Top 15 most beautiful cities in Europe

Europe’s best cities

Despite globalization and the rapid development of cities in all parts of the planet, Europe remains a cultural and historical center. It attracts millions of visitors every year.

But even within the part of the world there are leaders in tourist demand. These include Rome, Paris, Barcelona, and others that you probably wouldn’t mind visiting.

This article lists the best cities in Europe that can cater to the interests of all categories of travelers.

15. Budapest, Hungary

best cities in europe

The demand for the Hungarian capital is made up of delightful historical and cultural baggage. The city standing on the banks of the Danube is centuries-old churches, hundreds of architectural monuments from different eras, plenty of modern cultural events and a busy nightlife.

Budapest is not as prestigious and obvious option for a trip to Europe as Barcelona or Paris. But it is much cheaper, and it has developed air links to Europe and Asia through low-cost companies.

14. Prague (Czech Republic)

best cities in europe

The capital of the Czech Republic every year is on the list of the most popular cities not only in Europe but also in the world. With its romance, financial affordability, arsenal of attractions, and rich hotel infrastructure, Prague attracts visitors of all ages and at all times of the year. A visit to Prague is a must for those vacationing in Karlovy Vary, Podebrady, Kutna Hora or Cesky Krumlov.

Prague is served by dozens of European and international airlines and is well connected by roads to neighboring countries. Therefore, it is convenient to include it in the route of a large-scale Euro-tour passing through the Czech Republic, Austria, Germany and the same Hungary.

Prague is not inferior to other cities in the article, but significantly wins in price.

13. Edinburgh (Scotland)

best cities in europe

Edinburgh is a stately Scottish city with an ancient history, bright entourage and distinctive atmosphere. It is undeservedly overlooked by visitors from Eastern Europe or the CIS, but very popular among travelers from Central, Northern and Western Europe.

In the daytime you can spend time visiting galleries, museums, temples and embankments, and in the evening – go to a club, pub, theater or restaurant on the harbor. And, of course, you can’t ignore the main attractions. These include Balmoral Hotel with the City Clock, Edinburgh Castle, Holyroodhouse Palace, Princes Street, King Arthur’s Throne Rock, the Scottish Monument and dozens of other places of interest.

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12. Paris (France).

best cities in europe

Europe’s best cities and Paris are things that can’t be separated from each other. It is the first of the places listed in this ranking to be among the ten most expensive European locations. But that expensiveness can’t compete with the city’s romantic image. Paris remains the No. 1 destination for most people who want to visit Europe.

The sights of Paris are widely known in popular culture and require no introduction: the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, the Champs Elysees, the Rue Montmartre. Paris airport is one of the largest in Europe. It serves dozens of international operators, so you can get to the French capital on any budget.

11. Madrid (Spain)

best cities in europe

Spain is one of the most popular among foreign visitors to Europe. This is facilitated by the availability of many recreational resources and financial accessibility. It is cheaper for tourists than many neighboring countries.

Madrid attracts guests by historical sights (Prado Museum, San Miguel Market, Sol district), medieval architecture (Royal Palace, Puerta del Sol and Plaza Mayor Square, Santa Cruz Palace), major sporting events (Atletico and Real Madrid matches) and night clubs.

10. San Sebastian (Spain).

best cities in europe

A former center of olive oil export and fishing industry today is the main Basque seaside resort and one of the most luxurious beach resorts in Spain. The area’s calling card is the delightful conditions for surfing. According to rough estimates, San Sebastian is the third most expensive city in Spain, but this does not prevent hundreds of thousands of visitors from Europe to rest on its sunny beaches.

Interestingly, the town has repeatedly burned throughout its history, but was able to keep the architectural monuments in the old town of Alde Saharra. For example, the palaces of Ayotte, Miramar, the Constitution Square, where bullfighting used to take place.

9. Siena (Italy)

best cities in europe

Siena’s popularity is due in no small part to the tourist magnetism of Florence. The basis of the demand is the charming cultural appearance and many architectural monuments, but the main feature is the tradition of fine arts. Dozens of important European artists belong to the Siena School, and their works can be seen in Siena’s churches, museums and palazzos.

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8. Lisbon (Portugal).

best cities in europe

One of the major cities of Western Europe, once the gateway to America, has retained its majesty and identity. Despite the destruction in the mid-18th century caused by an earthquake Lisbon rose from the ashes and preserved monuments of the imperial past.

Today a visit to the city on seven hills is a pleasant beach holiday, long walks, photography of authentic landscapes and pictures of local life, as well as a bustling evening and night life.

7. Krakow (Poland)

best cities in europe

The royal capital Krakow (which is how Poles refer to it) is not the official capital, but it attracts more visitors from abroad than Warsaw. Visitors come here to see the monuments of the Middle Ages, the eerie legacy of World War II, to attend major music festivals and to enjoy the lush Eastern European forests.

6. Barcelona (Spain).

best cities in europe

Like Krakow, Barcelona, which is not the capital of Spain, is perhaps more popular with tourists than Madrid. Both the history and the local atmosphere reveals the stateliness, narcissism, haughtiness and grandeur of the Catalan center.

Barcelona is a city of art, sport, social activity, non-stop partying and cultural entertainment. If you want to visit the best cities in Europe, Barcelona is a must.

5. Seville (Spain).

best cities in europe

The capital of every Spanish province is a tourist destination in its own right, and you must spend at least a week to fully immerse yourself in it. Seville is the heart of Andalusia. And Andalusia is flamenco, Spanish passion and crazy national celebrations.

The city became popular in the 19th century due to its cultural and architectural heritage. While here, it is important to visit the Cathedral, the Giralda bell tower, the palace-fortress Alcázar, the bullfighting arena, the Art Museum (the second most important gallery in Spain), the Jewish quarter of Santa Cruz and many other cool locations.

4. Porto (Portugal)

best cities in europe

Another Portuguese city in the ranking. Porto used to be the capital of Portugal, but now it is a place that manages to remain both an industrial and a tourist center. How not to visit a city whose historic district has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996.

3. Istanbul (Turkey)

best cities in europe

The city, which for centuries has been the center of the world’s largest empires, is simply doomed to be very popular. People come to Istanbul not only for the history, culture and immersion in the atmosphere of the contrasting modern metropolis, but also to bask in the sun on the beaches. Turkey – one of the best countries in Europe for the traveler on the ratio of the amount of available attractions to the required budget.

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2. Rome, Italy

best cities in europe

All roads lead to Rome. And it seems that for thousands of years, this definition remains relevant. Today it offers a visit to the centers of world culture, art of past and present centuries, streets, which are architectural galleries. Don’t forget such must-see places as the Colosseum, the Vatican, the Palatine and the Capitoline Hill, Piazza del Popolo and St. Peter’s, as well as the Roma and Lazio stadiums.

Europe’s best cities can’t do without Rome.

1. Florence (Italy).

best cities in europe

This City, founded by Julius Caesar himself. Centuries later it became the capital of the Republic of the same name, the economic and cultural center of Europe. Florence, even today, retains its Renaissance charm, remaining the place that inspired Petrarch, Bocaccio, Dante Alighieri and other famous writers and poets. Its architectural diversity allows us to call Florence a “museum in the open air”. Its main attractions are the Palazzo Vecchio, Uffizi Gallery, Piazza della Signoria, Boboli Gardens and Vasari Corridor.

15. Madrid, Spain

Madrid, Spain. Top 15 Europe's Most Beautiful Cities of 2021

Madrid is the pride and capital of Spain. It is full of art and beautiful architecture with a history. The Madrid Art Triangle consists of three main museums: the Prado Museum, the Museo Reina Sofia and the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza.

14. Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul has become a popular year-round destination due to its spectacular location on two continents and on the dividing Bosporus River. Most of the monuments and tourist attractions are located in the historic center of the city. Tourists admire the magnificent mosques and palaces. The traditional Grand Bazaar is also one of the attractions. It is worth visiting the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art.

Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh attracts tourists with its medieval historic center and impressive castle. Tourists will find many attractions in the Scottish Museum, and attractions worth visiting in Edinburgh include the Scotch Whisky Experience distillery museum.

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12. Venice, Italy

Venice, Italy

Romantic Venice is an attractive and well-known urban destination in Europe. This coastal city with its impressive canals, bridges and historic squares is the crown jewel of Italy. The Grand Canal is surrounded by magnificent Renaissance and Gothic palaces. Also worth seeing is the central Piazza San Marco with the Basilica of St. Mark, lined with Byzantine mosaics. It is also home to the famous Campanile bell tower, which offers an enchanting view of the city.

11. Prague, Czech Republic

Prague, Czech Republic

The capital of neighboring Bohemia offers hundreds of attractions. The best attractions include the historic center, Prague Castle, Charles Bridge and much more. The atmosphere of Prague itself, with its traditional breweries and well-chilled beers, also offers a unique experience.

10. Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon is an impressive hilly coastal city, the capital of Portugal. The seven hills on which the city sits are interspersed with famous tramways and alleyways with pastel houses. Top attractions include Castel São Jorge, Belém Tower and Rossio Square. Several parts of the city, such as the Moorish district of Alfama, are worth exploring.

9. Porto, Portugal

Porto, Portugal

Porto, a coastal city in northwestern Portugal, is mostly famous for its port wine. But the city can also please people with its impressive medieval bridges, cobbled streets and many wine bars and cafes. Tourists will always be fascinated by the majestic 19th-century Bolsa Palace and the gilded carved San Francisco Church.

8. Krakow, Poland

Krakow, Poland

Krakow in the south, near the border with the Czech Republic, is Poland’s second largest city. The historic center of the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can see many beautiful squares, the Wawel Castle, the historic town hall building and the old market square “Rynek Gwny”.

7. Seville, Spain

Seville, Spain

Seville is the capital of the southern Spanish region of Andalusia. The main attractions include the large castle complex Alcázar, which witnessed the activity of the Moors in this region of Europe. It is richly decorated with several beautiful courtyards. The main tourist destination in Seville is the Plaza de España, the main attractions include the cathedral and the military tower on the banks of the Guadalquivir River.

6. Siena, Italy

Siena, Italy

Siena, a city in Tuscany, captivates with its brick atmosphere. The historic center consists of medieval brick buildings lined along impressive squares. The main ones are Piazza del Campo with the famous Palazzo Pubblico, which serves as the town hall. The Duomo, with its rich Renaissance decoration, is one of the important monuments of the city.

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5. Budapest, Hungary

Budapest, Hungary

The capital of Hungary is divided by the Danube into the hilly district of Buda and the flat Pest. Both parts are connected by bridges, between which a historic 19th-century chain bridge stands out. Both parts of the city are actually separate cities with many monuments and attractions, reflecting the city’s long history. Among the reasons to visit Budapest are mainly to visit historic buildings, squares and churches. However, you can also enjoy the thermal baths, the promenade, flea markets, cafes and the lively atmosphere of the modern city.

4. San Sebastian, Spain

San Sebastian, Spain

The city of San Sebastian is famous for its golden beaches and lush slopes. It is a popular coastal resort with a very rich cultural program. Popular festivals are complemented by the city’s impeccable reputation as a culinary city. In San Sebastian you’ll find culinary excellence in all forms and types of food, including street snacks.

3. Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is a popular cosmopolitan city on the Mediterranean coast. It stands out mainly for its architecture and art. The city’s bustling beaches, historic cobblestone streets, amusement parks, and romantic views of the city contribute to its unique atmosphere.

2. Rome, Italy

Rome, Italy

Rome, the capital of Italy, is a huge, vast city, extremely rich in tourist attractions. Among the great attractions are historical monuments documenting more than 3,000 years of the city’s settlement history. Legendary ancient ruins such as the Colosseum are literally a symbol of Rome. Some of the most popular places include St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museums. Modern-day attractions in Rome include the city’s culinary offerings and numerous programs in conjunction with food and fine dining.

1. Florence, Italy

Florence, Italy

Florence, the cradle of the Italian Renaissance, offers beautiful historic buildings, palaces and squares. Modern Florence, on the other hand, is full of new surprises for tourists. “Mercato Centrale,” an indoor market, offers a rich culinary experience not only of the city, but of all of Tuscany.

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