15 top cities to visit in Europe

15 top cities to visit in Europe

From the classics to lesser-known gems, discover 15 of the best cities to visit in Europe.

European cities are among the most sought-after travel destinations in the world. Rich in centuries-old history and culture, they’re packed with fantastic monuments, museums and traditions. Even better, you don’t need to dedicate a whole week to them. Two or three days is often enough to get into the rhythm of a city, see top sights and also a few hidden ones. But with so much choice and so little time to travel, it can be tricky narrowing it down to a select few.

To save you the trouble, we’ve rounded up 15 of the best cities to visit in Europe. Starting with those well-known gems that have to be included on any list, we then move to sunny Mediterranean destinations, before veering just a little bit off the beaten track.

Read on to find the perfect destination for your next city break.

The classics

Rome, Italy

A lifetime isn’t long enough to explore Rome in all its richness. And whether it’s your first time or hundredth visit, with its incomparable historical, artistic and culture heritage you’ll never run out of things to see. Admire the works of the Vatican Museums, discover ancient Rome at the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, spend an afternoon soaking up art and nature at Villa Borghese…The list goes on. And let’s not forget the delicious and hearty Roman cuisine.


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Un post condiviso da ROMA – ROME | ITALIA – ITALY (@ig_rome)

Barcelona, Spain

Fantastic food, modernist masterpieces, spacious beaches and world-class museums…Barcelona truly has it all. If this is your first time visiting, the Sagrada Família, Park Güell and the Picasso Museum should top your list. But the city has more than this to offer. Head to the Bunkers del Carmel on top of Tibidabo or Montjuïc to admire the city from up high. Mingle with the locals and visit the prettiest boutiques in the neighborhoods of Gràcia, El Born and Poblenou. And in summer don’t forget to frolic on the beaches and go wild at the music festivals.

Paris, France

Paris’ charm is undeniable: fashion, sophistication, bohemian neighborhoods…the French capital has something for all tastes. And if you love art, you’ll be in heaven. Here you’ll find some of the best European museums, such as the iconic Louvre, Orsay Museum and the Centre Pompidou. If instead you’re looking for an incredible view, there’s no place better than the Eiffel Tower. Finally, if you’re traveling as a family, Paris is surprisingly child-friendly and has numerous gorgeous parks and fun activities.


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Un post condiviso da Centre Pompidou (@centrepompidou)

London, United Kingdom

London needs to be visited at least once in your life. This British capital is a huge melting pot of culture, fashion, architecture and art. Passionate about history? Then visit the Tower of London, Tower Bridge and Westminster Abbey. Love skylines? Then climb the London Eye to admire the city from above. And if you’re looking for the best museums, don’t miss the British Museum and the National Gallery. If instead you’d rather stroll through quaint neighborhoods head to the colorful streets of Nottinghill.


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Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Amsterdam may not be Europe’s largest capital, but that doesn’t detract from its infinite charms. Art lovers will be delighted by the masterpieces of the Dutch Golden Age at the Rijksmuseum and the vast collection at the Van Gogh Museum. The story of Anne Frank is world famous and the house museum dedicated to her is intensely moving, but you’ll need to book tickets months in advance. Complete the experience with a canal cruise or bike ride, like a real Dutch local.


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Un post condiviso da Kim1975 (@kim1975)

Sunny Mediterranean cities

Lisbon, Portugal

Unjustly overshadowed over the years, Lisbon is finally coming into the spotlight as a sought-after summer destination. With its relaxed atmosphere, delicious food and amazing architecture, the Portuguese capital is the ideal place for relaxation with a healthy dose of culture. The Jeronimos Monastery, the Belem Tower and the Carmo Convent are all must-sees, while spectacular city views can be had from the numerous miradouros (panoramic points).


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Un post condiviso da Lisbon | Travel (@visiting.lisbon)

Granada, Spain

This not-so-hidden southern Spanish gem is a must for anyone visiting Andalusia or simply seeking a picturesque and sunny city. As the local saying goes, there’s nothing sadder than being blind in Granada, and you’ll quickly understand why. The mix of Moorish and Spanish architecture, incredible tourist attractions and natural landscapes are a visual delight. The Alhambra and Generalife are unmissable, followed closely by the cathedral, the Arab baths, the Sacromonte neighborhood and Calle Calderería Nueva.


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Nice, France

Who doesn’t dream of taking a city break on the French Riviera? With 300 days of sunshine a year, fantastic art, beaches and Baroque palaces, it’s the ideal destination to disconnect for the weekend. The Musée Marc Chagall and Musée Matisse are a must for art lovers. Or if you’re in the mood for shopping, head to Rue de France or the historic center and along the Promenade des Anglais for its vibrant atmosphere. Nice is also the perfect jumping-off point for excursions to Cannes, Monaco and Saint-Tropez.

Florence, Italy

If you’re looking for a small, sunny city with a vacation vibe then Florence is for you. Known as the ‘cradle of the Renaissance’ it’s home to some of Italy’s most famous attractions, including the Uffizi Gallery and the Boboli Gardens. Most of its sights are concentrated around the historic center, which is small enough to get around by foot. Florence is also an ideal starting point for exploring the Tuscan hinterland.


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Athens, Greece

With its museums, rooftop bars and spectacular archaeological sites, the Greek capital is a mecca for entertainment and culture. Add to that an easy-going spirit, sunny days and bustling bars and restaurants, and it’s the ideal holiday destination. Our favorite activities include marveling at the Acropolis of Athens, strolling through the narrow streets of Plaka and visiting the immense National Archaelogical Museum.

Lesser-known gems

Liverpool, Britain

If you love football, music, architecture or just pubs then Liverpool is the destination for you. It’s home to the largest church in the country, a massive football stadium – Anfield Stadium – and several UNESCO World Heritage sites, such as the Royal Alberto Dock, a network of historic buildings and warehouses that’s been transformed into a cultural center. And best of all, it’s the birthplace of the Beatles. Visit the Beatles Museum or join one of the many tours dedicated to the legendary band. If you’re there this May you’ll also get to experience the electric atmosphere of the Eurovision Song Contest.


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Un post condiviso da Explore Liverpool (@explorelpool)

Aarhus, Denmark

Denmark’s second largest city was the European Capital of Culture in 2017, which is yet another reason to add Aarhus to your bucket list. Founded in the Viking Age, it has beautifully preserved its centuries-old history. One of the most famous attractions is Den Gamble By (the old city), which is an open-air museum of more than 75 historic buildings from all over Denmark. And just west of it is the botanical gardens with free admission. Instead if it’s Vikings that fascinate you head to the Moesgaard Museum.

Tallinn, Estonia

The capital of Estonia is perfect for those looking for a destination that’s a little bit off the tourist radar. Generally cheaper than other northern European cities, Tallinn harmoniously blends old and new, history and modernity. Its historic center is famous, beautifully preserved and has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its museums are equally impressive and include Kumu, the largest art museum in the country, and the Kadriorg Palace with its colorful gardens. Add to this a cheerful and lively atmosphere typical of university towns, and a delicious culinary tradition and it’s easy to understand Estonia’s quiet appeal.


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Un post condiviso da Visit Tallinn (@visittallinn)

Ljubljana, Slovenia

Slovenia somehow manages to escape most European destination lists, and yet it’s a truly captivating mix of culture, history and tradition. Its capital has an air of elegance and romance and is a real crossroads of culture. Walking through its neighborhoods you can’t help but feel you’re traveling through time, as its architectures changes from medieval to baroque, liberty, modern and avant-garde. You’ll cross monumental bridges and also discover some delicious sweets along the way. If you want to explore further, Lake Bled is an enchanting place just a short distance away.


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Un post condiviso da Ljubljana, Slovenija (@ljubljanaslovenija)

San Sebastian, Spain

The north of Spain often gets overlooked, yet it has some of the best destinations for a city break. Of them all, San Sebastian (Donostia in Basque) might just be our favorite. Here you’ll find one of the best city beaches in Europe: Playa de la Concha, a short walk from the historic center. And if you’ve got a soft spot for an incredible panorama you’ll love the view from the hills, Monte Urgull and Monte Igueldo. Finally, did you know that San Sebastian ranks third in the list of cities with the most Michelin stars per inhabitant? A round of pintxos in some of the city’s best restaurants will leave you hankering for more.


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Un post condiviso da Feel San Sebastian (@feel_sansebastian)


  1. Vacation is coming and your posts excited me for the next journey. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Tate Summers says:

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  3. Jax Garrett says:

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