Nyhavn Harbor on a sunny day in Copenhagen Denmark, one of the best cities to visit in Europe

35 Best Cities to Visit in Europe (Bucket List for City Lovers!)

A complex, interesting, beautiful city is among the most remarkable kinds of places we can experience in our lifetimes, and there’s no doubt that the best cities to visit in Europe rank among the absolute best in the world.

There’s something magical about cities: the best ones have a life all their own, made up of the millions of moments lived and stories told in (and about) them each and every day.

I truly believe that there’s a city for every personality when traveling, even for those who don’t consider themselves “city people”, so to speak, in their day-to-day lives.

Once upon a time, we didn’t think we loved cities… and then we fell in love with traveling.

We’ve since moved to Europe, and picked a beautiful city (Lisbon) as our home base.

We’ve rounded up the best cities to visit in Europe, from the absolute icons to smaller gems tucked in quiet(er) corners of the continent.

No matter what kind of European city you’re looking for, you’ll find it here.

Table of Contents

Once You Narrow Down Your Dream Cities in Europe…

The most iconic cities to visit in europe, other best cities to visit in europe (that are slightly less iconic), best small cities to visit in europe, more cool cities to add to your europe bucket list.

Trip to Italy Cost: View of Verona from Tower

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If you’re ready to start planning your trip in more detail after reading this guide to the best cities in Europe, consider checking out our guide to planning a trip to Europe next!

We also have a detailed guide to train travel in Europe , a guide to the best European road trips , several packing lists for Europe , and a roundup of the best travel tips for Europe here on Our Escape Clause that might help kickstart your general planning.

In addition, we’ve also written about most of these European cities in more detailed guides!

We’ll link relevant blog posts throughout this list of the best cities to visit in Europe, if you’re curious about our coverage of any particular city, you can use the search bar in the top right corner of the site to see what we’ve written.

Kate Storm and Jeremy Storm in front of St. Mark's Church--even if you're only seeing Zagreb in a day, it's definitely worth stopping by here!

These cities almost need no introduction: woven into our collective culture, from books to movies to historical stories, the most iconic cities to visit in Europe are certainly all well worth the trip to reach them. 

As one of the most visited cities on the planet, Paris tops plenty of Europe bucket lists around the world, and even travel bucket lists more generally.

Home to the iconic Eiffel Tower, the world’s largest art museum at the Louvre (not to mention the hundreds of other incredible museums in Paris), legendary cuisine, and plenty of other highlights like Notre Dame, Montmartre , and the beloved banks of the Seine, Paris is absolutely one of the best cities to visit in Europe.

Kate Storm in a gray dress standing in Rue de l'Universite in Paris with the Eiffel Tower behind her

The capital of the United Kingdom and once the seat of the most powerful empire in the world, London is positively packed with an interesting history and iconic sites.

However, London also feels like an extremely modern city, allowing for visitors to put together an excellent London bucket list that includes historical attractions like the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, and Trafalgar Square , right alongside the bustling Theatre District (London has one of the best theater scenes in the world).

Plus, for millennials like us, London is home to the Harry Potter Studio Tour and plenty of other related sights–not to mention plenty of Harry Potter-themed gifts and souvenirs to shop for!.

Big Ben and Parliament as seen from across the river. London is absolutely one of the best cities to visit in Europe.

It’s a close race, but on more days than not, we consider Rome to be our absolute favorite city in the world.

Nicknamed the Eternal City, Rome has a captivating quality of impressing upon you its endurance, its consistency, and its strength with every street explored and monument admired.

Home to icons like the Colosseum and Trevi Fountain as well as equally impressive spots that are nearly devoid of tourists, exploring Rome, and peeling back its layers one by one, can easily be a lifelong project.

Couple in front of Colosseum: Visiting Rome in Winter

Gaudi, beaches, and the Gothic Quarter : unique and fascinating Barcelona is an incredibly popular place to kick off European adventures!

With its colorful neighborhoods, coastal location, thriving city center, and utterly unique architecture, it’s not hard to see why.

Of course, the most famous landmark in Barcelona , its basilica La Sagrada Familia, remains incomplete: construction began in 1882 and is currently projected to wrap up in 2026!

view of park guell in barcelona spain, a top europe bucket list travel destination

With its stunning architecture primarily dating to the 17th-century Dutch Golden Age and its many canals juxtaposed with its modern reputation for partying, visiting Amsterdam can often feel like visiting a city of extremes.

Whichever part of the city appeals to you, Amsterdam is certainly worth visiting .

As one of the most popular cities to visit in Europe and one of the most unique cities in the world, Amsterdam lives up to its reputation as a compelling and incredibly beautiful place to visit.

Want to ditch (some of) the infamous crowds?

Consider bundling up and visiting Amsterdam in winter !

Canal in Amsterdam with a bridge visible to the right of the photo

Venice is, without a shadow of doubt, one of the most unique cities in the world–so of course it also ranks among the best cities to visit in Europe!

Venice’s mere existence is improbable.

Made up of 118 islands divided by 150 canals and then knitted together by 400 footbridges, Venice’s topography is like nowhere else.

Once a powerful empire that controlled the seas all the way to Crete and held the title of the wealthiest city in Europe, Venice’s 13th-century peak can still be felt in certain places today, including in its iconic Piazza San Marco , in its ornate palaces, and along its gorgeous bridges.

Before visiting, we were Venice skeptics–but less than a day into our first trip there, we were completely smitten with Venice.

Now, we can’t imagine that we’ll ever stop going back!

Girl in striped dress standing in front of Rialto Bridge in Venice Italy

Byzantium, Constantinople, New Rome: Istanbul has had many names throughout its more than 2500 years of history, and today it is celebrated as one of the most unique cities in the world.

With one of the longest and most complicated histories of any of these cities in Europe, Istanbul is actually, technically, only half European.

One half of the city lies on the European continent, and the other half, located an easy ferry ride across the Bosphorus Strait, is located in Asia.

In addition to being able to visit two continents in a single day, the top things to do in Istanbul include touring the phenomenal Hagia Sophia, shopping in the Grand Bazaar and Spice Market, admiring the Blue Mosque, and enjoying the views from the top of the Galata Tower.

Blue Mosque of Istanbul as seen from below the dome. Istanbul is one of the best European cities to visit.

Emphasis on slightly less iconic: these cities are still easily among the most popular cities to visit in Europe.

Unlike some of the longstanding icons above, though, many of these European cities gained (or regained) popularity on the tourism circuit at some point within the last few decades.

Prague or Budapest: Fisherman's Bastion

In our slightly biased opinion, as it’s one of our personal favorites, Budapest easily ranks among the top ten best cities to visit in Europe.

Set on the Danube, with its iconic Parliament nestled right up against the river and majestic architecture rising on both sides of the river, Budapest is simultaneously incredibly regal and beautiful, and incredibly laid-back and affordable.

Known for its compelling history, thermal baths that dot the city, stunning architecture, and engaging nightlife, there is an overwhelming number of things to do in Budapest !

And, it packs plenty of variety in, too: in Budapest, you can have breakfast in a luxurious coffee shop in the morning, explore the city’s caves and thermal baths in the afternoon, and then relax at a ruin pub in the evening–and that’s just within the first day!

Budapest or Vienna: Statue of Imre Nagy

Known as the City of a Hundred Spires, Prague absolutely looks the part of the quintessential European city, all ornate buildings framed by a winding river and overlooked by the majestic Prague Castle.

Once known as an offbeat European city to visit, the Prague of today is immensely popular (with the crowds to match, especially during the height of summer), but it is still absolutely magical to visit.

Be sure to meander your way across the Charles Bridge, explore the Prague Castle, admire the Old Town Square, and drink plenty of that famous Czech beer while visiting Prague .

And yes, the legend is true: at some restaurants, the beer is indeed cheaper than water!

Best Views in Prague: View from Old Tower Bridge

Less popular with foreign tourists than colorful Barcelona, but no less captivating, Spain’s capital city is simultaneously regal and relaxed.

Home to incredible sights like the Royal Palace, Prado Museum, and gorgeous Plaza Mayor, spending a few days in Madrid means having a chance to experience fantastic food, incredible art, and a hearty dose of Spanish culture.

Madrid’s biggest park, El Retiro, is among our favorite urban parks in all of Europe, and definitely belongs on your list of things to do in Madrid !

Puerta de Alcalá in Madrid Spain with yellow flowers in the foreground

As the largest city (and airport hub) on the French Riviera, Nice is both busy and beautiful.

In other words, Nice is exactly what you would hope for from a coastal city that boasts one of the most iconic urban beaches in the world!

A visit to Nice practically requires spending some time on the beach and a taking stroll along the picturesque Promenade des Anglais, of course, but there are plenty of other fun things to do in Nice as well.

While you’re there, be sure to climb Castle Hill, check out the Sun Fountain, and enjoy the colorful architecture of the old town.

Nice is also perfectly placed to use as a base for incredible day trips, including to nearby Monaco, Eze, St. Paul de Vence, and Menton.

view of promenade des angalis from above in nice france with med to the right

To be perfectly frank, Athens doesn’t rank among the most beautiful cities in Europe as far as we’re concerned… but it’s still one of the best cities in Europe to visit.

Greece’s capital is often used as a gateway to its (rightfully) famous islands, but the city itself absolutely deserves to be explored as well.

Athens is home to some of the most famous Greek ruins in the world, including the phenomenal Acropolis (where you’ll find the Parthenon) and the Temple of Olympian Zeus.

Ancient Greece is only the beginning of the story, though!

You’ll also find trendy neighborhoods like Plaka and incredible museums like the National Archaeological Museum when exploring Athens.

And, quite honestly, even if there was nothing else to do there, it would be worth visiting Athens just to eat enormous amounts of Greek food .

Athens Parthenon--if your dream trip includes this view, your choice between visiting Greece or Croatia is clear!

If there’s one word that comes to mind for describing Vienna, it’s regal.

From the world-famous opera house to the Hofburg Palace to the glitz and glamour of Vienna’s cafe culture, Vienna gives the impression of wealth, strength, and beauty at every turn.

This is hardly an accident: as the seat of the Hapsburgs for around 600 years, Vienna definitely shows signs of being ruled by a fairly modern empire.

For example, while other European city centers frequently maintain a good portion of their small streets and medieval architecture, wide swaths of Vienna’s were cleared away in favor of wide boulevards and sweeping avenues.

If you’re not sure when to visit Vienna, it’s hard to argue that there’s a better time than during the holiday season.

Not only is the cafe culture particularly lovely when it’s cold outside, but Vienna’s Christmas markets are among the best in Europe , and the perfect way to kick off a Christmas trip in Austria !

Budapest or Vienna: Vienna Spanish Riding School

Canals, cyclists, and hygge: these are just a few of the delightful things you’ll find in Copenhagen.

Denmark’s capital city is known for its many cyclists, its beautiful canals and picturesque harbor (Nyhavn), and recently, its extreme culture of coziness.

Hygge, a word that means something approximating coziness and contentment, is a large feature of Copenhagen.

Since the word has been popularized in popular culture worldwide, even more travelers flock to Copenhagen not just to snap photos at Nyhavn or determine for themselves if the Little Mermaid Statue is, in fact, as underwhelming as they say, but to experience Danish hygge for themselves.

And, while hygge and a northern climate may not be words that bring “beach trip” to mind, Copenhagen’s picturesque location also makes it one of the most beautiful cities in Europe with beaches !

cityscape of copenhagen denmark from above on a sunny summer day

The capital of Bavaria is definitely known best for one thing on the tourism circuit: its incredible Oktoberfest celebration that draws travelers from across the globe.

Even outside of the annual festival, though, Munich remains one of the best cities to visit in Europe.

While there, check out Marienplatz and the gorgeous Munich Residence, as well as the Nymphenburg Palace and (at least) one of the city’s fun beer gardens.

Munich is also within day-tripping distance of the famous Neuschwanstein Castle , so if you have a few days to spend in the area, consider escaping to the Bavarian countryside for a day!

Central Europe Itinerary: Couple in Munich, Germany

Germany’s capital city may not be one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, but it is an incredibly interesting one.

It’s well worth experiencing at least a few days in Berlin to get a feel for this unique European city.

Known today primarily for its intense Cold War history and its quirky, artistic culture, Berlin is packed with interesting sights and things to do.

While in Berlin, be sure to check out the famous Brandenburg Gate, see the Reichstag Building, and, of course, see the remains of the Berlin Wall and accompanying memorials.

For great views of the city, consider heading up the Berlin TV Tower, and to see the city’s best museums, head to Museum Island.

aerial view of berlin tv tower at sunset, one of the most interesting european cities to visit

Scotland’s stunning capital city is easily one of the best cities to visit in Europe and one that captures the adoration and imagination of most who visit it.

With hints of fairytale magic in the air (helped along, no doubt, by the city’s ties to Harry Potter lore), Edinburgh is packed with fun things to do.

During your visit, be sure to stroll down Royal Mile, admire the views from Arthur’s Seat and Calton Hill, and enjoy Edinburgh Castle.

Travelers who love the arts may want to plan their visit for August when the Edinburgh Fringe Festival takes over the city.

Fair warning, though: prices in the city absolutely skyrocket during the festival!

Skyline of Edinburgh Scotland at sunset, one of the most popular places to visit in Europe

If you’re hoping to see a smaller city in Europe, then these cities in Europe might be for you!

In most of these cities, you can enjoy most of the major tourist attractions in only a couple of days or less and/or more or less exclusively tour the city on foot.

As the capital city of Alsace, Strasbourg is a unique delight of a city nestled in northeastern France and is a gateway to the famed Alsace Wine Route, glorious mountains, and the charming, colorful smaller villages of Alsace.

The region of Alsace was once held by Germany, and the result is that in Strasbourg you can find hints of German influences among the French culture, all blended together to create the unique Alsatian culture you will find in the city today.

Tips for Airbnb Hosts: Strasbourg

Croatia’s most famous city has risen to international stardom in recent years, in large part thanks to its role as King’s Landing on Game of Thrones, but this bite-sized coastal city is a magical place to visit even for those who have never seen a single episode of the show.

Dubrovnik’s crown jewel is its intact town walls that still encircle the old town, where you can walk fully around the city, with the terracotta rooftops of Dubrovnik glistening on one side and the shimmering Adriatic Sea on the other.

While visiting Dubrovnik , be sure to also check out the view from Mount Srd, the views from the Lovrijenac Fortress, and, if you’re up for a bit of a physical challenge, a kayaking tour to Lokrum Island!

Fun Things to Do in Dubrovnik Croatia: View of Fort Lovrijenac viewed from city walls

As the Cradle of the Renaissance and one of the most popular places to visit in Europe, you might expect Florence to be a large city, but no.

Travelers can easily walk the bulk of the historic center, and some of the areas beyond it, in just a couple of days–no other transportation is necessary!

Florence is an endlessly beautiful city, and so packed full of world-class artwork that the city is almost a work of art unto itself.

From the magnificent Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore to the incredible masterpiece that is Michelangelo’s David to the Ponte Vecchio to all the treasures of the Uffizi Museum, looking at Florence is like looking at Renaissance-era art, architecture and engineering come to life. 

Kate Storm in a red dress overlooking the Ponte Vecchio in Florence Italy

Nestled in southwestern Germany, the small university city of Heidelberg is far from the most popular city to visit in Germany, but it absolutely deserves to make the list.

Set on the beautiful Neckar River and overlooked by the impressive Heidelberg Palace, Heidelberg looks every bit the part of a fairytale-esque small European city.

And it’s not just modern visitors and the students who flock to study at Heidelberg University who understand the magic of Heidelberg: Mark Twain was inspired by the city and spoke of it very fondly after spending a summer living there.

In fact, according to some accounts, the idea for The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was conceived thanks to the Neckar River.

While that’s partially inaccurate, there’s no doubt that Twain was captivated by the beauty of Heidelberg!

view of heidelberg germany from above with castle across the river, one of the most beautiful cities in europe to visit

When travelers plan a trip to Slovenia, it’s rare that the charming capital of Ljubljana tops the list of what they hope to see.

And that’s understandable: it’s hard to beat the majesty of Lake Bled, the beauty of Triglav National Park, or the adorable seaside beauty of Piran .

That being said, though, Ljubljana itself is also a great place to spend a couple of days in Slovenia.

Not only is it conveniently located within day-tripping distance of ever-popular Bled, it’s a fun city to experience in its own right.

Home to the lovely Ljubljana Castle, the fascinating street-art-covered neighborhood of Metelkova, the quirky Dragon Bridge, and colorful Preseren Square–not to mention plenty of charming cafes and delicious restaurants–Ljubljana is an easy European city to love.

Green dragon statue perched on Dragon Bridge in Ljubljana Slovenia, one of the most fun cities in Europe to visit

As the hometown of Mozart and as a city surrounded by hills that are alive with The Sound of Music, charming Salzburg, Austria is easily one of the best cities to visit in Europe.

Regardless of whether you choose a sunshine-and-blooming-flower-filled summer trip or a festive Christmas market trip, Salzburg is bound to charm!

Overlooked by the striking Hohensalzburg Fortress, Salzburg is a feast for the eyes.

It’s also home to highlights like the beautiful Mirabell Palace (known, among other things, for its status as a filming location for The Sound of Music), the incredible Salzburg Cathedral, and both Mozart’s Birthplace and later Residence, and is an incredibly fun city to visit.

Skyline of Salzburg Austria as seen from above on a cloudy day

Located in southern Poland, Krakow is best known on the tourism circuit for its proximity to two things that lay entirely outside the city: Auschwitz-Birkenau and the Wieliczka Salt Mine.

While both of those places are worth visiting (and in the case of Auschwitz-Birkenau, arguably very important to experience if you’re in the area and feel up to a very emotional day), the charming city of Krakow itself is also home to interesting sights that make it one of the best city breaks in Europe.

Be sure to explore the impressive Wawel Castle as part of your trip to Krakow, as well as St. Mary’s Basilica, Town Hall Tower, and, of course, a milk bar or two to enjoy classic Polish pierogi.

Kate Storm and Jeremy Storm at Wawel Castle, Krakow on their first 2 week Europe trip.

The prettiest city in Belgium (in our opinion, anyway) is bite-sized and beautiful, easy to cover in just a day or two, and absolutely gorgeous from every angle–though if you ask us, its best angle is from the water during a canal cruise.

While visiting Bruges, consider climbing to the top of the Belfry for incredible views, seeking out the beautiful Bonifacius Bridge, enjoying a canal cruise, checking out the colorful Market Square, stopping by the Basilica of Holy Blood, and relaxing at Minnewater Park.

As a small and incredibly popular European city to visit, Bruges can feel crowded at times–but by planning a winter trip , you can experience (somewhat) reduced crowd levels.

Kate Storm in a black coat standing on a brick footbridge in Brugesduring a trip to Belgium

It may be a bit of a stretch to include an entire country of roughly 33,000 people on a list of the best cities to visit in Europe, but San Marino is worth making a slight exception for.

Styled as the oldest republic in Europe (founding date: 301 AD) and simultaneously the least-visited country in Europe, San Marino is an absolutely gorgeous (though yes, quite small) country that is entirely surrounded by Italy.

Featuring castle and countryside views from Mount Titano that are worthy of any fairytale and very interesting history (you can stroll right into Parliament to check it out–no tour necessary), San Marino is definitely well worth a visit! 

While you can take a San Marino day trip from Bologna , it’s a fun place to see at night (once the day-trippers leave) as well.

View of castle of San Marino perched on a hill

Nicknamed the Venice of the Alps, the beautiful city of Annecy, France, is located less than an hour south of Geneva and features beautiful views of Lake Annecy (considered the cleanest lake in Europe), delicious Alpine cuisine (including all kinds of amazing cheese), and stunning canals.

The combination of Annecy’s incredible gastronomy, colorful old town surrounded by canals, and crisp Alpine air make it one of the best city breaks in Europe.

While Annecy is a popular day trip from Geneva, this small city is worth enjoying for at least a couple of days if you can spare the time.

If you can, schedule your trip to Annecy to coincide with at least one market day.

Fridays and Sundays are the biggest market days of the week, but there is a smaller market that takes place on Tuesdays as well.

Chateau d'Annecy seen behind tulips, Best Things to Do in Annecy France

Surrounded by medieval walls dating to the Saxons, and then by the Carpathian mountains beyond that, Brasov is an incredibly beautiful city to visit in the heart of Transylvania, and definitely deserves to feature on any trip to the region!

Must-see sights include the impressive Gothic-style Black Church, both the Black and White Towers, the views from Tampa Mountain, and the charming Council Square.

And, though it’s not within the city itself, we can’t mention Brasov without mentioning Bran Castle.

This infamous castle is located about a 30-minute drive away and is an absolutely incredible sight (though, fair warning: the Dracula connections are nothing by myth).

black church in brasov romania in early autumn, an offbeat european city break option

Set less than an hour away from Florence by train, Bologna is the capital of the Emilia-Romagna region in Italy, and is absolutely beautiful, packing in gorgeous Italian architecture and plenty of museums in its small size.

The biggest reason to visit, though, isn’t its beauty: it’s the food.

Bologna is one of the absolute best cities to visit in Europe for foodies.

As the capital of Emilia-Romagna, you can thank the region surrounding Bologna for mortadella (the original and far superior version of what non-Italians call bologna), parmigiano-reggiano, traditional balsamic vinegar, and tagliatelle al ragu (aka pasta bolognese)… just to name a small sliver of its delicacies.

Even with one day in Bologna , you can eat extremely well, see several of the most popular attractions, and even seek out a few hidden gems like the city’s canals.

Things to Do in Bologna: San Petronio's Terrace, Florence to Bologna Train

Away from bustling capital cities and world-icon status, Europe boasts hundreds of other incredibly cool, lesser-visited cities that are still absolutely worthy of being considered one of the best cities to visit in Europe.

Here are just a few of them–consider mixing a couple of these into your Europe bucket list along with the more iconic options above!

gardens of royal alcazar in seville spain

As the capital of Spain’s southern Andalucia region, beautiful Seville is known for its stunning architecture (including its magnificent cathedral), its many orange trees that bloom in the summer, its flamenco culture, its seemingly endless sunshine (and heat), its beautiful Alcazar, and its photo-worthy Plaza de Espana.

It’s also known for acting as a filming location for two of the most famous franchises around!

The Alcazar played the Water Gardens of Dorne in Game of Thrones, and the Plaza de Espana was featured as the city of Theed in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones.

Seville is also an excellent launchpad for a full Andalucia road trip !

kate storm jeremy storm and ranger storm in plaza de espana seville spain

The capital of Serbia is definitely one of the least-visited of the European cities rounded up in this travel guide, but it certainly deserves more attention.

Colorful, historic, and incredibly affordable, Belgrade is a fun and invigorating city that is absolutely packed with things to do .

While you’re there, be sure to check out the gorgeous Church of Saint Sava, the Belgrade Fortress, and the Knez Mihailov shopping street.

If you have a few days to spend in Belgrade, consider also adding on a day trip to colorful, nearby Novi Sad!

belgrade serbia as seen from across the river on a sunny day

With its waterfront setting, steep hills, iconic trams, and gigantic red suspension bridge, Lisbon draws a lot of comparisons to San Francisco–but luckily, a trip to Lisbon is far more affordable.

Colorful and laid-back, Lisbon’s architecture is beautiful, its culture warm and inviting, and its attractions beautiful, making it one of the best cities in Europe to visit.

While you’re there, be sure to stroll through the historic neighborhood of Alfama, ride the popular Tram 28 past beautiful views (or at least snap photos of it going by), admire the city from a couple of different miradouros (viewpoints) check out the Time Out Market, and enjoy the sunset along the Tagus River.

Be sure not to leave without eating a dozen or so pasteis de nata, either!

4 Days in Lisbon: Street Car Alfama District

Hilly, crowded, chaotic Naples is certainly a bit controversial among these best cities to visit in Europe–people tend to either love or hate it–but as we adore it, we want to include it here.

Built on the coast of Campania and boasting phenomenal views of Mount Vesuvius from its shores, Naples is an absolutely dynamic city.

Its streets are generally packed, its salesmen a bit more intense than those further north in Italy, and yes, it is a bit dirtier and rougher around the edges than Florence or Venice. 

However, it’s also gorgeous–places like the San Carlo Theater, Piazza del Plebiscito, and Galleria Umberto I are all beautiful–and incredibly interesting.

Features like the Bourbon Tunnel, Naples Underground, Castel Nuovo, and Naples Archaeological Museum are all incredible places to visit, and even if you don’t find Naples’ environment or attractions quite to your taste, there’s always its world-famous pizza to grab (and hold) your attention.

With incredible day trip options like Pompeii  and the legendary Amalfi Coast , you sure can’t beat its location, either!

Trip to Italy Cost: View of Mount Vesuvius from Naples

Estonia’s small-yet-stunning capital city has long been under the radar as far as tourism is concerned, but luckily, that is starting to change.

With a beautiful cityscape right on the water, affordable prices, and plenty of fun things to do (be sure to add checking out the views from Toompea Hill and strolling through the hipster haven of Telliskivi Creative City to your list of things to see), Tallinn is a fantastic city to explore for a few days.

Once you wrap up, you can even travel by boat to easily extend your trip to another country!

Helsinki, Finland is only about 2 hours away from Tallinn by ferry.

Cityscape of Tallinn at sunset, one of the best hidden gems in Europe

Portugal’s “second city” has been gaining in popularity in recent decades, but still remains somewhat under-the-radar when compared to busy Lisbon.

Set on the Duoro River, Porto is known for its gorgeous, colorful architecture, churches covered in gorgeous azulejos (Portuguese hand-painted tiles), its dramatic views, and–most of all–for its port!

Once upon a time, the famous port grown in the nearby Duoro Valley was floated down the river to Porto, and today, you can still tour traditional port houses along the banks of the river (complete with tastings, of course).

kate storm in front of igrejo do carmo azulejos, one of the best places to visit in porto in a day

Less visited than Florence or Milan , and yet stunningly beautiful, Verona is set in southern Veneto, nestled on the banks of the Adige River.

Home of a remarkably well preserved Roman amphitheater, amazing views, and the legend of Romeo and Juliet, Verona is as captivating as it is beautiful.

Be sure to enjoy the views from the Castel San Pietro and the Torre dei Lamberti as part of your visit.

And, if you’re up for a bit of adventure, consider taking a whitewater rafting trip down the Adige!

Best Things to Do in Verona: Castel San Pietro

As the second-largest city in Norway and nicknamed the Heart of the Fjords, Bergen doesn’t generally top European bucket lists (at least for those of us that hail from outside the continent)–but perhaps it should.

Featuring highlights like the traditional wooden houses of Bryggen, a bustling fish market, and sweeping views from Mount Fløyen, Bergen makes for a fantastic introduction to Norway.

As the gateway to Norway’s incredible fjord beauty and home to what is arguably one of the most picturesque harbors in Europe, stunningly beautiful Bergen definitely ranks among the best cities to visit in Europe!

4 photos of European cities: Venice, Krakow, Rome, Paris. Red and black text on a white background reads "bucket list cities to visit in Europe"

About Kate Storm

Image of the author, Kate Storm

In May 2016, I left my suburban life in the USA and became a full-time traveler. Since then, I have visited 50+ countries on 5 continents and lived in Portugal, developing a special love of traveling in Europe (especially Italy) along the way. Today, along with my husband Jeremy and dog Ranger, I’m working toward my eventual goal of splitting my life between Europe and the USA.

30 thoughts on “35 Best Cities to Visit in Europe (Bucket List for City Lovers!)”

No Plovdiv or Sofia or Veliko Tarnovo. It is not a good enough list. ?

If I ever expand this list to 50, at least Sofia will make the list! Sofia holds a special place in our hearts, we’ve spent months there visiting good friends of ours.

Add all of Ireland to this list ?

Birmingham England

Birmingham is very much a cultural hotspot in the uk. It has lovely Victorian industrial buildings and has more miles of canal than Venice.

Most depressing soulless sprawled out place I’ve ever lived

What about Dublin??? Great atmosphere, great people, great history Cork, Kilkenny and Galway for smaller cities!

Bucharest is also a very beautiful city, once called “little Paris”!

In agreement with all of the listings even living on two of them! I would add Siena to the list of small cities to visit

We love Siena! It’s definitely a fantastic place to visit.

Siena is beautiful but I think Lucca is better!

Lucca is one of my favorites too! Tried to keep the level of Italy in check on this post, LOL, but I could easily do a whole list of only Italian cities, too. 🙂

Worth expanding the list. Need Wales, perhaps Conway, more Spain for example Caceres, Burgos, what of the lovely Island of Crete – Xania? And surely can’t miss Brittany and San Malo. Actually this is impossible….. Expand to 100 and leave out the iconic cos people know them? Be so good to have loads more of less well known.

Also ireland and Northern Ireland as Belfast portstewart portrush and some Irish cities

Surprised none of Switzerland’s cities are in there. I loved Lucerne and Zurich. Magical feeling walking around both cities.

I would also include Stockholm, Helsinki, Dublin, Moscow, and Oslo. Vienna, Amsterdam, Bruges and Lisbon are in my modest opinion quite overrated cities.

I disagree about Vienna and Dublin but agree about Moscow and Lisbon

Budapest and Vienna Salzburg or Brussels with Brugees? This a real question. After 2 years in quarauntine we want to explore Europe. (Budapest first time )

Very hard decision! They’re all wonderful in their own way.

If we had to pick, though, we’d pick Budapest/Vienna/Salzburg. 🙂

Τhank you Ms. Kate, After a lot of videos and Reviews and even though Bruges looks fantastic will be closer to choose Budapest and Salzburg. (even though Vienna is for the Second time after 2017). But still, this about as you wrote is a really hard decision if you think Bruges Ghent and of course Amsterdam that is really close to all of them … But we will be closer to your opinion that why i wrote here to take a feedback. Thank you for this

Budapest all day long

Warsaw is a beautiful city

I totally agree Warsaw is so quick changing city I have seen almost whole Europe and over 100 capitals in the world and I am so happy that I live in Warsaw

If you like Amsterdam, then don’t forget to visit Leiden. It’has the same look and feel as Amsterdam with canals and beautiful museums.

I have traveled many European cities mostly on business and a few with my wife on pleasure. I agree with your selections and comments. Your list is also very informative for me to visit the places we have not been to. Thank you for your postings.

Great Blog! You really made a very good choice of your top 35 cities in Europe (and choosing only 35 is extremely difficult). Keep the good work up and have fun travelling, now that it is possible again.

Saint Petersburg should be included. Beautiful place.

Hi Kate Have loved reading your post. Had been thinking of visiting Milan but see it doesn’t get a mention in this list. What are your thoughts on its merits? Thanks Barbra

We’ve visited Milan several times (were just there again a couple of weeks ago, in fact), but it’s not among our favorite cities in Italy!

That’s very subjective, of course, many people love it. As the business capital of Italy we don’t find it quite as idyllic and picturesque as many Italian cities, but of course its major sites–the Duomo, the Last Supper, etc–are all wonderful and worth visiting. We don’t dislike it, just don’t love it as much as other places.

We do have a guide to spending a day there! Here it is: https://www.ourescapeclause.com/one-day-in-milan-itinerary/

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15 Most Beautiful Cities in Europe That Everyone Should See Once

top 15 european cities to visit

By Nathalie Nietzsche-Knappe

Florence in Tuscany is a cultural and culinary capital of Italy and one of 15 mustsee cities in Europe.

We’d happily revisit any of the 15 most beautiful cities in Europe. Europe has countless beautiful places to see—from castles and estates to natural wonders and bucolic villages . The continent’s best cities share some elements in common—particularly the depth of culture and culinary riches that they offer visitors. At the same time, they couldn’t be more varied. Every region of Europe, and the cities in them, has its own unique appeals. Here, we have put together a list of the most beautiful cities in Europe.

You will find some familiar world capitals on our list—that London, Paris, and Rome make the cut will not surprise anyone. However, we also included some smaller destinations that, while not as well known, still manage to charm the visitors who seek them out.

Schönste Städte Europas Blick auf den Petersdom und die vor liegende Brücke in Rom.

Rome—the Eternal City: Italy’s capital is worth a visit not only if you are interested in its ancient past, but also because of its Baroque wonders and notable modern and contemporary buildings too.

Why does Rome fascinate so many people? Is it the traces of antiquity, the excellent cuisine, the romantic little alleyways? In fact, there is a scientific theory that may explain why we find Rome so beautiful. For Online Mortgage Advisor , analysts evaluated cities, and specifically their architecture, according to the principle of the Golden Ratio. This refers to a certain proportion between the elements of a building, or even that different parts of a person’s face, which is perceived as particularly harmonious. After evaluating thousands of Google Street View images as well as others of iconic landmarks, Rome came out near the top of the list among European cities. Others that scored highly include Venice, Paris, Barcelona, Amsterdam, and Budapest.

Schönste Städte Europas Blick auf die Sagrada Família Basilika in Barcelona die von grünen Bäumen und Palmen umgeben ist.

The Sagrada Familía in Barcelona rises magnificently into blue skies above the surrounding cityscape and palm trees. It is one of many sights in this Spanish city that can appear too beautiful to be true.

Barcelona is colorful. Barcelona is beautiful. It is warmer than many European cities, and the beach laps up to the edge of the city (with even nicer ones just a short drive or train ride away). If you are not convinced already, the capital of Catalonia also has a lot to offer travelers in search of culture—world-famous sites like the Sagrada Familía church and Park Güell, both by the acclaimed Antoni Gaudí , are just two of many. Barcelona’s cuisine and nightlife also make it an ideal destination for your next city escape or perhaps the beginning or end of a longer Spanish adventure.

Schönste Städte Europas Blick auf die Gracht in Amsterdam mit bunter Häuserkulisse.

It’s easy to forget, as you stroll along its canals, that the Dutch capital of Amsterdam is a major commercial and financial center. A boat tour of them is a must for visitors.

Amsterdam’s canals have shaped its history and design, creating a unique city. The narrow rowhouses that overlook them are a popular photo backdrop for visitors who fall under the spell of this romantic city. While it is a touristy activity, you won’t regret a canal cruise. Back on dry land, the art at the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum will help you to appreciate the world’s beauty from a new perspective.

Schönste Städte Europas Blick auf die St.StephansBasilika in der Budapester Innenstadt.

A stroll through Budapest’s old town will make you fall in love with the Hungarian capital. One of the most popular sights is the ornate St. Stephen's Basilica, seen here.

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St. Stephen’s Basilica, the Fisherman’s Bastion, the Chain Bridge, and the Hungarian Parliament are some of the jaw-dropping sights of Budapest. Its status as one of Europe’s most popular cities for travelers is not merely due to the beauty of its buildings, however. There is also Hungarian cuisine, with dishes such as lángos (a deep-fried flatbread) and goulash at the top of the list of ones you’ll want to try.

Schönste Städte Europas Blick aus einer Straße in Paris mit links und rechts jeweils einer Häuserreihe auf den Eiffelturm.

Paris isn’t just for lovers. The city opens its arms to everyone—and once you experience its embrace, you’ll never want to leave again.

Paris is the city of love, fashion, good food, cafés, the Seine, the Eiffel Tower—we could go on and on writing up a list of what makes it a uniquely beautiful destination. Because there is simply so much to discover and marvel at, this city of elegant boulevards and intimate cafes definitely earns the title of one of the most beautiful in Europe.

Schönste Städte Europas Blick auf den Marienplatz und die Münchner Innenstadt von oben.

Baroque and Gothic wonders, stately parks, and the elegance of its affluent shopping districts help to secure Munich a place on this list.

The Alps and some of Germany’s most inviting neighbors, like Austria and Italy, are not far from Munich. You can not only enjoy all that this major German city has to offer, but it can also serve as an excellent base for activities like hiking and skiing. One must that everyone should do when they are in Munich: Visit a beer garden and learn about the city from the people who live there over beer and bratwursts. It won’t take long before you come to understand the appeal of this city, and the Bavarian way of life generally.

Schönste Städte Europas Blick auf die Seine die London Bridge und die Londoner Innenstadt von oben.

London’s skyline embodies ones of the characteristic traits of this city: It combines age-old traditions and cutting-edge innovation. Here, the 19th-century Tower Bridge sits amid a cityscape with everything from medieval churches to 21st-century skyscrapers.

The Tower of London, Tower Bridge, Buckingham Palace, and the red telephone boxes— London has many historic sights to admire. But there are also some contemporary ones that should be on your itinerary. These include the London Eye, the viewing platform of The Shard skyscraper, and the 30 St Mary Axe building (also known as the Gherkin, due to its distinctive shape), designed by Ken Shuttleworth and Norman Foster. It is a European city that will appeal both to travelers interested in history and those drawn by the newest and coolest trends in food, music, and more.

Schönste Städte Europas Blick auf die Stockholmer Innenstadt mit dem Hafenbecken bei untergehender Sonne.

Few capitals are as wonderfully situated as Stockholm—built on 14 islands connected by more than 50 bridges. In every season of the year the effect is impressive, whether the waterways are sparkling in the summer sunlight or reflecting the glow of candlelit restaurants on chilly winter evenings.

Sweden’s capital lies, of course, in the far north of Europe. You most likely aren’t coming here for the weather, although the peak of summer is uniquely spectacular with its long days and Swedes joyously embracing their fleeting annual moment to emerge into the sun. In every season, you can experience the concentrated beauty of one of Scandinavia’s major metropolises, from the twisting streets of atmospheric Gamla Stan (the city’s historic heart) to restaurants and hotels that embody a typical Scandinavian minimalism. Stockholm is vast, and there is also a lot to discover in the surrounding area—the Stockholm archipelago with its thousands of islands, elegant Drottningholm Palace, and Skogskyrkogården (one of the world’s most beautiful cemeteries, and a UNESCO World Heritage site too).

Schönste Städte Europas Blick von der Karlsbrücke auf die Prager Altstadt.

If you want to stand on one of the oldest stone bridges in Europe, include a stroll across the Charles Bridge on your itinerary in Prague.

Fabulously beautiful—it’s not an overstatement when describing the romantic city of Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. You’ll likely start to fall in love, and hard, the first time you cross the Charles Bridge (one of the oldest stone bridges in Europe) with its baroque sculptures and views of Prague Castle. There are few cities where the past feels so immediately alive as in Prague.

Schönste Städte Europas Blick auf die historischen Ladenschilder in der Salzburger Getreidegasse.

Getreidegasse in Salzburg is lined with ornate, historic signs for stores, restaurants, and taverns. In the peak of the tourist season, it gets crowded—but a stroll through this historic town will still likely be a highlight of your trip.

The Austrian city of Salzburg is evidence that it is not only Europe’s big capitals that can draw curious travelers from around the world. At the height of summer, thousands of visitors flock to the little street of Getreidegasse in the historic city center, year after year. Tucked amid its stores and boutiques, Getreidegasse 9 is where Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in 1756. A concert of Mozart’s works in the lavish Baroque marble hall of Mirabell Palace combines musical and architectural beauty.

Schönste Städte Europas Blick auf den Hafen von Porto in Portugal.

Porto, in northern Portugal, is another city that picks up a lot of beauty points thanks to its location, at the point where the Douro River meets the Atlantic. The city’s colorful townhouses and boats carrying port wines are reflected in the water.

Good weather, good food, good wine, and lots of culture—that’s what you'll enjoy when you travel to Porto. The city is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful in Europe and thanks to its location right on the water it has a relaxed seaside feel unusual for a city its size. Porto’s architectural highlights include Baroque wonders, Art Deco apartments, and works by today’s starchitects including Rem Koolhaas (who designed the Casa da Musica) and Portugal’s own Álvaro Siza Vieira responsible for a number of spectacular buildings. Don’t spend all your time running around visiting as many sites as you can, however. That wouldn’t be very Portuguese of you. There’s also beauty in stopping and sipping a glass of port wine or enjoying a custard tart.

Florence in Tuscany is a cultural and culinary capital of Italy and one of 15 mustsee cities in Europe.

Even at a distance, the size of Florence’s Duomo, or cathedral, can’t fail but impress. The effect is even more notable when you are standing by the side of the building and looking up.

Florence is culture. Florence is simple Tuscan pleasures—food, wine, crafts. And Florence is home to everything beautiful you would expect from an Italian city. Renaissance masterpieces fill the Uffizi Gallery—seeing Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus and Bronzino’s portraits justify the journey in themselves. The Palazzo Pitti is a Renaissance masterpiece too, while its Boboli Gardens, with its follies and grottoes, represent a highlight of landscape design in Europe. Fabulous Italian restaurants serve excellent prepared versions of popular local dishes for every course, from primi piatti to dolci . It’s impossible to miss one of Florence’s most famous sights, the Duomo, with its soaring dome by Brunelleschi.

Schönste Städte Europas Blick auf beleuchtete Gebäude in der Altstadt von Brügge am Abend.

The Belgian city of Bruges may look sleepy at first glance, as if awaking from a long nap begun in another century. But don’t be fooled. Behind its old walls and evocative facades, this is a city buzzing with cultural activity and excitement.

Bruges is much smaller than Brussels, Antwerp, and handful of other Belgian cities, but it has its own powerful allure that draws in millions of visitors every year. The magic of the city lies in how completely its historic heart has been preserved over the centuries. Walking along its canals, exploring the Hanseatic Quarter, and taking in Market Square, it is easy to imagine you have stepped back in time to medieval Europe. Also, unlike a medieval visitor, you can end your day exploring with a meal at one of more than a dozen Michelin-star restaurants.

Schönste Städte Europas Blick auf den beleuchteten Eingang der Wiener Hofburg am Abend.

The Vienna Hofburg is one of the most important landmarks in the heart of the Austria’s capital. Built over hundreds of years, from the 13th century until 1918, it was the city residence of the Hapsburgs.

Vienna’s residents feel a deep connection to European high culture of the past. This is a city where opera performances are crowded with young people and families, as well as older patrons. The list of Vienna’s artists and musicians who left the world more beautiful than they found it include Mozart, Beethoven, Gustav Klimt, Friedensreich Hundertwasser, and many others. Even the city itself is a remarkable work of urban design, with its Ringstrasse one of the continent’s most grand boulevards. Once you have immersed yourself in the history of the city and its splendid layout, enjoy the more intimate side of Viennese life with a slice of torte or strudel and a warm drink at one of the city’s many coffeehouses.

Schönste Städte Europas Blick auf die Küstenstadt Dubrovnik mit dem davorliegenden Meer bei strahlendem Sonnenschein.

A city by the sea—it’s a view that you don’t necessarily expect when you think of a European city getaway. The coastal city of Dubrovnik is full of surprises.

The Croatian city of Dubrovnik is becoming increasingly popular, and quite rightly so, as a popular destination in Europe. The coastal city is also known as the Pearl of the Adriatic, and you’ll likely agree it’s a fitting nickname after your visit. Sun, sea, and great food await in this city destination that comes with blue skies and ocean breezes.

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The best cities in Europe: 2023 Readers' Choice Awards

By Condé Nast Traveller

San Sebastian Spain

In order to make the cut for our list of the best cities in  Europe , certain criteria must be met. A European city should have a world-class food scene, plenty of  smart hotels , friendly locals and intriguing history. In this year’s  Readers’ Choice Awards  survey, multiple cities in Spain ranked highly – but you also voted for cities in Denmark, Switzerland, Portugal, Iceland, Croatia and Norway. In fact, cities across Scandinavia are well-loved by  Condé Nast Traveller  readers, with two cities from the region making the top five – pipped only to the post for the top spot by a diminutive Spanish city set right on the sea.

These are the best cities in Europe, according to the 2023 Readers’ Choice Awards . The scores below are percentages representing overall average levels of satisfaction.

The best cities in Europe

Dubrovnik Croatia

10. Dubrovnik, Croatia. Score 82.82

This Adriatic city might be the most famous and most-loved in Croatia. It’s encircled with stone walls completed in the 16th century, creating a dramatic landscape. It’s also a great jumping-off point for a Croatian island-hopping adventure.

Where to stay: Dubrovnik has some of the best hotels in Croatia. We particularly like Ninion Boutique Hotel , an adults-only hideout.

9. Reykjavik, Iceland. Score 82.98

“Iceland’s capital may be busier than ever, but it still has a tangible soul and culturally punches far above its weight,” features director Toby Skinner said in our cheat’s guide to Iceland . Its high-low food scene spans from music-first bars to New Nordic spots that compete with its Scandi neighbours, and a handful of cool festivals take place here each summer, too.

Where to stay: The arrival of Ian Schrager’s Reykjavik Edition at the end of 2021 felt like a step up for the city.

8. Zurich, Switzerland. Score 82.62

Zurich – the largest city in Switzerland – is the only Swiss entry to make the top 10 this year. The city scored highly in categories such as shopping and outdoor activities – perhaps unsurprising, as it sits on a lake and is surrounded by mountains.

Where to stay: Marktgasse Hotel occupies two 15th-century buildings in the Old Town, while Baur au Lac , overlooking the lake, is the grandest of the old palace hotels.

7. Bruges, Belgium. Score 83.69

Tread the cobbles to find this charming city’s real masterpieces – canal-side restaurants, sweet bakeries, exceptional chocolate shops and pretty neighbourhoods that are perfect for exploring by bike are just some of the reasons it’s ranked highly in this year’s survey. Bruges also scored highly for friendliness, as well as for its hotels and resorts.

Where to stay: Maison Amodio is a three-room B&B themed on places the owners enjoy - Paris , Biarritz and nearby Knokke.

View of old Porto with the back and the tower of the convent

6. Porto, Portugal. Score 84.29

Lisbon gets more airtime than its little sister, Porto, but this smaller city is hot on the capital’s heels. It has, says contributor Abigail Malbon in our edit of the best hotels in Porto , “arguably the most beautiful train station in the world and port tastings available at every wine bar on every corner.” There are also beautiful restaurants in Porto , making it a perfect weekend break – here’s how to spend 72 hours in Porto.

Where to stay: Overlooking the Douro River on the corner of one of the city’s oldest squares, Gran Cruz House is right in the thick of it.

5. Dublin, Ireland. Score 85.18

Millions of tourists descend on the Republic of Ireland’s capital each year – and it’s still a favourite among our readers, rounding out the top five. A mass of fabulous new hotels in Dublin for every type of traveller has opened, alongside lots of exciting things to do , and the restaurants here are some of our favourites in Ireland.

Where to stay: In the heart of pretty Georgian Dublin, The Merrion Hotel comprises an impeccable restoration of four townhouses that have been stitched together.

A view through an ornate window in the Alcazaba moorish fortress Malaga

4. Malaga, Spain. Score 86.90

This coastal city is back in the game following an arty resurgence, hot new restaurants and a spattering of stylish places to stay. A cluster of museums, including Museo de Málaga and the Picasso Museum Málaga, has opened. The food scene spotlights hangouts such as Mercado Central de Atarazanas, in a central market that was a shipyard in the 14th century, and La Terraza de San Juan, at the Hotel Málaga Premium, remains a favourite.

Where to stay: Palacio Solecio is an 18th-century palace built for a Genoese merchant, while La Zambra is one of the newest creations from the Marugal hotel group.

Oslo Norway

3. Oslo, Norway. Score 88.67

The citizens of  Oslo  are a population notably keen to showcase the best of their city to visitors, from the Oslo Cathedral – still used by the Norwegian Royal Family and the Norwegian Government for key events throughout the year – to Akershus Castle. Baroque architecture dots the city and in and amongst it, no less than 30 museums showcasing the city’s history, art and political history, as well as myriad hiking trails around the rivers and gardens that wind their way around the outskirts.

Where to stay: Glamorous newcomer Sommerro has the city’s first year-round rooftop pool and sauna, plus seven restaurants and bars.

Copenhagen Denmark

2. Copenhagen, Denmark. Score 88.78

Denmark’s capital, Copenhagen , has long upheld its accolade of the happiest city in the world , known for its hardy community spirit, exciting foodie scene and myriad canals that link the city’s various districts. From the 18th-century Rococo district – built during the reign of Frederick V and the site of the Amalienborg Palace – to Østerbro, perched on the outskirts of the city, built around Copenhagen’s medieval fortification.

Where to stay: Villa Copenhagen has a great location right next to Tivoli Gardens and a buzzy atmosphere at its all-day brasserie and in-house bakery, headed up by former Noma chef Gonzalo Guarda.

San Sebastian Spain

1. San Sebastian, Spain. Score 90.54

Spilling up and around the coastline of the Bay of Biscay, the resort town of San Sebastián in Spain’s mountainous Basque Country bags the top spot as Europe’s best city to visit. It’s an area known for its relaxed atmosphere, long stretches of honey-hued beaches and various foodie outposts with world-famous chefs at their helm.

Where to stay: For a central stay, Arbaso is the city’s coolest urban hotel. Elsewhere, in the Parte Vieja’s vast universe of pintxo bars, Lasala Plaza is home to a rare rooftop ‘solarium.’ See our guide to the best San Sebastían hotels for more

PlanetWare.com

15 Best Cities in Europe

Written by Lura Seavey Jul 12, 2022

Despite its size, Europe is home to a wide range of distinctly different cultures, languages, and peoples. It is a treasure trove for historians, a diverse buffet for those looking for a foodie holiday , and a playground for art lovers. The greatest cities in Europe are those that encapsulate the best of what each region has to offer.

Mediterranean countries offer some of Europe's oldest cities, like Rome and Athens, filled with ancient spiritual sites and edifices that have endured millennia. Farther north, Prague embodies the unique charms of eastern European life, while Vienna offers grand palaces and museums. To the west, Paris is the hub of French culture, and across the channel, Edinburgh's traditions rival London's mystique.

Discover your next favorite place to visit with our list of the best cities in Europe.

2. Rome, Italy

3. london, england, 4. barcelona, spain, 5. prague, czech republic, 6. florence, italy, 7. edinburgh, scotland, united kingdom, 8. athens, greece, 9. lisbon, portugal, 10. vienna, austria, 11. berlin, germany, 12. venice, italy, 13. amsterdam, netherlands, 14. dubrovnik, croatia, 15. madrid, spain, map of cities in europe.

Eiffel Tower in the spring

Paris holds a charm that is unparalleled, rich with history and a romantic appeal that draws couples and tourists from all over the world. Its most famous landmark, of course, is the Eiffel Tower , but there is far more for visitors to explore and enjoy.

Even if there isn't time to explore the galleries and museums in Paris, a visit to The Louvre should be at the top of the list for its stunning courtyard and the Pyramid. The Musée d'Orsay is another excellent Paris museum featuring 19 th - and 20 th -century art, while the Centre Pompidou houses an excellent collection of modern art, among other top Paris museums .

A day exploring the medieval Latin Quarter is a wonderful way to discover small shops and cafés, while a visit to the busy Champs-Élysées presents opportunities for upscale shopping and fine dining. A visit to Montmarte is a must for artists and art aficionados, and the Arc de Triomphe is a must for photographers.

Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Paris

Trevi Fountain (Fontana de Trevi), Rome

Rome's rich history holds an almost mystic power over visitors, thanks to the landmarks and ancient sites that still remain, and it is one of the most visited cities in Italy .

The city is home to some of the world's top tourist attractions , including the Pantheon and Colosseum , as well as seemingly endless other landmarks and historic sites .

Aspiring time travelers will particularly enjoy exploring the Roman Forum , home to extensive remains of ancient sites like the Arch of Titus , the grand Basilica of Constantine , and the Temple of Romulus .

Since there are so many sites to see, tourists short on time should seek out a sightseeing tour that focuses on their main interests. This is especially true for those who want to see Vatican City and its museums .

Iconic British red telephone box with Big Ben in the background

London is truly a city with everything, and an excellent option for English-speaking tourists who are visiting Europe for the first time. Many first-time visitors will be pleased to find that, despite the modern additions to the cityscape, there is plenty of history and romance to be found in England's largest city.

One of the top things to do in London , especially for a first-timers, is a visit to Buckingham Palace , and those who time their arrival right can witness the Changing of the Guard ceremonies that take place every day at 11:30am. Tourists can see even more royal flair at the Tower of London , where the Crown Jewels reside, as well as displays of royal armor and armaments, and other artifacts.

London is also home to a plethora of museums, including the British Museum , which houses an unparalleled collection of antiquities. Art lovers will want to visit the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square to see works by Michelangelo and DaVinci, and visitors to the Victoria and Albert Museum can explore both natural history and science museums.

View over Barcelona at sunrise from Park Guell

This stunning seaside metropolis is the capital of Catalonia, offering the best of Catalonia's cultural attractions . With plenty of things to see and do for art lovers, architecture aficionados, foodies, and music lovers, Barcelona offers endless opportunities for the perfect visit to Spain .

Barcelona's Barri Gòtic (Gothic Quarter) is one of the most history-rich areas of the city, best explored by foot. After visiting top attractions like the Plaça del Rei and the stunning Gothic Catedral de Barcelona, tourists should leave time to wander the narrow medieval streets to discover quiet courtyards, small shops, and popular cafés.

Another popular area with tourists is Montjuïc , a neighborhood that sits overlooking the city to one side and the Mediterranean to the other. The area is home to several museums, including the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya (National Art Museum of Catalonia), the Museu Etnològic ( Ethnology Museum), and the Museu d'Arqueologia de Catalunya (Archaeological Museum of Catalonia). It is also home to some of Barcelona's best parks and the welcoming neighborhood of Poble-Sec .

Barcelona's diverse architectural heritage draws visitors from around the world to admire landmark buildings, especially those designed by Antoni Gaudí . Among these are Casa Mila (La Pedrera) , which looks like a giant avant-garde sculpture, and the Basilica de la Sagrada Familia , a breathtaking surrealistic Art Nouveau church that is still under construction nearly 100 years after it was begun.

After a day of sightseeing, be sure to take time to relax on one of Barcelona's sandy beaches and take in the views of the Mediterranean.

Charles Bridge, Prague

Prague is the gem of Eastern Europe, home to some of the world's most picturesque architectural masterpieces. Its crowning jewel is Prague Castle (Pražský hrad), an edifice that has grown from a 9th-century fortress into the world's largest castle complex. Tourists will find some of Prague's top tourist attractions on the grounds, including St. George's Basilica and St. Vitas Cathedral.

Tourists can also find several beautiful historic landmarks on and near Charles Bridge (Karluv Most), unusual for its somewhat meandering course across the River Vltava . It is also well-known for its dozens of statues, some dating back to the late 17 th century. The Old Town Bridge Tower , located on its eastern end, serves as an excellent vantage point and is home to a museum .

Prague is also one of the best places in Europe to visit at Christmas , with a large market sitting at the foot of the decorated castle, as well as Christmas markets and festivities in Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square .

Piazza della Signoria, Florence

Located on the Arno River in the Tuscany region of Italy , Florence is brimming with cultural and historic attractions.

It is often best known for its churches , with the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore representing the most stunning example of Italian Renaissance architecture. Other ecclesiastical masterpieces include the 13 th -century Dominican church of Santa Maria Novella , which features numerous noteworthy frescoes; the 14 th -century Franciscan church of Santa Croce ; and San Lorenzo , a Renaissance church built by the infamous Medici family.

The palaces of Florence are equally impressive, and the Palazzo Vecchio (Palazzo della Signoria) is one of the city's top attractions . The largest palace in Florence is Pitti Palace , a sprawling estate that is home to the Boboli Gardens and an art collection.

Florence is also the perfect city for art lovers, home to several excellent museums, most notably those that contain collections of Renaissance art. The Uffizi Gallery is one of the largest art museums in Europe, home to the famous Birth of Venus by Botticelli.

Other top museums in Florence include the Galleria dell'Accademia (Academy Gallery), which houses Michelangelo's David ; the Galleria Palatina , which features works by Italian masters; and the Bargello Palace National Museum.

Edinburgh Castle

The stern walls of Edinburgh Castle sit high above the city, a medieval fairy tale overseeing the streets of the Old Town , as well as the New Town . Edinburgh's Royal Mile stretches from the castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse , the Queen's official residence in Scotland. Both castles afford excellent views of the city, as does the lookout at Arthur's Seat on the Salisbury Crags .

Among Edinburgh's other top attractions are the National Museum of Scotland and the Royal Botanic Garden . Visitors will find plenty of shopping and dining along the Royal Mile in the Old Town, as well as Princes Street in the New Town.

Tradition is an important part of Scottish culture, and Edinburgh is the hub of many annual events, including the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo , which is an international festival of military bands. Other major events include the Edinburgh Fringe arts festival, the Edinburgh International Book Festival , and, of course, an excellent selection of Christmas markets.

Parthenon in Athens

Athens is possibly the top place to visit for those fascinated with ancient history. It's home to some of the world's most celebrated thinkers and a plethora of ruins that have endured millennia. The Acropolis is Athens' most famous landmark, the temple of the Parthenon unmistakable as it patiently watches over the city from atop its perch.

The ancient city complex, which dates back as far as 447 BCE, also includes the Temple of Athena Nike and the Erechtheion , most famous for the six statues that make up the Porch of the Caryatids .

Visitors can also explore the incredibly well-kept remains of the ancient Agora , home to the Stoa of Attalos and the Temple of Hephaistos , as well as the ruins of the Roman Agora ; Hadrian's Library ; and the Olympieion , the temple of Olympian Zeus .

Athens is home to several excellent museums that add depth and context to the ancient sites. In addition to the Acropolis Museum , there is the National Archaeology Museum , the Museum of Cycladic Art , and the Byzantine Museum .

Athens also has several great neighborhoods for shopping, dining, and simply soaking up the atmosphere. On the northern slope of the Acropolis, the Pláka neighborhood is popular with tourists for its picturesque streets and the Anafiotika neighborhood is known for its dining, especially along the Restaurant Staircase on Mnisikleous Street .

Read More: Top-Rated Attractions & Things to Do in Athens

Mosterio dos Jeronimos, Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon is the capital city of Portugal, situated in a protected bay along the country's Atlantic coast. The Castelo de São Jorge (St. George's Castle) sits overlooking the city and the water, serving as an important military vantage point in one form or another for thousands of years. What stands there today is a Moorish castle built in the 11 th century, which houses a museum.

Located in the stunning Belém neighborhood , the UNESCO World Heritage site of Mosteiro dos Jerónimos is arguably the city's finest work of architecture. Built in the 16 th century, this monastery is primarily Manueline, with elements of Renaissance and late Gothic styles.

Other Lisbon highlights include its fine museums, including the family-friendly Oceanário de Lisboa (Lisbon Oceanarium); the Museu do Oriente ; art museums Museu Calouste Gulbenkian and Museu Nacional de Arte Antig (The National Museum of Ancient Art); and the Museu Nacional do Azulejo , which is dedicated to decorative tile work.

Read More: 1-Day, 2-Day, and 3-Day Lisbon Itineraries

Hofburg Palace, Vienna

Vienna's 18th-century Schönbrunn Palace (Schloss Schönbrunn) is one of the top tourist attractions in Austria and the city's most iconic landmark. Visitors who aren't up for touring many of the 1,441 rooms will still enjoy a visit to the park and gardens that sprawl in its wake, which are free to visit.

Visiting Hofburg Palace , seat of the Hapsburgs for 600 years and current seat of the Austrian President, is another one of the top things to do in Vienna . The Belvedere Palace is also beautiful, featuring two Baroque palace buildings, a medieval treasury, stables, and beautiful gardens with fountains.

Thanks to its central location, Vienna is also an excellent city to use as "home base" for day trips to other major attractions and cities including Melk Abbey in the Wachau Valley, Klosterneuburg Abbey, Salzburg , and Hallstatt , as well as other European cities like Budapest and Prague .

Berlin Cathedral (Berliner Dom) on Museumsinsel (Museum Island)

Once a city divided, Berlin is the capital of Germany and the country's cultural and social hub. Tourists can now visit the Berlin Wall Memorial , the Checkpoint Charlie Museum , and the Marienfelde Refugee Center Museum , which remember some of its darker days in hopes that mistakes of the past won't be repeated.

Tourists can visit nearly all of Berlin's top museums in one convenient area: Museum Island (Museumsinsel). Literally surrounded by water via the river and a canal, it is home to nearly a dozen museums, including the Pergamon , which houses the Museum of Islamic Art , the Middle East Museum , and the Antiquities Collection . It also houses several examples of ancient architecture, including the Pergamon Altar, which is one of the wonders of the ancient world.

Museum Island is also home to the Old Museum (Altes Museum), New Museum (Neues Museum), Old National Gallery (Alte Nationalgalerie), the Bode Museum , the Ethnological Museum of Berlin , and the Museum of Asian Art .

Top architectural landmarks include the 17 th -century Charlottenburg Palace , the Konzerthaus , the French Cathedral (Französischer Dom), and the German Cathedral (Deutscher Dom). Several of these are on Gendarmenmarkt , the old town square, which hosts public events, including Berlin's world-famous Christmas Market .

Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Berlin

Gondolier on the Grand Canal

Venice is known for being one of the most romantic cities in Europe. The canal, the architecture, and the atmosphere give the city a unique charm.

Although many cities have canals, the image of a romantic gondola ride is a trademark of the Venetian holiday. The Grand Canal (Canale Grande) serves as the city's main artery, snaking 3.8 kilometers through the city and connecting many of Venice's top tourist attractions .

A gondola ride or sightseeing cruise is one of the best ways to get acquainted with Venice, providing a chance to admire the facades and bridges, like the lovely Ponte di Rialto (Rialto Bridge), as well as a smooth ride for photographs.

Tourists should start their visit in the central San Marco neighborhood, home to the iconic St. Mark's Square (Piazza San Marco) and its famous basilica. One could spend a day or more exploring St. Mark's Basilica (Basilica di San Marco) , a stunning feat of architectural and artistic greatness.

Another must-see attraction in Venice is the Palazzo Ducale (Doge's Palace), an ornate Byzantine palace that houses an excellent museum.

Sightseeing from Amsterdam's canals

Amsterdam is the Netherlands' cultural hub, home to dozens of world-class museums and a thriving arts and entertainment scene. It's also one of the most picturesque and pedestrian-friendly cities in Europe, with canals and many streets limited to cyclists and foot traffic.

Among the city's top museums is the Rijksmuseum (National Museum), which is a collection of arts and antiquities, but the Van Gogh Museum comes in a close second, offering hundreds of the enigmatic artist's paintings, drawings, letters, and even personal belongings.

First-time visitors should leave time for exploring the Jordaan neighborhood , home to the Anne Frank House, as well as a cheese museum and the Woonboot Museum , which is dedicated to houseboats. This is also an excellent place to go shopping, especially on Monday mornings at the bazaar-market Westerstraat .

The best place for people-watching is Dam Square, a good resting spot while visiting Amsterdam's top attractions like the Royal Palace (Koninklijk Palace) and New Church (Nieuwe Kerk) .

Aerial view of Dubrovnik's old town, Croatia

Nicknamed the "Pearl of the Adriatic," Dubrovnik is one of the top tourist destinations in Croatia . It is popular with couples and anyone looking for a seaside vacation that offers culture and history alongside water sports and sunbathing.

Thanks to the TV series Game of Thrones , the old city walls of Dubrovnik are easily recognizable. The 10 th -century fortifications are well worth exploring, but tourists can skip the steep climb (and fees) and admire it easily from many of the city's other attractions . Tourists can get a taste of what it would have been like to enter the city centuries ago at the 16 th -century Pile Gate and the 14 th -century Ploce Gate .

Stradun , also known as Placa , is the city's central social hub and the best place to visit for people-watching while enjoying a bite at one of its numerous cafés. Loggia Square is another beautiful area to explore, featuring landmarks like Orlando's Column (Orlandov stup) and the Baroque Church of St. Blaise .

Dubrovnik is also an excellent starting point for day trips to nearby islands, other Croatian cities, and even the tiny country of Montenegro (Crna Gora ).

The Cibeles Fountain, Madrid

More modern than counterparts like Seville and Barcelona, Madrid is the capital city of Spain, with nearly endless things to see and do . Best known for its stunning public spaces and extensive museums, Madrid offers the perfect immersion into Spanish culture.

Tourists visiting the massive Museo Nacional del Prado will want to follow one of the museum's self-guided routes to avoid missing personal areas of interest; the museum houses nearly 9,000 works, including sculpture and paintings. Those who enjoy contemporary art will want to visit the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía , which boasts more than 23,000 pieces of art.

One of the greatest joys of visiting Madrid is admiring its stunning buildings and numerous public parks. The Real Jardín Botánico (Royal Botanical Garden) is a good place to start after visiting the Prado, and the Buen Retiro Park ( Parque del Retiro ) is the city's most famous green space, featuring 125 hectares with a variety of specialty gardens, fountains, an observatory, and the Palacio de Cristal (Crystal Palace).

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25 Best Cities to Visit in Europe

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Attracting over half of the world’s tourists each and every year, Europe is home to some of the most important, impressive and influential cities on Earth. Lying between the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, and the vast Asian landmass, it relatively small size belies its staggering diversity.

Renowned around the world for their age-old historic sights and fabulous art and architecture, Europe’s cities really are a delight to visit. With lots of excellent bars, restaurants, shops, and museums wherever you go, its many stunning sights are perfectly complemented by thriving culinary and nightlife scenes.

As its 44 different countries are all home to a myriad of peoples, languages, and cultures, Europe’s cosmopolitan cities all have their own unique flavor and identity. With so much for you to see and do, the only question is where to begin.

25. Dublin [SEE MAP]

Dublin

Home to almost half of Ireland’s population, Dublin is noted for its magnificent history and heritage, as well as its fun and festive nightlife.

Lying on the banks of the River Liffey, the vibrant capital has long attracted people to its shores and now boasts a very multicultural population. Dotted around the city, you can find lots of interesting things to see, with Trinity College and Dublin Castle counting among its most popular attractions.

As it is famed for its nightlife and drinking culture, many people also stop by the Irish Whiskey Museum and the Guinness Storehouse. Going out at night in Temple Bar is a must. In any one of its packed pubs, Dublin’s friendly locals are sure to give you a hearty welcome.

24. Copenhagen [SEE MAP]

Copenhagen

Lying just across the Orseund Strait from Malmo in Sweden, Copenhagen’s history, heritage, and culture are intricately linked with that of the water all around it.

Over the centuries, its strategic location has seen the sleepy fishing village slowly turn into the cool, sophisticated, and happening city it is today. Its main attraction and most recognizable sight however is still Nyhavn; its seventeenth century waterfront. Lined with colorful townhouses, the canal harbor’s lots of historic wooden ships with lively cafes and outdoor terraces dotting its shores. From here, you can take great sightseeing cruises around the scenic canals that lie nearby.

On top of all of this, the city’s museums are also noted for their extensive and exquisite collection of Viking artefacts and artworks from around the world. Widely considered to be one of the best places to live in the world, Denmark’s capital is just as good to visit and explore.

23. Edinburgh [SEE MAP]

Edinburgh

Set in a scenic spot overlooking the sea, Edinburgh is one of the United Kingdom’s most beautiful cities.

Moody and magical in equal measure, its grand Georgian buildings, Gothic churches, and, of course, Edinburgh Castle, sprawl dramatically atop of rocky hills and craggy cliffs. It is this epic landscape that makes it so fascinating to explore, with the lively Royal Mile attracting lots of visitors due to its many cafes, shops, and restaurants.

Long renowned for its contributions to art, literature, philosophy, and science, it is only fitting that the best time to visit Edinburgh is during The Fringe. In August, the world’s largest arts and culture festival takes over the city, with lots of amazing comedy, music, and theater shows for you to enjoy.

22. Brasov [SEE MAP]

Brasov

Located in the center of Romania with the picturesque Carpathian Mountains surrounding it, Brasov is one of the prettiest cities in the country.

Wandering around its medieval Old Town really is the highlight of any visit, as Gothic church spires and age-old watchtowers loom above its cobbled streets. Within the walled city, you can also find lots of cute and cozy cafes, atmospheric bars, and traditional restaurants that perfectly complement Brasov’s laidback ambiance.

Besides this, lots of delightful hiking trails weave their way from the city through the majestic mountains and wonderful scenery all around it. With epic Transylvanian castles and ski resorts also lying nearby, Brasov is definitely worth visiting if you have the chance.

21. Budapest [SEE MAP]

Budapest

Consisting of the two historic cities of Buda and Pest that lie across the Danube from each other, Hungary’s capital is undoubtedly one of Europe’s most beautiful cities.

As it was the home of the Hungarian kings of old and the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, lots of majestic buildings and impressive monuments dot its streets. Of these, the Parliament Building is one of its main attractions for its gorgeous Gothic style architecture and colossal size. As the ‘spa capital of Europe,’ the city also has loads of lovely thermal bathhouses for you to relax in with Szechenyi Baths being the most popular of the lot.

In addition to this, Budapest is known for its unique ruin bars which make for some great nightlife. With so much for you to see and do, it’s easy to see why it is such a population destination.

20. Bruges [SEE MAP]

Bruges

A very romantic place to visit, the ‘Venice of the North’ is awash with charming canals that meander their way through its marvelous medieval center .

Exploring the pretty and picturesque cobbled streets is like stepping back in time as you pass grand guild houses and centuries-old churches. Besides checking out its fantastic museums, sampling one of Belgium’s famous beers at one of the cafe-strewn squares is also a must.

As hordes of daytrippers visit Bruges every day, it’s worth staying overnight to have the city to yourself. Beautifully illuminated, its squares, streets, and churches look even more magical at night.

19. Belgrade [SEE MAP]

Belgrade

Located at the confluence of the Danube and Sava rivers, Belgrade’s strategic setting has seen it fought over, invaded, and destroyed countless times over its history.

As it was ruled by both the Ottomans and Hapsburgs, and was later Yugoslavia’s capital, the city exhibits a wide range of different architectural styles and historical sights . In addition to its large and impressive fortress, there are lots of delightful churches for you to check out with the colossal Temple of Saint Sava being the highlight of the lot. Scattered around town, you can also find a number of pretty parks for you to relax and unwind in while the river banks are for perfect strolling along peacefully.

With a lively cafe culture for you to delve into and lots of nightclubs on offer, Belgrade is justifiably considered to be Southeastern Europe’s party capital. All in all, the capital of present-day Serbia certainly is worth stopping by.

18. Seville [SEE MAP]

Seville

Lying on the banks of the Guadalquivir River in the southwest of Spain, Seville is an incredible place with a rich history, heritage, and culture to explore.

As it was once home to both the Romans and the Moors, Andalucia’s capital sports lots of mesmerizing sights that date to different epochs. This is perfectly encapsulated in the Alcazar of Seville which is an elegant palace built by Castilian Christians atop of an old Abbasid Muslim fort.

Despite being steeped in history, the city is a very happening place, with lots of fun and festive flamenco bars for you to check out. The best times of year to visit are during Feria de Abril and Semana Santa, when two of Spain’s most eminent festivals take place.

See also: Where to Stay in Seville

17. Venice [SEE MAP]

Venice

Unlike any other place on Earth, everything in the ‘City of Canals’ shimmers before your eyes, with breathtakingly beautiful art and architecture wherever you look.

Set across 118 small islands, which are linked by over 400 bridges, the city boasts a myriad of charming canals, grand palaces, and epic old churches. A very magical and romantic place, its atmospheric alleys beckon alluringly before you emerge at yet another awe-inspiring landmark . Although it can get very crowded, it is well worth visiting during carnival time when everyone dons elaborate costumes and masks.

One of the world’s greatest and most unique cities, Venice needs to be seen to be believed and is one of the main highlights of any trip to Italy.

16. Tallinn [SEE MAP]

Tallinn

Lying on the Gulf of Finland, Estonia’s capital Tallinn is an increasingly popular tourist destination, and it is easy to see why.

Exploring its spectacular Old Town really is a delight as within the fairytale-esque walled city you can find lots of amazing historic sights such as the Toompea Castle complex. The city showcases a wide range of different architectural and cultural influences due to its proximity to not only to Scandinavia and Russia but Central Europe too.

Fought over for centuries by larger European powers, the critical Baltic Sea port is now one of the prettiest and most well-preserved cities in the region.

15. Stockholm [SEE MAP]

Stockholm

The capital of, and largest city in Sweden, Stockholm is scenically set on 14 islands, with glistening waterways and green spaces wherever you look.

Endearingly called ‘beauty on water’ by locals, it exhibits a wide range of different architectural styles that encompass both modern and traditional designs. Besides wandering around the old town’s charming cobbled streets, it is well worth stopping by some of its many museums. These offer a captivating look into everything from art and Abba to spirits and the Vikings.

See also: Where to Stay in Stockholm

A very stylish and trendy place, Stockholm’s Scandinavian cool shines through in its sleek and modern bars, shops, and restaurants. With lots of live music and a pounding nightclub scene for you to delve into, Stockholm has it all.

14. Warsaw [SEE MAP]

Warsaw

Having been bombed to the ground during WWII, Warsaw has seen an impressive revival in recent decades. It is now one of the EU’s largest and liveliest metropolises.

Lying on the banks of the Vistula River, the city sprawls over a vast area, with lots of pretty green parks interspersed among its grey communist-era blocks. Of particular note is its gorgeous Old Town , which was painstakingly rebuilt after being destroyed. In addition to this, it is well worth visiting the top of the imposing Palace of Culture and Science for its stunning panoramas.

Besides its cheap and cheerful milk bars which are a throwback to Communist times, Warsaw also boasts an increasing number of chic vodka bars and trendy nightclubs. Poland’s capital is an increasingly popular tourist destination and it is easy to see why.

13. Lisbon [SEE MAP]

Lisbon

Set over seven hills, which tumble down to where the Tagus River meets the Atlantic Ocean, Portugal’s capital is a delight to behold. Defined by its hilly landscape, the city is famed for its steep, cobbled streets, on which distinctive yellow trams trundle peacefully along.

While much of Lisbon was leveled in the disastrous earthquake of 1755, it still proudly exhibits lots of exquisite architecture and important landmarks . Of these, Castelo de Sao Jorge is particularly worth visiting as its prominent hilltop position offers up marvellous views of Lisbon down below.

See also: Where to Stay in Lisbon

With fun Fado music nights and a plethora of delicious local dishes such as Bacalau to sample, it’s no wonder that in recent years, Lisbon has seen a surge in the number of tourists visiting.

12. Athens [SEE MAP]

Athens

Considered by many to be the birthplace of Western civilization, it is here in Athens that some of the world’s most influential philosophers and thinkers once resided.

Renowned figures such as Plato, Aristotle and Socrates hailed from the city-state and in their day would debate and expand on their views in places such as the Agora and Acropolis. Remarkably, both of these sites are still around some 2,500 years or so after they were founded. Indeed, Athens is replete with a staggering array of ancient archaeological sights with history and heritage on show all around you.

Lively yet laidback at the same time, wandering through its cafe-strewn streets is a great way to take in the ambiance with lots of splendid street art wherever you go.

See also: Where to Stay in Athens

11. Vienna [SEE MAP]

Vienna

One of the grandest and most elegant cities in Europe, Vienna’s impressive imperial legacy really does make for a marvelous sight.

Once the seat of the Hapsburgs and the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, wealth and riches poured into Vienna for centuries. This fueled the building of majestic palaces and parks, monuments, and museums . Many of them are found along the Ringstrasse, which encircles the city center.

Known as the ‘City of Music,’ Vienna is famed for its composers, and watching a performance in the gorgeous Vienna State Opera makes for an unforgettable experience.

See also: Where to Stay in Vienna

10. Berlin [SEE MAP]

Berlin

Germany’s capital of cool, Berlin boasts some of the best and most accepting nightlife around, with lots of pounding bars and trendy clubs for you to try out.

In recent years, the city has changed and evolved at a rapid pace with new buildings springing up wherever you look. This is because lots of empty spaces were left following Berlin’s heavy bombing during the Second World War. Interspersed among its grimy, gritty, and graffiti-coated buildings, however, you can still find loads of moving and momentous historic sites , such as the Berlin Wall and Holocaust memorial.

As it is very multicultural, Berlin’s culinary and cultural scenes are particularly worthwhile delving into. A very welcoming place, the capital accepts everyone and caters to all interests.

See also: Where to Stay in Berlin

9. Dubrovnik [SEE MAP]

Dubrovnik

In the Middle Ages, Dubrovnik was Venice’s chief rival; the two city-states jostled for trade, power, and prestige.

Consequently, lots of magnificent buildings and important monuments were erected during this time and the walled city became known as the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’. Due to its former influence, its museums now host astounding collections of art and historical artifacts. As lots of idyllic beaches lie nearby for you to lounge on, any visit can be as relaxing or taxing as you make it.

While it can get inundated with tourists, there is a reason why so many people flock to Dubrovnik. Surrounded by glimmering waters with lots of lovely nature nearby , it is Croatia’s prime destination.

8. Saint Petersburg [SEE MAP]

Saint Petersburg

Lying at the mouth of the Neva River, Russia’s second-largest yet arguably most beautiful city is a treat to explore.

Despite only being founded in 1703 by Peter the Great, the former imperial home of the tsars dazzles before your eyes. This is because he sponsored the building of a number of grand cathedrals and resplendent palaces which now lie amidst the city’s many canals and waterways. Of its many world-class attractions , however, the Hermitage Museum stands head and shoulders above the rest and should not be missed out on.

As St Petersburg is renowned for its incredible performing arts no visit can ever be complete without watching one of its divine ballets, concerts, or operas.

7. Barcelona [SEE MAP]

Barcelona

Blessed with a warm and inviting climate, the sunny seaside city of Barcelona is a very pretty and pleasant place to spend some time.

Steeped in history, Spain’s second city sports a staggering array of age-old historic sights , with Roman ruins lying alongside the gorgeous Gothic quarter. Due to its ancient roots, its streets exhibit a myriad of architectural styles, as is best exemplified by Gaudi’s masterpiece La Sagrada Familia.

See also: Where to Stay in Barcelona

Barcelona’s arts and culture scene is just as vibrant. Its fabulous museums and galleries are full of fine artworks by Catalan masters such as Dali and Miro. Besides this, the city is also known for its famous soccer team and notoriously lively nightlife.

6. Amsterdam [SEE MAP]

Amsterdam

Renowned for the scenic canals that meander their way through the heart of the city, Amsterdam certainly paints a pretty picture. Add in its many marvelous town houses and atmospheric cobbled streets, and it is easy to see why it makes for such a popular tourist destination.

On top of all its exquisite architecture, the Netherlands’ capital also boasts lots of fascinating museums . While the Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum attract lots of visitors with their amazing artworks, just as many head to the Anne Frank Museum for the important look it offers up of the past.

See also: Where to Stay in Amsterdam

A very tolerant and progressive place, Amsterdam has also long been known for its pounding nightlife. One of the best times of year to visit is on King’s Day, when the whole city is coated in orange and everyone takes to the streets to celebrate the monarch’s birthday.

5. Istanbul [SEE MAP]

Istanbul

Billed as the place where East meets West, Istanbul straddles the Bosphorus Strait which separates Europe from Asia. Formerly known as both Byzantium and Constantinople, it has long been one of the most important and influential cities in world history.

Due to its strategic location, trade, wealth and people flocked to its streets. As a result of this, majestic monuments such as the gorgeous Hagia Sophia sprung up, showcasing the city’s power and prestige. This too can be seen in the abundance of artworks and architectural wonders that can be spied around the center. Nowadays, it is the largest city in the whole of Europe with over fifteen million people to be found within its confines.

See also: Where to Stay in Istanbul

To get a taste of old Istanbul, make sure to head to the Grand Bazaar where you’ll be greeted with all kinds of intoxicating sights, sounds and smells from the souk.

4. London [SEE MAP]

London

One of the most famous and iconic cities in the world, London has long been a trendsetter when it comes to popular culture.

As it has appeared in so many movies, its many landmarks are instantly recognizable with Big Ben just one of its main attractions . The UK’s capital has a thriving arts and culture scene for you to delve into with most of its museums being free to the public. Very multicultural, its fabulous diversity is proudly on display wherever you go, as is evidenced by the endless array of brilliant cafes, restaurants, and bars. On top of all this, it also has some of the best shopping in Europe.

Whether it’s sport or theater that you are into, or architecture, musicals, and the Royal family, in London there truly is something for everyone to enjoy.

3. Prague [SEE MAP]

Prague

Straddling the banks of the Vistula River, Prague, with its magnificent Old Town, is a mesmerizing place to wander around.

Although now often crowded with tourists, exploring its ancient cobbled streets is a must, with Charles Bridge being one of its main highlights. Other than this, its main sights are the majestic castle and cathedral that are perched dramatically atop a hill overlooking the city.

With some interesting statues and art installations scattered around town, and lots of hearty local cuisine and Czech beers for you to sample, Prague is certainly worth visiting.

See also: Where to Stay in Prague

2. Paris [SEE MAP]

Paris

Chic, stylish, and sophisticated, Paris has long been famed for its beauty and is one of the most popular cities to visit in Europe.

The city is full of astounding artworks and architecture, with fantastic statues and sculptures found alongside Art Nouveau and wrought iron masterpieces such as the Eiffel Tower. In the shape of the Louvre it boasts the largest art museum in the whole of the world.

Located on the banks of the Seine, France’s cosmopolitan capital is just as well known for its exquisite cuisine as it is its high-end fashion outlets. With so many treasures for you to discover and delight in, Paris is to be savored slowly – just like a fine French wine.

1. Rome [SEE MAP]

#1 of Best Cities To Visit In Europe

With millennia-old archaeological sites, historic ruins, and iconic landmarks lying around literally every corner, Rome is the gift that keeps on giving.

Once the center of one of the world’s greatest civilizations ever, the city remarkably has over 3,000 years of history for you to delve into. Of its many monument s, the Colosseum is arguably its most famous and impressive. Venture into the Vatican Museums and you risk never leaving, such is the abundance of incredible artworks, paintings, and sculptures on show.

See also: Where to Stay in Rome

Although it is steeped in history, Italy’s capital is a happening place, with busy bars and restaurants wherever you go. One of the most romantic and rewarding places to explore, for many ‘the Eternal City’ is without equal and is the best of what Europe has to offer.

Map of the Best Cities to Visit in Europe

Cities of Europe Map

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June 14, 2020 at 12:05 pm

So glad that Europe is reopening tomorrow for tourism! I saw your video on YouTube then had to check out your website. Although it’s hard to choose a favorite destination on the continent, Rome has a special place in my heart. It was the first foreign city I traveled to in 2000 and I went back in 2017 for my birthday. My family is from Sicily. Hope to go back soon when they allow Americans again!

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The Mindful Traveller

The Mindful Traveller

Eco Travel Blog & Photography

40 Best & Prettiest Cities to Visit in Europe

15 September 2023 · In: City Guide , Europe , Travel

top 15 european cities to visit

Are you looking for the best and coolest cities to visit in Europe ? City lovers, you have come to the right place! This article walks you through 40 destinations to add to your bucket list for an unforgettable city break, whether you are travelling for a day trip, a weekend getaway or a week-long vacation.

Europe is a stunning place which has much to offer! From quaint Old Towns and peaceful nature to iconic historical sites and delicious local cuisine, you will find plenty of things to do and places to see during a city escape full of surprises and hidden gems.

Born in Paris and living in Manchester in the UK, I consider Europe my home, continuously exploring it and discovering something new. Each city has something exceptional to offer, and I am always surprised by their cultural diversity .

So, are you ready to discover the top 40 European cities that you must visit ? Let’s get started! And, of course, let me know in the comments below if you have any other suggestions 🙂

Disclosure : Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, we will receive a commission if you click through and make a purchase. For more information, please  read our full affiliate disclosure .

20- Tallinn, Estonia

20- bucharest, romania, overview: top cities to visit in europe, most iconic european cities.

  • Paris, France
  • London, England
  • Rome, Italy
  • Barcelona, Spain
  • Istanbul, Turkey
  • Lisbon, Portugal
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Budapest, Hungary
  • Vienna, Austria
  • Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Prague, Czech Republic
  • Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Dubrovnik, Croatia
  • Reykjavik, Iceland
  • Athens, Greece
  • Stockholm, Sweden
  • Krakow, Poland
  • Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • Brussels, Belgium
  • Tallinn, Estonia

Other beautiful European cities

  • Florence, Italy
  • Porto, Portugal
  • Nice, France
  • Madrid, Spain
  • Salzburg, Austria
  • Oslo, Norway
  • Bruges, Belgium
  • Venice, Italy
  • Berlin, Germany
  • Helsinki, Finland
  • Seville, Spain
  • Strasbourg, France
  • Dublin, Ireland
  • Brasov, Romania
  • Annecy, France
  • Verona, Italy
  • Munich, Germany
  • Belgrade, Serbia
  • Bergen, Norway
  • Bucharest, Romania

best cities to visit in europe

Must-visit European cities – Map

Click on the top left of the map to display the list of stops and locations.

40 best cities to visit in Europe

1- paris, france.

It is impossible not to start with Paris as one of the best and most beautiful cities to visit in Europe! The magical capital of France is famous for its art, fashion, gastronomy and culture, and a must-see any time of the year. 

Having lived there for a while, I can easily say that Paris is a fascinating city to explore, full of surprises and hidden gems – and the perfect place for a romantic weekend getaway as a couple.

Wander its charming boulevards, stop at the terraces of one of its cafés, shop in designer boutiques or discover iconic landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower and the 12th-century Gothic Notre-Dame Cathedral.

READ MORE: 3 Magical Days in Paris: Complete Itinerary + Map

BEST THINGS TO DO & SEE IN PARIS

  • Climb up the Eiffel Tower
  • Tour the Louvre Museum
  • Stroll down the Champs-Élysées
  • Marvel at Notre-Dame Cathedral
  • Discover the Sainte-Chapelle
  • Wander around Montmartre
  • Spend a day at the Palace of Versailles
  • Relax at the Luxembourg Gardens
  • Catch a show at the Moulin Rouge
  • Enjoy the view from the Arc de Triomphe

PARIS OVERVIEW

🌤 Best time to visit: spring (April-May) and autumn (September-October) 🏨 Where to stay: Le Marais 🌿 Sustainable suggestion: take a  green boat tour  on the Seine River

UNFORGETTABLE EXPERIENCES I RECOMMEND

2- london, england.

London, the capital of England and the United Kingdom, is a captivating 21st-century city with a history stretching back to Roman times, worth the visit – for all kinds of travellers and all ages.

Home to many fun attractions and historic monuments, the English capital is a perfect blend of traditional and modern and the ideal place for a deeper insight into British culture.

Walk in the footsteps of royalty at Kensington Palace, enjoy a 360-degree panorama of the capital from the London Eye, watch the Change of the Guard at Buckingham Palace and stop by Covent Garden for a shopping spree.

READ MORE: 3 Perfect Days in London: Complete Itinerary

BEST THINGS TO DO & SEE IN LONDON

  • Take a photo of Big Ben
  • Visit the Westminster Abbey
  • Relax at James’s Park
  • Marvel at Buckingham Palace
  • Tour the British Museum
  • Hop on the London Eye
  • Walk across Tower Bridge
  • Explore Kensington Palace
  • Stroll through Borough Market
  • Discover the Tower of London

LONDON OVERVIEW

🌤 Best time to visit: spring (May-June) and autumn (September-October) 🏨 Where to stay: Covent Garden 🌿 Sustainable suggestion: catch a carbon-neutral  theatre show  

3- Rome, Italy

Rome, the Eternal City and capital of Italy, is a charming city to visit in Europe, filled with history, culture and art. With its ancient ruins, inspiring architecture and delicious cuisine, you will undoubtedly have a great vacation.

I visited Rome in December, and it is still today one of my favourite European cities to explore for a few days. I was amazed by its atmosphere and loved learning more about its past. 

Whether you want to wander through the imposing ruins of the Colosseum, be captivated by the art of Vatican City or lose yourself in the narrow streets of the bohemian Trastevere, Rome has something for everyone.

READ MORE: 5 Perfect Days in Rome, Italy: Complete Itinerary

BEST THINGS TO DO & SEE IN ROME

  • Visit the Colosseum
  • Marvel at the Forums
  • Admire the Trevi Fountain
  • Tour the Vatican Museum
  • Explore St Peter’s Basilica
  • Enter the Pantheon
  • Relax at Villa Borghese
  • Stroll through Piazza Navona
  • Shop at Piazza di Spagna
  • Discover Castel Sant’Angelo

ROME OVERVIEW

🌤 Best time to visit: spring (March-April) and autumn (September- November) 🏨 Where to stay: Centro Storico 🌿 Sustainable suggestion: explore Rome by night on an  e-bike tour

4- Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona, the historic capital of the Catalonia region, is known for its unique art and architecture, the incredible Sagrada Família church and other modernist landmarks designed by Antoni Gaudí.

Set between the mountains and sea, the city is full of captivating museums, fun attractions, sandy beaches and thriving restaurants. It has everything to be a must-visit destination in Europe.

Wander through its Gothic Quarter, explore its Picasso Museum, stroll down La Rambla or enjoy the stunning views from the top of Montjuic. You might have guessed, there is plenty to do for all travellers, from families with children to football fans.

BEST THINGS TO DO & SEE IN BARCELONA

  • Visit the Sagrada Família
  • Explore Park Güell
  • Stroll through the Gothic Quarter
  • Wander La Boqueria food market
  • Enjoy the sun at the city beaches
  • Climb up Montjuïc
  • Join an authentic tapas tour
  • Visit Gaudí’s two casas
  • Watch a game at Camp Nou
  • Tour the Picasso Museum

BARCELONA OVERVIEW

🌤 Best time to visit: spring (April-May) and autumn (September-October) 🏨 Where to stay: The Gothic Quarter (Barri Gòtic) 🌿 Sustainable suggestion: hike the  Botanical trail  in Montjuïc

5- Istanbul, Turkey

Welcome to Istanbul, a stunning city in Turkey straddling Europe and Asia and a cosmopolitan destination packed with a fascinating history, intricate architecture and trendy neighbourhoods.

As you walk through the streets of the city, you will immerse yourself in the cultural influences of the many empires that once ruled here, from the Sultanahmet district and its open-air Roman-era Hippodrome to the iconic Byzantine Hagia Sophia, with its high 6th-century dome and Christian mosaics. 

Whether you are visiting for a weekend getaway or a 3-day trip, you will not run out of ideas for things to do in this charming Turkish city – even on a budget.

BEST THINGS TO DO & SEE IN ISTANBUL

  • Wander the Grand Bazar
  • Discover the Blue Mosque
  • Visit the Hagia Sophia Mosque
  • Climb up the Galata Tower
  • Explore the Dolmabahçe Palace
  • Shop for spices at the Egyptian Bazar
  • Explore the Topkapı Palace
  • Taste delicious Turkish Coffee
  • Relax at a hammam
  • Stroll down Istiklal Avenue

ISTANBUL OVERVIEW

🌤 Best time to visit: spring (April-May) and autumn (September-October) 🏨 Where to stay: Sultanahmet 🌿 Sustainable suggestion: explore Istanbul on a fun  Twizy Tour

6- Lisbon, Portugal

Another great city you should not miss on a trip to Europe is Lisbon, the hilly and coastal capital of Portugal. With good access to the rest of the world and its rich history, this sophisticated city is a fantastic destination for a long weekend escape – as a solo traveller or with friends! 

Enjoy the view from the imposing São Jorge Castle, stroll along pastel-coloured buildings, hop on a tram ride or climb up the Santa Justa elevator. You will not get bored. 

In addition, do not forget to explore the nearby beaches and towns, from Cascais to Estoril, and, of course, the magical Sintra, which is worth a day trip. Lisbon is perfect for a mix of sightseeing and sea activities.

BEST THINGS TO DO & SEE IN LISBON

  • Climb to the Castle of São Jorge 
  • Stroll through Alfama
  • Go up in the Santa Justa elevator
  • Visit the Belém Tower
  • Tour the Jerónimos Monastery
  • Hop on a tram ride on the no. 28
  • Take a day trip to Sintra
  • Listen to a Fado concert
  • Taste a traditional Ginjinha
  • Check out the best miradouros (viewpoints)

LISBON OVERVIEW

🌤 Best time to visit: spring (March-May) and autumn (September-October) 🏨 Where to stay: Baixa 🌿 Sustainable suggestion: take a  tile painting class  with a local artist

7- Amsterdam, Netherlands

Do you fancy a picturesque weekend in the Netherlands? Then, add Amsterdam to the list of best cities to visit in Europe as a charming destination known for its artistic heritage, winding canals and narrow houses with intricate facades, a legacy of the 17th-century Golden Age of the city.

Other than its rich history, flower markets and indie coffee shops, Amsterdam is also a city full of art and culture, from the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum with works of Rembrandt to the Stedelijk showcasing modern art.

And for a dose of exercise, hop on a bike and explore the numerous cycling trails leading you to the main attractions and landmarks.

BEST THINGS TO DO & SEE IN AMSTERDAM

  • Visit the Van Gogh Museum
  • Cycle around the city
  • Stroll through Vondelpark
  • See the Anne Frank House
  • Explore the Rijksmuseum
  • Head to the Bloemenmarkt
  • Wander the Jordaan district
  • Discover Hortus Botanicus
  • Go on a canal cruise at night
  • Enjoy the view from A’dam Lookout

AMSTERDAM OVERVIEW

🌤 Best time to visit: spring (April-May) and autumn (September-November) 🏨 Where to stay: City Center 🌿 Sustainable suggestion: go  plastic fishing  on a canal cruise

8- Budapest, Hungary

Budapest, the capital of Hungary, is a stunning city divided by the River Danube and a must-visit destination for its art nouveau architecture, quirky ruin bars and relaxing public baths.

Not always known as a tourist hotspot, the city is worth the detour. Walk across its 19th-century Chain Bridge, admire the 13th-century Matthias Church or enjoy spectacular views from the turrets of the Fishermen’s Bastion.

Whether you are looking for a tranquil weekend getaway with spas and bars or an active few days filled with vibrant nightlife, Budapest has it all.

BEST THINGS TO DO & SEE IN BUDAPEST

  • Admire the Parliament Building
  • See the Shoes on the Danube
  • Tour Buda Castle
  • Visit the St. Stephen’s Basilica
  • Relax at Széchenyi Thermal Bath
  • Walk across the Széchenyi Chain Bridge
  • Taste a delicious Goulash
  • Explore the Fisherman’s Bastion
  • Ride the Buda Hill Funicular
  • Discover Vajdahunyad Castle

BUDAPEST OVERVIEW

🌤 Best time to visit: spring (March-May) and autumn (September-November) 🏨 Where to stay: Belváros – Lipótváros (District V) 🌿 Sustainable suggestion: go on a  kayaking tour  on the Danube

9- Vienna, Austria

Welcome to Vienna, the capital of Austria, located along the Danube River and blessed with an artistic and intellectual heritage shaped by renowned residents, including Mozart and Beethoven.

With its rich cultural heritage, charming neighbourhoods and unparalleled beauty, it is one of the most picturesque cities in Europe and a destination to add to your bucket list. 

It is also a fantastic place to explore for any art and royal history lover, as you will come across influential Imperial palaces such as the Schönbrunn and the Belvedere. So get ready for an unforgettable city break!

READ MORE: Vienna Travel Guide: Perfect 3-Day Itinerary

BEST THINGS TO DO & SEE IN VIENNA

  • See the Hofburg Palace
  • Explore the Austrian National Library
  • Discover the Schönbrunn Palace
  • Tour the Belvedere Palace
  • Admire Stephen’s Cathedral
  • Wander through the Ferstel Passage
  • Marvel at the Karlskirche
  • Shop at the Naschmarkt
  • Hop on the Giant Ferris Wheel
  • Visit the Albertina Museum

VIENNA OVERVIEW

🌤 Best time to visit: summer (June-August) 🏨 Where to stay: Central Vienna (Innere Stadt) 🌿 Sustainable suggestion: make your own  eco-friendly Viennese souvenir

10- Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen, the incredible capital of Denmark, is a place you should not miss on a trip to Europe. From the Old Town and picturesque harbour to the eclectic Freetown Christiania and the Renaissance-era Rosenborg Castle, there is an attraction for everyone.

Hop on a bike and start exploring the city at your own pace. Get lost in its cobbled streets filled with colourful and narrow houses, stop at a coffee shop or head to the coast to spot the Little Mermaid. 

Whether you are visiting for a weekend getaway or an extended summer vacation, you will find plenty of activities to fully soak up the local atmosphere of the Danish capital.

READ MORE: Copenhagen City Guide: Perfect 3-Day Itinerary

BEST THINGS TO DO & SEE IN COPENHAGEN

  • Wander the Nyhavn district
  • Explore the Botanical Garden
  • Visit the Rosenborg Castle
  • Enjoy the views from the Round Tower
  • Marvel at the Frederick Church
  • Have fun in the Tivoli Gardens
  • See the Christiansborg Palace
  • Discover Freetown Christiania
  • Tour Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek
  • Climb the Church of Our Saviour

COPENHAGEN OVERVIEW

🌤 Best time to visit: summer (April-September) 🏨 Where to stay: Strøget 🌿 Sustainable suggestion: swim at the  Islands Brygge Harbour Bath

11- Prague, Czech Republic

If you have not already been, it is time to plan a trip to Prague, the beautiful capital of the Czech Republic, divided by the Vltava River. It is the ideal destination for a short weekend getaway with friends, especially if you like beers.  

Also known as the City of a Hundred Spires, the capital is famous for its Old Town Square, the heart of its historic centre, with colourful Baroque buildings, Gothic churches and the medieval Astronomical Clock, which puts on a lively spectacle every day. But plan your visit early to avoid the crowds.

I loved my time in Prague and was truly surprised. The diversity of its architecture is remarkable and worth discovering: a paradise for art and history lovers – and photographers!

READ MORE: Prague Travel Guide: Perfect 3-Day Itinerary

BEST THINGS TO DO & SEE IN PRAGUE

  • Wander the Old Town Square
  • Admire the Astronomical Clock
  • Enjoy the views from the Old Town Hall 
  • Climb up the Powder Tower
  • Walk across Charles Bridge
  • Explore Prague Castle
  • Stop by the Vitus Cathedral
  • Discover the Strahov Monastery
  • Have a picnic on Petřín hill 
  • Photograph the Dancing House

PRAGUE OVERVIEW

🌤 Best time to visit: spring (April-May) and autumn (September-October) 🏨 Where to stay: Old Town (Staré Město) 🌿 Sustainable suggestion: hop on the  historic tram line  number 42 

12- Edinburgh, Scotland

Welcome to Edinburgh, the fascinating capital of Scotland and a popular city in Europe. From the magnificent castle to the hidden underworld to the birthplace of Harry Potter, this magical destination has plenty to offer.

Walk through its medieval Old Town, wander its elegant Georgian New Town with gardens and neoclassical buildings, hike up to Arthur’s Seat for spectacular views or enjoy a peaceful sunset from Carlton Hill. 

I visited Edinburgh multiple times, and I never get tired of it! Its architecture and atmosphere are so special and unique, and the locals are full of kindness. It is a city (and country) that I highly recommend you visit.

READ MORE: 3 Magical Days in Edinburgh: City Itinerary

BEST THINGS TO DO & SEE IN EDINBURGH

  • Discover Edinburgh Castle
  • Walk down the Royal Mile
  • Hike up Arthur’s Seat
  • Watch the sunset from Calton Hill
  • Tour Holyrood Palace & Holyrood Abbey
  • Stop by the Scotch Whisky Experience
  • Visit the Camera Obscura & World of Illusions
  • Enjoy the view from the Scott Monument
  • Explore the National Museum of Scotland
  • Wander the Royal Botanic Gardens

EDINBURGH OVERVIEW

🌤 Best time to visit: summer (May-September) 🏨 Where to stay: Old Town (The Royal Mile) 🌿 Sustainable suggestion: sightsee with a local on a  unique tour

13- Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik is a beautiful city in southern Croatia on the Adriatic Sea, famous for its medieval Old Town surrounded by stone walls, breathtaking landscapes, stunning beaches and being one of the filming locations of the Game of Thrones series.

Among its well-preserved buildings, you will find the baroque St. Blaise Church, the Renaissance Sponza Palace and the Gothic Rector’s Palace, now a history museum. And paved with limestone, do not miss the Stradun, lined with shops and restaurants.

Finally, spend time outdoors and enjoy the sea with plenty of water activities, from swimming to scuba diving and sea kayaking. You guessed it, Dubrovnik is the perfect destination for travellers looking for a beach holiday with a cultural experience.

BEST THINGS TO DO & SEE IN DUBROVNIK

  • Walk the City Walls
  • Stroll around the Old Town
  • Enjoy a coffee at the Stradun
  • Ride the cable car to Mount Srd
  • Explore Fort Lovrijenac
  • Visit the Rector’s Palace
  • Take a boat to Lokrum island
  • Go sea kayaking
  • Relax on one of its beaches
  • See the War Photo Limited

DUBROVNIK OVERVIEW

🌤 Best time to visit: spring (April-June) and autumn (September-October) 🏨 Where to stay: Old Town 🌿 Sustainable suggestion: go underwater on a  scuba diving experience

14- Reykjavik, Iceland

You will find Reykjavik on the coast of Iceland, the capital of the country and largest city. From quirky museums and whale-watching excursions to unforgettable wilderness expeditions, a trip to the Icelandic capital is an experience you will never forget.

Take the time to explore the city as you come across the National and Saga museums tracing the Viking history of Iceland, the astonishing concrete Hallgrimskirkja Church and the rotating Perlan glass dome offering breathtaking views of the sea and nearby hills.  

And, of course, a trip to Reykjavik could not be complete without a stop at the geothermal Blue Lagoon spa, one of the most popular attractions in Iceland, displaying the fascinating volcanic activity of the island.

READ MORE: Iceland’s Golden Circle Guide: 13 Epic Stops

BEST THINGS TO DO & SEE IN REYKJAVIK

  • Relax in the Blue Lagoon
  • Explore the Harpa Concert Hall
  • Enjoy the view from Hallgrimskirkja 
  • Admire the Imagine Peace Tower
  • Go whale watching
  • Bathe at the Sky Lagoon
  • Chase the northern lights
  • Visit the National Museum
  • See the Sun Voyager sculpture
  • Go on a Golden Circle tour

REYKJAVIK OVERVIEW

🌤 Best time to visit: summer (May-September) 🏨 Where to stay: Downtown (Miðborg) 🌿 Sustainable suggestion: go on a scenic  horse riding tour

15- Athens, Greece

Athens, the capital of Greece, is one of the oldest cities in the world, with a history spanning 3,400 years. Filled with archaeological treasures, it is no surprise that you will find plenty of things to do and see in this fascinating city. 

Dominated by landmarks from the 5th century BC, including the Acropolis, a hilltop citadel completed with ancient buildings like the collonaded Parthenon temple, Athens is an incredible European destination to learn more about the past and immerse yourself in history. 

In addition, do not hesitate to enjoy the sea by relaxing at the beach, going on a snorkelling excursion or hopping on a sailing boat at sunset – what could be more romantic?

BEST THINGS TO DO & SEE IN ATHENS

  • Climb to the Acropolis
  • See Hadrian’s Library
  • Visit the Acropolis Museum
  • Explore the Benaki Museum
  • Watch a film in an open-air cinema
  • Relax at the beach
  • Discover the Ancient Agora
  • Wander the Plaka district
  • Stop by the Monastiraki Square
  • Go on a sailing trip

ATHENS OVERVIEW

🌤 Best time to visit: spring (April-May) and autumn (September-October) 🏨 Where to stay: Plaka 🌿 Sustainable suggestion: enjoy nature at the  Zagorochoria National Park

16- Stockholm, Sweden

Welcome to Stockholm, the capital of Sweden and one of the coolest European cities to explore, encompassing 14 islands and over 50 bridges across a vast archipelago in the Baltic Sea. You will find many incredible things to do in the city for a weekend getaway or week-long trip.

Explore the cobblestone streets and ochre-coloured buildings of Gamla Stan (Old Town), home to the 13th-century Storkyrkan Cathedral, the Kungliga Slottet Royal Palace and the Nobel Museum. 

And for any nature lover out there, Stockholm is the destination for you. Enjoy the outdoors and get closer to nature by going on an island hopping trip or joining a kayaking expedition. 

BEST THINGS TO DO & SEE IN STOCKHOLM

  • Visit the Skansen Open Air Museum 
  • Wander the Gamla Stan
  • Explore the ABBA Museum
  • Go on a canal boat tour
  • Discover the Royal Palace
  • Admire the City Hall
  • Tour the Vasa Museum
  • Relax at the Royal National City Park
  • Take a dip in Lake Mälaren
  • Stop by the Drottningholms Palace

STOCKHOLM OVERVIEW

🌤 Best time to visit: summer (May-September) 🏨 Where to stay: Gamla Stan (Old Town) 🌿 Sustainable suggestion: explore the Archipelago on a  kayak expedition  

17- Kraków, Poland

Kraków is a charming city in Poland located near the border of the Czech Republic, known for its well-preserved medieval core and Jewish quarter. With its impressive market square, colourful streets, historical landmarks and vibrant bars, Kraków is a must-see on a European road trip.

Explore its Old Town surrounded by Planty Park and the remnants of medieval walls and stop by Rynek Glówny (Market Square), where you will discover the Cloth Hall, a Renaissance trading outpost, and St. Mary’s Basilica, a 14th-century Gothic church. 

Besides a rich culture that includes fascinating castles, museums and detailed architecture, Kraków is also the place to be for its nightlife, trendy bars and diversity of restaurants.

BEST THINGS TO DO & SEE IN KRAKÓW

  • Wander around Rynek Główny
  • Uncover Rynek Underground Museum
  • Shop in the Cloth Hall
  • Climb up the Town Hall Tower
  • Explore St Mary’s Basilica
  • Visit Wawel Royal Castle
  • Explore Wawel Cathedral
  • Stop by the Old Synagogue
  • Stroll around Planty Park
  • Take a tour of Auschwitz

KRAKÓW OVERVIEW

🌤 Best time to visit: spring (March-May) and autumn (September-November) 🏨 Where to stay: Stare Miasto (Old Town) 🌿 Sustainable suggestion: enjoy a relaxing day at the  Bagry Lagoon

18- Ljubljana, Slovenia

You will find Ljubljana in Slovenia, the capital of the country and the largest city, known as one of the greenest and most liveable capitals in Europe, being the European Green Capital in 2016.

You will find no car traffic in the centre, leafy riverbanks along the Ljubljanica River that runs through the city, plenty of cyclists and green spaces, including the vast Tivoli Park. And in summer, you can enjoy outdoor events, cafés with terraces set up along the river and fun street parties.

Finally, for any art and history lover, Ljubljana has many museums to suit your taste, including the National Museum of Slovenia, which features historical exhibitions, and the Museum of Modern Art, home to 20th-century Slovene paintings and sculptures. 

BEST THINGS TO DO & SEE IN LJUBLJANA

  • Explore the city centre
  • Wander Prešeren Square
  • Go dragon hunting
  • Relax in Tivoli Park
  • Discover Ljubljana Castle
  • Stop by the Central Market
  • Go paddleboarding on the river
  • Admire Ljubljana Cathedral
  • Walk across Dragon Bridge
  • Visit The National Gallery

LJUBLJANA OVERVIEW

🌤 Best time to visit: spring (April-May) and autumn (September-October) 🏨 Where to stay: Old Town 🌿 Sustainable suggestion: stand up  paddle-board  on Ljubljanica river

19- Brussels, Belgium

Brussels might not be a city we think about often, but it is worth the visit. The fascinating capital of Belgium is filled with lovely architecture and captivating history. And if the city is mainly known as the administrative centre of the European Union, there is plenty to do and see on a weekend getaway. 

Explore its historical centre, where you will encounter the stunning Grand Palace, and get lost in its picturesque streets to uncover more unusual attractions such as the Atomium.

And for any foodie lover, you have come to the right place! From mussels and fries to chocolate and waffles, you will return home with your stomach satisfied and your head full of memories.

BEST THINGS TO DO & SEE IN BRUSSELS

  • Be amazed by the Grand Place
  • Discover the Old England Building
  • Visit Notre Dame Du Sablon Church
  • Admire Le Botanique
  • Explore the Royal Palace
  • See the Manneken Pis
  • Tour the Royal Museums of Fine Arts
  • Relax in the Parc Du Cinquantenaire
  • Enjoy the views from the Atomium
  • Shop at the Royal Gallery of Saint Hubert

BRUSSELS OVERVIEW

🌤 Best time to visit: spring (March-May) and autumn (September-October) 🏨 Where to stay: Historical City Centre 🌿 Sustainable suggestion: join a unique  forest bathing workshop

Tallinn is the capital of Estonia on the Baltic Sea and the cultural hub of the country. Lively yet peaceful, get your camera ready as you explore its picturesque streets packed with beautiful sights.

Discover its walled and cobblestoned Old Town home to cafés and shops, stop at the Kiek in de Kök, a 15th-century defensive tower and visit its Gothic Town Hall, built in the 13th century on the historic main square.

Tallinn is a perfect holiday destination if you want to combine versatile nightlife and luxurious adventures with a rich cultural scene in a historical setting. Plus, do not forget to try delicious local dishes!

BEST THINGS TO DO & SEE IN TALLINN

  • Walk through Viru Gate
  • Wander the Old Town
  • Explore Tallinn Town Hall
  • Walk down St. Catherine’s Passage 
  • Visit Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
  • Tour the Lennusadam Maritime Museum
  • Enjoy the views from Tallinn TV Tower
  • Relax in Kadriorg Park
  • See St Olaf’s church
  • Discover Kiek in de Kök

TALLINN OVERVIEW

🌤 Best time to visit: summer (May-August) 🏨 Where to stay: Old Town (Vanalinn) 🌿 Sustainable suggestion: venture on the  Mukri Bog  nature trail

1- Florence, Italy

Florence (Firenze), the capital of the Tuscany region, is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, home to many masterpieces of Renaissance art and architecture – and one of my favourite cities in Italy!

Savour gourmet Tuscan cuisine, visit the iconic Duomo by Brunelleschi, stop by the Galleria dell’Accademia to see the David sculpture by Michelangelo and tour the Uffizi Gallery to admire  The Birth of Venus  by Botticelli.

READ MORE: Florence Travel Guide: Epic 3-Day Itinerary

2- Porto, Portugal

Porto is a charming coastal and World Heritage city in northwest Portugal, known for its superb bridges and its production of Port wine, shipped from here around the world.

Full of heritage and culture, take the time to wander its narrow cobbled streets filled with cafés and shops, stop by the São Francisco Church famous for its splendid Baroque interior, and discover the magnificent 19th-century Palácio de Bolsa.

3- Nice, France

If you are looking for a relaxing vacation under the sun, add Nice to your bucket list. Located on the French Rivera, the city boasts a blend of luxury, year-round sunshine, vibrant nightlife and an ideal seaside location. 

Aside from its status as a beach holiday destination, Nice is also a place full of art and culture, home to the Matisse Museum and Marc Chagall Museum, housing some major religious works. 

READ MORE: South of France Road Trip: 1-Week Itinerary

4- Madrid, Spain

Madrid, the capital of Spain, is a vibrant city full of diversity and one of the most interesting cities in Europe with its elegant boulevards, lush green parks, renowned museums, bustling streets packed with shops, bars and restaurants and an unstoppable nightlife.

In addition, the Spanish city is famous for its rich collections of European art, including the Prado Museum, home to works by Goya, Velázquez and other influential Spanish masters.

5- Salzburg, Austria

Salzburg is an Austrian city located on the border of Germany with stunning views of the Eastern Alps, the perfect stop on a European road trip. Divided by the Salzach River, you will find medieval and baroque buildings of the Old City on its left bank and the 19th-century New City on its right.

Whether you are a music lover eager to learn more about the birthplace of composer Mozart or an adventure enthusiast who finds joy in nature through skiing or hiking, the Australian city has something for everyone.

6- Oslo, Norway

Oslo, the capital of Norway, is a bustling city located on the south coast of the country on the Oslofjord, offering a variety of fun activities and sights, whether you are into culture, history or nature.

Walk through its neighbourhoods featuring contemporary architecture and small shops, cafés, restaurants and bars, enjoy the sun in the many green areas, or join a fjord cruise to discover beautiful beaches and stunning island landscapes.

7- Bruges, Belgium

Bruges is a fairytale town in Belgium worth the visit as one of the best-preserved cities in Europe, characterised by its picturesque canals, winding cobbled streets, historic churches and medieval buildings. 

Step back in time as you stroll through its Old Town and come across the 14th-century City Hall and the 13th-century Market Square, and stop for a well-deserved break to enjoy a traditional meal accompanied by a local beer. 

8- Venice, Italy

It is impossible not to mention Venice as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, built on more than 100 small islands in a lagoon in the Adriatic Sea. Here, you will find no roads but only canals lined with Renaissance and Gothic palaces. 

Lose yourself in its narrow streets, enjoy a shot of expresso and stop at the Piazza San Marco to admire St. Mark’s Basilica, tiled with Byzantine mosaics, and the Campanile bell tower offering breathtaking views.

READ MORE: Sustainable Travel Guide to Venice, Italy

9- Berlin, Germany

Berlin, the capital of Germany, is a diverse city anchored in history. As a reminder of its turbulent 20th-century past, you will come across the Holocaust Memorial and the Berlin Wall with graffitied remains.

Also known for its art scene and modern landmarks, the German city is the perfect destination for a short weekend getaway with friends or young adults thanks to its rich culture, innovative architecture, delicious cuisine and vibrant parties.

10- Helsinki, Finland

Helsinki, the capital of Finland, is a charming city worth the detour, where quirky urbanity meets peaceful nature. Brimming with great food, stunning design, fascinating museums and unique architecture, you find plenty to do and see on a short vacation.

And if nature is your thing, wander the islands of its archipelago, join a kayaking expedition, swim in its natural pools or relax in one of its traditional saunas – you will, without a doubt, return home rejuvenated.

READ MORE: Helsinki Travel Guide: 10 Best Things to Do

11- Seville, Spain

Seville, the capital and largest city of Andalusia, is a city full of life and energy, with its Flamenco clubs continuing a centuries-old tradition and its aristocratic residences reflecting the past of the city as a Moorish capital.

Stroll through Barrio Santa Cruz, stop at the Seville Cathedral or climb the Giralda Tower for fantastic views. Whether you are interested in tapas or history, you will never get bored in this Andalusian city! 

READ MORE: 20 Best Summer Destinations in Europe

12- Strasbourg, France

Strasbourg is a lovely city in Alsace in northeastern France, with culture and architecture blending German and French influences. If the city is officially known as the seat of the European Parliament, it has so much more to offer.

Explore its picturesque streets and visit its Gothic Cathédrale Notre-Dame, offering daily shows from its astronomical clock and spectacular views of the Rhine River. Between its medieval past and its progressive future, Strasbourg is a city that will captivate you!

Note – Strasbourg is a top winter city break famous for its Christmas market (Christkindelsmärik), one of the best in Europe.

13- Dublin, Ireland

Welcome to Dublin, the capital of the Republic of Ireland, a friendly city full of life. Framed by mountains and centred on the River Liffey, the city is packed with vibrant art, historic buildings, trendy cafés and traditional Irish pubs. 

Walk down the streets as you feel the lively energy of the city through its bustling boutiques, Viking past and green parks hosting markets and festivals. And for a dose of history, explore Dublin Castle and visit the impressive St Patrick’s Cathedral.

14- Brașov, Romania

Bordered by the peaks of the Southern Carpathian Mountains and shining with Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance architecture, Brașov is one of the most beautiful and visited places in Romania.

Known for its medieval Saxon walls and bastions, the tall Gothic-style Black Church and its lively cafés, the city welcomes you with a peaceful atmosphere and rich history. On your city break, also take the time to wander through the Piaţa Sfatului, the quaint Old Town surrounded by colourful Baroque buildings.

15- Annecy, France

Annecy is a pretty Alpine town in southeastern France, where Lake Annecy flows into the Thiou River. Known for its Vieille Ville (Old Town) with picturesque cobbled streets, winding canals and pastel-coloured houses, it is the ideal location for a romantic weekend getaway.

Hop on a bike and explore Lake Annecy, visit the medieval Annecy Castle overlooking the city for a dose of history or wander through the Old Town for picture-perfect scenery worth the detour. 

16- Verona, Italy

Verona is a UNESCO World Heritage city in northern Italy, famous for being the setting of  Romeo and Juliet  by Shakespeare. As a place of history, culture, music and architecture, you will never run out of ideas for things to do. 

Walk through the medieval Old Town built between the curve of the Adige River to discover the 14th-century residence with a tiny balcony overlooking a courtyard, and the Verona Arena, an imposing 1st-century Roman amphitheatre, hosting concerts and opera performances.

17- Munich, Germany

Munich, the capital of Bavaria, is a city where traditional meets modern, home to century-old buildings and countless museums. Also known for its annual Oktoberfest celebration and beer gardens, the German city offers many opportunities for a fun weekend with friends. 

Enjoy a shopping spree, wander around the beautiful Marienplatz square containing iconic landmarks such as Neo-Gothic Neues Rathaus (Town Hall) or organise a road trip to the German Alps for a dose of nature. 

READ MORE: 16 Best Places to Visit in Bavaria, Germany

18- Belgrade, Serbia

Belgrade, the capital of the southeast European country of Serbia, is a fascinating city to explore, filled with a rich and intense past. Whether you are visiting for a weekend trip or a week-long vacation, you will find plenty of things to do and see.

One of its most significant landmarks is the Beogradska Tvrđava, an imposing fortress testifying to the strategic implication of the city to the Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, Serbian and Austrian empires, now home to several museums.

19- Bergen, Norway

Bergen is a charming city and a UNESCO World Heritage site you will find on the southwestern coast of Norway. Situated at the top of Ulriken, surrounded by the sea, mountains and fjords, it is also known as  the capital of the fjords .

Explore its narrow cobbled streets filled with traditional shops and colourful wooden houses, take the Fløibanen Funicular to go up the Fløyen Mountain for panoramic views and hiking trails or join a boat cruise to discover the Sognefjord, the deepest and longest fjord in the country.

Note – if you visit the city in December, you might have the chance to see the Northern Lights!

READ MORE: Norwegian Fjords Cruise: Complete Winter Guide

Bucharest is a dynamic and fun city in Romania worth the visit, even though it is not a destination we often think about. From captivating museums to green parks and trendy cafés, there is an activity for everyone. 

Take the time to explore the historic Lipscani district, home to vibrant nightlife, the small Eastern Orthodox Stavropoleos Church and the 15th-century Curtea Veche Palace, where Prince Vlad III once ruled.

Shop the printable travel planner

Create & plan your perfect city break in Europe!

top 15 european cities to visit

Tips for reducing your impact in Europe

Sustainable travel  means exploring the world whilst being aware of your surroundings and having a positive social, environmental and economic impact on the places you visit.

Being a responsible traveller whilst exploring Europe is possible! Here are some  sustainable tips for reducing your carbon footprint :

  • Use green methods of transport . Use public transport as much as possible to travel to and from your destination (train or coach). Europe has a fantastic transport network that can take you anywhere, even on a budget. Once at your destination, prioritise walking or cycling as much as possible.
  • Select an eco-friendly accommodation . It is not always easy to determine whether a hotel has eco-conscious practices, but try to look on their website for green credentials and ask questions. You can also use  Bookdifferent  or  Ecobnb  to help you decide. And if you like nature and the outdoors, why not organise a camping trip?
  • Shop local & eat at local restaurants  that use produce from the region. It will contribute to the local economy and reduce your carbon footprint by supporting restaurants where food does not come from long distances.
  • Treat the landscapes and wildlife with respect .   Do not come close to animals, do not feed them and respect their home. Always pay attention to where you walk or cycle (or drive if you rent a car).
  • Bring a  reusable filtered water bottle  with you . It will help avoid buying single-use plastic bottles that will be wasted. Instead, refill your water bottle wherever you can – at a fountain or river! It will also help you save money and stay hydrated on the go.
  • Do not leave a trace . Do not litter, and pick up any trash you encounter. Leftover waste can be extremely harmful to the local ecosystem. So, once again, be zero waste and take your garbage with you. 
  • Always respect the local heritage . Treat people and their surroundings with respect. Sustainable travel is not only about the environment but also about the local communities. So, always be respectful and smile!

WANT MORE INSPIRATION?

  • The Complete Guide to Sustainable Travel
  • 10 Best Travel Apps for Exploring Sustainably
  • Best Ecotourism Activities Around the World
  • 15 Travel Books to Inspire Your Next Eco-Adventure

top 15 european cities to visit

Best European cities – FAQ

The best city to visit in Europe for first-time visitors is Paris. The French capital will offer you a great insight into European art, culture and history. It is also an ideal destination for a couple weekend getaway.

I would say Florence, Italy. The Italian capital of Tuscany is considered one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and the world, home to many masterpieces of Renaissance art and architecture.

The most visited places and attractions in Europe are the Louvre, the Colosseum, the Sagrada Familia and Buckingham Palace – all stunning landmarks worth the detour.

best cities to visit in europe

And you, what is your favourite city to visit in Europe? Let me know in the comments below!

With love ♡ Lucie

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The 15 Best Cities to Visit in Europe in 2024

By Soren Rivero

Taking a European vacation is an exhilarating prospect, with a multitude of captivating cities vying for your attention. From the timeless charm of historic capitals to the avant-garde energy of cultural hubs, Europe offers a diverse tapestry of experiences.

This guide will be your passport to the best european cities awaiting exploration in the coming year, so join us as we share the top 15 cities in europe to visit in 2024..

Park Guell, Barcelona – the best cities in Europe to visit in 2024

Barcelona, Spain

Located on the northeastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula is the vibrant city of Barcelona , which seamlessly blends tradition and modernity into one unique creation. You can see the city’s unique architectural identity by visiting Sagrada Familia and Park Güell, two of Spanish artist Antoni Gaudí's most famous masterpieces. Aside from the architecture, you can’t miss out on the inviting people, bustling streets, and delicious cuisine like sizzling seafood paella. To top it off, the beautiful beaches add a laid-back charm that makes Barcelona one of the best cities to visit in Europe this year.

Prague – the best European cities to visit

Prague, Czech Republic

A trip to Prague feels similar to entering into a fairytale. The city’s history is evident throughout each of its cobblestone streets, Gothic architecture, castles, and overall magical ambiance. Prague also boasts some of the most iconic landmarks in all of Central Europe including Charles Bridge, the Astronomical Clock, and Old Town Square. While in Prague, you must indulge in hearty Czech cuisine, as you truly can’t experience the richness of the city without tasting the unique food options.

Dubrovnik – the best European cities to visit

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik is often synonymous with two things: medieval walls and the Old Town. These are two features that make the city so unique. Located on the Adriatic Coast, Dubrovnik is a dazzling coastal city encircled by medieval walls, hosting an Old Town that has been dubbed a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Take a stroll along the city walls for stunning views of the sea, explore charming streets, visit Game of Thrones filming locations , and take a tour of the Renaissance and Baroque architecture of Dubrovnik’s Old Town!

Amsterdam – the best cities in Europe to visit in 2024

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam's picturesque canals and historic architecture make it a perennial favorite. In recent years, Amsterdam has become a popular destination for tourists all around the world, for different reasons. For starters, you can’t deny that Amsterdam is filled with opportunities to learn. The Anne Frank House, Van Gogh Museum, and Rijksmuseum are cultural landmarks that enrich the city's allure. You can experience the rest of this Dutch treasure by exploring the narrow streets of the Jordaan District, taking a canal cruise , and visiting the vibrant flower markets.

Nice, France

Nice stands out as one of the best destinations in Europe, captivating visitors with its irresistible charm and diverse offerings. Nestled along the azure shores of the French Riviera, Nice seamlessly blends historic grandeur with a vibrant modern atmosphere. The city boasts an enchanting Old Town, where narrow cobblestone streets lead to bustling markets and charming cafes. The iconic Promenade des Anglais invites leisurely strolls along the Mediterranean, while the vibrant flower market, Marché aux Fleurs, adds a burst of color and fragrance to the experience. With a rich cultural heritage, a delectable culinary scene, serene beaches, and a mild Mediterranean climate, Nice captures the essence of an ideal Europe vacation.

Vienna – the best cities in Europe to visit in 2024

Vienna, Austria

Treat your ears to the musical legacy of Austria’s capital city of Vienna! Trace the steps of legendary musicians, including Beethoven and Mozart, all in this grand city. Explore the majestic Schönbrunn Palace and the artistic treasures of the Belvedere Palace, relive musical history at the Vienna State Opera, and wander through the historic Innere Stadt. When you’re not soaking in the city's elegance, Vienna's coffeehouse culture invites you to savor aromatic blends while contemplating the city's artistic legacy. Plus, indulge in local Austrian cuisine like traditional Wiener Schnitzel and delicate Sachertorte.

Inverness – the best European cities to visit

Inverness, Scotland

Nestled amidst the rugged beauty of the Scottish Highlands, Inverness is one of the best cities in Europe to visit for travelers who want an enchanting destination. The city, cradled by the River Ness, provides the perfect backdrop for leisurely strolls along its scenic banks. Also present – plenty of history! Learn about the intricacies of Inverness Castle, the mysteries of Loch Ness, and the haunting battles at the Culloden Battlefield. Beyond its historic gems, Inverness reveals a vibrant cultural heartbeat, echoing through its lively streets, diverse culinary delights, and the warm embrace of Scottish hospitality.

Santorini – the best cities in Europe to visit in 2024

Santorini, Greece

Become captivated by one of the Aegean Sea’s jewels: Santorini ! A city boasting a unique charm you can’t find elsewhere, Santorini is most well-known for its white-washed buildings and blue-domed roofs perched on dramatic cliffs. Simply walking through the famous Oia district is a magical experience of its own accord, yet you can’t miss seeing it during sunset hours. With delectable cuisine choices, beautiful scenery, and some of Greece’s most pristine beaches, Santorini is a must-visit destination in Europe.

Budapest – the best cities in Europe to visit in 2024

Budapest, Hungary

Budapest, often referred to as the "Pearl of the Danube," is a city divided by the Danube River, with Buda on one side and Pest on the other. This Hungarian capital captivates visitors with its stunning architecture, including the iconic Buda Castle and the grandeur of the Hungarian Parliament Building, illuminated along the Danube River at night. Budapest's thermal baths , such as the renowned Széchenyi and Gellért Baths, offer a unique relaxation experience. The city's vibrant culinary scene introduces palates to traditional Hungarian flavors and innovative gastronomy. As you traverse the historic streets and bridges, like the famous Chain Bridge, the city's rich history unfolds, with remnants of the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian empires. From the lively ruin bars to the tranquil Margaret Island, Budapest seamlessly marries the old and the new, creating an unforgettable tapestry of experiences.

Ponte Vecchio

Florence, Italy

Florence , renowned as the cradle of the Renaissance, exudes a captivating blend of art and history. The cultural significance of this city is beautifully showcased through iconic landmarks such as the Uffizi Gallery, Ponte Vecchio, and Florence Cathedral. Wander through the enchanting Piazza della Signoria, delight in the flavors of Tuscan cuisine, and relish the artistic marvels that grace every corner of this Italian gem. Take a day trip out into the Tuscan countryside to learn why Florence is one of the best cities to visit in Italy.

Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik , Iceland's capital, distinguishes itself as a crowd-favorite travel destination thanks to its unique mix of cosmopolitan allure and natural wonders. Set against breathtaking landscapes, the city offers the rare chance to witness the mesmerizing Northern Lights , setting it apart from many of its European counterparts. Reykjavik's modern architecture, vibrant street art, and thriving cultural scene enhance its appeal, complemented by a rich history showcased in landmarks like Hallgrímskirkja. The warm hospitality of its residents, coupled with renowned geothermal pools like the Blue Lagoon, creates a perfect harmony of urban sophistication and natural splendor, making Reykjavik one of the best cities to visit in Europe.

Munich – the best European cities to visit

Munich, Germany

Set within the heart of Bavaria is a city that combines traces of tradition with a vibrant contemporary lifestyle – and that city is, of course, Munich ! What you’ll see in Munich is incomparable to anywhere else that you’ll visit in Germany. The Marienplatz, Nymphenburg Palace, and the English Garden are iconic landmarks that showcase Munich's architectural prowess and natural beauty. Embrace the lively atmosphere of the beer gardens, immerse yourself in Bavarian traditions, and experience the world-famous Oktoberfest (if your visit coincides with the fall festivities).

Manchester – the best cities in Europe to visit in 2024

Manchester, England

Specifically popular for its industrial heritage, Manchester has transformed into a modern metropolis while still retaining its unique “old-time” character. The city's architecture, from the historic Manchester Cathedral to the iconic Beetham Tower, reflects its diverse past. Manchester's cultural scene is electric, to say the least, with world-class museums such as the Manchester Museum and the Museum of Science and Industry offering engaging experiences. The city is also a haven for football enthusiasts, home to the legendary Old Trafford stadium. Overall, Manchester’s welcoming spirit, friendly locals, and the perfect balance of tradition and innovation make Manchester an incredible city to visit in Europe, or more specifically, the UK !

Glendalough in Wicklow – the best European cities to visit

Wicklow, Ireland

Nestled on Ireland's east coast, Wicklow is known as the "Garden of Ireland" and is one of Europe's best destinations. Though not quite a city, it is the capital town of County Wicklow. Renowned for its ethereal landscapes, Wicklow boasts the Wicklow Mountains National Park , a sprawling haven of rugged peaks, serene lakes, and lush forests. The captivating Glendalough, with its ancient monastic settlement and scenic lakes, adds a historic charm. Wicklow's dramatic coastline, featuring the iconic Sally Gap and Powerscourt Waterfall, offers breathtaking vistas. Visitors can explore quaint villages, indulge in local hospitality, and experience the warmth of Irish culture. Wicklow seamlessly blends natural beauty, cultural richness, and outdoor adventures, making it a must-visit destination in Europe.

Lisbon – the best European cities to visit

Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon invites visitors to experience a harmonious blend of history and contemporary energy. Its charming cobblestone streets, historic architecture, and lively neighborhoods create a vibrant city that unfolds along the Tagus River. Lisbon’s legendary viewpoints, such as the panoramic Miradouro da Senhora do Monte, provide stunning views of terracotta rooftops and picturesque landscapes around every corner. Lisbon's warm-hearted locals, the soulful notes of Fado music, and its proximity to beautiful beaches make it one of the best cities in Europe to visit for the perfect fusion of history, culture, and coastal allure.

In conclusion, the allure of Europe's top cities beckons with promises of unforgettable experiences in 2024. From the timeless elegance of Vienna to the cutting-edge creativity of Amsterdam, each city on this curated list opens a doorway to a unique adventure. As you contemplate your travel plans for the coming year, consider the rich history, cultural vibrancy, and breathtaking landscapes that await you in these top 15 cities in Europe to visit.

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37 The Best European Cities to Visit in 2024 (Picked by Bloggers)

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Home » 37 The Best European Cities to Visit in 2024 (Picked by Bloggers)

Curious about the best European cities worthy of exploration? I’ve got you covered!

Europe is a continent with a vast selection of countries, cultures, and experiences. For the traveler looking to explore Europe, the number of cities to choose from can be daunting.

That’s why we at Wanderlust Storytellers have combed through our own experience as well as those of 29 other trusted travel bloggers to create this comprehensive list of the 37 best cities in Europe to visit.

From the ancient ruins of Rome to the cosmopolitan nightlife of Berlin, we’ve got it all covered.

But don’t just take our word for it – each city is accompanied by an explanation of why from a fellow traveler who has been there themselves.

If you are planning your first trip to Europe be sure to check our post to help you plan your first trip .

Keep reading to find out which are the best cities in Europe you should check off your list!

37 of The Best European Cities to Visit

With 37 amazing cities to choose from, it can be difficult to pick the right one.

From culture-filled Prague to historical Rome, our list of must-see European cities offers something special for every type of traveler.

1. Rome, Italy

Rome Most Beautiful Cities in Italy

Rome is a city with a rich cultural history, breathtaking ruins, and stunning architecture.

It’s no wonder why it has been dubbed one of the most beautiful European cities; there are iconic sights around every corner and the views never get old.

One of the best ways to experience the city is to take a walking tour , so you can explore Rome’s stunning architecture from the Colosseum to the Pantheon.

Rome in 2 Days - Rome 2 Day Itinerary - Pantheon

Another must-see activity in Rome is touring the Vatican Museums ( purchase your skip-the-line ticket here ) and seeing art that dates back thousands of years.

Rome is also one of the best cities to visit in Europe with kids .

So if you are traveling with kids, you will find our list of what to do in Rome with kids post helpful and you can also use our list of the best family hotels in Rome to find the perfect hotel for your family.

I also highly recommend you book some tours to include in your itinerary:

  • Take a guided tour of the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill . This 2.5 – 3 hour tour includes priority access so that you don’t have to line up for hours at each attraction.
  • On a small group tour, visit the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and St Peter’s Basilica with an expert guide . Marvel at Michelangelo’s breathtaking frescos on the ceilings of these structures, as your guide reveals their captivating history and significance.
We visited Rome during our honeymoon so it was a really special trip. We only stayed for 3 nights and with only 2 days our days were too fully packed, so I recommend staying for longer if you can. However here is our 2 day Rome itinerary if you are short on time.

Best Time of the Year to Visit Rome

The ideal time to visit Rome is from April to early November when the weather is pleasant and temperatures range from mild to warm.

Where to Stay in Rome

The Otivm Hotel in Rome is a 4-star boutique hotel that features stunning views from its rooftop bar, and it’s conveniently located close to all of Rome’s top attractions.

Otivm Hotel in Rome

Looking for a cozy double or spacious triple room? Otivm Hotel offers comfortable lodging for all types of travelers.

2. Paris, France

Paris tours

Paris is a romantic, historic, and culturally rich city in Europe. It showcases iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and renowned art galleries such as the Louvre, making it one of the most popular European destinations.

Exploring its cobblestone streets and alleys on foot is a delight.

With a vibrant nightlife, a diverse gastronomy scene, and exciting events and festivals, there’s no shortage of activities in this lively city.

Paris with a Baby at the Eiffel Tower

Don’t miss the Eiffel Tower ( book your skip-the-line tour here ), Notre Dame Cathedral, and famous museums like the Louvre and Orsay.

If you are traveling with kids, there are so many family-friendly activities when in Paris that are fun for the whole family!

You can also use our list of the best family hotels in Paris to find the perfect hotel for your family.

When you are in Paris, I recommend booking some tours in advance to ensure you get to see and visit some of the iconic and popular sites.

  • Bateaux Parisiens Seine River Gourmet Dinner & Sightseeing Cruise – Have an unforgettable night in Paris with a gourmet dinner cruise on the Seine River. Enjoy iconic monuments like the Eiffel Tower and Louvre Museum from a luxury Bateaux Parisiens riverboat.
  • Paris Walking Food Tour – Explore Paris’ gastronomy on a guided walking tour. Take your pick: Montmartre or Notre Dame. Savor the essence of each neighborhood with tastings at six locations.
We visited Paris with our baby and had a great time exploring this vibrant city. If you’re planning to travel with a toddler or baby, check out our helpful post with tips for visiting Paris with a toddler (or baby) including best places to stay.

Best Time of the Year to Visit Paris

The best time to visit Paris is in the Spring and Summer (April to October).

The Spring and later summer months are more pleasant with fewer crowds and temperatures ranging from 55°F to 68°F.

Where to Stay in Paris

The CitizenM Paris Gare de Lyon Hotel is modern luxury & convenience in one.

Situated in the 12th district, this 4-star hotel offers a fantastic view of the Seine River & is close to Gare de Lyon train station.

citizenM Paris Gare de Lyon

No better place to stay when visiting the City of Lights!

3. Venice, Italy

Venice The most romantinc things to do in Venice - Check out the Rialto Bridge

Venice makes the top 5 of the best European cities to visit! With its winding canals, stunning architecture, and unique culture, it’s easy to see why.

Explore one of the prettiest cities in all of Europe with a gondola ride along the canals for an unforgettable experience.

Book a private gondola boat ride here with multiple stops to see the great attractions including St. Mark’s Square and the Bridge of Sighs.

Venice in Italy one of the best European cities to visit

Venice’s famous markets are full of local treasures, and its winding cobblestone streets provide an escape from modernity!

You may even get lost whilst admiring art and graffiti from local artists.

Arguably the best European city to visit as a couple as it is particularly romantic.

Whether you’re there for a day or a week, Venice always has something new to offer, view our post for Venice attractions you must see!

Explore Venice with these recommended tours:

  • Murano & Burano Islands Guided Tour – Take a day trip to Murano Island by private boat. Visit a glassblowing factory to witness centuries-old techniques and admire Burano lace.
  • The Real Hidden Venice – Explore hidden Venice on a walking tour with a local guide. Discover authentic neighborhoods, delve into history and lore, and admire quiet canals and artisan workshops that handcraft masks and gondolas.
We visited Venice during our honeymoon and we had a fantastic time! I think it is important to visit Venice during the shoulder season. We visited Venice during September and it was perfect as it wasn’t too busy.

Best Time of the Year to Visit Venice

Plan your visit between April and June or during early autumn when the weather is typically drier and you can bask in glorious sunshine.

Where to Stay in Venice

Hotel Aquarius Venice-Ascend is the perfect choice for travelers visiting Venice, Italy.

Just 700 meters from Venice Santa Lucia Train Station and 3 minutes from the San Stae water bus terminal.

Hotel Aquarius Venice-Ascend Hotel Collection

With modern amenities and a 4-star rating, this hotel is sure to make your stay in Venice truly memorable.

4. Florence, Italy

best cities in Europe Florence with Kids

Florence, the capital of Italy’s Tuscany region, is renowned as one of Europe’s most beautiful cities.

It offers rich Renaissance culture, stunning architecture, and a fascinating history to explore.

From world-famous art galleries to charming alleys, Florence has something for everyone in the family that makes it one of the best European cities to visit.

Indulge in delicious Italian cuisine at its finest restaurants while admiring the city’s captivating beauty.

Don’t forget to visit San Lorenzo Market, Ponte Vecchio Bridge, Pallazzo Vecchio, and Piazzale Michelangelo for breathtaking views.

Best day trips from Lake Como to cities like Florence

Florence offers endless wonders for visitors seeking enchanting experiences, from fresh market shopping to immersing in ancient monuments.

Some tours that we recommend when in Florence:

  • The Duomo Complex and Its Hidden Terraces – Skip the line and discover the secrets of Florence’s famous Duomo, an architectural marvel from the Renaissance era. Includes a guided tour of the cathedral and crypt.
  • Chianti Wine Tour from Florence – Explore the authentic taste of the Tuscan countryside on this Chianti wine tour from Florence.
  • Uffizi Gallery Timed-Entry Tickets and Priority Access – Skip long general admission lines and save time with a pre-booked timed-entry admission ticket.
  • Check out our recommended cooking classes in Florence .
We visited Florence with our three kids during our 3 month trip around Italy. Florence is well worth visiting, we only spent one day there as we opted to stay in Lucca (much cheaper for families when looking at accommodation), but I think you really do need at least 2 days for Florence.

Best Time of the Year to Visit Florence

Florence is at its best from May to September. With the warm weather enjoy the art festivals, alfresco dining, and radiant Italian sunshine that once inspired the Renaissance painters.

Where to Stay in Florence

Hotel Croce Di Malta is the perfect place for travelers visiting Florence who want to be in close proximity to all the sights and attractions.

Located just around the corner from Santa Maria Novella Church and the train station, this 4-star hotel has a lot to offer with its lovely inner garden and swimming pool.

Want more suggestions? Check out more neighborhoods to stay in Florence to help you decide.

Hotel Croce Di Malta

For panoramic views of Florence, Hotel Croce Di Malta’s rooftop terrace offers spectacular vistas of the city’s domes and bell towers.

5. Krakow, Poland

How many days in Krakow?

Krakow located in the south of Poland, is brimming with fascinating history at every turn.

This stunning city features on our list as one of the best cities in Europe to visit for many reasons.

With its crumbling castles, Krakow is an architectural wonderland that will have you captivated from start to finish.

Whether wandering along the Vistula River or eating pierogi for dinner, Krakow will be sure to give you a unique experience like no other.

Things to see in Krakow

No visit to Krakow is complete without taking a stroll down Grodzka Street which showcases some of the city’s most impressive architecture or a walk around the Main Square.

Visit the stunning Wawel Castle, or even take a trip up the nearby mountain range.

There are some unmissable tours and things to do in Krakow that ensure you get to see all that this city has to offer.

Here are some top tours to book to get the most out of your stay in Krakow:

  • Sightseeing Bike Tour of Krakow – Explore the streets and discover the rich history and architecture of Krakow on a bike tour led by a local guide. Pedal by the city’s iconic landmarks such as Jagiellonian University, Wawel Castle, and the Jewish Quarter.
  • Krakow Sightseeing by Vistula River Cruise – Cruise along the Vistula River to discover its history and landmarks: Wawel Castle, Norbertine nuns’ monastery, and Kazimierz, the Jewish district.
  • Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum and Memorial Certified Guided Tour – Experience the gripping realities of Nazi occupancy and pay tribute to lives lost during this full-day tour from Krakow.

Best Time of the Year to Visit Krakow

Kraków is best enjoyed during the months of March to May and September to November. With pleasant weather and fewer tourists, it’s the perfect time to explore.

Where to Stay in Krakow

Forest Hotel is a great place to stay when traveling in Krakow. It’s located just 5 km from the iconic Wawel Royal Castle.

After a long day of sightseeing, it’s the perfect place to come back to and relax while enjoying the stunning views of the forest around you.

top 15 european cities to visit

The hotel itself is modern, 4-star quality, and provides everything you need for a pleasant stay.

5. Warsaw, Poland

Warsaw from Vistula River Best Cities in Europe

Warsaw is a city that captures the best of both old and new European styles.

From its stunning baroque architecture to trendy modern cafes, Warsaw is a unique destination with so much to do in Warsaw .

Whether you’re interested in exploring centuries-old monuments or getting lost in the bustling nightlife scene!

With its colorful streets, cultural attractions, and friendly locals, it’s no wonder why this vibrant city is one of the best European cities to visit!

Warsaw is a magnificent city with so much to offer. From its vibrant nightlife and delicious food to its rich history and cultural landmarks.

Warsaw Polish Food Restaurant

One of the most popular things to do is take a walk along the Vistula River, as the area offers breathtaking views, unique sculptures, and plenty of parks and cafes where you can stop by for a quick bite or drink.

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Warsaw:

  • Segway Tour of Warsaw: 3-Hour Full Guided Tour – Discover the wonders of Warsaw effortlessly on a thrilling small-group Segway tour! No experience is needed.
  • Warsaw Food Tasting Tour with Delicious Poland – Explore Poland’s rich cuisine and Warsaw’s authentic eateries on an evening tasting tour.

Best Time of the Year to Visit Warsaw

Visit Warsaw between June and August. Despite it being the peak season with larger crowds at attractions, the pleasant temperatures and the abundance of seasonal activities make it worth it!

Where to Stay in Warsaw

Mercure Warszawa Centrum is a great choice for travelers visiting Warsaw due to its ideal location in the city center.

Guests at Mercure Warszawa Centrum can explore some of the most famous landmarks in the city, like the Palace of Culture and Science or the modern Shopping Centre Złote Tarasy, which are just steps away from the hotel.

Mercure Warszawa Centrum

With the nearby metro and train station, the Mercure Warszawa Centrum provides an excellent base for exploring all that Warsaw has to offer.

7. Gdansk, Poland

Gdansk Mariacka Street

Its cobbled streets, picturesque red-brick buildings, and captivating vistas of the Motlawa River give it a unique atmosphere that few other cities can match.

Whether you’re seeking culture, history, or a modern nightlife scene, you’ll find it all in Gdansk making it one of the best European cities to visit.

Enjoy long strolls in its colorful parks and embrace the diverse architectural and medieval styles of its towering churches and quaint homes.

Gdansk port Poland

There are plenty of things to do in Gdansk to keep you busy. From exploring the historic Old Town to visiting museums and galleries, there’s plenty to do in this Polish seaside destination.

Art lovers will be enticed by the amber shops, while history buffs can visit the Solidarity Centre or the European Solidarity Museum.

Take time out for a leisurely stroll along Ulica Dluga which runs through the heart of Gdansk’s old quarter.

Don’t forget to take a boat ride down Motlawa River where you can admire Gdansk’s stunning waterfront views!

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Gdansk:

  • Malbork Castle regular tour – Discover the magnificent Malbork Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the largest castles globally. Explore the castle’s history, grounds, & museum with a knowledgeable guide, showcasing 40,000 medieval artifacts!
  • Gdansk Guided City Cruise on Historical Polish Boat – Explore and experience the beauty of Gdansk from the water. Sail through the charming Old Town, passing iconic landmarks like the water gates and the 15th-century crane.

Best Time of the Year to Visit Gdansk

Gdansk experiences optimal weather conditions during the months of May, June, July, August, and September.

Among these, July and August are typically the warmest months.

Where to Stay in Gdansk

Hotel Sadova is the ideal choice for travelers looking to explore Gdańsk. Located in the heart of the city, you’ll find plenty of things to do nearby.

With a sauna and fitness center, there’s also plenty of opportunity to relax after a busy day exploring all that Gdańsk has to offer.

Best European Cities Gdansk Hotel Sadova

The hotel is just a few minutes walk from attractions like Marina Gdańsk, Green Gate, and Central Maritime Museum.

8. Salzburg, Austria

Salzburg Best European Cities

Salzburg is a stunning and picturesque city located in Austria. Its old-world charm, vibrant culture, stunning Alps, and historic sites draw visitors from all over the world.

Salzburg is an ideal destination for families traveling with teenagers .

It’s no surprise that Salzburg made the list of best European Cities to visit – from its quaint cobblestone streets to its iconic Baroque architecture.

Plus, there are ample opportunities for outdoor activities year-round, making it an ideal destination whatever the season.

One of the most popular, and must-do activities in this beautiful city, is taking a tour along the Salzach River.

A boat ride along the river is an ideal way to take in the beauty of this city, with sights like churches, castles, and lush greenery.

If you’re feeling particularly brave, why not try white water rafting on the rapids near Hellbrunn?

Salzburg Day Trips

For those looking for more leisurely pursuits, join a guided walking tour of some of the city’s historical sites or spend an afternoon exploring Hohensalzburg Castle atop Festungsberg Mountain.

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Salzburg:

  • The Original Sound of Music Tour in Salzburg – Experience the magic of “The Sound of Music” on a Salzburg sightseeing tour. Explore filming sites with commentary on Salzburg’s attractions, including the iconic gazebo from “Sixteen Going on Seventeen”.
  • Skip-The-Line Salt-Mines and Bavarian Mountains Tour from Salzburg – Explore Obersalzberg’s salt mines on a 4-hour trip from Salzburg. Journey through scenic Alpenstrasse, don miners’ gear, and descend into ancient salt mines. Enjoy a unique raft sail on the salt lake and learn about the underground world.
  • Amphibious Splash Tour on the Water and on the Land in Salzburg – Hop aboard an amphibian vehicle for a one-of-a-kind tour of the city, seeing sights from land and water.
  • Check our post for more fun day trips from Salzburg!

Best Time of the Year to Visit Salzburg

The best time to visit Salzburg is in the winter season, December-February.

If you prefer warm days and abundant sunshine, summer is the perfect time to explore this charming city.

Where to Stay in Salzburg

Imlauer Hotel Pitter Salzburg is the perfect place to stay for travelers visiting Salzburg. Located centrally, it is within close proximity to many of the city’s famous landmarks and sights.

Not only that, guests can also enjoy a sauna and fitness facilities with a stunning mountain view.

Best European Cities Salzburg IMLAUER HOTEL PITTER Salzburg

Plus, if you’re taking the train, Salzburg main station is just 10 minutes away on foot from the hotel.

9. Annecy, France

Lac d Annecy

Annecy is widely known as one of the most beautiful European cities to visit. With its crystal-clear lake and cobblestone streets, Annecy offers travelers a picturesque escape in the French Alps.

The city’s charming canals and meandering river make it one of the best European cities to visit, with plenty of natural beauty to explore.

There are plenty of things to do in Annecy to keep you busy. Shops, restaurants, and cafés lined up along its many colorful buildings provide visitors with plenty of opportunities to soak up the unique atmosphere of Annecy’s vibrant culture.

A popular activity amongst tourists is to take a leisurely stroll through the historic old town, taking in its charming and fascinating architecture.

Annecy

The nearby lake is also perfect for swimming, kayaking, or simply soaking up the sun on the shore.

Mountain biking or hiking are also great options with breathtaking views of the Alps all around.

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Annecy:

  • Annecy Segway Tour – Experience France’s magnificent Annecy Lake. Ride a Segway along waterfront promenades, visit Jardin de l’Europe, Pâquier, and Charles Bosson gardens, and pause to appreciate the Imperial Palace.
  • Private Walking Tour of Annecy’s Historical Center – Explore the stunning city of Annecy on a private, customized tour. Discover its rich history and culture, including the iconic Lake of Annecy and Palais de l’Isle.

Best Time of the Year to Visit Annecy

The ideal time to visit Annecy is from September to October. The weather is simply superb during this period, and it’s not as crowded as during peak travel seasons.

Where to Stay in Annecy

Impérial Palace offers a luxurious experience in the French Alps, with stunning views of Lake Annecy and the mountains.

Located in the heart of Annecy, it’s the perfect base to explore this picturesque lakeside town.

Best European Cities Annecy Impérial Palace

Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or an exciting family vacation, Impérial Palace is perfect for your trip to Annecy!

10. Dublin, Republic of Ireland

Contributed by World by Weekend

Dublin View Best European Cities

Dublin, the capital of the Republic of Ireland, is a vibrant city full of history, culture, and a welcoming atmosphere.

You’ll love strolling the streets, listening to buskers on Grafton, and mingling with locals in the pub.

While the year-round rainy weather and cooler temperatures may deter some visitors, there’s no shortage of fun activities and ways to escape the rain in Dublin !

I’ve lived in Dublin for the past two years, and I love exploring this city I get to call home.

Some of my favorite things to do in Dublin are to try different cafes around the city and explore the city’s many free – and excellent – museums.

Dublin Temple Bar Best European Cities

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Dublin :

  • Guinness Storehouse Tours and Tickets -The Storehouse boasts a 7-story interior shaped like a pint glass. Visitors from around the world come to explore its rich history, savor a fresh complimentary pint from the barrel, and enjoy multimedia exhibits.
  • Book of Kells Tour with Dublin Castle – Discover Irish history on a tour of the Book of Kells and Dublin Castle. Visit Trinity College Library and delve into its ancient treasures. Then, wander through Dublin Castle’s gardens.
  • 2-Hour Historical Walking Tour from Dublin – Join the group walking tour for a fascinating journey through Irish history.

Best Time of the Year to Visit Dublin

The best time to visit Dublin is during the summer when Dublin comes alive and offers the best weather and longer days.

While this is the most crowded time of year, nothing beats the vibrancy of the locals enjoying the sunshine and warm weather.

Where to Stay in Dublin

The Grand Canal Hotel is located in the heart of Dublin and is just a ten-minute walk from the city center.

When you need relaxation during your stay, the on-site bar and restaurant are a popular spot to watch sports and enjoy Dublin’s finest burgers.

Dublin The Grand Canal Hotel Booking.com

With its large, comfortable rooms, it’s a great choice for travelers looking to explore the city.

11. Reykjavík, Iceland

Contributed by Iceland Trippers

Reykjavik Blue Lagoon Best Cities in Europe Iceland Trippers

One of the must-visit European cities to visit is Reykjavik, Iceland since it is known for world-class restaurants, amazing museums about Viking culture, and is a great home base from which to explore more natural parts of the country.

With its dramatic coastline, stunning natural beauty, and vibrant culture, it’s no wonder why it’s among the top European cities to visit.

Whether you are looking for breathtaking views of the Northern Lights or a culinary tour through traditional Icelandic cuisine, Reykjavik is guaranteed to deliver an unforgettable experience for all travelers.

Reykjavik Coast

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Reykjavik:

  • So, you can start your Reykjavik itinerary with a South Iceland full-day trip that includes stops at the majestic  Seljalandsfoss waterfall and a visit to a local glacier at Sólheimajökull.
  • Next, do a Golden Circle Full Day Tour so that you can see the Gullfoss waterfall, visit local geysers, and explore Þingvellir National Park.
If you plan to visit the Blue Lagoon, be sure to stop by on your way from the airport to Reykjavik. We made the mistake of going all the way to the capital only to realize that the Blue Lagoon sits right near the airport.

Best Time of the Year to Visit Reykjavik

The best time of year to visit Reykjavik is from June through August since temperatures are warm and days are long.

So, you will have plenty of hours of daylight to enjoy the natural wonders of Iceland.

Where to Stay in Reykjavik

201 Hotel is one of the best places to stay in Reykjavik. It’s a modest hotel with simple, well-appointed rooms that include a delicious complimentary breakfast.

The convenient location provides easy access to Smáralind Shopping Center, which can be reached in just 9 minutes on foot.

Best European Cities, Reykjavic

Joggers and walkers are spoiled for choice with a variety of scenic paths located around Lake Ellidavatn, just 5 km away.

12. Budapest, Hungary

Contributed by Linda on the Run

Budapest Linda on the Run

One of the best eastern European cities to visit is Budapest since it is a stunning city with the Danube River running through it.

Budapest is one of the underrated European cities, yet it has so much to offer.

This city is known for exceptional thermal baths, like the Gellért Baths, and is home to many gorgeous historic buildings like Buda Castle, the Hungarian Parliament Building, and St. Stephens Basilica.

While spending one day in Budapest be sure to book a cruise along the Danube River so that you can see the city’s skyline in a whole new way.

You can also go on a fun half-day trip to visit a local winery in Etyek before digging into an authentic Hungarian homecooked meal.

Hungarian parliament, Budapest at sunset

Whether you’re looking for an adventure-filled vacation or simply want to relax and soak up the local atmosphere, Budapest is sure to leave you with lasting memories.

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Budapest:

  • 1-Hour Sightseeing Cruise – Experience Budapest’s iconic landmarks while cruising down the River Danube. Enjoy a 1-hour sightseeing cruise, savoring a refreshing cocktail or beverage. Glide by Buda Castle and Vigado Concert Hall, among other notable monuments.
  • Half-Day Etyek Wine Tour from Budapest with Meal – Experience a small group wine-tasting tour near Budapest. Meet local winemakers, savor delicious home-cooked meals, and sample quality Hungarian wines from family-owned cellars.

Best Time of the Year to Visit Budapest

May, June, and early October are all good times to visit Budapest since crowds are at a minimum and prices are reasonable.

While September may seem like a good time to visit, this is when most of the conventions are held in the city. So, we had a hard time finding a hotel at this time of year. Therefore, if you visit in September be sure to book your hotel well in advance.

Where to Stay in Budapest

Prestige Hotel Budapest is the perfect place to stay in Budapest since it is centrally located, with stunning rooms that feature beautiful hardwood floors.

Prestige Hotel is in a prime location, only a few hundred meters from the Danube River, Chain Bridge, and Buda Castle it is perfect for sightseeing!

Prestige Hotel Budapest Booking.com

There’s also a gorgeous hanging garden onsite as well as a spa with a stellar sauna. 

13. Madrid, Spain

Contributed by Out of Office Mindset

Madrid

Madrid is one of the best European cities to visit for the foodie traveler.

No trip to the Spanish capital is complete without indulging in traditional tapas and a good glass of wine—or two!

When you visit, be sure to try the fried squid sandwich (bocadillo de calamares) at La Campana, the famous roast pig at Restaurant Botin, and the handcrafted dark chocolate at Chocolala Belga.

Madrid Paella Out of Office Mindset

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Madrid:

  • try tapas and win e tasting . You’ll visit top restaurants to savor dishes like Iberian ham and chickpea stew and sample some of Spain’s finest wines.
  • take a local cooking class to learn how to make a traditional paella while sipping on Sangria!
Our advice for visiting Madrid is to come hungry and fill the time between meals with trips to the Prado Museum and the Royal Palace !

Best Time of the Year to Visit Madrid

The best time to visit Madrid is in the shoulder season, April, May, September, and October, with cooler temperatures and smaller crowds.

Where to Stay in Madrid

B&B HOTEL Madrid Centro Puerta del Sol is our favorite place to stay in Madrid.

The hotel is in the heart of the city next to the Puerta del Sol square and train station and within walking distance of Plaza del Callao and Plaza Mayor.

Best European Cities to Visit Madrid B&B Hotel

But what we enjoy most about the hotel are the noise-canceling windows that block out the hustle and bustle of the streets below.

14. London, United Kingdom

Contributed by In Search of Sarah

Neal's Yard London In Search of Sarah

London is one of the best European cities to visit!

With rich culture and history, a vast amount of incredible things to do, and fantastic public transport, London should definitely be on everyone’s list of places to visit in Europe.

England’s capital has something to offer everyone. London is one of the most visited European cities with over 19 million visitors a year!

London is great for quick 24-hour trips , but it is also a great city to visit for longer.

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in London:

  • Soaring above the city aboard the world’s tallest observation wheel, the London Eye Skip the Line Ticket
  • Touring through one of London’s most iconic buildings, Westminster Abbey

London Best European Cities

You can also tour around London without spending any money at all! There are tons of amazing free things to do in London if you’re on a tight budget.

You can ride the London tube for £8.10 ($10.40 USD) all day. I wish I knew this ahead of time because the transit is so good in London and it’s a great way to save money rather than paying for individual fares.

Best Time of the Year to Visit London

London is fantastic to visit all throughout the year! Spring is beautiful when the flowering trees are in bloom.

Summer offers visitors perfect weather conditions. Fall offers a reprieve from the heat and a quieter travel time.

London is an ideal European city to visit in winter , it’s magical with all the streets lit up with Christmas lights, cozy winter markets, and concerts.

Where to Stay in London

Hotel Indigo London at Leicester Square offers comfortable accommodation on a budget!

Best European Cities London Indigo Hotel

With close access to the tube as well as major sites and attractions, like Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, and Covent Garden!

After more ideas of where to stay? We also have a list of the best London hotels with rooftop pools .

15. Berlin, Germany

Contributed by Only in Germany

Berlin, Best European Cities

Berlin, the vibrant capital of Germany, is a city that I just can’t recommend enough.

The city has an impressive range of architecture and a fascinating mix of history, culture, and a cutting-edge vibe that makes it one of the best European destinations to explore.

Additionally, its expansive parks and gardens provide an excellent backdrop for evening strolls or morning runs.

Get ready for an adventure like no other!

Best European Cities, Berlin

During my first visit, I spent four nights in Berlin, but trust me, there’s so much to do. On my second visit, I stayed for seven nights. The city’s energy is contagious, and you’ll find yourself constantly drawn to its hidden gems and cultural offerings.

Berlin is a city that effortlessly combines history, culture, and modernity. It’s a place that will leave you inspired, enlightened, and hungry for more.

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Berlin:

  • Explore Berlin Wall to Reichstag and Brandenburg Gate Tour – Discover Berlin at your own pace with a self-guided audio tour featuring local historian commentary. Use an offline app on your smartphone to explore historical sites.
  • Third Reich Walking Tour – Uncover Nazi Germany’s story in Berlin: from Hitler’s rise to power to the Nazi regime, Gestapo, and SS. Delve into Berlin’s siege and the darkest details of WW2.

Best Time of the Year to Visit Berlin

The best time to visit Berlin is during the summer months, from June to August. The weather is delightful, and the city truly comes alive with open-air events, music festivals, and street parties.

Take advantage of this vibrant season by exploring Berlin’s parks, lounging in beer gardens, and soaking in the lively atmosphere.

Where to Stay in Berlin

Looking for a place to stay? I’ve got a fantastic recommendation for you. The Hotel Adlon Kempinski is one of the best hotels in Berlin .

It is pure luxury in the heart of Berlin, just a stone’s throw away from the Brandenburg Gate.

Best European Cities, Berlin

With its impeccable service, lavish accommodations, and stunning city views, it’s the perfect home base for your Berlin adventure.

16. Lisbon, Portugal

Contributed by The Algarve Family

Lisbon Palace Best European Cities

Lisbon is an amazing European city to visit. It is known for its narrow cobbled streets, yellow trams, impressive bridges over the Tagus River, colorful houses, and azulejos (glazed tiles).

All these create a unique environment and set Lisbon apart from the rest of European cities.

The Portuguese capital is one of the oldest European cities, meaning it has many remarkable historical sights to visit.

Some of the top attractions include São Jorge Castle, Belem Tower, Jeronimos Monastery, Alfama and Barrio Alto, and many others.

Lisbon European Cities The Algarve Family

We live in the south of Portugal and often come to Lisbon and every time we find new interesting places to visit and amazing things to do. No matter how long you stay in the city there will always be something to discover.

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Lisbon:

  • Lisbon Boat Cruise – Enjoy Lisbon’s skyline and landmarks on a boat cruise along the Tagus River. Starting from Terreiro do Paço in the historic center, sail to Torre de Belém in Belém district for picturesque views.
  • Private Driver around Lisbon – Design your own Lisbon sightseeing tour with a personal guide. Customize your itinerary to match your interests and travel in air-conditioned luxury.

Alternatively, the yellow trams are an efficient and cheap way to travel and guide yourself around Lisbon.

Best Time of the Year to Visit Lisbon

The months of April, May, and October are the best time to visit Lisbon. When the weather is nice and the city is not too busy.

Where to Stay in Lisbon

In the historical center, Hotel MeraPrime Gold Lisboa is one of the best places to stay.

Located just a 3-minute walk from Commerce Square with a stunning view of the Tagus River, it is the perfect base to enjoy your stay in this historic city.

Best European Citites Hotel MeraPrime Gold Lisboa

So if you’re looking for an unforgettable stay in Lisbon, Hotel MeraPrime Gold is definitely worth considering!

17. Prague, Czech Republic

Contributed by Time Travel Turtle

Prague River

At first, Prague dazzles with the scale of its historic center – from the imposing Prague Castle up on a hill, rolling down through Malá Strana to the Vltava River, across the famous Charles Bridge adorned with sculptures, and into the heart of the medieval layout.

But the more you explore, the more Prague’s modern culture will cast its spell, from the relaxed beer gardens (with astonishingly cheap lagers) to its quirky street art, making it one of the most famous Eastern European cities to visit.

Prague Best European Cities

Decades of oppression blended with an opulent imperial heritage have created a city that’s equal parts luxurious and edgy.

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Prague:

  • Prague 3-hour Afternoon Walking Tour – Discover all the main sights of Prague in just a few hours with a comprehensive walking tour. Your private guide will take you to notable places like Charles Bridge and the Church of Saint Nicolas and skip the line at Prague Castle.
  •   1-hour Devil’s Channel Cruise – Discover an overlooked part of Prague and experience its own little Venice. Climb aboard a small boat and learn about the Devil’s Channel and the ancient buildings lining the Vltava River.
  • Prague Foodie Tour – Explore Prague’s authentic food and drink scenes with a local guide. Skip tourist traps and discover hidden gems while immersing yourself in the city’s culture and cuisine.
For the main things to do in Prague , don’t miss St Vitus Cathedral, the Old Town Square, a river cruise, and a food tour. But I also really loved using Prague as a base for some day trips by train to places like Karlstejn Castle and Kutná Hora.

Best Time of the Year to Visit Prague

Winter is cold and summer is busy, so the best time to visit Prague is spring (April and May) or autumn (September and October).

Where to Stay in Prague

For beautiful accommodation in the old town, I would recommend BoHo Prague Hotel .

Best European Cities BoHo Prague Hotel

The luxurious rooms have plenty of modern touches, but there is still lots of traditional elegance throughout the property.

18. Munich, Germany

Contributed by Paulmarina

Munich Paul Marina

Munich is the busy capital of Bavaria and a prime city to experience for all culture and food lovers.

Munich has plenty to offer , and you will be busy no matter your interests. I highly recommend a museum tour!

Art lovers will enjoy the Pinakothek der Moderne, car aficionados will want to see the BMW museum and families with kids should absolutely go to sea life or the world’s largest science and technology exhibition, the Deutsche museum.

Munich Best European Cities

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Munich:

  • Viktualienmarkt Gourmet Food Tour – Explore Munich’s historic landmarks: Old Town Hall, Frauenkirche, and St. Peter’s Church. Indulge in local and international delicacies at the lively Viktualienmarkt.
  • Beer Tour & Bavarian Dinner with a Local Beer Expert – Discover Munich’s beer culture with a local guide. Enjoy a beer tasting and Bavarian dinner while learning about the city’s heritage.

Best Time of the Year to Visit Munich

Try to make it to Munich by the end of September to experience the world’s biggest folks’ fest, the Oktoberfest.

Spring offers similar festivities with the Frühlingsfest (spring feast).

Where to Stay in Munich

Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski Munich is more than just a place to stay in the heart of Germany. It’s an experience!

Located in the vibrant center of Munich, this luxurious hotel is within easy walking distance of Marienplatz Square, as well as boutique shops, galleries, and museums.

Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski München Best European Cities

And if you’re looking for something even more tranquil, why not take a leisurely 5-minute stroll to Hofgarten Park for stunning views?

19. Barcelona, Spain

Contributed by Sydney Expert

Barcelona Best European Cities

Barcelona, the capital of Catalona in Northern Spain combines a strong cultural heritage with stunning architecture and fabulous food making it a must-see on any European vacation and one of the best places to visit in Europe as a family!

As you walk through the streets of Barcelona, you’ll are surrounded by the works of Antoni Gaudi, one of the city’s most famous architects.

From the Sagrada Familia and Park Guell to Casa Mila and Casa Batllo the opportunity to view these unique and colorful buildings should not be missed, it’s clear to see why it’s one of the greatest European cities to visit.

On our visit, we took a walking tour that included 6 of his most impressive buildings. 

Barcelona architecture Sydney Expert

We also recommend you spend some time in the well-preserved Gothic Quarter which along with a stunning cathedral, is home to the Picasso Museum, an incredible collection of more than 4000 pieces by the artist.  

Nearby you will find La Boqueria, the famous city market where you can taste many of Catalonia’s famous dishes under one roof.

If you are staying a few days then a tapas tour will help you uncover the best dishes to order and places to eat while you are there. 

As mentioned above Barcelona is a great city to visit if you are traveling with your kids. You can find a list of the best things to do in Barcelona with kids here.

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Barcelona:

  • Skip-the-Line Sagrada Familia & Park Güell Tour – Discover Antoni Gaudi’s masterpieces with a skip-the-line tour of Parc Güell and the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. Learn about the intricate mosaics and motifs with the help of a local guide.
  • Skip-the-line Guided Tour of Picasso Museum – Visit the Picasso Museum in Barcelona to see over 4,000 of the artist’s works. Book a guided small-group tour with skip-the-line tickets and headsets for clear communication with your guide.
  • El Born Food Walking Tour with Tapas and Drinks – Take a guided food tour of El Born in Barcelona. Enjoy the culture and history of Catalonia while savoring tapas and drinks with fellow travelers.

From its delicious food to its lively nightlife and stunning architecture this city is sure to leave a lasting impression on you.

Best Time of the Year to Visit Barcelona

We think the ideal time to visit Barcelona is in early spring before the crowds arrive but the weather is warming up. For beach time, late Spring is a better choice.

Where to Stay in Barcelona

We prefer to stay just outside the tourist hotspot of the Gothic Quarter and head a little uptown to L’Esquerra de L’Eixample.

This is an ideal place to base your stay in Barcelona if you want to be close to the city center but a little removed from the tourist crush.

Best European Cities The Corner Hotel

Despite being close to the action, The Corner Hotel gives you a sense of distance from the hustle and bustle of tourism so you can relax in peace.

20. Dubrovnik, Croatia

Contributed by Four Around The World

Dubrovnik, Best European Cities

Dubrovnik may have found new popularity thanks to the popularity of the television series Game Of Thrones in recent years, but that is only one of the many reasons to visit.

Situated on the Adriatic Coast of Croatia, Dubrovnik offers the perfect mix of history, culture, and breathtaking natural scenery.

You can easily get lost amongst the labyrinth of streets surrounding the UNESCO World Heritage Old Town and experience a little authentic European life first-hand.

Best European Cities, Dubrovnik

Don’t miss your chance to explore the Dubrovnik city walls.

We don’t recommend doing this in the middle of a hot summer day. Especially if you are visiting Dubrovnik with kids ! We spent 4 nights in Dubrovnik during summer and made sure to do the walk later in the afternoon.

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Dubrovnik:

  • Cable Car Ride and Old Town Walking Tour plus City Walls – Discover Dubrovnik’s historic beauty with the Dubrovnik Super Saver package. Enjoy a cable car ride up Mt. Srd for amazing views, a walking tour of the Old Town, and a self-guided tour of the city walls with entrance tickets provided.
  • Dubrovnik and Lokrum Island sea kayak tour – Visit Lokrum Island, near Dubrovnik’s coast, by taking a short boat ride or paddling on a sea kayak. Enjoy the stunning botanical gardens, Benedictine Monastery, beaches, caves, and calm waters for swimming or snorkeling.

Best Time of the Year to Visit Dubrovnik

One of the best times to visit Dubrovnik is during either the spring or autumn months when the weather is mild and the city is a little less crowded than during the busy summer months.

Where to Stay in Dubrovnik

Accommodation outside of the Old Town is more affordable. There are plenty of private rentals available, many with views over the city and the ocean.

However, if you are looking for a relaxing hotel to stay Rixos Premium Dubrovnik is an all-inclusive hotel with something to offer for everyone visiting the scenic city of Dubrovnik.

Rixos Premium Dubrovnik

Rixos Premium offers everything you need, from a spacious spa area with indoor and outdoor pools showcasing breathtaking sea views, to 3 bars and 3 restaurants.

21. Edinburgh, Scotland

Contributed by Adventures of Chels .

Edinburgh Castle Adventures of Chels

One of the best European cities to visit is Edinburgh in the UK.  Edinburgh is one of the best cities to visit in Europe as it offers endless amounts of sites to see, activities to do, and beauty all around. 

It’s a city that shouldn’t be missed! It is an amazing place to visit as a family .

Some of the best things to do in the city include visiting Edinburgh Castle, Hiking to the top of Arthur’s Seat, and checking out the beautiful view at Calton Hill. 

Street view of the historic old town, Edinburgh

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Edinburgh:

  • Original Harry Potter Locations Tour – If you’re a Harry Potter fan be sure to take the Original Harry Potter Locations Tour which visits all the places around the city that inspired J.K Rowling’s magical story. 
  • City Sightseeing Edinburgh Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour – Consider a Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour if you’d like the ease of transportation that takes you from destination to destination to see in the city. 
My personal experience in Edinburgh was that I left wanting to have seen more!  Consider spending a solid 3 days in Edinburgh alone before renting a car and exploring more of Scotland.

Best Time of the Year to Visit Edinburgh

Visiting between June and August offers long days filled with sunlight, making it the ideal time for lovers of the arts. The Edinburgh Fringe, the world’s largest arts festival, takes place in August and spans three weeks.

Where to Stay in Edinburgh

The Lady Stair’s Apartment is the perfect place for travelers visiting Edinburgh. This hotel offers clean rooms in a great location for a competitive price. 

The Lady Stair's Edinburgh Booking.com

Whether you’re looking to explore Edinburgh Castle, the National Museum of Scotland, or take a stroll down the Royal Mile, Lady Stair’s Apartment is conveniently located near it all!

It’s just what you need for your visit to this fun city!

22. Vienna, Austria

Contributed by Haley Blackall

Vienna, Best European Cities

Vienna, the capital of Austria, is one of the best cities in Europe to visit.

This enchanting city is home to some of the world’s most famous palaces and museums.

On any visit to Vienna, a trip to the grand Schonbrunn Palace and Gardens is an absolute must.

Vienna, Austria Hayley Blackall

If you are a lover of art, why not gaze your eyes on The Kiss by Gustav  Klimt at the Belvedere Palace.

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Vienna:

  • Schönbrunn Palace & Gardens Skip-the-Line Tour – Skip the lines and see the beautiful Schönbrunn Palace and gardens. Take a guided tour to learn about its fascinating history and stunning interiors.
  • Upper Belvedere & Permanent Collection Entry Ticket -Visit the Upper Belvedere in Vienna to see Gustav Klimt’s famous painting “The Kiss” and other works in the Permanent Collection.

Best Time of Year to Visit

Vienna, like many European cities, showcases its true charm during the seasons of Spring and Autumn. Plan your visit during these times to fully experience the city’s beauty.

I enjoyed a whole week in Vienna during May and it was a fantastic time to visit because the blossoms were in full bloom and the crowds hadn’t reached their high season numbers.

Where to Stay in Vienna

Where to stay in Vienna depends on the duration of your stay. If you visit Vienna for only 2-3 days to see the top sights, it is recommended to stay in Vienna’s Innere Stadt neighborhood, commonly known as the old town center.

The Guesthouse is the ideal place for travelers seeking to explore Vienna.

Located in the heart of the old town, it’s a mere 5-minute walk from Saint Stephen’s Cathedral and next to the Albertina Museum.

The Guest House Vienna Booking.com

Rooms on the upper floors have views that stretch out over the State Opera and right into the city center.

23. Porto, Portugal

Contributed by Globe Gazers

Porto Best European Cities

While Lisbon is one of Europe’s most popular destinations, nearby Porto is worth visiting as well.

Porto has a beautiful harbor, stunning architecture, and a lively yet down-to-earth atmosphere that make it easy to feel welcome here.

Of course, Porto’s wine scene isn’t too shabby either. One of the best things to do in Porto is to sample the local Port wines.

Taking a cellar tour in the historic Vila Nova de Gaia area is a must-do when visiting this small yet impressive city. 

Wander through the city streets, admiring the blue and white tiles featured on the facade of many buildings.

Take a TukTuk tour of the historical city center for a unique sightseeing opportunity as you listen to stories of this northern Portugal town.

Porto Best European Cities

Porto is also a great destination for solo travelers.

In fact, my own first-ever solo trip was to Porto! It’s easy to navigate, safe and offers plenty to do without being overwhelming.

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Porto:

  • Cockburn’s Cellar Tour Classic or Pairing Option -Experience a guided visit and premium tasting at Cockburn’s Lodge, the largest Port cellar in Vila Nova de Gaia’s historic quarter. Witness the only open cooperage in the area.
  • Guided Historical Center Tuk Tuk Tour – Experience a guided tuk-tuk tour of Porto’s main sites at sunset, at night, or during the day. Explore the historical highlights with your guide and indulge in an authentic glass of Port along the way.

Best Time of the Year to Visit Porto

The best time to visit Porto is between April and June or September and October. During this time, the temperatures are mild and the humidity is low.

The days tend to be sunny, but usually not too hot. This makes it the perfect time of year for comfortably exploring the city’s many attractions.

Where to Stay in Porto

Turim Oporto Hotel is the perfect place to stay for travelers visiting Porto.

Located near popular points of interest such as Sao Bento Metro Station, Sao Bento Train Station, and Oporto Coliseum, it’s easy to explore the city with ease.

Turim Oporto Hotel Porto Booking.com

It’s centrally located and a 4-star property, offering comfort and convenience in one.

If you are after a hotel with a pool, I suggest you check out our list of the best Porto hotels with pools here.

24. Athens, Greece

Contributed by The World Travel Guy

Athens Greece The World Travel Guy

Athens is an amazing city for its history, food, museums, and archaeological sights.

There are fantastic restaurants on pretty much every street corner in Athens! It would be worth visiting this city just for the food alone.

We spent a few days in Athens as a family and it was amazing, but we would’ve loved to stay longer. One of the main day tours we regret missing is Meteora.

Athens Theatre Best European Cities

These are some monasteries perched on the rock cliffs in northern Greece in Meteora , and you can visit them on a train trip from Athens, but we ran out of days in our itinerary before we could make it happen.

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Athens:

  • Acropolis, Parthenon & Acropolis Museum Guided Tour – Visit the new Acropolis Museum to discover fascinating archaeological findings and explore Greece’s most significant monument through group or private tours.
  • Cape Sounion Sunset Tour – Take a zero carbon footprint evening bus tour to see the beautiful sunset at Cape Sounio. Drive through the Greek Riviera suburbs and watch the stunning view of the sunset over the Aegean Sea from the Temple of Poseidon.
  • Alternatively, take a look at our blog on 14 Best Athens Day Trips and choose the one that is best suited to your vacation style.

Best Time of the Year to Visit Athens

Athens is lovely to visit in the Spring months of March to May.

Where to Stay in Athens

Evripidou Suites is the perfect hotel for travelers visiting Athens.

This hotel is centrally located and only 600 meters from Monastiraki Square, it’s easy to get around and explore all that the city has to offer.

With its central location, it is close to the Acropolis and other famous sights of Athens.

Evripidou Suites, Athens Booking.com

It has a very good breakfast, and there are rooms to suit different budgets so no matter what your budget is, you can join in on the fun!

After more hotel ideas? You might like to check out our list of our favorite Athens hotels with rooftop pools (and amazing views).

25. Brussels, Belgium

Contributed by Virginia Vacation Guide

Best European Cities, Brussels

The Belgian capital city of Brussels is filled with culture, history, top museums, and world-class cuisine.

One of the highlights of the city is La Grand-Place, which is a large open plaza surrounded by ornate buildings. The most prominent building is the Hôtel de Ville, which is ornamented with a bell tower.

As a musician, I especially loved the Musical Instruments Museum, which highlights unique musical instruments through the centuries.

There is an excellent audioguide that accompanies the tour and gives you a chance to hear the instruments as you walk around the museum exhibits.

Brussels Best European Cities

No trip to Brussels would be complete without trying some of the staples of Belgium – particularly Belgian pale ale and Belgian chocolate!

You can find many shops near the Grand-Place that sell Belgian beer and chocolate, either as souvenirs to take home or to sit down and enjoy.

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Brussels:

  • Magritte Museum Entry Ticket -Immerse yourself in the world of surrealist art by visiting the Magritte Museum and exploring its collection of masterpieces.
  • Ultimate Private Highlights&Hidden Gems – Explore Brussels stress-free with a personalized private tour tailored to your interests. Your guide will show you famous landmarks and hidden gems while recommending local eateries to try. Discuss your preferences with your guide to plan the perfect itinerary.

Best Time of the Year to Visit Brussels

Spring is a great time to visit Brussels. The weather is mild and crowds are smaller.

Prices for hotels and airfare are generally a little lower than the peak summer months.

Where to Stay in Brussels

Les Lofts d’Artistes is a fabulous, highly-rated guest house that features large rooms, a terrace, and a great central location in Brussels.

Popular points of interest near the accommodation include Palais de Justice, Place Sainte-Catherine and Notre-Dame du Sablon – all within easy reach of Les Lofts d’Artistes!

Les Lofts d'Artistes Brussels Booking.com

Whether you’re in town for sightseeing or business, this guesthouse will be ideal for your stay!

26. Istanbul, Turkey

Contributed by My Adventures Across The World

Istanbul Best European Cities

There is no doubt that Istanbul is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.

Bridging two continents, this is a sprawling city where old meets new, and where the old is an incredible mix and overlap of various historical periods and civilizations. 

You won’t have a shortage of places to visit in the city.

In fact, there is so much to see and do that you are better off having a detailed Istanbul itinerary that allows you to explore by area and in a logical way.

Among the unmissable attractions, make sure not to skip the Hagia Sophia (once an Orthodox Church, then a mosque, then a museum and now once again a mosque) and the Blue Mosque nearby.

Istanbul Best European Cities, Trams

As they are both working mosques, the lines to get in are often quite long so you are better off joining a guided tour that takes you to both places.

Not far from it, do not miss the Basilica Cistern, which was built in 532 upon orders of Justinian (the same Roman Emperor that ordered the construction of Hagia Sophia).

It’s a fantastic example of a cistern in the city (there are more, but this one is by far the best one) where you will see 336 columns built with stones sourced from other buildings in the city.

Plan to visit the incredible Grand Bazaar where you can shop for a variety of souvenirs. It will take you a few hours to explore, so plan to devote an entire afternoon to that.

You should plan to spend at least four full days in Istanbul. That’s how long we stayed on our most recent trip and we actually wished we had an extra day to just explore at a slower pace.

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Istanbul:

  • Blue Mosque & Hagia Sophia Small-Group Tour – Tour Istanbul’s renowned landmarks, including the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, with a knowledgeable guide. Explore the Sultanahmet neighborhood and the Hippodrome to get a taste of local life.
  • Guided Skip-the-line Basilica Cistern Tour – Discover the mystery of Medusa heads from Greek mythology on a 30-minute tour of the 4th-century Basilica Cistern.

Best Time of the Year to Visit Istanbul

Istanbul is crowded no matter when you visit, and it can get very cold in the winter months and equally hot in the summer months.

September is a good month to go as the days are nice and long but it’s not nearly as hot.

April would be good too, but there are higher chances of rain.

Where to Stay in Istanbul

The city suffers from a lot of traffic and it is very crowded, so staying in a centrally located hotel is essential for easy access to all the attractions.

Fer Hotel Istanbul Booking.com

We stayed at Fer Hotel in Sultanahmet and enjoyed the comfortable rooms, the excellent service and the fantastic breakfast served on the terrace floor every morning.

27. Malaga, Spain

Contributed by World Travel Connector

Malaga,Best European Cities, Cityscape

Beautiful Malaga is the capital city of the famed Costa del Sol in Spain.

Malaga is a top beach destination in Europe. It is also one of the best cities in Europe to visit for the vibrant nightlife, great shopping, fabulous museums, and fantastic tapas bars.

Málaga is known for its beautiful sandy beaches. There is no visit to the capital of Costa del Sol without enjoying the sunshine on beaches in Malaga.

Besides the great beaches, crawling amazing tapas and cocktail bars are among the best things to do in the city.

Malaga

I enjoyed the Michelin-star Balausta restaurant the most. The restaurant is in the gorgeous Palacio Solecio Hotel.

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Malaga:

  • Museo Picasso Málaga: Ticket & Audioguide – You can see over 200 works by the Cubism creator himself, as well as some interesting temporary exhibitions.
  • Go local for a day! – Skip the typical tourist tours and discover the real Malaga with a local guide. Explore the city by foot, uncovering hidden gems and landmarks off the beaten path.
  • The best way to see Malaga is on foot. Check out our favorite Malaga walking tours here.

Best Time of the Year to Visit Malaga

I flew to and out of Malaga on my Andalusia road trip. The best time for visiting Malaga is spring and autumn.

If you want to see one of the loveliest cities in Europe, head to Málaga, Spain !

Where to Stay in Malaga

Palacio Solecio is the perfect,18th-century Andalusian palace, a 4-star hotel for travelers in search of a luxurious experience near Malaga’s historic city center.

Palacio Solecio hotel, Malaga Booking.com

The hotel boasts some rooms with terraces and views of the city, offering the perfect place to relax and take in the sights.

28. Milan, Italy

Contributed by Travel Tips for Venice

Best European Cities Milan

Located in the heart of northern Italy, Milan is one of the best European cities to visit for a weekend and an ideal base to explore the rest of Italy.

It is also easy to extend your visit as there are many wonderful places to visit near Milan . From here, you can reach Lake Como , Verona, and even Venice by train or by car.

Milan is a popular destination for shopping lovers and those who enjoy aperitivo which is the perfect time to try a classic Italian drink.

Milan Best European Cities

One of the best ways to immerse yourself in the local culture is to join this aperitivo tour in the Navigli area.

You can’t leave Milan without visiting the Milan Cathedral, the largest Gothic church in the world.

One of the best streets to visit is Via Paolo Sarpi, where you can find many brunch spots and delicious oriental cuisines. 

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Milan:

  • Milan: Aperitivo Tour with Street Food – Experience the vibrant Milanese culture with a guided street food tour in Navigli. Savor aperitivo bites and sip on fine wine, cocktails, and beer for a unique Milan adventure. See a list of our favorite Milan food tours here.
  • Milan: Cathedral and Rooftop Ticket – By getting this entry ticket to the Cathedral, you’ll get access to the rooftop terraces and enjoy 360° views of Milan.

Best Time of the Year to Visit Milan

The best time to visit Milan is late spring and early autumn when temperatures are pleasant.

Avoid the hot and humid summers when most tourist crowds visit, and also the cold winters.

Where to Stay in Milan

Ostello Bello is one of the most incredible places to stay in Milan. It’s a hostel located in the heart of the city, close to the main attractions.

It features mixed and female dormitories but also double, triple, and quadruple rooms, so it’s perfect for all types of travelers.

Ostello Bello Milan Booking.com

Ostello Bello Milano is an amazing hostel located a mere 10-minute walk from Milan Cathedral and the picturesque Navigli district, making it the ideal accommodation for travelers visiting the city.

29. Amsterdam, Netherlands

Contributed by The Solo Globetrotter

Beautiful landscape with tulips and houses in Amsterdam

Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands is one of the most fun European cities to visit, whether you are with friends or family or your partner.

Known for the historic canals flanked by colorful ancient Dutch-style buildings, fabulous museums, excellent nightlife, and eateries serving delicious cuisines, Amsterdam is no wonder on everyone’s bucket list.

I had initially planned Amsterdam for only 2 days but ended up staying for a week as I got besotted with the beautiful old town and so many fun things to do.

Amsterdam River Boats The Solo Globe Trotter

Rent a bicycle and pedal through the cobbled-stone alleys of this lovely city. 

Explore Vondel Park, Jordaan, and other charming streets.

There are many fabulous day trips from Amsterdam you can plan, including a self-guided tour of Kinderdijk, an idyllic village famous for iconic 18th-century wooden windmills, or a day tour to nearby Rotterdam.

If you are a museum buff, explore the museum district, home to the world-renowned Rijksmuseum, the nearby Van Gogh Museum, and Stedelijk Museum.

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Amsterdam:

  • Amsterdam: Evening Canal Cruise – Immerse yourself in the captivating atmosphere of Amsterdam with a mesmerizing sunset cruise. Be wowed by breathtaking bridges, charming canal houses, and the enchanting glow that illuminates the city.
  • Rijksmuseum Entrance Ticket – View over 400 masterpieces by renowned artists including Jan Steen, Frans Hals, and Rembrandt. Also, explore the exquisite dollhouses and silverware collection.

Best Time of the Year to Visit Amsterdam

Summer is the most popular and hence one of the most crowded months and most expensive as well.

Where to Stay in Amsterdam

Overlooking the lovely canals, near the Basilica of St. Nicholas, The Hendrick’s Hotel is close to several noted attractions, including Beurs van Berlage, Dutch National Opera & Ballet.

The Hendricks Hotel Amsterdam Booking.com

Plus Dam Square and The Central Station are just a 10-minute walk away!

30. Oslo, Norway

Contributed by Scotland Less Explored

Oslo Best European Cities

Oslo is the capital of Norway and has a great mix of history, art, and outdoor activities. 

In Oslo, you can see real Viking ships, explore modern architecture such as the Opera House, view Munch’s “The Scream” and then go skiing or explore the Oslo Fjord by boat. 

Oslo Opera House Norway

Visiting in summer or winter makes for two completely different experiences.

In summer imagine sitting at outdoor cafes or swimming. During the winter months, there is normally snow, and downhill and cross-country skiing tracks are easily accessible from the city center.

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Oslo:

  • Oslo Nature Walks: Island Hopping Tour – Explore Oslo’s beautiful coastal scenery on a 4-hour island hopping tour. Visit 3 well-preserved islands with stunning views and historic sites.
  • Guided Oslo Fjord Cruise by Silent Electric Catamaran – Cruise in silence through the Oslo Fjord to enjoy the natural beauty and wildlife. Hear from a marine biologist and see beneath the water with an underwater drone.

Best Time of the Year to Visit Oslo

Being Norwegian and having grown up in Oslo I think the best time of year to visit is between May and September, or to experience winter and snow, visit between January and March. If you visit in the winter, be prepared for cold weather. It is not unusual for it to be -15 degrees Celsius.

Where to Stay in Oslo

Thon Hotel Rosenkrantz is the perfect place for travelers visiting Oslo. Enjoy new facilities with an eco-friendly approach to great hospitality.

Located a short walk away from the Oslo Bus Terminal, it’s perfectly central for anyone wanting to explore the city.

Thon Hotel Rosenkrantz Oslo Booking.com

With its cozy vibes and convenient location, you won’t regret it!

31. St Petersburg, Russia

Contributed by The Orange Backpack

 St. Petersburg Best European Cities

Saint Petersburg is undoubtedly one of the best cities to visit in Europe. This magical place captivates visitors with its pastel-colored palaces, endless canals, and charming streets.

You will be enchanted by the architectural wonders that line the city, making it a must-see destination. 

I combined my trip to Saint Petersburg with a visit to Moscow, as both cities are well-connected by train. We opted for a night train from Moscow to Saint Petersburg, which added an element of adventure to our journey.

St Petersburg Cathedral Best European Cities

Prepare yourself for an extraordinary adventure in Saint Petersburg, a city that seamlessly blends European elegance with Russian grandeur.

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in St Petersburg (these are not bookable at the moment):

  • One of the top attractions in Saint Petersburg is the magnificent Hermitage. This world-renowned museum is home to an immense art collection spread across multiple buildings.
  • The main museum, located in the stunning Winter Palace on the riverbank, is a testament to the ambition of the tsarinas of the Romanov dynasty. Be prepared to be awestruck by the grandeur and beauty that surrounds you.

Best Time of the Year to Visit St Petersburg

The best time to visit Saint Petersburg is during the summer months, particularly in June.

This is when the city experiences the “White Nights”, a period when the days are longest, the sun never fully sets, and the city comes alive with festivals and vibrant street life.

However, be prepared for shorter days and cold temperatures if you visit in winter, although the snowy landscapes create a romantic ambiance.

Where to Stay in St Petersburg

Right now, it’s impossible to book accommodation or tours in Russia from abroad due to the invasion of Ukraine.

When looking for a place to stay in Saint Petersburg , make sure you find a hotel in the city center and near the central Nevsky Prospect Street.

Wow Hotel offers an exceptional level of comfort and style. With its sleek design and modern amenities, it exudes the ambiance of a boutique hotel, all at an affordable price.

Located right on the prestigious Nevsky Prospect, it provides convenient access to the city’s main attractions.

32. Moscow, Russia

Contributed by Museum of Wander

Moscow Russia Museum of wander

Like the rest of Russia, Moscow is an enigma, and in that lies much of its allure.

As one of the great capitals of Europe, Moscow captivates visitors with its rich history, breathtaking architecture, world-class museums, and cultural attractions.

We expected visiting Moscow to be unaffordably expensive and challenging, with unfriendly locals and shabby neighborhoods.

Man, were we wrong!? Moscow offers exceptional value for money; the city is spotlessly clean and the people friendly.

Moscow is one of the best places to visit in Russia , so if you want to visit Russia, this is a great city to start with.

Centre of Moscow - Russia

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Moscow (currently not available to book):

  • Visiting the iconic Red Square is a must. From the Red Square, you can visit St. Basil’s Cathedral, the Kremlin, Lenin’s mausoleum, and the GUM department store.
  • Public transportation might not be an obvious tourist attraction anywhere else in the world, but then there’s the Moscow metro or The Palace of the People. Moscow Metro is renowned for its stunning underground stations adorned with exquisite artwork, mosaics, crystal chandeliers, and marble fittings. Going on a Moscow Metro tour will make you question whether you’re visiting an art museum or a subway station.

Best Time of the Year to Visit Moscow

Moscow is freezing cold in winter and wet in spring. Best visit Moscow in summer for long sunny days or fall.

Where to Stay in Moscow

When that changes, we suggest staying near Tverskaya Street to easily access the metro and Moscow attractions.

33. Hamburg, Germany

Contributed by Buddy The Traveling Monkey

Hamburg Germany Buddy the Traveling Monkey

One of the best European cities to visit is Hamburg, Germany. Although it’s the second largest city in Germany, it is often overlooked. This means it has a lot less tourists.

Hamburg is also easy to get to, with its own international airport. Once you’re there, it is a very walkable city but also has a fantastic public transportation system.

Hamburg offers visitors a lot of unique attractions and experiences.

Hamburg Germany Best European Cities

Hamburg offers visitors a lot of unique attractions and experiences. You can explore the neighborhood of Speicherstadt.

If you’re a chocolate lover, visit the Chocoversum Chocolate Museum. It’s an interactive museum where you learn about chocolate and you get many free samples.

There are also five main churches in Hamburg . All of them are beautiful and free to enter.

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Hamburg:

  • Speicherstadt, HafenCity & Elbphilharmonie Tour – Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Speicherstadt, and Hamburg’s new landmark, the Elbphilharmonie, in the modern HafenCity.
  • 1.5-Hour Tour of the Chocoversum – Experience a sensory journey at Chocoversum in Hamburg. Follow cocoa beans from cultivation to chocolate bar and create your own chocolate during a 1.5-hour tour.

Best Time of the Year to Visit Hamburg

You can visit Hamburg at any time of the year, but we think the best time is during the winter holidays as it is one of the best European cities to visit in winter with kids .

We celebrated Christmas and New Year in Hamburg and absolutely loved it. The Christmas Markets and fireworks were some of the best we’ve seen.

Where to Stay in Hamburg

To stay, a great option is the Steigenberger Hotel Hamburg .

It’s in a great location; within walking distance of attractions and public transportation stations.

Steigenberger Hotel Hamburg Booking.com

The hotel also has free breakfast included in your stay!

34. Bruges, Belgium

Contributed by The Alternative Travel Guide

Bruges thealternativetravelguide

Bruges is a fabulous city in Belgium, like something out of a Hollywood movie about the Middle Ages.

The cobblestone streets and tidy canals that connect the squares are so perfect that it can be hard to get away from the camera.

The first place to see in Bruges is the colorful Grote Markt. For about seven centuries the Grote Markt in Bruges has been the center of the city and its main square.

You can still see the market pavilions, which gave it its name ‘Market Square’.

Canal in Bruges

Located around the square, beautiful historical buildings and colorful houses, souvenir stores, restaurants, and cafes will take you to another dimension.

After the market square, the best thing to do is to wander around the old town and admire its magnificent architecture. 

One of the unique places in Bruges is the Diamond Museum. The Diamond Museum has a huge number of exhibits that tell you about all the stages of diamond processing, from mining to cutting and polishing.

To this day, diamonds remain one of Belgium’s most important export products.

Thanks to its canals, Bruges is often referred to as the “Venice of the North” of Europe. You can’t leave Bruges if you haven’t taken a boat ride through its beautiful canals. 

During the Middle Ages, the city’s inhabitants turned the local Rie River into a network of canals that allowed merchants to bring their goods to the city by water.

Today, a boat ride along these famous waterways offers tourists a great opportunity to see some of the city’s most beautiful sites. 

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Bruges:

  •   Walking Tour for Couples – Experience the romantic charm of Bruges with a local guide. Discover heritage sites, natural surroundings, local folklore, and the unique Diamond Museum. Stroll the historic streets, visit the oldest parish church, and learn traditional beer making.
  • Boat Cruise and Guided Walking Tour – Experience the best of both worlds with a guided walking and boat tour of Bruges, a medieval town recognized as a UNESCO world heritage site.

Best Time of the Year to Visit Bruges

The best time to visit Bruges is from April to October when the weather is pleasantly mild.

Where to Stay in Bruges

To enjoy the atmosphere of the city even more, you can stay in the Boat Hotel De Barge , a floating hotel on the Bruges-Ghent Canal. 

Located within easy reach of the famous sights of Bruges like the central Market Square and the Belfry of Bruges.

Onboard you can find a fine dining restaurant with a terrace and comfortable cabins fitted with free WiFi.

Boat Hotel De Barge Bruges Booking.com

Boat Hotel De Barge offers a unique experience for travelers visiting Bruges.

35. Seville, Spain

Contributed by Travel Choreography

Seville, Best European Cities

Seville is undeniably one of the finest European getaways. It also happens to be one of the best places to visit in Spain .

Enjoying a holiday under the Spanish sun, you’ll have the chance to be surrounded by some of the most enchanting architecture on the continent.

A mere 2 hours’ drive from the Mediterranean Sea and the boat to Tangier, the city showcases a unique fusion of culture that charms every traveler fortunate enough to visit.

Among the best things to do in the city, you’ll find the Real Alcazar , an exquisite Moorish palace that houses lush Andalusian Gardens, and the Barrio de Santa Cruz, a colorful and quaint neighborhood.

While you may recognize the former from a famous TV show, the latter is less widely known even though it is the most beautiful neighborhood in the city.

Seville, Spain at Spanish Square (Plaza de Espana).

Venturing down its winding streets, you’ll discover hidden plazas and charming courtyards.

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Seville:

  • Cathedral, Alcazar and Giralda Guided Tour with Priority Tickets – Explore Seville’s top landmarks with a guide on a skip-the-line tour of the Cathedral, Alcázar, and the Giralda.
  • Alhambra Palace and Albaicin Tour from Seville- Explore Granada in a day with a tour from Seville. Enjoy skip-the-line access to Alhambra Palace and guided tours of Alcazaba, Nasrid Palace, and Generalife Gardens.
While many people rave about the Alhambra in Granada, my personal favorite day trip from Seville is to visit the ancient city of Cordoba, only a 40-minute train ride away. From its grand mosque-cathedral to the labyrinthine streets of its Jewish Quarter, Cordoba offers a magical experience, easily accessible from the capital of Andalusia.    

Best Time of the Year to Visit Seville

The best time of year to visit Seville is during the spring.

If you have the chance, come to the Feria de Abril to participate in these utmost Sevillian festivities and enjoy great tapas.

Where to Stay in Seville

Located in the heart of the city, the Joya Del Casco Boutique Hotel boasts the elegance expected of a 200-year-old building with the comfort of modern amenities such as a pool and a rooftop terrace.

The 200-year-old building boasts modern amenities such as a pool and a rooftop terrace, perfect for enjoying the views of the enchanting city below.

Joya Del Casco Boutique Seville Booking.com

Additionally, it is close to everything from Seville’s main monuments to hip restaurants and rooftop bars.

36. Zurich, Switzerland

Contributed by Continent Hop

Zurich Best European Cities

Zurich is the city where magical Swiss landscapes have witnessed pre-medieval history and stand today, soaking in the evolving art and culture.

When I visited Zurich, the charming cobblestone lanes of Old Town instantly stole a piece of my heart.

The combination of art museums like Kunsthaus, stunning churches like Fraumünster, luxury shopping boutiques, and cozy restaurants offering traditional Swiss cuisines is enough to keep you engaged for a day, it is definitely one of the best European cities to visit.

I am glad we booked the Mount Titlis Day Tour from Zurich as this well-planned trip helped us explore Lucerne. Being in the heart of the Swiss Alps will definitely be the highlight of your Zurich trip.

Zurich City

You can plan a day trip from Zurich to Liechtenstein as it will give you a chance to visit an entirely new country in only 24 hours.

And if you want to see other beautiful cities in town in Switzerland, we recommend you check out our 7-day Switzerland summer itinerary that starts in Zurich.

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Zurich:

  • Bus Day Trip to Heidiland and Liechtenstein – Take a day trip from Zurich to see Switzerland’s Alpine beauty and visit Liechtenstein. Stop in Rapperswil, Vaduz, cross Ricken Pass, and explore Maienfeld.
  • National Museum Zurich Tours and Tickets – Visit the National Museum Zurich and save time by purchasing tickets online or getting the Swiss Travel Pass.

Best Time of the Year to Visit Zurich

The summer months of June to August are the best time to visit Zurich. The days and long and sunny whereas evenings experience pleasant cool weather.

As this is the peak tourist season in Zurich, the city is expensive and crowded during summer.

Where to Stay in Zurich

I stayed at Small Luxury Hotel Ambassador Zurich as it is located in the heart of the city.

Small Luxury Hotel Ambassador Zurich Booking.com

Next to the opera house and to Lake Zurich, this is also only a few minutes away from the famous shopping street Bahnhofstrasse.

37. Stockholm, Sweden

Contributed by UK Every Day

Stockholm Best European Cities

Stockholm’s abundance of modern and old buildings, beautiful subway art, and easy access to nearby islands makes it an ideal destination to visit in Europe.

Some of the best things to do in Stockholm include SkyView Glass Gondola Ride and a visit to Paradox Museum.

Once you cross Nya Lidingöbron bridge, you can get to Ropsten metro station and start exploring Stockholm by using public transport.

The colorful Stockholm underground is an attraction on its own and cannot be missed!

Stockholm Metro

And lastly, you can’t go to Stockholm and not head out on a boat tour! One of the best Stockholm boat tours is the Archipelago Sightseeing Cruise with Guide .

Here are some of our top recommended tours when in Stockholm:

  • SkyView Glass Gondola Ride – Ride a glass gondola outside the Ericsson Globe, the world’s largest spherical building in Stockholm, and enjoy the breathtaking view of the city from 130 meters high.
  • Paradox Museum – Visit the family-friendly Paradox Museum Stockholm to experience 70 interactive exhibits based on paradoxes and optical illusions.

Best Time of the Year to Visit Stockholm

The best time to visit Stockholm is between May and August with the longest hours of sunshine.

However, if you are worried about the rain, the least rainfalls are between February and March.

Where to Stay in Stockholm

We stayed in Lidingo, which is only a 15-minute drive from the city center of Stockholm.

One of the best places to stay in Stockholm is Radisson Blu Waterfront Hotel .

It is within a short walk from many attractions such as Stockholm City Hall, Nobel Prize Museum, or The Royal Palace.

Moreover, T-Centralen underground station is just a stone’s throw away so getting to many other places in the city will be super easy.

Radisson Blu Waterfront Hotel, Stockholm Booking.com

On top of it all, the hotel has been certified as an environmentally friendly hotel, making sure that your vacation is both enjoyable and responsible!

FAQs About The Most Beautiful European Cities

Here are some answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about the most beautiful European cities to visit.

There is no definitive answer as the perception of beauty varies, but cities like Paris, Venice, and Prague are often considered among the most beautiful in Europe.

London is the most visited city in Europe, with 19.6 million annual visitors. Following a close-up, Paris receives 19.1 million visitors yearly, deemed a very popular city retreat for couples. Istanbul is very popular in the summer months, boasting 14 + million visitors annually.

Passionate about fashion? Look no further than Paris – the fashion capital of Europe! It’s where renowned luxury brands like Christian Dior, Chanel, Hermès, Lanvin, and Louis Vuitton originated, adding to its rich history and high-end fashion traditions. However, Milan and London follow closely and are considered to be Europe’s big fashion capitals!

Zurich is one of the quietest cities in Europe yet it still has plenty of activities and nightlife to explore.

Amsterdam has so much to offer everyone, from countless museums, infamous coffee shops, its beautiful architecture, and canal trips. It is definitely worth a visit.

Final Thoughts: Best Cities in Europe to Visit

Ending with a bang, the best cities in Europe to visit have been carefully chosen after we asked thirty travel bloggers which cities are worthy of being on this list.

All 37 European cities on our list are full of unique histories and cultures for visitors to explore.

From beautiful Prague in the Czech Republic to the ancient city of Athens, our list has something for everyone!

So if you’re looking for your next destination, why not make it one of these amazing places?

More Articles to Help You Plan Your Trip to Europe:

  • Find the best places to visit in Europe with kids
  • Check out our weekend trips in Europe if you fancy a quick getaway!

37 Best European Cities to Visit

Jolene Ejmont

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Where to Go in Europe

SD › Where to Visit in Europe Updated: November 6, 2023

  • Amalfi Coast – Where to Stay
  • Amsterdam – Where to Stay
  • Athens – Where to Stay
  • Barcelona – Where to Stay
  • Budapest – Where to Stay
  • Dublin – Where to Stay
  • Edingurgh – Where to Stay
  • Florence – Where to Stay
  • Lisbon – Where to Stay
  • London – Where to Stay
  • Madrid – Where to Stay
  • Milan – Where to Stay
  • Mykonos – Where to Stay
  • Paris – Where to Stay
  • Porto – Where to Stay
  • Prague – Where to Stay
  • Rome – Where to Stay
  • San Sebastian – Where to Stay
  • Santorini – Where to Stay

Paris, France.

The banks of the River Seine in Paris .

Best Places to Go in Europe My favorite countries to visit in Europe are Greece and Italy . My favorite cities in Europe are London , Paris , Barcelona , and Florence . The best destinations for a honeymoon in Europe are Santorini and the magical cave hotels in Matera . The best beaches in Europe are in Greece . Europe with Kids : My favorite places in Europe for families are London with kids , Paris with kids , Barcelona with kids , Amsterdam with kids , Rome with kids , and Naxos with kids . Top Tip for Visiting Europe: Arrive and depart from different cities to save the time, hassle, and expense of retracing your steps to catch your return flight. For example, fly into London, train to Paris, train to Amsterdam, fly home from Amsterdam. The best destinations for first-time visitors are those that have a direct flight from home (or as close to direct as possible) and are close to each within Europe – cutting down on costs and travel time. Best Time to Visit Europe : July and August have wonderful weather but are busy everywhere in Europe so if you have the option (and families usually don’t) then June and September are better as the weather is remains great and every beach on the Mediterranean is still wonderful. For outdoor sightseeing April, May, October, and early November are pleasant in most of Europe. If you’re a museum lover then early December, January, February, and early March see wonderfully short lines at the top attractions in London , Paris , Amsterdam , Berlin , Barcelona , Madrid , Florence , Milan , and Rome . The weather can be miserable but these big cities have lots to see indoors. My favorite book on modern Europe is Tony Judt’s fantastic Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945 . The most magical things to do in Europe are island hopping in the Greek Islands and staying at an Agriturismo in Tuscany .

The 15 Best Places to Visit in Europe

Map of Best Places to Go in Europe

1. Paris, France Paris has it all, which is why it’s as close to a must-see as there is in Europe. Food, history, art, culture, and beauty around every corner. A highlight for me is doing a bike tour around the city. Paris Travel Guide • Best Paris Hotels • Best Paris Family Hotels • Best Cheap Hotel in Paris • Best Time to Visit Paris •  Paris with Kids • Best Restaurants in Paris • Best Things to Do in Paris • Where to Stay in Paris 2. Florence, Italy There are so many places to go in Italy, but Florence is so special you really can’t miss it. The art and history are obvious perks but doing food tours and cooking classes are also favorites of mine. And Florence makes a great base for exploring the treasures of Tuscany. Florence Travel Guide • Best Florence Hotels • Best Florence Family Hotels • Best Cheap Hotels in Florence • Best Time to Visit Italy • Best Things to Do in Florence • Where to Stay in Florence 3. Santorini, Greece The best holiday destination in Europe (but I might be biased). The caldera views are as incredible as anything you’ll see anywhere. Sunsets, hikes, boat tours, local wines, black volcanic beaches, and the most luxurious hotels along the Mediterranean. Mykonos , Naxos , and Paros are just a few hours away by ferry. Santorini Travel Guide • Best Santorini Hotels • Best Santorini Family Hotels • Best Cheap Hotels in Santorini • Best Time to Visit Santorini •  Santorini with Kids •  Santorini with Kids • Best Restaurants in Santorini • Best Things to Do in Santorini • Where to Stay in Santorini 4. London, England Everyone knows London is packed with world-class sights, museums, and historical landmarks. What might be surprising is all the great local markets, shops, neighborhoods, cafes, and restaurants. Be sure to get away from the most popular attractions and seek out the less-touristy neighborhoods of greater London. Best London Hotels • Best London Family Hotels • Best Cheap Hotels in London • Best Time to Visit London •  London with Kids • Best Things to Do in London • Where to Stay in London 5. Amsterdam, Netherlands One of my absolute favorite cities in Europe. A wonderful city center that’s as pedestrian and bike friendly as you’ll find. Loaded with fun cafes, restaurants, great museums, and leafy parks. Perhaps more than any European city Amsterdam is a place you’ll want to live in after your first day. Best Amsterdam Hotels • Best Amsterdam Family Hotels • Best Cheap Hotels in Amsterdam • Best Time to Visit Amsterdam •  Amsterdam with Kids • Where to Stay in Amsterdam 6. Barcelona, Spain My favorite city in Spain. Jammed with great food, lively nightlife, art, architecture, and eye popping sightseeing. A great holiday destination for families too. Best Barcelona Hotels • Best Barcelona Family Hotels • Best Cheap Hotels in Barcelona • Best Time to Visit Barcelona •  Barcelona with Kids • Best Restaurants in Barcelona • Best Things to Do in Barcelona • Where to Stay in Barcelona 7. Rome, Italy The Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Roman Forum, Pantheon, Spanish Steps, Sistine Chapel, and Vatican. Rome is packed with some of Europe’s top attractions. Then throw in the food, shops, cafes, and funky neighborhoods. Anything less than 5 days in Rome and you’ll feel cheated. Rome Travel Guide • Best Rome Hotels • Best Rome Family Hotels • Best Cheap Hotels in Rome • Best Time to Visit Rome •  Rome with Kids • Best Things to Do in Rome • Where to Stay in Rome 8. Reykjavik, Iceland Reykjavik is the cool capital of Europe. Great nightlife, cafes, and restaurants. The Blue Lagoon, whale tours, and mesmerizing scenery are all easy day trips. Best Reykjavik Hotels • Best Rekyjavik Family Hotels • Best Cheap Hotels in Reykjavik •  Best Time to Visit Iceland 9. Edinburgh, Scotland An awesome mix of castles, history, stunning scenery, and modern Scottish life, Edinburgh is one of the must visit cities of the U.K. Best Boutique Hotels in Edinburgh • Best Edinburgh Family Hotels •  Edinburgh with Kids • Where to Stay in Edinburgh 10. Prague, Czech Republic As close to an idyllic European city as there is. Prague is a favorite of almost anyone who visits. Loads to see and do here – and the beer is pretty darn good too. Best Prague Hotels • Best Prague Family Hotels • Best Cheap Hotels in Prague • Where to Stay in Prague 11. Galway, Ireland Dublin has become a thriving international city where it can be hard to find the Irish culture you came here to experience. In Galway you really feel like you’re in Ireland. The town itself has a wonderful vibe and there’s tons to see within a 90-minute drive. Galway Family Hotels 12. Nice, France A fantastic base for exploring South France and a wonderful mid-sized town in its own right. Easy train connections to Monaco, Cannes, Lyon, and many great beaches along the Mediterranean coast. Best Nice Family Hotels 13. Istanbul, Turkey People come for the monumental historical sights but leave in awe of the markets, street culture, neighborhoods, and incredible Turkish cuisine. Best Istanbul Hotels • Best Istanbul Family Hotels • Best Cheap Hotels in Istanbul • Best Time to Visit Istanbul • Where to Stay in Istanbul 14. Naxos, Greece The best beaches in Greece and maybe all of Europe. But it’s not just sea, sun, and sand. The Chora (main town) is as charming as any Greek town and the interior of the island is dotted with enchanting villages and stunning hikes. Best Naxos Hotels • Best Naxos Family Hotels • Best Time to Visit Greece • Where to Stay in Naxos 15. Agriturismo Farm Stay in Italy This is one of the funnest, most interesting things to do in Europe. Stay at a working farm in Italy (mostly Tuscany, but Umbria and Sicily are also popular). Great for everyone from families (those are my two boys playing in the pool) to honeymooners. Stays will usually include 2 to 3 meals per day. Some farms have cooking classes, horse riding, or wine-related activities. Agriturismo in Tuscany • Agriturismo in Umbria Europe Itinerary – Where to Travel

Best place to go in Europe.

The fantastic Borough Market in London is one of my favorite foodie destinations in Europe.

• One Week in Europe : London and Paris – Eurostar train between the two cities. Fly into one and out of the other. • 10 Days in Europe : London, Paris, and Amsterdam. Train between the three. Fly in and out of different cities. • Two Weeks in Europe : London, Paris, Amsterdam, Rome, and Florence; or London, Paris, Athens, and the Greek islands. Train between London, Paris, and Rome; and between Rome and Florence. Ferry between Athens and the Greek islands. Fly the other routes. • Three Weeks in Europe : London, Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Rome, Florence, Athens, and the Greek islands. Train between London, Paris, and Rome; and between Rome and Florence. Ferry between Athens and the Greek islands. Fly the other routes. Best European Destinations by Month

Best island in Europe.

Santorini is the single best vacation destination in Europe. This fantastic Greek island is filled with awesome hotels and stunning cliffside villages , and offers visitors boat tours , wine tours , and an amazing jet ski tour to the volcano .

Best places in Europe to visit in January : London, Paris, Florence (for short museum lines); Sicily, Crete, Southern Spain (for good weather) Best places in Europe to visit in February : London, Paris, Florence (for short museum lines); Sicily, Crete, Southern Spain (for good weather) Best places in Europe to visit in March : Florence, Santorini, Paris, London, Barcelona Best places in Europe to visit in April : Florence, Rome, Santorini, Paris, London, Barcelona, Lisbon, Porto Best places in Europe to visit in May : The Greek Islands, Florence, Rome, Paris, London, Barcelona, Lisbon, Porto Best places in Europe to visit in June : The Greek Islands, Paris, London, Barcelona, Lisbon, Porto, South France, Reykjavik Best places in Europe to visit in July : The Greek Islands, Ibiza, Menorca, Mallorca, Reykjavik (but all are busy) Best places in Europe to visit in August : The Greek Islands, Ibiza, Menorca, Mallorca, Reykjavik (but all are busy) Best places in Europe to visit in September : Santorini, Mykonos, Barcelona, Lisbon, Porto, South France, London Best places in Europe to visit in October : Santorini, Crete, Florence, Barcelona, Sicily, Lisbon, Porto Best places in Europe to visit in November : Santorini, Crete, Florence, Barcelona, Sicily, Lisbon, Porto, Paris Best places in Europe to visit in December : Barcelona, Rome, Paris Read More The Best Time to Visit Europe Best Things to Do in London Best Things to Do in Paris Best Things to Do in Barcelona Best Things to Do in Rome Best Things to Do in Santorini Best Things to Do in Madrid Where to Stay in London Where to Stay in Paris Where to Stay in Rome Where to Stay in Barcelona Where to Stay in Madrid Where to Stay in Seville London with Kids Paris with Kids Amsterdam with Kids Barcelona with Kids Rome with Kids Amsterdam – Best Hotels Athens – Best Hotels Barcelona – Best Hotels Dublin – Best Hotels Florence – Best Hotels Istanbul – Best Hotels Lisbon – Best Hotels London – Best Hotels Naples – Best Hotels Paris – Best Hotels Prague – Best Hotels Reykjavik – Best Hotels Rome – Best Hotels Venice – Best Hotels

About Santorini Dave

Santorini Dave Author Bio.

Myself and a friend are looking at a two week holiday in May – we were thinking of spending a week in Santorini and then possibly another nearby close island? We would like to stay in a hotel with Caldera view, however mobility with steps is an issue! Do you know of any mid range hotels in Oia or Imerovigli that have few or no steps to access rooms etc. i appreciate that being built into a mountain this is probably a challenging request! Mobility on flat ground is not an issue. Many thanks

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Fira has several good hotels with few or no stairs: Aria Suites, Atlantis, and Aressana. In Imerovigli Kasimatis is a good choice. In Oia try Aspaki by Art Maisons.

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Come and visit Bulgaria! The country of yogurt and rose oil. Doesn’t matter what will be the season. Mountains and beaches. Visit the oldest city in Europe – Plovdiv. The oldest country in Europe. Some of the places offered here are not that much good as they present them. Travelling years already and have been visited all the European countries. My opinion for some countries. From 1 to 10: Spain 8, France 6, Netherlands 6, England 6, Italy 7, Turkey 7, Portugal 7, Greece 6, Germany 7.

Wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

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Hi Dave, I’m planning a trip to Germany for this coming October but would like to spend a few days (2 to 3 days) in another city or country at the end of the trip before returning to the US. What would your top suggestions be for places to visit if you only have a few days?

Paris would be right at the top of my list. Amsterdam, London, Florence, and Barcelona are all wonderful too (and many more). Take a look at flights and connections to see what works best for your itinerary and use that as a tie-breaker.

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What are the best cities to visit in Europe for a first-time solo female traveler?

For all first-time visitors to Europe top cities would be Paris, Florence, London, Amsterdam, Rome, and Barcelona. I’d recommend visiting at least one smaller place to get a more local feel of European life. Good suggestions include Galway, Perugia, Utrecht, and Seville – although the list of quality places is very very long.

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Hi Dave. Do you think it would be too cold to go Greek Island hopping in April/May? And how many nights per island do you think would be required?

April is too cold for swimming. Early May can start to have some warm/hot days when swimming is possible though the water will still be cool. But if by island hopping you mean sightseeing and exploring the islands then late April and early May are wonderful on the Greek islands. The weather is great, crowds are smaller, and costs are cheaper.

We are looking for a beach holiday destination for September. We want good weather and wonderful beaches. Good food and a fun atmosphere (but not big parties) are also important. Where would you suggest?

The Greek islands have the best beaches in Europe. If you want to ferry hop around several islands then the Cyclades (Naxos, Paros, Mykonos, Santorini, and several more) are best. If you only want one island (with great beaches) then go with Naxos, Mykonos, Crete, or Rhodes – or smaller islands like Ios, Sifnos, Antiparos, or Ikaria.

We have a week to spend in Amsterdam as part of our honeymoon. We plan on 3 or 4 days in Amsterdam but would like to do an overnight bike trip outside of Amsterdam – probably two days but could also do a three day trip if needed. We’re in decent shape (can easily walk 5 to 10 miles in a day) but are only on a bike a few times a year. What bike trips would you recommend outside of Amsterdam?

My two favorite bike trips from Amsterdam are:

Amsterdam to Edam – Start by taking the free ferry from the train station across the canal to North Amsterdam. From there it’s a 90 minute ride to Edam (be sure to ride through the small town of Broek in Waterland.) Stay at the Hotel and Restaurant de Fortuna (idyllic location on a small canal, plenty of bike parking) in the center of this charming town. The restaurant at the hotel is fantastic. The next morning catch the ferry from Volendam to Marken and then return to Amsterdam along the sea coast.

Amsterdam to Utrecht – This ride is a bit longer (about 2.5 to 3 hours, one way). If you put Amsterdam to Utrecht into Google Maps you’ll get two different bike routes (mostly on opposite sides of the canal but departing a bit more close to Amsterdam), take one route to Utrecht and the opposite route back as they feel very different (but both wonderful rides). Utrecht is a medium-sized college town with nightlife, local attractions, and lots of restaurants along the main canal. Stay at the Grand Hotel Karel V (center of town, plenty of bike parking) which is fabulous.

Both of these rides are wonderful and highly recommended.

Traveling from London to Paris and then Rome. What is the best, easiest, fastest way to get between the 3 cities – fly, train, or car rental?

From London to Paris take the Eurostar. From Paris to Rome get a cheap flight – probably with Ryanair or Easy Jet.

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Divergent Travelers

15 Best Cities in Europe to Visit

Europe is a continent that’s filled with history and culture and across its capitals and cities you can find each country’s heritage etched into the streets, and across the sights and attractions found there.

The most beautiful cities in Europe are waiting to be explored, and you can visit on short city breaks or make use of the excellent continent-wide transportation to travel on an extensive city-hopping trip.

You can see the glitzy, romantic sights of Paris, watch the changing of the guard outside Buckingham Palace in London, or head to a classic opera in Vienna. Soak up the thermal waters in Hungary, one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, or admire the rustic architecture of Berlin, in Germany.

From Spain to Russia, your options are almost endless, but to help you plan your trip, we’ve put together a rundown of the best cities in Europe to visit.

Don’t leave home without: Lonely Planet Europe (Travel Guide)

Table of Contents

Best Cities in Europe - London, England

1. London, England

London has the highest tourist numbers in Europe and the British capital is every bit deserving of the title of the most visited city on the continent, as you would expect from such a legendary destination.

London is both old and new, with historic buildings echoing hundreds of years of history, while modern skyscrapers rise gloriously over the skyline. You can visit Buckingham Palace, walk through St James’ Park, cruise along the River Thames and admire Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament.

You can find Britain’s best museums in London, yet another reason why this is one of the best cities in Europe, and you’ll find that the Natural History Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Science Museum, to name just a few, will keep you occupied for hours.

Be sure to plan at least 3 days in London to maximize your opportunity of experiencing all that this great city has to offer. 

Don’t leave home without: Lonely Planet London (Travel Guide)

Eiffel Tower in Paris

2. Paris, France

The continent’s second most visited city, and arguably, one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, is Paris . This is the city of love and romance, but regardless of whether you are visiting as a couple or not, the French capital has a lot to offer.

Take a tour to the top of the Eiffel Tower, for incredible vistas over the city. Explore the galleries of the Louvre, where you can see the famous Mona Lisa painting in all its glory, before strolling along the Champs Elysees for the best view of the Arc de Triomphe.

When you are finished sightseeing each day, then enjoy the quality fine dining that Paris is renowned for, sit out with glasses of wine on ramshackle streets, and enjoy the Parisian lifestyle.

Don’t leave home without: Lonely Planet Paris (Travel Guide)

Coliseum in Rome

3. Rome, Italy

Rome is not only one of the best cities in Europe, but it’s also one of the most historic, and no tour of the continent is complete without a journey through the centuries in the Italian capital.

The center of Roman civilization for hundreds of years, the city is full of historic ruins and relics. You can walk through the crumbling stands of the Colosseum and step back in time amongst the ruins of the Roman Forum.

Enjoy wonderful Italian food and drink, including classic pizza and pasta dishes, before visiting the heart of Catholicism at the Vatican, joining other tourists at the Trevi Fountain or walking the famous Spanish Steps.

Don’t sell yourself short on your visit and make sure you plan at least 3 days in Rome . If you can manage more, there is definitely no shortage of things to do in the city. You’ll also want to plan some time to take a day trip to Pompeii too. 

Don’t leave home without: Lonely Planet Rome (Travel Guide)

Amsterdam, Netherlands

4. Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam is one of the best cities in Europe if you’re looking for a mix of culture and hedonism, as anything is possible in the liberal, Dutch capital.

Spend your days riding bicycles along the cobblestone streets, or joining boat tours along the canals. You can shop at floating flower markets, visit museums dedicated to famous Dutch artists such as Van Gogh or Rembrandt, and of course, call in at the local coffee shops or take a late-night walk through the Red Light District!

Amsterdam is an exciting and energetic city that you’ll become instantly addicted to. I would know, I’ve visited no less than 5 times in my travels. 

Don’t leave home without: Lonely Planet The Netherlands (Travel Guide)

Best Cities in Europe - Berlin, Germany

5. Berlin, Germany

The German capital might not be one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, but Berlin is still one of the best . What it lacks in aesthetics or flair in comparison to the likes of Paris or Rome, it makes up for in contemporary culture.

Enjoy Berlin’s unique nightlife, delve into German food and drink at traditional pubs and breweries or take a look at the remnants of the Berlin Wall and other historic sights such as the Reichstag or the Brandenburg Gate.

While it’s not Bavaria, Berlin holds it own for an intriguing city to visit in Europe. Be sure to take a walking tour so you can get up close to the history of the city. 

Don’t leave home without: Lonely Planet Pocket Berlin (Travel Guide)

Vienna, Austria

6. Vienna, Austria

Vienna though is certainly one of the most beautiful cities in Europe as the Austrian capital is packed with unique, Austro-Hungarian architecture and Baroque palaces.  

Stroll through perfectly landscaped gardens and explore the stately rooms of lavish residences built for past royalty. Visit the world-famous State Opera – if you’re lucky, you might be able to get tickets for a performance and enjoy the many museums that are found across the city too.

Additionally, Vienna boasts one of the most beautiful Christmas markets in all of Europe. 

Don’t leave home without:  Lonely Planet Vienna (Travel Guide)

Budapest, Hungary

7. Budapest, Hungary

Follow the River Danube from Vienna, and you’ll eventually arrive in Budapest, one of the best cities in Europe to visit. The Hungarian capital is really a story of two cities, as on one side of the river you have the cliff tops, castles and palaces of Buda, while on the other, you have the low lying streets of downtown Pest.

Visit Buda Hill for exceptional views over the city, admire the Hungarian Parliament from afar, or take a tour through the interior.

Walk along Andrassy Avenue, calling in at shops or restaurants along the way, while those with an interest in modern history, can also visit the infamous House of Terror, to learn about the crimes of the nationalist and communist governments of the past.

End any day in Budapest with a relaxing session at one of the city’s thermal baths. Budapest is built on hot springs, and you can spend hours enjoying the spa lifestyle in the Hungarian capital.

Budapest is one of our favorite cities in Europe, for the simple fact that it is full of incredible sights, architecture and is very affordable in comparison to some of the other cities. Be sure to give yourself at least 3 days in Budapest to experience what the city has to offer.

Don’t leave home without: Lonely Planet Pocket Budapest (Travel Guide)

Prague, Czech Republic

8. Prague, Czech Republic

While you are in Central Europe, then a visit to Prague is a must, to see the Czech capital in all its glory. The city is full of medieval architecture, which remarkably survived the ravages of World War II mostly intact.

You can see the iconic castle, walk over the world-famous Charles Bridge and marvel at the intricate Astronomical Clock that dates back hundreds of years. Prague emits an old-world charm that cannot be found in any other city across Europe.

Don’t leave home without: Lonely Planet Prague & the Czech Republic (Travel Guide)

St Petersburg, Russia

9. St Petersburg, Russia

Travel further east, and you can visit St Petersburg, the most majestic city in Russia . Found on the Baltic Sea, St Petersburg was designed and built during the era of Czar Peter the Great to emulate the best cities in Europe and to serve as his capital.

Although it’s no longer the Russian capital, it’s still the second-largest city and St Petersburg is packed with historic sights and culture. Explore grand cathedrals and palaces, and spend hours walking through the galleries of the State Hermitage Museum.  

Don’t leave home without: Lonely Planet St Petersburg (Travel Guide)

Best Cities in Europe

10. Ljubljana, Slovenia

Ljubljana is one of the smallest national capitals on the continent, but it’s one of the best cities in Europe to visit if you are in search of a quiet experience, and a change from other bustling metropolises.

Ljubljana is beautiful, and the Slovenian capital is built along the turquoise banks of the River Ljubljanica. You can visit the alternative art community of Metelkova, admire the historic Austro-Hungarian architecture in the city, and climb to the top of the imposing fortress for the best views over the city.

Don’t leave home without: Lonely Planet Slovenia (Travel Guide)

Zurich, Switzerland

11. Zurich, Switzerland

Zurich is Switzerland’s largest city, and it’s a great place to visit to see both cultures and scenery. You can explore the historic, medieval streets of the Old Town, sample Swiss chocolate firsthand and gaze out over the beautiful shores of Lake Zurich.

From the city, you are within easy reach of some of Switzerland’s most dramatic natural sights, from alpine lakes to high mountain peaks.

Don’t leave home without: Lonely Planet Switzerland (Travel Guide)

Madrid, Spain

12. Madrid, Spain

The Spanish capital is the largest city in the country, and it’s packed with historic sights, excellent restaurants, and even better cafes and bars.

Enjoy the local culinary scene, sampling coffee, tapas, and wine through the day and into the evening, while visiting such iconic sights as the Royal Palace, Retiro Park or even the Real Madrid football stadium.

This city is addictive and you’ll need at least 3 days in Madrid to really get a grasp on history. Be sure to take a walking tour so you can learn the stories during your visit. 

Don’t leave home without: Lonely Planet Madrid (Travel Guide)

Dubrovnik, Croatia

13. Dubrovnik, Croatia

Located on the beautiful shores of the Adriatic Sea in southern Croatia, Dubrovnik is famed for its intricate Old Town and remarkable, medieval walls.

Made famous in recent years by Game of Thrones, Dubrovnik is well-deserving of the vast increase in tourism it’s seen. You can walk along the high, Venetian era walls, lose yourself in the maze of medieval streets or even sail or kayak along the coast for exceptional scenes and Mediterranean landscapes.

Don’t leave home without: Lonely Planet Pocket Dubrovnik & the Dalmatian Coast (Travel Guide)

Milan, Italy

14. Milan, Italy

After Rome, Milan is one of the best cities to visit in Italy, and it’s packed with Renaissance architecture and artwork. You can visit the best museums in northern Italy and see classics from such masters as Leonardo da Vinci across the city.

Dine out in luxury at Michelin starred restaurants or stay in luxury at five-star hotels because Milan really is a high-end destination!

Don’t leave home without: Lonely Planet Pocket Milan (Travel Guide)

Best Cities in Europe - Barcelona, Spain

15. Barcelona, Spain

The cultural and historic heart of Catalonia is one of Europe’s most visited cities, but it’s worth braving the crowds to see all that Barcelona has to offer . The city is built on the Spanish coastline and you can stroll from the center, right onto sandy beaches.

Walk along the famous Las Ramblas, a long avenue in Barcelona, calling into museums and markets, before admiring the yet to be completed Sagrada Familia, a beautiful cathedral designed by Gaudi.

Don’t leave home without: Lonely Planet Discover Barcelona (Travel Guide)

More on Europe:

  • 10 Cheapest Places to Travel in Europe
  • The Only Europe Packing List You Need (For Any Season!)
  • When is the Best Time to Visit Europe?
  • How to Choose the Best Travel Bag for Europe
  • Travel Insurance for Europe Vacation: Do I Need It?
  • Train Travel in Europe: Ultimate Eurail Pass Guide
  • Best Places to Fly a Drone in Europe
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  • 10 Adventures for Your Europe Bucket List

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26 Best Cities to Visit in Europe in 2024

Home » Blog » Europe » 26 Best Cities to Visit in Europe in 2024

From quaint mountain towns to bustling metropolises, Europe is home to some of the most impressive and influential cities in the world. We’ve rounded up the best cities to visit in Europe that will have you booking your next trip in no time!

Prague Czech Republic Europe

European cities are idyllic juxtapositions of nature and civilization , old and new. Many easily rank among the best in the world.

With so much diversity and an endless list of cities in Europe to choose from, it can be difficult to choose your next destination. We’ve curated this list so you can narrow down your choices, especially if it’s your first time visiting.

From the coastlines of the Mediterranean to the unmatched charm of northern archipelagos, these cities have permanent chapters in European history.

Even if you don’t consider yourself a “city person”, you’ll find something to love in these cities: world-class museums, awarded historical sites, centuries-old architecture, Michelin star restaurants, world-famous landmarks, rich culture, the list goes on…

In this guide, we’ve rounded up the absolute best cities to visit in Europe. Whether it’s your first or fifth trip to this beloved continent, this list is bound to inspire you and help you get off the beaten path.

European cities travel guide

  • Our top picks

Iconic European cities

Smaller european cities.

  • Best European cities to visit for Christmas Markets
  • Best European cities for digital nomads

Off-the-beaten-path European cities

Roundup of the best cities to visit in europe, best time to visit cities in europe, how to find cheap flights to europe.

  • Tips for visiting Europe

Our top picks for the best cities to visit in Europe

If you’re looking for quick answers to our top recommendations, here you go. These are the best cities to visit in Europe for all kinds of travelers:

  • Best city in Europe for history: Rome
  • Best city in Europe for adventure: Reykjavik
  • Best city in Europe for families:  Edinburgh
  • Best city in Europe for nature:  Salzburg
  • Best city in Europe for foodies: Barcelona
  • Best city in Europe for Digital Nomads: Lisbon
  • Best cities for: European Christmas Markets

Click on the links above to jump to that section, or keep reading for more detailed information on each and more of the best cities to visit in Europe. 

These cities hardly need an introduction, they’re so integrated into culture and stories around the world. Many, if not all of them top traveler’s bucket lists and are filled with the most legendary places to visit.

1. Rome, Italy

Rome Italy European Cities

  • Known for: Rich history, classical architecture, and delicious cuisine.
  • Region: Southern  
  • When to go: Shoulder season: April/May or September/October

Nicknamed the “Eternal City ”, Rome is a place nearly every traveler falls in love with. It tops this list of the best cities to visit in Europe, and its spot is well deserved.

Rome’s ancient history is well-integrated into the present day. Around every corner, you feel as though you’ve traveled nearly 3,000 years back in time to Ancient Rome.

Wandering the city feels like you’re in the world’s largest open-air museum. There’s so much to uncover among its art, culture, architecture, people, and of course, food.

top 15 european cities to visit

It would take lifetimes to peel back the layers of the city. However, there are a handful of things to see that are almost a rite of passage when it comes to visiting Rome. Especially if it’s your first time in Italy.

The Colosseum is a must-see as it dominates the face of the city. The ceiling art inside the Sistine Chapel is sure to take your breath away. And the city’s most stunning ancient monument, the Pantheon , is an architectural wonder in and of itself.

2. London, England

Big Ben London UK European Cities

  • Known for: One of the world’s greatest (and oldest) cosmopolitan cities.
  • Region: Northern
  • December for Christmas markets

You’ll find that many European cities on this list showcase art, architecture, food, and fashion. Nowhere, however, does it better than London.

The streets hold more than 2,000 years of rich history, 270 nationalities, nearly 300 languages, and a larger collection of significant landmarks and monuments than any other city in the world.

Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, and the Tower of London are some of the most anticipated historical sights to see. You can easily get lost in the city’s renowned theater scene , contemporary art, architecture, and acclaimed multi-cultural status.

Perhaps most famously though, London is the final resting place of Queen Elizabeth II . As Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, she represented over 1,000 years of tradition and values.

3. Berlin, Germany

Berlin Germany

  • Known for: Its tumultuous past throughout the 20th century, resulting in its multi-faceted, artistic, and vibrant atmosphere.
  • Region: Central
  • Late September/early October for Oktoberfest, December for Christmas markets

Berlin is one of the most unique cities in Europe. Although a tad rough around the edges and not as manicured as other cities, it’s definitely one of the most interesting, due largely to its unimaginable history.

The city’s lively pulse and free-spirited nature are direct results of being at the center of (arguably) the three largest conflicts of the 20th century.

World-class museums, monuments, and memorials that pay tribute to all of Berlin’s tragedies juxtapose the next-level nightlife, dramatic street art, and creative atmosphere of today.

Experiencing all these corners of the city allows you to see it truly shine, as its differences provide outlets for remembrance and celebration of Berlin’s past and future.

Wandering over 180 museums , exploring the city’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and indulging in the hip beer culture are among some of the best things to do in Berlin .

4. Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam Netherlands European Cities

  • Known for: World-class museums, quirky architecture, and breathtaking canals.
  • Region: Western  
  • When to go: mid-April for Dutch tulips

Amsterdam is a creative and imaginative city filled with a wealth of wonders. 

It feels more like a small village than a metropolis filled with sky-high buildings. With only a few days, you can get a good feel for its charming people, neighborhoods, and culture, unlike other sprawling cities.

The city is known for cycling, and it’s something you must experience to truly get in touch with the culture of the Netherlands. 

The maze of canals and bridges create the illusion of a floating city. This results in an enticing backdrop and map to explore local-style on two wheels.

Cruise through the Jordaan neighborhood , explore the 9 Straatjes (9 Streets) , and visit any of the museums. Anne Frank House, Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum, and Stedelijk Museum are the most famous. 

5. Paris, France

Paris France

  • Known for: Chic fashion, rich history, stunning architecture, and world-renowned monuments.
  • Region: Western

It goes without saying that Paris is unlike any other city in the world, constantly reinventing itself through unique entertainment, art, high fashion, and food.

Although it’s always pioneering something new and revolutionary, relishing in Paris’s rich history is what gives the city its extra dash of allure.

Luckily, there is a story around every corner. You can experience history simply walking the streets or visiting any of the city’s impressive art collections and historical monuments. 

Picnicking underneath the Eiffel Tower (or seeing it sparkle at night), touring the Louvre , exploring Montmartre , and marveling at Notre Dame are some of the easiest ways to fall in love with the most romantic city in the world.

Refuel your adventures with world-famous French cuisine , or take part in the city’s legendary cafe culture with coffee and pan au chocolat.

6. Prague, Czech Republic

Prague Czech Republic

  • Known for: Architectural marvels that survived the war: castles, medieval squares, and Gothic and Baroque influences.
  • When to go: Shoulder season: April/May or September

Marveled as “ The City of a Hundred Spires ”, Prague is an architectural paradise that isn’t replicated anywhere else in Europe.

Many of the most impressive buildings in the city weren’t severely damaged during the 17th and 18th centuries, or even World War II. As a result, you can revel in the city’s beautiful mix of Baroque, Renaissance, and Gothic styles. 

Prague is not only one of the best cities to visit in Europe, it’s one of the cheapest capitals. You can easily explore some of the most fun and cheap things to do in Prague for a fraction of what you would in Western Europe.

Walk across the Charles Bridge (the oldest bridge in Europe), marvel at the 600-year-old astronomical clock in Old Town Square , or tour the Prague Castle . Spanning over 17 acres, this is the largest castle complex in the world.

And we can’t forget that Prague is known as the beer capital of the world . Locals here drink beer more than any other country. Legend has it that beer is cheaper than water!

7. Munich, Germany

Munich Germany European Cities

  • Known for: Bavarian capital filled with craft beer, museums, and an “old meets new” feel. 
  • When to go: September for Oktoberfest, December for Christmas markets

Munich is a blend of the lush green Bavarian countryside and just about every style known in architectural history. It’s a multi-faceted city sewn together with centuries of rich history.

Most famously, the city has an acclaimed reputation for its beer. In fact, Munich is the heart and soul of Oktoberfest, a beer festival held each fall that attracts brew-lovers from all over the world. 

But the city’s beloved “ liquid bread ” isn’t the only thing worth indulging in when it comes to visiting this Bavarian city.

Traditional German food finds its home in various beer halls/gardens, restaurants, and cafes around the city. You can take part in mid-city surfing on the Eisbach Channel , or choose from over 80 of Munich’s museums to explore. 

Moreover, its location in southern Germany makes it the ideal base camp for day trips. Venture to fairytale castles and glittering lakes , and explore all the adorable mountain towns in the Alps.

8. Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona Spain European Cities

  • Known for: Golden beaches, stunning architecture, lively nightlife, and world-class cuisine; one of the best-preserved medieval cities in Europe.
  • Region: Southern
  • When to go: April – June or September/October

Hugging the edges of the North Mediterranean Sea, coastal Barcelona offers both the excitement and bustle of a city break and the relaxation of a beach holiday.

It’s recognized widely for its outstanding artistic expression through forward-thinking cuisine, contemporary art, live music, and neo-Classical and neo-Gothic architecture .  

Whether you’re uncovering the secrets of the Gothic Quarter , shopping and dining in the social quarter La Rambla , or admiring Antoni Gaudi’s signature architecture, like the Sagrada Familia , Barcelona’s endless color and charm will have you returning for more.

It’s a popular city to begin any adventure through Europe. Start here if you’re heading to Spain’s island paradises of Ibiza, Mallorca, and Menora next, or taking to France or Italy for another stamp in your passport.

9. Istanbul, Turkey

top 15 european cities to visit

  • Known for: Spreading across both the Asian and European continents; filled with amazing food, history, cultural diversity, and cats.
  • When to go: March – May or September/October

Istanbul is a fascinating city filled with endless contradictions. Of all the best cities to visit in Europe, it has the longest, most complicated history.

Istanbul’s earliest influences from the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman Empires are still present today, all woven into a mosaic of people, religions, and cultures.

Among its labyrinth of alleyways, bazaars, and architecture, you’ll be taken on a sensory journey through both Middle Eastern and Western European cultures.

This is the only place in the world where you can visit two continents in one country, but that only scratches the surface of the best things to do in Istanbul .

Peruse the sounds and sights at the Grand Bazaar . Visit the Blue Mosque to admire over 20,000 handmade green, blue, and white tiles. Take to the streets to sample the city’s unique gastronomy scene (and make a feline friend or two!).

10. Athens, Greece

Athens Greece

  • Known for: One of the oldest cities in the world, which was at the forefront of early civilization.

Known as the cradle of Western Civilization, Athens is the birthplace of democracy, classical art, famous philosophers, literature, and so much more .

If you love history and/or mythology, Athens is the place for you. Everywhere you go in this city touches on its ancient past.

Essentials of the city are the Temple of Zeus, the Acropolis, and the Temple of Hephaestus . These structures have dominated Athen’s hilltop skyline for millenia. 

After visiting the city’s most important archaeological sites, discover 5,000 years of history among its museums and sprawling alleyways, or take to its many serene, cerulean beaches.

Dotted in a fantastic central location, you can leave Athens from Greece’s largest port to go island hopping around many of the most beautiful Greek islands.

11. Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen Denmark European Cities

  • Known for: Cycling, world-class architecture, and reputation as the “happiest city in the world”.
  • Region: Scandinavia
  • When to go: May – September

Beer, cycling, architecture, and hygge are Copenhagen’s signatures.

“Hygge” (pronounced ”hoo-ga”) is one of our favourite travel-related words. It’s loosely described as a mood of coziness, while enjoying the good things in life with good people. There are plenty of ways to incorporate hygge into your trip to this Scandinavian city.

Copenhagen has been awarded UNESCO’s World Capital of Architecture. You can see why by visiting the Tivoli Gardens, the Black Diamond at the Royal Danish Library, and the Christiansborg Palace.

For its vibrant contemporary scene, don’t miss the quintessential Little Mermaid Statue, Nørrebro neighborhood, and Meatpacking district.

To best experience Copenhagen’s rich cultural history, you must explore the city via bicycle. Since there are more bikes than people in this city, it’s well-integrated into daily life and ideal for exploring the city like a local.

12. Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm Sweden

  • Known for: Stunning architecture, innovative design, and beautiful islands.

Spread across 14 different islands and connected by 57 bridges, Stockholm is known as the “Venice of the North”. Any perspective is met with seaside views over this forward-thinking and innovative city.

Its vibrant and sustainable restaurant scene, nature opportunities, and overflow of art and culture are what Stockholm is most celebrated for.

One of the most popular things to see in the city is the Gamla Stan (Old Town) . This area is filled with baroque architecture and medieval streets and squares. 

Nature-lovers flock to Djurgården, an island filled with vibrant parks, gardens, and museums. The Vasa, ABBA, and first-ever open-air Skansen Museum are the most popular galleries to explore.  

Pocket-sized but mighty, these are some of the best cities to visit in Europe that boast the same intriguing history and allure as many of the larger metropolises.

13. Florence, Italy

Florence Italy European Cities

  • Known for: The birthplace of the Renaissance, world-class art and architecture, and good wine.
  • When to go: April/May or September/October

Nestled in the heart of the Tuscany region, Florence (known as “Firenze” in Italy) is an alluring city with streets that have hardly changed since the Renaissance.

World-class art, wine, and cuisine are highlights of the city, all working in harmony to create its relaxed and charming atmosphere.

At the world-famous Uffizi Gallery , you can peruse works by Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Botecelli, and countless other historic artists. 

Visit the Accademia Gallery to marvel at the iconic Statue of David , and definitely don’t miss the Florence Cathedral and the Duomo complex .

Its location also makes Florence an excellent hub for exploring around the Tuscany region, whether on a road trip through the Italian countryside or as a base camp for exciting day trips.

Florence Italy European Cities

Fun Fact: We studied abroad in Florence back in 2009 and had the time of our lives! Italy was the very first country either of us had traveled to outside of the United States, and it’s safe to say that those 4 months changed our lives. I (Katie) lived in an apartment with 7 other girls just around the corner from the Duomo. Ben lived near the Ponte Vecchio and had to walk across it each day to get to class!

14. Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh Scotland

  • Known for: Intriguing history, gastronomic scene , historical sights, and high culture.
  • August for Fringe Festival or December for Christmas markets

With a castle towering above the city’s Georgian buildings, whisky flowing by the barrel-full, and fairytale magic oozing out of the maze of side streets, it’s very hard not to fall in love with Edinburgh.

The two main centers of town are known as Old Town and New Town. Both are UNESCO World Heritage Sites and filled to the brim with exciting places to explore around every corner. 

Whether you’re soaking up the history of Edinburgh Castle , following your curiosities along the Royal Mile , visiting the Palace of Holyrood , or taking in the view from Arthur’s Seat , Edinburgh will transport you straight into a storybook.

Speaking of stories, the streets and medieval architecture of this city are known for inspiring the Harry Potter universe. 

In fact, one of the best things to do in Edinburgh is to discover HP-inspired locations around the city!

15. Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik

  • Known for: Invaluable heritage and ancient medieval literature.
  • September/October or February/March for northern lights 

One of the smallest cities on this list packs a larger punch than you may think. Reykjavik is the northernmost capital in the world , filled with Nordic charm, spunk, and a plethora of interesting things to see.

Many people either visit Reykjavik on a long layover or explore it as a small part of an unforgettable road trip around Iceland . No matter which way you choose to explore the city, you most definitely shouldn’t skip it.

Although void of towering skyscrapers and typical city grandeur, there are many cool things to do in Reykjavik that will pull you into its unique corners to really appreciate it.

Watch the sunset dance off the Harpa Concert Hall , admire the basalt columns of the Hallgrimskirkja Church , eat at a world-famous hot dog stand, or even venture out of the city to soak in the Blue Lagoon , the most famous of Iceland’s hot springs.

16. Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik Croatia

  • Known for: “Pearl of the Adriatic Sea” , rich history, turquoise beaches, and iconic filming locations.

Along the shimmering coast of the Adriatic Sea, Dubrovnik’s ancient city walls, baroque architecture, and panoramic views create a stunning blend of scenery.

Among its stone buildings and vermillion red rooftops, Dubrovnik’s turquoise beaches shine as some of the best in Europe. 

When you’re not relaxing along the coast, take to the streets to explore the best things to do in Dubrovnik . Discover the famous city walls in Old Town , take the cable car to the top of Mt. Srd , and have a drink at the famous Buža bars.

Outside of Europe, a large wave of the city’s tourism is from the hit HBO series Game of Thrones. Dubrovnik served as the backdrop for the show’s fictional city of King’s Landing.

You’ll see many fans here reliving the series at various filming locations, grabbing souvenirs around every street corner, and sitting on the original iron thrones from the show.

17. Porto, Portugal

Porto Portugal

  • Known for: Port wine, rich history, and centuries-old architecture.
  • When to go: June – October

Jutting up the Rio Douro riverside, Porto’s colorful buildings and woven alleyways are filled with stunning viewpoints, historic charm, and some seriously good Port wines . 

Although the city is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site and is famous among sommeliers, it’s often overlooked since many people opt to visit Lisbon while exploring Portugal. 

However, this laid-back city is not to be missed. It’s incredibly budget-friendly compared to many of the best cities to visit in Europe and has a little something for everyone.

You can wander one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world at Livraria Lello , take in the views at sky-high miradors and rooftop bars , or walk through the symbol of the city, the Porto Cathedral.

18. Vienna, Austria

Vienna Austria

  • Known for: World-renowned music, legendary art collections, and imperial architecture.

Vienna’s imperial palaces and blend of traditional and modern architecture set the stage for the city’s cornucopia of things to see and do.

If you’re a passionate foodie, art-lover, or music aficionado, the Austrian capital is the place for you. 

Vienna is known as the “ City of Music ”. Names like Mozart, Beethoven, and countless other composers are a massive part of the city’s musical heritage. 

You can relish in the culture by catching performances ranging from classical to pop at any of the live venues, or learn more at the Haus der Musik museum.

Also, with so many unique coffee houses, street food, decades-old restaurants, craft beer, and modern eateries, you’ll never run out of places to try.

Outside of the arts and dining, Vienna has been consistently ranked as the “ World’s Most Liveable City ”, as it has some of the cleanest tap water in the world, pristine streets, and high quality of living. 

Best Cities to Visit in Europe for Christmas Markets

If you’re planning a European Christmas markets trip, you’re likely to want to visit more than one city. We’ve got all the resources you need right here!

  • If this is your first Christmas market trip (or if you want a route suggestion), check out my itinerary ! I think it makes an amazing route.
  • Essential tips for European Christmas markets:  Before you finalize your route and pack your bags, be sure to read our top tips for visiting European Christmas markets (it’ll help you avoid some very easy-to-make mistakes!).
  • Christmas market foods you have to try:  One of the best things about the Christmas markets in Europe is the food, of course! We’ve got a guide to all the must-try foods so you don’t miss any!

Best European cities for Digital Nomads

With low cost of living, great co-working spaces, relaxed culture, and overall atmosphere, these offbeat cities are ideal short- or long-term bases abroad for digital nomads.  

19. Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon Portugal European Cities

  • Known for: Historical significance, intimate natural harbor, and relaxed atmosphere.

The capital of Portugal is a modern metropolis that has retained its centuries-old charm through its sweeping vistas, balconies, and relaxed coastal atmosphere.

Lisbon is often referred to as an old-world San Francisco due to the city’s colorful, steep streets, cable cars, and the historic Ponte 25 de Abril bridge , which loosely compares to the mighty Golden Gate Bridge.

It’s an ideal city for digital nomads because the cost of living is much lower than other cities in Europe. Plus, it has city-wide, high-speed wifi, excellent public transport options, and its very own 2-year digital nomad visa.

After a day’s work, you can hop aboard Tram 28 to relish in the 19th-century hotspots, like the Torre de Belém and St George’s Castle , and roam the Alfama District.

20. Split, Croatia

Split Croatia

  • Known for: Historic heritage, adventure, and lively Mediterranean culture.
  • June – August for Yacht Week

It’s no wonder why many nomads and travelers land in Split: relaxed coastal vibes, endless adventure, affordable living, and plenty of co-working/living spaces.

The architecture was shaped by the Venetians during the 15th and 16th centuries, which is why the vermillion roofs against the turquoise sea are reminiscent of the Italian coast.

Before Split received the praise it has today, it was known as the “ Gateway to the Islands” . At the center of the Dalmation Coast , it’s the ideal location for visiting Croatia’s most popular islands: Hvar, Brac, Vis, and Solta.

Now, many people opt to explore the best things to do in Split before heading out on coastal endeavors, like climbing the Bell Tower or indulging in Croatian cuisine and wine. 

Split is surrounded by adventure on all sides. From the Adriatic coast, River Cetina, Biokovo Mountains, and various National Parks nearby, you can plan an adrenaline-filled holiday.

21. Budapest, Hungary

Travel Safety Tips Budapest Bridge

  • Known for: Thermal baths, enticing architecture, and folk culture.
  • Region: Central  
  • When to go: March – May or September – November

Sitting regally along the Danube River, Budapest is shockingly overshadowed by the other cities in Europe.

The history of the city dates back to the Roman era in 89 AD. It has been at the hands of many famous empires (Ottoman, Habsburgs, and Soviet Communism), until it became independent after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

This blend of influences eventually filled Budapest with its unparalleled highlights: thermal hot springs, interesting history, and majestic architecture.

The Hungarian capital is also famous for its ruin bars (particularly Szimpla Kert , the one that started it all) and famous sights like Buda Castle, the Parliament Building, and St Stephen’s Basilica.

Since it’s still making its way to the mainstream, the prices are still affordable. This is ideal for digital nomads and travelers, as there are many cheap things to do in Budapest .

22. Tbilisi, Georgia

Tbilisi Georgia

  • Known for: Geographical diversity, complex history, and world-renowned food and wine.
  • Region: Eastern
  • When to go: May – early June or September/October

Largely off the tourist radar, Tbilisi (pronounced: “tuh-BLEE-see”) is quickly becoming the newest up-and-coming city in Europe, especially for digital nomads and travelers looking for a good budget travel destination.

Tbilisi is an exciting mix of East meets West, history meets modern-day.

The timeline of Georgia’s capital begins back in the 5th century. Its long stretches of independence have been interrupted by occupations of the Byzantine, Persian, Mongol, and Russian empires, before officially reclaiming itself after the fall of the USSR. 

Its extensive and tumultuous past gives the city its eclectic mix of interesting architecture, history, and hidden gems waiting to be uncovered.

Pay a visit to the Narikala Fortress , wander around Old Town , and most definitely indulge in the wine. The mighty grapes’ history dates back 8,000 years and Georgia is considered the “ cradle of wine ”.

These cities boast a fraction of the crowds and prices of major cities in Europe and offer the perfect setting for soul-searching adventures and magical moments.

23. Krakow, Poland

Krakow, Poland

  • Known for: Fascinating history, cafe culture, and raging nightlife.

As one of the few cities that escaped the destruction of WWII, Krakow is sprawling with medieval churches, Gothic architecture, and cobblestone streets.

However, it’s severely underrated and passed over by many, making it one of the best cities to visit in Europe for travelers who want to avoid the crowds.

Krakow is filled with fascinating history waiting to be absorbed. Auschwitz, the UNESCO-tagged Old Town, and Wawel Castle, one of the largest royal castles in Europe, are among the top sights to explore.

Schindler’s Factory is another a historic staple you must see while you’re here. The museum tells the whole history of Krakow as a city, as well as the tear-jerking story of Oscar Schindler, which was later adapted into the Academy Award-winning movie, Schindler’s List.

And no visit to the city is complete without indulging in the wild nightlife scene , one of the most unforgettable things to do in Krakow .

From underground discos to seriously good pub crawls, the city is rumored to have more bars and clubs packed into its walls than any other metro in Europe.

24. Ljubljana, Slovenia

Ljublijana Slovenia European Cities

  • Known for: Picturesque streets, centuries-old history, and dragons.

Ljubljana (pronounced: “loo-blee-AH-nuh”), remains an undiscovered gem in the heart of Slovenia.

It’s considered one of the greenest and most livable cities on the entire European continent, has enthralling history dating back to 2,000 BC, and is filled with dragons, the city’s symbol. 

Relish in the medieval era in the old slices of the city center or travel back to Emona, one of the most important cities of the Ancient Roman Empire, at the National Museum of Slovenia.

The core of the city’s green soul is in Old Town, where the banks of the Ljubljana River are undisturbed by car travel and full of the intimate charm of small European cities.

Cankarjevo Nabrezje is a pedestrian-only road lined with quaint and colorful cafes, boutiques, and diverse dining options. From here, you can spot Ljubljana Castle , which has the best views of the city.

Psst! If you plan on adding Ljubljana to your European bucket list, be sure to check out our adventurous travel guide of the top things to do in Slovenia.

25. Salzburg, Austria

Salzburg Austria European Cities

  • Known for: Rich architecture and alpine landscapes make up one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
  • December – February for Christmas markets (Salzburg is our #1 favorite city in Europe for Christmas markets !) and winter sports

With a backdrop of the snow-capped Alps, Salzburg is filled with Baroque-style architecture and a unique atmosphere, as it was the city where Italian and German cultures met. 

This idyllic Austrian city is famous (outside of Europe) for being the backdrop of The Sound of Music and the birthplace of Mozart, one of the greatest classical musicians of our time. 

Salzberg is much different than the rest of Austria due to the fact that it was under rule of independent Catholic archbishops, rather than the Habsburgs, who controlled much of Austria for centuries.

This unique dynamic led to the city’s interesting history and collection of churches, cathedrals, and monuments that were part of the counter-Reformation movement, which is absent throughout the rest of the country.

Uncover the unmistakable essence of the city at the Salzburg Fortress , exploring Old Town, meandering around the Mirabell Palace & Gardens , and gazing out at the Bavarian Alps at the top of the Eagle’s Nest. 

26. Glasgow, Scotland

University of Glasgow Scotland

  • Known for: “World’s friendliest city” , vibrant nightlife, and world-renowned Scotch whiskey.
  • When to go: Shoulder season: April – June or September/October

Often considered the gateway to the many other sought-after sites in Scotland, Glasgow is definitely a worthy destination in and of itself.

Though it may not be as picture-perfect as neighboring Edinburgh, Glaswegians are known for being down-to-earth and the city has a less touristy feel for those who prefer to live like the locals.

Glasgow is a city of arts, music, nightlife, and some of Scotland’s best restaurants. Whether you’re a foodie, a history buff, or a nature-lover, there’s no shortage of unique things to do in Glasgow.

Sample traditional Scottish dishes and whiskey on a food tour, visit one of the oldest English-speaking universities in the world, or venture into a fairytale on Scotland’s most mysterious hike.

In alphabetical order:

  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Athens, Greece
  • Barcelona, Spain
  • Berlin, Germany
  • Budapest, Hungary
  • Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Dubrovnik, Croatia
  • Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Florence, Italy
  • Glasgow, Scotland
  • Istanbul, Turkey
  • Krakow, Poland
  • Lisbon, Portugal
  • Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • London, England
  • Munich, Germany
  • Paris, France
  • Porto, Portugal
  • Prague, Czech Republic
  • Reykjavik, Iceland
  • Rome, Italy
  • Salzburg, Austria
  • Split, Croatia
  • Stockholm, Sweden
  • Tbilisi, Georgia
  • Vienna, Austria

Dubrovnik city walls Croatia

Europe is an incredibly diverse continent, so choosing the best time to visit largely depends on where you’re going and what you’re doing there.

Summer is the most popular time to visit, albeit the most crowded, most expensive, and hottest time of the year in Europe.

Fall, spring, and winter offer fewer crowds and cheaper prices; however, every season has its own draws and drawbacks to visiting!

We’ve broken down all the seasons in detail in our guide to the best time to visit Europe , so you can choose the best time to book for your interests.

Cheap flights airplane

  • Don’t wait til the last minute. We’ve learned this the hard way and it has cost us a lot more money.
  • Know when to look. Different areas of the world have their own timelines for how far out you should start looking to get the best deal. 
  • Be flexible. While not always an option, being open about where and when you fly can save you a ton.
  • Travel in the off season. If you travel when the demand is lower, you’ll find better deals on hotels, flights, and accommodation.
  • Fly with a carry-on. This is a guaranteed way to bypass checked luggage prices, especially on budget airlines.
Psst! We have even more tips for scoring cheap flights to Europe in our guide, How To Find Cheap Flights .

Helpful tips for visiting Europe

Szechenyi Thermal Bath Budapest Hungary

After traveling to Europe several times, we’ve picked up some pretty good tips along the way, learning new things with each visit and finding that even within Europe, there are plenty of cultural and logistical differences to navigate. 

Here are our most helpful tips for anyone traveling to cities in Europe:

1. Beware of budget airlines

Just like in the U.S., there are plenty of airline options to choose from when flying from one city to another in Europe. And just like in the US, not all airlines are created equal. 

In fact, I’m pretty sure Europe invented the low-cost/low-budget airline model. While it may be tempting to jump on that 30€ flight from Paris to Amsterdam, it’s important to read the fine print before you purchase.

Always know what you are getting into when you decide to purchase a flight on a budget airline in Europe (or anywhere else for that matter!). Read the fare rules, check their baggage allowance, their cancellation or missed connection policy, and any other regulations they may have in place. 

And try to stick to carry-on luggage whenever possible! Although we all know how challenging that can be… 

2. Pack light!

Travel with a baby packing

This is another common issue you will run into while traveling in Europe. European airlines (budget or otherwise) tend to have lower weight allowances than we are used to in the U.S. 

The typical weight limit in Europe is 20 kg for a checked bag (that’s only 44 lbs!). 

Many airlines have a weight limit for your carry-on luggage as well. Keep in mind the conversion from lbs to kgs and make sure to pack accordingly or factor the cost of overweight baggage into your flight costs.

Insider Tip: While many European airlines do specify a carry-on luggage weight limit on their website, they don’t require you to weigh your luggage unless you are checking in, in person, at the airport. One way to avoid the fees for overweight carry-on luggage is to check in online and use a mobile boarding pass. 

3. Download an eSIM from Airalo to stay connected abroad

When traveling abroad, data roaming charges can be astronomical. Even some U.S. carriers that have “international plans” will charge up to $10 a day to use your data overseas. 

Fear not, there is an easier, and much more affordable way to stay connected while traveling in Europe.

Our top recommendation for traveling in Europe would be to download local eSIMs or the regional European eSIM (depending on your itinerary) from Airalo .

Airalo is an app you download that offers eSIMs in nearly 200 countries. It’s super easy to use and makes arriving in a new place much more seamless.

Just download the app to your phone, choose the country and data package that best suits your travel needs, and install the eSIM. Voila! It offers instant connectivity, and is easy to top up with more data when you need it.

We have an entire guide for how to get an international SIM card to stay connected and use your phone while abroad if you want more information. 

4. Download these helpful travel apps

top 15 european cities to visit

Downloading apps for translation and conversion is one of our most essential tips for traveling in Europe, or anywhere in the world really. Especially because so many of the apps have offline features that let you use the service even when you are not connected to wifi. 

While there are tons of great apps out there for travelers to use, here are a few of the apps we’ve found to be the most useful while traveling: 

Google Translate lets you translate over 100 languages on your mobile phone. There is a feature that lets you translate via photo, which comes in handy when trying to read that menu in French. In conversation mode, you can translate via voice and there is even a real-time video translation mode. 

GlobeConvert is our favorite app for converting currency or other metrics. You can easily switch between metrics like weight, temperature, cooking, and currency. Then you can convert any foreign metrics into the standard you are familiar with. The best part is, the entire app works offline!

Google Maps is another essential app we like to use while traveling in Europe. Be sure to download the offline version of the maps for all the European cities you will be visiting ahead of time so you are never without navigation!

Insider Tip: Download and register for apps like Uber and Uber Eats BEFORE leaving your home country. Many times they will need to send an SMS text to activate your account and if you don’t want to incur roaming charges, it’s best to make sure your account is activated while still at home. 

5. Always use ATMs to take out foreign currency

Another one of our most essential tips for traveling in Europe is to always use ATMs when converting cash. 

Money Exchanges, especially the ones in airports, tend to take a hefty percentage off the top as a fee. And they only give you the conversion rate that is in their best interest, not yours. 

We’ve found that the safest and most cost-effective way to exchange cash is simply by using a debit card to extract money from an ATM. 

Insider Tip: The Charles Schwab Debit Card is the BEST debit card for travelers as they reimburse you for ALL ATM FEES worldwide. Read up on more of our favorite travel credit cards to find out which ones we use and recommend.

You may also like…

  • Best Time to Visit Europe: When to Go & When to Avoid!
  • Why You Should Visit Eastern Europe Now
  • Places to Visit in Eastern Europe You Can’t Miss
  • Travel Insurance Comparison: Which is the Best Policy for You?

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We want to hear from you!

Which of these cities to visit in Europe is at the top of your bucket list? Are there any European cities you’d like to recommend? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll do our best to get back to you!

Comments (3) on “ 26 Best Cities to Visit in Europe in 2024 ”

Great Blog you guys! I was in Greece not too long ago and it was absolutely beautiful! If you ever get the time, I highly suggest visiting the islands as well! Santorini and Mykonos were beautiful!

You are missi g wonderful cities in BULGARIA- Sofia, Plovdiv, Veliko Turnevo, Varna, & Black Sea coast.

Tbilisi pronounced as “tbee-lee-see”, the one you mentioned is old Russian way, because they couldn’t say tb together.

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15 top cities to visit in Europe

From the classics to lesser-known gems, discover 15 of the best cities to visit in Europe.

European cities are among the most sought-after travel destinations in the world. Rich in centuries-old history and culture, they’re packed with fantastic monuments, museums and traditions. Even better, you don’t need to dedicate a whole week to them. Two or three days is often enough to get into the rhythm of a city, see top sights and also a few hidden ones. But with so much choice and so little time to travel, it can be tricky narrowing it down to a select few.

To save you the trouble, we’ve rounded up 15 of the best cities to visit in Europe . Starting with those well-known gems that have to be included on any list, we then move to sunny Mediterranean destinations, before veering just a little bit off the beaten track.

Read on to find the perfect destination for your next city break.

The classics

Rome , italy.

A lifetime isn’t long enough to explore Rome in all its richness. And whether it’s your first time or hundredth visit, with its incomparable historical, artistic and culture heritage you’ll never run out of things to see . Admire the works of the Vatican Museums , discover ancient Rome at the Colosseum and the Roman Forum , spend an afternoon soaking up art and nature at Villa Borghese …The list goes on. And let’s not forget the delicious and hearty Roman cuisine.

  Visualizza questo post su Instagram   Un post condiviso da ROMA – ROME | ITALIA – ITALY (@ig_rome)

Barcelona , Spain

Fantastic food, modernist masterpieces, spacious beaches and world-class museums… Barcelona truly has it all . If this is your first time visiting, the Sagrada Família , Park Güell and the Picasso Museum should top your list. But the city has more than this to offer. Head to the Bunkers del Carmel on top of Tibidabo or Montjuïc to admire the city from up high. Mingle with the locals and visit the prettiest boutiques in the neighborhoods of Gràcia, El Born and Poblenou. And in summer don’t forget to frolic on the beaches and go wild at the music festivals.

  Visualizza questo post su Instagram   Un post condiviso da Telma Patricia ↬ Traveler (@tricia.traveltips)

Paris , France

Paris’ charm is undeniable: fashion, sophistication, bohemian neighborhoods…the French capital has something for all tastes. And if you love art, you’ll be in heaven. Here you’ll find some of the best European museums, such as the iconic Louvre , Orsay Museum and the Centre Pompidou . If instead you’re looking for an incredible view, there’s no place better than the Eiffel Tower . Finally, if you’re traveling as a family, Paris is surprisingly child-friendly and has numerous gorgeous parks and fun activities.

  Visualizza questo post su Instagram   Un post condiviso da Centre Pompidou (@centrepompidou)

London , United Kingdom

London needs to be visited at least once in your life. This British capital is a huge melting pot of culture, fashion, architecture and art. Passionate about history? Then visit the Tower of London , Tower Bridge and Westminster Abbey . Love skylines? Then climb the London Eye to admire the city from above. And if you’re looking for the best museums, don’t miss the British Museum and the National Gallery . If instead you’d rather stroll through quaint neighborhoods head to the colorful streets of Nottinghill.

  Visualizza questo post su Instagram   Un post condiviso da Tower Bridge (@towerbridge)

Amsterdam , The Netherlands

Amsterdam may not be Europe’s largest capital, but that doesn’t detract from its infinite charms. Art lovers will be delighted by the masterpieces of the Dutch Golden Age at the Rijksmuseum and the vast collection at the Van Gogh Museum . The story of Anne Frank is world famous and the house museum dedicated to her is intensely moving, but you’ll need to book tickets months in advance. Complete the experience with a canal cruise or bike ride , like a real Dutch local.

  Visualizza questo post su Instagram   Un post condiviso da Kim1975 (@kim1975)

Sunny Mediterranean cities

Lisbon , portugal.

Unjustly overshadowed over the years, Lisbon is finally coming into the spotlight as a sought-after summer destination. With its relaxed atmosphere, delicious food and amazing architecture, the Portuguese capital is the ideal place for relaxation with a healthy dose of culture. The Jeronimos Monastery , the Belem Tower and the Carmo Convent are all must-sees, while spectacular city views can be had from the numerous miradouros (panoramic points).

  Visualizza questo post su Instagram   Un post condiviso da Lisbon | Travel (@visiting.lisbon)

Granada , Spain

This not-so-hidden southern Spanish gem is a must for anyone visiting Andalusia or simply seeking a picturesque and sunny city. As the local saying goes, there’s nothing sadder than being blind in Granada, and you’ll quickly understand why. The mix of Moorish and Spanish architecture, incredible tourist attractions and natural landscapes are a visual delight. The Alhambra and Generalife are unmissable, followed closely by the cathedral , the Arab baths , the Sacromonte neighborhood and Calle Calderería Nueva .

  Visualizza questo post su Instagram   Un post condiviso da Eva Kisgyorgy (@travellina.hu)

Nice , France

Who doesn’t dream of taking a city break on the French Riviera? With 300 days of sunshine a year, fantastic art, beaches and Baroque palaces, it’s the ideal destination to disconnect for the weekend. The Musée Marc Chagall and Musée Matisse are a must for art lovers. Or if you’re in the mood for shopping, head to Rue de France or the historic center and along the Promenade des Anglais for its vibrant atmosphere. Nice is also the perfect jumping-off point for excursions to Cannes, Monaco and Saint-Tropez .

  Visualizza questo post su Instagram   Un post condiviso da French Riviera Guide 🇫🇷 🇲🇨 (@frenchrivieraguide)

Florence , Italy

If you’re looking for a small, sunny city with a vacation vibe then Florence is for you. Known as the ‘cradle of the Renaissance’ it’s home to some of Italy’s most famous attractions, including the Uffizi Gallery and the Boboli Gardens . Most of its sights are concentrated around the historic center, which is small enough to get around by foot. Florence is also an ideal starting point for exploring the Tuscan hinterland.

  Visualizza questo post su Instagram   Un post condiviso da Caffè Del Verone (@caffedelverone)

Athens , Greece

With its museums, rooftop bars and spectacular archaeological sites, the Greek capital is a mecca for entertainment and culture. Add to that an easy-going spirit, sunny days and bustling bars and restaurants, and it’s the ideal holiday destination. Our favorite activities include marveling at the Acropolis of Athens , strolling through the narrow streets of Plaka and visiting the immense National Archaelogical Museum .

  Visualizza questo post su Instagram   Un post condiviso da 𝐌𝐲 𝐎𝐝𝐲𝐬𝐬𝐞𝐲 𝐓𝐫𝐚𝐯𝐞𝐥 𝐏𝐨𝐞𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐬 (@myodysseytravel)

Lesser-known gems

Liverpool , britain.

If you love football, music, architecture or just pubs then Liverpool is the destination for you. It’s home to the largest church in the country, a massive football stadium – Anfield Stadium – and several UNESCO World Heritage sites, such as the Royal Alberto Dock , a network of historic buildings and warehouses that’s been transformed into a cultural center. And best of all, it’s the birthplace of the Beatles. Visit the Beatles Museum or join one of the many tours dedicated to the legendary band. If you’re there this May you’ll also get to experience the electric atmosphere of the Eurovision Song Contest .

  Visualizza questo post su Instagram   Un post condiviso da Explore Liverpool (@explorelpool)

Aarhus , Denmark

Denmark’s second largest city was the European Capital of Culture in 2017, which is yet another reason to add Aarhus to your bucket list. Founded in the Viking Age, it has beautifully preserved its centuries-old history. One of the most famous attractions is Den Gamble By (the old city), which is an open-air museum of more than 75 historic buildings from all over Denmark. And just west of it is the botanical gardens with free admission. Instead if it’s Vikings that fascinate you head to the Moesgaard Museum .

  Visualizza questo post su Instagram   Un post condiviso da Franco & Tereza- Travel Couple (@travelandoes)

Tallinn , Estonia

The capital of Estonia is perfect for those looking for a destination that’s a little bit off the tourist radar. Generally cheaper than other northern European cities, Tallinn harmoniously blends old and new, history and modernity. Its historic center is famous, beautifully preserved and has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its museums are equally impressive and include Kumu , the largest art museum in the country, and the Kadriorg Palace with its colorful gardens. Add to this a cheerful and lively atmosphere typical of university towns, and a delicious culinary tradition and it’s easy to understand Estonia’s quiet appeal.

  Visualizza questo post su Instagram   Un post condiviso da Visit Tallinn (@visittallinn)

Ljubljana , Slovenia

Slovenia somehow manages to escape most European destination lists, and yet it’s a truly captivating mix of culture, history and tradition. Its capital has an air of elegance and romance and is a real crossroads of culture. Walking through its neighborhoods you can’t help but feel you’re traveling through time, as its architectures changes from medieval to baroque, liberty, modern and avant-garde. You’ll cross monumental bridges and also discover some delicious sweets along the way. If you want to explore further, Lake Bled is an enchanting place just a short distance away.

  Visualizza questo post su Instagram   Un post condiviso da Ljubljana, Slovenija (@ljubljanaslovenija)

San Sebastian , Spain

The north of Spain often gets overlooked, yet it has some of the best destinations for a city break. Of them all, San Sebastian (Donostia in Basque) might just be our favorite. Here you’ll find one of the best city beaches in Europe: Playa de la Concha , a short walk from the historic center. And if you’ve got a soft spot for an incredible panorama you’ll love the view from the hills, Monte Urgull and Monte Igueldo . Finally, did you know that San Sebastian ranks third in the list of cities with the most Michelin stars per inhabitant? A round of pintxos in some of the city’s best restaurants will leave you hankering for more.

  Visualizza questo post su Instagram   Un post condiviso da Feel San Sebastian (@feel_sansebastian)

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top 15 european cities to visit

The 25 Best Cities To Visit In Europe [Interactive Map]

Looking for the best cities to visit in Europe? Our map ranks the best places to visit based on activities, cost, and accessibility.

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Are you dreaming of jet-setting across Europe and exploring all the amazing cities it has to offer? From scenic beaches in Barcelona to timeless architectural beauty in Rome, planning a European vacation can be quite an adventure. Whether you’re looking to dive into the culture and take advantage of world-class shopping, or find yourself sightseeing through some of the most incredible cities on earth, this list of 25 best cities in Europe will provide almost any traveler with plenty of possibilities for their journey ahead!

25 Best Cities To Visit In Europe

Paris, france.

Paris, France, affectionately known as "The City of Light," consistently ranks as one of the top cities to visit in Europe, and for good reasons. Its iconic attractions such as the Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, and Notre-Dame Cathedral offer both historical significance and aesthetic beauty, appealing to history buffs and art lovers alike. With its world-renowned cuisine and shopping, Paris caters to both gourmet enthusiasts and fashion-forward visitors. The city's extensive public transportation system makes local travel convenient, and its key international airports provide easy access for Americans. Paris has a temperate climate, but the best time to visit is spring (April to June) or fall (September to November), when the weather is mild, and the city is less crowded. The cost of visiting can vary, but there are options to suit different budgets. Paris is known for its romantic allure, making it an ideal destination for couples, but with attractions like Disneyland Paris and numerous parks and museums, it's also highly suitable for families. Whether seeking romance, culture, or family-friendly fun, Paris offers a quintessentially European experience that's hard to match, which is why it tops our list of best European cities to visit.

Top 3 Attractions:

  • Eiffel Tower
  • Louvre Museum
  • Notre-Dame Cathedral

Estimated Cost for a Week-long Stay:

  • $1,500 - $2,000

Best Time of Year to Visit:

  • Spring (April to June) or Fall (September to November)

London, the vibrant capital of the United Kingdom, offers an eclectic blend of history, culture, and modernity, making it one of the top destinations in Europe. Visitors can explore iconic landmarks such as Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, and the British Museum, each rich in history and significance. The city's extensive public transportation, including the famed Underground, makes local travel convenient, and its major airports like Heathrow provide excellent accessibility for Americans through numerous direct flights. Though London can be on the expensive side, it offers a range of accommodation and dining options to suit various budgets. The weather in London can be unpredictable, but the best time to visit is during the late spring and early autumn when it's milder. London's diverse attractions appeal to a wide range of visitors: history buffs will revel in its storied past, families can enjoy parks and interactive museums, while shoppers and theater-goers will find endless entertainment. Whether you're seeking a cultural immersion, family fun, or a cosmopolitan experience, London caters to all.

  • Buckingham Palace
  • Tower of London
  • British Museum
  • $1,600 - $2,200
  • Late Spring (May to June) or Early Autumn (September to October)

Rome, Italy

Rome, Italy, often referred to as the "Eternal City," is a treasure trove of history, culture, and cuisine, making it a popular European destination for Americans. Its breathtaking historical sites like the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Vatican City immerse visitors in ancient civilization and Renaissance art. Rome's accessibility is facilitated by its two major international airports and well-connected train system, providing seamless travel for Americans. Local travel is manageable with public buses, trams, and a metro system. The cost of visiting can be moderate to high, but with careful planning, it's possible to find affordable accommodation and dining options. The Mediterranean climate ensures hot summers and mild winters, but the best time to visit would be in spring (April to June) or fall (September to November) when the weather is pleasant and the crowds are thinner. Rome's extensive offerings make it ideal for history enthusiasts, art lovers, families, and food aficionados. Whether exploring ancient ruins or indulging in authentic Italian cuisine, Rome offers an enriching and unforgettable experience.

  • Vatican Museums (including the Sistine Chapel)
  • Trevi Fountain
  • $1,500 - $2,500

Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona, Spain, is a dazzling fusion of art, architecture, and lively ambiance, cementing its place as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. Known for its unique Modernist architecture, sites like Gaudí's Sagrada Família and Park Güell stand as artistic marvels. The city's rich history is reflected in the Gothic Quarter and the Picasso Museum. Barcelona is well-served by its international airport and high-speed trains, making it accessible for Americans, and local travel is facilitated by a robust metro and bus system. The cost of visiting can be moderate, with various options for accommodation and dining. With its Mediterranean climate, Barcelona offers warm summers and mild winters, but spring and autumn provide the most pleasant temperatures for exploration. Barcelona's energetic nightlife, stunning beaches, and family-friendly attractions such as the Barcelona Aquarium make it suitable for party-goers, beach lovers, families, and culture enthusiasts alike. From strolling down La Rambla to enjoying tapas at a local bar, Barcelona's charm is irresistible.

  • Sagrada Família
  • $1,400 - $2,300
  • Spring (April to June) or Autumn (September to October)

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam, Netherlands, with its intricate canal system, vibrant culture, and rich history, is one of Europe's most popular cities. Its renowned museums such as the Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum offer art lovers a chance to explore Dutch art, while the Anne Frank House provides a sobering historical perspective. Accessibility for Americans is convenient with direct flights to Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport, one of Europe's main travel hubs. The city's tram system, bikes, and walking paths make local travel a breeze. Though known for being somewhat expensive, Amsterdam offers a range of accommodation and dining options to fit various budgets. The weather can be chilly and rainy, but visiting in late spring to early fall ensures milder temperatures and more sunshine. Amsterdam's diverse attractions suit a wide array of travelers, from families enjoying Vondelpark to those seeking adventure in the bustling nightlife. Whether you're cruising the canals or exploring the tulip fields, Amsterdam promises a unique and rewarding experience.

  • Van Gogh Museum
  • Anne Frank House
  • Canal Cruise
  • $1,500 - $2,400
  • Late Spring (May to June) or Early Autumn (September)

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague, Czech Republic, often referred to as the "City of a Hundred Spires," is a stunning destination that marries medieval charm with modern vitality. Its iconic attractions like Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, and the Astronomical Clock offer a journey back in time. In terms of cost, Prague is known for being more budget-friendly than many other Western European cities, without sacrificing quality in dining or accommodation, so if you are looking for a budget-friendly destination, it is one of the best cities to visit. Its international airport and rail connections make travel to Prague relatively straightforward for Americans, and the city's public transportation system is both affordable and efficient. Weather-wise, Prague experiences cold winters and warm summers, but visiting in late spring (May) or early fall (September) provides the most comfortable climate for sightseeing. The city appeals to various types of travelers, from families enjoying leisurely strolls through Old Town to adventure seekers exploring Prague's vibrant nightlife. Whether indulging in traditional Czech cuisine or taking a scenic river cruise, Prague offers a rich, fulfilling experience.

  • Prague Castle
  • Charles Bridge
  • Old Town Square with the Astronomical Clock
  • $1,200 - $1,800
  • Late Spring (May) or Early Autumn (September)

Vienna, Austria

Vienna, Austria, is a captivating blend of imperial tradition and contemporary vibrancy, making it one of the most attractive cities in Europe to visit. Known for its classical music heritage, visitors can indulge in concerts at the renowned Vienna State Opera or explore the homes of composers like Mozart and Beethoven. The magnificent Schönbrunn Palace and the Belvedere Museum showcase the city's rich history and art. Vienna's international airport facilitates easy access for Americans, and the city's excellent public transport system ensures convenient local travel. Cost-wise, Vienna offers a range of options from luxury to budget-friendly accommodations and dining. The city experiences cold winters and warm summers, with late spring (May) and early fall (September) being the ideal times to visit for pleasant weather. Vienna's charm extends to families exploring interactive museums, couples enjoying romantic carriage rides, and art enthusiasts immersed in its cultural offerings. From savoring the famous Sachertorte to strolling through elegant gardens, Vienna offers a refined and delightful experience.

  • Schönbrunn Palace
  • Vienna State Opera
  • Belvedere Museum
  • $1,400 - $2,100

Berlin, Germany

Berlin, Germany, stands as a vibrant hub of history, culture, and innovation, offering an intriguing blend of the old and the new. Historical sites like the Berlin Wall, Brandenburg Gate, and Checkpoint Charlie narrate a compelling past, while contemporary art galleries and cutting-edge architecture project a forward-thinking spirit. Accessibility for Americans is convenient, with direct flights to Berlin's airports and an efficient public transport system that includes buses, trams, and U-Bahn. Cost-wise, Berlin is relatively affordable, offering a range of options for accommodation and dining that cater to different budgets. The weather in Berlin includes cold winters and warm summers, with May to September being the best months to visit for pleasant temperatures. Whether it's families exploring interactive museums like the Deutsches Technikmuseum, history buffs tracing the Cold War era, or party-goers diving into Berlin's renowned nightlife, the city has something to cater to every taste. From culinary delights to sprawling parks, Berlin's unique allure makes it a must-visit destination in Europe.

  • Brandenburg Gate
  • Berlin Wall Memorial
  • Museum Island
  • $1,300 - $2,000
  • Late Spring to Early Autumn (May to September)

Dublin, Ireland

Dublin, Ireland, a city steeped in history and brimming with lively culture, is one of Europe's most welcoming destinations. Famous for its literary tradition, attractions like the Book of Kells at Trinity College and the Dublin Writers Museum pay homage to its literary giants. The historical sites, such as Dublin Castle and Kilmainham Gaol, offer insights into Ireland's complex past. Accessibility for Americans is straightforward, with direct flights to Dublin's international airport and an extensive local transport network. While the cost of visiting can be on the higher side, various accommodation and dining options are available. Dublin's weather is known for being unpredictable, but visiting from May to September offers milder temperatures and a chance to enjoy outdoor festivals. The city appeals to a wide range of visitors, including families exploring interactive museums, history enthusiasts, and those looking to enjoy the convivial atmosphere of its famous pubs. Whether partaking in a traditional Irish music session or wandering through its historic streets, Dublin provides an enriching and joyful experience.

  • Trinity College Library (Book of Kells)
  • Dublin Castle
  • Temple Bar (for its cultural quarter and nightlife)
  • $1,500 - $2,300

Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh, Scotland, is a city of contrasts, offering a captivating mix of ancient history and modern vibrancy. Its dramatic setting, with the iconic Edinburgh Castle overlooking the city, provides a breathtaking backdrop for exploration. The Royal Mile, stretching from the castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, is a walk through history itself. The city's festivals, especially the world-famous Edinburgh Festival Fringe, draw visitors from all over the globe. Accessibility for Americans is facilitated through Edinburgh's international airport, and the city's public transport is comprehensive and user-friendly. While the cost of a stay can vary, there are options to suit different budgets. Weather-wise, Edinburgh can be chilly, and the best time to visit is during the summer months of June to August, although the city has charms in every season. Ideal for history buffs, culture enthusiasts, and families who want to explore historic sites and interactive museums, Edinburgh offers a unique and enriching experience that resonates with a wide audience.

  • Edinburgh Castle
  • The Royal Mile
  • Arthur's Seat (for panoramic views of the city)
  • Summer (June to August) or during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe (August)

Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon, Portugal, with its stunning coastal setting and rich cultural heritage, is a city that appeals to a diverse range of travelers. The blend of traditional Fado music, historic neighborhoods like Alfama, and innovative culinary scene creates a unique atmosphere. Lisbon's accessibility for Americans is good, with direct flights from various U.S. cities and convenient local transportation options, including the charming trams. In terms of cost, Lisbon is often considered more affordable than many other Western European cities, offering excellent value for money. Weather-wise, Lisbon enjoys a mild climate, with warm summers and gentle winters; spring and autumn are particularly pleasant for sightseeing. The city appeals to history lovers, food enthusiasts, families, and those seeking a romantic coastal getaway. Whether exploring the UNESCO-listed Jerónimos Monastery, tasting delectable pastéis de nata, or enjoying views from São Jorge Castle, Lisbon's laid-back charm and vibrant culture make it a must-visit destination.

  • Jerónimos Monastery
  • São Jorge Castle
  • Belém Tower
  • Spring (April to June) and Autumn (September to October)

Madrid, Spain

Madrid, the capital of Spain, stands as a vibrant hub of culture, history, and art. Renowned for its world-class museums such as the Prado, Reina Sofia, and Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid offers an unparalleled artistic experience. The city is steeped in history, with sites like the Royal Palace providing a glimpse into Spain's rich past. Accessibility for Americans is excellent, as Madrid's international airport serves as a major hub for flights between the U.S. and Europe. The ease of access and rich history make it one of the most visited cities in Europe. Local travel is facilitated by an efficient metro system. Cost-wise, Madrid provides a range of accommodation and dining options to suit various budgets. The weather is characterized by hot summers and mild winters, with spring and fall offering the most pleasant temperatures. Whether you're a family exploring Retiro Park, a history aficionado, a food lover diving into the tapas culture, or an art enthusiast, Madrid has something to offer. Its lively street life and blend of traditional and modern culture make it one of the best places to visit in Spain.

  • The Prado Museum
  • The Royal Palace
  • Retiro Park
  • $1,400 - $2,200
  • Spring (March to May) and Autumn (September to November)

Munich, Germany

Munich, Germany, situated in the heart of Bavaria, is a captivating city that artfully balances traditional heritage with modern sophistication. Known globally for Oktoberfest, its beer halls, and vibrant festivals, Munich also boasts a rich cultural scene, filled with top-tier museums, theaters, and historical sites such as the Residenz and Nymphenburg Palace. Munich’s international airport is one of Europe's major hubs, making travel from the U.S. seamless. Additionally, the local public transportation is exceptionally efficient. While the cost can be on the higher side, there are options to fit various budgets. The weather is pleasant during spring and autumn, offering an opportunity to explore gardens like the Englischer Garten and enjoy outdoor dining. Families, cultural enthusiasts, and adventure seekers, all find Munich appealing, with nearby Alpine excursions and family-friendly museums. Whether you're engaging in the lively beer culture or exploring historic neighborhoods, Munich offers a rich and rewarding travel experience.

  • Marienplatz (central square with historic buildings and Glockenspiel)
  • Nymphenburg Palace
  • The BMW Museum
  • $1,500 - $2,500, depending on accommodation and dining choices
  • Spring (April to June) and Autumn (September to October), but late September and early October if you want to experience Oktoberfest.

Budapest, Hungary

Budapest, Hungary, often referred to as the "Paris of the East," is a city that seamlessly blends history and modernity. Renowned for its stunning architecture, including Gothic, Baroque, and Romanesque styles, Budapest's beauty is visible in every corner of the city. From the majestic Buda Castle to the intricate Hungarian Parliament Building, the historical richness of the city is palpable. Budapest is also home to numerous thermal baths, offering relaxation and an experience that is uniquely Hungarian. Accessibility from the U.S. is quite good, with many international flights and a well-connected public transportation system within the city. Compared to many Western European cities, Budapest is more budget-friendly, making it an appealing destination for various types of travelers. With mild spring and fall weather, the city is ideal for walking tours and outdoor exploration. Whether you're a history buff, spa enthusiast, or a family looking for unique cultural experiences, Budapest offers something special for everyone.

  • Buda Castle
  • Hungarian Parliament Building
  • Széchenyi Thermal Bath
  • $1,000 - $2,000, depending on the choice of accommodation and activities
  • Spring (April to June) and Fall (September to October) for the most pleasant weather and opportunity to enjoy both indoor and outdoor attractions.

Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul, Turkey, a city where East meets West, is a melting pot of cultures that makes it a fascinating destination for travelers. Its unique geographical position straddling two continents, Europe and Asia, offers visitors an incredibly rich history that dates back to ancient times. The city's blend of Byzantine, Ottoman, and modern Turkish influences can be seen in its architecture, cuisine, and daily life. Popular attractions such as the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, and the Grand Bazaar are must-visit sites. The cost of travel in Istanbul is relatively moderate, offering a range of accommodations and dining options that can suit various budgets. The city is well-connected to major airports in the U.S., and local travel is made easy with trams, ferries, and taxis. The best time to visit is during spring and fall when the weather is mild and the crowds are thinner. Istanbul offers a rich experience for history enthusiasts, food lovers, shoppers, and adventure seekers, making it suitable for families and individuals alike.

  • Hagia Sophia
  • Topkapi Palace
  • Grand Bazaar
  • $1,200 - $2,500, depending on accommodation, activities, and dining preferences
  • Spring (April to June) and Fall (September to November) for comfortable temperatures, fewer tourists, and the ability to explore both the cultural and natural beauty of the city.

Athens, Greece

Athens, Greece is a city that captivates the hearts of history enthusiasts and culture lovers. As the birthplace of democracy and Western civilization, Athens offers a plethora of historical sites including the iconic Acropolis, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, and the ancient Agora. Its rich archaeological heritage and vibrant contemporary arts scene blend seamlessly, reflecting the city's deep-rooted history and modern spirit. Cost-wise, Athens offers options ranging from budget-friendly accommodations and eateries to luxurious hotels and fine dining. Its international airport is well-connected with major U.S. cities, and the local metro system makes navigating the city convenient. The weather is favorable for travel most of the year, but spring and fall are particularly appealing for their mild temperatures and reduced crowds. Whether you're a family seeking to educate and entertain or an adventure seeker looking to explore the city's hidden gems, Athens has something for everyone.

  • The Acropolis
  • The Ancient Agora
  • The National Archaeological Museum
  • $1,400 - $3,000, depending on accommodation, dining, and activities
  • Spring (March to May) and Fall (September to November), as these seasons offer pleasant weather, fewer tourists, and the opportunity to engage with both the historical and vibrant modern life of Athens.

Florence, Italy

Florence, Italy, is often considered the cradle of the Renaissance, and it's a must-visit city for art lovers, historians, and cultural enthusiasts alike. Renowned for its abundance of world-class art museums, stunning architecture, and historical landmarks such as the Florence Cathedral, Uffizi Gallery, and Ponte Vecchio, the city offers a rich cultural experience. Cost can vary widely, with options for both budget travelers and those seeking luxury. Florence enjoys a temperate climate, though summers can be hot, and the weather is generally best in the spring and fall. Its international airport and railway connections make it easily accessible from the U.S., and the city's compact nature ensures that local travel is convenient, often on foot. Whether it's a family looking to immerse in history, a couple seeking a romantic getaway, or an individual in search of artistic inspiration, Florence caters to a wide range of travelers.

  • Uffizi Gallery
  • Florence Cathedral (Il Duomo di Firenze)
  • Ponte Vecchio
  • $1,500 - $3,500, depending on accommodation, dining preferences, and museum entrance fees
  • Spring (April to June) and Fall (September to October), for pleasant weather, fewer crowds, and the opportunity to explore the city's myriad cultural attractions in comfort.

Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen, Denmark, is a vibrant and sophisticated city that effortlessly combines historical charm with modern innovation. Famous attractions such as the colorful Nyhavn harbor, the Little Mermaid statue, and Tivoli Gardens amusement park captivate visitors. Its rich history is preserved in the royal palaces, museums, and architecture that characterize the city. Copenhagen can be on the pricier side, but offers a wide range of options for accommodation and dining. The weather is typically mild, with the best time to visit during the late spring to early fall when the days are long and temperatures are comfortable. The city's international airport is a major hub, making flights from the U.S. relatively easy, and local travel is convenient thanks to efficient public transportation. Copenhagen is perfect for families, with many child-friendly attractions, as well as for couples, food enthusiasts, and design lovers seeking a chic urban experience.

  • Tivoli Gardens
  • The Little Mermaid
  • $2,500 - $4,000, depending on accommodation, dining preferences, and activities
  • Late spring to early fall (May to September), when the weather is mild, and the city's parks, waterfront, and outdoor cafes can be fully enjoyed.

Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm, Sweden, is often referred to as the "Venice of the North" due to its beautiful interplay of land and water across 14 islands. This capital city offers a harmonious blend of history, culture, and modernity. The Gamla Stan, Stockholm's historic Old Town, boasts charming narrow streets and well-preserved architecture. Stockholm is known for its stylish design, museums, and galleries, including the renowned Vasa Museum and ABBA Museum. The city can be somewhat expensive, but there are options for various budgets. Weather-wise, the summer months offer long days and mild temperatures, while the winters are cold and dark but uniquely beautiful. International travel from the U.S. is straightforward, with direct flights available, and local travel is made easy with efficient public transportation. Stockholm is a destination that appeals to families, culture enthusiasts, history buffs, and those interested in Scandinavian design and lifestyle.

  • Vasa Museum
  • Gamla Stan (Old Town)
  • Skansen Open-Air Museum
  • $2,000 - $3,500, including accommodation, meals, and attractions
  • Late spring to early autumn (May to September) for warm weather and outdoor activities; December for traditional Christmas markets and winter ambiance.

Brussels, Belgium

Brussels, Belgium's vibrant capital, is a city that combines historic grandeur with a modern and cosmopolitan flair. The city is famed for its beautiful squares, notably the Grand Place, a UNESCO World Heritage site surrounded by ornate guildhalls and the Gothic-style Town Hall. The city's comic strip murals, the Magritte Museum, and the Atomium offer something unique for every traveler. Brussels is home to the European Union headquarters, making it a hub for politics, business, and international relations. Cuisine is another strong point, with Belgian chocolate, waffles, and beer being renowned worldwide. The cost of visiting is moderate, with options suitable for various budgets. Traveling to and around Brussels is convenient, with direct flights from the U.S. and an extensive public transportation system. The weather is temperate, with mild summers and cool, damp winters. Brussels can be enjoyed by history enthusiasts, food lovers, families, and those interested in European politics.

  • Grand Place
  • Magritte Museum
  • $1,800 - $3,000, including accommodation, meals, and attractions
  • Late spring to early autumn (April to September) for outdoor sightseeing; December for Christmas markets and festive atmosphere.

Zurich, Switzerland

Zurich, Switzerland, with its captivating blend of traditional charm and urban chic, is one of the top cities in Europe for travelers. Set against the backdrop of the Alps, it's a city that's renowned for its financial institutions but also boasts a rich cultural scene. Museums like the Kunsthaus Zurich host impressive art collections, and the historic Old Town (Altstadt) invites exploration of its narrow, winding streets and medieval buildings. Zurich is known for being expensive, but the quality of service, especially in dining and accommodation, is top-notch. The city's efficient public transportation system makes local travel a breeze, and Zurich Airport is a major hub with frequent flights from the U.S. Weather-wise, Zurich has cold, snowy winters that are perfect for nearby skiing, and mild summers ideal for outdoor activities. The destination is perfect for families, art lovers, adventure seekers (due to proximity to the Alps), and those interested in finance and global economics.

  • Kunsthaus Zurich
  • Old Town (Altstadt)
  • Lake Zurich
  • $2,500 - $4,000, including accommodation, meals, and attractions (Switzerland is known for its higher cost of living)
  • Summer (June to August) for outdoor activities and lake enjoyment; winter (December to February) for winter sports enthusiasts and magical Christmas markets.

Krakow, Poland

Krakow, Poland, is a hidden gem in Europe, attracting travelers with its blend of rich history, striking architecture, and vibrant local culture. As Poland's former royal capital, Krakow is home to a stunning medieval core, including the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Old Town, with its cloth hall and St. Mary's Basilica. The city's proximity to Auschwitz and the Wieliczka Salt Mine adds to the historical appeal. Krakow offers a relatively low-cost travel experience compared to many other European cities, and the food, particularly local Polish cuisine, is both delicious and affordable. Krakow's airport has connections to major hubs, facilitating international travel, while the city's public transportation system is easy to navigate. The weather varies, with cold winters and warm summers, but spring and autumn offer mild and pleasant conditions. The city is an excellent destination for families, history buffs, and food lovers.

  • Wawel Castle
  • Old Town (including St. Mary's Basilica)
  • Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum or Wieliczka Salt Mine
  • $1,000 - $2,000, including accommodation, meals, and attractions
  • Spring (April to June) or Autumn (September to October) for mild weather and fewer crowds.

Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, is a captivating destination for travelers looking to experience the unique blend of modern urban life and rugged natural beauty. As the northernmost capital of a sovereign state, it's an entry point to the country's stunning landscapes, including geysers, glaciers, and volcanic terrains. The city itself offers a thriving art scene, innovative culinary experiences, and fascinating historical sites such as the National Museum of Iceland. The cost of visiting can be on the higher side, but the experiences are unparalleled. Reykjavik's airport offers direct flights from many American cities, making it accessible for U.S. tourists. Local travel is convenient, with extensive public transportation and many tour operators providing guided excursions. The weather can be chilly, even in summer, so pack appropriately. The best time to visit depends on preferences: summer for midnight sun and milder weather, or winter for the Northern Lights. Adventure seekers, nature enthusiasts, and cultural explorers will find Reykjavik a thrilling destination.

  • The Blue Lagoon
  • Hallgrímskirkja (iconic church with panoramic views)
  • Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre (architectural wonder)
  • $2,500 - $3,500, including accommodation, meals, and attractions
  • Summer (June to August) for longer days and milder weather or Winter (November to February) for the Northern Lights and unique winter experiences.

Oslo, Norway

Oslo, Norway's capital, is an ideal European destination that blends modern architecture with rich cultural history and stunning natural surroundings. Known for its thriving arts scene, world-class museums, and beautiful parks, Oslo offers plenty to explore. Historical sites such as the Akershus Fortress and the Viking Ship Museum provide a glimpse into Norway's past, while the ultra-modern Opera House represents its progressive present. The city's cost of living is relatively high, but visitors find the experiences rewarding. Oslo's international airport is well-connected with major American cities, making travel convenient. Public transportation is efficient, and many attractions are within walking distance. The weather varies with chilly winters and mild summers, both offering unique experiences. Families will love the educational museums and parks, while adventure seekers can explore nearby fjords and forests. The best time to visit is summer for outdoor activities or winter for skiing and other snow sports.

  • The Viking Ship Museum
  • Vigeland Sculpture Park
  • Oslo Opera House
  • $3,000 - $4,000, including accommodation, meals, and sightseeing
  • Summer (June to August) for outdoor exploration and mild weather, or Winter (December to February) for skiing and other winter activities.

Helsinki, Finland

Helsinki, the capital of Finland, is a vibrant seaside city with a unique blend of historical charm and modern flair. The city's stunning architecture ranges from neoclassical buildings to cutting-edge contemporary designs. Popular attractions include Suomenlinna, a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Helsinki Cathedral, and the avant-garde Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art. Helsinki offers relatively reasonable costs compared to other Nordic capitals, and its popularity is growing among travelers seeking a blend of urban and natural experiences. With direct flights from major American cities and an efficient public transportation system, traveling to and around Helsinki is stress-free. Weather can vary, with cold winters and mild, pleasant summers. The city appeals to families with its array of parks and educational attractions, while adventure seekers can explore nearby forests and archipelagos. The summer months are the best time to visit, offering long days and lively festivals.

  • Suomenlinna Sea Fortress
  • Helsinki Cathedral
  • Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art
  • $2,200 - $3,000, including accommodation, meals, and sightseeing
  • Summer (June to August) for outdoor activities, festivals, and enjoying the archipelago. Winter (December to February) offers a magical snowy experience, with opportunities for ice skating and other winter sports.

Ready To Visit Europe?

When contemplating Europe's breathtaking cities, one cannot deny that the continent is an ideal destination for those seeking a diverse and exhilarating getaway. From the alluring beauty of Rome to the vibrant, multicultural ambiance of London, Europe offers something for everyone. Its captivating culture and delectable cuisine consistently beckon travelers to return time and time again. Consider your wanderlust awakened; Europe promises incredible sightseeing adventures that await you! However, with numerous extraordinary cities located in close proximity, selecting the first to visit can pose a challenge. That's why utilizing Proxi is essential for devising the perfect itinerary - ensuring you know exactly where to go and what to do. Delight in the charming Parisian cafes or immerse yourself in Berlin's edgy arts scene - with Proxi's extensive database, unseen possibilities shine, allowing your creativity to flow freely during your travels. So why not commence your planning now? Ready to embark on your next vacation? Utilize Proxi to craft your personalized travel map today!

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top 15 european cities to visit

100 Best Places to Visit in Europe – The Ultimate Bucket List

best places to visit in Europe

With so many great options, choosing the best places to visit in Europe can be difficult, from city breaks filled with fascinating history and culture, getaways in nature among breathtaking landscapes and unique natural parks, or the best holiday destinations for a relaxing beach holiday with the whole family.

Venice, Paris and Verona are some of the most beautiful cities for a romantic holiday; Ibiza, Belgrade and Amsterdam promise the best parties and liveliest nightlife, while Riga, Florence and Vienna delight with history and art.

Iceland and the Faroe Islands dazzle outdoor enthusiasts with the most beautiful sceneries, while Croatia and the Greek Islands stand out for their pristine beaches and crystal clear water.

Manchester and Barcelona are some of the best cities to watch a football game in Europe, and for those who want to practice sports, consider Andorra for winter sports, the Azores for watersports and Norway for scenic hikes.

From the Spanish paella and the Italian pasta to the Ukrainian borsch, Europe is also a paradise for the foodies, with extraordinary and diverse gastronomy.

Ready to start planning your next trip?

1 – Venice, Italy

top 15 european cities to visit

Venice is definitely one of the best places in Europe for a Romantic getaway, with lovely canals, hundreds of bridges and charming alleys, mixed with fascinating history, stunning architecture and a unique lifestyle.

Explore St. Mark’s Square, where the famous Doge’s Palace is located, one of the most visited landmarks in Venice and an impressive Gothic architecture masterpiece.

Next to the Palace, stop by one of the most beautiful cathedrals in Europe and the most important religious site in Venice, the Basilica of San Marco; and for a glimpse of the whole Venetian lagoon, climb to the St. Mark’s Campanile observation deck.

Cross the Paglia Bridge to admire the iconic Bridge of Sighs, and the Rialto Bridge – the oldest and most famous in Venice – for an overview of the Grand Canal. And, of course, take a boat tour or gondola ride, for a unique viewpoint of the canals!

Don’t miss a chance to explore the lovely islands of Murano, the perfect place to grab a souvenir, or watch a glass-making demonstration; and Burano, famous for its colorful houses.

  • Venice tours

See also: Things to do in Venice , Doge’s Palace tickets , Best Venice boat tours , Tourist attractions in Venice , Best places to visit in Italy

2 – Paris, France

Paris, France

Speaking of romantic cities, Paris is a must on every couple’s bucket list. But there’s much more to do beyond an idyllic Seine River cruise, or watching the Eiffel Tower lit up!

From the prestigious Louvre to the acclaimed d’Orsay, Paris has more museums and monuments than one can count. The city itself is a work of art, and a free walking tour or a hop-on hop-off bus tour are the best ways to explore the Arc de Triomphe, the Notre Dame, the Sacré Coeur, and all that Paris has to offer.

For those looking for some unusual things to do in Paris, the Catacombs are worth a visit, and for the football lovers, don’t miss the PSG Experience stadium tour!

With plenty of day trips available, the hardest part is choosing among a delicious tasting in the Champagne region, touring the beautiful châteaux of the ​​Loire Valley, or feeling the magic at Disneyland.

At nightfall, the city gets as exciting as during the day, with vibrant nightlife and many night tours to explore. Stroll through Montmartre or The Latin Quarter, grab a drink at the city’s best bars or attend a show at ​Lido de Paris or Moulin Rouge!

  • Paris tours

See also: Things to do in Paris , Best day trips from Paris , Best tourist attractions in Paris , Louvre Museum tickets price , Eiffel Tower tickets price , Best Paris night tours , Best free walking tours , Hop on hop off Paris bus tours , Cheap Disneyland Paris tickets , Best Paris Seine River cruises , Catacombs Paris tickets price , Musée d’Orsay Tickets price , Lido Paris tickets price , PSG Experience stadium tour tickets

3 – Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon is one of the best places in Europe for those seeking good weather, good food, and exciting history, mixed with lively nightlife – especially at Bairro Alto.

Get lost in the narrow streets and charming alleys of the district of Alfama, the oldest in the city, stop by the Sé Cathedral and admire the views from the S. Jorge Castle.

For the architecture lovers, the Belém district is full of wonders, such as the Belém Tower or Jerónimos Monastery, the most magnificent examples of Manueline style – also known as the Portuguese late Gothic.

While in Lisbon, there are plenty of incredible day trips, such as the university town of Coimbra ; Aveiro, frequently labeled as the Portuguese Venice; or Fátima, the leading pilgrimage site.

However, no trip to Lisbon would be complete without visiting Sintra, the fairy tale city. With enchanting woods and a charming medieval village to explore, the cherry on top is the colorful Pena Palace, one of Portugal’s most renowned tourist attractions.

  • Lisbon tours

See also: Things to do in Lisbon , Best tourist attractions in Lisbon , dBest  day trips from Lisbon , Pena Palace Sintra tickets

4 – Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Among the most bicycle-friendly cities in Europe, the charming capital of the Netherlands, Amsterdam is famous for its canals, a fascinating architecture mixture, and great coffee shops.

Immerse yourself in the city’s rich culture with a visit to Anne Frank’s House in the Jewish Quarter and browse through the city’s best museums, such as the Van Gogh Museum or the Rijksmuseum.

Taking a day trip is always a good idea, especially in a beautiful country like the Netherlands. Visit the medieval town center of Utrecht, the modern metropolis of Rotterdam, or stop by Keukenhof during the spring for a magical glimpse of the tulips fields.

For a unique experience, sail through the picturesque canals on a canal cruise and marvel at the city’s landmarks.

  • Amsterdam tours

See also: Things to do in Amsterdam , Best day trips from Amsterdam , Best tourist attractions in Amsterdam , Best museums in Amsterdam , Van Gogh Museum last minute tickets , Best Amsterdam canal cruises , Rijksmuseum tickets price

5 – Rome, Italy

Rome, Italy

The capital of the Roman Empire, Rome, has thousands of years of history and culture. It is famous for its stunning architecture, with the main attractions being the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, and the Pantheon.

Walking around the Eternal City is like visiting an open-air museum, and to check all of the best sites, take a city tour or a hop-on hop-off bus tour.

But there’s also plenty to see indoors, such as the Borghese Gallery, one of the most prestigious museums in the world. For those seeking unusual activities, check the Catacombs of Rome, the underground galleries used as a cemetery for centuries.

Once the sun sets, there’s still fun guaranteed in Rome, with exciting nightlife. Choose from the night tours available to explore the main attractions, embrace the culture and meet locals.

Due to its location, Rome is a perfect city to establish a base and explore the rest of Italy. Before the trip is over, take a day trip to Naples and the sunny Amalfi Coast, marvel at the Renaissance heritage in Florence, or visit the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Hadrian’s Villa or Villa d’Este in Tivoli.

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6 – Tromsø, Norway

Tromso, Norway

Where else in the world can combine the magic of the northern lights with the spectacle of city life? Tromsø, located in Norway, is one of the most unique cities in Europe and is known as the “Paris of the North” for good reason.

From reindeer sledding to restaurant excursions, you can enjoy a mix of outdoor adventure and urban living. During winter, the skies are illuminated with the aurora borealis. You can hit the slopes and go skiing or head indoors for some excellent shopping and dining. Between November and January is also an ideal window for whale watching.

Come summer, you can stay up all night with the Midnight Sun and explore the city, go hiking or join a cruise on the fjords to catch sight of the Arctic wildlife.

During your visit, don’t forget to soak up the culture. Plenty of festivals run throughout the year, including the Tromsø International Film Festival. You can even dine over a traditional meal with Sami reindeer herders and gain an appreciation for indigenous heritage.

  • Tromsø tours

See also: Things to do in Tromsø , Best Places to See the Northern Lights Around the Globe

7 – Vatican City

Saint Peter's basilica, Vatican City

The smallest country in the world and located inside of Rome, Vatican City is one of the best European destinations for Catholics or those seeking religious and cultural experiences.

Tour the city’s top-rated attractions, such as the Vatican Museums, with one of the world’s largest art collections, including the Sistine Chapel, to admire Michelangelo’s beautiful frescoes, or the St. Peter’s Basilica, to explore one of the holiest and most important pilgrimage sites.

Wander around St. Peter’s Square, a popular gathering point for tourists and book a seat at the weekly Papal Audience, held every Wednesday, because no trip to the Vatican is complete without seeing the Pope.

See also: Vatican Museum tickets , Vatican Museum early access tickets , Vatican Museum last minute tickets , Best Vatican tours , Papal audience tickets , Sistine Chapel early access tickets , St Peter’s Basilica skip the line tickets

8 – Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Also known as the Pearl of the Adriatic, the sunkissed Dubrovnik welcomes thousands of tourists every year and marvels them with a unique seafront location and a pleasant Old Town.

Stroll through Cersei’s walk of shame and the Old City Walls on a Game of Thrones tour, that takes the fans across the many filming locations in Dubrovnik, one of the best European cities for TV shows fans.

Visit the top of Mount Srd and soak in the views from the Dubrovnik Cable Car; party at Banje Beach and enjoy many water activities, such as a kayak and snorkeling adventure!

To make the most out of the trip, go on a day trip to explore paradise islands, such as the Elaphiti Islands or Hvar, and pristine beaches in Budva or Makarska.

  • Dubrovnik tours

See also: Things to do in Dubrovnik , Best day trips from Dubrovnik , Game of Thrones tours in Dubrovnik

9 – Canary Islands, Spain

Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

The Canary Islands are a Spanish archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean along the African coast, with 8 unique islands to explore. A true gem for outdoor enthusiasts, with mild temperatures, sunny weather, and unspoiled natural attractions.

With plenty of exciting experiences available, Tenerife is the biggest island of the archipelago, home to Spain’s highest peak (also one of the highest volcanoes in the world). Go for a hike at Teide National Park (or take a stargazing tour), meet the animals at Loro Park, and swim with turtles.

Continue the trip with a visit to Fuerteventura, declared by UNESCO as a biosphere reserve, highlighting the dazzling landscapes of Timanfaya National Park. Discover volcanic tunnels at Jameos del Agua and Cueva de los Verdes, and taste wine at the volcanic vineyards of La Geria.

Stop by Gran Canaria to stroll around Vegueta’s old town and relax at the best golden sand beaches. But the other islands are also worth a visit, at least on a day trip – La Gomera, with the unique Garajonay National Park; El Hierro with more than 40 diving points;

Save some time for La Palma, with the breathtaking La Caldera de Taburiente National Park; Fuerteventura with pristine beaches and La Graciosa with unique underwater flora and fauna.

  • Canary Islands tours

See also: Things to do in Lanzarote , Things to do in Gran Canaria , Things to do in Tenerife , Things to do in Fuerteventura

10 – London, United Kingdom

London, United Kingdom

London is at the top of the bucket list for most travelers, and it’s not hard to figure out why: one of the world’s most acclaimed and cosmopolitan cities, with over two millennia of history, rich in arts, science, architecture, politics, and lively nightlife.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with so many great things to do in London, to ensure the best sites such as the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace and London Eye are visited, take a free walking tour or hop on a bus tour.

To relax from the fast pace of the city, stop by the Kew Gardens, meet the animals at London Zoo, visit one of the city’s many museums or catch a musical show.

Consider also taking a day trip to the prehistoric Stonehenge, the spa town of Bath, or the charming town of Windsor – with the main attraction being the Windsor Castle.

And of course, one cannot mention London without a Harry Potter tour and the chance to experience the magic Harry Potter Studio.

  • London tours

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11 – Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona, Spain

Artistic, festive, and fun, Barcelona combines a rich cultural heritage with golden sand beaches and vibrant nightlife.

With the Sagrada Familia attracting visitors worldwide, Park Güell and Casa Batlló are also among the city’s highlights. Still, with so much to discover, it might be worth checking the Barcelona attractions passes to ensure the best deals and visit as many monuments as possible.

A walking tour and a hop-on hop-off bus tour are among the best ways to explore Barcelona, but the cherry on top is the helicopter tour for an unforgettable bird’s-eye view.

Stop by La Boqueria to taste some of Barcelona’s finest treats, and for the football fans touring the Camp Nou, home of FC Barcelona, is a must.

After checking all of the best tours Barcelona has to offer, it’s always a great idea to explore the surroundings on a day trip. Whether snorkeling on Costa Brava or skiing in Andorra, there’s something for every tourist!

  • Barcelona tours

See also: Things to do in Barcelona , Best tourist attractions in Barcelona , Best day trips from Barcelona , Sagrada Familia tickets price , Best Barcelona free walking tours , Best places to visit in Spain

12 – Munich, Germany

Munich, Germany

With some of the best breweries and Biergartens in Germany, famous for the annual Oktoberfest celebrations, but also with a rich history, architecture, and delicious cuisine, Munich is a major European destination.

Grab a drink at Englischer Garten; explore the Old Town and see the Marienplatz or take a food tour at Viktualienmarkt; visit Nymphenburg Palace, the largest Bavarian palace, check all of Kunstareal District museums and cheer on Bayern Munich at Allianz Arena.

The whole Bavaria region is also worth exploring, so save time for a day trip to visit the magical Neuschwanstein Castle, the charming medieval town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, or ski at Germany’s highest mountain, Zugspitze.

  • Munich tours

See also: Things to do in Munich , Best day trips from Munich

13 – Monaco

Monaco

The sophisticated and glamorous city-state along the French Riviera, with mild temperatures and home to more millionaires than any other region in the world, Monaco is an excellent destination during the entire year and has plenty of fun things to do.

See the sharks at the Oceanographic Museum, stroll through Palais du Prince, take a walking tour around the charming Old Town, or catch a world-class performance at Opéra de Monte-Carlo.

For car enthusiasts, try a luxury car driving experience and get behind the wheel of a Lamborghini or a Ferrari.

Considering booking the trip during the F1 Grand Prix to catch one of the most thrilling and top-rated races in the world and, of course, try your luck at the best casinos – especially the Monte-Carlo.

  • Monaco tours

See also: Things to do in Monaco

14 – Oxford, United Kingdom

Oxford, United Kingdom

Home to England’s oldest university, Oxford is a historical wonderland to explore, and the highlights include the Ashmolean Museum and the Museum of Natural History.

Oxford is one of the best European destinations for scholars and literature, and cinema enthusiasts, with places like Alice’s shop and Alice’s Window at Christ Church to explore.

Plenty of famous authors held academic positions at Oxford University, such as Lewis Carroll (Alice in Wonderland), J. R. R. Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings) and C. S. Lewis (The Chronicles of Narnia), and only one hour drive away, it’s possible to explore Shakespeare’s birthplace at Stratford-upon-Avon.

Discover the most fabulous filming locations on a Harry Potter or Downton Abbey tour, from the Divinity School and Bodleian Library to the Cogges Manor Farm and St Mary’s Church.

  • Oxford tours

See also: Things to do in Oxford

15 – Amalfi Coast, Italy

Amalfi Coast, Italy

One of the most beautiful places in the world , attracting thousands of tourists every year, Amalfi Coast is the perfect spring/summer getaway, with a stunning coastline, breathtaking scenic drives and lovely villages to explore.

Start the trip in the port city of Salerno and climb to the top of Castello di Arechi to admire the unique views 270 meters above the gulf. Continue with Vietri sul Mare to appreciate as much art as possible and the typical colorful ceramics.

Stop by the small fishing village of Cetara and taste the delicious seafood before continuing to Maiori and soaking up some local culture and cuisine, or exploring the hidden gem of Tramonti.

Try Minori’s pasta factories, visit the 18th century Church of Santa Trofimena and walk along the Path of Lemons. For some jaw-dropping views, stop by Terrazza dell’Infinito in Ravello.

Head to the hills and check the oldest town in Amalfi Coast, the incredible medieval-style village of Scala, and proceed to the photogenic Atrani, before reaching the famous and energetic Amalfi.

Marvel at the magical Emerald Grotto in Conca dei Marini, before heading to Furore and crossing Fjord of Furore off the bucket list. Continue to Praiano and Positano, the perfect villages to relax by the superb white sand beaches, without forgetting the famous Path of the Gods hike.

  • Amalfi Coast tours

See also: Things to do on the Amalfi Coast , Best Amalfi Coast boat tours

16 – Dublin, Ireland

Dublin, Ireland

Capital of Ireland, the famous Emerald Isle, thousands of tourists are attracted to Dublin for the legendary Guinness Storehouse, the Irish beer and lively pubs, but the city has much more to offer and has inspired so many artists with its unique beauty.

From James Joyce’s “Ulysses” to the filming location of “Braveheart”, also visit the deers at Phoenix Park, and tour the renowned landmarks, such as the Dublin Castle and the Trinity College.

When in Dublin, make sure to save time for a day trip and explore the stunning surroundings – any Game of Thrones fans out here? There are plenty of  Game of Thrones tours from Dublin available, stopping by the prominent filming locations in the area.

  • Dublin tours

See also: Things to do in Dublin , Best day trips from Dublin , Guinness Storehouse tickets price

17 – Florence, Italy

Florence, Italy

Florence is easily among the best European destinations for art and history lovers. Birthplace of the Renaissance and one of the wealthiest cities during the medieval era, Florence became a top-tier artistic, commercial and political center.

Stroll through the massive Piazza del Duomo, which feels like an open-air museum, and climb to the Duomo’s dome for the most impressive view of Florence.

Discover the home of the Medici Royal Family at Pitti Palace and head to the gothic masterpiece of Palazzo Vecchio.

Florence houses some of the best and most visited museums in Italy, and to make the most out of it, consider grabbing a combined ticket to the Uffizi Gallery and Accademia Gallery.

Besides Florence, the whole Tuscany region deserves to be explored (make sure to not miss our list of things to do in Tuscany ). Take a day trip to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the medieval towers of San Gimignano or relax at the spa town of Saturnia.

  • Florence tours

See also: Things to do in Florence , Best day trips from Florence , Florence Duomo tickets price , Florence Duomo tours , Palazzo Vecchio tickets price , Pitti Palace tickets price , Accademia Gallery tickets price , Uffizzi Gallery tickets price , Best museums in Florence

18 – Santa Claus Village, Finland

Santa Claus Village, Finland

This amusement park located in Rovaniemi, in the Lapland region, is one of the best places to visit in Europe with children, but grants a whole lot of fun for the whole family.

The main attractions at the Santa Claus Village are the Arctic Circle, a white line painted across the park letting visitors know when they’ve officially entered the Arctic region.

In the heart of the village, the Santa Claus Office can be found, open since 1992 with the world’s nicest man welcoming thousands of visitors from all over the world in his office.

Due to its latitude, this charming village and its surroundings are perfect for some northern lights hunting. This stunning natural phenomenon will make the Santa Claus Village even more magical.

  • Rovaniemi tours

See also: Things to do in Rovaniemi

19 – Milan, Italy

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Milan, Italy

Busy and cosmopolitan, Milan is home to the major Italian fashion brands and offers a perfect mix of art and historical architecture, with impressive modern skyscrapers.

One cannot go to Milan without visiting one of the most sacred landmarks and among the most prominent Christian sites globally, the Duomo. Next to it, there’s the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, the perfect place for window shopping across some high fashion boutiques.

Book a ticket to Santa Maria Delle Grazie, for the unique opportunity to admire Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper, one of the most acclaimed works from the creative genius.

Milan is considerably quick to visit, making the perfect opportunity to combine it with a day trip to one of the nearby stunning lakes, such as Lake Como and Lake Garda; or a mountain adventure at the Swiss Alps or the Dolomites.

  • Milan tours

See also: Things to do in Milan , Best day trips from Milan , Duomo Milan skip the line tickets , Santa Maria Delle Grazie tickets price , Last Supper Milan last minute tickets

20 – Meteora, Greece

Meteora, Greece

Literally meaning “suspended in the air”, Meteora is an impressive area in Greece with unique rock formations shaped by the rain, wind and other natural phenomenons for millions of years.

But the most astonishing thing about the area is the Orthodox monasteries housed on top of the rocks, assembling one of the world’s largest and most important Orthodox monasteries complexes.

Before the monasteries were built, there were caves – such as the Theopetra Cave – inhabited for over 50.000 years and occupied by monks seeking refuge during the Turkish occupation.

During the 19th century, steps were carved into the rocks, but back in the days, the top was only accessible by ropes and retractable ladders, making it even more mind-blowing and worth a visit.

  • Meteora tours

21 – Krka National Park, Croatia

Krka National Park, Croatia

Just one hour away from Split, along the Krka River, is one of Croatia’s best natural wonders, the Krka National Park.

Intended for scientific, cultural, and educational purposes, recreational and touristic activities quickly gained popularity among the visitors.

Visit one of the most preserved and unaltered ecosystems, with exceptionally rich flora. Even though it’s no longer possible to swim there, it’s still worth a visit to the Skradinski Buk, an incredible natural pool with a set of waterfalls.

Set aside one full day to explore the park and the footpaths, and consider taking either a sightseeing or boat tour.

  • Krka (town) tours

22 – Bologna, Italy

Bologna, Italy

The capital of the Emilia-Romagna region and world-famous for some of the most delicious pasta dishes, Bologna is one of the best places to visit in Europe for the foodies.

Try as many Tagliatelle al Ragù Bolognese as possible, and consider a food tour to taste the best cured meats, sausages, and cheeses across the city’s popular markets, such as the Quadrilatero Old Market and Mercato Delle Erbe.

Between food tastings, climb the Bologna Towers, once used by the wealthy families for defensive purposes. Wander around Bologna’s main square, Piazza Maggiore, and find the hidden canals at Finestrella di Via Piella.

  • Bologna tours

See also: Things to do in Bologna

23 – Brussels, Belgium

Brussels, Belgium

Home to the European Parliament and known as the capital of Europe, along with world-class beer, delicious chocolate and waffles, mixed with rich history, architecture and museums, make Brussels a traveler’s dream.

Start exploring at the Grand Place, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the center of Brussels, and don’t forget a visit to the Atomium.

To check all of the iconic landmarks like the Parc du Cinquantenaire and the Palais Royal, consider either a bike or a bus tour, and stop by the world’s largest parliamentary visitor center, the Parlamentarium.

  • Brussels tours

See also: Things to do in Brussels

24 – Berlin, Germany

Berlin, Germany

Famous for its world-class museums and for being one of the most iconic European cities, Berlin combines turbulent history, high technology, and culture with authentic German pubs and Biergartens.

For the most breathtaking views of the city, visit the TV Tower and the German Parliament Building, also known as the Reichstag, and climb to its dome.

Consider a walking tour to learn about history at the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe and what’s left of the Berlin wall; walk across the Brandenburg Gate, and stroll through the main landmarks, such as the Alexanderplatz.

  • Berlin tours

See also: Things to do in Berlin , Best free walking tours in Berlin , Reichstag Dome tickets , Berlin TV Tower tickets price

25 – Pompeii, Italy

Pompeii, Italy

Speaking of turbulent history, just 30 minutes away from Naples is a major UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most visited archeological sites in the world, the city of Pompeii is one of the best places to visit in Europe for history lovers.

Destroyed by Mount Vesuvius’s eruption, the quick burial of the Roman city allowed its preservation for centuries and its excavation provided unique information about life in the ancient world.

The Archaeological Park of Pompeii is definitely worth visiting and there are plenty of tours departing from nearby locations, such as the Amalfi Coast villages. There’s also the possibility to combine it with a climb to Mount Vesuvius.

Among the unmissable places to check are the Basilica, the Forum, the House of Faun and one of the oldest surviving Roman amphitheaters, the Amphitheatre of Pompeii. Get a skip-the-line ticket and start exploring right away!

  • Pompeii tours

See also: Pompeii tickets price , Best Pompeii tours

26 – Andorra

Andorra

This small country, located by the eastern Pyrenees, between Spain and France, is one of the best winter destinations in Europe when it becomes a ski and snowboard paradise.

Among the fun things to do in Andorra are plenty of ski areas, such as Pas de la Casa, Vallnord, and Grandvalira.

Andorra la Vella – the capital – is also worth checking, with the largest spa center in Europe, the magnificent Caldea, fed by mineral-rich thermal waters.

This is also an excellent destination for beautiful hikes and mountain biking experiences throughout the entire year. Enjoy a getaway in nature, amid lakes and mountains, with trails for all levels – such as the Tristaina Lake Trail.

  • Andorra tours

27 – Manchester, United Kingdom

Manchester, United Kingdom

Manchester is one of the UK’s major creative hubs, with outstanding nightlife, lovely Victorian-era architecture, and a renowned sporting industry.

An excellent destination for sports lovers, start the trip with a tour of the two main stadiums, the Old Trafford, home of Manchester United, and Etihad Stadium, home of Manchester City; and check out the National Football Museum.

With a thriving arts scene, there’s plenty to explore indoors – at the Manchester Art Gallery or The Whitworth – but also outdoors, on a memorable street art tour.

And the fun doesn’t end when the sun goes down. Catch a performance at Manchester Opera House, which has hosted major musicals like the Phantom of the Opera; or see a show at one of Europe’s largest indoor arenas, AO Arena.

  • Manchester tours

See also: Things to do in Manchester

28 – Madrid, Spain

Madrid, Spain

Welcoming millions of visitors every year, the stunning capital of Spain, Madrid, promises a trip full of exciting things to do and unforgettable memories.

Start with a glimpse of the Spanish Royal Family life at the Royal Palace of Madrid and check the Almudena Cathedral nearby. Consider joining a free walking tour and exploring the unique districts, such as Barrio de las Letras or La Latina ​- and even a Money Heist’s filming locations tour.

With some of the finest European museums housed in Madrid, marvel at the greatest masterpieces from Goya, Reubens, or El Greco at Prado Museum, and Pablo Picasso’s Guernica at Reina Sofia Museum.

Due to its central location, Madrid is the perfect base for exploring other Spanish gems, such as the impressive medieval castle in Segovia, the wine region of Ribera del Duero, or the lively university city of Salamanca.

  • Madrid tours

See also: Things to do in Madrid , Best day trips from Madrid , Best tourist attractions in Madrid , Royal Palace of Madrid tickets price , Reina Sofia Museum tickets price , Prado Museum tickets price , Madrid free walking tours

29 – Azores, Portugal

Azores, Portugal

One of Europe’s best-kept secrets and often compared to Hawaii, the subtropical archipelago of Azores is a hidden gem in the Atlantic ocean. With nine inhabited islands, this is one of the best destinations for outdoor lovers and those seeking a nature retreat.

With mild temperatures and incredible coastline, Azores are a paradise for watersports enthusiasts. Step away from the shore and embark on some diving adventure or whale and dolphin watching.

Explore the beautiful trails and soak in the views of the Sete Cidades Caldera or Boca do Inferno viewpoint in São Miguel island; hike Mount Pico in Pico Island, Monte Brasil in Terceira, or Fajã Grande in Flores and spot many lakes, waterfalls, and breathtaking landscapes.

Also, in São Miguel, stop by Furnas Valley to check the geothermal wonder of Lagoa das Furnas, immerse in the hot springs of Terra Nostra Garden, and taste the unique Cozido das Furnas, a local stew made from meat and vegetable, slowly cooked underground with the hot springs steam.

  • Azores tours

See also: Things to do in the Azores

30 – Loire Castles, France

Chenonceau Castle, Loire Valley, France

Once the extravagant retreats of the French kings, designed for entertainment and enjoyment purposes, today, the fairy tale castles of the Loire Valley are one of the most fascinating European destinations.

With tours for all kinds of budgets, this dreamy multi-day trip easily reached from Paris must be on everyone’s list – the most challenging part is choosing which ones to visit, among so many great options.

The glorious and beautiful decorated Château of Chambord is one of France’s most famous castles; originally a fortified tower, Château de Villandry stands out for the marvelous Renaissance gardens.

With stunning views of the Loire River, Château d’Amboise might be small but equally worth visiting; Château du Clos Lucé, the official residence of Leonardo da Vinci between 1516 and 1519; and the list of the best Loire Valley Castles goes on!

  • Loire Valley tours

See also: Best Loire Valley Castles to Visit from Paris

31 – Lake Bled, Slovenia

Lake Bled, Slovenia

One of Slovenia’s most popular tourist attractions, with clear turquoise waters and a stunning tiny island with a church in the middle, Lake Bled is perfect for a summer getaway.

Easily reached from Ljubljana, the visit to Lake Bled can also be combined with Vintgar Gorge, another of Bled’s natural wonders.

Adventure on the lake on a boat ride, kayaking, or take a dip in the swimming area. For some land activities, hike the Ojstrica and Mala Osojnica loop trail.

The medieval Bled Castle is also worth visiting, sitting atop a cliff 130 meters above the lake, with stunning views – especially at sunset – and even a unique dining experience. Tasting the typical Bled Cream Cake called Kremšnita is a must for those with a sweet tooth.

32 – Mallorca, Spain

Mallorca, Spain

The sunny jewel of the Balearic Islands, Mallorca is one of the best European summer destinations and among the most popular Mediterranean islands.

Explore its spectacular coastline and relax at the most pristine white sand beaches of Cala Vella and Es Trenc Beach, or adventure on a snorkeling tour and explore the underwater wonders.

Wander around Palma de Mallorca Old Town, stop by the magnificent Palma Cathedral and delight yourself on a tapas tour.

Mallorca offers breathtaking landscapes, and hiking Serra de Tramuntana mountain is a must. However, don’t overlook the stunning underworld of Cuevas del Drach and Caves of Hams.

  • Mallorca tours

See also: Things to do in Mallorca

33 – Cinque Terre, Italy

Cinque Terre, Italy

A popular Italian tourist destination, the coastal villages of Cinque Terre offer stunning beaches, photogenic colorful houses, thrilling hikes and superb cuisine.

Monterosso al Mare is the biggest of the five villages and the ultimate beach destination. Vernazza is famous for the colorful houses along the small harbor, with the castle on top of the hill, quickly becoming the most photographed spot in the region.

Riomaggiore, famous for delicious wine and olive oil, is connected to Manarola through Via dell’Amore, the most romantic footpath with incredible sea views.

Last but not least, stop by the oldest and smallest villa, Corniglia. Surrounded by lovely vineyards, stop by Saint Mary’s Terrace and soak in the views.

  • Cinque Terre tours

See also: Best Cinque Terre boat tours , Fun things to do in Cinque Terre

34 – Faroe Islands

Faeroe Islands

Tucked between Iceland and Norway, bathed by the Atlantic Ocean, the Faroe Islands offer one of the best and most unique sceneries in Europe, and its popularity is quickly rising.

Explore Lake Sorvagsvatn and its optical illusion, with an angle where it looks like the river is floating above the ocean; marvel at the beautiful Mulafossur Waterfall in the village of Gasadalur and snap a picture of the iconic Drangarnir.

Home to thousands of Puffins, visit the Mykines island to meet these adorable birds. With more sheep than humans, you’re most likely to encounter these fluffy inhabitants during the trip.

Despite the remote locations, exploring the Faroe Islands on a road trip is very easy, especially with the underwater tunnels connecting them.

35 – Krakow, Poland

Krakow, Poland

One of Poland’s oldest cities and the second-largest one, there are several reasons to visit the historical Krakow.

Start by wandering around the charming old town and let this UNESCO World Heritage site transport you back to middle age.

Explore Wawel Royal Castle, one of Poland’s most important cultural sites, the largest medieval square, Rynek, and tour Kazimierz, the Jewish Quarter.

Just a few minutes away from Krakow, save the last day for a tour to Auschwitz-Birkenau – which can be emotionally draining, but full of remarkable stories that deserve to be remembered.

  • Krakow tours

See also: Things to do in Krakow

36 – Pisa, Italy

Pisa, Italy

Worldwide famous for the leaning tower and for being the birthplace of Galileo Galilei, Pisa is an excellent destination for a weekend getaway.

The city’s highlight is Piazza dei Miracoli, where it’s possible to explore the main landmarks – the Pisa Cathedral, Pisa Baptistry, and the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

It’s also worth strolling through the River Arno, walking along the shopping street, Borgo Stretto, and checking Pisa’s second main square, Piazza dei Cavalieri.

Save at least one full day to explore the surrounding area and make the most of your Tuscany trip, admiring the Renaissance city walls of Luca, the modern Livorno, by the Ligurian Sea, or the enchanting Florence.

See also: Leaning Tower of Pisa tickets , Things to do in Pisa

37 – Malaga, Spain

Malaga, Spain

In the sunny Spanish Costa del Sol, showing the best Andalusia has to offer, Malaga mixes paradisiac beaches, diverse museums, vibrant nightlife and delicious tapas.

With a rich history, explore the Alcazaba and marvel at the views from the ancient Gibralfaro Castle.

The birthplace of Pablo Picasso, find plenty of its wonderful works at the Picasso Museum or join a walking tour and pass across the artist’s childhood home.

Sunbathe at the best Mediterranean beaches, from the famous Playa la Malagueta to the less crowded Playa Peñon del Cuervo.

  • Malaga tours

See also: Things to do in Malaga

38 – Bran Castle, Romania

Bran Castle, Romania

One of Europe’s most famous castles, perched atop a hill, the Bran Castle is commonly known as Dracula’s home.

Built during the 12th century at Transylvania and Wallachia’s border, used for defensive purposes against the Ottoman Empire, providing safe passage between the regions and contributing to their economic development.

The site gained popularity for matching the castle described in Bram Stoker’s novel, Dracula, even though the Irish author never visited Romania.

Welcoming thousands of visitors per year, it houses a private museum dedicated to Queen Marie’s art and furniture collection, richly ornating the rooms.

  • Transylvania tours

See also: Best castles in Europe

39 – Kravica Waterfall, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Kravica Waterfall, Bosnia and Herzegovina

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the large Kravica Waterfall by the Trebižat River is one of the country’s most precious jewels and best-kept secrets, with its popularity still rising.

Open from May to October, with 25 meters high, this is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the area has much more to offer, such as a peaceful picnic area and a small cafe.

During the hottest months, the best part of the visit is diving into the lake’s clear waters. There are kayaking tours through the river available for those wanting to explore a little more.

40 – Keukenhof gardens, Netherlands

Keukenhof gardens, Netherlands

The world’s most extensive flower garden, the Keukenhof is one of the best places to visit in Europe during the spring and witness this once-in-a-lifetime experience of seeing 7 million tulips bloom.

Rent a bike and pedal around the park or take a relaxing boat tour, a visit to the Keukenhof gardens is also an excellent program for the whole family, let the kids join a scavenger hunt throughout the gardens or pet some furry friends at the petting zoo.

Attracting millions of visitors each year, the garden is easily reached from Amsterdam and Rotterdam.

See also: Keukenhof Gardens tickets price

41 – Prague, Czech Republic

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague is a dream destination with diverse architecture, from the gothic wonder of Church of Our Lady before Týn to the modern and creative Dancing House; outstanding museums, and vibrant nightlife.

Start with a walking tour to check the city’s main sites, from admiring the outstanding Old Town and seeing the famous Astronomical Clock, to the iconic Prague Castle.

Cross the Charles Bridge – possibly on a ghost tour, and learn at the various museums, from the Museum of Communism to the Apple Museum.

Immerse in the local culture and attend a Czech Folklore Show or get the time of your life at a locally-led pub crawl.

  • Prague tours

See also: Things to do in Prague , Prague Castle tickets price , Prague free walking tours

42 – Athens, Greece

Athens, Greece

Overflowing with legends and stories from the Greek Empire, ranking among the sunniest cities in Europe, Athens’s rich history mixed with modernity makes it a complex and extraordinary destination.

Explore the main historical landmarks, such as the iconic Acropolis – and climb there for the city’s best views; marvel at the Parthenon temple’s architecture and visit the Temple of Olympian Zeus.

After checking all monuments and museums, relax by the white sand beaches at Athens Riviera, or consider a day trip to make the most of this Greek adventure.

  • Athens tours

See also: Things to do in Athens , Best tourist attractions in Athens , Best day trips from Athens , Acropolis tickets price

43 – Versailles, France

Versailles, France

Formerly a royal residence, the magnificent Versailles Palace is one of the world’s most visited palaces nowadays and can be easily reached from Paris.

Several tickets are available, some of which also include the Estate of Trianon, Versailles Gardens, and even the musical fountain show, to make the most of the visit – and if the tickets are sold out, check how to grant last-minute Versailles Palace tickets !

With a massive area and over 2000 rooms, it might be worth considering a guided tour to understand its history. One of the palace’s highlights is the Hall of Mirrors, with 357 mirrors.

  • Versailles tours

See also: Versailles tickets price , Best Versailles tours , Best places to visit in France

44 – Porto, Portugal

Porto, Portugal

Often considered one of the best European destinations, Porto has outstanding beauty mixed with delicious gastronomy and incredible nightlife.

Explore the old town and its iconic landmarks, from the Sé do Porto Cathedral to the colorful Largo da Pena Ventosa square, and the spectacular views from Miradouro da Vitória.

While in Porto, one can’t overlook the chance to taste one of the world’s most famous wines, the delicious Francesinha, and catch a fado show.

There are plenty of fun things to do in Porto, from observing the inspiration behind Harry Potter at Gomes Teixeira Square to the fantastic Douro Valley cruises, or exciting day trips to the Peneda-Gerês National Park and the Minho region.

  • Porto tours

See also: Things to do in Porto

45 – Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm, Sweden

A small city where the land meets the sea, with a rich Viking history, exciting music scene, and plenty of islands to explore on a kayaking trip, Stockholm is an excellent destination for a quick city break.

Admire artifacts at the Royal Palace and wander around the colorful Gamla Stan – which translates to Old Town.

To get deeper into the city’s history, visit the 17th-century warship at Vasa Museum. With the Vikings being one of Sweden’s most famous ancestors, several tours pass through the most important sites, such as the ancient settlement of Granby.

Delight in modern Swedish cuisine and enjoy Stockholm’s nightlife, whether it is by catching a show at Avicii Arena, seeing a ballet at Royal Swedish Opera, or joining a pub crawl.

  • Stockholm tours

See also: Things to do in Stockholm

46 – Riga, Latvia

Riga, Latvia

Riga is the liveliest among the capitals, with outstanding Art Nouveau architecture, exuberant nightlife, and stunning landscapes.

Stroll around the Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with most of Riga’s monuments, such as the iconic House of the Blackheads, the St. Peter’s Church, or the Central Market.

Learn about the Latvian War of Independence at Freedom Monument, and get transported back to Medieval times at the Swedish Gate.

Try some Riga Black Balsam – made from pure vodka – and party at the many pubs and bars.

See also: Things to do in Riga

47 – Granada, Spain

Alhambra, Granada, Spain

Granada is an excellent choice for a city break: one of the most iconic Andalusian destinations, famous for its UNESCO World Heritage Sites, beautiful Islamic architecture, delicious tapas, and exciting flamenco shows.

Perched atop a hill, find the impressive Alhambra fortress and marvel at the views from the Alcazaba Tower. There are plenty of Alhambra tickets available, some of which also combine the visit to Generalife.

Check the Royal Chapel of Granada, explore the unique Albaicín district, and explore the Moorish-styled Alcaicería. For a remarkable sunset, stop by San Nicolas Viewpoint.

With a rich Arab heritage, save some time to relax at a traditional hammam spa or tour the best-preserved Arab baths at El Bañuelo.

  • Granada tours

See also: Things to do in Granada , Alhambra tickets price

48 – Kiruna, Sweden

Kiruna, Sweden

As the northernmost city in Sweden, Kiruna is well-situated for all of your Arctic adventures. Whether you’re journeying here to witness the aurora borealis or stay the night in the famous Ice Hotel, Kiruna will expand your horizons.

Head to the Abisko National Park and immerse yourself in the alpine landscape. Here, you can watch the northern lights come out, go hiking or practice your photographic skills.

For a classic Swedish experience, put on your snowsuit and go dog sledding! Keep your camera on hand to capture the once-in-a-lifetime ride. This is one activity the kids won’t soon forget. If you’re looking for more of an adrenaline rush, you can traverse the terrain on a snowmobile.

To get a taste of local culture, you can join a city tour that includes dining out on street food. Savor the Arctic cheese and reindeer and moose meat in a traditional tipi!

  • Kiruna tours

See also: Things to do in Kiruna

49 – Frankfurt, Germany

Frankfurt, Germany

Once among the most significant medieval cities in Germany, most of Frankfurt was destroyed during the Second World War. Nowadays, it perfectly blends modernity and history, with an impressive skyline, rich museums, the Goethe-Haus, and Anne Frank’s first home.

Look out for the city’s oldest building, the 15th-century medieval Eschenheim Tower, contrasting with Financial District’s opulent skyscrapers – where the city gets its Mainhattan nickname from.

Explore the lively Römerberg and soak in the views from the top of the Frankfurt Cathedral observation tower. Cross the Eiserner Steg bridge and stroll through the scenic Mainkai walk while marveling at the Main river.

Famous for its sausages, stop by Kleinmarkthalle to grab a traditional wurst at Metzgerei Schreiber, and accompany it with some apple wine.

  • Frankfurt tours

See also: Things to do in Frankfurt

50 – Capri, Italy

Capri, Italy

Located in the Gulf of Naples, with an outstanding landscape and delicious cuisine, there’s a lot to explore in Capri.

Check the world-famous Piazzetta di Capri, the island’s center and its liveliest area, and try some ravioli capresi at the local restaurants.

Book a boat tour in Capri and adventure on its stunning turquoise waters and marvel at the Arco Naturale and Blue Gotto. Relax by the Gardens of Augustus and admire its views.

Visit the dreamy Villa San Michele and, of course, sunbathe at Capri’s best beaches such as Marina Grande, the best one for swimming, and the famous Bagni di Tiberio.

  • Capri tours

See also: Best boat tours in Capri

51 – Greek Islands

Navagio Beach, Zakynthos, Greece

From the worldwide famous dreamy white villages of Santorini to the unique pink sand of Elafonisi Beach in Crete, the Greek Islands are a piece of heaven in the Mediterranean and definitely worth visiting.

In Crete, the largest of the islands, stroll around the Venetian Harbour and explore Chania ’s lovely Old Town, sunbathe in Falasarna, and marvel at the historical Knossos Palace.

Continuing to one of the finest islands in the Aegean Sea, Rhodes, explore the ancient ruins of Lindos Acropolis, snorkel in secluded coves, and wonder at the natural reserve of the Butterflies Valley.

Home of Hippocrates, Kos has a rich history and unique landscapes to explore. Continue with Mykonos with a lovely old town and vibrant nightlife, making it one of the best greek islands for partying.

With jaw-dropping turquoise waters, stop by Porto Timoni Beach in Corfu, snorkel in one of the finest Blue Lagoons in the world, and visit the distinctive Cape Dastris cliffs.

On the best European island for a honeymoon, the charming Santorini, watch the most romantic sunsets at Oia and swim at the unique Red Beach with volcanic red sand.

And of course, there’s much more to explore, considering Greece has over 200 islands. Enjoy the dreamiest beaches, embrace its rich history and try the delicious Mediterranean cuisine.

See also: Things to do in Rhodes , Things to do in Kos , Things to do in Santorini , Things to do in Crete , Things to do in Corfu , Things to do in Mykonos , Things to do in Paros , Things to do in Naxos

52 – Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

Croatia’s oldest and largest natural park, with almost 300 km², Plitvice Lakes, is one of the best places to visit in Europe and among its most extraordinary natural wonders.

Its primary attraction is the crystal clear lakes, which only cover 1% of this enormous park. With a total of 16 main lakes connected through stunning waterfalls, even though they look enchanting, swimming is prohibited.

With incredible fauna and flora to admire, adventure on the park’s hiking trails, or rent a boat and row in Kozjak lake. The park turns into a white wonderland during the winter, and skiing is among the most popular activities.

  • Plitvice Lake tours

53 – Seville, Spain

Seville, Spain

Among the most famous cities of Andalusia, with world-famous flamenco shows, glorious architecture, and delicious tapas, the sunkissed Seville is filled with fun things to do.

With Christian and Moorish influences, explore the stunning Real Alcázar of Seville, and continue to the Seville Cathedral & La Giralda, the world’s largest Gothic cathedral.

Climb to the unique Setas de Sevilla and rent a rowboat at Plaza de Plaza de España. And for the Game of Thrones fans, there are a couple of filming locations to visit.

To make the most of your trip, there are plenty of day trips available, from the historical Italica, the natural wonder of Doñana National Park, the unique city of Ronda, to the paradise beaches at Zahara de los Atunes.

  • Seville tours

See also: Things to do in Seville , Best day trips from Seville , Real Alcazar of Seville tickets price

54 – Belgrade, Serbia

Belgrade, Serbia

World-famous for its vibrant nightlife and parties, Belgrade has something for everyone – from spectacular galleries and architecture to the bustling streets and best bars.

Visit Belgrade’s largest park, Kalemegdan, and find the old citadel at the Belgrade Fortress. Admire Serbia’s major Orthodox Church, the Church of St Sava, and stop by the Nikola Tesla Museum.

After absorbing all of the city’s rich and turbulent history, embrace its reputable nightlife, with great indoor clubs and taverns during the cold months, and riverside venues for the warm months.

  • Belgrade tours

See also: Things to do in Belgrade

55 – Trolltunga, Norway

Trolltunga, Norway

Translated to “troll tongue”, Norway’s most famous rock formation and one of the most photographed in the world, Trolltunga, is perched on the side of a fjord, over 1000 meters above the sea.

The 14 km hike starts by the Ringedalsvatnet lake and takes about 8-12 hours, depending on the experience level. Despite the challenging trail, take the time to enjoy the journey and marvel at the breathtaking Norwegian landscape.

56 – Ibiza, Spain

Ibiza, Spain

A Spanish oasis in the Mediterranean, the island of Ibiza is one of the best places to visit in Europe during the summer months.

With an outstanding coastline, take a boat tour and cool down by the island’s incredible beaches, from Cala Comte, the most famous one, the calm turquoise waters of Cala Bassa, to the hippie vibe of Cala Benirràs.

Wander around the fortified Old Town, with labyrinth streets and the best views over the harbor.

And what most visitors come from: go party – from plenty of boat and pool parties to join, to the world’s most famous beach clubs and the best party venues, there’s always fun granted in Ibiza.

  • Ibiza tours

See also: Things to do in Ibiza

57 – Geneva, Switzerland

Geneva, Switzerland

Near the French border, the city of Geneva is the headquarters of the United Nations in Europe, with the impressive Palais des Nations.

Explore the charming Old Town, see the Flower Clock at the lovely Jardin Anglais and visit the city’s incredible museums such as the Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum.

By the margin of Geneva Lake, admire one of the world’s tallest water fountains, Jet d’Eau, and explore the lake and the surrounding cities on a boat tour.

And while in Switzerland, taste as much chocolate as possible!

  • Geneva tours

See also: Things to do in Geneva

58 – Sofia, Bulgaria

Sofia, Bulgaria

Less touristy than the nearby European capitals, Sofia is famous for the massive Saint Alexander Nevsky Patriarch’s Cathedral, the royal Vrana Palace, and the 10th-century Boyana Church.

Stroll through the pedestrian Pirotska Street, stop by its excellent shops and cafes, or grab a souvenir at the Central Market Hall.

Catch a worldwide famous folklore show or a performance at the Sofia Opera and Ballet, and embrace the city’s lively nightlife.

  • Sofia tours

See also: Things to do in Sofia

59 – Ljubjana, Slovenia

Ljubjana, Slovenia

The charming capital of Slovenia by the margin of the Ljubljanica River, one of Ljubljana’s most iconic attractions is the Ljubljana Castle perched atop a hill, in the middle of the city.

Cross the Dragon Bridge – with the dragon being the city’s symbol and protector – explore the beautiful Old Town, with the lively Prešeren Square, ​and finish by relaxing at the large Tivoli Park.

For some alternative activities, stop by the Metelkova Art Center, the city’s cultural and artistic hub, with performances, exhibitions, and a lot of incredible street art.

  • Ljubljana tours

See also: Things to do in Ljubljana

60 – Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen, Denmark

Famous for being Hans Christian Andersen’s birthplace and the little mermaid sculpture, this small Scandinavian city has a lot to offer to its visitors.

With magnificent Danish cuisine and the famous Tivoli Gardens amusement park, Copenhagen attracts visitors worldwide.

Shop at Strøget, Europe’s largest pedestrian streets, wander around the city’s Old Town, and admire Nyhavn’s colorful architecture through a canal cruise.

Delve into Copenhagen’s rich history and culture with a visit to Christiansborg Palace and the many museums – such as the National Museum of Denmark.

  • Copenhagen tours

See also: Things to do in Copenhagen

61 – Mont Saint Michel, France

Mont Saint Michel, France

Easily reached on a day trip from Paris to Normandy, the magnificent Mont Saint Michel is one of France’s most remarkable medieval gems.

Welcoming pilgrims since the 8th century, this small island with the Abbey of Mont Saint-Michel perched at the top is one of the most unique places to visit in Europe.

Take the time to explore the medieval village, admire the ancient defense walls and climb to the North Tower observation deck, for an outstanding view of the bay.

  • Normandy tours

See also: Best Normandy tours from Paris , Mont Saint Michel Day Trip from Paris – Price & Tips

62 – Helsinki, Finland

Helsinki, Finland

By the shore of the Gulf of Finland, the charming Helsinki delights those who visit it with stunning sea landscapes, landmarks and delicious Nordic cuisine.

Take the ferry to one of the world’s largest sea fortresses, Suomenlinna, once a substantial naval base. Today, not only one of Finland’s most fantastic attractions but also home to 900 inhabitants.

With a great diversity of attractions, visit Temppeliaukio Church, an ancient church carved into a rock, the 19th century Helsinki Cathedral and the orthodox Uspenski Cathedral.

Explore the city’s interesting museums, from the art pieces at Kiasma and Ateneum to the Design Museum. Save also some time to grab a souvenir at Helsinki’s Market Square or get the adrenaline rushing at Linnanmäki amusement park.

  • Helsinki tours

See also: Things to do in Helsinki

63 – The Blue Eye, Albania

The Blue Eye, Albania

The Blue Eye, a natural water spring pool, source to the Bistricë River, is one of the most unique places to visit in Albania.

Easily reached upon a 35-minute drive from the city of Sarandë, the Blue Eye dazzles everyone with its turquoise crystal clear waters, surrounded by a dense forest.

Divers have explored at least 50 meters, but its total depth is still uncertain. Even though swimming in these mysterious waters is prohibited, marvel at this incredible natural phenomenon and watch the bubbles rising to the surface.

  • Sarandë tours

Read more: Most Beautiful Places in Europe

64 – Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Famous for its iconic castle perched atop a hill and the medieval old town, Edinburgh’s culture-rich city and artistic is one of the most incredible places to visit in the UK.

Enjoy the best panoramic views from Calton Hill or hike the 2.4-mile trail through the ancient volcano up to Arthur’s Seat.

Explore the city’s greatest museums, such as the National Museum or the National Galleries of Scotland, and visit the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the former residence of Scotland’s queens.

There are plenty of fun things to do in Edinburgh, from visiting some of Outlander’s filming locations, to taking this opportunity to explore more of Scotland’s beauty, with a day trip to Loch Ness and the Highlands.

  • Edinburgh tours

See also: Things to do in Edinburgh , Best day trips from Edinburgh , Edinburgh Castle tickets price , Palace of Holyroodhouse tickets price

65 – Bratislava, Slovakia

Bratislava, Slovakia

Not the typical European capital, easily visited in one weekend, the lovely Bratislava offers plenty of significant landmarks to explore.

Explore the city’s charming Old Town, cross the Michael’s Gate and visit the fairy-tale Bratislava Castle.

Admire the art nouveau of The Blue Church, admire the views from the historical Devín Castle and stroll through Bratislava’s best museums.

Save also some time to soak in the local culture, from catching a play at Slovak National Theatre to trying the city’s best cafes and lively bars.

  • Bratislava tours

See also: Things to do in Bratislava

66 – Mycenae, Greece

Mycenae, Greece

Located in eastern Peloponnese, Mycenae, what was once one of the Greek civilization’s major centers, is today one of Greece’s most important archaeological sites.

Quickly visited on a day trip from Athens, with buses running between the two cities, explore the kingdom of the legendary Agamemnon, commander of the Greek forces in the Trojan War.

Cross the famous Lion Gate, the entrance to the fortified town, and visit the Treasury of Atreus, where it’s allegedly the tomb of Agamemnon.

Also, stop by the Archaeological Museum and marvel at the impressive exhibits and artifacts excavated at the site.

  • Peloponnese tours

67 – Salzburg, Austria

Salzburg, Austria

A worldwide famous music center, from the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to the internationally acclaimed annual Salzburg Festival and the greatest operas and orchestral concerts, Salzburg is one of the best cities to visit in Austria.

Relive the iconic Sound of Music with several tours passing through the movie’s filming locations – including tours departing from Vienna and Munich, if you’re only planning to take a day trip.

While in the city, explore one of Europe’s biggest medieval castles, the Hohensalzburg Fortress, wander around Mirabell Palace’s gardens, and admire most of the city’s landmarks at the Old Town, including Salzburg Cathedral and the lively Getreidegasse shopping street.

  • Salzburg tours

See also: Things to do in Salzburg , Best Sound of Music tours in Salzburg

68 – Rhine Falls, Switzerland

Rhine Falls, Switzerland

The largest waterfall in Europe, the massive Rhine Falls are one of the best places to visit in Switzerland, located on the border between Schaffhausen and Zurich.

A great attraction all year round, but the true power of the Rhine Falls is visible during the summer, with the water impressively flowing at 600,000 liters per second.

Just 40 minutes away from Zurich, it’s an excellent destination for a day trip. Start by exploring the lovely villages by the river and marvel at nature’s beauty from the multiple viewing platforms.

For an even more memorable experience, consider taking a boat cruise if visiting between spring to fall.

69 – Oslo, Norway

Oslo, Norway

Frequently overlooked compared to its neighbors, the city of Oslo deserves a place on every traveler’s bucket list, with plenty of fun activities available.

For the history lovers, stop by the Viking Ship Museum and wander around one of Norway’s most impressive Renaissance buildings, the Akershus Fortress.

For those looking for outdoor activities, join a Fjord sightseeing cruise and marvel at the unique landscape, adventure in some hiking in Nordmarka or go skiing at Oslo Winter Park.

Explore the charming Old Town and stop by the main shopping area, Karl Johan street. Tour the Aker Brygge neighborhood, catch a concert at the Oslo Opera House, or relax at a typical Scandinavian floating sauna.

See also: Things to do in Oslo

70 – Blue Lagoon, Iceland

Blue Lagoon, Iceland

One of Iceland’s most famous attractions, the unique Blue Lagoon, is the perfect way to relax on a day trip from Reykjavik – and multiple tours are available, making it very easy to access.

With a unique milky blue shade (due to the high silica concentration in the water), this insta-worthy destination is a great option all year round, with an average temperature of 39 °C at the geothermal pools.

Just remember to book the tickets in advance, considering its broad popularity.

See also: Things to do in Reykjavik , Best day trips from Reykjavik

71 – Corsica, France

Corsica, France

Immediately located above Sardinia , perfectly mixing French and Italian culture, bathed by the warm Mediterranean waters, the island of Corsica is a great European destination for the summer months.

With Corsica’s stunning sandy beaches with crystal clear water, spend the holidays sunbathing and relaxing at the famous Porto-Vecchio or the secret Petit Sperone Beach.

Explore the rich underwater fauna and flora on a diving or snorkeling tour; and adventure through the Bavella Needles or the epic GR20 hiking trail and marvel at Corsica’s landscape.

Take the time to stroll through Bastia Old Harbor, visit the lovely villages of La Balagne, Pigna or Sant’ Antonino, and delight with the best Mediterranean food, it’ll surely be an unforgettable trip.

  • Corsica tours

See also: Things to do in Corsica , Best boat tours in Corsica , Best islands to visit in Europe during Summer

72 – Canyon Matka, Republic of Macedonia

Canyon Matka, Republic of Macedonia

Less than a 30-minute drive from Macedonia’s capital, Skopje, the impressive Canyon Matka is a popular day/half day trip for locals and tourists alike.

Covering about 5.000 hectares, this unique nature getaway offers plenty of outdoor activities, from renting a kayak to taking a boat tour.

Despite the unique landscape, one curiosity about this place is it holds Macedonia’s oldest artificial lake, made in 1938.

With several medieval monasteries and 10 caves, including Vrelo Cave, one of Europe’s deepest underwater caves, it’s one of the best places to visit in Southeast Europe.

73 – Belfast, United Kingdom

Belfast, United Kingdom

The largest city in Northern Ireland and its capital, Belfast, is famous worldwide for being where the RMS Titanic was built.

The Titanic legacy is still solid these days; take this opportunity to learn more about its history at the Titanic Belfast museum and explore the Titanic Quarter.

Just one hour from Belfast lies the Dark Hedges, one of Game of Thrones’ most iconic filming locations. Consider also combining it with a trip to the unique Giant’s Causeway.

During the weekends, stop by the St. George’s Market to taste some local specialties, and don’t forget to visit Belfast Castle.

  • Belfast tours

See also: Things to do in Belfast

74 – Palermo, Italy

Palermo, Sicily, Italy

The lively city of Palermo, in the heart of the Mediterranean, has so many Palaces, churches and landmarks to explore, no wonder why it’s one of Italy’s major cultural hubs.

Start by the iconic Cathedral of Palermo and explore its complex history, then climb to the rooftop for a bird-eye view of the whole city.

Continue to the 9th century Norman Palace and admire the impressive details of the Palatine Chapel, mixing Greek, Arabic and Latin styles, and exhibiting majestic mosaics.

Sunbathe in the best white sand beaches in Sicily, from the famous Mondello Beach to the natural reserve of Isola delle Femmine.

Make the most of your trip with a day tour from Palermo, and explore the remarkable Valley of the Temples, the ruins of Segesta and Mount Etna, Europe’s most active volcano.

  • Palermo tours

See also: Things to do in Palermo , Things to do in Sicily

75 – Warsaw, Poland

Warsaw, Poland

Warsaw is a city of contrasts, from the Warsaw Barbican, one of the remaining historic fortifications, to the views from the 30th-floor terrace at the Palace of Culture and Science; it perfectly blends the past with the modern days.

Explore the colorful Old Town, one of the main historical attractions, have a glimpse of the Polish monarch’s lives both at the Royal Castle and Wilanów Palace.

Delve into the city’s history at the Warsaw Uprising Museum, catch a show at Grand Theatre, one of the most famous opera houses in Europe and embrace Warsaw’s lively nightlife on a Polish vodka tour.

  • Warsaw tours

See also: Things to do in Warsaw

76 – Vienna, Austria

Vienna, Austria

Once the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Vienna is still Austria’s most populated city and one of the best summer destinations in Europe, with plenty of festivals and outdoor activities.

Famous for its ties to Mozart and Beethoven, Vienna is often referred to as the city of music; take this opportunity to catch a classical concert at Peterskirche, Eschenbach Palace, or Musikverein.

Among the most popular landmarks in Vienna is the Schönbrunn Palace, filled with history and immense gardens to explore. Other palaces worth visiting are the Hofburg Imperial Palace, currently home to Austria’s president, and Belvedere Palace, with an impressive art collection.

To absorb all of Vienna’s rich history, consider joining a free walking tour, led by local guides. But don’t overlook the rest of Austria’s wonders, and save some time for a day trip – whether it is to Wachau Valley or Lake Neusiedl, this country won’t disappoint.

  • Vienna tours

See also: Things to do in Vienna , Best day trips from Vienna , Vienna free walking tours

77 – Golden Horn Beach, Croatia

Golden Horn Beach, Croatia

Located in Brac Island, even though not as famous as Hvar and Korčula, lies one of the best beaches in Croatia, the Golden Horn Beach – locally known as Zlatni Rat or Rat Beach.

Bathed by the Adriatic Sea, the stunning white sand beach got its name from the peninsula’s unique arrow-shaped formation of sand, and its crystal clear waters promise to marvel anyone who visits it.

Easily reached on a day trip from Split, this paradisiac beach is the perfect place to sunbathe, scuba dive, and try many watersports such as jetski or windsurfing.

See also: Things to do in Split , Best day trips from Split

78 – Lyon, France

Lyon, France

When people think about French destinations, Lyon is not often what comes to mind, but there are plenty of reasons to visit it, from the world-class gastronomy to its architecture and landmarks.

The Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse, Lyon’s first indoor market, is a mandatory stop for the foodies. Along with St. Antoine Market and La Croix Rousse Market, there’s no shortage of delicious local meals to try.

In the heart of Lyon, stop by the impressive Cathédrale Saint-Jean-Baptiste to marvel at the Gothic architecture, and take a walking tour around the Vieux Lyon District.

For those visiting during the summer, catch the Nuits de Fourvière, an arts and music festival at the Roman theaters, that promises an unforgettable experience.

See also: Things to do in Lyon

79 – Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

When it comes to places to visit in Europe, the Balkans are still gaining popularity, but Sarajevo deserves a place on everyone’s bucket list.

While exploring this budget-friendly European destination, stop by the Baščaršija historical market, admire the 16th century Gazi Husrev-beg Mosque ​and soak in the views from the Yellow Bastion.

However, Sarajevo requires a historical context to understand better the city, with the siege of Sarajevo, the longest in modern warfare, still so recent (1992-1996).

Visit the Sarajevo Tunnel, also known as Tunnel of Hope, built during the siege to allow food, supplies, and humanitarian aid into the city; and check the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

  • Sarajevo tours

See also: Things to do in Sarajevo

80 – Bordeaux, France

Bordeaux, France

Worldwide famous for its vineyards, the cosmopolitan city of Bordeaux is one of the best places to visit in Europe for wine lovers.

After checking La Cité du Vin, embrace the city’s rich cultural heritage, from the Roman Palais Gallien to the Medieval Gates; gothic cathedrals among baroque palaces and more historical monuments than one can count.

Stroll through the iconic Place de la Bourse square, check Bordeaux’s remarkable museums, such as the Museum of Fine Arts, the oldest one, and catch a performance at the Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux.

Explore historical chateaux during the day and, for the ultimate fairytale experience, consider spending the night in a castle.

  • Bordeaux tours

See also: Things to do in Bordeaux

81 – Madeira, Portugal

Madeira, Portugal

Worldwide famous for Cristiano Ronaldo’s home, the subtropical island of Madeira is one of the most beautiful hidden gems in Europe.

Along the African coast, with warm temperatures during the entire year, this is one of the best places to explore rainforests, hike, and enjoy a getaway in nature.

From the Vereda do Areeiro trail, the glass bottom Cabo Girão viewpoint, or watching the sunrise at Pico Ruivo, every spot offers a more breathtaking view than the other.

After all the hiking, cool off at the unique Porto Moniz’s volcanic swimming pools, with crystal clear waters, while marveling at the Atlantic ocean.

Try the Monte Sledge toboggan ride, one of Madeira’s most unique and fun attractions, sliding down the streets on a basket; admire the traditional Santana houses and drink the famous Poncha.

  • Madeira tours

See also: Things to do in Madeira

82 – Alps

Alps Mountains

Europe’s most extensive mountain range, stretching through 8 countries, from France to Slovenia, the Alps are worth visiting for its unique landscape, from crystal clear lakes to dramatic mountains.

In the Italian Alps, one of the most popular attractions is the Dolomites, with the iconic Tre Cime di Lavaredo and its 10 km loop trail, or the beautiful Lago di Braies.

The alps’ higher mountain, Mont Blanc, can be found in the French Alps. The charming Chamonix village, surrounded by mountains, is the place for those looking for a relaxing getaway – and home to one of the best ski resorts in Europe for those looking for a bit of adrenaline.

From hiking to winter sports, the cherry on top of a trip to the Swiss Alps is the scenic Glacier Express 8h ride, from Zermatt to St. Moritz. The unforgettable panoramic train ride is the most comfortable way to travel across the alps and admire its landscape.

In Germany, the Alps can be seen in the Bavaria region, and the best place to admire its higher peak is by the Eibsee lake. The obvious choice to admire the Julian Alps in Slovenia is Lake Bled, but the trails at Triglav National Park are also worth exploring.

The Alps can also be visited in Austria, Monaco and Liechtenstein; choose from skiing and snowboarding to hiking or just relaxing surrounded by nature, and there’s the recipe for a memorable trip.

83 – Vilnius, Lithuania

Vilnius, Lithuania

Charming Lithuania’s capital, filled with history and a strong Jew heritage, Vilnius was once Europe’s largest Jewish center. Consider starting with a free walking tour around the Old Town and Jewish Quarter or the artistic district of Užupis.

Check the 15th century St. Anne’s Church, with its stunning Flamboyant Gothic style, and climb to the Three Crosses Monument for the city’s best views.

There’s plenty to learn about Vilnius’ rich history for those into museums, from the dark Museum of Occupations and Freedom Fights, built in a former KGB headquarters (with a prison where death penalties were executed), to the exhibitions at the Contemporary Art Centre.

  • Vilnius tours

See also: Things to do in Vilnius

84 – Stonehenge, United Kingdom

Stonehenge, United Kingdom

The prehistoric Stonehenge, located in Wiltshire, is one of the UK’s most famous landmarks and easily reached on a day trip from London – taking about 2 hours.

Most of Stonehenge’s fame drifts from the fact that no one knows what those mysterious stones were used for, and there is no lack of theories, from astronomical studies to pagan ceremonies. Still, the most likely one is that it once was a burial ground.

Welcoming millions of visitors per year, the best time to visit it (for fewer crowds) is during weekdays and either in the early morning or sunset.

See also: Stonehenge tours from London

85 – Postojna Cave, Slovenia

Postojna Cave, Slovenia

What says “once in a lifetime experience” more than taking an underground train through a karst cave in Slovenia?

With millions of years of history, carved by the Pivka River, the Postojna Cave is one of Slovenia’s most beautiful natural wonders and lies 46km from Ljubljana.

Save an hour and a half for the cave tours, including the cave presentation by a local guide and the train ride. The tours are also wheelchair accessible and suitable for all kinds of ages.

After marveling at the cave’s 24 km of underground passages and massive halls, accompanied by the magical sound of the water dripping from the stalactites, stop by the world’s largest cave castle, the medieval Predjama Castle.

86 – Budapest, Hungary

Budapest, Hungria

With the iconic Hungarian Parliament Building, Budapest is one of the most photogenic cities in Europe, and a great budget-friendly capital to visit.

Start in the Buda side, exploring the historic Buda Castle, and continue to Fisherman’s Bastion, by the stunning Matthias Church, with the best views over the river and the city.

Cross the Széchenyi Chain Bridge to the Pest side of the river, stop by the Shoes on the Danube Bank and join a free walking tour through the Jewish Quarter.

With rich mineral waters, a trip to Budapest wouldn’t be complete without trying the famous thermal baths, such as Széchenyi or Gellért.

After recharging the energies, consider taking a day trip to the lovely little town by the Danube Bend, Szentendre, or the largest lake in central Europe, Lake Balaton.

  • Budapest tours

See also: Things to do in Budapest , Best day trips from Budapest , Hungarian Parliament tickets price , Budapest free walking tours

87 – Isle of Man

Isle of Man

Between England and Ireland, the small Isle of Man, bathed by the Irish sea, inhabited since 6500 BC, has plenty of history to discover and fun things to do.

The Manx Museum is a must for museum lovers, with unique artifacts from the Island’s Celtic and Viking past.

Delve into Isle of Man’s history at one of the best-preserved medieval castles in the world, Castle Rushen, and consider checking the Peel Castle as well, built by the Vikings.

Sports fans? Plan the trip during The Isle of Man TT, for one of the world’s most thrilling motorcycle races.

And for those looking for a getaway among nature, climb the Snaefell Mountain or walk to the Fairy Bridge. The Isle of Man has something for every kind of traveler.

88 – Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

Welcoming about 1.5 million visitors per year, the Neuschwanstein Castle is one of the most impressive attractions in Germany, easily reached on a day trip from Munich.

Commissioned by King Ludwig II of Bavaria, the castle looks straight from a Disney movie. In fact, the resemblances are not a coincidence, as it served as inspiration for the Sleeping Beauty Castle.

Considered one of the most photographed buildings in the world, check the many viewpoints and get the best shots of it – including the famous shot of the castle atop of the hill, from the Queen Mary’s Bridge, also known as Marienbrücke.

Even though it’s not allowed to photograph inside the castle, it’s also worth taking a tour and exploring its magnificent rooms. Remember to book the tickets in advance, especially if you’re planning to visit during the high season.

See also: Neuschwanstein Castle tickets price

89 – Durmitor, Montenegro

Durmitor, Montenegro

Montenegro is still a hidden gem compared to other European countries, but the Durmitor National Park is a pretty solid reason for it to be added to everyone’s bucket list.

Home to Europe’s largest and deepest canyon, go rafting in the Tara River, or cross the 365m Đurđevića Tara Bridge and admire this green oasis ready to be explored, standing 170m above the ground.

Take the trail to Bobotov Kuk and admire Montenegro’s highest peak views, or check the 18 glacial lakes spread through the park.

The Durmitor National Park is also perfect for some canyoning, mountain biking, or simply enjoying a relaxing nature retreat with a picnic by the lake.

Consider the 1 km zip line at Extreme Zipline Tara, for those looking for some extra adrenaline, reaching a maximum speed of 120 km/h.

90 – Malta & Gozo

Valletta, Malta

A tiny archipelago bathed by the Mediterranean, Malta is located between Sicily and Tunisia, with warm temperatures during the entire year, making it worth visiting even in December for a warm winter break.

Perfectly blending culture with outdoor adventures, visit the Megalithic Temples of Malta, built by the Neolithic inhabitants and among the oldest temples in the world.

Walk along the city walls of the sunny capital, Valletta, admire the interior of the 16th century St. John’s Cathedral, and look out for some Game of Throne’s filming locations around the island.

Get away from the tourist crowds and admire Mdina’s old streets, swim in the crystal clear waters of the Blue Grotto in Qrendi or the St. Peter’s Pool in Marsaxlokk, and take the whole family to Popeye Village.

Off the main island, stop by Gozo to explore its Ancient Cittadella and marvel at the dramatic coastal formations in Dwejra; or snorkel in Comino’s blue lagoon.

  • Malta tours

See also: Things to do in Malta , Best boat tours in Malta & Gozo

91 – Vatnajökull National Park, Iceland

Vatnajökull National Park, Iceland

Moving on to the land of fire and ice, encompassing Europe’s largest glacier, Vatnajökull, the Vatnajökull National Park is a destination for the adventurous.

From hiking to snowmobiling or even kayaking in a glacier, Vatnajökull National Park is a paradise for outdoor lovers and promises a memorable trip.

For those visiting during wintertime, explore the park’s impressive Ice Caves (that melt during the spring).

See also: Best things to do in Iceland

92 – Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn, Estonia

The charming capital of Estonia, Tallinn, is the country’s major industrial, cultural and financial hub, mixed with a rich history, beautiful architecture and stunning landscapes, making it one of the most beautiful cities to visit in Europe.

Start by exploring the Old Town, one of the world’s best-preserved medieval towns, stroll through its cobblestone streets and try the local restaurants and coffee shops.

From the orthodox Alexandre Nevsky Cathedral, built in a magnificent Russian Revival style, to the historical Toompea Castle, currently housing Estonia’s parliament, most of the attractions can be found in the city’s center.

To explore its surroundings, visit the Kadriorg Palace, built in the massive 70 hectares, Kadriorg Park; or climb to the 21st-floor observation deck at Tallinn TV Tower.

During the summer, when the days get longer, and the pop-up bars start to appear, relax by the coast with a drink in your hand.

  • Tallinn tours

See also: Things to do in Tallinn

93 – Brighton, United Kingdom

Brighton, United Kingdom

With the nickname of London-by-the-Sea, just one hour away from London and with a stunning coastline, the popularity of Brighton among the Londoners spread through the whole world, and the city became famous for its culture, artsy vibe and lively entertainment.

Get a panoramic view 140 meters above the ground from the British Airways i360, enjoy the sun at the Brighton Palace Pier, or learn about the city’s history at the fabulous Royal Pavilion.

With more independent shops than one can count, from the best boutiques to vintage stores, explore the Brighton Open Market and the iconic North Laine to grab a souvenir and satisfy your shopaholic side.

  • Brighton tours

See also: Things to do in Brighton

94 – Þingvellir National Park, Iceland

Þingvellir National Park, Iceland

Also known as Thingvellir National Park, this UNESCO World Heritage site is the ultimate Icelandic experience, filled with natural wonders.

Home to one of the best places to scuba dive in the world, and the only one where it’s possible to swim between two tectonic plates, the Silfra fissure. Or walk between them at Almannagja.

Take also some time to hike through the park’s multiple trails, admiring the park’s landscape, especially to Öxarárfoss Waterfall, one of Iceland’s main attractions, or check the horseback riding trails.

For history lovers, theÞingvellir National Park is also home to the world’s oldest parliaments, Althing, founded in 930.

95 – Champagne, France

Champagne region, France

Also known as the Champagne wine region, this historical province is famous worldwide for its champagne production. The Champagne Trail is the best way to introduce wine enthusiasts to the most prestigious certified wineries.

The best time to visit the Champagne is between April and October, with the busiest season in September, when the grapes are harvested. Take the time to tour vineyards, and don’t overlook the smallest houses for a more authentic and personal experience.

But the region has much more to offer besides tasting the best sparkling white wine in the world. Stop by Reims Cathedral and visit the place where French kings were crowned or visit the Archbishop of Reims’ palace, Palace of Tau.

  • Champagne tours

96 – Zurich, Switzerland

Zurich, Switzerland

Even though it’s considered one of Europe’s most expensive cities, Zürich has a unique charm, with colorful architecture perfectly bending with the lake to create one unforgettable scenery.

Travel back to the medieval times at the Old Town and delve into Switzerland’s finest museums, from the FIFA World Football Museum for the sport’s lovers to the unique Beyer Clock and Watch Museum.

Admire the mountains aboard the Funicular Rigiblick or take a boat tour around the moon-shaped Lake Zürich.

And to enjoy the trip to its fullest, consider taking a day trip, with plenty of fun options available, from the mountain village of Grindelwald to the medieval town of Stein am Rhein, or even visiting one of Europe’s tiniest countries, Liechtenstein.

  • Zürich tours

See also: Things to do in Zurich , Best day trips from Zurich

97 – Verona, Italy

Verona, Italy

Among the most romantic destinations in Europe, Verona is one of the best places to visit for couples, from its picturesque streets and squares, such as Piazza delle Erbe, to the lovely views from Castel San Pietro.

Eternalized by Shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet, several tours take you across the many iconic locations, from the famous balcony at Juliet’s house (La Casa di Giulietta) to Basilica of San Zeno Maggiore.

Tour the ancient Arena of Verona and, for a unique experience, visit during the summer opera festival.

Save some time for a day trip to the impressive Santuario Madonna della Corona, built by a cliff 2000 meters above the sea level, or the iconic Lake Garda.

  • Verona tours

See also: Things to do in Verona

98 – Liverpool, United Kingdom

Liverpool, United Kingdom

The Beatles’ famous hometown, start your Liverpool adventure at The Beatles Story museum, filled with history and objects, from clothes owned by the group to handwritten lyrics.

With one of the world’s most important trading ports, explore Royal Albert Dock, a former major trading center.

Admire the city’s outstanding architecture, from the Cathedral of the Risen Christ to the incredible buildings along the Pier Head. For the sports fans, check the Liverpool FC Museum and take a stadium tour.

Even though the show is set in Birmingham, Liverpool is actually home to plenty of Peaky Blinders filming locations, from Port Sunlight to Falkner Square.

With a lively and diverse nightlife, catch a show at Liverpool’s Royal Court Theatre or grab a drink at the historic Cavern Club; there’s always fun granted in the city.

  • Liverpool tours

See also: Things to do in Liverpool

99 – Valencia, Spain

Valencia, Spain

With a mild climate, futuristic architecture mixed with rich history, delicious food and lively ambiance, Valencia is one of the best places to visit in Europe all year round.

Home to one of Spain’s largest stadiums, sports lovers must include the Mestalla Stadium on their list – and maybe catch a Valencia Football Club’s game there.

Admire the outstanding design of the City of Arts and Sciences and visit Europe’s largest aquarium, Oceanografic. Consider combining the ticket with a visit to the Hemispheric or the Science Museum.

Take a walking tour around the Old Town, visit La Lonja de la Seda, one of the most iconic landmarks in Valencia and delve into the city’s history at the many museums, from the Museum of Fine Arts to the Ceramics Museum.

Taste local tapas at the Central Market, enjoy a fine dinner at Colón Market, and no trip to Valencia would be complete without trying the typical paella.

  • Valencia tours

See also: Things to do in Valencia , Oceanografic Valencia tickets price

100 – Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul, Turkey

With a timeless combination of ancient and modern life, the bustling Istanbul is famous for being the bridge between Europe and Asia.

The main attractions are the Hagia Sophia, with marvelous Byzantine architecture; the Blue Mosque, with outstanding beauty and religious importance; and the Grand Bazaar, one of the world’s largest and oldest covered markets; but there are countless sites to explore.

With European and Asian influences, Istanbul is a paradise for the foodies: from delicious street food to multiple restaurants and cafes to try.

Climb to the Rumelihisarı Fortress for the best views between the two continents, and take this opportunity to catch a ferry to Asia.

Just one hour’s flight away from Istanbul is the magical Cappadocia. Consider taking a day trip to see the fairy chimneys and fly aboard the world-famous hot air balloons.

  • Istanbul tours

See also: Things to do in Istanbul , Cappadocia hot air balloon price , Best places to visit in Turkey

That’s it for the ultimate European bucket list. We hope you’ve enjoyed our selection of the best places to visit in Europe and let us know in the comments what your dream destinations are.

As always, happy travels!

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The Most Beautiful Cities To Visit In Europe

Embark on a journey to europe's most beautiful cities, from the historic charm of prague to the fairytale setting of tallinn..

By: Shubhanjana Das Published: Nov 19, 2023 06:00 PM UTC

The Most Beautiful Cities To Visit In Europe

Set off on a European odyssey to discover the most beautiful cities in Europe. Each destination, from the art-soaked streets of Florence to the architectural marvels of Barcelona, promises a unique enchantment. Wander through Bruges’ fairytale lanes, feel the pulse of Prague’s historic charm, or lose yourself in Dubrovnik’s cinematic beauty.

These cities, steeped in history, offer a palette of experiences. Picture sipping espresso in quaint Florentine cafes, exploring Barcelona’s vibrant cultural hubs, or cruising Bruges’ canals. Whether you crave the romance of Prague’s cobblestone streets or the seaside allure of Dubrovnik , there’s an idyllic European city for every traveller. Dive into the charm, relish the culture, and behold breathtaking vistas — these cities are the epitome of Europe’s allure, promising an unforgettable adventure. Live your unique travel experience in some of the most beautiful cities in Europe.

Best time to visit scenic & beautiful places in Europe

Late March to early June and September to November are ideal if you want to avoid the peak summer crowds and get more out of your buck. Northern Europe is warm May-September; in the South, temperatures reach 36 degrees Celsius in July-August.

Most beautiful and scenic tourist places in Europe

Corfu, greece.

most beautiful cities in europe

In the embrace of the Ionian Sea lies Corfu, a Greek gem steeped in history. Influences from Venetian, French, and English cultures grace the island’s unique architecture, seen in its charming town, palaces, and exquisite beaches. Corfu’s Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, captivates with medieval structures and Venetian-style houses lining labyrinthine alleys. Marvel at landmarks like the bell tower of Saint Spyridon Church and the restored Venetian Town Hall. Corfu’s allure extends to its turquoise waters and silky beaches, framed by wild landscapes. Iconic spots include Panagia Vlacherna Church, Mouse Island, and the magnificent Achillion Palace in Gastouri, which make Greece one of the most beautiful cities in Europe .

How to reach: By air: Corfu International Airport is the busiest airport on the Island

Best places to stay: Corfu Palace Hotel, Grecotel Eva Palace, Ikos Dassia

Best time to explore: April-May, September to November

Book your stay at Ikos Dassia via Booking.com

Book your stay at Ikos Dassia via Agoda.com

Prague, Czech Republic

top 15 european cities to visit

Crowned among the world’s best cities, Prague boasts enchanting architecture, hilltop vistas, and vibrant markets. For an intimate experience, explore Old Town between 6 am and 7 am, immersed in a magical ambiance before the crowds stir. The Czech capital, renowned for ancient wonders, features iconic sites like Old Town Square, the Astronomical Clock, Charles Bridge, Prague Castle, Vysehrad Castle, and the adorned Lennon Wall. The scenic Vltava River invites luxurious cruises, adding to Prague’s allure as one of the most beautiful holiday destinations in Europe.

How to reach: By air: Václav Havel Airport is the nearest airport, 19.6 km away

Best places to stay: Four Seasons Hotel Prague, Hilton Prague Old Town, Mandarin Oriental, Prague

Best time to explore: April-May, September-October

Book your stay at Four Seasons Hotel Prague via Booking.com

Book your stay at Four Seasons Hotel Prague via Agoda.com

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The Most Beautiful Places To Visit In Turkey

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20 Beautiful Places To Visit In France — From Normandy To The French Riviera

Barcelona, spain.

most beautiful cities in europe

Beyond its alluring beaches, Barcelona stands as one of Europe’s premier cities, revealing Gaudi’s masterpieces like Sagrada Familia and Casa Batlló. Wander through hidden architectural wonders such as Sant Pau Recinto Modernista and the Modernista Palace of Catalan Music. Uncover secret bars like Paradiso and elevate your experience at rooftop bars. As the cosmopolitan capital of Catalonia, Barcelona boasts a rich cultural tapestry, showcased in its art galleries, museums, and iconic structures like Sagrada Família. The vibrant nightlife, mesmerising aquarium, and sun-kissed beaches enhance the city’s allure, making it a must-visit among the most beautiful cities in Europe.

How to reach: By air: Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport is the busiest airport in the city

Best places to stay: W Barcelona, Hotel 1898, Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona

Best time to explore: April to June, September-October

Also read – 15 Most Beautiful Places To Visit In Spain

Book your stay at Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona via Booking.com

Book your stay at Mandarin Oriental Barcelona via Agoda.com

Bern, Switzerland

top 15 european cities to visit

Nestled along the Aare River, Bern, Switzerland , stands out as one of Switzerland’s picturesque gems. Its UNESCO-listed Old City boasts charming walkways with stunning views. Don’t miss landmarks like Bern Münster and the iconic Zytglogge clock tower dating back to the 13th century. Rooted in the 12th century, Bern’s medieval architecture thrives in the Altstadt (Old Town), complemented by the shimmering Aare River. Home to the Swiss Parliament and the Neo-Renaissance Bundeshaus, Bern is a captivating blend of history and scenic allure, ranking among the most beautiful places to visit in Europe.

How to reach: By air: EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg is the nearest airport, 103 km away

Best places to stay: Hotel NH Bern The Bristol, Hotel Schlössli Ipsach, Swissôtel Kursaal Berne

Best time to explore: May to October

Book your stay at NH Bern The Bristol via Booking.com

Book your stay at NH Bern The Bristol via Agoda.com

Ljubljana, Slovenia

most beautiful cities in europe

Ljubljana, Slovenia’s capital, beckons with its romantic charm. The Old Town, a pedestrian haven, invites leisurely strolls along the leafy Ljubljanica River. Admire the baroque architecture and the 16th-century Ljubljana Castle perched on a hill. The city, a pinnacle of green living, restricts car traffic, offering a vibrant riverfront scene in summer. Ljubljana Castle, a blend of history and mish-mashed architecture, offers panoramic views. Notable landmarks include the Triple Bridge and Jože Plečnik’s masterpiece, the National and University Library. Prešernov Trg, adorned with the Prešeren monument, stands as an elegant meeting point in this European gem.

How to reach: By air: Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport is the nearest airport, 26.7 km away

Best places to stay: Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Ljubljana, InterContinental Ljubljana, Zlata ladjica Boutique Hotel

Book your stay at Zlata Ladjica Boutique Hotel via Booking.com

Book your stay at Zlata Ladjica Boutique Hotel via Agoda.com

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Bruges, Belgium

top 15 european cities to visit

Bruges , Belgium, a fairytale city with canals and cobbled streets, epitomises medieval charm. The well-preserved old city, constructed from the 12th to 15th centuries, offers a picturesque Markt square for day-long enjoyment. Canals, such as those at Burg Square and Markt Square, enhance the medieval ambience. Marvel at the Belfort Tower and explore the city’s rich art at Groeningemuseum. The climb up the belfry rewards with panoramic views. Bruges, an embodiment of Flemish artistry, is punctuated with dreamy lanes and historic treasures, making it one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.

How to reach: By air: Ostend-Bruges International Airport is the nearest airport, 32.5 km away

Best places to stay: Chambres d’hôtes ” Nuit Blanche ” Guesthouse, Molenmeers Brugge, Boutique Hotel De Castillion

Best time to explore: June to August

Book your stay at Boutique Hotel De Castillion via Booking.com

Book your stay at Hotel de Castillion via Agoda.com

Tallinn, Estonia

most beautiful cities in europe

Tallinn, Estonia, looks straight out of a fairytale, boasting colourful buildings and turreted castles against the Baltic Sea backdrop. The UNESCO-protected historical centre features medieval churches and merchant houses, with Toompea Castle offering stunning city views. Surprisingly vibrant, Tallinn’s Old City showcases pastel-pink houses, gothic spires, and medieval courtyards. Toompea Hill, dominated by a Disney-esque castle and Russian-Orthodox cathedral, is the focal point. Winter, with its snow-covered charm, adds a unique atmosphere to this under-the-radar Baltic gem, making Tallinn one of the most beautiful places in Eastern Europe.

How to reach: By air: Tallinn is the busiest airport in the city

Best places to stay: Hotel Telegraaf, Radisson Collection Hotel, Tallinn, Schlössle Hotel

Best time to explore: June to September

Book your stay at Hotel Telegraaf via Booking.com

Book your stay at Hotel Telegraaf, Autograph Collection via Agoda.com

Bergen, Norway

top 15 european cities to visit

Bergen, Norway’s second-largest city, nestled on the southwestern coast, is a Nordic gem surrounded by snowy mountains and serene fjords. The iconic colourful wooden houses on the historic wharf, framed by the Seven Mountains, create a postcard-perfect setting. The Fløibanen Funicular offers panoramic views from Fløyen Mountain, and despite its small-town charm, Bergen boasts vibrant streets and white-painted buildings. Explore the city’s art galleries, museums, and the renowned fish market, embracing the inevitable rain in one of Europe’s wettest cities. Bergen encapsulates Norway’s scenic allure, making it one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.

How to reach: By air: Bergen Airport is the busiest airport in the city

Best places to stay: Panorama Hotel & Resort, Opus XVI, Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Bergen

Best time to explore: May to August

Book your stay at Opus XVI via Booking.com

Book your stay at Opus XVI via Agoda.com

Dubrovnik, Croatia

most beautiful cities in europe

Dubrovnik, a cinematic marvel, stands as one of Europe’s best-preserved walled cities with limestone streets and a mix of medieval, renaissance, and baroque architecture. The UNESCO-protected Old Town offers terracotta-hued charm and views of pine-studded beaches. A weekend suffices for the main sites, but extending your stay allows island hopping to Elafiti and exploring Lokrum, a serene islet. Avoiding cruise ship crowds, revel in panoramic Adriatic views, visit historical landmarks like St. Blaise Church, and Rector’s Palace, and walk the sublime city walls. Dubrovnik’s enchanting allure makes it one of the most beautiful places in Eastern Europe.

How to reach: By air: Roger Boscovich Airport is the nearest airport, 20.5 km away

Best places to stay: Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik, Villa Anica, Royal Palm Hotel

Book your stay at Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik via Booking.com

Book your stay at Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik Hotel via Agoda.com

Budapest, Hungary

top 15 european cities to visit

Budapest, Hungary’s captivating capital, boasts some of Europe’s finest Art Nouveau architecture. The city, divided by the scenic Danube River, offers ancient landmarks like the Széchenyi Chain Bridge, Buda Hill, Matthias Church, and the Fisherman’s Bastion. Castle Hill, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, crowns the city with medieval wonders and cave networks. The Great Synagogue, the world’s largest outside NYC, showcases both Romantic and Moorish design, while St. Stephen’s Basilica, Hungary’s holiest Catholic church, holds the revered relic of King St. Stephen’s mummified hand. The iconic Parliament, an Imre Steindl masterpiece, with 691 ornate rooms, stands proudly along the Danube. Budapest, a treasure trove of history and architecture, ranks among the most beautiful places in Europe, especially in October.

How to reach: By air: Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport is the busiest airport in the city

Best places to stay: Emerald Hotel & Suites, Hilton Budapest, Aquaworld Resort Budapest

Best time to explore: March to May, September to November

Book your stay at Hilton Budapest via Booking.com

Book your stay at Hilton Budapest via Agoda.com

Florence, Italy

most beautiful cities in europe

Florence, Italy, stands unparalleled in history, art, and architecture, boasting Renaissance wonders like the iconic Santa Maria del Fiore and Basilica of Santa Maria Novella. Adored by history enthusiasts and couples, Florence, the capital of Italy in the Tuscany region, gained fame through the movie “Inferno.” Home to the renowned Uffizi Gallery, Florence treasures Italian Renaissance art, including Botticelli masterpieces. The city’s striking landmarks also encompass the Basilica di Santa Maria Novella and the iconic Duomo with Brunelleschi’s cupola. The Medici Chapels and Boboli Gardens further enrich Florence’s cultural tapestry, making it a must-visit among the most beautiful places in Western Europe.

How to reach: By air: Amerigo Vespucci Airport is the busiest airport in the city

Best places to stay: Palazzo Montebello Firenze, Hotel Brunelleschi, Grand Hotel Cavour Florence

Best time to explore: May to September

Also read – 25 Best Things To Do In Florence, Italy

Book your stay at Palazzo Montebello via Booking.com

Book your stay at Palazzo Montebello via Agoda.com

(Hero image credit: DaLiu/Shutterstock, feature image credit: Tatyana Vyc/Shutterstock)

Related: 25 Most Beautiful Places In Europe — From Colourful Small Towns To Secret Beaches

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

– Which European cities are known for their beauty and charm? Paris, Florence, Prague, and Barcelona, among others.

– What makes Santorini, Greece, a must-visit destination in Europe? Stunning sunsets, white-washed buildings, and Aegean Sea views.

– Why is the Amalfi Coast in Italy considered one of the most beautiful places in Europe? Cliffside villages, azure waters, and dramatic coastal scenery.

– What makes Plitvice Lakes in Croatia a beautiful natural attraction in Europe? Cascading waterfalls, crystal-clear lakes, and lush greenery.

– Why are the Swiss Alps a popular destination for nature lovers in Europe? Majestic peaks, pristine landscapes, and amazing outdoor adventures.

– What are the key attractions in the Scottish Highlands that make it a beautiful destination? Lochs, rugged landscapes, castles, and Ben Nevis mountain.

– What are the must-visit landmarks in Venice, Italy? St. Mark’s Basilica, Grand Canal, and Doge’s Palace.

– What are some iconic sites in Paris, France, that make it a beautiful city in Europe? Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, and Notre Dame Cathedral.

– Why is Prague, Czech Republic, known for its beauty and historic charm? Old Town Square, Charles Bridge, and Prague Castle.

– What are some scenic attractions in Barcelona, Spain? Gaudi’s architecture, Gothic Quarter, and vibrant street life.

– What are the visa requirements to visit European destinations? Indian passport holders must obtain a Schengen visa to enter any European country in the Schengen Zone.

  • places to visit in europe

Shubhanjana Das

Shubhanjana Das

An English Major, Shubhanjana is an independent culture and lifestyle journalist with extensive experience in fashion and travel writing. Her bylines have appeared in Vogue, Vice, FirstPost, and Mint Lounge, among others. She is a wannabe wine-taster and given the chance, wants to travel for a living and treats true crime podcasts like her lullaby. .. Read More An avid reader, Shubhanjana loves reading magic realism and surrealism literature. Read Less

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  • Winter Vacations

20 Best European Cities to Visit in the Winter, According to Travel Experts

Holiday markets and twinkling lights are calling you to these European destinations.

top 15 european cities to visit

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The draw to Europe in the summer may be strong, but winter tends to be even better — particularly for travelers who don’t fare well in the heat or in large crowds. Apart from the peak holiday season, most cities in Europe tend to free up from tourists during the winter. “For me, traveling around Europe in the off-season, and specifically during winter, opens a whole new world of travel,” says Kayla Zeigler, owner of Destination Europe, LLC . “Way less crowds, lower hotel pricing, cooler weather… and more space to roam and take in all that Europe has to offer.”

Before embarking on your trip, however, there are a few things to be aware of. “Days get shorter during the winter season, which means less daylight for sightseeing. I recommend planning your activities accordingly and being mindful of opening and closing times for attractions and shops,” says Lydia Forte, group director of food and beverage at Rocco Forte Hotels . Weather-wise, your packing list and itinerary will depend on where you’re going. The temperatures in Nordic and Central European cities can reach well below freezing — allowing for picturesque snowy scenes and excellent skiing —  while Southern Europe (which includes Croatia, Italy, Portugal, and Malta) promises more sunshine and moderate temperatures. 

Meet the Expert

  • Kayla Zeigler owns Destination Europe, a travel agency that specializes in European vacations. 
  • Lydia Forte is the group director of food and beverage at Rocco Forte Hotels, a luxury hotel brand with over a dozen properties across Europe. 
  • Susan Boehnstedt is president of Critics Choice Vacations, an affiliate of Montecito Village Travel, a Virtuoso agency.
  • Tesa Totengco is the founder of Travels with Tesa and a member of Travel + Leisure ’s Travel Advisory Board.

According to Susan Boehnstedt, president of Critics Choice Vacations , you’ll want to start thinking about your trip as soon as possible. “Weather and delays are always possible… [so] additional planning, patience, and perseverance may be required.” That said, the first step in the process is picking out where you want to go — whether you’re interested in Edinburgh’s Christmas markets, Vienna’s opulent balls, or pleasant walks along Las Ramblas in Barcelona. 

Read on to discover 20 of the best European cities to visit in the winter, according to travel experts.

Nuremberg, Germany

romrodinka/Getty Images

Boehnstedt recommends heading to Nuremberg for the “amazing Christmas markets, musical festivals, and overall festive spirit and atmosphere in the charm of Bavaria.” It will be cold, so travelers should bundle up to explore the charming city — a glass of mulled wine while browsing the famed Christkindlesmarkt, one of Germany’s oldest fairs, helps, too.  

Istanbul, Turkey

Fajrul Islam/Getty Images

“Istanbul's unique blend of history, culture, and stunning architecture is enchanting year-round. In winter, you can explore iconic landmarks like the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque with fewer crowds,” says Tesa Totengco , founder of Travels with Tesa . 

London, England

Karl Hendon/Getty Images

“As Christmas approaches, London transforms into a winter wonderland, adorned with captivating city lights, beautifully decorated shops, and many excellent dining choices,” says Forte. Enjoy an afternoon walking through the brightly lit Kew Gardens, or tuck into a Sunday roast at one of the nearby pubs after a long walk through Hampstead Heath. “The weather, while cold, usually is snow-free, so it makes it easier to get about,” adds Boehnstedt.  

Edinburgh, Scotland

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“If you like moody skies and cozy corners in coffee shops, Edinburgh is the place to visit during the winter months,” says Zeigler. Expect cold weather and shorter days — the sun sets before 4 p.m. in December — but there’s still plenty to enjoy in the Scottish capital. “Keep warm with a wee dram, cozied up next to a roaring fire in any of Edinburgh’s iconic luxury hotels ,” says Zeigler. 

Valletta, Malta

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Snow-capped mountains and excursions requiring multiple layers aren’t for everyone. Thankfully, Europe has other options — one of which is Valletta, Malta. “Malta boasts a mild Mediterranean climate, even in winter. You can explore [Valletta’s] rich history, architecture, and vibrant culture without the scorching summer heat,” says Totengco.

Bath, England

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A winter’s day in Bath is best spent browsing its various quaint bookstores, indulging in afternoon tea, soaking in the famed waters of the Thermae Bath Spa, and popping into one of the city’s oldest pubs, Saracens Head or The Star Inn. For a more festive touch, add ice skating at Royal Victoria Park and picking up gifts at the Bath Christmas Market to your day’s activities. 

Paris, France

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It’s true what they say: There’s never a bad time to visit Paris. As fall transitions into the colder months, the City of Light becomes extra cozy and even more romantic. “The museums are empty and are amazing places to have to yourself on a rainy or chilly day. Paris’ famous street cafés are still functioning in winter… with heat lamps and warm furry blankets — perfect for people watching and sipping a glass of wine (or a hot chocolate),” says Zeigler. “And, of course, the lower hotel prices can’t be beat this time of year.”

Related : Why Paris in Winter Is Always a Good Idea — and What to Do While You're There

Dubrovnik, Croatia

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Given its status as a UNESCO World Heritage City, it’s no surprise that Dubrovnik is popular with tourists, especially in the summer. In the winter, though, you won’t have to fight for the best views of the iconic sights — the City Walls, the Cable Car, and the Dubrovnik Cathedral. Your trip may also fall during the Dubrovnik Winter Festival , featuring concerts, festive lights, and markets.

Rovaniemi, Finland

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Winter is the ideal time to visit the “official hometown of Santa Claus.” “Rovaniemi, the capital of Finnish Lapland , is known for its Santa Claus Village, where one can meet Santa Claus himself. Here, you can also enjoy activities like reindeer safaris, dog sledding, and witnessing the northern lights from your unique igloo accommodation ,” says Totengco.

Málaga, Spain

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“Located on the Costa del Sol, Málaga offers a pleasant climate where you can still enjoy outdoor activities, explore historic sites like the Alcazaba, [visit the] neighboring towns of Ronda and Seville, and enjoy delicious Spanish cuisine in a relaxed atmosphere,” says Totengco. Temperatures typically range from the mid-50s to low 70s, and there the sun provides a much-needed dose of vitamin D.

Reykjavík, Iceland

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You’ll only have a few hours of daylight in Reykjavík this time of year, but winter is also your best chance to see the northern lights in Iceland. Consider taking a boat tour out of Reykjavík Old Harbor, or use the city as your base camp before heading off on a longer excursion. To shake the cold, take a dip in the nearby Sky Lagoon, where the waters are typically around 100 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Related: How to See the Northern Lights in Iceland

Rome, Italy

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Rome’s peak season comes to a close in November, so travelers have December through March to enjoy the capital city’s quieter side. Before or after a day of shopping and sightseeing, Forte recommends grabbing pizza from Emma or getting a table at Roscioli for lunch. We think pasta and pizza sound like the perfect way to warm up from a chilly walk.

Lucerne, Switzerland

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As temperatures fall below freezing, the cities and towns in the Swiss Alps — like Lucerne — beckon to winter sports enthusiasts, as well as those who want an extra large helping of alpine charm. “Snow sports in the mountains may likely be very possible. Plan a day tour on one of the Swiss scenic trains across the winter wonderland,” says Boehnstedt. Lucerne is also a great option for international travelers, as it’s just a quick 40-minute train ride from Zurich. 

Lisbon, Portugal

Gautier Houba/Travel + Leisure

Lisbon’s sunshine is part of its appeal, even in the winter. Depending on the day, you may only need a light or medium-weight jacket as you walk up and down the many hills, through the cobbled streets, and by the tiled buildings of the Alfama district. Compared to summer, this time of year is significantly more pleasant for on-foot exploration — but don’t forget to hop on a yellow tram at least once or twice. 

Barcelona, Spain

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According to Zeigler, in Barcelona , “one of Europe’s largest and busiest cruise port cities,”  winter means getting a break from the crowds created by cruises. “Imagine walking directly into the Sagrada Familia with no long line! Strolling and exploring are more pleasant; restaurants are less crowded,” she says. Outdoor swimming may be a no-go, but travelers can still bask in the rays along the oceanfront promenade. 

Venice, Italy

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“On a sunny winter day, Venice is pure magic! With the city's new floodgates almost fully working now, hardly any high water (Aqua Alta) affects Venice anymore,” says Zeigler. And, as with most European cities in the off-season, it will be easier to navigate your way through the compact city without the staggering number of summer travelers. “Winter is the perfect time to visit the big sites, as you can get tickets and don’t have to do the ridiculous queues,” says Forte. Check off all the classics, including the Piazza San Marco, the Bridge of Sighs, Doge's Palace, and Forte’s personal favorite, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

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Amsterdam might not be the first European destination you think of when planning winter travel, but it has its own brand of magic this time of year.  “When it stays cold enough, long enough, the many canals of Amsterdam become a giant outdoor skating rink,” says Zeigler. This event is rare — and becoming increasingly so — but there are other sides of Amsterdam to explore as well. Bring a book or a good friend to one of the city’s many coffee shops and pubs, complete with “winter lights and cozy nooks,” she adds. 

Nice, France

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You won’t be frequenting Nice’s beach clubs this time of year, but there’s still beauty to be found in the waterfront city; you just have to know where to look. Get your steps in by walking up Castle Hill, a feat rewarded with an incredible view, or spend a day meandering through the narrow streets of Old Town. Schedule permitting, take a day trip to Monaco, or explore one of the many small towns in the French Riviera . 

Florence, Italy

Those visiting Florence in the winter might not see any snow, but they’ll have the gift of lower hotel prices, fewer fellow travelers, and the option to go truffle hunting. “This time of year is when truffles are in season,” says Forte, who shares that guests of Hotel Savoy — named one of the best hotels in Florence by T+L readers — can book a truffle excursion via a vintage car. “The experience is especially extraordinary as guests can enjoy stunning views of the Ponte Vecchio, Piazzale Michelangelo, and San Miniato along their drive before heading into the Tuscan hills on their search for truffles,” she explains. 

Vienna, Austria

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Get out your dancing shoes and black-tie attire: Winter is ball season in Vienna. Viennese balls are open to the public, so travelers just have to find one that aligns with their trip and buy tickets — and don’t worry, there are quite a few to choose from. Not sure where to start? Bookmark the Vienna Philharmonic Ball in January, or the Vienna State Opera Ball in February.

top 15 european cities to visit

The 10 Best European Cities to Visit or Live In

I n these days of digital nomadism and working remotely, a list of Europe's best cities has even greater value-and this annual ranking by Resonance , a consultancy group in real estate, tourism, and economic development that AFAR has partnered with for several years, has the most thorough, holistic approach around.

"It's not just best city to live, it's not just best city to work, or best city to visit," said Chris Fair, president and CEO of Resonance Consultancy. "It's taking a cross section of all those factors." In 2024, Resonance updated its metrics to focus on three key areas-livability, lovability, and prosperity-that cover everything from GDP to housing affordability, green spaces to nightlife, and even a city's social media presence, all in a painstaking effort to paint a more comprehensive picture of Europe's best urban centers.

This year's list of Europe's 100 best cities (we'll excerpt the top 10 below) considered 180 metropolitan centers with a population of 500,000 or more. Looking for some "spin the globe" inspiration for where to go next? You'll find it here, from Aachen to Bratislava to Zurich.

How the best city rankings work

Livability: This category measures the quality of a place's environment, both natural and built. Subcategories include walkability (the city's walkability score on Walk Score), airport connectivity (the number of direct destinations served by the city's airports), and higher education (the QS Rankings score of the top local university).

Lovability: The lovability pillar considers the vibrancy and quality of a city, as well as how much it inspires residents, businesses, and visitors to promote it. This includes culture (number of quality performing arts and cultural experiences recommended by locals and visitors according to Tripadvisor.com ), shopping (number of quality shopping experiences recommended by locals and visitors according to Tripadvisor.com ), and number of Instagram hashtags.

Prosperity: The prosperity pillar measures the strength of a city's human capital. Subcategories include educational attainment (percentage of the population with a bachelor's degree or higher), Fortune Global 500 companies (number of Fortune Global 500 corporate headquarters), convention center size (size of the largest convention center in a city), and poverty rate (percentage of the population living below the national poverty line).

Despite the continental pandemic recovery, urban populations across Europe are dealing with fresh crises: economic, environmental, and humanitarian. "Russia's invasion of Ukraine has scarred our rankings for the second year in a row," says Fair. "In our view, no city can be a ‘Best City' if it is part of a country that is taking unprovoked action against another, and we have, once again, disqualified Moscow, St. Petersburg, and all other Russian cities from this year's report."

Here's how Europe's best cities ranked in the 2024 report, released March 5, 2024:

1. London, England

Rankings: No. 1 in Culture and Educational Attainment

*also World's Best City of 2024

"London is rarely quiet these days," says Resonance. Most of the Tube's lines now run at its pre-pandemic cadence, with added metro stops like Bond Street's Elizabeth station, opened in October 2022. Thanks to policies that give the United Kingdom the lowest corporate tax rate among G7 countries, London's resilience has been "buoyed by a sinking currency that has attracted investment and, of course, previously priced-out tourists. And new residents . . . who can now afford to check off a big item on the multi-millionaire bucket list: property in the planet's most coveted city," Resonance says.

Why we love it: London's main sights might date back millennia, but the capital's shops, bars, hotels, and restaurants continue to evolve on an almost weekly basis. Whether you're outdoorsy, hungry, or bringing a family in tow, there's a distinct London neighborhood to investigate -and it will likely look different from your last visit. For new hotel options , there's everything from the much-anticipated Raffles London at the OWO to the sustainability-meets-luxury–inspired 1 Hotel Mayfair .

Plan your next trip with AFAR's Guide to London.

2. Paris, France

Rankings: No. 1 in Sights/Landmarks and Global Fortune 500 companies

*Holding at no. 2

"The city remains the most visited on the planet, with 44 million visitors last year," Resonance says. "Good thing Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport used the past three years of lower volume to invest €250 million into a renovation of Terminal 1. Reopened this year, it now has a colossal junction building and a central lobby full of the latest tech to improve the traveler experience. Rail access and infrastructure are also unprecedented. A seven-hour direct Berlin-to-Paris TGV line launches next year, with more ambitious directs like the Venice-to-Paris Midnight Trains coming in 2025. No matter how they arrive, what Paris visitors new and returning will find is a city that has codified pedestrianism and alfresco living."

Why we love it: As Paris gears up for the 2024 Olympics, it's only improving. Better infrastructure, a commitment to pedestrians, and luxurious hotels add to a city we love for its world-class art, shopping, and global cuisine.

Plan your next trip with AFAR's Guide to Paris.

3. Berlin, Germany

Rankings: Startups (3), Culture (4), Nightlife (5)

*Up from No. 7

No surprise here: Berlin ranked in the top five for Culture, Museums, and Nightlife, attracting visitors and residents alike with its "raw, unabashed urbanity and self-expression," says Resonance. It has been a haven for Ukraine refugees as well as entrepreneurs looking to set up shop: According to Berlin Startup Map, the city currently has about 4,400 startups. "The talent is also attracting massive domestic and foreign investment into the city and its suburbs."

Why we love it: Two major museums have moved into the new Humboldt Forum in the heart of the city: the Ethnological Museum and the Museum of Asian Art. A dozen other museums are set to open or have opened, with collections ranging from the world of the samurai to video games. Bonus: The European Sleeper night train (with lie-flat beds in cabins) now connects Berlin and Brussels via Amsterdam . It gets you from Berlin to Brussels in less than 12 hours.

Plan your next trip with AFAR's Guide to Berlin.

4. Rome, Italy

Rankings: Restaurants (1 - tie), TripAdvisor reviews (2)

*Up from No. 8

"Few cities serve up the ability to walk Western history like Roma," says Resonance, and "declarations of love for the city have multiplied with social media channels, of course, and Rome trails only London and Paris in our important Promotion category, including No. 2 for TripAdvisor Reviews. Mix in underrated parks and greenways (Rome ranks no. 8 in our Outdoors subcategory) and its thousands of portals back in time (Sights and Landmarks rank in the Top 3 in Europe) and it's easy to see how Rome remains an urban treasure."

Why we love it: Rome landed on AFAR's " Where to Go in 2024 " list thanks to an influx of top-tier hotels, amenities, and restaurants. As Laura Itzkowitz reported , "Anantara is one of several hotel brands imbuing the city with a more international flair. Just in 2023, InterContinental , Bulgari , Edition , and Six Senses each debuted new properties in Rome. In the pipeline: hotels by Four Seasons , Rosewood , Nobu , and more. "Rome is coming out of a crazy year full of visitors and openings," says Elisa Valeria Bove, CEO of the private tour company Roma Experience . "Before, people stayed in Rome for two or three days. Now people stay five, six days, or even a week."

Plan your next trip with AFAR's Guide to Rome.

5. Madrid, Spain

Rankings: Restaurants (1 - tie), Culture (3)

*Up from No. 6

"Madrid, sometimes overlooked for Barcelona's beaches and parties, is confidently telling its story these days," says Resonance. "Perhaps the biggest news is Madrid's beautiful measures to combat climate change and pollution, by way of a 76-kilometre urban forest network with nearly half a million new trees. . . . This ‘green wall' is projected to help absorb 175,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. The new Santander Park is an instant citizen and visitor destination (that used to be a golf course)."

Why we love it: On both our radar and Resonance's are more than 20 new hotels and nearly 100 restaurants that have opened, or will open, in an already culture-rich city bouncing back from the pandemic in a big way-and in a conscientious way, reports Resonance: "Many of the high-end hotels are committed to reuse-from the Madrid Edition by Marriott International, housed in the old Monte de Piedad de Madrid building, to the stunning Metrópolis building's new life as a boutique hotel, spa, private club and home of multiple restaurants."

Plan your next trip with AFAR's Guide to Madrid .

6. Prague, Czechia

Rankings: Poverty Rate (1), Attractions (2)

*New to the top 10

"Pandemic lockdowns broke the overtourism wave that was cresting over Prague's beguiling Gothic streets, allowing the city to implement resident-first policies and maintain a sense of ownership. It's a massive job in any city, much less one that threads the needle as one of the world's rare urban centres that ranks in the Top 10 in both our overall Livability (#7) and Lovability (#8) indices. Still, over the past 18 months, city leaders made long-lasting decisions to ensure that Prague's #3-ranked Museums (ahead of places like Berlin, Rome, and Madrid) and Attractions (which trail only London) remain accessible to the citizens who supported local when tourism didn't." Thanks to Prague's youthfulness (university students from around the world descend here annually), much of the fun is affordable-and poverty rates are the lowest on the list.

Why we love it: Prague is complex and unfiltered in the best possible way. Step back in time to the city's Bohemian past-the Old Town Square, St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague Castle, the romantic Charles Bridge-before visiting the somber memorial to its Communist rule. Prague seems to bask in modern optimism, as evidenced by such landmarks as Frank Gehry's Dancing House Hotel and DOX Centre for Contemporary Art.

Plan your next trip with AFAR's Guide to Prague.

7. Barcelona, Spain

Rankings: Restaurants (1 - tied), Nightlife (2)

*Down from No. 4

Barcelona is an almost ideal European city, with great weather year-round and "era-spanning neighborhoods that are destinations at all hours," says Resonance. The big news this year is that Gaudi's La Sagrada Familia is nearly finished (!), and the city "just opened its €50-million Consell de Cent, 21 pedestrianised blocks that used to be a four-lane cross-town street, part of what is being called a ‘green axis' urban park in an area popular with both locals and visitors."

Why we love it: This Spanish city is home to miles and miles of beaches , iconic parks, and Gaudí's iconic architectural landmarks . But we could just as easily get lost in El Born and the Gothic Quarters' labyrinths, looking for dumplings or the best Catalan restaurant.

Plan your next trip with AFAR's Guide to Barcelona.

8. Amsterdam, Netherlands

Rankings: Labor Force Participation (3), Startups (5)

*Down from No. 3

Amsterdam continues to be a city to keep an eye on, with its evolution "led by visionary mayor Femke Halsema (literally: she's also a filmmaker), the first non-interim female mayor in the city's history," says Resonance. "Her administration's practical stewardship of a place (and citizens) often abandoned to the tourist euro is co-authoring a future of accountability by everyone who calls the magnetic Dutch capital home."

Why we love it : With nonstop flights from most U.S. cities, Amsterdam's easy accessibility-and beautiful canals and world-class museums-make it a popular stop for any Euro trip. In addition to its top-notch cultural offerings, Amsterdam is on the forefront of sustainable tourism. In 2018, one hospitality company started to repurpose Amsterdam's out-of-use bridge houses into charming stand-alone hotel rooms , and by 2030 all gas and diesel cars will be banned from the city.

Plan your next trip with AFAR's Guide to Amsterdam.

9. Istanbul, Türkiye

Rankings: Restaurants (1 - tie), Airport Connectivity (3)

"The ancient collision between Europe and Asia radiates in Türkiye's (and Europe's) largest city. It's why the city is among the most beguiling for its sense of place, inside and out. Its Top 10 Sights and Landmarks ranking, as well as its impressive No. 4 spot in our Outdoors subcategory, will improve due to the extensive renovations completed for the Turkish Republic's centennial in October 2023."

Why we love it: Know someone who mentioned visiting Istanbul in 2023? We're not surprised. Following a devastating earthquake in southeastern Türkiye in February 2023, the nation (and an active tourism arm) has rallied to make the country-and, by extension, its global hub, Istanbul-the most visited destination of 2023 . It helps that Istanbul has one of the best new airports in the world (IST). A recently reborn Galataport waterfront district-running a mile along the sparkling Bosporus Strait-now has an underground cruise terminal and high-end restaurants and hotels, including the much-celebrated Peninsula Istanbul.

Plan your next trip with AFAR's Guide to Istanbul.

10. Milan, Italy

Rankings: Biking (4), EV Charging Stations (5)

"The birthplace of Armani, Versace and dozens of other megawatt icons is no longer content with being Europe's fashion and design center. Or even Italy's financial heart. Milan is driven, as always, by its entrepreneurial hunger and is increasingly fueled by wealthy newcomers. This strategic proximity to other European capitals and alpine resorts pulling in the global elite also won the city the 2026 Olympic Winter Games and a rush of development that includes a long-awaited train link between Milan Bergamo Airport and the centro."

Why we love it: Milan is incandescent-an extension of the creative spirit imbued here for centuries. It's a city fully immersed in culture. Whether the art of the aperitivo , the spectacular art scene, or an amazing panorama of architecture that spans styles and millennia, Milan is an oasis of style, art, and architecture.

Plan your next trip with AFAR's Guide to Milan .

To see the full list of Europe's 100 best cities, visit worldsbestcities.com. Read on for the best cities in the U.S.

Laura Dannen Redman is AFAR's editor at large. She's an award-winning journalist who can't sit still and has called Singapore, Seattle, Australia, Boston, and the Jersey Shore home. She's based in Brooklyn with her equally travel-happy husband and daughters.

Easy to identify, easy to love: London sits atop the Resonance rankings of Europe's best cities.

Globe Gazers

15 Best Places in Europe for Solo Travel in 2024

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Looking for the best places in Europe for solo travel?

As a frequent solo traveler myself, I’ve got you covered on discovering the best places to travel in Europe alone. In my experience, Europe is one of the very best continents for solo travel. Not only does it boast some magical cities, but the vast majority are extremely safe for solo travelers.

You’ll also find plenty of amazing settings and locations to choose from that you’ll love no matter your travel style. Whether you’re after fascinating cities bursting with culture, incredible rural scenery or the most beautiful beaches – European destinations tick many boxes. 

Planning a trip? Use  my favorite resources:

  • Accommodations:  booking.com
  • Travel Insurance:  SafetyWing
  • Tours & Excursions:  Viator
  • Flights:  Skyscanner
  • City Pass:  Go City
  • eSim:   Airalo

15 Best Solo Travel Destinations in Europe

Ready to plan your solo trip ? Then check out the best places in Europe for solo travel in 2024!

1. Florence, Italy

view of the old bridge over Arno river in Florence italy

Known as the birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence is a city that’s overflowing with history, culture and art. It’s a beautiful city that’s one of the most romantic places in Italy – but it’s not just for couples!

Like most cities in Italy, this is a destination that’s packed with stunning landmarks and architecture. Florence Cathedral is absolutely gorgeous and the city’s gardens are the perfect spot for a solo stroll in summer. 

Florence also has some of the best museums and galleries to explore, including the Uffizi Gallery and Accademia Gallery, which is where you can see Michelangelo’s David. 

As a walkable and compact city, Florence is the perfect place for a slower-paced solo getaway. You’ll also find some of Italy’s best foodie spots in Florence so it’s ideal if all you want to do is indulge and live the Dolce Vita lifestyle.

🏨 Where to stay: Hotel Calimala

2. Lisbon, Portugal

Travel writer posing, seated, in front of Pena Palace in Sintra Portugal

If you’re worried about safety traveling alone in Europe (especially as a female solo traveler), Lisbon is a great capital city to consider. Widely seen as one of the safest major cities in Europe, Lisbon is artsy, vibrant and amazing to explore. 

Recently, Lisbon has become a lot more popular with backpackers and digital nomads thanks to being one of the more affordable destinations in Western Europe.

This also means there’s a lot going on socially for those who want to travel solo to Lisbon but still have a chance to meet new people. You’ll find many cool hostels, bars and nightlife scenes to join. 

There’s lots to take in – from the cute, cobblestoned neighborhood of Alfama to the UNESCO attractions of Belém.

There’s also plenty for culture lovers with street art and gorgeous architecture, as well as markets and a great foodie scene. If you have extra time, a day trip to Sintra is also well worth it.

🏨 Where to stay: Hotel Da Baixa  

Hallgrimskirkja church in Iceland

Despite being easy to reach from both Europe and the Eastern US, Iceland feels like a faraway fairytale land. If you’re after a unique setting for a solo adventure, not many places in Europe compare. I visited Iceland in October over a long weekend and had an incredible experience.

Known as one of the world’s safest countries, Iceland is a perfect choice for solo travelers in any season . There’s also an incredible choice of things to see and is ideal for a back-to-nature getaway. 

From waterfall and geyser tours to hiking and chasing the Northern Lights , there are so many bucket list experiences in Iceland. If you want solitude, you could rent a car and explore the Golden Circle on a self-drive solo vacation. 

Or, you could join a group tour or take organized day trips to the country’s key attractions. There’s so much to fill your time that it will be an unforgettable, bucket list vacation.

🏨 Where to stay: Reykjavik Residence Hotel

4. Copenhagen, Denmark

Nyhavn houses in Copenhagen behind bike riders

Copenhagen has become one of Europe’s trendiest destinations. It’s known for its cool, laid-back hygge vibes, tasty pastries and photogenic settings. 

As one of the safest cities on the continent, it’s one of the best places for solo travel in Europe. It’s also a walkable city and easy to navigate. 

So if you’re looking for a relaxing and leisurely city break, this could be the perfect destination for you.

When you’re not hopping from bakeries to cozy cafes sampling Danish treats, you can visit the colorful Nyhavn waterfront district, jump on a boat tour or cycle your way around the city. 

If you travel in season , you can also visit the famous Tivoli Gardens – an amusement park in the city center that offers something for every type of traveler.

🏨 Where to stay: Andersen Boutique Hotel

5. Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona city

Barcelona is another great solo travel destination in Europe. On a solo trip to Barcelona you can explore architecture that is renowned around the world, explore artsy neighborhoods, join in on the nightlife scene and feast on tapas. 

While Barcelona is a popular tourist destination, you can still cater your experience of the city to be more unique by getting off the beaten path . 

With its combination of beach life, city life and museum scene you’ll have plenty to explore in this famous Spanish city . 

🏨 Where to stay: Petit Palace Boqueria Garden

6. Paris, France

View of buildings along the Seine in Paris

Sure, many consider Paris a city fit for romance. It certainly can be that, but as someone who has frequently solo traveled to Paris I can assure you it’s just as fun on your own. 

You can follow my own solo Paris trip itinerary or curate one based even more on your own tastes. It’s possible to visit all of the typical tourist attractions in Paris solo without feeling out of place, as the areas are always busy anyway.

Find a bit of peace with a solo sit near Trocadero, looking up at the Eiffel Tower from the grassy surroundings. 

Wander aimlessly through the streets of Montmartre. Enjoy a sunset river cruise as you learn about the city. Romanticize your relationship with yourself in the city of lights. You can even book a solo travel photography session like I did.

If you’re wondering how safe Paris is , simply follow the typical safety best practices you’d follow in any big city – avoid dark, empty streets alone at night and keep a close eye on your belongings. 

🏨 Where to stay: Elysées Ceramic 

7. Rome, Italy 

top 15 european cities to visit

Ah, Roma. 

Rome is one of my personal favorite cities in Europe and I have plenty of Rome tips to share from my travels there. I’ve traveled to Rome many times, both solo and not, and have loved every experience. 

Despite its oft-chaotic, gritty city feel at times I’ve always felt perfectly safe in Rome . While there are areas I’d avoid being out alone in at night, that’s true of really any city I travel to. 

Rome is bustling with life and energy at all hours, and especially if you stay near the city center you’ll never feel alone. 

Whether you visit on a solo trip or not, Rome is worth seeing at some point in your travels. 

🏨 Where to stay: Kolbe Hotel

8. Crete, Greece

Aerial view of beach at Crete

If you’re dreaming of a sun-kissed island escape in Europe, Greece is probably on your bucket list. This is a country that has so much to offer. As well as captivating historical and cultural sites, Greece has some of the best beaches in Europe.

It’s also a destination that’s known for its friendly locals, so it’s a generally safe country for a solo trip. Island-hopping is an amazing option for solo travel in Greece. But, if you want the ease of sticking to just one destination, you’ll want to add Crete to your list. 

As Greece’s largest island, Crete has a ton to offer. You’ll find so much to fill your time – from boat trips and beach days to hiking and visiting ancient historical sites. It’s an amazing island to explore.

🏨 Where to stay: Cocoon City Hostel 

9. Edinburgh , Scotland

View of street in Edinburgh, Scotland

The UK has so many great spots for solo travel. But, if you’re looking for a unique city break, the Scottish capital of Edinburgh is a perfect choice. Edinburgh is one of the very best cities to visit in the UK . It’s a charming destination that’s overflowing with history and culture.

As one of the world’s most welcoming cities with incredibly friendly locals, Edinburgh is a great place for solo travel in Europe. There’s also lots to see and do to keep you busy for a short city break. 

In addition to strolling through the gorgeous cobblestoned old town, you’ll be able to visit historical spots like Holyrood Palace and Edinburgh Castle. You could also hike up nearby Arthur’s Seat for panoramic views, find comfy cafes, great shopping and lots of museums.

If you’re planning a summer trip, Edinburgh is also great in August during the Festival Fringe. The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the biggest performing arts festival in the world!

🏨 Where to stay: CoDE Pod – The CoURT

10. Venice, Italy

view of gondola on a canal in Venice, Italy

Venice might be one of the most romantic cities in Europe, but it has so much to offer solo travellers in Italy , too. A one-of-a-kind destination, this city is magical and bursting with charm.

If you love history, culture and architecture, Venice is absolutely worth visiting and definitely needs to be on your European solo travel list.

The only way to get around Venice is by boat or on foot so it’s a great option if you love to leisurely wander. It’s also a safe destination and is an option where you won’t need to worry about navigating public transport or finding yourself too far off the beaten path.

In fact, getting lost in Venice is part of the experience and one of the places where it’s safest for solo travelers to do so.

There’s loads to see and do in Venice, too – from visiting St Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s Palace to exploring the outer islands of Murano, Burano and Torcello. It’s a city where you definitely won’t be bored on your own.

🏨 Where to stay: Palazzo Veneziano 

11. Krakow, Poland

Krakow Poland

There’s a lot to love about a visit to Krakow. This charming Polish city is known for its UNESCO Old Town, cobbled streets and grand squares. It’s a welcoming and friendly city – and also an affordable destination – making it one of the best places in Europe for solo travel.

With a compact city center, Krakow is easy to get around on foot. There are plenty of free walking tours that are great for solo travelers. If you visit, you’ll also want to check out Wawel Castle and the historic Jewish Quarter. 

🏨 Where to stay: Hotel 32 Kraków Old Town

12. London, England

red, double decker bus in London

Easily one of the best large cities in Europe, London is the perfect place for a solo city break. Although it’s a sprawling city, many of the main attractions are very centrally concentrated. The underground train network is relatively easy to navigate as well, especially if you download the Citymapper app.

There’s so much to see and do in London that you’ll never be bored. From iconic tourist attractions like Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge and Big Ben to quirky markets, Royal Parks and museums, there’s something for everyone. 

You’ll also find amazing cafes, restaurants and food markets that are perfect for solo travelers. Plus, you have some of the world’s best shopping as well as an incredible theater in the West End. It’s the ideal city for an urban adventure.

🏨 Where to stay: Hub by Premier Inn

13. Bruges, Belgium

Bruges, Belgium is a great Europe destination for solo travel

A pocket-sized city, Bruges feels like a fairytale European destination. If you’re after a quaint and compact city that’s packed with history, this is the one for you.

Known for its canals, winding streets and beautiful Flemish architecture, Bruges is exceptionally photogenic (there’s a reason why it’s known as Venice of the North!). But, not only this – Bruges is also a very safe city with low crime rates.

Walking is the best way to get around Bruges so there’s no need to navigate public transport. The historic center and the lively Markt Square are the highlights.

You could also hop on a canal cruise, visit Minnewater Park and make the most of the food scene with Belgian chocolate, fries and waffles.

🏨 Where to stay: Hotel Adornes

14. Ibiza, Spain

Ibiza town street

Spain’s Balearic Islands (Majorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera) are famed for being some of the world’s most beautiful. Gorgeous beaches, picturesque fishing villages and breathtaking natural scenery sum up these Mediterranean islands. All are great for solo travel, but Ibiza has to be a top pick.

Known for its nightlife with beach clubs and bars, Ibiza is an amazing choice for solo travelers who want to socialize. But, there’s also so much more to Ibiza than its party scene. Away from the iconic bars, Ibiza has super pretty towns, historic sites, a beautiful coastline and quieter areas as well. 

Yoga is big in Ibiza, so it’s perfect if you’re interested in going on a wellness retreat. Plus, you could also join boat trips, go hiking and relax on the beach. There’s something for every solo traveler to fall in love with in Ibiza.

🏨 Where to stay: Hostal Rosell Boutique

15. Madeira, Portugal

Madeira cliffside near the water

Spectacular landscapes, scenic hikes and lush forests – it’s no wonder Madeira is becoming so popular. A part of Portugal, but closer to Africa, Madeira is a really great option for a solo trip in Europe if you want a rural adventure.

It’s also a European destination that’s popular with digital nomads so you’ll find a great community of other solo visitors while you’re there.

Known as the Hawaii of Europe, Madeira is a volcanic and incredibly photogenic island. As well as its remarkable natural beauty, the island is known for its charming villages, vibrant capital and also its winemaking heritage. 

You’ll find a lot to see and do if you visit – from hiking and exploring the city of Funchal to relaxing in one of the island’s natural pools. 

🏨 Where to stay: Sé Boutique Hotel

top 15 european cities to visit

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Traveling in Europe alone FAQs

If you’re considering a solo trip to Europe, you might be wondering:

Is it a good idea to travel solo in Europe?

Europe is one of the best continents for solo travel. It might not be as affordable as some other destinations in Asia or South America, but there are so many different places to explore.

Regardless of your interests or what you want most from your vacation, there’s a perfect destination to suit what you’re looking for within Europe.

Plus, for many American solo travelers Europe will still feel somewhat familiar with less of a culture shock than elsewhere in the world. If you’re newer to solo travel, that’s certainly something to keep in mind as you choose your destination. 

What are the best European cities for solo travelers? 

Europe has so many amazing cities that are perfect for solo travelers. Whether you want a cosmopolitan and bustling option like London or you’re looking for somewhere quieter, you’ll find a city you love.

Some of the best European cities for solo travelers include London, Krakow, Lisbon and Copenhagen.

What is the safest country in Europe to travel alone as a woman?

Most of Europe is considered relatively safe, but some of the safest countries for females include Iceland, Denmark and Portugal.

Even though they’re good destinations for female solo travelers, you’ll still want to stay aware of your surroundings and keep your belongings safe – as you would in any destination.

Final Thoughts on Visiting Europe Solo

There’s a reason why Europe is one of the best places for solo travel. With beautiful beaches, gorgeous rural scenery and incredible cities, there’s no shortage of amazing places to visit.

There are also so many choices that are safe for solo travelers and options that tick all the right boxes, no matter your interests, budget or vacation style.

So, choose the destination that most speaks to you and start planning your adventure!

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Nausheen is a solo female traveler who is passionate about travel as a way to increase self love and confidence. She focuses on slow travel and bouts of digital nomadism, and has experience living abroad across several continents. As a post-divorce, South Asian woman in her 30s Nausheen aims to empower fellow women of color in particular to live life on their own terms. She shares travel itineraries, tips and inspiration on her blog and social media channels.

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top 15 european cities to visit

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The 20 best European destinations if you like to walk

If you or someone you know has ever taken a trip to Europe, one of the first things they’ll tell you is how much walking they did. European cities are much more pedestrian-friendly than most American counterparts. You’ll clock several miles just by hitting the main sights. Additionally, there are plenty of countryside and hiking destinations waiting to be explored on foot. Here are 20 of the best!

London, United Kingdom

Since London is one of the biggest cities in Europe, you might not think that the metropolis would be very walkable. However, it’s frequently cited as a great place to stroll around. You’ll be so busy taking in the English grandeur and catching glimpses of Big Ben that you won’t even notice how high your step count is until you take a rest at the pub!

The French Alps

The Alps are definitely more of a hiking than a walking destination, but with sweeping mountain and lake views, you won’t want to do much else! Base yourself in Grenoble, Annecy, or Chamonix, and enjoy trails that start right from town.

Cinque Terre, Italy

Cinque Terre is known for brightly colored buildings built into the cliffsides. And while each town is a virtual rainbow dotting the seaside, there’s a better way to enjoy the area than sitting in traffic in a car or bus. Instead, take the many walking paths that connect the towns. Ideally, you’ll base yourself in one of the villages and enjoy hikes along the Mediterranean while visiting others.

Paris, France

Another large European capital with decent public transportation, it may seem silly to walk all over Paris. Au contraire, your own two feet are the best way to see the City of Light. You can wander along the Seine, crisscross the water with the many bridges, and dip into the 20 diverse arrondissements (neighborhoods.) All while frequently enjoying unbeatable views of the Eiffel Tower, L’Arc de Triomphe, and the ornate Parisian buildings.

The Cotswolds, United Kingdom

If one region on this list is known for walking, it’s the Cotswolds. Well-trodden walking paths connect the numerous villages in the west of England. You can choose a single base and enjoy walking the English countryside to different adorable towns!

High Tatra, Slovakia

Slovakia isn’t well known by any means, but this country nestled between Hungary, Poland, Austria, and Czechia is a fantastic place to trek, particularly in the Tatras Mountains in the northeast. Travelers will enjoy trails that rival those in the Alps but for a much more affordable price.

Meteora, Greece

A Greek holiday typically involves taking ferries to the islands, where you don’t do much but enjoy the beach and amazing food. Meteroa, roughly a five-and-a-half-hour train ride from Athens, challenges this assumption greatly. Here, you’ll be nestled among mountain villages and paths that connect the six monasteries atop the peaks. Spend a few days or a week exploring the views and sites on foot!

Basque Country, Spain

This unique part of the country has spectacular natural beauty. It's famously home to the Camino de Santiago, the ancient pilgrimage walk that numerous travelers now partake in every year. The full route includes sections in Portugal and France, but the best views are in Spain!

Haute Route, Switzerland

Honestly, the entire country of Switzerland is any hiker’s paradise, but if you only have time for one trail, head to Zermatt. This is where the stunning Haute Route through the Swiss Alps starts, ending in Chamonix, France. The 132-mile trek isn’t for beginners, but you’ll be rewarded with Matterhorn views and uncrowded trails.

Lake Constance, Germany

The lake technically spans Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and Liechtenstein. Complete walking routes in each country or take one that crosses a border or two. One of the most beautiful lakes on the continent, there are numerous routes to choose from! 

South Coast of Iceland

Iceland is another country that could be listed as a great place to walk on the whole, however, for ease of access and proximity of sites. The trails aren’t too far apart, and in general, you’ll never be far from a waterfall, canyon, beach, or glacier.

Venice, Italy

Okay, a trip to Venice likely conjures up visions of gondola rides on the water. And you should definitely see the city that way. However, it’s also a great place to walk.

Julian Alps, Slovenia

You’ve heard of the French Alps, the Swiss Alps, and the Bavarian Alps. Well, where exactly are the ‘Julian’ Alps? The beautiful gem that is Slovenia! The first Balkan country to join the EU is home to stunning peaks that are just waiting to be discovered by travelers. And you won’t pay Swiss or French prices and have fewer crowds to deal with!

Munich, Germany

The biggest city in Bavaria is a sprawling center of grandeur and parks. Thus, there’s no better way to explore than by foot. Additionally, there are a bunch of museums, all of which are must-visits. Plan a cultural weekend that also has a bit of exercise in Munich!

Lisbon, Portugal

Famously hilly Lisbon (like San Fransisco) isn’t the place to expect a leisurely stroll. However, if you’re up for some “urban hiking,” you’ll get a great workout while passing the street cars.

Riga, Latvia

The gorgeous Daugava River runs through the beautiful colored buildings of Riga, inviting you to amble for hours. And as a lesser-known destination, you want to be rubbing elbows with hordes of other American tourists, making for a much more enjoyable trip.

Stockholm, Sweden

Unless you really like frigid walks and bundling up, it’s most advisable to visit Stockholm in the summer months. Then, you can make the most out of rambling around the Scandinavian city in the sun and enjoying fika (Swedish coffee break) afterward.

Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Sarajevo isn’t so large that enjoying a walking tour is out of the question. However, the best way to use your feet in the area is by hiking up one of the many paths from the city center into the surrounding hills for fantastic vantage points. Alternatively, take the chairlift up and wander back down the old bobsled run from the 1984 Winter Olympics.

Prague, Czechia

While Paris might be a more obvious choice for a walking city, Prague is actually much larger in square miles. In fact, it’s four times as large, with about half the inhabitants. Thus, there’s plenty of room to wander and appreciate the lovely architecture in Prague. Additionally, there are trails in and around the urban center if you want a taste of nature. And, of course, fantastic hiking is never far away.

Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland

The Wild Atlantic Way is one of the best and most rugged walking paths in all of Europe. At 1,600 miles, it’s no surprise that it’s considered one of the longest-marked paths in the world. Located on Ireland’s West Coast, no matter what short section you choose to complete, you’ll have once-in-a-lifetime views of the Atlantic Ocean and Irish countryside for the duration. 

Sydney is a writer and language nerd from Seattle. She’s lived in Sydney, Montreal, and Luxembourg and is always on the lookout for her next adventure. When she isn’t downing another cup of coffee or conjugating verbs, you can find her in the mountains or near the water. She writes about travel, lifestyle, and language all over the internet. 

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    Annecy. Nicknamed the Venice of the Alps, the beautiful city of Annecy, France, is located less than an hour south of Geneva and features beautiful views of Lake Annecy (considered the cleanest lake in Europe), delicious Alpine cuisine (including all kinds of amazing cheese), and stunning canals. READ NEXT.

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    11. Transylvania, Romania. Catalin Lazar/Shutterstock. Famed as the location of Count Dracula's castle, the Transylvania region in central Romania is filled with medieval Gothic fairytale scenery, old fortresses, Baroque architecture, and scenic mountain and valley views that make it a magical place to visit in Europe.

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    1. San Sebastian, Spain. Score 90.54. Spilling up and around the coastline of the Bay of Biscay, the resort town of San Sebastián in Spain's mountainous Basque Country bags the top spot as Europe's best city to visit. It's an area known for its relaxed atmosphere, long stretches of honey-hued beaches and various foodie outposts with ...

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    Prague is also one of the best places in Europe to visit at Christmas, with a large market sitting at the foot of the decorated castle, as well as Christmas markets and festivities in Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square. 6. Florence, Italy. Piazza della Signoria, Florence.

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    7. Prague, Czech Republic. Prague is one of the most photogenic cities in Europe. This was the only large Eastern European city to survive WWII without being destroyed by bombs. With gothic towers, ancient cathedrals, and the largest castle in the world, Prague is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Europe.

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    Check availability at Hotel Aquarius Venice-Ascend in Venice. 4. Florence, Italy. Florence, the capital of Italy's Tuscany region, is renowned as one of Europe's most beautiful cities. It offers rich Renaissance culture, stunning architecture, and a fascinating history to explore.

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    52 - Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia. Croatia's oldest and largest natural park, with almost 300 km², Plitvice Lakes, is one of the best places to visit in Europe and among its most extraordinary natural wonders. Its primary attraction is the crystal clear lakes, which only cover 1% of this enormous park.

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    Barcelona is another great solo travel destination in Europe. On a solo trip to Barcelona you can explore architecture that is renowned around the world, explore artsy neighborhoods, join in on the nightlife scene and feast on tapas.. While Barcelona is a popular tourist destination, you can still cater your experience of the city to be more unique by getting off the beaten path.

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