hr 25mins

Scotland’s capital is just a short hop by plane from London.

It’s a beautiful, compact city centre with outstanding dining options and some of the world’s best golf on the doorstep – one of Europe’s best events and incentives cities.

  • Enjoy world-class golf – all five Open Championship courses are within two hours of Edinburgh, and Gleneagles is an hour away.
  • Fine dining at any of the city’s four Michelin-starred restaurants (we love the excellent Number One at the Balmoral Hotel)
  • Clay shooting on estates just a few miles from the city centre
  • Take a canal cruise through the city at night, with drinks and live music
  • Book an unforgettable drinks reception at Edinburgh Castle, with bagpipe music and dinner

6. Ibiza, Balearic Islands 

Flight time from London: 2hrs 25mins

The largest of the Balearic Islands is one of the best events and incentives destinations in Europe. There simply isn’t anywhere that comes close for rewarding young, motivated teams with an opportunity to cut loose.

Ibiza Airport is just five miles from Ibiza Town, and can be accessed directly from most major UK airports.

  • Hit the clubs for unforgettable nights – they’re legendary for a reason
  • Unwind on the beach with drinks and soak up the laid-back sounds of Café Del Mar
  • Book a boat trip - from an adrenaline-pumping powerboat ride to a laid-back yacht cruise with cocktails
  • Book in dinner at a dramatic destination restaurant like El Chiringuito de Es Cavallet or LA Gaia
  • Try activities on the water, from jet-skiing to windsurfing and sea kayaking
  • Explore Ibiza Old Town (Dalt Vita)

7. Barcelona, Spain 

Flight time from London: 2hr 5 mins

Trendy, buzzing and creative, Barcelona has everything that Europe’s best events and incentives cities need. From beaches and a great outdoors offering to some of Europe’s best cultural sites, this is a destination that begs to be explored.

Our ‘must-dos’ for your incentive trip include:    

  • Have a group flamenco dancing lesson
  • Enjoy the caves and coast of the Costa Brava with kayaks and snorkels
  • Tour the Nou Camp Stadium & FC Barcelona museum
  • Visit Barcelona’s iconic unfinished Gaudi projects: the Sagrada Familia and Park Güell
  • Visit nearby Montserrat, then a local winery for wine tasting

8. Lisbon, Portugal 

Flight time from London: 2hr 45mins

We talk about Lisbon a lot – with good reason. This is an intoxicating city for events and incentives where budgets stretch a surprisingly long way.

To make the most of their time in the city, incentive groups can:

  • Book a Segway tour for your group, or hop on the iconic Tram 28 to see the city centre’s key sights
  • Head to the Telecabine Lisboa with your team for a cable car ride over the illuminated city
  • Learn to sail and race yachts on the river Tagus
  • Take a jeep safari into the mountains, or hire classic cars and go wine tasting in Sintra
  • Enjoy some of the best surfing and surf schools in Europe on the doorstep

9. Budapest, Hungary

Flight time from London: Less than 2hrs 30 mins

The "Queen of the Danube" is undoubtedly one of Europe’s best events and incentives cities.

It’s also surprisingly accessible – just 2.5hrs from London, and with Budapest Airport less than half an hour from the city.

Budapest incentive groups can:

  • Take a guided tour of the caves beneath the city
  • See high-profile sports or music events at the Budapest Sports Arena
  • Go tank driving or hot air ballooning
  • Dine in one of Budapest’s four Michelin-starred restaurants (we love Costes Downtown – the most laid-back of the four)
  • Luxuriate in one of city’s legendary thermal baths.

10. Florence, Italy

Flight time from London: 2hrs 5 mins 

The author Jennifer Coburn wrote that "visiting Florence was like attending a surprise party every day" - and it’s this constant sense of wonder that makes Florence one of Europe’s best events and incentives cities.

Our ‘must-dos’ for your incentive trip include:    

  • Tour the city in vintage Fiat 500s, by Segway or by bike
  • Enjoy candlelit concerts in beautiful venues
  • Book a tour that takes in the Accademia and the Uffizi with no waiting in line
  • Head into the Chianti countryside by hot air balloon, and sip champagne above the valleys and vineyards
  • Explore Florence’s food scene with fine restaurants, Italian cookery lessons and more

Start Planning Your Trip

We would love to help you design an incentive or event with real wow-factor in one of Europe’s best events and incentives cities. Call 0161 498 3311 now or click the link above to get the ball rolling.