Best European cities to visit: let’s check the top 15 holiday destinations in Europe, with a guide to the attractions in each one of them
Are you planning to visit Europe? This list of the best European cities to visit is an excellent place to start choosing your itinerary, featuring details of the top 15 urban destinations in the old continent.
City Holiday Destinations in Europe: Overview
Europe is a continent that has a lot to offer to its visitors. It comes as no surprise that 6 out of the 10 most visited countries in the world are in this continent. In this list featuring the top 15 cities to visit in Europe, we can easily understand why each one of these cities attract so many visitors.
Traveling around European cities is usually a pleasant, stress-free journey. All of the cities in this list enjoy a highly developed tourism infrastructure, including excellent public transportation and plenty of sights to visit.
Without further ado, let’s go to our list of the best European cities to visit.
Best European Cities to Visit: The List
Budapest, the capital of Hungary, certainly deserves a place in our list of the best European cities to visit. The city on the Danube offers everything a tourist can expect: excellent sights like the Buda Castle and the Parliament, delicious restaurants and prime nightlife as in its famous ruin bars. On top of that, Budapest is one of the most affordable capitals to visit in Europe.
The Hungarian capital also has a rather privileged location in the continent. With just a few hours in a trip, you can be in cities like Vienna, Prague, Bratislava or Salzburg. Click here to learn more in our guide on the best places to stay in Budapest.
Lisbon is gaining popularity over the last few years, and it is easy to understand why. The city is one of the sunniest capitals in Europe and it is a perfect European holiday destination year round.
Besides of that, Lisbon can be a great destination if you want to go to the beach. You can easily reach go to the beach in Cascais or Estoril, just a 30 minutes ride from the Lisbon Cais do Sodré. Check our guide on where to stay in Lisbon, if you are planning to visit the Portuguese capital.
Amsterdam is one of the most visited cities in the world, and it has attractions for all types of tourists indeed. From the Van Gogh Museum to Amsterdam’s red light district, the Dutch capital always has something to offer around the clock.
If you are visiting Amsterdam you might also want to check the Keukenhof Garden. It is easily accessible from Amsterdam and it is one of the biggest flower gardens in the world. Check our guide on the best places to stay in Amsterdam, and enjoy your visit to the Netherlands.
Barcelona is not the capital of Spain, but it is the most visited city in the country. The charm of the Catalan city can be easily felt in some of the Gaudi‘s architectural masterpiece, including the Sagrada Familia Cathedral.
Apart from that, Barcelona is one of the best European beach holiday destinations. You can either enjoy the beaches in Barcelona, or take a quick ride to one of the many beach towns in Catalonia. If you are visiting Catalonia soon, check our guide on where to stay in Barcelona.
Munich is the capital of the German region of Bavaria, and one of the best European cities to visit in Germany. The city is famous for its Oktoberfest, the most traditional and famous beer festival in the world, and an unique experience to attend.
If you are not coming during the Oktoberfest rest assured that the city has plenty to offer beyond beer. Enjoy the unique sights of the Marienplatz or sit down a coffee in the fancy Maximilianstraße. You can read more about the city in our article on the cost of living in Munich.
Rome is the capital of Italy and one of the best European cities to visit for its romance and historic atmosphere. The Italian capital is home to some of Europe’s most famous postcards, including the Colosseum and the Trevi Fountain.
Apart from that, Rome is also the ideal destination for foodies. Enjoy the traditional Italian pasta or eat a pizza in one of the many picturesque restaurants that Rome has to offer. If you are coming to the Italian capital, don’t forget to check our guide on where to stay in Rome.
The Austrian capital is one of the most charming and safest European cities to visit. The city is notably famous for its palaces and gardens, such as the Schönbrunn and the Belvedere Palace.
If you are a food lover, Vienna is also an excellent place to be. It is the homeland of the Wiener Schnitzel, and has also some of the most delicious bakeries and pastry shops in the world. Check our guide to the best places to stay in Vienna here.
Krakow is one of the most beautiful cities in Central Europe, with its magnificent Rynek Square and its quaint Jewish Quarter. The city in Southern Poland, used to be country’s capital for centuries, and it is still a cultural hub in Central Europe.
The Polish city is also extremely affordable, ranked as one of the cheapest cities to visit in Europe. Finally, Krakow is also a thriving student city, therefore a great place for nightlife at very inviting prices. Check or guide to Krakow here.
Prague is the capital of Czech Republic and is always in every list of the best cities to visit in Europe. The city is a great destination for architecture and history lovers, with its famous churches and towers in Gothic Architecture. The Prague Castle is another of the many attractions in the city definitely worth visiting.
The capital of Czechia is a great place for nightlife and entertainment. Beer enthusiasts already know that Czech beer is among the best in the world, and Prague is the perfect location to enjoy it. If you are visiting Czechia, you might want to check our guide on where to stay in Prague.
Copenhagen definitely deserves a place in our list of the best European cities to visit, even if it is one of the most expensive ones. Among its various attractions, the Nyhavn Canal is one definitely worth visiting for its Danish architecture and beautiful surroundings.
Another of the main attractions in Copenhagen is the absolutely stunning Tivoli Gardens. This amusement park is one of the oldest in operation in the world, and is located right in the center of the Danish capital. If you are visiting Denmark anytime soon, check our guide on the cost of living in Copenhagen.
Tallinn is the capital of Estonia and the location of one of the most beautiful old towns in Europe. Despite its location in the Northeastern part of Europe, Tallinn is definitely worth visiting for its history, architecture and nightlife.
Some of the highlights of its old town are the Tallinn Town Hall Square with its medieval atmosphere and the quaint St. Catherine’s Passage and the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. For those visiting Tallinn, our guide to the best places to stay in Tallinn is definitely worth checking.
Nice, a city in the French Cote d’Azur, is a romantic city famous for its scenic views to the Mediterranean Sea. The city in Southern France has been one of the most prestigious European summer destinations for centuries. The city is famous for its iconic Promenade des Anglais, a 7 km long avenue right in front of the Mediterranean Sea.
If you are coming to Nice you might want to check Monaco. The exclusive principality is just a short train, car or helicopter ride from Nice, and you can easily do it on a day trip. Check out our guide to stay in Nice if you are considering a trip to the Cote d’Azur.
The capital of Scotland is an amazing travel destination in Europe, especially if you enjoy strolling around unique historic streets. The Royal Mile in Edinburgh has a medieval feeling and will lead you all the way to the Edinburgh Castle, one of the most beautiful in Europe.
The Scottish capital is also the location of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the largest arts festival in the world. The festival, which takes place in August, gives the city a completely different atmosphere and there are events and art presentations all day long throughout the city. Check our guide on the best places to stay in Edinburgh for more information.
Saint Petersburg is the Northern and Eastern most city in this post, but it also deserves a place among the best cities to visit in Europe. The city on the Baltic Sea is famous for its unique architecture, seeing in notorious buildings like the Hermitage Museum and the Church on the Savior Spilled Blood.
Unlike many people think, Saint Petersburg in Russia is a pretty safe city to visit and has a good tourism infrastructure. If you are considering visiting this Russian city, check our guide on the best places to stay in Saint Petersburg.
Zurich is probably one of the best cities to start or end an European tour. The biggest city in Switzerland also has an excellent location in the center of Europe and is one of the most developed and wealthy cities in Europe. Zurich has an excellent transport infrastructure, both to and in the city.
The Zurich Airport with direct intercontinental flights to North and South America, Asia, Africa and most big European cities. The city also has direct train connections to many European countries like Germany, Italy, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia and others.
The largest city in Switzerland is also a great place for shopping. The country in fact has lower taxes on goods than most European countries. Finally, take a day cruise on the Lake Zurich, and enjoy beautiful views to the Alps. Check here our guide to the best places to stay in Zurich.
Other Resources for Traveling in Europe
Jetradar – compare and find the cheapest air fares worldwide.
Trainline – buy train tickets in Europe using Trainline.
World Nomads – if you are travelling abroad, you can get insurance from World Nomads. With a vast coverage in number of countries and activities, World Nomads is a great option for any kind of traveler.