I can almost bet that you have a European city on your travel bucket list somewhere. From Barcelona to Rome to London, Europe is filled with so many vibrant cities. In fact, the best cities to visit in Europe happen to be some of the best cities in the world!
Each city in Europe is unique with its own breathtaking landscapes, distinct architecture, and more. Even people who don’t think they’re “city people” usually end up falling in love with the city that they’re visiting. I wholeheartedly believe that cities in Europe have just as much charm as small towns and villages.
I’ve been to all but nine countries in Europe and have explored countless cities throughout the continent. I vividly remember saying, “This is my favorite city in Europe” after every city I visited. Trust me — you’ll feel the same way!
Europe has a lot to offer and it can feel overwhelming when trying to decide where to go, especially if it’s your first time on the continent. That’s why I teamed up with some fellow travel bloggers to uncover the best cities to visit in Europe.
In This Post:
27 Best Cities to Visit in Europe
This list includes iconic cities and some hidden gems that you may or may not have heard of. You’ll find the perfect European city for you on this list!
1. Paris, France
By Leticia of Chic Travel Around the World
Paris, France is affectionately known as the city of lights or the city of love. Paris is such an electrifying city full of romance and history. There are so many famous historical sights and attractions in this city and the most iconic of them all is the Eiffel Tower.
No visit to Paris is complete without experiencing a river cruise on the River Seine. This is such a great way to take in all that the city has to offer.
The city also has one of the most stunning architectural churches in the world — the Notre Dame. It’s also one of the most famous Gothic cathedral churches in the world.
One of the most famous museums in the world can also be found in this city. The Louvre is the world’s most visited art museum and houses one of the most famous paintings of them all — the Mona Lisa.
Another reason why Paris is one of the best cities to visit in Europe is because of the delectable food and wine. Known for tantalizing pastries and desserts, there is so much delicious food you should try here including croissants, baguettes, macarons, and crepes.
2. Utrecht, Netherlands
By Lotte of Eschbach Consulting
While only 31 miles from Amsterdam, Utrecht remains an underrated city in the Netherlands. Centrally located and easily reached by train from Amsterdam, it can be a great day trip.
However, Utrecht is a great destination on its own and you can easily spend a day or three in this lovely historic city that was granted city rights all the way back in 1122.
As such an old city, it comes as no surprise there are many beautiful historic buildings. The canals in the medieval center rival those of Amsterdam and on a sunny day, there is no better place to have a meal or grab a drink than in one of the restaurants and bars by the water.
For traveling families, Utrecht is one of the best Dutch cities to visit with kids! There is the Miffy Museum, the Spoorweg Museum (where children and adults can learn about trains in the Netherlands), and several indoor playgrounds.
For couples, a romantic activity is climbing the 112-meter-high Dom Tower to catch the sunset. On a clear day, you can see all the way to Amsterdam and Rotterdam. Shopping addicts should visit Hoog Catharijne, a large indoor shopping mall adjacent to the train station.
3. Dubrovnik, Croatia
By Disha of Disha Discovers
Located on the Adriatic Sea in Southern Croatia, Dubrovnik is one of the best cities to visit in Europe. Tourists who visit instantly fall in love with it for several reasons. Dubrovnik is a gem and you’ll be surrounded by delicious local food, buildings that date back centuries ago, and utter beauty.
It’s one of the last remaining walled cities in the world and the views and weather are perfect all year round. You can catch these epic views right in the heart of the old town or from a cable car.
Dubrovnik is actually a UNESCO World Heritage Site and basically everywhere you walk is centuries old. Be sure to take a peek at the Medieval Franciscan Monastery which has one of the oldest pharmacies in the world.
Also, Dubrovnik made an appearance on the ever so popular TV show, Game of Thrones. You can see King’s Landing in real life and take tours of set locations too. Star Wars: The Last Jedi was also filmed here.
You can also do some fun island hopping from Dubrovnik as well. There are several small islands nearby which you can easily reach by boat. Lokrum and Brac are some popular island day trips.
Lastly, since Dubrovnik is located on the coast, the local cuisine is delicious! Try some fresh grilled fish and pair it with a Croatian red or white wine. You can also have some equally delicious pizza or pasta if you don’t fancy seafood.
4. Reykjavik, Iceland
By Suzanne of Meandering Wild
Reykjavik is one of the most northerly cities in Europe and is the capital of Iceland. The city has a different feel compared to other cities in Europe as the population is much smaller.
The main shopping streets all have views of the sea and you can be out of the city and in the wilderness within a few minute’s drive. The whole city has a friendly, relaxed feel and it is possible to walk to all the main sites. One to two days is plenty to explore this city.
It’s also possible to see the northern lights from the city center if the weather and solar activity are good. Reykjavik has a number of things to see including the iconic Hallgrímskirkja Church with its symmetrical patterns. From the top of the tower, there are views across the whole city and beyond.
Along the waterfront, you’ll see the Sun Voyager sculpture, two lighthouses, and the angular and stunning Harpa Concert Hall. The main shopping streets are busy with small restaurants and cafés and it is worth keeping an eye out for the street art that merges the wildlife of the country into the city artwork.
5. Oslo, Norway
By Megan of Megan & Aram
One of the gems of the Scandinavian cities is definitely the beautiful and modern looking capital of Norway — Oslo. It’s one of the best cities to visit in Europe.
Oslo has everything from its livability to its tangible nature. The city is quite old. It was founded at the beginning of the 11th century. Over the centuries, it transformed into one of the modern capitals of Europe without losing its historical face.
There are several reasons to visit Oslo but one of the prime reasons is that it’s a great start to discovering Norway and the rest of Scandinavia because of how well it’s connected. Even getting from Oslo Airport to the city center is easy.
From Oslo, it’s possible to visit Bergen for a couple of days. You can also take a day trip to the legendary Lillehammer Olympic city.
The Norwegian capital has a lot of attractions and one of the best ways to see them is to take a fjord cruise to famous Bygdøy Island. You can explore the Viking Museum that displays the wooden ships of the Vikings in Norway dating back to the 9th century. Another attraction on Bygdøy Island is the Fram Museum and the Kon-Tiki Museum. The Fram Museum is dedicated to Fridtjof Nansen, a Norwegian explorer who was the first to reach the North Pole.
Lastly, Oslo is home to the mesmerizing Oslo Opera House that has a contemporary architectural style. It was built in 2008 and currently hosts well-known artists from all around the world.
6. Gdansk, Poland
By Linn of Brainy Backpackers
Poland is such an underrated country in Europe, but it has so much to offer. Of the most incredible cities in the country, Gdansk is jam-packed with history, culture, and astounding architecture.
If you are interested in learning more about World War Two, Gdansk is the perfect place to visit. As the zone zero for the war, the city was near demolished and what you see today has mostly been built up again, as it was, except a few monuments that were taken apart and hidden throughout the war, like the Neptune’s Fountain.
There is no end of what to do in Gdansk as there are numerous museums, you can take a pirate tall ship tour in the river, you can visit a concentration camp, chill on some of the most astounding beaches in the Baltic Sea, and climb the clock tower to see the fascinating pastel-colored old town from above.
Gdansk is beautiful with friendly locals, and did I mention cheap?
7. Galway, Ireland
By Catherine of Travel Around Ireland
One of the best cities to visit in Europe is Galway on the west coast of Ireland. As one of the best places in Ireland to visit, this compact city is hugely popular with tourists and locals alike, who flock here for a getaway within Ireland.
Galway is located just over 2 hours by car from Dublin, and 2.5 by direct train, making it ideal to visit from the Irish capital.
Sitting on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, Galway is a city that is easy to explore on foot. It is much more compact than Dublin and many of the best things to do in the city are located close to one another.
The city has a rich history but is also a student city, keeping it alive with energy. Some of the best things to do in Galway include visiting the Spanish Arch, thought to be part of the city’s medieval walls. The Galway City Museum exhibits artifacts from the city dating back over 200 years.
Galway is also a great base for exploring one of Ireland’s most beautiful landscapes, the Connemara National Park. If you don’t have a car, there are tour companies which run daily tours to the national park.
Galway is a vibrant city with plenty of restaurants and hotels for visitors, as well as a wealth of pubs for soaking up some Irish craic, making it an amazing destination in Europe.
8. Athens, Greece
By Chrysoula of Athens & Beyond
Athens is one of the most popular places to visit in Europe. Athens is a fun modern city with great restaurants, bars and good beaches on the edge of the city. The main reason for many to visit Athens is to explore the ancient city that stands in the center.
Focused on the famous Acropolis with the equally famous Parthenon and various other marble monuments, this is the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in the history of this powerful ancient city.
There is the contemporarily styled Archaeological Museum to explore and the chance to stand in awe of its amazing artifacts — all made by hand.
In complete contrast, there are stylish restaurants and family-run tavernas serving delicious traditional cuisine and good local wines and beers to sample.
There are markets for browsing, quality stores, and stunning panoramic views to enjoy. Getting around is easy but you will need to spend at least 3 days in Athens to get a good feeling of the city.
A warm welcome awaits all visitors – no wonder it’s so popular!
9. Kosice, Slovakia
By Kami of Kami and the Rest of the World
If you are looking for an interesting, beautiful, and cool yet underrated city to visit in Europe, Kosice is your answer. The second-largest city in Slovakia offers a variety of attractions for each taste.
You can visit the easternmost Gothic cathedral in Europe, wander around the charming old town or attend a play in the beautiful State Theater that was built at the end of the 19th century.
In 2013, Kosice had the title of the European Capital of Culture and today you can still enjoy numerous cultural institutions like the former tobacco factory turned into a creative hub or the old swimming pool that serves as the art gallery.
Once you are tired of all the sightseeing, you can check the local culinary scene that is really impressive with so many great restaurants, pubs, and cafes. Be sure to try the local wine from the Slovak Tokaj region, it’s not very common outside of the country but it surely is good.
Kosice can be also a perfect base to explore eastern Slovakia where you can find UNESCO sites and spectacular natural wonders. With so many great things to do in Kosice, you won’t be bored!
10. Copenhagen, Denmark
By Derek & Mike of Everything Copenhagen
Copenhagen, Denmark is sometimes overlooked by travelers, but waiting to be discovered are incredible architecture, a vibrant food scene, and thrilling attractions. It’s truly one of the best cities to visit in Europe and you won’t run out of things to do in Copenhagen.
Copenhagen also has the second-oldest amusement park in the world, Tivoli Gardens. A visit to the park inspired Walt Disney to open his own theme park so imagine how it will inspire your holiday.
The city also has a beautiful harbour and canals which can be explored by a canal boat tour. The two-hour excursion gives you a great overview of the history and shows you the architectural highlights of the city.
When you go out for a meal in Copenhagen, you can count on an unmatched culinary experience. The city has tremendous street food parks and halls around the city. One of the best is Reffen, located on Copenhagen Harbour. It’s a fantastic place for dinner, a drink and watching the sunset.
For a high-end dining experience, try a New Nordic restaurant like Meille or U Formel. The focus of the food is on local and seasonal ingredients where traditional Danish recipes meet modern culinary techniques.
11. Berlin, Germany
By Tom of Travel Past 50
It’s impossible to sum up Berlin easily. There is, of course, so much history that one needs to pay attention to, but the current city, especially the arts enclaves that have emerged from the old East Berlin are worth noting.
After the mandatory tour of the remnants of the Berlin Wall, stay on the east side to wander the more eclectic neighborhoods that are dotted with art galleries and bars that proudly embrace their Communist heritage. Also, while on the east side of the city, be sure to visit the Soviet war memorial at Treptower Park.
The other monuments that will merit your attention include the famous Brandenburg Gate, the Berlin Dom Cathedral, and the Holocaust Memorial.
If your taste is more towards art, don’t miss the Kathe Kollwitz Museum, the homage to the extraordinary artist whose work was banned by Hitler.
The Bauhaus Archive is also a must if you want to experience the important movement in the history of modern architecture and design.
Finally, don’t miss the indulgent shopping and culinary experience of the Kurfurstendamm area. The mixture of Baroque buildings that survived World War II and stunning modern architecture is a little history lesson in one small area.
12. Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina
By Roxanne of Faraway Worlds
Situated on the blue Neretva River, Mostar is a small city in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Founded in 1452, Mostar has a beautiful old town with distinctive Ottoman architecture and traditional restaurants and cafes.
Its most distinctive feature, however, is Stari Most, the white bridge that spans the river. First built by the Ottomans in the 1600s, it was destroyed by Croat forces during the war in the 1990s. It has since been rebuilt according to the original specifications and takes a place of pride in the center of the Old Town.
If you visit during summer, you can see local divers jump from the bridge for a small donation. Other highlights in Mostar include the market in the old town, the “Don’t Forget” stone (a gentle reminder to visitors of the city’s difficult history), and the permanent exhibition of photos from the civil war. The beautiful Koski Mehmed Paša Mosque and the historic Muslibegović House are also worth a visit.
The surrounding region is also stunning, so consider making Mostar your base while you explore a bit more of the country. Otherwise, if you’re short of time, visit Mostar on a day trip from Dubrovnik for a small taste of Bosnia and Herzegovina. You’ll see why Mostar is one of the best cities to visit in Europe!
13. Tallinn, Estonia
By Daniel & Ilona of Top Travel Sights
With its medieval Old Town, Tallinn is one of the prettiest and best cities to visit in Europe. You can spend hours walking through the cobblestone streets, exploring the narrow passageways and traditional houses.
Start your journey at Town Hall Square, where you can also find Europe’s oldest pharmacy. While walking, make sure to check out St Catherine’s Passage, one of the city’s most photogenic alleys.
One of the best things to do in Tallinn is to climb on top of the city wall. You can do so either at Hellemann Tower or Kiek in de Kök. The latter lies up on Toompea Hill, where you can also find multiple viewpoints to enjoy the city from above.
Tallinn is also famous for its many museums, so make sure to visit some during your stay. In the Great Guild Hall, which is already worth visiting for seeing the building, you can find the Estonian History Museum. The Maritime Museum is excellent for learning about the Baltic Sea and Estonia’s Naval History.
And finally, stop by the KGB Museum in Hotel Viru to find out more about Estonia during Soviet occupation.
14. Amsterdam, Netherlands
By Dymphe of Dymabroad
A lovely city to visit in Europe is Amsterdam. It’s the capital of the Netherlands and it has a very interesting history. Plus, the city is just beautiful! The canals and picturesque houses along the canals look as if they come from a fairy tale.
Also, there are so many fun things to do around the city. The museums in Amsterdam are great. The Rijksmuseum is one of the best museums in the city and it has a collection of all kinds of paintings and other artifacts made by, among other famous painters, Rembrandt.
Other famous museums include the Van Gogh Museum, the Anne Frank House, and the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.
Another great thing to do is to go to the Vondelpark. This is a beautiful public park located in the center of the city where lots of people hang out in summer.
Besides that, you should definitely do a canal cruise, during which you cruise through the canals of Amsterdam! Along the way, you’ll learn about the history of the city with an audio guide.
Furthermore, if you are going to Amsterdam during a particular time of the year, there are some lovely events. These include the Amsterdam Dance Event in autumn and the Amsterdam Light Festival during winter in Amsterdam.
Lastly, while in Amsterdam try out some typical Dutch food, such as Dutch pancakes, poffertjes (tiny pancakes), and stroopwafels!
15. Sofia, Bulgaria
By Bilyana of Owl Over the World
One of the best cities to visit in Europe is the capital of Bulgaria —Sofia. It’s an underrated destination, but this city has it all — rich cultural and historical heritage, exciting nightlife, plenty of green spaces, a flavorful food scene, and even its own mountain!
Some of the best things to do in Sofia include checking out the Archeological Complex Serdika, visiting Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, exploring the ”Square of Tolerance,” hiking in Vitosha Mountain, and joining a free food tour.
On top of that, Sofia hosts many cool events throughout the entire year. The A to JazZ Festival in June is a local favorite. The Night of the Museums is also not to be missed if you’re visiting Sofia in May.
With all that being said, Sofia also happens to be one of the most affordable destinations on the whole continent. You’ll get a budget-friendly vacation while exploring this quieter corner of Europe!
16. Yerevan, Armenia
By Megan of Absolute Armenia
One of the best and most underrated cities to visit in Europe is Yerevan, Armenia in the Caucasus. Yerevan is a city that is older than Rome and a place that has undergone many changes throughout its lifetime. There are many amazing reasons to travel to Yerevan, but the best reason is that it makes the perfect base for exploring many sites in Armenia.
From Yerevan, you can partake in one of the many day trips that leave from there. Some of the most popular ones include the Temple of Garni, Khor Virap, Geghard Monastery, Dilijan National Park, and Lake Sevan. You can go to any of these places as a day trip or you can opt to stay overnight.
If you choose to stay in the city of Yerevan, you will be greeted with some world-class museums such as the National Gallery of Armenia which is located in the heart of Yerevan at Republic Square.
The National Gallery of Armenia is a big and fascinating museum where it is possible to learn the rich history of Armenia because the museum showcases artifacts from the birth of Armenia until the present day. One of the iconic exhibitions in the museum is the Armenian art sourced from different centuries starting from the fascinating Kingdom of Urartu until the present day.
Another huge perk of visiting Yerevan is the cafe scene. You will find a variety of cafes in the city from sidewalk cafes to Armenian coffee shops to hip and minimalistic, modern cafes. Be sure to enjoy a delicious Armenian coffee by the Cascades Complex or near Republic Square, two can’t-miss landmarks in Yerevan.
17. Krakow, Poland
By Kim of the Adventure to Me
Bursting with culture and boasting medieval vibes, Krakow is one of the cheapest and best cities to visit in Europe. It makes it the perfect place to visit over a long weekend with plenty of things to explore.
Krakow is steeped in history. One of the main reasons people like to visit the city is to visit the Auschwitz concentration camp and learn about the Holocaust. Many tour companies can take you on a day trip. You can even add the Wieliczka Salt Mines to the tour, making it a full-day experience.
Krakow’s main market square is one of the largest medieval squares in Europe and one of the best ways to explore it is by jumping on a Segway tour, which is a lot of fun!
Once you’ve explored it, it’s time to enjoy a pierogi. These Polish dumplings are a delicacy. If you’re looking for something a little fancier, Mr. Pancake serves an array of incredible pancakes, including one topped with candyfloss.
If you like a tipple, Krakow is known for its vodka, and the city offers plenty of vodka tours, where you’re able to sample many different flavours while also learning about the beautiful city.
18. Porto, Portugal
By Samantha of My Flying Leap
If you’re looking for a beautiful city with a quirky sense of humor, Porto may be the place for you!
It proudly boasts having the fanciest McDonald’s—McDonald’s Imperial. Visit the Lello Bookshop, which may look startlingly familiar with its dramatic dark wood interior. It was the place where J.K. Rowling spent a lot of time before writing Harry Potter.
Visit the São Bento Railway Station with its beautiful traditional blue and white azulejos tiles. Climb Clérigos Tower for stunning city views then visit Bolsa Palace with its incredibly beautiful and ornate Arab Room.
Enjoy the nightlife in Ribeira, on the banks of the Douro River, and walk across the Dom Luís I Bridge to Gaia. Here you can visit many of the port wine cellars and enjoy gorgeous views of Porto.
Porto is a very walkable city and you can see the top attractions easily on foot. And you’ll want to do lots of walking, especially if you try its famously gluttonous sandwich, the Franceshina. Porto has it all and it’s one of the best cities to visit in Europe.
19. Prague, Czechia
By Veronika of Travel Geekery
Prague should be on every traveler’s list. Those are who especially interested in history will find Prague incredibly charming. The medieval structures, the number of architectural gems of all styles, and the current vibrant development make it an all-encompassing destination where everybody can find their own favorite spot and activity.
The main sights include the ancient Charles Bridge lined with Baroque statues, the Prague Castle (the largest castle complex in the world!), as well as the Astronomical clock on the Old Town Square. The whole Old Town is a maze of small winding streets and is lovely to get lost in, especially if you visit in the off-season.
But, it’s not just about sightseeing in Prague. The lively metropolis has a rich cultural life with events going on every day. Concerts, theatre performances, festivals can culturally enrich your trip to Prague.
Prague in winter is especially charming with the Christmas markets and the whole Christmas cheer permeating the city. January and February then belong to quieter months when you can have Prague nearly to yourself and even see it covered in snow.
20. Dublin, Ireland
By Pamela of the Directionally Challenged Traveler
Friendly faces, rich history, and walkable cobblestone streets greet visitors to Dublin with open arms. It’s not as overwhelming as bigger cities like London or Berlin, but there are still plenty of things to do in Dublin!
Dublin is deeply rooted in Ireland’s culture and history — with Dubliners being proud of where they come from.
Explore the towering Dublin Castle or historic Trinity College. Walk across the Ha’Penny bridge and go shopping along the River Liffey. Nearby, explore Christ Church Cathedral or St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Be sure to take some time to relax in St. Stephen’s Green, especially on a sunny day.
Don’t forget to try the local foods! Dublin has plenty of restaurants and pubs that feature local ingredients. The Church is one of the most unique places to eat, a 17th-century church-turned-cafe/pub featuring live music and traditional Irish dancers.
The rich history intertwined with an incredible personality makes Dublin one of the best cities to visit in Europe.
21. Rome, Italy
By Disha of Disha Discovers
One of the prettiest cities in Italy also happens to be one of the absolute best cities to visit in Europe — Rome!
Rome is home to multiple historical sites, famous museums, paintings, galleries, archaeological sites, and more. There’s no shortage of things to do in Rome!
Make a wish at the Trevi Fountain, hang out at the Spanish Steps, explore the famed Colosseum, learn about history at the Pantheon, and spend the day in another country AKA Vatican City. These are just a few of the things to do in this magical city!
After a long day of sightseeing, you’ll want to indulge in some delicious Italian food. Whatever you decide to eat, make sure you pair it with a bottle of Italian wine. Yes, I said “bottle” purposely because one glass isn’t enough of this yummy goodness! If you want a mouthwatering pizza, you’ll want to head to Dar Poeta. If you’re going with other people, order your own pizza. You won’t want to share.
22. Cornwall, United Kingdom
By Roshni of the Wanderlust Within
One of the best places to visit in the United Kingdom and Europe is the popular English holiday destination, Cornwall.
Located on the southwestern tip of the country, Cornwall is home to some of the best beaches and coastlines in the UK, as well as a few one of a kind attractions, and plenty of unique Cornwall Airbnbs to stay in.
The best things to in Cornwall include surfing in Newquay, sunbathing on the sandy beaches of St. Ives, and hiking the South Coastal path.
Cornwall is also filled with unique spots such as St. Michaels Mount, a historic castle situated on a tidal island, located three blocks away from the mainland. At low tide, you can walk to the island. At high tide, you can catch a boat there.
Other notable places to visit include the Minack Theatre, a unique open-air theatre perched on the cliffs high above the Atlantic ocean, and the Eden Project, the largest indoor rainforest nestled in a crater.
23. Brașov, Romania
By Cassie of Cassie the Hag
Brasov is a beautiful and intriguing city in the heart of Transylvania, Romania. This is the region in which fantasy and history roll into one, being the home of both the fictional Dracula — and the real one. Yes, fierce Romanian ruler Vlad Dracul, rumored to have drunk the blood of his enemies, was born in the nearby town of Sighisoara — definitely worth a day trip.
Brasov is a wonderful place to base yourself since there is so much to do here. From hiking or getting the cable car up Mount Tampa to see the views over this stunning European city, or walking around the city walls and visiting the White and Black Towers.
There is so much gorgeous architecture. Make sure you pass Catherine’s Gate, the gothic Black Church, and St. Nicholas Church on your visit.
You can also easily take day trips to places such as nearby Bran Castle (which the tourism industry has given a boost by naming it ‘Dracula’s Castle’), Rasnov Forest, or get into nature by hiking the surrounding Carpathian mountain chain. You can also take the cable car up Postavarul Mountain and visit the stunning nature of Poiana Brasov.
24. Lucerne, Switzerland
By Carolyn of Holidays to Switzerland
One of the most charming cities in Europe is, without doubt, the Swiss city of Lucerne. As well as its location — on the shores of Lake Lucerne and nestled below the peaks of Mt. Rigi, Mt. Pilatus, and Mt. Titlis — Lucerne offers a number of interesting sights and attractions.
Your first port of call should be Lucerne’s iconic Chapel Bridge. Dating back to 1333, the medieval wooden footbridge bridge spans the River Reuss connecting the Old Town to the right bank. In the warmer months, flower boxes brimming with colorful blooms decorate the bridge whilst in winter you’ll often see the roof dusted with snow.
The Old Town is not to be missed either as the cobbled streets and medieval squares are lined with buildings featuring painted facades and oriel windows.
Other highlights include the Jesuit Church, the Dying Lion statue, and a cruise on Lake Lucerne on either a vintage paddle steamer or a modern ship.
If time allows, a visit to the Swiss Transport Museum won’t disappoint. You can easily spend a few hours exploring the displays of every kind of transport imaginable, watch a movie at the IMAX theatre or indulge yourself at the adjoining Swiss Chocolate Adventure museum.
Last, but certainly not least, an excursion to Mt. Rigi, Mt. Titlis, or Mt. Pilatus is an excellent way to spend a day.
As you can see, there is a wide range of things to do in Lucerne, making it one of the best cities to visit in Europe.
25. Vienna, Austria
By Nadine of Le Long Weekend
As Austria’s capital city, it may come as no surprise that Vienna is a fascinating place to visit. It’s full of historical and cultural attractions to enjoy. If you stick around a while, you’ll realize just how much this beautiful city has to offer.
A simple stroll around the town will leave you spellbound as you take in the grand architecture on display.
Window shopping too, is a rewarding activity in itself, especially if you hit up Goldenes Quartier with its array of designer stores.
A visit to St Stephen’s Cathedral is a must-do, and be sure to take the elevator to the top of the tower to get some of the best views in town.
The butterfly garden next to the Neue Burg is a lot of fun for all ages, and come winter, the city is decorated lavishly as the famed Vienna Christmas markets take center stage.
There are two things Vienna is most famous for — the opera, and cake houses, and no visit would be complete without sampling both!
26. Alicante, Spain
By Derek & Mike of Robe Trotting
It’s no secret that Spain is full of wondrous travel destinations that please hordes of tourists each year. One of the most interesting places to visit in southern Spain is the charming seaside city of Alicante. It offers visitors golden beaches, a historic castle fortress, and tapas that will leave you hungry for more.
One of the must-do activities in Alicante is a hike to Santa Barbara Castle, the ancient fortress overlooking the city. The structure was built by the Moors and changed hands many times throughout history. It’s named for the date that Castilian forces captured the fortress, on 4 December 1248 — the feast of Saint Barbara. From the top, you’ll have sweeping views of the city and sea and it’s perfect for a sunset hike. You can also take the funicular for €2 each way.
The historic old town is another attraction to see up close. You’ll marvel at the ambiance of the winding streets and get lost in their beautiful maze. Of course, the beaches of Alicante cannot be skipped. Since it’s located on the Costa Blanca, the warm waters are a major tourist draw and Playa de San Juan is among the most popular.
27. Budapest, Hungary
By Disha of Disha Discovers
Europe is home to so many picturesque cities and Budapest is one of them. If you’re after a budget-friendly yet luxurious vacation, this is the perfect city for you!
Budapest is a foodie’s heaven and you’ll find any kind of cuisine here. There’s even a Cajun restaurant here called Soul Food! Plus, there are several farmer’s markets where you can buy local fruits, vegetables, and pastries.
Budapest also happens to be one of the most historic cities in the world. Nestled along the Danube River, the river itself and Buda Castle are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Be sure to check out Fisherman’s Bastion which is a castle wall. You’ll catch epic views of the city from here. An absolute must is seeing the Hungarian Parliament Building at night. It’s lit up and it’s quite a magical view.
From this list of the best cities to visit in Europe, which city are you most excited to visit? Let me know in the comments below!
Disha Smith is the founder of Disha Discovers. She quit her job in 2017 to travel the world to explore new cultures and experience new adventures. She has since been to 95+ countries and counting and has lived in South Africa, Thailand, Croatia, and Australia. She has done all kinds of travel ranging from luxury to budget backpacking, and her mission is to inspire others to discover their own sense of adventure and to help them plan a life full of meaningful experiences through travel.