This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience. By clicking or navigating the site you agree to allow our collection of information through cookies. More info

Discovering Europe

Welcome to our Discovering Europe page for cultural heritage professionals. Use this page to explore news, content and information related to tourism in the cultural heritage sector and share your initiatives

Our 'Discovering Europe' season is one of a series of complementary European Commission related initiatives to promote cultural heritage tourism in the context of ‘Re-open EU'. These include the Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture (DG EAC)’s ‘Europe’s Culture Close to you’, and promotion of the Joint Research Centre’s Cultural Gems app

Discovering Europe on the Europeana website

Europeana’s ‘Discovering Europe’ season uses the rich cultural heritage shared through the Europeana website to showcase the beautiful landscapes, historic places and rich culture of Europe, and inspire travel to local and alternative destinations. 

Throughout the summer we will feature cultural jewels and hidden gems across the continent in galleries, blogs and learning scenarios which highlight the diversity and beauty that Europe offers. 

We want to showcase your tourism initiatives

Have you seen examples of inspiring ways the cultural heritage sector is encouraging and supporting tourism locally? Or projects, resources and initiatives related to cultural tourism? We are looking to gather resources for cultural heritage tourism to share with our network - and more widely - so let us know!

Share your initiative


Explore articles on projects, resources and initiatives relevant to cultural heritage tourism

Opening doors at EPIC and the Israel Museum, Jerusalem

Title: A visitor in the 'Discovering & Inventing' gallery of the EPIC museum

Date: 2020.07.29.

Institution: EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum

Country: Ireland


Opening doors at EPIC and the Israel Museum, Jerusalem

Created: 11 August 2020

In July, Europeana held its first ‘Lunch Café’ on the theme of ‘Opening Doors’, encouraging discussion around the re-opening of cultural heritage institutions. In this post, Nathan Mannion and Susan Hazan, who led the Café, reflect on re-opening at their own institutions.

Campaigns and projects

Explore relevant initiatives, campaigns and projects which shine a light on cultural heritage and tourist destinations throughout Europe

Europe’s Culture - close to you

This European Commission campaign promotes the discovery of Europe’s diverse treasures and aims to encourage Europeans to explore the richness of destinations close to their homes, in a safe and sustainable way.

Learn more

Title: River view near Deventer

Date: 1645

Institution: Rijksmuseum

Country: The Netherlands

Public Domain

Cultural Gems

Cultural Gems is a free open source web app, conceived by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, to map cultural and creative places in European cities. It includes curated content from our Discovering Europe season.

Learn more

Title: Brīvības iela Rīgā

Creator: Volfeils, Ervīns

Date: 1928

Institution: Latvijas Nacionālā bibliotēka

Country: Latvia


World Heritage Journeys of the European Union

This initiative promotes four thematic trans-European cultural routes, linking 34 iconic and lesser-known UNESCO World Heritage sites in 19 European countries.

Learn more

Title: Seascape near Heijst

Date: 1868

Institution: Rijksmuseum

Country: Netherlands

Public Domain

The European Capital of Smart Tourism

This initiative aims to promote innovative, sustainable and inclusive tourism by showcasing and recognising outstanding achievements by European cities as tourism destinations.

Learn more

Title: The View of Bratislava

Creator: Rudolf Swoboda

Date: 1840/1859

Institution: Slovak National Gallery

Country: Slovakia

Public Domain


The EU-funded IMPACTOUR project connects cultural tourism stakeholders and researchers, envisaging new approaches and methods that will support European cultural tourism.

Learn more

Title: The Torensluis and the Jan Roodenpoortstoren in Amsterdam

Date: 1829

Institution: Rijksmuseum

Country: Netherlands

Public Domain

European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards

These Awards promote best practices related to heritage conservation, management, research, education and communication, contributing to the recognition of cultural heritage as a strategic resource for Europe.

Learn more

Title: näkymä Kansallismuseon suuntaan Arkadianmäeltä

Creator: Dahlbeck Anna

Date: 1914

Institution: Finnish Heritage Agency

Country: Finland


Tools and Apps

Explore apps and tools from Europeana projects which support engagement with cultural heritage tourist attractions


Title: Screenshot of MotionNotes Annotator from CultureMoves website

Date: May 2020



A multimodal video annotator that facilitates the use of digital technologies in art and dance performances. 


Title: Screenshot of the Storymaker tool on the Share3D website

Date: July 2020



A tool giving expert and non-expert users the opportunity to create stories with 3D content.



A way for visitors to engage with cultural heritage by recreating and sharing a painting or historic photo.  

Virtual 17th-century Flemish inn

Virtual 17th-century Flemish inn

An online 3D resource showing a virtual reconstruction of the Swan inn: an establishment located in Ename, Belgium, during the year of 1665.

European Heritage Alliance Manifesto

The European Heritage Alliance Manifesto identifies 'Experiencing Europe' through cultural heritage as one of seven key ways in which cultural heritage can act as a catalyst for positive change.

'Faced with the catastrophic impact of the pandemic on the tourism industry due to travel and mobility limitations, which puts 13 million European jobs at risk, we fully support the appeal for a major 'EU tourism rescue plan'. This plan should include special measures for the revival of cultural tourism, one of the largest and fastest growing tourism segments worldwide which accounts for 40% of all European tourism. Tourism needs cultural heritage and cultural heritage needs tourism. But we recover from this crisis by using it as an opportunity to promote more innovative and sustainable forms of tourism. In doing so, we will deliver lasting benefits for public and private owners of heritage sites and the communities that surround them, generating higher quality experiences and greater enjoyment for visitors.'