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!

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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.

31 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

Stockholm is so boring.

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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27 of the best places to visit in Europe 

Jun 12, 2024 • 12 min read

europe cities to visit

From sunny Greek Islands - like Amorgos (pictured) - to northerly capitals, here are Europe's best places to visit © imagIN.gr photography / Shutterstock

There is simply no way to tour Europe and not be awestruck by its natural beauty, fascinating history and dazzling artistic and culinary diversity.

Europe’s wealth of attractions is its biggest single draw: Florence’s Renaissance art, Venice’s graceful canals, Paris’ Napoleonic splendor, and the multilayered historical and cultural canvas of London. There’s also a huge diversity of natural scenery: rugged Scottish Highlands with glens and lochs, the flower fields and hilltop villages of Provence, and the Adriatic coastline speckled with thousands of islands. And those are  just the highlights.

Some of Europe's most popular spots have also felt the effects of overtourism in recent years, as increasing visitor numbers leave an impact on local populations, services and historic sites. Traveling off-season, supporting local businesses and researching the particulars of the issue in your chosen destination can help offset some of the problems.

But with a little planning and care, you’re in for the journey of a lifetime. Here are 27 of the best places to visit in Europe. 

A gothic Victorian bridge structure contrasting with modern glass-fronted buildings

1. London, UK

Truly one of the world’s greatest cities

London is mercurial and endlessly fascinating; you could spend a lifetime getting to know it, then realize it’s gone and changed again. Stretching back from the mighty River Thames, its lush parks and historic districts are crammed with extraordinary sights: royal palaces, towering cathedrals and remarkable museums and galleries. Add the pick of the world’s theaters, restaurants , sports venues and shops, and you’ll be very reluctant to leave.

Planning a visit to London? Time it right with our seasonal guide

2. Venice, Italy

Magical city seemingly floating on water

A sunny winter’s day, with far fewer tourists around, is the perfect time to lap up Venice 's unique and magical atmosphere. Ditch your map and wander the shadowy back lanes of Dorsoduro while imagining secret assignations and whispered conspiracies at every turn. Then visit two of Venice’s top galleries, the Gallerie dell’Accademia and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection , which house works by many of the giants of 20th-century art.

Visiting Venice requires a delicate balance. Here are 25 things you need to know before you go

Tree-lined avenues lead through a city. A tall iron tower dominates the skyline

3. Paris, France

Get up close with an architectural icon

Designed as a temporary exhibit for the 1889 Exposition Universelle (World Fair), Paris ’ elegant art nouveau Eiffel Tower has become the defining fixture of the skyline.   The first floor is home to glitzy glass pavilions housing interactive exhibits; outside, peer down through the glass floor to the ground below. Visit at dusk for the best day and night views of the City of Light and make a toast at the sparkling champagne bar.

4. Rome, Italy

Classical ruins mixed with contemporary style

From the crumbling Colosseum to the ancient Forum and the Via Appia Antica , few sights are more evocative than the ruins of ancient Rome . Two thousand years ago, this city was the center of the greatest empire of the ancient world, where gladiators battled and emperors lived in unimaginable luxury. Nowadays it’s a haunting spot: as you walk the cobbled paths, you can almost sense the ghosts in the air.

Ready to explore Rome? Here are the city's best experiences

People seated at a small laneway with graffiti and colorful street art lining the walls

5. Berlin, Germany

Catch the ever-changing zeitgeist

Nearly 35 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, it’s hard to believe that this most cosmopolitan of cities once marked the frontier of the Cold War. But reminders of Berlin 's divided past still remain: whether you’re passing the Brandenburg Gate , gazing at graffiti at the East Side Gallery or studying the exhibits at the DDR Museum , it’s an essential part of understanding what makes Germany’s capital. From there, it's time to soak up the city's amazing modern touches, like its iconic club culture , unique independent shops and cool neighborhoods . 

6. Dubrovnik, Croatia

A spectacular walled city

Dubrovnik 's main claim to fame are its historic ramparts , considered among the finest in the world, which surround luminous marble streets and finely ornamented buildings. Built between the 13th and 16th centuries, the walls are still remarkably intact today, and the vistas over the terracotta rooftops and the Adriatic Sea are sublime, especially at dusk, when the fading light makes the hues dramatic and the panoramas unforgettable.

Want to see more of Croatia? Follow our week-long itinerary

Tourists wander the old square of central Prague, dominated by a twin-spired church

7. Prague, Czechia

An architectural central European jewel

The capital of the Czechia  is one of Europe’s most alluring and dynamic places. For all its modern verve, some parts of the city have hardly changed since medieval times – cobbled cul-de-sacs twist through the Old Town, framed by teetering townhouses, baroque buildings and graceful bridges. And if castles are your thing, Prague has an absolute beauty: a 1000-year-old fortress covering around 7 hectares – the world’s largest ancient castle complex.

Make sure to try these quintessential Prague experiences

8. Vienna, Austria

Grand heart of a former empire

The monumentally graceful Hofburg whisks you back to the age of empires in Vienna as you marvel at the treasury’s imperial crowns, the equine ballet of the Spanish Riding School and the chandelier-lit apartments fit for Empress Elisabeth. The palace, a legacy of the 640-year Habsburg era, is rivaled in grandeur only by the 1441-room Schloss Schönbrunn , a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the baroque Schloss Belvedere , both set in exquisite gardens.

A view from underneath a bridge shows the canals and bridges of Amsterdam.

9. Amsterdam, Netherlands

World Heritage-listed canals and gabled buildings

To say Amsterdammers love the water is an understatement. Stroll next to the canals and check out some of the thousands of houseboats. Or better still, go for a ride. From boat level you’ll see a whole new set of architectural details, such as the ornamentation bedecking the bridges. And when you pass the appealing canalside cafe terraces, mark the location for a later return.

Planning your stay in Amsterdam? Here's our guide to the city's best neighborhoods  

10. Budapest, Hungary

Beautiful capital city straddling the Danube 

Along both sides of the romantic Danube River, with the Buda Hills to the west and the start of the Great Plain to the east, Budapest is perhaps the most beautiful city in Eastern Europe. Parks brim with attractions, the architecture is second to none, museums are filled with treasures, pleasure boats sail up and down the scenic Danube Bend, Turkish-era thermal baths belch steam and the city's nightlife throbs till dawn most nights. 

Before you go to Budapest, read up on our tips from a local writer

A very tall church with four individual spires reflected in a pond

11. Barcelona, Spain

See the genius of a visionary architect

Barcelona is famous for its Modernista architecture, much of which was designed by Antoni Gaudí. His masterpiece is the mighty cathedral La Sagrada Família , which remains a work in progress close to a century after its creator’s death. It’s a bizarre combination of crazy and classic: Gothic touches intersect with eccentric experiments and improbable angles. Even half completed, it’s a modern-day wonder.

Get ready to visit Barcelona with these important things to know before you go  

12. Lisbon, Portugal

Soulful city armed with Gothic grit

Alfama , with its labyrinthine alleyways, hidden courtyards and curving, shadow-filled lanes, is a magical place to lose all sense of direction and delve into Lisbon 's soul. On the journey, you’ll pass breadbox-sized grocers, brilliantly tiled buildings and views of steeply pitched rooftops leading down to the glittering Tagus. Pause at cozy taverns filled with easygoing chatter, with the scent of chargrilled sardines and the mournful rhythms of fado drifting in the breeze.

Plan the right time for your visit to Lisbon with our seasonal guide

Motorcyclists drive down a road through the lush Scottish Highlands.

13. The Scottish Highlands

Scenic grandeur and echoes of the past

Breathtaking views abound in the Highlands . From the regal charm of Royal Deeside, via the brooding majesty of Glen Coe, to the mysterious waters of sweeping Loch Ness , these are landscapes that inspire awe. The region is scattered with fairy-tale castles and the hiking is suitably glorious. Add the nooks of warm Highland hospitality found in classic rural pubs and romantic hotels, and you have an unforgettable corner of Scotland . 

Exploring more of Scotland? Here are our top road trips

14. Dublin, Ireland

Pints of Guinness and literary connections

Whether you’re wandering around the leafy Georgian terraces of St Stephen’s Green or getting acquainted with the past at Kilmainham Gaol , in Dublin you’re never far from a literary or historic sight. And then there are the city’s pubs : there are few better places to down a pint than Dublin, and you can even make a pilgrimage to the original Guinness brewery . Either way, you’ll surely make a few Irish friends along the way. 

See the best of Dublin with our guide to the city's top things to do

People watch the sunset from the steps of San Miniato al Monte over the city of Florence

15. Florence and Tuscany, Italy

Italy’s most romanticized region

The gently rolling hills of Tuscany , bathed in golden light and dotted with vineyards, sum up Italy’s attractions in a nutshell. Here picture-perfect hilltop towns vie with magnificent scenery and some of Italy’s best food and wine. And there’s Florence , home to what UNESCO describes as "the greatest concentration of universally renowned works of art in the world". It’s a city packed with blockbuster museums, elegant churches and flawless Renaissance streetscapes.

Experience the best of Tuscany with our tips for first-time visitors

16. Ruins of Pompeii, Italy

Ancient city destroyed and preserved by Vesuvius

Frozen in its death throes, the sprawling, time-warped ruins of Pompeii hurtle you 2000 years into the past. Wander through chariot-grooved Roman streets, lavishly frescoed villas and bathhouses, food stores and markets, theaters and even an ancient brothel. Then, in the eerie stillness, with your eye on ominous Mt Vesuvius, ponder the town’s final hours when the skies grew dark and heavy with volcanic ash.

The large palace of the Alhambra sits on a hill with mountains in the background.

17. Andalucía, Spain

Vibrant cities studded with impressive architecture

Andalucía , ancient al-Andalus, is awash with glorious architecture that dates back to the eight centuries of Moorish rule that ended in 1492. Granada , Córdoba and Seville are the high points of a journey of extraordinary riches. In Granada, the palace complex of the Alhambra , in particular, is close to perfection, and perhaps one of the most impressive works of Islamic art anywhere in the world. Put simply, this is Spain ’s most beautiful monument.

A street, with a walkway of striped rainbow colors, leads to the pointed spire of a cathedral

18. Reykjavík, Iceland

The world’s most northerly capital

Most Icelanders live in Reykjavík and even on the shortest visit you’ll be struck by how quirky and creative the population is. Despite being on the northern margin of Europe, the locals have crafted a town packed with captivating art, rich cuisine and an epic music scene. Learn about a history stretching back to the Vikings and use the city as a base for trips to Iceland’s amazing natural wonders.

Here's how to experience the best of Iceland

19. Copenhagen, Denmark

Coolest kid on the Nordic block

Scandinavia is all about pared-back contemporary style – something that the Danish capital has in spades. Home to a thriving design scene, Copenhagen sports Michelin-starred restaurants, hipster cafes and bars, and swoon-worthy boutiques around every corner. Add in top-class museums and galleries and a 1000-year-old harbor with handsome historic architecture and you have the perfect Scandi city. 

A Car drives along the road against a background of beautiful scenic view of a medieval village in France.

20. Provence, France

Gallic charm in the south of France

For many people, the pastoral landscapes of Provence are a French fantasy come true. Provence seems to sum up everything enviable about the French lifestyle: fantastic food, hilltop villages, legendary wines, bustling markets and a balmy climate. For decades, it’s been a hot spot for vacationers and second-homers, inspired by the vision of the rustic good life.

Want to see more of France? Here's our guide to the country's best things to do

21. Swiss Alps, Switzerland

Hike, ski and admire these postcard-perfect peaks

The stirring ramparts of the Swiss Alps grace chocolate bar wrappers and evoke stereotypical Heidi scenes, but nothing prepares you for their allure up close. The most famous summit, the Matterhorn, is a mesmerizing peak that looms above the timber-chalet-filled Swiss village of Zermatt . Gaze at it from a tranquil cafe, hike in its shadow along the tangle of alpine paths above town, with cowbells clinking in the distance, or pause on a ski slope and admire its craggy, chiseled outline. 

The tall minarets rise from the Suleymaniye Mosque on the Third Hill of Istanbul.

22. IIstanbul, Türkiye

Where Europe meets Asia 

Serving stints as the capital of the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires and an ancient crossroads of civilizations, Istanbul is one of the world’s great cities. The historical highlights cluster in Sultanahmet – the Hagia Sophia , Blue Mosque , Topkapı Palace and Grand Bazaar – with the vast  Süleymaniye Mosque  crowning a hilltop in Eminönü.

Find your way around İstanbul with our neighborhood guide

23. Athens, Greece

Monument-strewn capital of Ancient Greece

Greece has ancient monuments at seemingly every turn, but it’s in Athens where the greatest and most iconic still stand. High on a rocky outcrop overlooking the city, the Acropolis epitomizes the glory of ancient Greece with its graceful Parthenon and 17,000-seat Theatre of Dionysos . Other impressive ruins littering this vibrant city include the Temple of Olympian Zeus and two agoras (marketplaces; one Greek, one Roman) mingling with first-rate museums.

A fairytale-style castle rises from lush green hills in Bavaria, Germany.

24. Schloss Neuschwanstein, Germany

Fairy-tale castle in a fairy-tale setting

Rising from Alpine foothills in the heart of Bavaria , the 19th-century Schloss Neuschwanstein seems to spring from a child’s imagination of the perfect castle. Its pencil-thin turrets, vertiginous walls and glorious setting make it one of Europe’s most recognizable structures, the prototype for many a Disney castle.

25. Greek Islands, Greece

Whitewashed Mediterranean villages above a turquoise sea

Wherever you land, the Greek Islands grab your attention and don’t let go. While popular islands like Santorini and Mykonos have undoubtedly suffered under the weight of overtourism, there are plenty of others to explore  that offer more off-the-beaten path experiences. Take in the lush Ionian Islands  or the far-flung Dodecanese  — whatever you choose, you're in for an incredible experience. 

Rugged cliffs rise out of the ocean, covered in dark grass.

26. Ring of Kerry, Ireland

A wild and medieval Irish road trip

There’s nowhere quite like Ireland , and the Ring of Kerry , a 179km (111-mile) route through the Iveragh Peninsula, captures all the essential elements of Irish charm on one memorable circuit. Wild and craggy landscapes frame isolated beaches, evocative ruined fortresses stand sentinel over similarly wild Atlantic seas, and windswept mountains watch over villages and islands that could be nowhere else on earth but here.

27. Oslo, Norway

Scandinavia’s gateway to the fjords

Oslo is doing everything it can to claim the prize of Europe’s capital of contemporary style. The Opera House evokes an iceberg in a fjord, public art is a national pastime, and the city’s extraordinary museums span the Viking age to modern Norway. So impressive are the results, that Oslo has become so much more than a mere stopover on the road to the fjords.

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The best cities in Europe: 2023 Readers' Choice Awards

By Condé Nast Traveller

San Sebastian Spain

All products are independently selected by our editors. If you buy something, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The survey for the 2024 Readers' Choice Awards is open, vote now for your favourite places, hotels, airports, cruise lines, travel fixers and more.

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

World of Wanderlust

Europe Bucket List: 50 Places you must visit

If you are planning your first visit to Europe and don’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place. And if you’re anything like me, you’ll want to cut straight to the chase and answer the question: Where are the best places in Europe to visit? And with this Europe bucket list, we’ve listed the creme de la creme to help you plan your visit from start to finish.


1. Wake up in Positano, Italy

Let’s begin with perhaps my favourite small town in all of Europe to wake up and see the sunrise: Positano . Located in Italy’s Amalfi Coast, Positano is something out of a fairytale or film set. Quiet and serene, the town is built into the cliffs of the coastline, with colourful facades and terracotta rooftops. And what exactly do you do with your time on the Amalfi Coast, I hear you ask? Start by renting a Vespa and exploring the surrounding towns on a daily basis. There’s no shortage of adventures to be had – visiting Ravello , a quintessential town nestled into the hillside, or Capri , a popular island destination you can reach by ferry.

Annecy France World of Wanderlust

2. Visit Annecy, France

France has no shortage of photogenic towns to visit. But Annecy , located in southeastern France, is surely one of the most beautiful. Known for its Vieille Ville (old town), Annecy is characterised by cobbled streets, winding canals and colourful houses. In the backdrop of the city, you will notice snow-capped mountains and the expansive Lake Annecy, where you can enjoy rowboats in the summer and take in the stunning surrounds.

europe cities to visit

3. Spend a weekend in Copenhagen

There are few destinations in Europe I looked forward to as much as Copenhagen . Having long had an obsession with Denmark’s capital city, I eagerly visited in my early twenties and couldn’t wait to step foot off the train. Once on the ground, I was not disappointed. There are endless quaint cafes and bakeries to pop in and out of, especially in winter if you are bracing the cold weather. Then of course you have Nyhavn, the cities’ 17th-century waterfront harbour lined with colourful houses and merchants. If you ask me, this is a destination not to be missed if you find yourself venturing into Northern Europe.

Read more: This is how much each city in Europe costs (from most expensive to cheapest)


4. Bathe in the Blue Lagoon, Iceland

Before I visited Iceland for the first time, I had a vision in my mind of what that trip would look like. And you’d better believe it included a visit to bathe in the Blue Lagoon, Iceland’s most famous attraction. With healing properties and water rich in minerals like silica and sulfur, the blue lagoon is said to aid with skin diseases. And despite being a major tourist attraction with crowds and pricey tickets, given it is such a unique experience that can only be had here in Iceland, we’d say it is worth your while. Just be sure to spend at least a week exploring elsewhere in Iceland, as there are many more incredible sites and attractions on the horizon.

Read more: How to make the most of a stopover in Iceland

Pena palace | world of wanderlust

5. Visit Pena Palace, Portugal

Europe has no shortage of castles. In fact, you’ll be pressed to find a city or town that doesn’t boast a castle or two. But there are a handful of castles that rise above the rest (in this case, quite literally hidden in the clouds), making them worthy of a visit. Pena Palace in Sintra , Portugal, is one such castle worth visiting. This Romanticist castle in São Pedro de Penaferrim, a municipality of Sintra, overlooks the town from above. On a day with low mist, you won’t even see the castle from the town as it sits above the fog and appears to be floating in the clouds.

Read more: The best pastel de nata Recipe

Tallinn Photo Diary | World of Wanderlust

6. Visit the Old Town of Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn, Estonia’s capital, has one of the most beautiful old towns in all of Europe. This fairytale-like city has long been a World of Wanderlust favourite, since I first visited back in 2013 on my first full year of adventures solo across Europe. Tallinn’s cobblestoned Old Town exists inside an imposing wall, with many of the cities’ most preserved cafes and bakeries existing inside. You’ll also find plenty of authentic Baltic cuisine within the city walls, so be sure to allow time to perch up and watch the world pass you by. Be sure not to miss Raeapteek, the oldest pharmacy in Europe. Here you will find fascinating therapies, like Unicorn horn dust.

Read more: Cities to visit for your first time in Europe

europe cities to visit

7. Visit Peleș Castle, Romania

There are few castles in Europe as beautiful and ethereal as Peleș Castle in Romania’s Carpathian Mountains. Located near Sinaia in Romania, this castle exists on a medieval route linking Transylvania and Wallachia. Built between 1873 and 1914, the castle is commonly considered one of the most beautiful in all of Europe.

Read more: These are the 12 prettiest castles in Europe

Prague at Christmas | WORLD OF WANDERLUST

8. Spend Christmas in Prague

Prague is an incredible city to visit any time of year, but there is nothing quite like Christmas time in Prague. Suddenly the streets come to life as living markets, with mulled wine and pretzels ready at your disposal. Central Europe as a whole really comes to life with the arrival of Christmas markets, so if you fancy a fairytale visit to Prague, this is certainly the best time of year to find yourself strolling across the Charles Bridge in search of Christmas magic.

Read more: What to know before you visit Prague

Christmas in Vienna Things to Do | WORLD OF WANDERLUST

9. Visit Vienna, Austria’s capital

Speaking of Central Europe, there is nowhere quite like Vienna . Once described to me as a more refined version of Paris, Vienna certainly feels regal and refined. There are so many wonderful things to do in this city, ranging from indoors to outdoors. I would recommend spending most of your time slowing down, enjoying cultural immersion in the cafe culture of Vienna and feeling as if you have stepped back in time.

Read more: The 6 Best Coffee Houses in Vienna


10. Visit the Red Square, Moscow

Moscow is hands down one of the most exquisite cities in Europe. As the capital city of Russia, you can expect to see opulence on overdrive as you stand in the Red Square, the historical centre of the city of Moscow. Regarded as one of the most famous cities in Europe, from here you can view the Kremlin, Russia’s centre of governance, the ornate 16th-century St. Basil’s Cathedral, the State Historical Museum and the GUM Department Store.

Read more: Sights to see for your first time in Moscow

Rome guide

11. Make your way to Rome, the Eternal City

If you are yet to visit Rome, the eternal city, you might have asked yourself, what makes Rome so special? This being the centre of the universe for a long period of time throughout history, the city of Rome has so much to offer visitors by way of history, culture, food and hospitality. There are too many must see attractions in Rome to list, so be sure to check out our Rome bucket list for a full list of all the places you cannot miss.

Read more: The 12 Best Kept Secrets in Rome

Brooke Saward Barcelona

12. Discover Gaudí Architecture in Barcelona

The city of Barcelona is brimming with incredible architecture, sights, sounds and smells at every turn. A sensory overload, this city can often be overwhelming given it has so much to offer travelers. For this reason, we’d recommend centring your adventures in Barcelon around a theme. That could be food, culture, or in this case, Gaudí architecture. The city is full of masterpieces – namely Parc Güell (pictured), Casa Milá, Casa Batlló and so many more.

Read more: The 15 Best Things to do in Barcelona

Sundays in Paris | Where to go on a Sunday in Paris by WORLD OF WANDERLUST

13. Swoon over the Eiffel Tower in Paris

There is of course nothing or nowhere more iconic in Paris, than the Eiffel Tower. This monument is by far one of the most iconic monuments in all of Europe and under a blanket of night sky, it only becomes more magnificent. The best view of the Eiffel Tower is of course from afar and if you ask us, one of the most iconic views of the tower can be found atop the Arc de Triomphe. But don’t let that stop you from visiting the tower up close, as it becomes more and more clear just how large this impressive structure really is.

Read more: The 20 most Instagrammable locations in Paris

Amsterdam World of Wanderlust

14. Walk the Canals of Amsterdam

Amsterdam is certainly one of my favourite cities in all of Europe and if we’re talking about winter travel, I’d say Amsertdam takes the cake for my number one city to spend time in. But regardless of the season, this city is beautiful year-round. The canals are of course the main drawcard in Amsterdam, seamlessly lining the streets and adding to the undeniable romance of the city.

Read more: The solo traveler’s guide to Amsterdam

Santorini travel guide | World of Wanderlust

15. Explore Santorini on foot

Greece is full of incredible islands to explore, so if you’re planning to stop in during your European travels, be sure to give yourself plenty of time. And if time is not on your side, then skip straight over to Santorini for arguably the best Greek island to explore.

Read more: 20 Places to visit in the Balkans

London Bucket List | WORLD OF WANDERLUST

16. See the London skyline from above

London is not only the most visited city in all of Europe, but often tops the list as the most visited city in the entire world. With a history that dates back to Roman times, London as we know it today is a blend of cultures and history, leaving much to be discovered. And as a sprawling city that takes days to discover, we recommend making your way to the top of The Shard building for a view of the city in its entirety. From here, you will really start to understand the layout and size of this city as a whole.

Read more: The best book stores in London

Florence Italy | WOW

17. Discover Florence, Italy

One city that is always a favourite for travelers is Florence or Firenze as it is known in Italy. This city is highly regarded for its culture, musuems, architecture and fascinating history. Oh, and did we mentioned you will find gelaterias on almost every corner? You will need at least a few days in Florence to discover the must visit attractions, but even more if you want to scratch the surface.

Read more: A complete guide to Tuscany

Wexford Ireland Guide | WORLD OF WANDERLUST

18. Road trip around Ireland

Ireland is one of those countries where it is more about the journey than the destination. Granted, there are a vast number of sites and attractions throughout Ireland to visit, but we really think the journey itself is where the magic happens. Driving around Ireland is arguably the best way to see the country, so be sure to look into car rental before you go and plan for the long journey.

Read more: You can stay at Ireland’s most impressive castle

europe cities to visit

19. Visit Lisbon, Portugal

If you fancy a capital city with vibrancy on overload, then head over to Lisbon, Portugal. This city has long flown under the radar, but in recent years has found its footing as one of the must visit cities in Europe. The city is sprawling, hilly, and offers incredible views from the higher points. Be sure to save at least half a day to explore Alfama, a central neighbourhood with flavour and flair.

Finland | World of Wanderlust

20. Visit Lapland, Finland

If you don’t mind the cold, a visit to Lapland in Finland is an experience like no other. It is here where you have a great chance of seeing the Northern Lights, as well as having the opportunity to partake in a number of unusual winter activities – like dog sledding, visiting a Reindeer farm, or hiking in the forest.

europe cities to visit

21. Go yachting in Croatia

Chances are you have heard of the yacht week in Croatia, but have you ever thought of joining it? Croatia is one of the best destinations to visit in the summer months, as it offers a huge coastline to enjoy and island hop, as well as being more affordable than Western Europe alternatives.

Salzburg Austria

22. Follow the trail of the Sound of Music in Salzburg

For fans of the Sound of Music, there is no city more appealing than Salzburg, which is also considered the most beautiful city in Austria. You can reach Salzburg by train from Vienna in around two hours, making it an option for a day trip but preferably a destination in itself. The city is incredibly beautiful to explore in itself, but many travellers make their way to Salzburg to join a Sound of Music tour. And if you loved the film, why wouldn’t you!

Read more: 101 Cities to Visit Before you Die


23. Visit the Mamma Mia Island of Skopelos, Greece

With so many Greek islands to choose from, the hardest part will be choosing which islands to visit and which to leave out. But for fans of the Mamma Mia film, the island of Skopelos is a great option. Not only was this one of the most used filming locations for the film, but it is also an incredible island to experience Greek culture.

Perast Montenegro

24. Explore Montenegro in the Balkans

The Balkans offer some of the most underrated and undervisited countries and attractions in all of Europe. But with many travelers looking to get off the beaten path, that truth is slowly changing. If you fancy going out of your comfort zone and visiting somewhere out of the ordinary, Montenegro should be top of your list. There are endless small towns and cities to visit in Montenegro, many of which are located in the Bay of Kotor.

europe cities to visit

25. Road Trip through Tuscany

A region in central Italy, Tuscany has long been considered the most romantic and ethereal region in Italy to discover. And if you want to see all that Tuscany has to offer, the best way to do this will be via road trip. With the freedom to take your travels at your own pace, you will be able to discover many small towns the locals will share with you as insider secrets, plus some of the more popular cities and towns.


26. Visit the Algarve, Portugal

Located in the South of Portugal, the Algarve will always have a special place in our heart – as this is where we hosted our first ever World of Wanderlust trip! This is Portugal’s most loved holiday destination, for both locals and tourists visiting the country. And for good reason! There are many small coastal towns to discover, but the beaches are so beautiful, they are destinations in themselves.

Harry Potter Scotland | WOW

27. Ride the train on Glenfinnan Viaduct, Scotland

Also known as the Harry Potter train, the Glenfinnan Viaduct in the Scottish Highlands is a surreal experience to have in real life, because it looks just the same as it does in the films! Be sure to book your train ticket in advance, as this has become one of the most popular things to do in Scotland.


28. Visit Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Bosnia & Herzegovina is a country that ofter goes overlooked by travelers, especially if you don’d already find yourself in the Balkan region. But if you make your way to Croatia, then you’re really just a short day trip away! Although we think Mostar is worthy of more than a day visit, it has become an increasingly popular day trip from Dubrovnik, Croatia. This small town offers great insight into the history of the country, so be sure to join a walking tour to get a running history of the town and country.

Cotswolds England | WORLD OF WANDERLUST

29. Slow down in the Cotswolds

Outside of London, there are endless cities and towns we could recommend across England. But no destination is more worthy than joining London on the Europe bucket list, than the Cotswolds. This is a great opportunity to slow down and take your time in the English countryside. Must visit towns include Bourton-on-the-water, Stow-on-the-wold and Bibury. But there are of course many more!

Bruges Belgium

30. Visit Bruges, the most charming town in Belgium

Bruges is commonly considered one of the most beautiful towns in Europe and indeed, we have ourselves made the claim. So if you fancy photogenic small towns that are so beautiful they feel fairtytale-like, then Bruges cannot be missed.

Read more: These are the 25 most beautiful small towns in Europe

europe cities to visit

31. Visit Cesky Krumlov

Speaking of beautiful small towns, Cesky Krumlov in Czech Republic is another one of our choices that tops the list. This small town is just a short drive south of Prague, toward the border to Austria. So if you’ve got time to spare in Central Europe, there really is a lot to unpack in this region. And by way of small towns, Cesky Krumlov is a must visit.

Guide to Lake Como

32. Explore Lake Como, Italy

Lake Como is one of our favourite destinations in Italy and until you visit for yourself, you never can truly grasp the beauty of this region. There are countless small towns located along the lake, many of which are best explored on foot. So jump on board one of the local ferry services and make your way in and out of the towns, starting with our handpicked favourite: Bellagio (pictured).

Read more: The best lake towns to visit across Europe

Rhine Germany

33. Explore the Rhine River, Germany

Germany is full of incredible towns to visit but if you ask us, many of these are located along the Rhine River. Certainly for romantics and couples, there are endless small towns to be discovered in this region of Germany. So if you fancy a cruise along the Rhine River or perhaps a road trip trailing through these small towns, you’ll be sure to stay busy journeying through this ethereal region of Germany.


34. Discover the Fjordlands, Norway

Norway is a destination in itself and if you ask us, you’ll need a week or two to even scratch the surface. But this being one of Europe’s most expensive countries to visit, a great way to visit Norway is in fact as part of a cruise. This way, you’ll get to experience all of the magic of the country without major expenses like hotels, food and travel from one place to the next. I travelled through the fjordlands of Norway this way a few years ago and it is a trip I will never forget.

europe cities to visit

35. Spend a weekend in Stockholm, Sweden

There are many beautiful cities in Scandinavia to discover, but perhaps my favourite of them all is Stockholm, Sweden. This city offers a bit of everything for design lovers – by way of museums, architecture, galleries, cafes, and beautiful Scandinavian furniture stores. You could spend an entire week here but for the sake of time and budget, give yourself a weekend instead.


36. Explore Budapest, Hungary

Despite once flying under the radar of European travel itienraries, Budapest has well and truly become discovered. This city is now considered a must visit destination on any Europe bucket list, so be sure to add it to yours. Located in Hungary in the heart of Europe, the city is buzzing with beautiful buildings, monuments, and of course, the famed public bath houses.

europe cities to visit

37. Visit the Swiss Alps

The Swiss Alps are most popular during the winter months but if you ask us, there’s never a bad time to visit. Exploring this region by train is an easy way to kick back and take it all in, all the while traveling from one town to the next. There are many great cities to visit in Switzerland too, but once you’ve visited the alps, you’ll see why this heart stopping region is a popular destination for travelers every year.

Lake Bled Slovenia

38. Row a boat on Lake Bled, Slovenia

Fancy visiting the most romantic lake in all of Europe? Then head on over to Lake Bled, Slovenia’s most famous tourist attraction and for good reason. There are many ways to see and experience the lake – including swimming in the summer, walking or riding a bike around the rim of the lake, but my personal favourite is to row a boat to the island in the heart of the lake.


39. Visit Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

As we said earlier, Europe has no shortage of castles. And in Germany, there are certainly many to be discovered. But if you pick just one, we recommend visiting Neuschwanstein Castle in the South of the country, neatly tucked away in Bavaria. This castle has a unique history and has since been dubbed the “Disney Castle” given its similarity to the logo. You can visit and tour ths castle seasonally, which is a great day trip on offer from Munich.


40. Visit Hallstatt, Austria’s prettiest lake town

Meanwhile in the central region of Europe, you might also want to add a little town by the name of Hallstatt to your Europe bucket list. This town is commonly considered the most beautiful lakeside town in all of Europe – and it isn’t hard to see why!

Read more: The prettiest lake towns in Europe

41. Ride a Gondola in Venice, Italy

If you find yourself in Italy, you are likely to stumble upon Venice, as it is one of the most visited cities in the country alongside Rome, Florence and Milan. And if you find yourself in Venice, you really must experience a gondola ride to get the full Venetian experience.

europe cities to visit

42. Visit the Acropolis, Greece

While Athens can often get a bad wrap in travel blogs and guides, there really is something so impressive and grounding about visiting the Acropolis . This ancient citadel is still preserved to this day and is certainly worthy of a visit while you transit en route to the nearby islands.

europe cities to visit

43. Attend Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany

This list of Europe bucket list items would not be complete without mention of Germany’s Oktoberfest. The beer festival takes place annually and has become a huge drawcard for international travelers, especially those in their 20’s and 30’s seeking a fun social experience.

europe cities to visit

44. Explore Edinburgh

Many years ago we named Edinburgh the most underrated capital city in all of Europe and to this day, we stand by it. However, since then, visitors to Edinburgh have skyrocketed and the popularity of this city is now something to behold. But that doesn’t mean the charm has worn off and if you ask us, this is one of the most beautiful large cities in all of Europe. Especially for Harry Potter fans, as this is where soem of the books themselves were written.

St Petersburg Russia | WORLD OF WANDERLUST

45. Explore the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, Russia

Russia’s two biggest cities are often where you will find international travelers and that’s for good reason. St Petersburg was once the capital city of Russia, and as such has a long list of attractions to offer. But there is one such attraction we’d argue surpasses all the rest. And that is, of course, the Hermitage Museum. Once a winter palace, the Hermitage today is home to countless artefacts, art works and is itself a living history.

Dubrovnik Croatia | WORLD OF WANDERLUST

46. Walk the city walls of Dubrovnik

If you find yourself in Croatia, then be sure to stop by Dubrovnik, the coastal city that has become a hot spot for international travelers. This walled city is as beautiful as it looks in films. And if it looks familiar, you might recognise the city as one of the main filming locations for popular HBO series Game of Thrones .

Guide to Ljubljana | WORLD OF WANDERLUST

47. Explore Ljubljana, Europe’s most underrated Capital City

Speaking of underrated capital cities (at this point we have named a few), you really must add Ljubljana, the capital city of Slovenia, to your Europe bucket list. This city is quaint, charming, and especially so in the summer months.

europe cities to visit

48. Walk through history in Poland

There are too many cities and towns in Poland you must visit to name just one, so we’ll name two: Warsaw (the capital) and Krakow (the gatway to Auschwitz and Birkenau concentration camps). Both of these cities offer insight into Poland’s turbulent past, and both are worthy of a visit on your tour of Eastern Europe.

Pisa - best day trips from Florence | WORLD OF WANDERLUST

49. Visit the most celebrated failure in architecture

The leaning tower of Pisa was in fact never supposed to be this way. But this work of architecture is perhaps the most celebrated failure of its kind, with many travelers makeing their way to Pisa just to take a photo with the icon.

Istanbul Bucket List | WORLD OF WANDERLUST

50. Visit the wonders of Istanbul

Some may say we’ve saved the best ’til last and others may catch us out on a technicality – but we’d be doing you a disservice to not mention the wonders of Istanbul! This city is the largest in Turkey and straddles both Europe and Asia, separated by the Bosphorus Strait. Across the city you will notice the many empires that have once ruled here and the many names this city has held, at the hands of various rulers. There is no other city in the world quite like it – so be sure to add Istanbul to your bucket list.

Brooke Saward

Brooke Saward founded World of Wanderlust as a place to share inspiration from her travels and to inspire others to see our world. She now divides her time between adventures abroad and adventures in the kitchen, with a particular weakness for French pastries.

Find me on: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

A few snapshots from Island life in Koh Samui 🥹🌴 just shared my blog posts from this trip in Thailand and now craving mango sticky rice pudding, the kindness and hospitality of Thai people and those buffet breakfast spreads (the kinda ones that keep you full til dinner). My stay at @fskohsamui was like something out of a story book. Especially that last photo - that night was one to remember 🫶🏼 #kohsamui #thailand #travel #travelblog #thailandtravel

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europe 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.


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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100 Best Places to Visit in Europe – The Ultimate Bucket List

best places to visit in Europe

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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

europe 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


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


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!

Atlas & Boots

The UK's most popular outdoor travel blog

London is best city in Europe

Ranked: 100 best cities to visit in Europe 2024

A bridge and Big Ben in London, the best city in Europe

From the “capital of capitals” to the “Venice of the North”, these are the 100 best cities to visit in Europe in 2024

In 2015, a study from the European Commission found that 72% of the EU’s population lived in cities with the majority of Europeans concentrated in cities with populations between 250,000 and 5 million.

In 2018, another study suggested that by the time this century is complete, the world’s population will be 80% urbanised with Europe at the forefront of this change with around 90% of its population urbanised. Belgium already has an urbanised population of 98% with Malta (95%) and the Netherlands (93%) not far behind.

Wherever the world’s expats , digital nomads and remote workers choose to relocate, chances are it will be in a city. With this in mind, Canadian consultancy film Resonance , which has offices in Vancouver, Montreal, Singapore and New York, has published a new report ranking the 100 best cities in Europe with populations of more than 500,000.

How does the ranking work?

How to stay connected in europe’s cities.

  • What is Europe’s best city?

Other winning cities

100 best cities to visit in europe – complete ranking.

Contrary to similar ‘best-of’ lists, the index assesses a city’s culture, diversity, prosperity, infrastructure and employment opportunities.

The skyline of Barcelona, one of the best cities to visit in Europe

They use 25 factors grouped into six categories covering a range of criteria including climate, access to outdoor space, education and work prospects, population diversity, leisure options and even social media popularity.

The six categories and 25 factors are:

  • Place: weather, safety, sights & landmarks, outdoors
  • Product: airport connectivity, attractions, museums, university ranking, convention centre
  • People: labour force participation, educational attainment
  • Prosperity: global 500 number, GDP per capita, income equality, employment rate
  • Programming: culture, nightlife, dining, shopping
  • Promotion: Facebook check-ins, Google search, TripAdvisor reviews, Instagram hashtags, Google Trends

Roaming charges can be high in Europe so the best way to stay connected when travelling is to use an eSIM : a virtual SIM card. It is much cheaper than using the data roaming options provided by the major networks, pay-as-you-go physical SIM cards or wifi hotspot devices. An eSIM is also far more convenient.

An eSIM works remotely, meaning you don’t have to remove your current SIM card so there’s no risk of misplacing or damaging it or losing your number. eSIMs are pre-installed on the majority of devices now and can be activated just by installing an ‘eSIM profile’ of a new provider.

The best eSIM for travel in Europe is Holafly . We’ve used several providers over the years as well as pay-as-you-go SIM cards and wifi hotspots. Having used Holafly eSIMs in Europe as well as further afield in Mexico and Panama , we have now settled on them as our eSIM partner. They also come highly rated on Trustpilot .

A woman takes a photo on her phone in Paris, one of the best cities to visit in Europe

Holafly covers 170 destinations worldwide (with unlimited data available in 122 countries) and offers several eSIM  data packages for Europe  covering over 30 countries including popular destinations such as France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and Turkey across a range of networks including 3G, 4G and 5G.

We can offer our readers 5% off on Holafly purchases with this coupon: ATLASANDBOOTS

All packages come with unlimited data in Europe plus 60 minutes for making and receiving calls.

  • Unlimited data, 5 days: €19
  • Unlimited data, 7 days: €27
  • Unlimited data, 10 days: €34
  • Unlimited data, 15 days: €47
  • Unlimited data, 20 days: €57
  • Unlimited data, 30 days: €69
  • Unlimited data, 60 days: €87
  • Unlimited data, 90 days: €99

What is the best city to visit in Europe?

The study named London the best city in Europe. The ‘capital of capitals’ has taken the top spot despite concerns surrounding the city’s post-Brexit future . However, the report’s authors believe the city continues to draw talent and visitors en masse and will eventually weather the storm and even emerge stronger.

Light trails around a phone box during a long-exposure of London at night

The UK capital scored highly in the programming , promotion , product and prosperity categories but was some way behind in the place category. Transport links remain excellent, especially with the opening of the new Elizabeth Line connecting London’s main airport, Heathrow, to the suburbs on the other side of the metropolis.

“As the ‘capital of capitals’ (both in Europe and globally) deftly negotiates the uncharted, perilous terrain of a post-Brexit and pandemic world, London reigns as Europe’s best city.” – World’s Best Cities, Resonance

Tourists continue to visit London in their masses with the city ranked third in the world and first in Europe in terms of cities with the biggest international traveller spend. In 2022, $16.07 billion was spent by travellers in London, only slightly less than second-placed Doha ($16.79 billion) while Dubai was the runaway winner with $29.42 billion.

Despite a looming recession and falling house prices across the rest of the country, London’s luxury homes are defying the country’s economic slowdown and wider slump in house prices.

An artist's impression of the Camden Highline in London

Finally, pedestrians are excited by the 2025 opening of the Camden Highline , a 1.2km greenway just north of Central London. Described as a ‘Manhattan makeover for London,’ it is hoped that the transformation of a disused train track will revitalise the UK capital like it did in New York.

The usual suspects of Paris, Berlin, Rome and Madrid closely follow London. Paris remains a strong contender thanks to its ambitious sustainability policies which have included expanding cycle routes, reducing city speed limits and tree planting as it aims to become Europe’s greenest city by 2030 .

A view of the Eiffel Tower from across the rooftops of Paris

“Cities are the engines of the global economy and the badges of human ingenuity. Yes, they’ve been hobbled over the past 18 months, exposing the long-ignored foundational and institutional problems that manifested on their streets and in their hospitals and seniors homes. But they’re also leading — like they always have — the recovery and future-defining next stage of human innovation.” – World’s Best Cities, Resonance

Berlin has moved into third place in the ranking and won heavy praise for “welcoming waves of Ukrainians fleeing Russia’s invasion” as well as its cultural assets which include vibrant nightlife, cutting-edge architecture and fascinating museums. In 2024, the city will host several matches of the Euro 24 football tournament including the final at the Olympiastadion.

Rome is one of the world’s most romantic cities brimming with millennia of history but it was also commended for its underrated parks and greenways and its hospitality sector.

The Colosseum in Rome

Madrid moved above its archrival Barcelona for the first time thanks to its sustainability-driven investment while Prague in sixth, won praise for unrolling a series of resident-first policies in an attempt to battle the overtourism the city has seen of late.

Barcelona, the capital of Spain’s autonomous community of Catalonia , is Europe’s seventh-best city. The city performed well in the nightlife category but also won praise for its commitment to traffic calming and creating community space. Ada Colau, the mayor of Barcelona, has introduced several schemes as part of her superblock initiative as well as added over 100 miles of bike lanes.

In eighth place is Amsterdam, a European stalwart regularly rated among the world’s greenest cities . The city is often referred to as the “Venice of the North” due to its large number of UNESCO-listed canals . Amsterdam has won praise for its commitment to reforming the red-light district. Green mayor Femke Halsema plans to overhaul the area which can often find itself at the centre of out-of-control nightlife. Plans include increasing the size of the district to deal with overcrowding and outlawing cannabis smoking on the street.

A canal scene in Amsterdam – one of the best cities to visit in Europe

It will be a tricky manoeuvre as the city remains popular among tourists – fifth in the world and second in Europe in terms of cities with the biggest international traveller spend – and they don’t all come for the museums and shopping.

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The Planet D: Adventure Travel Blog

35 Most Beautiful Cities in Europe to See This Year

Written By: The Planet D

Europe , Travel Bucket Lists

Updated On: February 14, 2024

Europe's most beautiful cities

Enjoy our list of the most beautiful cities in Europe that have actually been to. This is not someone else’s opinion, these are the best European cities that we have visited personally in real life. We’ve seen and experienced all of these cities firsthand. That way we can give you an honest opinion of what we think the prettiest cities in Europe are. We did not pick cities off a press release nor did we copy from another list on the Internet so let us know if you agree in the comments once you are finished!

most beautiful cities in europe venice gondolas

Table of Contents

Best Cities in Europe

There are some European cities that didn’t make the list but we are constantly updating this list each time we visit a new European destination. It can be difficult to narrow down which are the best cities in Europe to visit on beauty alone.

Most European cities have done an amazing job preserving their buildings and history which plays such a big part in determining where they place on this list. Want more information on European Capital Cities? Check out 14 Best European Capital Cities To Visit

We most certainly haven’t seen all of Europe, but we wanted to do a round-up of Europe’s most beautiful cities….that we’ve seen so far. So without further adieu, enjoy our photos and memories of the most beautiful cities in Europe to visit… according to us!

1. Paris, France

Paris is definitely one of the most beautiful cities in Europe

Paris is often considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It may seem cliché, but will always be the most beautiful city in Europe to us. No matter how many other cities we see, we still come back to the City of Lights and gaze upon it with wonder and awe. We never tire of seeing different views of the Eiffel Tower an going up for a champagne toast is one for the bucket list.

beautiful cities to visit in europe paris eiffel tower

Walking through the city streets at night is one of our favorite things to do and each time we visit Paris, we are mesmerized by seeing the Eiffel Tower twinkle in the night. With each visit to one of the most famous cities in the world, we find more art galleries to explore and we always stumble upon a quiet corner to have a romantic escape. It is the cornerstone of what makes this city great.

  • How to Visit Paris on a Budget
  • Where to Stay in Paris – The Best Neighborhoods
  • Free Things in Paris
  • Three Days in Paris
  • Paris Museum and Attraction Closures
  • Famous Cemitiere Pere la Chaise

2. Copenhagen, Denmark

Most Beautiful Cities in Europe - Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen holds a special place in our hearts. This enchanting city is a treat to explore. With Tivoli Gardens, Nyhavn, The Little Mermaid, and an endless stream of canals, Copenhagen definitely deserves to be named one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. It is like a fairytale to walk around.

Nyhavn is probably the most scenic cityscape in all of the Scandinavian cities we visited. This waterfront canal is located in the Old Town and is a must see when visiting Copenhagen. 17th-century townhouses line the canal filled with historic sailboats. What makes these townhouses so special is the fact that they are painted in bright colors.

  • 12 Terrific Things to do in Copenhagen
  • Tivoli Gardens – Magic and Beauty 

3. Venice, Italy

Most Beautiful Cities in Europe - Venice, Italy

Venice is one of the best European cities to visit as long as you don’t go on a cruise. Traveling independently and staying overnight in the city is an amazing experience. Even though it is known for its canals, getting lost in its maze of cobblestone streets and back alleys is part of the fun of visiting this charming city.

Many people don’t love Venice, but we think it is because they have never stayed there long enough. We spent six days exploring Venice and it quickly because one of our favorite cities to visit in Europe. We would watch cruise lines and bus tours come in for a day and zip right back out before they had a chance to really explore Venice.

beautiful cities in europe venice

Taking boat trips through the canals created a picture-perfect experience and enjoying quiet drinks on a bistro terrace felt like a dream. See what it’s like to see Venice by Private Water Taxi, it was our favorite tour we’ve ever taken.

  • 25 Best Things to do in Venice, Italy This Year
  • Venice City Tour the Way it Was Meant to Be
  • Apartment Rentals vs Hotels – Our Stay in Venice

4. Budapest, Hungary

Most beautiful Cities in Europe - Budapest, Hungary

Budapest is probably the most beautiful city in Europe that’s on the water. Walking over the chain bridge to witness the beauty of Buda and Pest looking back at one another across the Danube is pure perfection. hen the lights come on in Budapest, make your way down to the river and take in the splendor of the two cities.

The Hungarian Parliament shines at night overlooking the Danube River with The Széchenyi Chain Bridge reflecting in its waters making for a magical scene. Budapest at night is truly one of the prettiest cities in Europe. Budapest is surprisingly known for its thermal baths and ruin bars. These two tourist destinations are what make Budapest so unique.

  • 18 Pictures of Budapest That Will Make You Want to Pack Your Bags
  • 16 of the Best Things to do in Budapest
  • Communist Tour of Budapest
  • Buy the Book: Secrets of the Smallest Seven States in Europe

5. Florence, Italy

Most Beautiful Cities in Europe Florence

Florence is truly a city of art and one of the most beautiful cities to visit in Europe. With every turn you make you will run into sculptures or intricate etching in the architecture. It’s a city where you can walk slowly through its cobbled streets while enjoying each and every building you lay eyes upon.

The Duomo stands proud in the city center and endless cobblestone streets weave around allowing you to get lost and simply enjoy. See more at Florence in Photos: A City of Art Make sure to make more than a day trip out of visiting Florence, spend several to really delve into the art and culture of this gorgeous metropolis.

  • 10 Most Beautiful Things to do in Florence
  • Where to Stay in Florence – An Insider’s Guide to Neighborhoods
  • A walking Tour of Florence – The Tale of Two Davids
  • Florence in Photos – a City of Art

6. Bern, Switzerland

Most Beautiful Cities in Europe Bern, Switzerland

Bern, Switzerland is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the political center of Switzerland. It is also the capital city of Switzerland. Bern doesn’t feel like a political hub though, this city was made for walking. The walkways of Bern are all covered making for pleasant shopping in any type of weather.

Seeing Bern from the Aare River reinforces our decision why we included it in our list of the most beautiful cities we’ve ever visited.

  • The Ultimate Switzerland Road Trip Itinerary
  • The Ultimate One-Week Switzerland Itinerary
  • 22 Beautiful Places to Visit in Switzerland

7. Barcelona, Spain

Most Beautiful Cities in Europe Barcelona

The more we visit Barcelona, the more we love it. At first, we weren’t fans of the works of Gaudi , but as we got to know him a bit more, we fell in love with his innovative, colorful and playful architecture. In fact, the works of Gaudi are not only designated as 1 UNESCO World Heritage Site but there are 9 UNESCO-designated sites in Barcelona alone! 7 of which belong to Anotnie Gaudi himself.

With a beautiful waterfront, quiet parks, downtown walking streets, and bustling markets, Barcelona is definitely up there as one of the most beautiful and vibrant cities we’ve visited in Europe.

  • Where to Stay in Barcelona
  • A Local’s Guide to What to do in Barcelona at Night
  • Romantic Barcelona – 7 Seductive Places to Visit
  • 26 of the Best Places to Visit in Barcelona

8. Bergen, Norway

Most Beautiful Cities in Europe Bergen Norway

We think Bergen Norway is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe due to its natural beauty. Surrounded by mountains, it is truly picture-perfect. the historic Bryggen Area makes for a picturesque waterfront. It may not be the obvious Norwegian city to visit in Europe (most people naturally think of Oslo first) but Bergen is certainly one for the bucket list.

The first place you should visit in Bergen is Bryggen, the fairytale village of historic wooden houses lining the waterfront. This historic quarter of Bergen is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and with good reason. Bergen is surrounded by 7 mountains, picture-perfect views and old-world architecture. Make sure to take the cable car to the top of Mount Fløyen for amazing views of the city. When you see Bergen, you’ll agree that it may be one of the prettiest cities in Europe.

We even named our original post about Bergina: Things to do in Norway’s Most Beautiful City

9. Brussels, Belgium

Most Beautiful Cities in Europe  Brussels

Brussels was one of the first European cities we’ve ever visited and I will never forget the feeling we had when we finally found the square. We had been walking the city streets and rounded a corner to see the famous Old Town Square. And the sight took our breath away. We visited it again a couple of years ago and the feeling did not fade.

We still think that the Square of Brussels is one of the most beautiful squares in all of Europe. Its art nouveau buildings are some of the best in Europe. In fact, Horta Hotel Tassa was the first building in Europe constructed in the Art Nouveau style. It’s an absolutely beautiful city filled with history and charm. Brussels, Belgium is a charming city to visit, but it is the old town square that put it near the top of our favourite of the beautiful cities in Europe.

Bruges, Belgium

beautiful cities in europe bruges belgium

Often people think Bruges is one of the most beautiful European cities. We haven’t been to Bruges yet, but we thought we’d sneak it in after Brussels as a hidden European city to visit on this list (you won’t see it in the table of contents until we’ve visited) But we have had people write articles about Bruges for us, we did see the movie “In Bruges” and we’ve done a lot of research. When we go back to Europe next, this town will be one of our first stops. Check it out and see what you think!

10. Tallinn, Estonia

Most Beautiful Cities in Europe Tallin

We only managed to pop over to Estonia for a day, but I am so happy that the city we visited was beautiful Tallinn. If you are doing a Scandinavia tour, Tallinn is definitely one of the prettiest cities to visit (in northern Europe at least)on the list.

Tallinn was surprising. We didn’t really know what to expect when visiting Estonia, but what an interesting country with a very rich history. We can’t wait to go back and see more! With its medieval square, high lookouts and ancient wall, it has everything you need to see when visiting a European City. If you are traveling through Scandinavia, make sure to add Estonia to your list.

11. Rome, Italy

Most Beautiful Cities in Europe Rome

Rome made the list of beautiful cities to visit in Europe because of the way the ancient ruins weave through modern architecture. Rome is a city that has left Roman history intact. They have incorporated the old Roman architecture into the plans of the city. Modern buildings spring up between ancient monuments and we love it!

The entire old city center of Rome is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Witnessing places like the Colosseum, Pantheon and St. Peter’s Basilica is on many a traveler’s bucket list. It is one awe-inspiring sight after another when you visit this European City. So add Rome to your list of must visit cities in Europe, you won’t be disappointed. Rent or Buy Roman Holiday starring Audrey Hepburn to get into your Rome travel mood.

  • Where to Stay in Rome – Insider Tips to the Best Areas
  • 22 of the Best Things to do in Rome
  • Places to Visit Near Rome – Top 10 Alternative Attractions
  • Ancient Rome in Photos

12. Prague, Czech Republic

Most Beautiful Cities in Europe Prague czech republic

We had often heard that Prague, Czech Republic (Czechia) was a beautiful city in Europe, and when we first laid eyes on her, she didn’t disappoint. Yes, it is busy and crowded, but if you step out of the main trail, you’ll find quiet spots to grab a bite or a pint. Like any cities in Europe, the river offers the most beautiful views. The Prague Castle stands proud overhead as the Charles Bridge spans the lovely Vltava River.

If you wake up early and walk around the city, you will have it all to yourself. The old town square is one of the prettiest in Europe and when you have it all to yourself, it is truly breathtaking. Dave and I were amazed to see that people didn’t really get started until well after 9:00 am giving us plenty of time to enjoy the beautiful architecture in private. See our visit: Mongolia Pictures from the Russian Border to the Gobi Desert

Did you know that the Czech Republic is now called Czechia? Read more at 20 of The Best Things to do in Prague, Czechia

13. Istanbul, Turkey

Most Beautiful Cities in Europe Istanbul

When gazing upon the city of Istanbul from our rooftop terrace at night, it is set afire with light. Istanbul is a city with two personalities. One foot in the West with a European flair and the other foot in the East of Asia. Spanning two continents it is also Europe’s largest city. It is the Eastern influence that makes this city so beautiful.

Mosques dot the cityscape as spires peek out from above the skyline. The Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia do not disappoint and the Old City is the perfect place to get lost in time. Take a stroll through the Grand Baazar or go up to the top of Galata Tower for the best views of the city.

Visiting Istanbul is a rich cultural experience where East meets West. It’s an enormous city yet it is easy to walk and navigate. If you can make it up the Galata Tower to witness it from above, make sure that you do. You’ll understand why we say it is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.

  • 27 Best Things to do in Istanbul, Turkey
  • 3 Days In Istanbul Itinerary
  • i The Blue Mosque of Istanbul and tips for Entry

14. London, England

beautiful cities in Europe london tower brige

I know we will probably get some flack for putting London in as one of our most beautiful cities in europe, but we find it to be stunning. Our favorite part of London was hanging out by the river. With Tower Bridge, We took water taxis and ferries and took in the beauty of the city from the water. It is filled with memorable and notable architecture. It’s colorful, massive, and beautiful. Do you agree?

  • Where to Stay in London
  • London Landmarks – 18 Famous Places in Photos
  • 3 Days in London – The Ultimate London Itinerary
  • 22 of the Top Things to do in London, England

15. Dublin, Ireland

prettiest cities in europe dublin

It took me a while to add Dublin to my list of beautiful cities. When I first started compiling this, I only thought of skylines and places that took my breath away. But after visiting Dublin on several different occasions, I realize that it isn’t just about a skyline of skyscrapers that makes a city beautiful, it’s the culture and people. The River Liffey snakes through the heart of the city and when going for a walk, one can really take in its charm.

Dublin has quiet parks for getaways, castles to explore and an excellent put scene. The more we travel to it, the more beautiful it becomes.

  • 34 of the Best Things to do in Dublin, Ireland
  • Where to Stay in Dublin, Ireland: Best Areas and Hotels for Every Budget
  • A Step by Step Guide to the Guinness Storehouse
  • The Cliffs of Moher

16. Amsterdam, Netherlands

prettiest cities in europe amsterdam

Dave and I visited Amsterdam before our travel blogging careers, but it left an impression. Known as the Venice of the North, Amsterdam truly is a city of picturesque canals. The colorful waterways make it one of the prettiest cities in Europe and they are perfect for a stroll making it a perfect walking city. Of course, you can ride a bicycle too! We feel a kinship with Amsterdam’s Liberal values. Being Canadian, we have a lot in common with the people of the Netherlands.

  • The 21 Best Day Trips from Amsterdam
  • Ann Frank House – A Moving Tribute
  • Where to Stay in Amsterdam – A guide to the best neighborhoods

17. Stockholm, Sweden

sweden travel guide

Stockholm was one of our favorite cities in Scandinavia. The capital city of Sweden is located on the Baltic Sea and the colorful buildings of the old town line the waterfront taking your breath away.

What we love about Scandinavian towns is how there are amusement parks right in the center of the city and Stockholm is no exception with its grounds on the river. This northern city is connected with ferries taking visitors to 14 different islands. You won’t forget your visit Stockholm, it’s one of the best tourist destinations in northern Europe.

  • How to Visit Stockholm on a Budget
  • check out another picturesque city in Sweden in our Malmo Itinerary

18. Dubrovnik

Best Things to do in Dubrovnik Croatia

Located on the Adriatic Sea, Dubrovnik is surrounded by crystal clear waters and picturesque beaches that make it a truly beautiful place to visit. The city is also home to a number of charming islands, including the island of Lokrum, which is home to a beautiful botanical garden and a monastery that dates back to the 12th century.

One of the main things that make Dubrovnik so beautiful is its Old Town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Old Town is surrounded by a medieval wall that was built in the 13th century and is filled with narrow streets, charming squares, and beautiful buildings that are a testament to the city’s rich history.

The Old Town is also home to a number of important landmarks, including the Dubrovnik Cathedral, the Rector’s Palace, and the Sponza Palace. Dubrovnik was also used as a filming location for Game of Thrones. Dubrovnik’s old city was used extensively for Kings Landing since season two and there are plenty of places that you will recognize.

  • Things to do in Dubrovnik
  • Where to Stay in Dubrovnik

19. Reykjavik, Iceland

reykjavik waterfront beautiful cities in europe

Visiting Iceland was a dream come true and its capital city of Reykjavik is beautiful. Reykjavik is one of the smaller cities on our list, but it packs a punch. Like many of Europe’s beautiful cities, Reykjavik has colorful buildings lining the waterfront, pedestrian avenues, and lots of shopping, dining, and nightlife. It is a city that is quintessentially Nordic and when visiting Iceland deserves a couple of days to explore.

Like many European Cities to visit on this list, Iceland was used as a filming location for Game of Thrones. Even though Reykjavik wasn’t used, the crew stayed here and many of the surrounding national parks, glaciers and lagoons were used in the popular series. We were huges Game of Thrones fans and visited many destination around the world. Check out this Game of Thrones Tour of Northern Ireland that recreates some of the scenes shot in Iceland .

  • Iceland Pictures
  • The Blue Lagoon – Is it Worth It?
  • 13 Unique Places To Visit In Iceland

20. Bologna, Italy

Most Beautiful Cities in Europe - Bologna

When we found out we were spending three weeks in Bologna, we were excited. But we didn’t know much about it. It turns out, that Bologna should be added to everyone’s Italian itinerary. Bologna is one of the most underrate cities to visit in Europe and that is a good thing. It’s not as crowded as Rome or Venice, but there is just as much history, amazing food and architecture.

Bologna has a more local vibe and as you can see it’s absolutely stunning. Take a stroll through the old city and its cobblestone streets as you find one hidden gem after another. Bologna even has the highest leaning tower in all of Italy and when you walk up it, you’ll have amazing views of the city. Move over Pisa, this leaning tower is the real deal. (note, we took this photo from the top of Bologna’s leaning tower.)

  • Best Things to do in Bologna
  • Gelato vs Ice Cream a Tasty Showdown in Balogna
  • 12 Reasons to Love Emilia Romagna

21. Berlin, Germany

Cool Berlin

Having only been to Berlin once, we debated if we were allowed to include it in our list of beautiful cities. It’s been filled with so much graffiti over the years, instead of fighting it, it has embraced it. It has turned vandalism into a work of art. The architecture of Berlin is all over the place with a mix of buildings that clash with one another. And that is what makes Berlin Beautiful.

Not only is it beautiful, but Berlin is also one of the hippest cities to visit in Europe with amazing nightlife, cool neighborhoods and funky cafes. Read more: The Best Places to Visit in Berlin, Germany

22. Zurich Switzerland

beautiful cities in europe zurich switzerland

The beautiful European city of Zurich is a dream destination. The picturesque setting on Lake Zurich and the Limmat River make for a gorgeous spot to take in the sunset and watch the beautiful people walk by. Zurich has it all with a well-preserved old town, a rich history, and incomparable wealth. Walking through the cobbled streets will take you back in time.

One of our favorite things to do in Zurich was to see it from above. Take the Felsenegg cable car up to 803 meters above sea level for breathtaking views of the city.

  • The Perfect 3 Days in Zurich, Switzerland
  • The Best Things to do in Zurich, Switzerland

23. Vienna, Austria

beautiful cities in europe vienna austria christmas

We visited Vienna, Austria during the holiday season and it is second to none when it comes to Christmas Markets. The city shines with lights and festivities. There is a reason that Vienna is referred to as one of the most beautiful capital cities in Europe. From its magnificent architecture and impressive museums to its musical history and art scene, it is easy to see why Vienna is so popular.

Bundle up and drink some mulled wine while you browse the walking streets and outdoor shops. Vienna’s opera house was rebuilt after World War II and is considered one of the most glamorous in the world. Read more: The 24 Best Things to do in Vienna, Austria

24. Munich, Germany

beautiful cities in europe munich germany

Germany’s Bavaria surprised us. We didn’t expect to love it so much, but it is Europe’s hidden gem. Munich is a city filled with cobblestone streets that are perfect for walking in the Old Town and picturesque squares, and it’s perfect to explore by bicycle.

Just outside the city is Europe’s largest park and there are plenty of beer halls and beer gardens. Plus don’t forget the famous Glockenspiel located at Marienplatz. Read more: Best Things to do in Munich, Germany

  • Garmisch Partenkirken – A Magical Town in the Alps
  • The Best Things to do in Bavaria
  • Best Castles in Germany

beautiful cities to visit in europe athens

It took us three different visits to Athens before we really appreciated its beauty. The city is home to some of the most famous ancient ruins in the world, including the Acropolis, the Parthenon, and The Agora. There is nothing more breathtaking than sitting at a rooftop bar at Monastiraki Square looking at the Acropolis standing proud over the city.

There are so many places to take in views of the city with rooftop bars and patios all over Athens. One of the best places though is to take the cable car up to Lybitacus Hill for the overall best views of Athens.

best cities to visit in europe athens greece

A visit to Athens was on our bucket list for years. It was at a travel bloggers conference that we had our first taste of this eternal city and we have gone back a couple of times to really take in its beauty. Make sure to stay in the city center to be able to walk to all of the popular tourist attractions. It’s one of the most walkable capital cities in Europe and we love it.

Athens is also home to many beautiful parks and gardens. The National Garden is a lush oasis in the heart of the city where you can escape between viewing its impressive buildings and structures such as the Temple of Olympian Zeus, the Panathenaic Stadium, and the Syntagma Square. Whether you are interested in history, art, or just enjoying the sights and sounds of a vibrant city, Athens has something to offer you.

  • The Best Things to do in Athens
  • Where to Stay in Athens

26. Porto, Portugal

beautiful european cities to visit porto

The Medieval architecture of Porto is a lovely city located on the Douro River. Taking a tram ride through the city takes you back in time. They are designated with a heritage status for tourists to enjoy the historic transportation. When visiting Porto make sure to take a stroll through its old town beginning at the banks of the River Douro.

Taking a walk along the bustling waterfront makes for a romantic evening and don’t forget to take the funicular up for panoramic views. Lisbon may be one of the most popular cities to visit in Portugal, but Porto stole our hearts. Read more: 14 Best Things to Do in Sintra, Portugal in 2023

27. Brasov, Romania

brasov square is a beautiful european city

We fell in love with Romania and while the city of Bucharest is lively and exciting, it is the area of Transylvania that stole our hearts. While Dracula’s Castle is the popular tourist attraction in the area, make sure to spend a couple of days in Brasov.

The Old Town of Brasov is filled with walking streets, medieval architecture, and gothic churches. Take a stroll through the cobblestone streets of the Old Town Square and marvel at the sights and sounds. Council Square in the city center is one of the best places to hang out in Brasov. Watch our video: Scenes from Romania

28. Lisbon, Portugal

best cities to visit in europe lisbon portugal

There are so many beautiful cities in Portugal it is difficult to choose, but let’s go with the Capital City, Lisbon. Located on the Atlantic coast, the city is home to a number of impressive buildings and landmarks, including the Belem Tower overlooking the Tagus River, Jeronimos Monastery, and the Sao Jorge Castle. Besides its historic landmarks, Lisbon is also home to a number of modern structures, such as the Vasco da Gama Bridge, which is the longest bridge in Europe and offers breathtaking views of the city and the surrounding area.

Make sure to go to the Alfama neighborhood to wander its narrow streets, colorful houses, and lively atmosphere. The Baixa neighborhood, on the other hand, is a more modern neighborhood that is known for its wide boulevards and elegant buildings.

  • Best Things to do in Lisbon
  • How to Spend a Layover in Lisbon, Portugal
  • 20 Best Cities in Portugal to Visit

29. Seville, Spain

beautiful cities in europe - seville

We popped into Seville on a road trip through Spain and Italy years ago. That was when we traveled to check off a lot of places at once and we wish we stayed longer! Something we love about European cities is how they don’t change the historic parts of towns. If you’ve visited them before, they are just as beautiful as they are today, and the old town of Seville is no exception

People have taken note of Seville all over again thanks to Game of Thrones who used this location for the city of Mareen and locations in Dorne. It’s no wonder, Seville is one of the most beautiful places in Europe! See more Game of Thrones filming locations around the world at Game of Thrones Filming Locations You Can Visit in Real Life

  • 15 Free Things to do in Seville, Spain
  • Game of Thrones Filming Locations
  • 10 Must Visit Cities in Spain

30. Helsinki, Finland

beautiful cities in europe - finland

Helsinki was our final stop on our Scandinavian tour and like all the cities we visited in Northern Europe, it too was beautiful! The Helsinki Cathedral is the center point of the city towering over the colorful buildings lining the waterfront.

We love how Scandinavians always have swimming pools right in the heart of the city. Helsinki has a prominent swimming hole at the canal. The water is so clean! Like so many cities we love, there are walking streets, shopping and plenty of bistros and cafes.

31. Basel Switzerland

beautiful cities to visit in europe basel switzerland

Switzerland has one beautiful city after another and we couldn’t end our beautiful cities in Europe list without including our favorite city in Switzerland, Basel. Located on the Rhine River, Basel it has the perfect blend of old and new. The history of the Old Town blends beautifully with the contemporary architectural designs throughout the city. The cultural capital of Switzerland has a magnificent Old Town.

Take a tour of The Altstadt (Old City) to see the amazing Basel Munster Cathedral which captures the soul of the city through its twin towers and red sandstone walls. The Rhine River cuts through the city center and there is no better way to take in the views of the city than by either taking a boat tour, or swimming in the river. (you heard me correctly, one of the top things to do in Basel is to swim in the River Rhine.

  • 24 Fantastic Things to do in Basel, Switzerland
  • 20 Reasons to Fall in Love with Basel, Switzerland

I know that Edinburgh is another beautiful city in Europe. Do you think it deserves to make the list?

32. Edinburgh, Scotland

beautiful cities to visit in europe edinbrugh

Edinburgh is built atop a series of extinct volcanoes and rocky crags, providing panoramic views of the surrounding area. The Old Town is a particularly picturesque area, with its winding medieval cobblestone streets and towering castles and churches. The Royal Mile is a popular tourist destination that runs from High Street section of Old Town down. It is the oldest section of the city. The Royal Mile area itself is actually 5 separate streets within the Old Town and it is worth it to explore all of them

One of the most iconic landmarks in Edinburgh is Edinburgh Castle, a medieval fortress perched atop a volcanic rock and offering breathtaking views of the city. The castle is home to the Scottish Crown Jewels and the Stone of Destiny, a powerful symbol of the country’s royal heritage.

The Scott Monument, a towering Victorian Gothic monument, is a popular attraction and offers panoramic views of this charmoing city. The city’s many churches and cathedrals, including St. Giles Cathedral and Greyfriars Kirk, are also beautiful examples of architecture.

  • Edinburgh Itinerary in 3 Days
  • Where to Stay in Edinburgh – A Guide To The Best Places and Neighborhoods
  • 15 Best Cities in Scotland To Visit in 2023
  • 22 Best Things To Do in Edinburgh, Scotland

33. Kyiv, Ukraine

beautiful cities in europe kyiv

Sadly, Kyiv and Ukraine are suffering from Russia’s invasion so travel here is not happening in 2023 but we want to let the people know that they are in our hearts and minds. This is a beautiful city in Europe that we hope will survive and we hope the war ends soon so that the people of Ukraine can have their lives back. Read more about Kyiv at Unusual Things to Do in Kyiv, Ukraine

We traveled to Kyiv while taking part in the Mongol Rally. It was one of the best cities we stopped in during our overland journey from England to Mongolia. It’s filled with Orthodox Churches and cathedrals, wide avenues, and lovely ornate buildings all stemming out from Independence Square. During the Mongol Rally, we went through Ukraine and Russia, and while we are infuriated with Putin

34. San Marino

Most Beautiful Cities in Europe San Marino

San Marino  is a city and an independent republic in the middle of Italy. It sits high on a hill overlooking possibly the most beautiful view we’ve ever seen from a city. It overlooks the Italian Apennines, rivaling the beauty of Tuscany . San Marino is the oldest surviving sovereign state in the world and it’s known as the Serene Republic. Serene it is indeed. Get Your Complete Guide to World Heritage Sites

35. Oia, Santorini – Greece

most beautiful cities in europe santorini

I debated whether to put Oia, Santorini into this post or not. Is it a city or is it a destination? But considering it is one of the prettiest places we have ever been in our lives, we couldn’t leave our beautiful cities to visit in Europe list without mentioning this urban center located on a small island.

I don’t think there is a more beautiful spot on earth than overlooking the Caldera from the whitewashed buildings of Oia. Sure, Santorini was created to be a tourist destination, but it ended up being a masterpiece. So, we end with one of the top bucket list destinations in Europe and will let you debate whether it should be on our list or not.

  • 25 of The Very Best Things to do in Santorini
  • Where to Stay in Santorini: Best Hotels and Towns
  • Photography Guide to Santorini
  • The Best Places to Visit in Santorini, Greece
  • Iconic Santorini – A Cave Hotel Experience

And these are the most beautiful cities in Europe according to Dave and Deb. Europe is such a vast continent. It may be small in area, but it is huge in population and urban centers. From Russia to Greece or Northern Europe’s Scandinavia countries to Istanbul straddling two continents, there are so many cities to visit in Europe it will take a lifetime to see them all. But we are going to do our best!

Do you have any additions to our beautiful cities to visit in Europe? Do you think some of our suggestions are downright crazy? We want to know! 

Enjoy browsing these beautiful cities?  Save this article to Pinterest for future travel planning

beautiful cities in europe

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157 thoughts on “35 Most Beautiful Cities in Europe to See This Year”

A bit surprised Naples is not in the ranking (if Edinburgh and Wien are). Notwithstanding some of its problems, it’s worth a top position as for beauty, art and culture

in Paris I like Eiffel Tower but I recommend you to go Disneyland Paris its an amazing place

Warsaw – the capital city of Poland is really beautiful and modern. I can really recommend to visit it.

Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, is an incredibly beautiful city with a mediaeval Old Town and neo-classical New Town separated by the gorgeous Princes Street Gardens.

Absolutely, deserves to be in top 10.

World is so beautiful. I am so lucky that I born on this planet & I thankful my parents they gave birth on the earth. I couldn’t go outside India, but through media Imagine the beautiful world. Thanks everyone who is trying to bring things up to me.

Great list! I’ve been to a little more than half of these. Bern and Bergen both sound incredible! Thanks for putting it together

If you ever visit Edinburgh in Scotland and Turin in Italy, I’m sure you would add them to your list!

Frankly, I’ve always thought of London as an impressive city, but not a beautiful one. To me, Paris was built by artists — London was built by bureaucrats. My choice for beautiful city that’s often overlooked is Salzburg, Austria. There’s a palace in the middle of town where scenes from the Sound of Music were filmed, and the major buildings in the old quarter were influenced by classic Italian achitecture. And of course, there’s Mozart and the music …

I would love to go to Salzburg.

Yes its one of the best cities in Europe. Zell am see near Salzburg is also beautiful.

Any list is imperfect by definition. In your case, for a start you miss many nice places for not having been to them. And then beauty is a very subjective concept. Nice effort anyway and I am happy to say that I have been to all 31 sites you mention. Plus many others you don’t, like St. Petersburg, Riga, Vilnius, Gdansk, Krakow, Bratislava, Dresden, Salzburg, Annecy, Bruges, Ghent, Edinburgh, Cambridge, Verona, Dubrovnik or Granada. All of them worth being in such a list, for me far more than Helsinki, Reykjavik or Dublin, that are interesting places, or call them exotic if you want, but not really beautiful. Europe is amazing, and there is no country or region that is not worth a visit.

Well I’ve only been to 7/31 so far…so I’ve got some traveling to do!

I lived in Florence for 3-months during University and have been to Prague twice. I highly recommend both cities!

Copenhagen, Budapest, and Berlin are next up on my list!

Brussels a beautiful city? And Dublin’s skyscrapers adds to its beauty? I don’t think I’m on the same page at all with the writer 😀 I prefer cities with old and beuatiful architecture and nice views. Brussels used to have an old town too, but most of it was bombed in WW2, and now it is mostly just a very small part of town that has old architecture.

Where is Zagreb (if you prefer Austro-Hungarian architecture) or Split (more of a Roman style)

Where is Moscow, the unreal, and the iconic city. And where is Amsterdam, the city with flowers and river canals. Not just moscow and amsterdam and your listed city is beautiful. Every city of europe is beautiful with their style, place, climate, architecture, people, street and many more.

Unfortunately we haven’t been to Moscow Personally. We only included cities that we have been to. It’s been a long time since we have been to Amsterdam, but I really should add it to our list, I didnt’ think of it and will definitely do more research. Cheers!

In that case I will encourage you to visit Spain, because it´s funny there´s only one city on the list from the world´s second most visited country on earth.

Interesting list. If you’re only including cities you have visited (good idea), it would be great if you were to visit Edinburgh, Riga, Vienna, Turin, Bordeaux, Lyon, Toulouse, Lubeck, Bruges, Heidelberg, Munich, Stockholm, Dresden, Leipzig, Bonn, Bratislava and Ljubljana. It would be interesting to see how you rate them.

Where is Edinburgh???

We haven’t been to Edinburgh personally and only included cities that we have visited. WE have a wonderful guest writer that has written about Edinburgh though and as soon as we do visit, we will be sure to add it!

I like your blog but there’s something missing, Lisbon. Budapest is veautiful no doubt but not the most beautiful over the water, that would Lisbon. Visit it asap and see if I’am right….

So no love for Madrid or Sevilla or the Canary islands…

And Sevilla? Sevilla is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe!!!

We haven’t been, but would love to go and when we do, we will be able to add it to our list!

Have you been to bled in Slovenia it is so stunning and beautiful

MADRID??? It is completely incredulous that Madrid is not pretty much at top of this list – it is infinitely more beautiful and with more cultural depth to it than the vast majority of cities listed here! And to note the one unique aspect of Madrid that no other city in Europe shares: an incredibly deep blue sky almost every single day of the year due to its position as the capital city of highest altitude in Europe!

No Vienna on the list? After Paris, It’s probably the most beautiful city in Europe.

Its subjective what makes a city beautiful. Personally I like authenticity and places that have become less spoiled and wrapped up in globalisation and convenience.

I love Tallinn, Rome, Budapest and Brussels and they’d probably be in my top 4 in some order.

Riga is a lovely city with amazing Art Nouveau buildings. and I’d also have space for Ghent and Mechelen. Porto has a beauty to it and Innsbruck, the dramatic mountains surrounding it are stunning. I’d have Stockholm ahead of Copenhagen and someone mentioned Wroclaw which is lovely with all the little gnomes and lots of spires.

I’d probably include Turin and Verona too, and much overlooked Luxembourg City. A quaint city with plenty of huge business on the outskirts, but a lovely core and valley with some grand buildings and structures.

I’d also recommend Rovinj in Croatia and finally looking closer to home in Britain…. Bristol is a beautiful city by the waterfront and up in Clifton.

Lovely article, thank you. May I recommend Wroclaw. The Christmas market is breathtakingly pretty.

i can say all european countries are stunning. i pray one day to be lucky and visit europe at least. #help me please any one

Berlin beautiful!? I live in Berlin. It is an extremely interesting city. No doubt about it! Beautiful? Nah! However, nearby Potsdam is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. London beautiful? Must be a joke! European cities like Urbino, Perugia or Susdal are true pleasures for our sore eyes. London and Berlin are just famous, big and capitals.

Berlin is wonderfully beautiful from Museum Island, around Unter den Linden then on to the fabulous Tiergarten and Zoo.

Agree with the most of your picks. But Definitely will change London with Viena . .. . Viena is one of the most beatiful pearls in the world. London ..well, London is definitely a must for visit but beatiful ..is too strong statement.

What of Hamburg

And where is Madrid, the most beautiful and liveable city of Europe?

VIENNA ist beautiful too.


I second that ^^

Surprised Edinburgh isn’t on the list.

Even more surprised that San Marino and Santorini are. They’re both beautiful, but they arent cities. You could put my living room on the list – it’s beautiful and also isn’t a city.

We haven’t been to Edinburgh so I can’t include it. This isn’t’ a list based on photographs from the Internet, it is a list based on where we have visited. I would love to see it one day though, and I am sure I will add it when I do. I actually stated that I debated Santorini, but then decided to go with Oia because it is so beautiful. It is the one place in Europe that literally took my breath away. San Marino is a republic, but the city of San Marino is the capital city of the republic. And it is beautiful. It’s a small city, but it is still a city.

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good list but i am surprised lisbon and edinburgh are not on there

We haven’t been to Lisbon or we would have included it. We hear it is beautiful. I cannot wait to visit one day.

The most beautiful city in Europe without doubt is Berlin Germany. No city in Europe can get any close to it.

We have since visited Berlin and agree. It’s not the typical beautiful city, but it is eclectic and filled with energy. So we added it to the list now that we have visited. Cheers

It is my first time to hear your claim. Are you okay btw ? I know berlin is very beautiful but to claim as number one is totally insane .

In my opinion i’d go with madrid,paris,rome,milan,lisbon,venice,berlin,london,brussels,barcelona as my top 10…i love the madrid city

We have yet to visit Madrid, Milan, or Lisbon, but I hear they are beautiful. I can’t wait to get back to Europe to see them in person. Then I will be able to update this list!

Were is Lisbon? Not only should be in your list, it also must be in the top of your list…

When we visit Lisbon I am sure we’ll add it. We haven’t been personally, but we have had some other bloggers write guest posts for us about it and they say it is beautiful. I can’t wait to see it in person.


How i cannot see Lisbon in the chart 🙁

That is because we didn’t spend enough time there, we were there for a short time a few years ago for a conference. For this post, we only shared where we had been personally.

Don’t forget edinburgh. Wonderful magical place. Amsterdam too

We can’t wait to visit Edinburgh. We have been to Amsterdam, but it was before we owned a digital camera. I wanted to include only places we’ve been to personally and could post a photo to go with hit. I’ll have to dig one out because yes, Amsterdam is beautiful.

Hi Dave & Deb,

Amazing choices! I been to Venice, Rome and Florence on my honeymoon and Barcelona, Granada, Seville and Madrid for our first anniversary this year, I think I am in LOVE with Europe. 🙂 Need some help to decide which other cities I can cover in Feb 2015 in 10 days.

Wow! You’ve seen a lot of Europe! I think you will have to give Budapest and Prague a try. I think you’ll love them.

Not sure if anyone else has mentioned it but Salzburg is almost impossibly picturesque.

But Europe has so many stunningly beautiful cities it’s almost unfair to rate them. Still, I thought I’d try! So here’s my list of the ten most beautiful European cities I’ve visited: -Salzburg -Vienna -Prague -Krakow -St Petersburg -Riga -Amsterdam -Bruges -Salamanca -Florence

You are right. So many beautiful cities I. Europe. We didn’t spend enough time in Salzburg but would love to go back and really discover it. Thanks for sharing your list!

Thanks for sharing. WE haven’t been to Krakow, St. Petersburg, Riga or Salamanca. Can’t wait to see them and add them to the list!

WOW! That photo of Barcelona is amazing!!! Did you guys take it?

TRAVEL BLOGGER: http://www.VanillaSkyDreaming.com

Yes we did. Cheers.

Great post! I’m glad you included Budapest, it’s often overlooked but it’s one of the most beautiful cities in the world! Yet I disagree with Barcelona being in the list, there are so many cities in Spain much more beautiful than Barcelona like Seville! Plus including Barcelona and not Madrid (which in my opinion is way more beautiful than BCN) would be like including Reims but not Paris, or Birmingham and not London… I would really recommend to visit Madrid if you haven’t yet. The list is great otherwise, Europe is such a fascinating continent!

Unfortunately we haven’t been to Madrid personally but when we go, I’m sure we’ll add it. Same with Seville.

I live in Budapest and a lot has changed since 1999, the city can hardly compare to now begin with a huge investment in the restoration of pre-war Castle which is the greatest spectacle will be in Budapest

This is well-sorted list of beautiful cities in the Europe. However, I do feel that cities like Vienna and St. Petersberg should have been included in the list. I have been to St. Petersburg, I loved the Russian architecture there, they are really a treat for the art lovers. I strongly feel the city should have featured in your list of beautiful European cities, but then Europe has so many beautiful cities that compiling a list is really difficult.


Thanks for the heads up! We haven’t been to St. Petersberg yet, but it’s definitely on our list and I’m sure we’ll be adding it to another list when we see it with our own eyes

Beauty is so subjective, but you’ve managed to include my top 3 picks – Paris (my spiritual home), Barcelona, which would probably be my favorite if I spoke Spanish or Catalan, and Istanbul – my current crush. All very different, but vibrant, stunning to look at and deeply proud of their cultures

Krakow is definitely one of my favourite European cities and like a lot of Eastern Europe, it’s pretty underrated. To me, the juxtaposition of the largely rundown Jewish quarters with the fairytale like Old Town is extremely interesting. I spent nearly 3 months in Poland a couple of years ago and loved every minute of it!

This is a great list! Paris, Barcelona & London are some of my other top European cities too 🙂

We have heard that Krakow is beautiful. I hope to go one day. We only included places we’ve visited, but when we go, I’m sure it will be added.

I love this post is a tribute for Europe, but Valencia should be in the list before Barcelona (Valencia is more authentic), instead of Brussels should be Bruges (for me Bruges is very beautiful) and I think Lisbon should be in the list.

Great additions. We have been to Valencia and I didn’t think of it. I’ll look through my photos again. We have not been to Bruges, but have always wanted to go.

Great list, lots of wonderful cities I still have to visit. My top 10 European cities list would also include: Porto, Valencia and Lisbon.

Great additions. We’ve been to Porto and Valencia, we’ll have to revisit our photos and take a look at them. Porto was only a short 3 day trip for a conference, so I don’t think we gave it the attention it deserves.

Great choices, but Europe has enough beautiful cities for 3 more editions 🙂

Nice summary of europe 🙂 For me the best city in Barcelona. I really love Spain and the people in Barcelona are friendly all the time. Furthermore there are a lot of inhabitants from middle and south america. Awesome mix of cultures 🙂

They are really 13 amazing cities to visit. This year I’m on my way to Barcelona and I must say your picture looks more than promising.

Can’t disagree with any of these choices. Great photos too.

Great post Dave and Deb. Since there are still countries in Europe I haven’t visited yet. This post is very helpful for me for specific destinations for my travelling plan.

An amazing place with such natural delights. I will surely plan my upcoming vacation to this place. thanks for posting nice views.

Amazing pictures and some of the cities I’ve been to. Wish I had spent more time in Florence than in Rome though.

Amsterdam is definitely missing. The city is not only just nice, it is the coolest place in Europe.

Okay, there are 3 cities on your list I haven’t visited. Obviously I’m falling down on the job of touring Italy because I missed San Marino and Bologna. The other city I haven’t visited is Brussels – except to whiz through on the train. Back to Europe I go! PS Astounding photos as usual.

I adored the Italian cities of Rome and Venice. Your photos are stunning! I should make the effort to learn HDR photography this summer. Always loved seeing the effects, but I never learned the technique.

Ick. The HDR is such a turnoff and doesn’t represent how any of those cities actually appear in real life…

Your pictures are beautiful. I don’t know what HDR is but I think it’s great. I’ve traveled a lot with my daughter throughout Europe and loved it all. Spain and Portugal are high on my list. Did love London because of all the history. Spent some time in Shanghai, China. It’s so crowded but loved all the temples and the parks. They do have a lot of green spaces. Get to go to Latvia in November. Looking forward to that and traveling to all the countries near by.

Thanks Deanna. HDR Is a process that takes several different exposures of one scene and then you blend the photos together. The human eye sees all the exposures at once, but normally a camera can only focus on one, so if there is a blue sky and rich green scenery, you only see one or the other in a photograph. With HDR, you see it all. We loved Shanghai too. We’re going to have to do the best cities around the world one day soon,but we’re lacking in our South America travels, We’ve only been to Peru and Ecuador on that continent so once we get more SA cities, we’ll have to do a round up. I think we can do Asian cities though easily, I believe we’ve seen most of them. You’ve got me thinking 🙂

I think that Prague is probably the most beautiful city in the entire world, let alone Europe! I’d also argue that Madrid, Granada and Lisbon should make the list. I’ve just moved to Riga, Latvia and, from what I’ve seen so far, this place is also quite stunning. That’s the trouble with Europe – every place you visit is more charming than the last!

Great choices Heather. We didn’t spend enough time in Lisbon. We were only there a couple of days, and although it was pretty walking in the old town, I don’t think we got to see it from the proper vantage point. I must go back. Ooh, we haven’t been to Latvia yet, you must keep us posted how it is. I’ll keep checking out your blog for updates!

I beleive Athens should be in the list too.Just came back from there and was awsome.The places to visit were just numberless.Visited almost every place seen in a video guides’ site ( http://www.myathens.tv/en/ if you are interested which site was it) . Cheers!

Thanks Hugh, we’re going to Athens in October and I have a feeling it will be added to our list for sure!

I’m sure you going to enjoy all of your days there!

Aw, thanks for the shout-out guys! And I agree. Grand Place still takes my breath away even after 9 years of living here.

So glad that Grand Place is still beautiful to you too! We still think it is gorgeous!

INDEED!!!!! Paris is the most beautiful city EVER!!!! Summed up in one word: MESMORIZING. It may also be considered the sexiest city in the world:)

So glad to hear that you agree! We do love Paris.

OOh, I like that description too. that could be a whole other post.

Not sure about Budapest and Bern. Although Budapest looks very good on “paper”, I got there during a heat wave in 1999. It was hot, humid, smelly (everybody smoked), people were unfriendly, and I almost got pick-pocketed while trying to get that night view from the bridge. As you say, experiences are subjective. Bern has a nice view from that high point above the river, but because of the covered walkways, your views are often limited. I was in Brussels for the first time less than two weeks ago and the Grand Place is definitely impressive!

Beautiful cities not on your list: Dubrovnik, Ljubljana, Lisbon, Salzburg, Lyon European cities I really want to visit next: Prague, Berlin, Krakow, Seville, Istanbul. So many places! 🙂

A heat wave can turn off almost everone 🙂 1999 is a lot different than today too. Everybody smoked in Toronto in 1999 as well. I din’t really notice the smokers and I’m quite sensitive to it, so maybe it’s not so bad anymore. Italy and Spain is where I noticed a lot of smoking still going on. It’s funny, the covered walkways are what I love about Bern 🙂 Glad we agree on Grand Place! We’ve been to Croatia, but didn’t get to Dubrovnik, I can see it being beautiful as the smaller cities we visited there were lovely. Cheers!

Absolutely fantastic imagery to represent each of these incredible cities. I’m making Budapest my 8th out of those 13 later this year. Fingers crossed to add Istanbul and Bologna within the next year too! Happy travels.

Fantastic and thank you! We hope you enjoy Budapest. It is really a beautiful city. And Istanbul is so unique you are going to love it as well. We traveled from Istanbul to Budapest when we went. Maybe you’ll be able to go from Budapest to Istanbul 🙂

Wow what a great list, I can’t wait to explore Europe more. I have visited a few on your list but that was when I worked on cruise ships and you get such a small amount of time in port its hard to really discover the best, hidden parts of a city. Stunning pics as always – I can’t wait to see these sights for myself.

What a great way to see the world! Working on a cruise ships gives you a taste of everything and then you can go back later to explore in depth. Appreciate the comment!

Nice list! I totally agree with Rome, Barcelona and Prague, my favourites! Have you been to Oslo or other cities in Norway yet? I think you will like Norway, with it’s mountains and fjords, midnight sun and northern lights.

We haven’t been to Oslo yet. We’re hoping to get more Scandinavia travel under our belt next year. (fingers crossed) I have a feeling this list will change a lot over the years as we explore more.

We’re definitely hoping to get to Norway next year.

I remember the first time I went to Europe I actually considered skipping Paris as I was worried it was too cliché. What a mistake that would have been. Paris truly is the world’s most beautiful city, although I do have a soft spot in my soul for Madrid 🙂

It’s true isn’t it Mike? Even after visiting so many European Cities, we still love Paris. We haven’t truly explored Madrid yet, so we’ll have to get back and explore some more.

Great images! You missed Dubrovnik though! Just beautiful!

I know! we didn’t make it to Dubrovnik when we were in Croatia. But judging from the parts of the country we visited, I bet it is beautiful. We visited Rijeka and the islands of Rab, Krk and and Cres. The towns on these islands were absolutely beautiful and we nearly considered including one of them but thought that they probably weren’t large enough.

Sometimes I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I love Venice because so many people complain that it’s too touristy. It’s definitely crowded – particularly if you stick to the big sites – but, for me, it still has this magical feeling about it that even the crowds can’t take away.

I know how you feel Jessica. We love Venice and Paris and many people think that you have to go for the more obscure choices, but there’s a reason these places have always been so popular. They are beautiful! Same with us, even the crowds are ok. getting lost in the back streets is a wonderful way to escape them.

Dubrovnik, Amsterdam, Siena, Stockholm, Monaco, Seville… 😉

Great choices! We forgot about Monaco. I think it is only because we simply drove through it quickly. We wanted to say that we popped into see it, but didn’t spend enough time exploring. We’ve got to get to Dubrovnik. We loved Croatia and hear it is beautiful.

I am on your blog after a while and I’m happy to be treated with gorgeous photos of Europe! My personal favorites are cities in Italy. I’m not sure about Paris, because I have heard it is getting dirty and too much of construction going on.

Thanks Renuka! Hopefully you’ll be able to give Paris a try and see what you think. Some people love it some people hate it. I think either way, people always have a strong opinion of the city.

I have to agree with Lucas. I have been following your blog for years, but the excessive use of HDR in travel photography has gotten excessive. When I want to think dream and learn about travel, I want to see what things REALLY look like. I respect HDR as an art form, but I don’t think it should be a default for travel photojournalism. The surreal approach is a turn off (and at the end of the day appears to be the tool of a weak photographer – which I know you are not as you have posted some other lovely pictures). But the majority of your 11 here are posted as HDR and I think that does a disservice to the beauty of these actual cities. Maybe consider taking a break?

Thanks for your comment Alyssa and I am sorry that you feel that way about HDR in travel photography. I have personally found it a great way to increase my creativity around the places that we visit. For some it works for others it does not. HDR is certainly not the only type of photography I practice as you can see if you have a look though other posts and our gallery. As for your comment that HDR is the tool of a weak photographer this is applying a broad stroke to the subject. I know quite a few wonderful and successful travel photographers that use HDR in a lot of their work and that would beg to differ with your opinion. As I replied to Lucas above, photography is an art and therefore based on personal taste. As far as doing a disservice to these places I think you may have blown that a little out of proportion. If you look around there are millions of photos of each destinations on the net. These are just our interpretation of them. Beauty after all is in the eye of the beholder 🙂 Thank you again for your comment and I hope you will continue to read and visit The Planet D.

Yes those are some of my favorite cities because they are so photo worthy and too many incredible places to visit with scenic vistas and amazing views.

Love the list could only imagine how difficult it was to pick top 10. I know Dublin didn’t make top 10 but look at competition, maybe next trip go the city park “Phoenix Park” where you will find 10 square miles of park land including Dublin zoo, presidents house, US embassy and papal cross among the wild deer.

I know eh. We had Dublin on the list. It’s definitely in our top 12. I think Dublin can go down as one of the coolest cities in Europe. That’s where we’d place it alongside Berlin.

Brussels is an under-appreciated city. I hear far too many people dismiss it–but it is gorgeous. (Just got back from Amsterdam–also beautiful, Ruby).

And, wow, your photo of Casa Batllo is way better than any I took.

Great list (and pictures)!! I completely agree with Paris – it seems cliche, but no European city can top Paris in my option either! I personally would have swapped Bruges for Brussels, but there are so many beautiful cities in Europe, hard to narrow it down to 10!

5 out of 10 are in Italy………what more can i say?

Amsterdam didn’t make the list??? It’s much more beautiful than Brussels.

This post just awaken my European Travel Dream! The cities are all magnificent and stunning!

Thanks Helen. I know exactly how you feel. We wrote this post because we were having such joyous conversations about our times in Europe, we started making a little list as we talked and said, let’s share!

I recently visited Prague, Budapest and Vienna. Each city was beautiful but Budapest in night was something magical. I never knew a city can look so different in day and night. River cruise in Danube was the highlight of my trip. Hope to see rest of cities in above list in upcoming years 🙂

Ah yes, Vienna. We had thought about including it, but it just didn’t do for us what it has done for others. I think I must go back and give it another try. Sometimes a city can grow on you after another visit. I agree as well about the Danube. The first time we were in Budapest, we didn’t cruise the Danube, we just walked along the riverfront, but when we went a second time and saw it from the river, it was even more outstanding.

Krakow rocks with its Medieval churches, castles, fun underground bars and amazing squares. Well worth a visit.

We agree, we have to get to Krakow!

*Sigh* what a terrific feature and beautiful pics thanks SO much 🙂 PS London always deserves a spot, you are right!

Thank you! I’m glad you agree with London, we thought it was beautiful, but I know that everyone has different tastes.

I have been to many places on this list and agree with most! We visited Budapest in April and were blown away by its beauty especially at night as you mentioned. We have also just returned from Dublin which is also beautiful. I do love Hamburg though after I spent sometime on work experience there whilst at university and also Moscow with st Basil’s and the metro is an amazing sight. Visiting krakow later in the year and as mentioned I have heard it is very nice. Have to give a shout out to Edinburgh too. Prague is also one of my favourite places in Europe. Nice list! 🙂

Hi Nic, great addition about Dublin. We almost put in on the list. We were just there last month and loved it. We found it to be a bit like Berlin, a very cool city with a fun hip vibe, but it wasn’t the traditionally beautiful city we were thinking of. I can understand why you’d add it though, we had a bit of a discussion about it. We have yet to visit Hamburg, but I have heard it is beautiful. We love the conversation it is sparking about what cities are beautiful and which ones are not, it raises our wanderlust even more. We’re going to see Edinburgh in October, can’t wait! And Moscow has been a dream of ours for quite some time. Thanks for sharing!

Updated URL for my website! 🙂

Galway, Edinburgh and Berlin would make my list. Brussels wouldn’t make my top 100 and London would be just outside top 10. Otherwise I agree, good choices!

Galway is nice too. Good choice, maybe we should have taken a closer look at things when we were there. We haven’t been to Edinburgh but are going in October. Hopefully we’ll feel the same way. Berlin is definitely the coolest city in Europe. For us it is not the most beautiful of them all, but definitely the hippest and coolest of them all for sure. We loved it too!

I suggest Lisbon too…very picturesque !

We have been to Lisbon, but only spent a couple of days there. WE didn’t get to explore it as much as we would have liked. Hopefully we’ll have more time there in the future and it can make it.

Beautiful photos! Agree with all nominations except for Brussels, never enjoyed it there…probably cause I’ve been there too much for work.

Ah yes, when you spend too much time at a place for work it can turn you off. I think Brussels stays with us because we saw it on one of our first trips to Europe and we were blown away by the square then. It has a special place in our hearts.

Europe is a very beautiful place and these are some very nice pictures. Thank you for sharing this as I believe traveling will help you live longer as you enjoy this beautiful world.

Wow- stunning photos! Especially the one of Florence.

I wish Ferrara was on your list!

Ferrara we a great town and it nearly made the list. There are so many beautiful cities in Italy. We loved Ferrara too but it just didn’t quite make it. But definitely in the top 20 for us. 🙂

Bergen is very beautiful. Just sayin’, guys 🙂

Thanks Sophie, we haven’t been to Bergen, but we’ll definitely check it out. We’ll be doing more of Europe this year, so we’ll have to do a follow up piece next year for sure as we add more. We’ll keep it always to 13 so we’ll have to either take away.

nice compilation, however I really dislike your use of HDR pictures (always look like radioactive vomit)!

Thanks for stopping by Lucas. HDR is not for everyone and I don’t use it all of the time. One of the things that I love about photography is that it is subjective. What one person likes perhaps another doesn’t. I hope you have been able to peruse our gallery and enjoy some of the other images we have posted.

I’ve been to several of these cities and I agree wholeheartedly with them being on the list.

Thanks Zoe, it’s always subjective which cities to include, but these ones usually are favoruites.

Europe is the best! It has many nice places to visit. My target ones are the Venice and Paris. 🙂

two great choices for cities!

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25 Best Places to Visit in Europe

By Carl Austin · Last updated on May 4, 2024

In the old days, Americans use to take a couple of years to make the Grand Tour of Europe. They had the right idea. You need lots of time to fully experience all that Europe has to offer. Since most of us today have only a few weeks holiday each year, we need to pick and choose what we’ll see.

With so many top places to visit in Europe, we can narrow the list down by geographic region or special interest. Since it takes only hours to get to Europe these days, compared to the weeks it took our ancestors, to get to Europe, we can always return to visit new sights.

Vienna, Albertinaplatz

Vienna is the most magical city in Austria. It’s a city that conjures up images of beautifully gowned women dancing to Strauss waltzes. It’s a city where beautiful white Lippizaners dance with precision around a ring. It’s a place where you’ll toss your diet aside for a piece of chocolaty sachertore.

Don’t forget to wander the picturesque Old Town, visit the opulent Baroque Schonbrunn Palace, the medieval St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the imperial Holburg Palace or maybe even a performance by the famed Vienna Boys Choir.

See also: Where to Stay in Vienna

24. Stonehenge


You have to marvel at the determination of prehistoric man when you look at Stonehenge. Construction started about 3000 BC on what was originally burial grounds. Huge monoliths, weighing 25 tons, were dragged 240 km (150 miles) to the site a few hundred years later.

It’s not known exactly how many humungous rocks were moved to a field near Amesbury but there are 13 standing today. It’s also not known why Stonehenge was built, but many believe this great UK landmark is associated with early astrology.

23. Matterhorn


Egypt may have its pyramids, but Italy and Switzerland have a nature-made pyramid of their own: the Matterhorn. At 4,478 meters (14,692 feet) high, this famous mountain is one of the highest in Europe. The mountain has four faces, each equally rugged.

This legendary mountain has been popular with climbers since the first ascent in 1865; during the summer 150 people a day try to climb it. Couch potatoes may be just as happy to stay below and gaze in awe at the summit playing hide and seek with the clouds.

22. Plitvice Lakes

Plitvice Lakes

The Plitvice Lakes are so pretty, officials turned them into a national park. Located in central Croatia, Plitvice Lakes consists of 16 lakes that attract more than a million visitors a year. The lakes are surrounded by lush forests and connected by waterfalls cascading down from one lake to another.

The lakes are divided into two sections, lower and upper, because of the difference in elevation. The best way to see the lakes is walking; on the route you might even see some wildlife.

21. Budapest


Budapest was already an established city when the Hungarians took over in the ninth century. Today, Budapest is the country’s capital and largest city. In between these two events, Budapest was ruled by the Mongols and Ottomans, among others.

Considered one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, Budapest is home to the Museum of Fine Arts with its collection of more than 100,000 works. Be sure to visit the centrally located Old Town with its many museums, churches, palaces and Parliament building.


The Portuguese capital of Lisbon lies on the Tagus River along the Atlantic coast. It is this location that encouraged explorers to sail far and wide around the world in the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries.

One of the things you’ll want to see is Belem Tower, a 16th century fortress on the Tagus’ north bank. If you’re looking for good views of old Lisbon, head to Sao Jorge Castle that was built on a hilltop by the Moors.

See also: Where to Stay in Lisbon

19. Gullfoss


You probably don’t know too too many people who’ve been to Iceland. But it may be worth a trip there to visit the spectacular Gullfoss waterfalls. Located in southern Iceland, Gullfoss is one of Iceland’s top tourist attractions.

At times it almost appears glacier-like, appropriate, perhaps, since it is fed by a glacier. The waterfalls begins just after the Ölfusá River makes a perpendicular turn and then cascades down a three-step staircase into a canyon that is 35 meters (115 feet) deep.


Athens, a city that’s been inhabited since the fifth century BC, gave the world the concept of democracy. Since this metropolis is both the capital of Greece and of historical Europe.

Many of the Athens’s major landmarks can be found in the old town, particularly around the Acropolis. The list includes the temple of Zeus; the Theatre of Dionysus where Sophocles works were performed; Hadrian’s Arch, the symbolic entrance to the city, and the Parthenon, which sits atop the Acropolis.

See also: Where to Stay in Athens

17. Bay of Kotor

Bay of Kotor

When you’re hungry for breathtaking scenery, feast your eyes on Kotor Bay in southwestern Montenegro. This bay off the Adriatic is just downright picturesque: hemmed in by mountains, with quaint villages sandwiched between the cliffs and the gorgeous blue water.

Several well-preserved medieval towns ring the bay. People make pilgrimages here, not only to take in the scenery but also to visit the 200 Orthodox and 100 Christian churches and chapels spread among the villages.


Moscow, for nearly 900 years the capital of Russia, is the heart of Russia and Eastern Europe. As such, this old city has plenty to offer visitors. Let’s start with the 15th century Red Square since many of the city’s key attractions surround it.

A top landmark is the Kremlin, a former fortress that houses museums and the president of the Russian federation. Lenin’s Tomb sits in the middle of the square, while the iconic onion-domed St. Basil’s Cathedral, now a museum, is on one side.

Gondola on Canal Grande in Venice

Venice is for romantics who love gliding through the Grand Canal with a gondolier singing Italian love songs. This is, after all, the city that sent Marco Polo off on his journey to China.

Start your exploration of Venice at San Marco Square, the city’s most famous square. Here you’ll find the Doge’s Palace, the seat of Venetian government, and St. Mark’s Basilica, the main church in Venice with stunning views from the tower. Venice also is famous for its bridges (Rialto and Sighs) across the canals.

See also: Where to Stay in Venice

14. Monte Carlo

Monte Carlo

If you’re into glitz and glamour, look no further than Monte Carlo, the major city in the tiny principality of Monaco. Monaco has always been known for these qualities which reached new heights when its prince made Grace Kelly his princess.

Sitting on the shores of the Mediterranean, Monte Carlo is known for fast car races and its elite casino. Take a walk along the harbor to see yachts (some as big as ships) that belong to the rich and famous.

13. Alhambra


The Alhambra is one of the great wonders of Spain. It’s a gorgeous palace-fortress complex that can be found in Granada in southern Spain’s Andalusia province. This imposing complex started out as a small fortress in the late ninth century, though it was built on the ruins of a former Roman fortress.

Taken over by Christian rulers, it is the site where Columbus got the go-ahead to discover the New World. The blending of architectural styles over the centuries is stunning. You’ll find great art and grand gardens throughout.

12. Florence


If it weren’t for Florence, the Renaissance might not have happened. Florence is generally credited with bringing Europe out of the dark ages with great artists like Michelangelo. You can see their works at the Uffizi, Florence’s greatest gallery, or the Academia that displays the original David.

Eat a gelato while strolling the Ponte Vecchio that bridges the Arno River. Ogle the over-the-top riches of the Medici family at the Pitti Palace. Marvel at the early engineering that created the great Duomo. This is Florence at its best.

London, England

English history buffs will have a field day in London . This city on the Thames is chock full of palaces, from Buckingham Palace to Hampton Court Palace . More a prison than a palace, the Tower of London is home to the royal jewels.

And from Knightsbridge – don’t forget to visit the magnificent food halls at Harrods – to Carnaby Street, the shopping is awesome. You can get around London quickly and efficiently by riding the famous Tube – be sure to mind the gap.

10. Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein Castle

“Fairy tale castle” is a phrase that aptly describes Neuschwanstein Castle in the Bavarian Alps. This 19th century Romanesque Revival castles looks like it just stepped out of a fairy tale; some say Neuschwanstein provided the inspiration for the castle in Disney’s Sleeping Beauty.

The castle was built as a retreat for King Ludwig II of Bavaria, who viewed it as a romanticization of the Middle Ages The castle was built of brick, then covered in rock, including the white limestone that is visible from afar.

9. Amsterdam

Bicycles parked on a bridge in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a pleasant city marked with meandering canals lined with tall, narrow row houses. It is the city where Anne Frank kept her famous diary, so visiting the house where she wrote is a must.

This “Venice of the North” also is a city of great art, beginning with the Rijksmuseum, home to great European masterpieces; Rembrandt’s house and the more modern van Gogh museum. Take a break from sightseeing to tour and sample Holland’s beer at the Heineken Brewery.

See also: Where to Stay in Amsterdam


Prague, with a long history of war and destruction, is considered one of the best places to visit in Europe. Despite devastation caused by World War II, Prague has a very nice Old Town that is worth more than a few hours of your time.

Prague has many pedestrian zones, which making walking a delight, as you wander by Prague Castle, through the Jewish Quarter, by St. Vitus Cathedral and over the Charles Bridge. Wenceslas Square, situated in the New Town, hums with a vibrant nightlife and entertainment air.

See also: Where to Stay in Prague

7. Istanbul

Hagia Sophia Interior

Istanbul may be on the outer fringes of Europe but will worth a visit when you’re traveling abroad. Turkey’s biggest city is a fascinating place, filled with rich history, colorful markets and mosques.

Top attractions include the Bosporus that separates Europe and Asia; the ecumenical Hagia Sophia that’s been a Greek Orthodox Christian basilica, then an imperial mosque and now a museum, and the 15th century Topkapi Palace, also a museum today. Get in a little shopping at the Grand Bazaar that’s been in operation since 1461.

See also: Where to Stay in Istanbul

6. Geirangerfjord

Geiranger fjord, Norway.

When the summer heat of Europe gets you down, head to Norway with its pretty cool scenery. Geirangerfjord is a 15 km (9.3-mile) long fjord with crystal blue waters fed by picturesque cascading waterfalls. Take a sightseeing trip on a car ferry through the fjord, passing villages on the shores.

Look out for the Seven Sisters and Suitor waterfalls so named because legend says he’s trying to court the sisters. Also look for Bridal Veil – when the light is right, it looks like a thin veil covering the rocks.

5. Barcelona

La Pedrera by the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi. Barcelona.

Founded by the Romans, Barcelona today is a bustling city on the Mediterranean Sea. As the capital of Catalonia, it is a powerhouse in the region. It is perhaps best known for the unusual buildings designed by the architect Antoni Gaudi. These landmark structures include La Sagrada Familia, a church that’s been under construction since 1892.

You could build your entire visit around his buildings, but then you’d miss out on other Barcelona delights, such as La Rambla, a popular pedestrian street in the central part of the city.

4. Dubrovnik

Aerial view of the medieval city of Dubrovnik, Dalmatia, Croatia, Adriatic Sea, Europe

As European cities go, Dubrovnik isn’t very big, but don’t let its size deter you. This little jewel, with less than 43,000 people, is one of the most visited cities on the Mediterranean.

Dubrovnik transports visitors back to a time when the fortified city was a major maritime power commanding the third-largest navy in the Mediterranean. As you wander the streets, you’ll likely come across sculptures of St. Viaho, the city’s patron saint whose life is celebrated every February.

3. Santorini


When it’s time to sit back and relax, take yourself to to Santorini , an island in the Aegean. Top travel magazines consider this a prime destination; once there, you can’t help but agree.

The island has picture-postcard villages, an active volcano and stunning sunsets. Be sure to visit Fira, a village perched atop a cliff. You’ll also want to sample wines, such as the dessert wine Vincanto as well as the produce that is made sweeter and tastier because of the volcanic ash soil it grows in.


Songs laud Paris in the springtime, but any time of year is a good time to visit this riveting city on the River Seine. It’s a city loaded to the brim with history, culture, great food and high fashion.

The iconic Eiffel Tower is one landmark you won’t want to miss. The Louvre houses one of the greatest art collections in the world. Its great churches include Sacred Heart and Notre Dame. When it comes to opulence, there’s Versailles with its famed Hall of Mirrors.

Roman Forum

The ancient Romans established outposts as far away as Great Britain. They didn’t ignore their home city, however, when it came to building great monuments. One must-see landmark in Rome is the Colosseum, an arena that could hold up to 80,000 people for gladiator contests.

One of the biggest draws is a tiny country inside the city: The Vatican City, with its impressive St. Peter’s Basilica with art provided by Michelangelo is a must-see even if you’re not Catholic. Maybe you’ll get a glimpse of the pope at his Wednesday audiences.

See also: Where to Stay in Rome

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Where to Go in Europe

SD › Where to Visit in Europe Updated: November 6, 2023 By Santorini Dave

  • 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 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 Edinburgh Family Hotels • 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 • 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

About Santorini Dave

Santorini Dave

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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Best Cities to Visit in Europe


Rome is known for attractions like Trevi Fountain, Colosseum, and Pantheon. Travelers who visit this capital and largest city of Italy are often fascinated by the rich history and interesting culture it offers. We recommend taking the time to explore this city in Italy on foot and walk alongside the 2.7 million locals who live in Rome. For further insights into the city's events, traditions, and heritage, consult the <a href="https://www.comune.roma.it/" target='_blank' rel='nofollow'>official w


Paris is known for attractions like Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, and Arc de Triomphe. Travelers who visit this capital of France are often fascinated by the rich history and interesting culture it offers. We recommend taking the time to explore this city in France on foot and walk alongside the 2.1 million locals who live in Paris. Traveling to Paris is especially rewarding for anyone eager to connect with locals and learn more about their unique culture and traditions. The city was named after


La Sagrada Familia, Park Güell, and Plaça de Catalunya have one thing in common - they're all three very good reasons to visit Barcelona, Spain. This capital of Catalonia, Spain is a travel destination everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime. Boasting a variety of natural beauty and architecture, a unique historical background, and a culture as rich as its population of over 1.7 million people, the city of Barcelona is truly one of the main highlights of Spain. Traveling to Barcel


Madrid, known for its incredible El Retiro Park, Plaza Mayor, and Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, is a travel destination everyone should visit once in their lifetime. This municipality and capital of Spain has plenty of experiences to offer curious travelers. Home to a variety of natural beauty and architecture, a unique historical background, and a culture as rich as its population of more than 3.3 million people, Madrid is truly one of the main highlights of Spain. For a deeper understanding of t


Prague is known for attractions like Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, and Old Town Square. Travelers who visit this capital city of the Czech Republic are often fascinated by the rich history and interesting culture it offers. We recommend taking the time to explore this city in Czech Republic on foot and walk alongside the 1.4 million locals who live in Prague. Notably, Prague was recognized as the European City of the Trees in 2010. Traveling to Prague is especially rewarding for anyone eager t


Istanbul is known for attractions like Mısır Çarşısı, Grand Bazaar, and Hagia Sophia. Travelers who visit this city in Turkey located at the Bosporus Strait are often fascinated by the rich history and interesting culture it offers. We recommend taking the time to explore this city in Turkey on foot and walk alongside the 15.5 million locals who live in Istanbul. Notably, Istanbul was recognized as the The Europe Prize in 1959. Traveling to Istanbul is especially rewarding for anyone eager to c


Welcome to Berlin, recognized as the Führerstadt in 1937! This federated state, capital and largest city of Germany is a bucket list destination, home to many famous attractions, including Alexanderplatz, Brandenburg Gate, and Checkpoint Charlie. Easily accessible from Berlin Brandenburg, Berlin is the perfect base for a memorable and unique vacation in Germany any time of the year. Traveling to Berlin is especially rewarding for anyone eager to connect with locals and learn more about their un


Vienna, known for its incredible Schönbrunn Palace, St. Stephen's Cathedral, and Belvedere Palace, is a travel destination everyone should visit once in their lifetime. This capital of and state in Austria has plenty of experiences to offer curious travelers. Home to a variety of natural beauty and architecture, a unique historical background, and a culture as rich as its population of more than 2 million people, Vienna is truly one of the main highlights of Austria. Other languages spoken by l


Fisherman's Bastion, Heroes' Square, and City Park have one thing in common - they're all three very good reasons to visit Budapest, Hungary. This capital and largest city of Hungary is a travel destination everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime. Boasting a variety of natural beauty and architecture, a unique historical background, and a culture as rich as its population of over 1.7 million people, the city of Budapest is truly one of the main highlights of Hungary. Traveling to


Florence, known for its incredible Ponte Vecchio, Piazzale Michelangelo, and Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, is a travel destination everyone should visit once in their lifetime. This Italian city and commune, located in Tuscany has plenty of experiences to offer curious travelers. Home to a variety of natural beauty and architecture, a unique historical background, and a culture as rich as its population of more than 360.9 thousand people, Florence is truly one of the main highlights of Ita


Amsterdam, known for its incredible Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, and Anne Frank House, is a travel destination everyone should visit once in their lifetime. This capital and most populous city of the Netherlands has plenty of experiences to offer curious travelers. Home to a variety of natural beauty and architecture, a unique historical background, and a culture as rich as its population, Amsterdam is truly one of the main highlights of the Netherlands. In fact, Amsterdam was recognized as the


Duomo di Milano, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, and Parco Sempione have one thing in common - they're all three very good reasons to visit Milan, Italy. This Italian commune and capital city of Lombardy is a travel destination everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime. Boasting a variety of natural beauty and architecture, a unique historical background, and a culture as rich as its population of over 1.4 million people, the city of Milan is truly one of the main highlights of Italy.

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Two-Week Tenerife Beach Holiday in Playa De Las Americas

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Cheapest Nicest: 10 European Cities to Visit on a Budget

By Anna Prendergast

10 Cheapest Cities in Europe to Visit on a Budget

Getting to Europe is expensive these days—by the time you're there, you might feel like you can't afford to do anything. Fear not, some of the cheapest cities in Europe can be just as exciting as a Venice or a London (some of the continent, and the world's, more expensive places to spend time). There's some equally beautiful tourism spots where you can get around much more cheaply. We've broken down some of the latest data to find the cheapest cities in Europe to visit in 2023. A coastal cosmopolis, snow-capped city, and more await without breaking the bank.

Note: you’ll notice some wonderful European cities missing from this list, namely Kiev in Ukraine . It has been tragically affected by the war in Ukraine, and should be avoided until safe to visit – until then, find out how to help the people of Ukraine right now.

Athens Greece

Athens, Greece

This year’s Post Office City Costs Barometer ranked Greece’s historical capital as the cheapest location for an autumn city break in Europe, and noted that priced have dropped by 15 per cent since 2021. Hotels in Athens are of particularly good value, with plenty of small, family-run and boutique spots. According to the survey, two nights at a three-star hotel for two guests average $110–but super-central One Three One is steps away from Monastiraki Flea Market and goes as low as $68 per night, while guests will find balcony views of the acropolis at Hotel Adonis, which has a rooftop terrace and costs as low as $102 for a double room (breakfast included).

Lisbon Portugal

Lisbon, Portugal

While the pretty Portuguese capital is known for its award-winning restaurants , travelers can still dine out on a dime–after Athens, it’s the cheapest city for a three-course meal (averaging around $50). On the move, you’ll get change from a two-euro coin when buying coffee or a mandatory pastel de nata from Pastéis de Belém, a beer costs around $3 (putting London’s £6 pints to shame) and a $0.75 Viva Viagem card can save you up to half off tram journeys. For a place to stay, there are plenty of affordable hotels in Lisbon . We love Hotel 1908 , where smart rooms in one of the city’s most iconic buildings can be booked from $160 per night. Or you can save further by opting for an Airbnb. Some of the city's top trending Airbnbs, like this pretty apartment with a private balcony in Lapa , can be taken over for around $60 per night.

Klagenfurt Austria

Klagenfurt, Austria

Klagenfurt is one of Austria’s most affordable cities to visit (main courses are around $7; the farmers’ market on Benediktinerplatz is a great place for local bargains), and its spectacular setting on the eastern bank of Lake Wörthersee makes it one of the most scenic, too. June is the cheapest time to go, before the summer crowds and wild swimmers descend on the waterfront.

Kaunas Lithuania

Kaunas, Lithuania

Vilnius has long been topping lists of the cheapest places to go on holiday, but Kaunas to the west is even less expensive, and earlier this year was named as one of 2022’s European Capitals of Culture for its music, art and theatre. Its yearly CityTelling Festival hosts a wide variety of performances and exhibitions that place the city’s Jewish heritage centre stage, and access to most events is free, while four-star hotel rooms are as little as $75 a night. For the best views of the Baltic city, a funicular up Aleksoto Hill will cost just a couple of euros. The best bargain in town? Spurginė’s $0.92 spurgos (or doughnuts).

Riga Latvia

Riga, Latvia

According to the Post Office, Riga is one of the cheapest cities in Europe, coming in a close second after Dublin for culture and Athens for accommodation. Wind your way through the narrow alleyways of the charming Old Town, find €2 samsas for lunch at the central covered market located in converted Zeppelin hangars, watch free live music in Dome Square and see striking architecture such as the House of the Blackheads ($7 entry) and the medieval Swedish Gate. But one of the most underrated ways of seeing Riga is on the water–rent a paddleboard for just $18 on the banks of the Daugava River.

Berat Albania

Berat, Albania

Like Puglia’s trulli or Chefchaouen’s all-blue buildings, Berat’s unforgettable white Ottoman houses are totally unique in their collective existence and visual impact. The simple, traditional rooms inside also provide a super-affordable way to stay here, as many are guest-houses or independently-run hotels, such as Hotel Vila Aleksandar or Hotel Mangelemi , both around $43 per night. Head up the steep cobblestoned streets to see the 13th Century Berat Castle (entry is free) and take in the ‘town of a thousand windows’ from the top.

Brașov Transylvania

Brașov, Transylvania, Romania

A cheaper alternative to Bucharest (which is still, by European standards, incredibly good value), Brașov is surrounded by the scenic Carpathian Mountains. A cable car up to the top of Mount Tampa costs just 20 lei ($4.20) for aerial views of the brick-red rooftops, whilst local tour operator Walkabout provide a free walking tour every morning at 10.30am, setting off from the fountain in Piata Sfatului. Pick up local delicacy kürtőskalács (a spit-roasted, sugar-covered ‘chimney cake’) to maintain your energy levels from the stall nearby.

Sofia Bulgaria

Sofia, Bulgaria

Not only did Bulgaria take the lead (side by side with Turkey ) as cheapest all-round destination in Europe in the Post Office’s Holiday Money Report 2022, but the country is also home to some of the world’s cheapest ski resorts. Sofia, the capital, is just over 10km away from the Vitosha Mountains which provide impressive winter conditions for snow bunnies and cost a fraction of the price of resorts in France or Italy. Wine and Bulgarian beers are notoriously cheap, and downtown Sofia is known for its high-energy party atmosphere. Entry to clubs is seldom more than $13, with live DJ sets and late-night events at Maze or Culture Beat (which also has a great summer terrace for cocktails).

Alacati is a beautiful and small Aegean town on the western coast of Izmir Province in Turkey which has been famous for...

Izmir, Turkey

Travelers to Turkey can get great value for money. On Turkey’s Aegean coast, Izmir has resisted the price hikes of Istanbul and tourist traps of Ankara whilst preserving its 8,500-year-old Kemeraltı bazaar and ancient Roman agora. The historic sites and architectural relics coexist with cosmopolitan culture and traditional cuisine–try pide on the pier or baked potatoes with a choice of toppings at Atıştır Café. An hour out of town is Ephesus, an ancient city built by the Greeks and well worth a detour.

Tbilisi Georgia

Tbilisi, Georgia

Whilst the transcontinental city of Tbilisi is the most expensive place to live in Georgia, by European standards it’s exceptionally affordable for holidaymakers. A cascade of new hotels have opened in the last few years, such as the lovely Guest House Lile with double rooms from $25 per night. Foodies should book a table at Barbarestan, a family-run restaurant with authentic recipes and local ingredients, where you can eat for around £40 each – not bad for somewhere given a nod by the crew behind the World’s 50 Best Restaurants .

This article originally appeared on Condé Nast Traveller U.K. All listings featured on Condé Nast Traveler are independently selected by our editors. If you book something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

europe cities to visit


Rosewood Schloss Fuschl: First In

Rosewood Schloss Fuschl: First In

Hotel Valldemossa, Mallorca

Hotel Valldemossa, Mallorca

Europe Travel Guide

Europe Travel Guide

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19 Best European Cities For A 2 Day Trip

  • There are plenty of European cities that can be explored in 48 hours, from Gdask in Poland to Tbilisi in Georgia.
  • Paris, France - The iconic capital of food, art, and culture.
  • Florence, Italy - A rustic and beautiful city with art, culture, wine, and incredible cuisine.

Being able to visit Europe for an extended period of time is a part of living the dream for most world travelers. Yet, for the average jetsetter, a weekend getaway or a two-day jaunt might be the best they can do. Typically, if you work full-time, have limited PTO, only so many vacation dollars on hand, or simply have other obligations—a European getaway can seem like a tad bit of a stretch.

However, the good news is there is a wealth of places to go, sights to see, and things to do in Europe that can easily work with a shorter vacation itinerary. Whether you want to explore some of the world's best beaches in Europe or experience trending European destinations that are worth the bucket list , there's no lack of places to spend a couple of days in.

In fact, here are some of the best European cities for a weekend getaway or 48-hour trip mid-week, each abundant with beauty if you're looking for a quick couple of days or so abroad.

UPDATE: 2024/06/27 14:08 EST BY ERICA BLAIR

More European Cities For A 2-day Trip: Discover Europe's Best Cities For A Weekend Getaway

Enjoy even more new European cities for a 48-hour trip in this updated article. Plus, there are links to all of the top attractions and plenty of pictures to inspire your next trip.

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10 best beach towns in europe this summer.

Discover Europe's best beach towns this summer, with stunning coastlines, vibrant nightlife, and rich culture for an unforgettable holiday experience.

Tbilisi, Georgia

Visit this bohemian ancient silk road city without breaking your bank account.

Tbilisi, Georgia, is one of the most affordable cities in all of Eastern Europe.

Nestled in the Caucasus Mountains, Tbilisi offers plenty to do and see ; it has a great food culture, lots of interesting architecture, ancient sulfur baths, and a walkable and fascinating Old Town.

Split, Croatia

A scenic and historic waterfront city that's also a unesco heritage site.

Gorgeous Split, Croatia, sits right on the Adriatic Sea, and its downtown core is a UNESCO Heritage site. This stunning spot is teeming with history, and there are plenty of things to do in Split .

Top attractions include Diocletian Palace and the Riva Promenade, where you can stroll and enjoy the sunset.

Riga, Latvia

This walkable, historic city is one of the cheapest european cities to visit.

For those wanting a cheaper two-day trip in Europe, checking out Riga, Latvia may be worth it. Here is where one of the most affordable vacation destinations on the continent lies, boasting walkable streets, plenty of history, and friendly people.

Riga is the capital of Latvia, boasting 600,000+ residents, so there is a metro system and easy ways to get around. Overall, this is the perfect European city to witness if you only have a couple of days to spare.

Normandy, France

Savor one of the top cultural cities in france.

As one of France's most stunning yey easy-to-explore regions, Normandy can be done in a short period. Most times, tourists want to try and hit up the most iconic destinations in Normandy, like Mont Saint-Michel , Rouen Honfleur, and Giverny while in this area.

It's typically better to book a hotel near a downtown corridor in Normandy, as this means less time in a cab or private car. In addition, Normandy boasts many outdoor activities that are perfect for a two-day vacation, like hiking trails, beaches, and memorial sites. There's a lot to do, but with good scheduling, Normandy, France, is doable in 48 hours.

Cinque Terre, Italy

Italy's picturesque seaside city perched on a hill.

Cinque Terre is one of the most colorful places in Italy. It is a picturesque location to spend a beautiful and cozy weekend in. There are hundreds of viewpoints to watch the sunset, including the popular Corniglia, which is simply gorgeous once the town gets soaked in a lovely orange glow.

Hiking enthusiasts appreciate The Cinque Terre Trail to Corniglia as they welcome the scenic views from above the towns.

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Prague, Czech Republic

A magical and historical city in the heart of eastern europe.

Considered one of the most charming cities in Europe, Prague is full of sights to see and is surprisingly one of the best European cities for budget-savvy travelers , seeing as it's such an affordable destination.

Charles Bridge is likely one of the most well-known bridges in Prague. It is a busy place, but it can be more peaceful in the mornings for visitors who are not too eager to endure crowds. Over one or two days, travelers can stroll the bridge and the surrounding streets and head to see the Old Town Square, another iconic spot to explore, nestled in the heart of Prague.

Lastly, people can head up the Old Town Hall Tower, which is stunning, and stop to see the famous Astronomical Clock.

Oslo, Norway

An ancient city with a thriving arts scene.

This Norwegian city is fascinating to visit on a weekend. People go to see the fjords of Norway not too far from here, which offer outstanding views on a clear summer day.

Visitors can also glance into Oslo’s history at the 13th-century fortress built to defend the city from invaders or the Renaissance castle that was home to kings and queens and still operates as a great spot to see.

Art lovers can’t leave Oslo without seeing the world’s biggest sculpture park made by artist Gustav Vigeland.

Paris, France

See the most romantic and exciting city in 48 hours.

Paris is always a good idea! This beautiful city is ideal for a weekend getaway in Europe. The architecture, the cafés, the art, and the iconic sights, from the Louvre to the Arc de Triomphe, are enough to make people wonder why they haven't moved here yet. Not to mention the cuisine, with Paris being one of the best European cities for food .

Visitors can spend a sunny summer day in the city of lights enjoying outdoor activities such as picnics or biking to finish the day by having a romantic dinner overlooking the gorgeous Eiffel Tower.

Edinburgh, Scotland

With stunning architecture and plenty of history, this city is a must-visit.

Although it is the most costly time to visit Edinburgh, the very best time to visit is during the month-long Fringe Festival. This special month boasts lots of free stuff to do in the city, and visitors come from all over the world to witness the pretty electric energy of Edinburgh.

Still, Edinburgh offers a whole host of thrilling adventures year-round, as well as lots of great bars and restaurants for a vibrant nightlife experience over a weekend. Be sure to visit the city's most famous spot - Edinburgh Castle, which is also said to be haunted!

Florence, Italy

Italy's iconic capital of food, art, and culture.

For travelers who want to dive into Italy's art, food, and culture in 48 hours or less, visiting the city of Florence is an excellent option. With limited local attractions, you don't have to worry about trying to see it all, because you can easily cross off the must-sees like the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa in a single afternoon.

Moreover, this rustic and beautiful city is brimming with quintessential Italian architecture, art, culture, wine, and incredible cuisine. So, two-day visitors won't feel like they missed out on anything if they can only spend a short time here.

Barcelona, Spain

Mouthwatering tapas and friendly people await you in beautiful barcelona.

Depending on the time of year you visit, Barcelona may be warmer than you would expect, especially in the height of summer, which can be unbearably hot at times. Still, this Spanish city is absolutely gorgeous.

Here, two-day visitors will find everything they could ever desire from a European hotspot and then some. That said, Barcelona is on the larger side, stretching from Las Ramblas all the way to the Nou Camp —so be careful and plan your activities wisely if you're short on time.

Overall, the tapas here is phenomenal, the shopping scene is incredible and far too large to explore in two days, the music is always pumping, and the locals are ready and waiting to welcome you with open arms.

Dublin, Ireland

Ireland's iconic capital is full of history, great food, and friendly people.

Dublin is yet another one of the cheapest European cities to fly to in summer that you can cover in roughly two days' time. Of course, Guinness and Jameson lovers should try not to spend all their allotted time drinking.

With incredible attractions in and near this city, travelers can quickly get the lay of the land here in less than 72 hours. Dublin also has quite a good nightlife scene, a great culture, and ample history to explore. So, get out there, see some of the sites, grab some drinks, maybe stay the night in one of Ireland's castles , and enjoy yourself.

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Hamburg, Germany

Enjoy exceptional food, great views, and excellent culture on the baltic sea.

A popular stag destination and a fascinating city to explore with the kiddos are what you'll find in Hamburg, Germany . Depending on your trip goals, your 48 hours could look a lot different from the next traveler's, but the point is you can get whatever is done with time to spare here.

With one of Europe's most incredible model railway and miniature airport attractions, buzzing nightlife, convenient access to the Baltic Sea, and so much more, the possibilities really do seem endless in Hamburg.

Gdask, Poland

Poland's gem on the black sea is a must-visit.

Spending a couple of days in Gdansk is practically life-altering. As soon as you arrive, you feel like you've entered some kind of fairytale city that you never knew existed, and even that may be an understatement.

Poland might be a tad chilly at times, but overall, this is a wonderful destination to cross off your quick getaway bucket list. Gdańsk is home to outstanding fishing, great food, low prices, and fantastic entertainment. That shouldn't go unnoticed, and if you're feeling festive, the Christmas market is quite remarkable, too.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

A bicycle-friendly city packed with culture.

Amsterdam is a famed European city that needs no introduction. The airport here is definitely an experience, to say the least, but once you make your way through all of that, the real Amsterdam awaits you. Here, two-day visitors can enjoy sightseeing, delicious cheeses, rich history, breathtaking museums, relaxing coffee shops, canal cruises, and more.

With lovely cycling routes, wonderful bridges, and picturesque scenery, this city is a welcomed breath of fresh air. Plus, getting around and finding last-minute affordable accommodations in Amsterdam isn't tricky at all.

Manchester, England

See england's hub of music and sports.

For travelers heading to the UK with limited time on their hands, Manchester is the more reasonable option than, say, a two-day trip to London. Though the Big Smoke is filled with things to do, places to be, and unique sights, covering it all in 48 hours can be challenging. So, instead, visitors can explore the well-known city of Manchester.

This city’s music and sports scene alone are enough to get anyone on a plane, but that truly is the tip of the iceberg. For shopping needs and wants, you can't go wrong here either.

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Porto, Portugal

Celebrate wine and the seaside in this lovely portuguese city.

If you're considering a compact trip somewhere in Portugal, then the city of Porto is definitely one of the stand-out destinations. Though Porto is one of the more underrated European cities to visit in summer , this actually works in your favor.

Visitors can easily traverse this beloved city in a few hours or less, sample the tasty cuisine, check out a live sporting event while enjoying a beer or two, and simply take it easy. That said, Porto is actually the perfect little respite from the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life.

Helsinki, Finland

Beautiful helsinki is one of the gems of northern europe.

In general, Finland, as a nation, is known for being pretty cold and mysterious – Helsinki , though, is a blossoming city that is known for being a growing financial hub in Europe (and it also has an amazing airport).

Aside from the incredible Market Square, must-try cuisine, and the fact that this city is remarkably safe, the Suomenlinna is a beautiful local attraction to check out while visiting. The Suomenlinna, or sea fortress, offers you a chance to test the waters with some real Finnish history. But be careful; by the end of your 48 hours here, you might already be planning your next return trip.

Budapest, Hungary

Spend a fantastic 48 hours in hungary's top historic city.

Last but not least, Budapest is always worth a visit, no matter your time constraints. Whether you opt to spend your time enjoying this city's renowned dive bars or decide to visit the Jewish quarter instead, it's hard not to bask in all the glory of this Hungarian wonderland.

Overall, Budapest is as clean as it is beautiful and is known for being a place that allows travelers to escape their everyday lives – if only just for a day or two. A bonus here is the outdoor baths, which are always good fun. Of course, if you only have 48 hours, you might want to maximize your time around the city, soaking up the rich culture and ample history instead seeing as it's chock-full of majestic, old, historic buildings.

19 Best European Cities For A 2 Day Trip

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The world’s most liveable cities for 2024.

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World's Most Liveable Cities 2024

It’s considered among the most beautiful cities in the world to visit, and it seems that Vienna may also be an unbeatable place to live.

The Austrian city has been crowned the most liveable city in the world yet again in the annual list from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), which was released today.

The EIU, a sister organization to The Economist , ranked 173 cities across the globe on a number of significant factors, including health care, culture and environment, stability, infrastructure and education.

Vienna topped the list for the third consecutive year, receiving “perfect” scores in four out of five of the categories — the city was marked lower for culture and environment due to an apparent lack of significant sporting events.

Perfect scores

Vienna has been named the most liveable city in the world on the EIU’s Global Liveability Index.

Just behind the Austrian capital, Denmark’s Copenhagen retained its second place position, while Switzerland’s Zurich moved up from sixth place to third on the list.

Australia’s Melbourne fell from third to fourth place, while Canadian city Calgary tied for fifth place with Swiss city Geneva.

Canada’s Vancouver and Australia’s Sydney were in joint seventh place, and Japan’s Osaka and New Zealand’s Auckland rounded out the top 10 in joint ninth place.

Pedestrians crossing street in Central Hong Kong, China

Related article This city has been ranked the most expensive for expats in 2024

While Western Europe performed well, with 30 cities scoring an average score of 92 out of 100, the region saw an overall decline in stability scores, which was attributed to “increasing instances of disruptive protests” and crime.

In 23rd place, Honolulu, Hawaii was the highest US city on the list, while Atlanta, Georgia moved up four places to number 29.

Los Angeles was further down the list in 58th place, while New York came in at No. 70.

‘Acute housing crisis’

Canada's Toronto dropped out of the top 10 most liveable cities list this year, coming in 12th.

North America achieved the highest average score for education. However, marks for infrastructure were lower than the previous year in Canada due to “an acute housing crisis,” which has affected several regions.

“The situation is particularly worrying in Australia and Canada, where the availability of rental properties is at an all-time low and purchase prices have continued to rise despite interest-rate increases,” reads the report.

Vancouver fell backwards while remaining in the top 10, and Toronto (ninth on the list in 2023) dropped out of the top 10 to 12th place.

Swiss city Zurich scored impeccably in the education and health care categories.

UK capital London was ranked as the 45th most liveable city in the world.

Over in Asia, Hong Kong saw the largest score improvement since last year, climbing from 61st place to 50th thanks to an improvement in its stability and health care scores.

UAE cities saw some of the biggest score increases this year, with Abu Dhabi and Dubai climbing up the list, and Saudi Arabia’s Riyadh, Jeddah and Al Khobar also making significant gains.

Meanwhile, Israel’s Tel Aviv experienced one of the biggest declines, dropping 20 places to 112th due to the Israel-Hamas war.

Stability decline

Vancouver ranks No. 7 on this year's list.

“Global liveability has risen fractionally over the past year but risks to stability remain,”  said Barsali Bhattacharyya, deputy industry director at EIU.

“Still-high inflation accompanied by high interest rates and other economic headwinds led to another year of frequent protests across the world.”

There was little change at the bottom of the list, with Damascus, Syria still ranking as the least liveable in the world, with Libya’s Tripoli, Algeria’s Algiers and Nigeria’s Lagos ranking just above.

The study noted that none of the bottom four cities had seen any improvement in its overall score since 2023.

“Since we conducted our survey, there have been more instances of civil unrest and demonstrations around the world, such as the campus protests across the US, suggesting continuing stress on liveability that is unlikely to ease in the near future,” said Bhattacharyya.

2024’s Global Liveability Index: The top 10

1. Vienna, Austria

2. Copenhagen, Denmark

3. Zurich, Switzerland

4. Melbourne, Australia

5. Calgary, Canada

5. Geneva, Switzerland

7. Sydney, Australia

7. Vancouver, Canada

9. Osaka, Japan

9. Auckland, New Zealand


Show all



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Beat the heat: The ‘cool’ European destinations to visit in summer 2024

Here are the temperate alternatives to european hotspots that keep it cool – even in peak season, article bookmarked.

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Cool down from those Mediterranean heavyweights with these breezy spots

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Shade seekers can rejoice, holiday travel trends are changing and tan-refreshing, sunbed-stewing summer getaways are on the decline.

In light of the ongoing climate crisis , Brits – habitually inclined to boil abroad – are redirecting their wanderlust to European shores where they won’t be a prisoner to a hotel room’s air-conditioning or sweat over the midday UV index.

The shift to more moderate climates comes as no surprise. A furnace of Mediterranean holiday heavyweights, from Rhodes to Gran Canaria , were ablaze with wildfires during peak travel season 2023, and temperatures are continuing to break record highs year on year.

Now’s the time to swap searing Andalusia in mainland Spain for the cooler Canaries , trade Portugal ’s Algarve for Poland ’s Baltic coast, and replace big-hitting Greek islands with German variations.

With chasing scorching sun on the backburner, here are the destinations bringing a breeze to summer holidays from wind-whipped islands to northern Europe’s fine coastline.

Read more on Europe travel :

  • The Spanish islands with sun and volcanic peaks that you should make your next holiday destination
  • Greece travel guide: Everything you need to know before you go
  • The best things to do in Valencia, from beach hopping to exploring by bike

Ostend, Belgium

Belgium’s 68km coastline is scattered with sand, seafood and Flemish culture

  • Average high in August: 21C
  • Average low in August: 15C

Though best known for its chocolate, beer and the hub of EU democracy that is Brussels , it would be foolish to turn your nose up at Belgium ’s beach resorts. Let Flanders’s largest, Ostend , sweep you away to its golden sands this summer for mornings spent kitesurfing and afternoons filled with fresh oysters on the Albert I Promenade – all without the need to retreat from the heat.

Oslo, Norway

Norway’s waterfront capital is no standard city break

  • Average low in August: 13C

The Norwegian capital is a tangle of hip districts – specifically buzzy Grünerløkka – boutique stores and al fresco dining spots fringed with by thick Marka forest (where you can go for active pursuits, including zip lining and mountain biking). Slick museums on the Oslo Pass, such as the Munch Museum, meet the culture criteria for a city break while taking a dip in seawater pools and drying off in Nordic saunas nails the R&R element of a standard summer holiday.

La Gomera, Canary Islands

Swap sweltering mainland Spain for the milder Canaries this summer

  • Average high in August: 28C
  • Average low in August: 21C

While mainland Spain sizzles, an Atlantic onshore breeze blows through the Canary Islands , blessing balmy year-round La Gomera with inviting 20C days for holidaymakers to indulge in hiking, black-sand bathing and foodie feasts of melon lobster and marmalade rabbit. The bearable heat doesn’t sacrifice sunshine, with around nine hours of vitamin D on offer in August.

Tartu, Estonia

The 2024 Capital of Culture makes for a cool city break (in two senses of the word)

  • Average low in August: 11C

Inevitably laden with sweaty vista climbs, winding refreshment queues and daily step tallies in the thousands, comfort is key on a city break, and the 2024 Capital of Culture , Tartu has just the climate for exploring Estonia . There is an elegant Town Hall Square primed for mass kissing events (yes, really), the sleek Estonian National Museum, and timber barges on the Emajõgi River for a sailor’s view of the peaceful landscape.

Sopot, Poland

Poland’s Baltic coast is just the right level of balmy for a beach break

  • Average high in August: 22C
  • Average low in August: 12C

Seafront Sopot, in the Tricity region of the “Baltic Riviera”, is an affordable alternative to the beloved big names further south  and  at its warmest come August. A short train ride from all the history of Gdansk , 4km of tempting beaches, Europe ’s longest wooden pier and stylish health spas dot the fairy tale-esque facades and locals hail Sopot for its beachfront nightlife scene and, of course, decadent waffles.

Sylt, Germany

The North Frisian Islands’ microclimate and pale sands are popular with German travellers in the know

  • Average high in August: 20C
  • Average low in August: 16C

A magnet for the German elite, the North Frisian Islands’ mild microclimate, pinstriped strandkorbs (hooded wicker seats wide enough for two) and pristine pale sands understandably attract travellers to Sylt’s west coast. A Michelin-rosette gastronomy scene, thatched cottages and lighthouse-scattered peninsulas make this balmy under-the-radar beach break one to add to your list.

Lake Bled, Slovenia

Bled’s inviting glacial waters will help you keep your cool

Slovenia ’s most famous attraction sparkles under the summer sun and Lake Bled’s inviting turquoise glacial waters will help you keep your cool on climbs up to the medieval Bled Castle and romantic rows around the fantasy island. Where the legendary lakes of Garda and Como sweat with crowds in Italy , Bled’s slice of the Julian Alps, though inevitably busy, offers forest trails suited for secluded alpine hikes.

Machico, Madeira

Machico was Madeira’s capital for a brief time during the 15th century

  • Average high in August: 26C

Leave the scorching Algarve for a more temperate Atlantic alternative on Portugal ’s Madeira archipelago. Sandwiched between mountains, far east Machico has a wave-battered artificial beach with golden grains imported from Africa , well-groomed gardens and a vision of terracotta roofs dotting its landscape. 

Pori, Finland

Windsurf, birdwatch and barbecue on Finland’s west coast Yyteri Beach

On Finland ’s west coast, the city of Pori is a centre for jazz music, Finnish street eats (including  porilainen,  an elevated sausage sandwich), and, star of Scandinavia, Yyteri Beach: 6km of white sand geared for windsurfing, bird watching, beach volleyball and barbecues. With the Kokemäenjoki River and Bothnian Sea National Park, this diverse destination has mastered sub-30C summer culture.

Haarlem, Netherlands

Amsterdam’s less-crowded neighbour serves a slice of Dutch cool

  • Average high in August: 19C

Head to Haarlem for tulips, vinyls, hidden  hofje  courtyards and a fair share of canals. Amsterdam ’s less-crowded neighbour serves a slice of Dutch cool without the sweaty shoulder brushes with strangers. It has a popular shopping scene as well as a brewing culture backdating to the 14th century, and active pursuits can be found in the Zuid-Kennemerland National Park. 

Skagen, Denmark

Denmark’s northernmost town has art museums and fine dining to rival Copenhagen

On Denmark ’s northeastern peninsula, the port town of Skagen has art museums and fine dining to rival the country’s effortlessly cool capital Copenhagen . Whisps of cloud paint the skies and wild nature patrols the pale grains of the Grenen sandbar that straddles the Baltic and North Sea. Better still, August’s T-shirt and light-layers weather is ideal for exploring this stretch of the Rabjerg Mile – a migrating coastal sand dune.

Hoping for a balmy UK summer? Here are the best secret UK beaches to visit for some peace and quiet

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The Best Time to Book a Flight for Domestic, International, and Summer Travel

Here are our best tips for booking travel in 2024.

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When to Book Flights for Domestic Travel

When to book flights for international travel, when to book flights for summer 2024 travel, when to book flights for holiday 2024 travel.

Buying plane tickets is something of an art form. Ideally, you want to secure your spot months in advance to avoid the inevitable price spike as your travel dates get closer. But sometimes the best time to book a flight also depends on the destination and whether it's domestic or abroad. The trends are always changing, but experts say the sweet spot for booking domestic flights is 28 days, or 60 days for international flights.

Flights generally open for booking about a year ahead of time, and the airfare will change often between then and takeoff. Although you can book just a couple of weeks before the departure date in some cases, prices are likely to be astronomical. In other cases, when you want to go somewhere popular or during a big travel weekend, flights could fill up faster than normal. Our advice: Track flight prices on Google Flights or Hopper as early as possible so you can keep an eye on cost fluctuations. Read on for more advice about when to book flights from the pros.

According to Expedia's 2024 Air Travel Hacks report , you should aim to book 28 days before your domestic flight. "Doing so can save travelers up to 24 percent compared to those who wait until the last minute, from zero to six days out," Expedia travel expert Christie Hudson tells Travel + Leisure.

For domestic trips, pricing is elevated when tickets are first released, about a year before the flight. Those prices will slowly creep downward, all the way to their lowest point in the prime booking window, after which you'll likely see a huge increase in cost for last-minute travel.

Meet the Expert

Christie Hudson is a travel expert at top booking site Expedia.

You're better off booking earlier rather than later for international travel, but the Expedia report says ideally no more than four months before your desired departure date. The sweet spot is around 60 days. "This is a big change from 2022 data, which showed the cheapest fares were secured when travelers booked four to six months out." Hudson says. "2023 data revealed that people who booked that far in advance actually paid more on average." The report says the least expensive day of the week to book is Sunday and the most expensive is Friday, for both domestic and international travel.

But there is some regional variance. Going , a platform that tracks flight prices and notifies members of good deals, has found the best months to book flights to Africa, Asia, Oceania, Europe, and Latin America, for travel about 60 days out. Here's what it says.

Africa: Book in May.

Asia: Book in August or October, followed by April or September.

Oceania: Book in November, January, or July.

Europe: Book in August, October, or November.

Latin America: Book in October.

The real trick to finding good deals on international airfare is to avoid booking your travel for peak times, which include summer and major holidays (don't forget — that includes holidays in your destination, too).

Summer is traditionally one of the most popular times of the year to travel, which means it can be tough to find a good deal on airfare. Ideally, you should book flights for summer travel as soon as possible, preferably at least six months in advance.

"The best time to book for peak season is … the opposite season," says Katy Nastro, travel expert at Going. "While most of us are scrambling to focus on our winter holiday plans, we should also keep our eyes open for some great summer fares."

She notes that the booking window for peak season ranges between three and seven months for domestic flights and four to 10 months for international trips. "And if you do book something, keep that flight alert on," says Nastro. "If it drops again, depending on your ticket type, you can call to rebook and get a refund or travel credit back with the difference."

Katy Nastro is a travel expert at Going, a website that finds flight deals to more than 900 destinations around the world.

Around the winter holidays is the priciest time to travel, Nastro says. "Your best bet is to remember the Goldilocks zones: look to book between three to seven months ahead for domestic travel and four to 10 months ahead for international travel."

Hudson advises that at the very latest, your holiday travel should be booked by mid-October. "But the biggest holiday travel savings actually come from choosing the right dates," she says. "Avoiding the busiest days like the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Friday and Saturday before Christmas will yield major savings."

Track flights and book your holiday tickets as soon as you find a decent deal, but make sure to book a fare that will give you a credit if you cancel (generally speaking, that means don't book basic economy). That way, if prices drop between the time of booking and your travel dates, you can cancel your original ticket and use the credit to book the cheaper fare. The only downside is you'll still have some remaining credit, but you can then use it to treat yourself to a future flight. Just don't let that credit expire.

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