With so many countries, Europe has an overwhelming amount of culture, history, and great vibes. These are the best cities in Europe to visit.
Europe is home to over half of the world’s tourists each year. Why? Because Europe is home to some of Earth’s most important, impressive, and influential cities – its relatively small size belies its staggering diversity.
With age-old historical sights, fabulous art, and architecture – Europe’s cities are delightful. Bars, restaurants, shops, and museums – you’re free to go anywhere since stunning sights are perfectly complemented by delicious culinary and nightlife scenes.
However, in diversity lies the main problem. With 44 different countries being home to many peoples, languages, and cultures, there’s so much to see and do – what European destinations are the best for you to visit?
Today, you’ll find out the best cities to visit in Europe. Which one is the best for you?
Breakdown of Best Cities in Europe Region
|Best City in Western Europe||Paris, France|
|Best City in Northern Europe||Oslo, Norway|
|Best City in Central Europe||Vienna, Austria|
|Best City in Eastern Europe||Budapest, Hungary|
Top Cities & Best Places to Visit in Europe
1. Amsterdam, Netherlands
Oh yeah, you’ve heard a lot about Amsterdam... Don’t believe it! Yes, the Netherlands capital boasts the iconic Red Light District and “coffee shops” selling mysterious types of herb…
But that’s only a scratch of the surface. Amsterdam has some of the most beautiful architecture in all of Europe and a very underrated culture.
Enjoy an excellent Indonesian meal, stroll down a canal, visit one of the many green spaces, or shop in the boutiques of Nine Little Streets, and you’ll realize – there’s much more to Amsterdam than people think.
And although the city compels a college-age, male-dominant crowd, Amsterdam is also ideal for a romantic getaway for two or an educational trip with your family.
Tourist attractions range from exploring the swirling Expressionism of the Van Gogh Museum to driving bikes between small cozy streets to learning about World War II history at the Anne Frank House – the Dutch capital city of Amsterdam suits a variety of traveler tastes.
Check out these best things to do in Amsterdam during your visit.
See Related: Best Vacations for a Group of Friends
2. Paris, France
Chic, stylish, and sophisticated – we haven’t even said the word “Paris”, but you’re already thinking about it, don’t you? Paris is famous for its beauty, astounding artworks, and architecture, with fantastic statues and sculptures alongside Art Nouveau and the Eiffel Tower.
This city is by far one of the most beautiful cities in Europe for several reasons. In the shape of the Louvre, the city boasts the largest art museum in the whole world.
Laying on the banks of the Seine, France’s cosmopolitan capital city is just as well known for its exquisite cuisine as its high-end fashion outlets. With so many treasures for you to find out, remember to savor Paris slowly – just like a fine French wine.
No matter where you are in the city center the Eiffel Tower stands tall overlooking its citizens and visitors. There’s just something about the magical feeling of Paris that you can’t really find anywhere else.
Want to explore more of French history, take a day trip out to the Palace of Versailles and live like a King and Queen for a day. Check out these best things to do in Paris.
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3. Vienna, Austria
History is at the heart of Vienna in Austria – literally and figuratively in central Europe. The narrow streets with antiquated buildings provide an authentic atmosphere that you almost expect Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart or Sigmund Freud to greet you with “Guten tag” at the local cafeteria.
If it’s a culture you seek, you’ll surely find it in Vienna. From the Schönbrunn Palace to the Hofburg Palace to the perfectly manicured gardens, this city is the definition of charm.
But there’s more to this city than just music and monarchs. Vienna is also a great place to visit independent bookstores, and there are also a surprising number of attractions for young ones, including amusement parks and a top-notch zoo.
And although many Viennese retire early in the night, that doesn’t mean you have to – there are many bars and wine taverns for adventurists. Check out these different things to do in Vienna to make the most of your visit.
See Related: Best Gardens in Europe to Visit
4. Prague, Czech Republic
A prosperous and bustling city – today, Prague attracts more tourists than ever as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. This is one of my favorite European cities as it’s incredibly affordable. Its picturesque veils both a dark legacy and a resilient past.
From about AD 870, Prague has withstood numerous overthrows, invasions, fires, and floods. This reputation for survival and perseverance has made the Czech capital extremely fascinating!
Today, its storied churches, narrow streets, intimidating hilltop castles, and statue-lined bridges create the scene of an urban fairy tale. Even the most jaded traveler would have trouble resisting this charming capital city.
What’s more, top attractions – including the famous Charles Bridge, Old Town Square, and the historic Prague Castle – are great free attractions to visit in a city that is already one of the most affordable destinations in the world. At the same time, many hotels offer rooms at a fraction of the cost of other European cities. Check out these great things to do in Prague.
See Related: Walking in Prague
5. Berlin, Germany
Dubbed “the capital of cool,” – Berlin boasts some of the best and most accepting nightlife. This vibrant nightlife scene features many beating bars and trendy clubs for you to enjoy. Plus, there are a ton of great parks in Berlin as well as legendary historical landmarks.
The city has changed and evolved rapidly in recent years, with new buildings springing up wherever you look. However, you can still find momentous historic sites, such as the Berlin Wall and the Holocaust Memorial.
Berlin’s culinary and cultural scenes are exceptional, thanks to being multicultural. A very welcoming place – the capital accepts everyone and caters to all interests.
Follow our Berlin itinerary if you want to walk in our same footsteps during your trip. Like what you are hearing? Check out these best things to do in Berlin, Germany.
See Related: Best River Cruises in Europe
6. London, England
You’ve seen it in so many movies – that’s because London is one of the most famous and iconic cities globally. Many landmarks are instantly recognizable, and Big Ben and the Tower of London are just some of its main attractions.
The UK’s capital has a vivid arts and culture scene for you to delve into, while most of its museums are free to the public. The city is very multicultural – the endless array of brilliant cafes, restaurants, and bars evidences its extraordinary diversity. Moreover, it also has some of the best shopping in Europe.
What are you interested in? Sport, theater, architecture, musicals, maybe the Royal family? Why not go on a Harry Potter rendezvous? There truly is something for everyone to enjoy in London, making it one of Europe’s best places to visit.
See Related: London vs Paris: What’s the Difference
7. Grindelwald, Switzerland
If you want outstanding natural beauty and stunning scenery, this will be your favorite city in Europe. Of course, the entire country of Switzerland offers some of the best outdoor adventures in the world.
If you’re looking for that picturesque city featuring Swiss half-timbered homes, Grindelwald is the one. The attractive town of Grindelwald might not be on your list yet, and you’ve probably never heard of it before – the Swiss gem is located in the Bernese Alps. It offers spectacular views and plenty of activities to keep tourists happy.
Grindelwald is particularly popular during the winter season when it is jam-packed with skiers. There is a wide range of Grindelwald ski runs to choose from. During the summer months, tourists may visit the area’s stunning vistas. There are many things to do in Grindelwald for a week trip, but it’s also good enough for two to three days.
See Related: Best Places to Visit in Switzerland & Things to do
8. Strasbourg, France
With 2,000 years of history, Strasbourg is a cultural bridge blending Franco-Germanic cuisine and language, tucked away in the northeastern corner of France. This city in France is one of the best European destinations to avoid over-tourism and big city life.
This mid-sized city features an amazing dynamic of both French and German culture in one city. What are you looking for? Active pursuits, intriguing history, and good food? Look no further than soul-stirring Strasbourg.
It’s young, dynamic, and is the official seat of the European Parliament. The city is a hotspot of cultural activities, so get your suitcase ready. For history and architecture lovers, – you’ll be thrilled to see Strasbourg Cathedral, which is highly acknowledged for its heavy and authentic Gothic artistry.
Strasbourg sits in an ideal location, offering a variety of ways to explore Europe. You can take an easy day trip to Colmar within the same Alsace region of France or pop across the border to see the legendary Black Forest of Germany. These are the best things to do in Strasbourg.
See Related: Best Day Trips from Strasbourg, France
9. Florence, Italy
This incredibly beautiful city, tucked amid the Tuscan hills, casts a long shadow through history. The wellspring of the Renaissance, Firenze, or Florence, sheltered the powerful Medici family and inspired artists like Michelangelo and Brunelleschi. For art lovers, this is your mecca.
If it weren’t for the fashionable Italians and chic shops lining those beautiful Italian streets, you might think you had traveled back to the 14th century. The stunning architecture is everywhere you look, and it’s incredibly inspiring. No wonder it turned out to be one of the best art destinations in the world.
You may also visit Florence for its beautiful sunsets, great Italian food, and romantic allure, in addition to its renowned Renaissance art. Check out these amazing places to stay in Tuscany without a car.
See Related: Best Travel Books for Italy
10. Salzburg, Austria
There’s more to Salzburg than Mozart and the Sound of Music, but the city is, first and foremost, a musical metropolis. First, the old town of Salzburg is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Salzburg’s streets are full of buskers, opera singers, and dazzling harmonic performers.
The city hosts over 4,000 cultural events annually. It’s no wonder Salzburg takes the tagline “Stage of the World” – that’s a lot of performance to pack into a compact city.
But Salzburg is also a great place to wander and absorb the history that distinguishes it from other Austrian cities-its typical Habsburg style and distinct atmosphere. Salzburg is timeless and has a youthful vibrancy.
There’s plenty to see and do in Salzburg, Austria. The city is home to a number of world-famous landmarks, including the Hohensalzburg Fortress and the Salzburg Cathedral. Salzburg is also a great place to wander and absorb the history that distinguishes it from other Austrian cities.
See Related: Vienna vs Salzburg
11. Rome, Italy
Italy’s capital, Rome, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. This is because there is so much to see and do in Rome, boasting some of the most famous attractions in the entire world.
There are several ancient ruins and Roman monuments, including the Colosseum, which are a must-see for history lovers. In addition, Rome is home to some of the most famous landmarks in the world, such as the Pantheon and St. Peter’s Basilica.
This beautiful city comes alive no matter where you are, as it’s hard to believe it’s real. The city center is like a walking museum with every corner you look at. Rome is also well-known for its food. Italian cuisine is some of the best in the world, and Rome is home to many famous Italian restaurants.
Finally, Rome is a romantic city perfect for a couple’s getaway. Check out these best day trips from Rome, Italy, while you are there.
See Related: How Much is a Trip to Italy: Average Cost Per Day
12. Dublin, Ireland
Dublin, Ireland, is a must-visit city for those who love literature. Dublin is home to Trinity College, where you can find the Book of Kells. The Little Museum of the Dublin Parliament and the National Museum in Ireland are also worth a visit.
The Castle and the Kilmainham Gaol are also popular tourist attractions in Dublin. There are several popular tourist attractions in Dublin that are worth visiting. These attractions include Trinity College, the Little Museum of the Dublin Parliament, the National Museum in Ireland, the Castle, and the Kilmainham Gaol.
In addition, Dublin is home to some great pubs serving Irish fare and great-tasting ales. I think you’ve heard of Guinness before, it just tastes different in Dublin. Once you know, you know.
See Related: Cheap Places to Visit in Europe
13. Copenhagen, Denmark
Copenhagen, Denmark is a beautiful city that is home to some of the most popular tourist attractions in Europe. Some of the most popular tourist attractions in Copenhagen include Tivoli Park, Rosenborg Castle, and Nyhavn.
Copenhagen is also well-known for its delicious Danish cuisine, biking, and well, some of the happiest people in the world. If you love being around welcoming people and don’t mind variable weather, this will be a dream destination for you.
Despite being a populous city, Copenhagen is very charming with stunning architecture. It’s a city that has a town feel without a doubt.
See Related: Best Places to Go on Your Birthday
14. Budapest, Hungary
Budapest is the capital and most populous city of Hungary, and one of the largest cities in the European Union. It is home to the Hungarian Parliament Building and Gellért Hill, which offers stunning panoramic views of the city, and the River Danube, which bisects it.
This beautiful city is known for its vibrant nightlife scene, with a large number of bars and clubs located in the district of ruin bars.
Budapest is rich in culture, food, and wine. It plays host to the best museums of any European city- especially for those who love travel photography. With more than 50% of Hungary’s GDP passing through Budapest, this vibrant metropolis offers fun for all types.
Whether you want to go hiking or some good old-fashioned sightseeing; it doesn’t matter what you are looking for, this charming city is bound to steal your heart.
See Related: Ways to Book the Cheapest First Class Flights
15. Oslo, Norway
Oslo is the capital and largest city of Norway. It is located in the eastern part of the country and its metropolitan area is one of the most popular cities to visit in Northern Europe. The city has a rich history dating back to the late 8th century when it was founded by King Harald Hardrada.
Oslo is a great place to see the northern lights. The city is located in the eastern part of Norway, making it the perfect spot to view the aurora borealis. Oslo is also one of the most populous cities in the Nordic countries, so there is always something to do in the city.
In addition to seeing the outdoor excursions, be sure to check out some of Oslo’s other famous landmarks, such as the Royal Palace, Akershus Fortress, and Vigeland Sculpture Park.
See Related: How Much is a Trip to Norway?
16. Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona has an underappreciated long history relative to the other major cities in Western Europe. The city was originally founded by the Romans in the year 218 BC, and over the centuries it has been ruled by several different empires, including the Carthaginians, the Visigoths, and the Moors.
One of the most famous periods in Barcelona’s history is when it was ruled by the Catalans, who were fiercely independent people. This period is most prominently celebrated through architecture and art, with some of Barcelona’s most famous landmarks being from this period.
Today, Barcelona is a must-visit in Europe for those seeking out a city with a diverse culture and vibe that is sure to impress anyone who visits.
This city sprawls across the Balearic Sea and is one of the best party cities if you’re a night owl. Barcelona is an incredibly fun city to visit if you’re in your 20s or traveling with a group of friends.
There are plenty of things to do in Barcelona, but some of the most popular attractions include seeing Gaudi’s famous architecture, such as the Sagrada Familia, going for a walk on La Rambla, and enjoying the non-stop positive vibes on Bogatell Beach.
You don’t need history to enjoy this city either, modern art is very well known in Barcelona with Pablo Picasso’s influence still being shown throughout the old town and city.
See Related: Best European Palaces to Visit
17. Venice, Italy
The city of Venice, Italy has a long-tenured history. It was originally founded in the 5th century as a refuge area for people who had been displaced by the Barbarian invasions.
The city quickly grew in power and influence, and by the 10th century, it had become an important center for trade and commerce. In the 12th century, Venice reached the peak of its power and influence, and it became one of the most powerful cities in Europe.
Over the centuries, Venice has played a significant role in European politics and culture, and it is now considered one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.
Venice, Italy is a city that is based on miles of canals. Its primary mode of transportation is by gondolas, meanwhile, Vaporetto boats are controlled by a boatman and are considered public transportation.
At night, Venice transforms and becomes a great weekend getaway to Europe. Visitors often walk the city streets in the morning, visiting Piazza St. Mark, St. Mark Basilica, and the Doga Palace before having a romantic evening enjoying one of the many gorgeous canalside restaurants. Venice is one of the most visited cities in Europe, so we’d recommend that you travel during off-peak season.
See Related: Top Reasons to Travel to Italy
18. Cappadocia, Turkey
This year, give yourself an unforgettable experience and visit Cappadocia in Turkey. This city is not going to make the top list of the most visited cities in Europe and that’s a good thing. Cappa
With its wind-sculpted fairy chimneys and Goreme Natural Park, Cappadocia is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country.
In the centuries since cave villages and castles were dug up by men in the region’s rock, Cappadocia has become a hidden city that awaits discovery with naked eyes.
When you go, make sure you do not miss the opportunity of flying over the scenic region in a hot air balloon. It’s one of the best places in the world for hot air balloon rides.
19. Stockholm, Sweden
Stockholm was founded in 1252 by Birger Jarl, making it one of the oldest cities in Europe. The largest city in Sweden has a long and fascinating history, which you can learn about at its many museums.
Stockholm is one of the most vibrant cities in Europe to visit. It has a lot to offer tourists, including lovely architecture, excellent restaurants, and interesting museums.
Some of the city’s most popular landmarks include Vasa, a maritime museum, the Stockholm Palace, and the Stockholm Museum of Science and Technology. If you’re interested in learning about Stockholm’s history, be sure to visit its many museums.
Stockholm is definitely worth a visit if you’re looking to explore one of the many great Northern European countries.
20. Munich, Germany
Munich, Germany is a city that boasts plenty of historic landmarks and museums. Munich was first mentioned in documents in the year 1158. The city became an important center of trade and commerce due to its location on the river Isar.
The city’s first fortifications were erected in the 12th century. In the 13th century, Munich became the residence of the Wittelsbach dynasty. The city’s most famous landmark, Neuschwanstein Castle, was built in the 19th century under King Ludwig II of Bavaria.
The city’s famed landmarks include Hofbrauhaus, Linderhof Palace, and Nymphenburg Palace. You’ll also find the Viktualienmarkt, St. Peter’s Church, and the Saint Geist Church in this part of town. All are near the same location, so it’s easy to get around the city.
Cross Oktoberfest off your bucket list and visit this famed city in Germany. Check out these best breweries in Munich during your trip.
See Related: Vienna vs Munich
Why these cities are the best cities in Europe to visit?
European cities are some of the best in the world to visit because of their rich history, culture, and architecture. From iconic landmarks to charming streets and cozy cafes, there’s something for everyone in a European city.
Additionally, many cities in Europe offer great nightlife and dining scenes, making them perfect for a vacation. Whether you’re looking to explore new cultures or just want to have a good time, a city in Europe is sure to be the perfect destination.
We picked these European cities because they combine and possess the charm, history, variety, and culture of all things you love to see in a European destination.
If you’re looking for a European city to visit, consider one on this list of cities. It’s hard not to love these cities in Europe that are beautiful and offer plenty of attractions for all types of travelers.
But what do you think about our favorite European destinations? What European city will be your first or next visit? Don’t forget to subscribe to the ViaTravelers newsletter to get new destination ideas directly to your email inbox.
What is the most beautiful capital city in Europe?
There are so many cities in Europe to visit and so many cities which might be considered “the most beautiful capital city in Europe.” Most people would agree that the top cities include: Athens, Paris, Rome, Oslo, London, and Amsterdam.
Which European country has the most beautiful cities?
Italy (Italia) has the most beautiful cities in Europe. These cities offer a myriad of activities and attractions for tourists to enjoy, from historical landmarks to bustling city life. If you’re looking to explore some of the best cities in Europe, then Italy (Italia) is the perfect destination.
Which European city should I visit?
This all depends on what you are trying to get out of your trip. However, the best European to cities to visit overall are Paris, Rome, London, and Amsterdam. Each of these cities offers unique attractions and experiences for all different types of travelers.
Where should I go in Europe for the first time?
Paris, Rome, Barcelona, London, Amsterdam, and Venice are all musts in a traveler’s European itinerary. Each of these offers varying perspectives of culture, history, and fun activities.
What city is considered the most beautiful city in Europe?
Amsterdam is often thought of as one of Europe’s most stunning cities. It has a historic charm not often replicated by cities. Hoards of tourists discover its existence. The city continues to stay true in retaining its’ historic authenticity and charm.
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