Powerful passports and super-fast trains: Our top stories of 2023

These are Euronews Travel’s top 10 most-read stories of the year.


Moving abroad has been a hot topic in 2023 – especially if you can get paid to do it.

European relocation schemes and digital nomad visas dominated Euronews Travel’s most read stories of the year.

They were joined by destination popularity contests, powerful passport rankings, super-fast trains, and cruise ship crackdowns.

Read on for a rundown of our 10 most popular stories of 2023.

Being paid to travel? That’s something we can all get on board with.

Those who were ready to drop everything and reinvent their life on a remote Irish island could snap up generous cash incentives in 2023.

The scheme is intended to boost the population of 30 offshore communities by encouraging new residents to rescue and restore dilapidated properties on the country’s far flung islands.

The Czech Republic, Colombia, South Korea: countries around the world have launched digital nomad visas this year. But none made quite such a stir as Spain’s.

With a low cost of living, plenty of sunshine, and good internet, Spain is already popular with remote workers. The new visa, launched in January, gives non-EU nationals the chance to live and work in the country for up to five years.

Remote Irish islands not your thing? Fear not, there are plenty of warmer European destinations offering cash incentives to move there.

From the sun-baked beaches of Calabria in Italy to the peaceful mountains of Ponga in Spain, here are all the places in search of new residents.

The EU’s much anticipated post-Brexit Entry/Exit System (EES) feels like it’s been a long time coming. After various delays, it is expected to finally launch in October 2024.

UK and other non-EU travellers who don’t require a visa to enter the EU will, in future, need to use the automated registration system when entering and leaving the bloc. Here’s everything you need to know.

Europeans love a bit of healthy competition – not least when it comes to taking the tourism crown.

This year, Euromonitor International’s Top 100 City Destinations Index included a grand total of 63 European cities. But only one could take the top spot.

Being home to the best city is one thing, but earning the title of the world’s most visited country is the next step up.

Earlier this year, two EU countries battled it out for the accolade. And more recently, a third country swooped in to steal second place.

2023 has been the year of rail renaissance – and Europe’s high-speed trains are getting quieter, smoother and faster than ever before.


Hitachi Rail’s super high-speed ETR1000 travels at 300 km/h – making it the fastest train in Europe. Since hitting the rails on the continent, it’s been persuading travellers to ditch cheap flights for a greener alternative. We headed to the factory in Italy to find out more.

There’s been plenty of good news for Spain’s train network this year, but it didn’t come without some hiccups.

In February, two Renfe and government officials resigned over an incident that saw the country spend millions on trains that were too big to fit in the network’s tunnels.

Luckily, the trains were still in the design phase and had not been manufactured yet – but the error meant lengthy delays for a much needed update.

There’s that competitive spirit again: the eternally popular passport index pits nations against each other to see who enjoys visa-free access to the most countries.


In summer 2023, Germany, Italy and Spain tied in second place behind Singapore – but a more recent ranking saw a European country creep into the top spot.

Every year, more than 20 million passengers take a cruise. Before the pandemic, that number was even higher sitting at around 30 million.

As European port cities struggle to deal with this influx of tourists and curb air pollution, many are cracking down on these giant vessels. Here’s an inside look at some of the places that banned or restricted cruises in 2023.

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