Filled with historic and exciting cities, Europe is a popular destination for tour holidays. The best cities to visit in Europe combine magical architecture, historic sights and a lively cultural calendar. With 44 countries and an infinite amount of cities to discover it can be difficult to know where to begin! If you’re planning a trip to Europe, here are the best cities to visit, in no particular order.
London, United Kingdom
A global powerhouse, London is a much-loved travel destination thanks to its impressive architecture and historic sights. Undoubtedly, one of the best cities to visit in Europe, London combines an innovative outlook with old-world charms. From the royal residence of Buckingham Palace to the ultra-modern Shard skyscraper, London has a diverse cityscape. A centre of art, culture and fashion, it’s home to numerous galleries and museums. Many museums are free to the public, so you can get your cultural fix without spending a penny! Add to this a cosmopolitan foodie scene, incredible architecture and a fantastic transport system, and you’ve got one of the best cities to visit in Europe!
Situated on the east coast of Spain, in the region of Catalonia, Barcelona is one of Europe’s coolest cities, filled with cultural gems. Furthermore, this European city boasts kilometres of golden sandy beaches, the perfect destination to combine sightseeing and sunbathing! Barcelona is known for its amazing architecture, much of which is the work of Antoni Gaudi, a 19th-century modernist architect. Sights such as the Sagrada Familia and Park Guell enchant visitors from around the world, whilst trendy neighbourhoods ensure an endless choice of cool eateries, cafes and bars. Therefore, it’s little wonder that Barcelona tops the lists of the best cities to visit in Europe!
Known for its artistic and intellectual legacy, Vienna is the capital of Austria. Famously, Vienna was the home of Mozart, Beethoven and Sigmund Freud. Vienna’s MuseumsQuartier district is bursting with amazing galleries, filled to the rafters with European masterpieces. Furthermore, the streets are flanked by gorgeous Baroque-era architecture, making Vienna one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. Intersected by the Danube River, sunny afternoons strolling along the riverbank are the best way to get a feel for the elegant atmosphere of Vienna. Of course, you cannot travel here without indulging in the city’s iconic Sachertorte chocolate cake!
The capital of Portugal, Lisbon is steadily becoming one of Europe’s most exciting travel destinations. Whether you’re visiting for the fairytale architecture of Belem Tower or for the delicious Pastel de Nata, Lisbon is one of the best cities to visit in Europe. Lisbon sits on the Tagus River, known for its famous Ponte 25 de Abril suspension bridge. Filled with hillside neighbourhoods, lavish plazas and vintage tram lines, a city break to Lisbon is a great choice. Furthermore, don’t forget to visit Sao Jorge Castle for captivating views across the city and out towards the Atlantic.
Nothing says romance like the Italian capital of Rome. The Colosseum, Vatican City and Trevi Fountain are just some of the highlights to explore in this ‘Eternal City’. Of course, delicious Italian gelato and generous helpings of the best pizza and pasta imaginable tempt those with a big appetite. Rome boasts a 3,000-year history, so you’ll find ample sightseeing opportunities including the Roman Forum and Pantheon. Plus, Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel frescoes remain one of the most legendary works of art on earth. Remember, you must throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain to ensure you’ll return to the city one day!
Red Square, the Kremlin, St. Basils Cathedral. Just three of the most famous things to see in Moscow. One of the best cities to visit in Europe and also one of the largest, Moscow has a unique atmosphere. Majestic monuments, imposing fortresses and luxuriously adorned onion-shaped domes characterise the skyline of the Russian capital. Moscow sits on the Moskva River and has long been the centre of Russian politics and culture. Discover the remnants of the Soviet state, go shopping on lively Arbat Street and admire the golden-domed churches as they glisten at sunset.
Amsterdam stands out for its pretty waterways, cosmopolitan atmosphere and artistic heritage. Charming gabled houses line the city’s canals, illuminated to create an unforgettable sight come sundown. Weaving through the tiny streets filled with cafes and cosy bars, bicycles are the preferred mode of transport. Discover the Museum District to see the Van Gogh Museum or visit the Anne Frank House to understand the history of Amsterdam during World War II. Furthermore, Amsterdam prides itself on its liberal attitude and eco-friendly initiatives. Indeed, it’s one of the most popular city break destinations and one of the best cities to visit in Europe.
Berlin is the capital of German and at the heart of European history. From the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag to Checkpoint Charlie and the remains of the Berlin Wall, this city has played a pivotal role in the European story of the 20th-century. Undoubtedly a huge city, its vast public transport system makes sightseeing a breeze. Furthermore, a rich and varied array of art galleries and museums pays testament to the city’s artsy vibe. Go for a stroll in the beautiful Tiergarten, soak up millennia of culture at Museum Island and, finally, admire the mixture of architecture at Alexanderplatz.
The saying goes ‘Paris is always a good idea’ and we wholeheartedly agree! Such romance, style and history, Paris is a dream travel destination. Paris is everything you dreamt it would be. Surely, it is one of the best cities to visit in Europe. See the Mona Lisa at the Louvre Gallery, stroll down the Champs Elysees and admire the illuminated Eiffel Tower come nightfall. Of course, you cannot think of Paris without mentioning its beautiful architecture. From Gothic Notre Damn to the Belle Époque Grand Palais, Paris is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.
Athens is home to Europe’s most prized archaeological sites, the ancient Acropolis! Here, you can trace the history of Ancient Greece and walk in the footsteps of Pericles, the father of western democracy! Athens is huge, filled with diverse neighbourhoods, impressive museums and lively tavernas. Athens is one of the best cities in Europe because of its vibrant and youthful atmosphere. Seemingly quiet squares soon crackle into a cacophony of live music, whilst impromptu dance shows are interspersed by heated political debates. Like the Athens of yesteryear, daily life plays out in public here, making it an instantly endearing destination.
So, now you know the best cities in Europe, do you want to plan a trip? Explore our latest European trips!