Europe is one of the most popular travel destinations, and there’s just so much to take in always. This vast continent is on every traveller’s bucket list. Although it is one of the more expensive destinations to visit, especially if you are visiting western Europe or the Scandinavian countries, it is definitely worth it. And if you’re budget conscious, then there are some gorgeous countries to visit in Eastern Europe that are not only easier on the pocket but are also offbeat and less explored. Europe offers you so many different cities to explore and fall in love with that you will definitely be confused if you are travelling for the first time. So, to help you out, we have compiled a list of the best cities in Europe that you need to visit at least once in your lifetime. They all offer their own unique culture, cuisine, landscape and art. Take in the charm of stunning vistas and beautiful architecture from any one of these European cities.

Check Out The Best Cities In Europe

1. Visit The Old And The New: Istanbul

Panorama view of Istanbul at sunset, one of the best cities in europe
Panorama view of Istanbul at sunset

Straddling Europe and Asia across the Bosphorus Straits, Istanbul is Turkey’s most populous city. Formerly known as Byzantium and Constantinople, it offers a literal bridge between the two continents. The city is divided into Asian and European sides and is, therefore, a heady cocktail of their unique cultures and diversities. The imperial city will enchant you with its magnificent monuments such as the Byzantine Hagia Sophia, Topkapı Palace, Sultanahmet Mosque (Blue Mosque), and Basilica Cistern. Beyond its rich history, art and architecture, it also has some exciting modern developments. You can try the new Six Senses Kocataş Mansions, a 45-room “urban resort” inside the manor of a 19th-century Ottoman vizier, or the mile-long Galataport, a redesigned waterfront space that includes a park, mixed-use buildings, and a new cruise port.

Also Read: 25 must-visit places in Turkey

2. The City Of A Hundred Spires: Prague

The Powder Tower - medieval gothic city gate in Prague, Czech Republic., cities in europe

This charming city is the capital and largest city in the Czech Republic. It is bisected by the Vltava river and is the historical capital of Bohemia. It is well known for its unique mix of Gothic, Romanesque and Renaissance architectural structures, its vibrant nightlife, and quirky museums such as Mucha Museum, Museum of Communism and the Apple Museum. Prague’s history goes back a millennia, and therefore travellers are attracted to its appealing mix of traditional and modern. Walk on cobbled streets and watch as the traditional tram makes its way around its modern buildings such as Dancing House or Mainpoint Prague. Here, visit the hilltop castle of Prague, 14th-century stone Charles Bridge, the extensive historic centre which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and try some of the best pilsners in Europe. Prague also has one of the biggest and best cultures of beer gardens, open-air spaces where you can enjoy beer and local food. Some of the best ones are Letná Beer Garden and Riegrovy Sady.

Also read: 18 of the best things to do in Prague

3. Eternal City: Rome

Get transported back to ancient Rome with a special screening of Ridley Scott's 'Gladiator', rome on a budget

Italy’s capital, Rome, is located in the central portion of the Italian peninsula, on the banks of the Tiber river. The ancient city is a heady mix of haunting ruins like Acqua Marcia or the Arch of Septimius Severus, awe-inspiring art such as Raphael’s frescoes, Sarcophagus of the Spouses, and has a vibrant street life. The city’s classical elegance can be witnessed through its centuries-old architecture and artistic heritage. The city is a special comune of Italy as well as the capital of the Lazio region today and attracts visitors from all over the world. Other than its impressive ancient structures such as temples of Baalbek and Pantheon, Rome is also known for its delicious cuisine that contains fresh, seasonal and simply-prepared ingredients, along with its lively atmosphere. Stroll through its cobbled streets and enjoy a fresh cappuccino at a sleek coffee bar while taking in Rome’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites—the Colosseum, the Pantheon, and the Sistine Chapel.

Also Read: 12 Of The Best Day Trips From Rome

4. Paris Of The East: Budapest

Music Videos, Budapest, cities in europe

Hungary’s capital Budapest is located on the banks of the river Danube, in central north Hungary. It is the most populous city of the country and is known for its stunning architectural spots such as St. Stephen’s Basilica, The Parliament, and the Széchenyi Chain Bridge, as well as for its fascinating history, beautiful parks such as The City Park, Népliget, bustling food halls, hip bars such as the Szimpla Kert, Instant, and centuries-old thermal baths such as Széchenyi Thermal Baths and Rudas Baths. Budapest is actually made up of three unified cities—Buda and Óbuda (old Buda) along the western bank, and Pest on the east. The Hungarian capital’s dynamic mix of Western and Eastern European culture will entice you, along with its multifaceted restaurant scene. It also has a rich Jewish heritage which can be seen through many heritage tours that cover important sites such as the Dohany Street Synagogue, the historic prayer house in Táncsics Street and the Cral Lutz Monument. Don’t forget to explore the city’s 16th or 17th century thermal baths, have a cup of coffee at the gilded Gerbeaud and walk the Széchenyi Chain Bridge at night over the Danube for magnificent views. 

Also Read: 18 Of The Most Amazing Things To Do In Budapest

5. Venice Of The North: Amsterdam

Amsterdam, one of the best cities in Europe
Houseboats on an Amsterdam Canal

The capital city of the Netherlands, Amsterdam is one of the most visited cities of Europe and also one of the greenest. Located in the western part of the country, in the province of North Holland, this city is renowned for its Golden Age canal system, treasure-packed museums, vintage stores, and hyper-creative drinking, dining and design scenes. As Amsterdam is known to be one of the best cities in Europe and the world for cycling, spend your days biking through the city’s stylish streets lined by tilting gabled buildings. Don’t forget to stop and explore noteworthy museums, such as the Van Gogh Museum, Verzetsmuseum and Anne Frank’s House. If you get tired, you can also opt for a boat tour on the city’s many canals, and later enjoy a picnic in Vondelpark. Don’t forget to have a look at the Dutch capital’s notorious “coffee shops” and Red Light District.

6. City Of Love: Paris

casino cities, Zodiac Signs, vegan-friendly cities, cities in europe
The Alexander III Bridge in Paris, France.

One of the most popular cities of Europe  is Paris, the capital city of France. It is located along the river Seine, in the north-central part of the country and known for its monument-lined boulevards, museums, classical bistros and boutiques. A major European city, Paris is also a global centre for art, fashion, gastronomy and culture. Visit iconic sites such as the Louvre, the Père Lachaise Cemetery, the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Opéra Garnier and Les Invalides. Get your culture fix at the renovated Picasso Museum and the new Fondation Louis Vuitton, and shop at one of the most expensive shopping streets in the world, Champs Elysees. Do not miss out on creative French cuisine while you are here—especially the bread!

Also read: 11 things to do in Paris that are ABSOLUTELY FREE

7. Birthplace Of The Italian Renaissance: Florence

Florence square in the night, Game, cities in europe

The capital of the Tuscany province in Italy, Florence (Firenze) is commonly regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Lying in the central region of Italy, it is a paradise for art and history lovers alike. It is one of Europe’s great art cities, as one can just walk around the UNESCO World Heritage designated sites—historic centres with Medici Palazzi (palaces), medieval candle-lit chapels, Renaissance churches, marble basilicas, and world-class art museums brimming with paintings and sculptures by Botticelli, Michelangelo and more. So, enjoy exquisite art and architecture within these ancient city walls, and don’t forget to try its quirky shops and quality crafts, its opera, classical music and a thriving restaurant and nightlife scene.

8. Get A Taste Of Everyday Spanish Life: Madrid

The Plaza de Cibeles is a square with a neo-classical complex of marble sculptures with fountains that has become an iconic symbol for the city of Madrid. visit to spain
The Plaza de Cibeles is a square with a neo-classical complex of marble sculptures with fountains that has become an iconic symbol for the city of Madrid.

Spain’s central capital, Madrid lies almost exactly at the geographical heart of the Iberian Peninsula. The city is quite young by European standards, but is known for its perennially packed tapas bars, world-renowned art, and vivacious spirit. The most populous city in Spain, Madrid is also one of the richest culinary capitals in Europe. You can spend your days wandering the city’s grand museums such as Prado, Reina Sofía, and Thyssen, wander around up-and-coming neighbourhoods like La Latina, Malasaña and Lavapiés, and stroll the grounds of the vast Retiro Park. But save your energy for the night, when the city truly comes to life, and see if you can keep up with Madrileños as they bounce from tapas bars to cocktail dens to surging nightclubs, and somehow make it to work the next day. 

Also Read: 11 Places to visit in Madrid: Explore, Indulge, and Stay

9. Greenest City In The World: Copenhagen

Copenhagen, cities in europe

The buzzing capital of Denmark, Copenhagen is located on the coastal islands of Zealand and Amager. The city is known as the premier capital of Northern Europe and is home to one of the world’s oldest monarchies. The city’s well known advanced environmental policies and planning have led it to become Europe’s, and the world’s, greenest city. One of the most bike-friendly cities, Copenhagen has now embraced cycling as a way of life. Taking a bike tour is the best way to explore one of Europe’s oldest capitals. Copenhagen is also home to numerous palaces, historic buildings, and cultural relics.

10. Pearl Of the Adriatic: Venice

venice, tourists forced to leave Venice, cities in europe
Rialto Bridge, Venice

This major seaport of Italy is built on more than 100 small islands in a lagoon in the Adriatic Sea and is no stranger to popularity. The city has no roads and is therefore quite famous for its canals along with a spectacular natural setting and untainted architectural heritage. The sun-speckled canals are lined with Renaissance and Gothic palaces that are nothing short of  ‘magical’. Feel the romance as you explore the city’s labyrinthine network of islands, bridges, pedestrian alleys, and canals, experience the grandeur of Venice’s world-class museums (its 141 churches are galleries by themselves), check out the Gothic Doge’s Palace and the Basilica of San Marco, which glow with Byzantine gold mosaics. Shop at the many stalls that line the streets, and if you are planning to visit during the Carnivale, make sure to don a mask to become someone else for the night!

Of These European Cities, How Many Have You Visited?

From England and France to Italy and Germany, all European countries are full of vibrant cities known for their history, art, natural beauty and vibrant life. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that deciding which cities are the best places to visit in Europe can be a little tough. We hope this list helps you to narrow down the choices. Visit these cities responsibly by carefully planning your travels: Avoid over-crowded destinations, opt for homestays and small-scale accommodations to support local tourism, make use of local guides to give them a chance to earn a fair wage through tourism and travel. Have you visited any of these beautiful cities in Europe? If so, let us know all about your experiences in the comments below. 

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here