30 of the Best Cities of Europe to Visit
Europe is a rich and diverse continent, with beautiful nature and old cities and towns. For nature we’ve covered the most beautiful waterfalls in Europe, but which are the best cities of Europe to visit? I’ve asked my fellow travel bloggers which are the best cities in Europe to visit according to them. This has led to a diverse list of cities, from Iceland to Greece and from Ireland to Estonia. There are 30 cities with one bonus city.
Best Cities of Europe to Visit
Contributed by Cosette from KarsTravels.
Reykjavik is a beautiful city, that’s not so large, so easy to explore on foot. It has a small town vibe. The greatest landmark of Reykjavik is the Hallgrímskirkja with the Leif Erikson statue in front of it. Go up in the tower and enjoy the beautiful views on Reykjavik and the coast. The church is built to resemble a mountain with trap rocks. The modernistic outer appearance of the church goes well with the changing skies. Not everyone is fond of the looks of this church, but I think it fits perfect in the city.
Further don’t miss out on strolling along the boulevard. No beaches here, but rocks and mountains in the skyline, or the other way around the skyline of Reykjavik. On the boulevard is also the Sun Voyager, a statue of a Viking ship. It’s a popular tourist spot.
Reykjavik is the capital of Iceland and the most Western capital in Europe. It’s also the most Northern capital in the world. It’s a very safe and hip city, which makes it an excellent destination for families and solo travelers.
Contributed by Ali from Diary of a Detour.
Barcelona is a city that everybody should visit, and you can never get tired of all it has to offer.
Firstly, the architecture is stunning, particularly the buildings designed by Gaudi. The Sagrada Familia cathedral has to be seen to be believed, inside AND out. It’s hard to believe it’s still not finished, despite construction starting in the late 1800s. But also make sure you visit other Gaudi landmarks, including Casa Batllo, Casa Mila and Park Guell.
The main thoroughfare of La Rambla is a vibrant, bustling area with street vendors, cafes, bars and is perfect for people watching. It’s also home to the huge Mercat de la Boqueria, an indoor market which sells a vast array of fruit, vegetables, meat and other produce. It’s a riot of colour and is an ideal stopping place for a quick bite to eat.
Then there’s the street art, and although the city has tried to outlaw many of the artists from the center, you only have to venture out to find some stunning murals. Take a street art bike tour, starting in the alleyways of the Gothic quarter and head along the beach and out to El Poblenou. Your guide will take you to some great spots where some of the world’s best artists have painted huge pieces, and if you’re lucky you’ll spot one in action!
You should visit Tibidabo Amusement Park at sunset for its unforgettable views of the city, and funfair rides for all the family.
And finally, if you have any football fans in your party then a tour of the impressive Nou Camp stadium is a must!
Contributed by Caroline from Veggie Wayfarer.
Bolzano is located in the heart of the Dolomites, surrounded by pristine lakes to be reached by innumerable winding roads and protected by towering mountains. The city is the capital of the South Tyrol region which is home to some of the most well-known sites of the Dolomites: Tre Cime, Segesta and of course the wonderful Lago di Braies. All of which are easily reachable from the city of Bolzano, making it the perfect city to use as a base to go exploring!
In the winter season there is plenty of winter sports to be practices just minutes outside of Bolzano, while the summer sees flocks of tourists come to Bolzano to partake in the many hikes in and around the city. Bolzano itself has a wonderful mix of Italian and German influence. In fact, most of the inhabitants speak both languages fluently. After a long day exploring the mountains, make your way back to the comfort of Bolzano and feast on strudel, schlutzkrapfen, kaiserschmarn and canederli, wash it down with one of the many local wines. Buon appetito!
Bolzano is the perfect end of a Dolomites road trip!
Contributed by Kathryn from Wandering Bird.
Vienna is one of the most romantic cities in Europe and should be on everybody’s bucket list.
The city is Europe’s cultural capital and every street lives up to that name. The architecture is breathtaking and it’s full of enchanting streets and unique shops which make your visit to the city totally memorable. The centre of the city is famous for its Baroque palaces and beautifully landscaped gardens.
Apart from just strolling around, taking in the atmosphere, be sure to visit the imposing Schönbrunn Palace, St Stephen’s Cathedral and one of the many art museums. Also, don’t miss a visit to the Opera House- the opulence and interior decor are amazing.
If you’re lucky enough to be visiting during December, be sure to visit one of the biggest and best Christmas Markets in Europe in City Hall Square (Rathausplatz).
The city is also famous for its nightlife- there is always something to see or do during the evenings. Be sure to check in advance for opera and theatre shows- they’re well worth booking tickets to in advance.
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Contributed by Dina from Hey Explorer.
Sarajevo is a hidden gem tucked in the Balkans. The capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo still bears the scars of the Bosnian War (1992-1995) in the form of buildings riddled with bullet holes and museums that pay respect to victims. Despite its dark past, Sarajevo remains a beautiful small city that’s filled with attractions and activities. Such is its magnetic charm that I found myself visiting Sarajevo again and again, even stopping by a whole month for a hostel volunteering stint once!
Once you land in Sarajevo, get an introduction to the city with a free walking tour. It’ll no doubt take you to the city’s prominent religious landmarks such as the Gazi Husrev-beg Mosque and the Sacred Heart Cathedral. Then, discover the nooks and crannies of Bascarsija where the Ottoman-style alleys are flanked by souvenir shops selling copper crafts. For a bird’s eye view of the city, take a walk to the While Fortress or hop on a cable car up Mount Trebević. For meals, do hunt down local favorites such as the cevapi, which grilled minced beef served alongside flatbread, and the classic Bosnian burek.
Most travelers stay for two days, but trust me – the longer, the better. Sarajevo’s just the kind of place to lounge in a teahouse, soak up the atmosphere, and watch people go by.
Contributed by Cosette from KarsTravels.
Paris, the capital of France, can’t be missing on a list of the best cities in Europe. The city of love is a nickname. It has numerous landmarks and famous sights to explore, so much that on each trip you can explore something new. Make sure to visit the Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Arc de Triomphe, Notre-Dame, Sacré-Coeur, Musée D’Orsay, Versailles and Disneyland. Wander around the Champs-Élysées, Jardin Du Luxembourg and Montmartre.
The Seine, the most famous river of France, runs through Paris. For many a boat tour on the Seine is the summon of a romantic outing, or dinner with a view on the Seine. Another romantic thing to do is to get some cheese and wine and sit down at the grass fields near the Eiffel Tower and enjoy the Eiffel Tower in the evening, when it’s all lit up.
France is famous for its macarons. Paris has some of the best Patisseries that make and sell macarons, such as Ladurée and Fauchon. Discover them all yourself on a self-guided macaron walking tour. This is so far our most favorite thing we’ve done in Paris.
Contributed by Ronja from Ronja Goes Abroad.
Rovaniemi is THE Christmas location and worth the visit for everyone. Rovaniemi is Santa’s hometown and the best place to experience winter in Finland.
What to do in Rovaniemi and how to experience the ICONIC Christmas paradise:
As Rovaniemi is Santa’s home town you have to visit Santa Claus’ Village. There you can meet Santa, visit Santa’s post office and send a present or card to your family from Santa’s own post office, shop Finnish goods at one of the gift shops, go on a reindeer ride, drink some mulled wine in a goahti (= a traditional Sami tipi like dwelling). And you should definitely visit the village during the evening to see all the Christmas lights!
Santa’s Village can be visited all year long so if you rather visit during summer it is possible.
Another must-do in Rovaniemi is visiting the Arctic Snowhotel and stay in a glass igloo hotel. At the snow hotel, you can dine in an ice restaurant, go to a snow sauna, visit the ice bar or even stay and sleep in a snow bed! You can visit the snow hotel even if you do not stay there. And right next to the fantastic snow hotel are the glass igloos. It is a must stay, because there is a huge chance to see the northern lights.
So for the best Lapland winter experience visit Rovaniemi, Finland!! One of the many must-do in Finland! If you want to know what not to do in Finland click here!
Contributed by Jonny from Guide To Castles.
Edinburgh is one of the best-preserved medieval cities in Europe with a lot of history to it. The city is best to go to for exploring the Edinburgh Old Town.
You can visit the iconic Edinburgh Castle that looms over the city and walk along the street leading up to it called the Royal Mile which is packed with old shops and St Giles’ Cathedral. It also has some of the best ghost tours in Europe due to its medieval stories and old alleys and churches.
On top of that, you have the pubs that are full of atmosphere where you can sample traditional Scottish food and some excellent whisky.
You can visit any time of year and enjoy it all. The winter is especially great for the moody and darker vibes to go along with the medieval charm. The city is also an excellent base to get out to other parts of Scotland like the Scottish Highlands.
Contributed by Charu from Travel with CG.
Prague, the charming capital of the Czech Republic, is another beautiful city to visit in Europe. Boasting a plethora of sights to see and admire, it is a destination with lots to offer. From other-worldly castles and romantic bridges; to medieval squares and orange topped-roofs, there is plenty that makes Prague an iconic European destination.
One of the best things to do when in Prague is wandering around its historic Old Town Square. Many free Prague walking tours start from there, so you can join one and get acquainted with the city with the help of a local guide. The iconic Astronomical Clock is also located in Old Town Square and is a must-see. The view from the top of the clock is just incredible!
Some of the other notable landmarks in Prague to not miss are Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, John Lennon Wall, and St. Nicholas Church. Most of these tourist spots are situated close to each other, making Prague a great walking city to explore. Public transportation in Prague is also efficient and affordable, so you can even take trams to get around.
With affordable transport and food, breathtaking attractions, a fairytale vibe, and a lively art scene, Prague truly is one of the best cities to see in Europe.
Contributed by Olivia from Inspired by Croatia.
Known as the “Pearl of the Adriatic”, Dubrovnik is a true gem that is worthy of a spot on every European bucket list. Located at the southern tip of Croatia, the town of Dubrovnik once served as an important merchant republic that traded with Turkey, India, and Africa. Its famous walls were completed in the 13th century and have remained virtually unchanged to the present day! This iconic medieval city has been the stage for many motion pictures including Star Wars and Game of Thrones, and it’s not hard to see why.
Dubrovnik’s magnificent walls, ancient architecture, and stunning views of the Adriatic Sea will leave you breathless. A few must-do activities in Dubrovnik include strolling around the city walls, enjoying a coffee on Stradun, sampling world-famous seafood, and catching the sunset from Mount Srd.
Two days is the perfect amount of time to explore the city and get a taste of life in the Mediterranean. If you have some extra time, I suggest visiting the island of Lokrum, taking a day trip to the nearby town of Cavtat, or driving up to Ston to witness the second-longest preserved fort in the world.
To learn more about Ston or some of Croatia’s other hidden gems, be sure to check out this post.
Maastricht, the Netherlands
Contributed by Cosette from KarsTravels.
Coming from the Netherlands, there’s many a city I could add to this list as one of the best cities of Europe, but my all-time favorite is Maastricht.
Maastricht has a different feeling than the rest of the Netherlands. There’s a Burgundian atmosphere, but at the same time also a fancy feeling. Maastricht is all the way in the South of the Netherlands, close to the border with Belgium. The city offers history, liveliness, shops, quality restaurants, terraces and museums. So something for everyone.
Maastricht is a city perfect for foodies. When visiting Maastricht be sure to try out kruisbessenschuim (gooseberry pie). It’s the reason I travel each year to this city with a friend. Other dishes to sample are aardbeienschuim (strawberry pie), Maastrichts zuurvlees, arretjescakeand kroketten. There are all sorts of restaurants, with different cuisines, such as Greek, Indonesian and French. Vrijthof and Markt are 2 hotspot squares with restaurants and terraces.
Museum geeks can explore Maastricht Underground, the Bonnefantenmuseum, natural history museum or the St. Servaasbasilica. For fashion lovers, there are plenty of shops and lots of fashion houses have a store in the city center.
Contributed by Kerry from VeggTravel.
If you’re looking for travel ideas in Europe then make sure you add Cologne Germany to your bucket list. Home to one of the most iconic UNSECO World Heritage Sites, the Cologne Cathedral, you will be in awe at the sheer size and intricacy of this magnificent piece of architecture as soon as you arrive.
There are many things to do in Cologne Old Town but one that should not be skipped is a visit to the Lindt Chocolate factory. Everyone knows that Germany is famous for Chocolate so indulge yourself and see how it is made. Tasting it will be irresistible so grab some samples to take home.
Take the ride on the quirky green mini train “Bimmelbahn” to see the main sites of the city. Stop off at the cable car to see panoramic views across the river Rhine. You will also catch a glimpse of an indoor and outdoor spa where nudity is mandatory in some areas. This would most definitely be a unique experience for the adventurous traveler.
Finally, enjoy the outdoor terraces for meals, drinking and socializing. Make sure you try the local beer or brew houses and enjoy your stay in Cologne. If you’re visiting in November or December, Cologne has one of the best Christmas markets in Germany.
Contributed by Kerry from Adrenaline Junkiez.
One of the best cities to visit in Europe is undoubtedly London, England. From the cool, urban and quirky, to the grand and demure, London certainly has many different dimensions to discover.
If you want to visit the iconic sites, a trip to the English capital would be incomplete without a visit to Big Ben, the houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London and London Bridge. However, there are many districts that have unique and interesting appeals. Camden town has a fantastic market for both food and vintage apparel. Visit Camden lock for a drink or three and enjoy the trendy atmosphere. Nearby Shoreditch is also a popular area for bars, restaurants and nightlife.
If you’re wanting something more sophisticated, then head to the west end to watch a show at the theatre. Shop ‘til you drop at the busy Oxford Street or head to Harrods in the affluent Knights Bridge area.
Don’t just stick to the tourist areas, explore the different areas. Each one is a different experience in itself and you’ll get a real feel for London beyond what you see in the photographs.
Contributed by Martha from Go Places with Kids.
Florence is one of the most iconic cities in Italy and should be on the itinerary of anyone traveling in Europe. Known as the birthplace of the Renaissance, this charming city is brimming with gorgeous architecture, inspiring art, and delicious food.
One of the best things about Florence is the ambiance. Despite being a major tourist spot in Italy, it somehow still manages to maintain a quaint, small-town feel.
And although there is a lot to see in Florence, the city itself is not large and you can walk pretty much anywhere you want to go. In fact, the best way to see Florence is on foot!
As you stroll through the cobblestone streets, you can really take in the vibe of the city and you’re more likely to stumble across some hidden gems off the beaten path. And there is so much to experience while you’re in Florence!
There’s nothing quite like taking in the sight of the majestic Duomo (Florence’s cathedral) or climbing to the top of Giotto’s bell tower for a spectacular panoramic view of the city. And art lovers will be in raptures over the city’s impressive art collection, with the opportunity to see masterpieces such as Michelangelo’s David and Botticelli’s Birth of Venus.
Whether your interest is in art and architecture or just delicious food and old-world vibes, Florence is a place that you don’t want to miss!
Contributed by Victoria from Guide Your Travel.
Madrid is one of the best places to visit when travelling through Europe. Not only is the Spanish capital known for its many famous landmarks, such as the Museo del Prado, but it is also known for its one of a kind nightlife. The streets are filled with people all day long, and so are the bars and pubs after the sun has set. You can easily spend two weeks in Madrid without having seen everything. You don’t need a car if you live near the city center as the Metro connection and public buses work pretty well. No matter how long it takes, you will only pay around 1.5 $ USD for a single ride on the metro which is very convenient.
Madrid has something to offer for everyone’s budget, from fancy and high-end rooftops to cheap pubs where you can get a big beer for around 2$ USD. You should also definitely check out the Royal Palace in Madrid, which is filled with interesting stories from the royal family and their history.
Contributed by Cosette from KarsTravels.
Ljubljana is the capital of Slovenia and has a laid-back vibe. Being easy to stroll around in, it qualifies as one of the best cities in Europe. From spending one afternoon in Ljubljana to several days, there’s enough to do here.
Visit Ljubljanski Grad, the big castle towering over the city. Drive or walk up to the castle, both are a possibility, but the most fun is to go with the funicolare. A glass cogwheel, that goes up from the center to the castle, with perfect views on the city. At the castle you can wander around the courtyard and the grounds. You can also climb the tower and visit the inside of the castle.
Stroll around the city center with its old buildings with grand designs and colorful facades. The buildings are well preserved, from the Baroque and Jugendstil periods.
Contributed by Mia from Walk a While with Me.
While there are many incredible cities in Europe, you shouldn’t skip Zurich, Switzerland.
Zurich is a lot of a things: one of the most expensive cities in the world, one of the world’s best cities to live in, the biggest city in Switzerland, and a global center for banking and finance. However, Zurich isn’t the capital city of Switzerland (a common misconception among foreigners).
Nevertheless, Zurich is a serene and charming city that sits on the edge of Lake Zurich in northern Switzerland. A cosmopolitan metropolis situated at the foot of the Swiss Alps, Zurich is a great city for those who want to mix city life with nature.
While Zurich is known for being luxurious and expensive, there are many ways to visit Zurich on a budget! From wandering around Altstadt (Old Town), admiring the views from Lindenhof, and sitting by Lake Zurich, Zurich is a city that offers a plethora of enjoyable free activities.
However, if you have a bigger budget, additional things you can do include touring the Museum of Art (Kunsthaus Zürich) or the Swiss National Museum, checking out Zurich’s vibrant nightlife, going shopping around Bahnhofstrasse, and taking a day trip to the Swiss Alps.
Overall, Zurich is an amazing European city to visit, and an essential stop on your 5-week Europe travel itinerary!
Contributed by Stephanie from The Unknown Enthusiast.
Nice, France should be on everyone’s European bucket list. It combines the glamour of French architecture, style, and food with the laid-back feel of Mediterranean living. Situated right on the coast, Nice is the 3rd largest city in France and has many interesting things to see and do.
The most iconic (and my favorite) spot in Nice is the Promenade des Anglais. This wide, developed promenade runs for miles right along the beach. It’s lined with palm trees, and there are lots of places to sit and enjoy the view. It is so worth renting bicycles to ride up and down the Promenade enjoying the sparkling sea and beautiful buildings. If you fancy a dip in the sea, or even just a picnic on the beach, head down the many access points from the Promenade to the beach and enjoy the sounds of the waves hitting the shore.
After strolling down the wide promenade, turn into the narrow, winding streets of old town, and get lost exploring the shops, restaurants, markets, and squares in this charming part of Nice. You can find all sorts of French Riviera treasures here, from shops selling locally made olive oil, lavender, soaps, spices, and pottery, to gelato and crepe stands, and little restaurants featuring traditional French cuisine. And of course, so many colorful buildings!
There are many more things to experience in Nice – including museums, parks and gardens, the old port, Castle Hill, and more – plenty of things to keep you busy for several days!
The cherry on top is that Nice can serve as a “home base” to take day trips to the many small towns and cities within an hour or two of Nice, such as Eze, Antibes, Monaco, Menton, or Villefranche-sur-Mer.
Contributed by Sydney from A World in Reach.
With a rich history, gorgeous architecture, and incredible nightlife, Dublin is a European city that shouldn’t be missed. Spending 2 days in Dublin is a great way to get an introduction to the city before going on to explore more of the Emerald Isle.
The Dublin City Center is pretty compact and walkable, making it the perfect city to explore on foot. Make sure to spend some time wandering around the city, taking in the Georgian architecture and the lush green spaces. Don’t visit the city without paying a visit to the Guinness Storehouse, where you’ll learn more about the history of the iconic beer while getting to sample it for yourself. The Gravity Bar, which you’ll visit at the end of the tour, offers panoramic views over the city.
Other top things to do in Dublin include exploring Trinity College and seeing the Book of Kells, enjoying a pint in Temple Bar, visiting St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and shopping on Grafton Street. Simply wandering around the city is an experience within itself – look out for the famous colorful doors of Dublin while making your way around iconic sights like the Spire, Ha’Penny Bridge, and Dublin Castle.
For the perfect day trip, hop on the DART to Howth, just 30 minutes from Dublin. Here, you’ll find gorgeous seaside views along with delicious seafood.
Contributed by Deborah from Passport The World.
Tallinn is the capital of Estonia and is becoming more popular every time! The city is most famous for its medieval city center, consisting of an upper town, called Toompea and a lower town. You can stroll around the historic center for hours. The cobbled streets, with its facades of old merchants’ houses, narrow alleys and hidden courtyards make you feel like traveling back into Medieval times. Make sure to visit the town hall square, Toompea castle and Tallinn’s many churches, including the Alexander Nevsky Russian orthodox cathedral.
The best views of Tallinn can be found at the Kohtuotsa and Patkuli platforms, offering great picture possibilities of the red-roofed city. Another picture spot for capturing Tallinns’ skyline, is the city wall. From here you have a perfect view of all the church towers.
But not only the city center is worth exploring, there are more things to do in Tallinn. Neigbourhoods such as Telliskivi and Noblessener have become true hotspots for creative and fashionable souls. Telliskivi Creative City, located in a former industrial complex, offers plenty of art-galleries, theatres, design-stores, restaurants and amazing street art. One of the highlights is the Fotografiska museum, showcasing world famous photography exhibitions. Noblessener Seafront quarter, used to be a submarine factory, but has been transformed into a hip seafront promenade with galleries and high-end restaurants.
Looking for some greenery? Visit Kadriorg area. Here you’ll find the baroque Kadriorg palace and gardens, built more than 300 years ago on the orders of the Russian Tsar Peter the Great. You can visit the palace, wander around the green promenades, enjoy the rose garden or have a seat at the swan pond. If you are into art, don’t miss the Kumu, housed in a futuristic building. This seven-story museum, takes you on a journey through Estonian contemporary art!
Český Krumlov, Czechia
Contributed by Cosette from KarsTravels.
This city in South Bohemia, in the West of Czechia, is on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Český Krumlov is just 2 hours driving from Prague. Flocks of tourists visit the city each year for its old town and castle. Beautiful in Summer time, but equally or even more beautiful in Winter time.
We visited in February, when the city was covered in a layer of snow. Making the city stunning. The river Vltava meanders through the city. Founded in the 13th century, it still has its medieval character with buildings and walls being preserved. There are over 300 historical buildings, in Baroque, Renaissance and Gothic architecture. The castle is the second largest of Czechia. Climb up the tower, which gives perfect views and is beautiful from the outside. The Cloak Bridge, part of the castle, is wonderous to see. It’s unique since it has a moat not filled with water, but with bears.
Wander around the medieval streets and visit one of its many museums, such as the Egon Schiele museum, museum of Torture, Regional museum and the museum of Marionettes.
Contributed by Joanna from Golf on Costa del Sol.
Malaga is one of those cities that has everything for everyone: families, solo travelers, groups of friends. It can entertain history lovers, party goers, sun chasers, sports passionate people, foodies and can satisfy pretty much every travel wish.
Located in the South of Spain, Malaga is a perfect city to be visited year-round, due to the mild winters. In fact, the city is quite a popular destination in winter, as that’s when the golfers come to play on one of the many golf courses near Malaga. In summer it’s too hot to play.
Malaga has plenty of Moorish heritage, with the most important site being the Alcazaba and the Gibralfaro Fortress, located on the hill above the city. This is where you will get the most beautiful views over the city from.
You don’t have to go far if you want to sunbathe, as Malaga has two beautiful beaches right in town. The most popular one is Malagueta, a wide sandy beach with low currents in the sea, which make it perfect for families with children. The beach has all the facilities, and it is supervised by lifeguards during the high season.
Malaga is an art city, with two museums dedicated to Pablo Picasso, who was born in the city, but also the only foreign branch of the French Centre Pompidou.
One of the best activities to do in the evenings in Malaga is go out for tapas. The city is dotted with small tapas bars where the locals love to meet with their friends. For tapas with a view, head towards the harbor – the Paseo Maritimo is full of restaurants and bars.
Contributed by Marco from The Avid Campers.
There is something truly spectacular and special about Lisbon, Portugal’s capital city, so much so that the city has raked in numerous World Travel Awards in recent years. It’s perhaps not all that surprising then that so many visitors fall head over heels in love with this vibrant city!
What’s not to love about sunny Lisboa that boasts a fairly moderate to warm climate when compared to some other European capitals. Wonderful weather, warm hospitality, great food and wine, and beautiful sights await you here!
Being nicknamed the city seven hills, it offers spectacular views from almost every vantage point throughout the city. Some of my favourites being Miradouro de Sao Pedro de Alcantara, the Miradouro das Portas do Sol, and the Miradouro de Santa Catarina which are all perfect spots to watch the stunning Lisbon sunsets from.
Lisbon’s gorgeous architecture is another big drawcard, from the lovely tile covered buildings (covered in traditional ‘azulejos’ or tiles), to the cobbled streets of the historic neighbourhood of Alfama, through to the tree-lined avenue of Avenidas Novas (the most expensive stretch of real estate in the city), you’ll never get bored of the colourful buildings, the large open squares (such as Rossio and Praca do Comercio), and not to forget the intricate and patterned street pavements (known as calcadas).
Of course, Lisbon, and much of Portugal, is known for its delicious cuisine that ranges from fresh seafood to every sort of pastry imaginable! Most famous of which being the delectable Pastel de Nata egg-custard tartlet that is a must try when visiting Lisbon. For the perfect foodie experience, be sure to head to the Time Out Market in Cais do Sodre and sample some of the best Portuguese flavours.
Contributed by Elisa from France Bucket List.
Colmar is one of the best cities in France to visit. It is located in the historic region of Alsace, in Eastern France, and it is well connected to major cities like Paris, Dijon, or Strasbourg by fast trains.
Colmar is such a lovely city that it will likely steal your heart. The Old Town is compact, with pretty half-timbered houses and crisscrossed by small canals. There’s a neighborhood named La Petite Venise, which was the tanners’ neighborhood in old times. There, you can sail on typical boats and admire the flowery canals from another point of view.
The list of best things to do in Colmar includes museums for all kinds of travelers: the Auguste Bartholdi Museum, the Chocolate Museum, the Toy Museum, and the Unterlinden Museum. You may also want to taste the local cuisine in one of the traditional wine stubs, the popular eateries in Alsace.
Being Colmar on the Alsace Wine Route, the city is also the perfect place for wine tastings, perhaps paired with regional cheese, or as a stop on road trips.
Contributed by Ali from Berlin Travel Tips.
One city you shouldn’t miss when visiting Europe is Berlin. Germany’s capital has played such a unique role in recent history, making it a fascinating city to explore.
Berlin is most well known for being split into East and West by the Berlin Wall during the Cold War. For nearly 30 years, the Wall separated the two sides of the city, and this is an important part of the city’s history to explore. The East Side Gallery and the Wall Memorial at Bernauer Strasse are sights you should definitely include on your Berlin itinerary.
Two of the most iconic sights in Berlin are the TV Tower and Brandenburg Gate. The TV Tower was built by the Soviets. Not only is it the tallest building in Berlin, but it’s one of the tallest in the EU. It can be seen from almost anywhere in the city, and it’s a great place to go for views.
Brandenburg Gate dates back to the 18th century and is the only remaining city gate in Berlin. It sits along the former East-West border, so it was inaccessible when the city was split. Once the Wall fell and two sides reunited, it quickly came to represent unity.
Another unique place to see in Berlin is Tempelhof Park. This park was once an airport and was the base for the Berlin Airlift. In 2008, operations ceased and locals fought to turn it into a park. The terminal building still stands, and the runway and taxiways are all part of this huge green space.
Berlin has something for everyone, whether it’s the historical Charlottenburg Palace or the quirky street art in Kreuzberg, German food or international cuisine, gritty city streets or leafy parks like Tiergarten.
Contributed by Cosette from KarsTravels.
The second largest city, after Lisbon, of Portugal. It’s situated on the North bank of the Douro River. From the city you have mesmerizing views on the river. It’s all the way in the Northwest of Portugal.
Go on a Pastéis de Nata tour, they’re delicious. For dinner or lunch have a Francesinha. This sandwich originated in Porto and the people are really proud of it. Porto is also a good base for a boat tour to the Port vineyards. The Port houses can be visited in the overside of the river. Learn all about the history of Port and taste it!
You can also go on a search for Azulejos. Although it’s not really a search, since they’re everywhere. The São Bento train station is a beautiful example of this or the Igreja de Santo Ildefonso. The Livraria Lello is one of the most beautiful libraries in the world, you do however have to buy a ticket online, since there’s almost always a long line in front of it. Walk over the Luis I bridge, which has the best view on the colorful houses of Porto. The funicular dos Guindais is also great for views of the bridge and the South bank of the Douro River.
Contributed by Martina from PlacesofJuma.
One of the most beautiful cities to visit in Europe is definitely Split in Croatia. This beautiful harbor city is rich in cultural and historical heritage and on a city walk, you will discover many interesting attractions! Amazing is also the surrounding area with its numerous excursion destinations and possibilities for fun activities!
You should definitely visit the old town of Split, which Croatia fans often call the most beautiful city in Croatia. A real must-see is the Diocletian’s Palace, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the main attraction of Split. The best view of the city can be enjoyed from the steeple of the impressive Cathedral of St. Domnius in the center.
Incredibly beautiful, however, is also the picturesque harbor promenade, also called Riva, which connects directly to the old town and is a popular meeting place for locals and tourists.
But there is even more! Split is also a wonderful place for swimming and relaxing. Perfect for those who like to combine sun and beach with city and sightseeing! Most of the beaches along the coast are beautiful pebble beaches with crystal clear water and surrounded by fragrant pine forests.
Contributed by Renata from Bye:myself.
Hamburg, Germany’s second-largest city, is still a hidden gem when it comes to international tourism. While visitors are searching for Bratwurst and Lederhosen in the South, the Hamburgers just raise their eyebrows, button up their classic navy-blue blazers and enjoy a nice fish meal caught in the nearby northern sea.
Yes, Hamburg has always been a wealthy and posh trading spot – it’s Europe’s third-largest harbor, after all. But the city is also rocking around the clock. It was at the infamous redlight district St. Pauli where the Beatles started their worldwide career. And in 2018, Hamburg made the news as the G20 summit that caused first orderly protests and later wild riots.
The city’s most alluring suit is waters. Firstly, there is the river Elbe, flowing about 100 kilometers from Hamburg into the Northern Sea. On the banks, you can admire the historic warehouses as well as the hyper-modern Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg’s opera house. Enjoy a stroll on the piers or on the adjacent beaches. Or hop on one of the ferries to see the city from a more watery angle. Then, in the city center, not far from Hamburg’s beautiful town hall, is the lake Alster – also a great place for wandering, sailing, and enjoying life to the max.
Since Hamburg is in the very North and pretty close to the Baltic as well as the Northern Sea, the weather is definitely not something the city can brag about. There is often a light drizzle and the wind is blowing. With its many museums, galleries, and unique attractions like the Miniaturwunderland – an exhibit of many parts of the world in miniature – you can visit the city at any time of the year.
Contributed by Melissa from The Family Voyage.
If there’s one city in Europe that many school-age children will be excited to visit, it’s Athens! Everywhere you look the city is teeming with ancient history that’s intertwined with Greek mythology and the newly-popular Percy Jackson series.
There are few places in the world that offer a better glimpse of history than Athens. During your visit to Greece with kids, be sure to spend several hours at the iconic Acropolis towering high above the city. To make the most of the experience you can even bring a book of Greek mythology (or an e-book downloaded to your phone) to read aloud as you sit among the ruins. It’s one of the best ways to make this history come to life!
With older children, visiting Athens is also a wonderful opportunity to discuss architecture, preservation, restoration and ways that today’s societies can effectively blend the old and the new. Families can get a great flavor of Athens within just a day or two, but that time is guaranteed to be fascinating for all ages.
Contributed by Cosette from KarsTravels.
We visited Ålesund during a Hurtigruten cruise. It has a idyllic spot on the coast, with a mountain as a backdrop. From the water you have a perfect vista of Ålesund’s skyline, with its colorful wooden houses.
Visit the old harbor and the center of town with the wooden houses. With the canals and the wooden houses, the city looks characteristic. A nickname for the city is Venice of Norway, it calls itself the adventure capital of the fjords. Just 110 kilometers (68 miles) away from Geirangerfjord. You can go kayaking on the canals in town, on a hike or a zodiac-safari along the coast.
Ålesund is also the city of Art Nouveau. In 1904 it burned down to the ground ad was rebuilt in Art Nouveau style. Visit the city on a guided tour to learn more about the buildings and the special architecture. The city is a unique urban design monument with its spire and ornaments on the facades.
Bonus City: Budapest, Hungary
Contributed by Clyde from What Blogs Her Mind.
Budapest is one of the most beautiful and lively cities in Europe and photos can’t describe it enough. It doesn’t matter in what season you’re visiting the city, Budapest has always something to offer, to entertain you. What I love most in the city are the buildings, the castles, the Parliament which is something you shouldn’t miss when you’re passing by the city, the bridges that glow in the evening, the fashion and the vibe of the city.
These are 30 of the Best Cities of Europe to Visit
Hope you enjoyed all these cities. Have you been to any of them? Next up are the best cities to visit in the Netherlands and the best cities to visit in France.
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What a great collection! I can’t wait to start travelling again to visit some of these great countries in Europe.
Thanks for this fabulous list. So many European cities to visit, so little time… 😉
I love your list. I have been to many. The ones that I would love to visit on your list are Cologne, Berlin, Colmar and Bolzano.
So much world and so little time to see it all. I can’t wait to get back to international travel.
I love this list of cities! I’ve been to a few of them but there are so many I would love to explore still.
Great post! I confirm that Colmar is a city not to be missed in eastern France. And if you are in the area, don’t miss to explore the nearby vineyard with its fairy tale villages (Eguisheim, Kayserberg, Riquewihr…). You’ll be for a treat! 🙂
Great suggestions, some that I’ve seen and so many that I’d love to visit. Love the ideas and saving this!
I would add Funchal on the island of Madeira in Portugal. I love its funky door art!
Such a pleasure to discover new cities to visit in Europe! I have see many of the list, but not all, so you gave me new ideas!
Great list! I’ve been to lots of these but a few surprising ones included here that means I have lots more inspiration too. Thanks for sharing.
Florence has been one of those places that have attracted me for years. I have not yet been able to visit yet, but I surely will…very soon.
As a Europe lover, I’m so glad I came across this post! So many new and exciting cities I still have yet to discover. I’d love to check out Tallinn & Colmar!
Catherine - Savvy Family Travel
Excellent compliation. Tallinn, Estonia is a quietly remarkable place. Sagrada Familia was a hair raising experience and it blew my mind how many years still remain to bring the masterpiece to completion.
Already looking for places to visit next summer in Europe (fingers crossed) and this gives some great suggestions. Some I have already visited and some I need to add to my list.
This is a really cool collection of cities to visit on a tour of Europe! Thanks for sharing! 🙂 Hope you add Krakow in Poland if you ever choose to expand/edit the post, it’s a must-see and really affordable too!
Jenn | By Land and Sea
Have been to some of these cities, but all of them are on our list! I am missing Europe so bad lately and can’t wait until the day we can travel there again! Thanks for fueling my wanderlust!