Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a general tourist, you’re probably already well aware that people love to hate Ryanair. From stories of stark staff rudeness to lost baggage and delayed flights, Ryanair’s reputation certainly precedes itself.
That being said, Ryanair opened up flights to a bunch of different destinations to draw in tourism. These locations are usually in the form of romantic getaways and boozy vacations.
While this did a lot for tourism in specific locations, it has left people wondering if they have officially ruined the destination’s beauty and seclusion too.
That is why we have created this expert guide on the top 10 Ryanair destinations. You’ll find out whether these locations are worth the hype or if they should be avoided at all costs, no matter how cheap the flight tickets are.
Keep scrolling to discover our verdict.
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The Top 10 Ryanair Destinations
Below we have listed the top 10 Ryanair destinations. This guide details who this location is ideal for, the best time to visit, and (most importantly) what you can actually get up to while there.
1. Crete (Chania) – Greece
Whenever I plan on visiting the Greek islands, I instantly think of the film, Mamma Mia. Is that just me? I’ve had the privilege to visit many areas in Greece (but never the actual filming location) and as soon as I arrive all I want to do is put on a dancing Queen and picture myself in the movie. Look, don’t knock it until you try it, okay?
Anyway, despite its emerald green waters, all year round sunny climate, and relaxing allure, Crete has been popularized for its party scene. However, Chania may be one of those locations that stands out from the crowd. Chania is located on the western most area of the island of Crete and has much more of a family friendly atmosphere.
Here, you can find stunning beaches, cultural landmarks, and just an overall magical feeling. Chani has managed to preserve much of its natural architecture too. This area in Crete really feels like you’re visiting an expensive city like Florence and Venice but without the crowds (and the price tag).
Old Town is where you will want to stay if you’re hoping for a relaxing break. You’ll wake up to picturesque views of the harbor and get to taste delicious Greek cuisine on the nearby beaches.
During the day, you’ll also love walking around the beautiful alleyways decorated in medieval architecture. If you do like to partake in the nightlife scene, then there are a few nightclubs scattered around this area, especially in the back streets or at the Old Port.
2. Dublin – Ireland
Next on the list of the top 10 Ryanair destinations is the city of Dublin. Considered the friendliest country in Europe, I must say there’s nothing quite like the Irish community. Grab yourself a Guinness and prepare for a countryside trip that feels as though you’ve entered straight into a fairytale.
Despite its whimsical nature, it’s no secret that Ireland has a prominent booze culture (Ryanair certainly has a theme to these locations).
There are many breweries littering the entire island. That being said, Dublin specifically brings a historic edge that sets it apart from other destinations on this list. From the iconic Dublin Castle, which was built way back in the 13th century, to Saint Stephen’s Green, there will be more than just pubs and Guinness to this experience.
When choosing which area of Dublin to stay in, Portobello is the perfect mix of living like an Irish local while also getting to enjoy all the tourist activities. By staying here, you’ll be 10 minutes out of the city center but still encased in all the inviting Irish warmth.
Portobello is actually known as “Hipster Central.” A lot of young Irish locals live in this area due to the convenience of the city. There are some of the best restaurants and cafés in this area as well as bars and museums.
There are also plenty of gorgeous green gardens to spend time in nature and appreciate Ireland’s natural beauty. The views here are also something to be reckoned with.
Alright, so we’re trading days filled with alcohol for days filled with deep blue waters, gorgeous cathedrals, and indulgent street food. This is way more up my vibe. I think Ryanair is specifically catering to those looking for a romantic summer break with this one. However, a solo trip here would be just as fun.
If you’ve ever had the privilege of visiting this epic European island, Malta, then you will understand that this destination deserves to be on this list.
Malta is immaculate. I am slightly biased because I made so many friends on my trip here, however, this location just feels ethereal. The buildings. The Views. The cliffs to hike. I can’t fault this destination.
With that in mind, the beaches in Malta tend to be more rocky than sandy, which you’ll either love or hate. There are a few areas where you can find strips of sand. However, most people come to Malta to dive into the crystal clear waters and spot all kinds of sea life. The turtles here are so adorable!
As for where to stay in Malta, it’s a fight for first place between Valletta and Sliema. Valletta is Malta’s capital and will be ideal if you’re visiting for the first time. All the best tourist attractions are located here.
However, if you’re looking for an island escape and hoping to avoid tourists, then Sliema is a better option. This is an urban seaside town that has some of the best beaches I have ever seen.
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4. Zadar – Croatia
If you’re backpacking Croatia, Zadar is one of those all round holiday locations you shouldn’t miss.
It has gorgeous natural beaches and a serious nightlife scene. You can spend all of your days exploring the local beaches, hitting the cultural hotspots, and then getting ready for a night out on the town that you won’t forget. This is a great location for a friend’s group getaway.
Some of the best activities include swimming with dolphins, hiking to secluded lakes, and hopping on a speedboat to nearby islands. In the city, the scenery is made up of ancient Roman streets. As you get nearer to the coast, you’ll find some of the most memorable cliffs and coves.
Admittedly, in the summer months, you can expect very busy crowds, like very, very busy. During the evenings, the streets are filled with tourists dancing to loud music, performances, and delicious cuisine. You’ll even find that the beaches become packed during this time of night. This is because people gather to catch a glimpse of the fantastic sunset views.
The major neighborhood in Zadar is Old Town. Old Town is a mix of ancient historic Roman ruins and some trendy cafés. The whole nightlife scene is pretty much within five minutes of this area and you’ll be able to easily access transport out of this town to discover more of Zadar. My go-to stay nearby is Almayer Art & Heritage Hotel and Dépendance—perfect comfort combined with art and cultural heritage.
5. Bordeaux – France
Ready to live out your French fantasy of living like a local in the gorgeous city of Bordeaux? Me too! Look, Paris is often the stereotypical first choice when it comes to romantic getaways. However, many tourists (and locals) are heading to Bordeaux to avoid the busy crowds of the capital city.
Go for a Bordeaux weekend retreat and wonder through its iconic cobblestoned streets. It has that typical French ambiance that makes you want to dress up, go wine tasting, and romanticize your life to a whole new level.
One thing to keep in mind is that you’ll basically see couples everywhere. Often they are enjoying anniversaries, honeymoons, that type of vibe. So, if you’re chronically single, maybe avoid this one. I have been to Bordeaux and I may be speaking from experience…
It’s also worth keeping in mind that many French locals close up their businesses during the summer months and leave France to avoid the tourist crowds. Therefore, to get the most out of Bordeaux, you should visit in the spring or fall. During this time, the weather will still be warm enough to explore and you will still get to experience more of the natural French atmosphere.
For a cozy stay in Bordeaux, consider “Vieux Bordeaux“, home to the iconic L’Hôtel Particulier Bordeaux—brimming with quintessential French charm.
There are famous monuments everywhere you look and they have those gorgeous paved narrow streets that are featured in every French movie. The streets are also lined with some of France’s best bakeries, restaurants and bars. Plus, when everything worthwhile is within walking distance, you won’t need to pay extra for transport.
6. Oslo – Norway
Oslo is like no other place that I have ever seen. It’s this bizarre blend of being transported back in time, only to visit the neighborhood over, and be flung into the future.
Oslo is the type of city break you go on when you really want to immerse yourself into a new culture. This will be a non-stop trip. You know the type of trip where you need another vacation after you get home?
From futuristic architecture, (where you can literally walk on the rooftops of opera buildings), to trendy neighborhoods, Oslo is kind of like stepping into a completely different world.
It has a unique mixture of skyscrapers combined with medieval fortresses that were built way back in 1300 such as the Akershus fortress.
While in Oslo, taking a chocolate tour is a must, and one of the city’s finest activities. I highly recommend a stop by the Feria chocolate factory. Here, you can educate yourself on Norwegian chocolate, a tradition dating back to the ninth century!
Because you’ll be spending a lot of time walking around Oslo, consider visiting during the warmer months, so anywhere from March to October. Like most locations, June, July, and August will be the most busy. Hotel prices tend to be very pricey during this time.
Grønland is one of the most popular areas to stay in. It has a huge multicultural food and drinks scene and the hotel prices are pretty low here too. Most importantly, the food here is top-tier. Grønland is known for its street food. Make sure to indulge in their sweet treats, kebabs, and delicious pastries. Calories don’t count on vacation, right?
7. Malaga – Barcelona
Málaga has gained quite a reputation for itself…and I can’t say it’s all good. Crowned “the party city of Barcelona ” this is the city that young adults adore.
There are two main selling points to Malaga, the history and the Mediterranean culture. Both of which make up for some of the best urban narratives I have ever heard. You’ll truly get it when you hike Alcazaba Fortress or Caminito del Rey and visit Picasso Museum.
Days here are spent soaking up the sun (and the previous night’s alcohol) at the beach. Then, the nights are when this party city really thrives.
Because of its party scene, Malaga is best visited with a group of friends. As you’ll be spending so much of the evening out, it is essential that you have your trusted pals with you.
That being said, it’s not all partying. Malaga offers fantastic experiences including boutique shops with adorable souvenirs, great beaches, and even better gelato shops to enjoy.
It’s also worth mentioning that this location is most crowded during the summer months. If you are looking for something a little more sophisticated, secluded, or quieter, I would suggest picking another location
Plaza de la Merced is the best area to take advantage of the nightlife activities. The clubs and bars stay open until 3-4 AM. Hotels in this area are generally cheap and there are popular landmarks. Make sure to check out the house where Picasso was born, if you’re actually awake during the day.
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8. Krakow – Poland
Welcome to one of the largest cities in Poland, Krakow. This is where a mix of historical architecture and pub crawls are found. The Old Town area within Krakow actually became a UNESCO world heritage site in 1978 and once you arrive you’ll understand why.
From a stunning basilica to incredible salt mines, there is so much history to soak up within this city. This is a great experience for those traveling solo as there are so many tours to take part in where you can meet other people.
You will honestly, never be bored while here. Krakow also has a huge nightlife scene with an emphasis on pub crawls.
If you are planning a trip to Krakow, you probably want to avoid January and February. This is when the Polish winter temperatures are unpredictable and quite frankly, freezing cold. Also, during the winter, Poland experiences far less sunlight throughout the day, which limits the time that you can explore. So it may be worth paying a little extra, so you can visit in the spring or summer.
If you can afford to, Stare Miasto (Old Town) is where you’ll want to stay. The mix of its central location and beautiful scenery makes for a perfect trip. Admittedly, the Old Town does take advantage of its popularity by hiking up the hotel prices.
Plus, the area itself can get pretty crowded. However, as I said, if you’re solo traveling, it isn’t necessarily a bad thing to be surrounded by other travelers.
9. Galway – Ireland
The top 10 Ryanair destinations wouldn’t be complete without Galway. Galway is known for its festivals and actually hosts around 122 festivals each year. You will be glad to know that not all of these festivals center around alcohol.
However, because of its festivals, tourists flock to this destination to have one of those trips that you never forget. To put it into perspective, despite the small circumference of the city, they saw over 1.7 million international tourists in one year (much to the disdain of the locals).
The Bohemian city vibes and the traditional music is something that is truly hard to resist. The Irish spirit is very present here with some locals choosing to take advantage of the tourism by setting up unique pubs and independent shops.
Eyre Square also known as the ‘Latin Quarter’ is the best area to stay in Galway. You really can’t get much more central than this location. If it is your first time here you’ll be within the mix of all the action.
Oh, one thing I have to mention is that the Wi-Fi in Galway is awful. At least it was when I visited. Which is a digital-nomad’s nightmare. The Latin Quarter was the only area in Galway where I was able to get solid Wi-FI. That may not be the case anymore but it’s worth keeping in mind.
The Latin Quarter also has the best shops, cafes and restaurants. It also just feels…alive. Huge audiences gather around street buskers and medieval pubs are everywhere you look. There are also various markets selling food, jewelry, artwork, and so much more. Additionally, you can easily access transport from this area to take you to festivals or different locations.
10. Faro – Portugal
For those who are looking for a romantic getaway but can’t afford the capital city of Portugal, Lisbon, Faro is the next best option.
Faro has expansive beaches and far fewer crowds, which is perfect for a romantic couples break or a honeymoon. I must say that it’s one of the best options on this list of the top 10 Ryanair destinations if you love a good cheap beach vacation in Portugal.
The beaches are a beautiful shade of gold and the ocean is just as bright. Nature enthusiasts (like myself) will also adore this location. There are plenty of opportunities to go snorkeling. Plus, you can even take a dolphin spotting cruise along the Atlantic Ocean.
Alongside that, Faro has just the right blend of cultural sites, restaurants, and bars. However, if you’re visiting in the summer, you’ll struggle to get in your 10,000 steps. Portugal’s heat is almost unbearable at that time of year. People who visit during the summer usually find themselves glued to the beach.
Old Town is the best location to stay in Faro. This is where all the main attractions are located and it just has good vibes. The sunsets here are immaculate and don’t even get me started on the delicious local cuisine. You can explore the town and then hop on a bus to the best beaches.
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Final Thoughts on the Top 10 Ryanair Destinations
That officially concludes this list of the top 10 Ryanair destinations. They definitely seem to be a consistent theme to these locations, right?
Look, we all go into a Ryanair experience knowing that it’s not going to be luxurious. We know that we’re probably going to need to spend a day recuperating from the flight. However, once you’re aware of that fact it becomes a lot easier to deal with it. It almost becomes a part of the experience!
No, but really, from my experience Ryanair isn’t all that bad.
One thing for sure is that Ryanair is cheap. Without Ryanair, many solo travelers wouldn’t get to visit all these unique destinations. Making travel affordable is something we can always get behind.
Most importantly, Ryanair is upfront. Which we all can appreciate in today’s world. They don’t claim to be something they’re not. And with so many great locations on this list, you may just have to give them a try. Who knows, you might even be positively surprised!
And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links. That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!