Are you planning an upcoming European vacation but don’t know which cities to visit? Europe is home to some of the most iconic and grandest cities in the world, as well as plenty of quaint and picturesque villages. But which city will offer you the best quality experience?
Europe offers an array of culturally diverse locations for tourists looking for a memorable getaway. From the fashion capitals Paris and Milan to the historical monuments in Rome and Athens, Europe truly offers something for everyone.
If you’re wondering where your next European vacation should take you, there’s no shortage of options. However, some popular cities in Europe stand out more than others when it comes to providing superior experiences while on holiday. So if you’re looking for even more suggestions on places to visit, here are some of the best cities in Europe for vacations.
- Europe offers a variety of culturally diverse, iconic cities for tourists to explore on their next European vacation.
- Popular cities such as Paris, Vienna, and Prague offer unique attractions and experiences for travelers.
- Berlin is a city of culture and history, with a mix of old and new architecture, as well as cozy restaurants and cafes that offer locals and tourists plenty of entertainment.
Your Perfect Euro Trip: Top 20 Beautiful And Relaxing Cities In Europe
Europe is home to some of the most beautiful cities in the world. From Paris to London, Rome to Barcelona, Amsterdam to Prague, Vienna, and Berlin, there are a plethora of cultural, historical, and culinary experiences to be had. We tried to explore the most beautiful cities in Europe in the following list.
1. Paris, France
Paris is one of the most iconic cities in the world, renowned for its beauty, artwork, and architecture. From the iconic Eiffel Tower that stands tall overlooking Paris and its citizens to the largest art museum in the world – the Louvre – Paris offers something for everyone. Whether you’re looking to explore some of the cheapest shopping destinations in the world or take a day trip to experience French history at the Palace of Versailles, there are plenty of things to do in Paris.
The city is also home to many popular attractions such as Montmartre and Moulin Rouge. The best way to experience all that Paris has to offer is by planning wisely and exploring with local experts. With so much culture, history, and art on display, it’s no wonder why Paris is one of the most visited cities in Europe. From high-end fashion outlets to some of the best restaurants in Europe, there’s something for everyone when visiting this beautiful city.
2. Vienna, Austria
Vienna, Austria is a city that has been steeped in history and culture for centuries. From the grand Schönbrunn Palace to the Hofburg Palace, visitors can explore the imperial past of this beautiful city. In addition to its historical attractions, Vienna also offers independent bookstores and amusement parks for young ones. For those looking to explore further into the night, there are many bars and wine taverns to visit.
Vienna is an ideal winter city break destination with its gilded ballrooms, pristine gardens, and imperial palaces. It is also known for its musical legacy with performances from the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and opera performances. Park Hyatt Vienna is a great place to stay while visiting the city as it offers luxurious accommodations with stunning views of the city skyline. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or a family holiday, Vienna has something for everyone.
3. Prague, Czech Republic
Prague is a stunning and affordable European city with a rich history. It is home to many free attractions, such as the Charles Bridge, Old Town Square, and Prague Castle. Hotels in Prague offer rooms at a fraction of the cost of other European cities, making it an ideal destination for travelers on a budget.
The city offers something for everyone, from its mix of old and new architecture to its easy-to-navigate public transportation system. Visitors can explore Gothic churches, the Astronomical Clock, and the Charles Bridge while in town. Prague is also a great starting point for exploring the Czech-Switzerland National Park near the German border. Whether you’re looking for culture or adventure, Prague has something to offer every traveler.
4. Berlin, Germany
Berlin is a city of culture, history, and nightlife. It has something to offer everyone, from historical landmarks such as the Berlin Wall and Hitler’s bunker to its vibrant art scene, hip bars, and unrivaled party scene. The city is also home to an array of multicultural culinary experiences, with gourmet restaurants offering dishes from around the world.
For those looking for a unique experience in Berlin, there are plenty of options. Architecture buffs should check in to Sir Savigny Hotel or Hotel Oderberger for a unique stay. There are also plenty of things to do during the day, such as exploring the parks or visiting one of the many museums. Whether you’re looking for a cultural experience or just want to have some fun, Berlin has something for everyone.
5. London, England
London is one of the most iconic cities in the world, with famous landmarks such as Big Ben and the Tower of London. It has a vibrant arts and culture scene, with free museums and diverse restaurants, cafes, and bars. There is something for everyone to enjoy in London, from sports to theater to Harry Potter tours. It is the capital of England and the United Kingdom, offering a mix of modern conveniences and tradition. Popular attractions include Westminster Abbey, the London Eye, The Shard, Buckingham Palace, Borough Market, and The Tower of London.
On sunny days locals flock to parks like Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, Kew Gardens, or St. James’ Park for picnics and sunbathing. Hop-on hop-off bus is a great way to get around quickly and easily. Enjoy a traditional English treat of soft-serve vanilla ice cream with a chocolate Flake bar.
6. Grindelwald, Switzerland
Grindelwald, Switzerland is a stunning destination for any traveler looking to experience the beauty of the Swiss Alps. Located in the Bernese Alps, Grindelwald offers breathtaking views of snow-capped mountains and half-timbered homes. During the winter months, skiers flock to Grindelwald for its world-class ski resorts and slopes. In the summertime, visitors can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and paragliding.
For those looking to visit Zurich on a budget, careful planning is key. Zurich is one of Europe’s most expensive cities but it is possible to find affordable accommodation and transportation options if you plan ahead. Visiting Zurich with teenagers can be worth the cost as there are plenty of attractions that will keep them entertained such as museums, parks, and shopping centers.
7. Strasbourg, France
Strasbourg is a beautiful city in northeastern France, blending French and German cultures. It is the official seat of the European Parliament and features many historical and architectural sites, such as Strasbourg Cathedral. The city is beautiful in any season, with picturesque streets and houses. Strasbourg is an ideal location for exploring Europe, with easy day trips to Colmar within Alsace or across the border to Germany’s Black Forest.
Strasbourg is also a popular tourist destination during Christmas for its world-famous markets. The city offers some of the best cuisines in Europe, making it an ideal family vacation spot. From traditional French dishes to German specialties like sauerkraut and bratwurst, there’s something for everyone in Strasbourg. Visitors can also enjoy a variety of activities such as boat rides on the Ill River or take a stroll through one of the many parks in the area.
8. Florence, Italy
Florence is a stunning Italian city located in the Tuscan hills, renowned for its Renaissance art and inspiring architecture. It is a romantic wonderland that has been home to some of the greatest masterpieces of all time, such as Michelangelo’s David sculpture and Da Vinci’s Annunciation. The Ponte Vecchio Bridge is one of the most picturesque spots in Europe, adorned with colorful shops and visited by millions of tourists each year. Florence also offers chic shops, great Italian food, stunning sunsets, and fashionable Italians.
Visitors can explore Florence without a car by staying in one of the most amazing places to stay in Tuscany. Climb the claustrophobia-inducing stairway to the top of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore for a great view of Florence or explore Piazza Duomo, an iconic square in Florence. For those looking for accommodation, there are many great areas and hotels in Florence to choose from.
9. Salzburg, Austria
Salzburg, Austria is a city of music and culture. Home to over 4,000 cultural events annually, it is the perfect destination for solo travelers looking to explore its timeless atmosphere and distinct Habsburg style. The city is home to a number of world-famous landmarks, including the Hohensalzburg Fortress and the Salzburg Cathedral. Top sights in Salzburg include the Cathedral, Residenz, Mozart’s Birthplace, and Hohensalzburg Fortress. Getreidegasse and Linzer Gasse are great places for shopping or finding souvenirs, while the Mirabell Palace and gardens are worth a visit.
Exploring Salzburg alone is easy and convenient. The Tourist Office offers guided city tours every day, but you can also explore on foot or by bus or horse-drawn carriage. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or an adventure with friends, Salzburg has something for everyone.
10. Rome, Italy
Rome, Italy is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. It is a walking museum with amazing Italian cuisine and a romantic atmosphere. The city is full of history, art, and culture, making it an ideal destination for sightseeing and exploring its urban green belt. From the Colosseum to Vatican City, there are many day trips to take from Rome for an unforgettable experience.
The Colosseum is one of the most iconic landmarks in Rome and a must-see attraction. Visitors can explore its ancient ruins and learn about its fascinating history. The Trevi Fountain is another popular spot where visitors can make a wish or take a photo. There are also plenty of parks to explore such as Villa Borghese, the third-largest park in Europe. For those looking for more educational experiences, they can visit the Auschwitz museum to learn about WWII history. Rome also offers high-quality restaurants and accommodations for visitors to enjoy during their stay.
11. Dublin, Ireland
Dublin, Ireland is a city full of culture and history. It is home to Trinity College, the Book of Kells, and the Little Museum of Dublin Parliament. The National Museum in Ireland, Castle, and Kilmainham Gaol are popular tourist attractions that offer insight into the country’s past. For those looking for a unique experience, Dublin is also known for its pubs serving up Irish fare and great-tasting ales like Guinness.
Dublin is a UNESCO City of Literature and offers many cultural experiences such as the James Joyce Bloomsday Festival or visiting the Chester Beatty Library. It is also an excellent base for day trips with locations such as Howth harbor, Cliffs of Moher, and Giant’s Causeway all within reach. In the evenings there are plenty of pubs with live music to enjoy; Temple Bar may be popular but can be touristy so it’s best to chat with locals in other pubs for an authentic experience.
12. Copenhagen, Denmark
Copenhagen, Denmark is a beautiful city with plenty of attractions to explore. Tourists flock to the city for its stunning architecture, friendly people, and delicious Danish cuisine. Popular destinations include Tivoli Park, Rosenborg Castle, and Nyhavn. Biking is also popular in Copenhagen as it’s a great way to get around the city and take in the sights.
For those looking for design inspiration, Copenhagen has plenty of options. Hay’s flagship store offers stylish furniture pieces while Stilleben provides unique accessories. Restaurants such as Noma 2.0 and Winterspring have desirable interiors that can be admired while dining. Hotel Sanders is also a must-visit spot for its sophisticated design and luxurious amenities. Whether you’re looking for culture or style ideas, Copenhagen has something for everyone.
13. Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona is a city full of culture, history, and life. It has been ruled by the Romans, Carthaginians, Visigoths, Moors, and Catalans throughout its long history. The Catalan period left behind some of the most iconic sights in Barcelona such as the Sagrada Familia church and Park Güell. These landmarks are a must-see for any visitor to Barcelona.
The city is also home to some of the world’s most renowned art and architecture. Visitors can explore the works of famous artists such as Pablo Picasso in Barcelona’s old town or admire the modernist architecture of Gaudi. During the summer months, visitors can take advantage of outdoor activities such as strolling down La Rambla or biking around the city. Accommodation options range from hotels to Airbnb depending on budget and preference. Whether you’re looking for vibrant nightlife or cultural exploration, Barcelona has something for everyone.
14. Oslo, Norway
Oslo is the capital and largest city of Norway, located in the eastern part of the country. It is a great place to view the northern lights due to its location in the east of Norway. The city offers many attractions such as the Royal Palace, Akershus Fortress, and Vigeland Sculpture Park. These sites provide a colorful backdrop for outdoor activities and are perfect for exploring during the fall season with their picturesque parks and vibrant autumn foliage.
Oslomarka Forest is just outside the city and offers stunning views of Norway’s natural beauty. This forest provides a great opportunity to explore nature while still being close to all that Oslo has to offer. There are plenty of trails for hiking, biking, or simply taking in the scenery. Additionally, there are several lakes within Oslomarka which make it an ideal spot for fishing or swimming during warmer months. Whether you’re looking for a day trip or an extended stay, Oslo has something for everyone!
15. Budapest, Hungary
Budapest is a city of grandeur and beauty, with its stunning Art Nouveau architecture and iconic Széchenyi Chain Bridge. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is the perfect place to explore for those who are budget-minded and curious about history. The Central Market, Heroes’ Square & Statue Park, and St. Stephen’s Basilica are all popular attractions that should not be missed.
The two districts of Buda and Pest are separated by the famous Chain Bridge, but can easily be explored together. Take a cable car or the Budapest Eye for a view from the top, or visit the Jewish or Budapest History Museum to learn more about this amazing city. There is something for everyone in Budapest, so don’t miss out on this incredible destination.
16. Venice, Italy
Venice, Italy is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and a must-see destination for any traveler. Founded in the 5th century as a refuge area for people displaced by Barbarian invasions, Venice quickly grew to become one of the most powerful cities in Europe by the 12th century. Today, visitors can explore Piazza St. Mark, St. Mark Basilica, and the Doga Palace before enjoying a romantic evening at one of the many canalside restaurants.
For art lovers, Venice has plenty to offer with its Peggy Guggenheim Collection and the Venice Biennale. For those looking for an authentic slice of Venice without the crowds, Casa Burano on Burano Island is perfect. Il Palazzo Experimental also offers stunning views over the Giudecca Canal. Whether you’re looking for romance or culture, Venice has something for everyone to enjoy.
17. Cappadocia, Turkey
Cappadocia, Turkey is a hidden gem that offers an unforgettable experience. Located in the heart of the country, this region features wind-sculpted fairy chimneys and Goreme Natural Park, making it one of the most popular tourist attractions in Turkey. For a unique experience, take a hot air balloon ride over the scenic region to get a bird’s eye view of its beauty.
In addition to Cappadocia’s natural wonders, Istanbul is also nearby and offers plenty of cultural sites to explore. Lose yourself in the timeless history of Istanbul with visits to the Grand Bazaar and Spice Market. The Galata Bridge and Blue Mosque are two must-see sites for any traveler looking to soak up some culture. After your day exploring, be sure to enjoy some local brews in one of the city’s many taverns for a truly authentic Turkish experience.
18. Stockholm, Sweden
Stockholm, Sweden is a city with a long and rich history. Founded in 1252 by Birger Jarl, it is one of the oldest cities in Europe. It has grown to become a vibrant city with many attractions such as Vasa, Stockholm Palace, and the Stockholm Museum of Science and Technology. The city is spread across 14 islands connected by bridges, making it easy to explore all that Stockholm has to offer.
Visitors can take a boat tour around the city to visit historic Gamla Stan, artsy Södermalm, and green Djurgården island. For those looking for an unforgettable experience, stay at Ett Hem, a townhouse hotel with relaxed home-from-home interiors. There are plenty of activities to do in Stockholm from exploring its cultural sites to enjoying its nightlife. Whether you’re looking for an adventure or just want to relax and enjoy the scenery, Stockholm has something for everyone.
19. Madrid, Spain
The author of My Top Bucket List’s personal favorite, Madrid is one of the most vibrant cities in Europe and a great destination for any traveler of any age or nationality. The city is full of culture, art, and history with its many museums, galleries, and monuments. Take a stroll through the historic Plaza Mayor or visit the iconic Prado Museum to admire some of the world’s greatest works of art.
For those looking for an unforgettable experience, Madrid has plenty to offer. Enjoy a night out in the city’s lively bars and clubs or take a tour of the Royal Palace. Madrid also offers some of the best shopping in Europe, with its many boutiques, markets, and department stores. Whether you’re looking for culture, nightlife, or shopping, Madrid is sure to have something that will make your vacation unforgettable!
Furthermore, Madrid is a very child-friendly city! It’s not uncommon to still see well-behaved children out at midnight or in the early hours of the morning enjoying time with their families. Children are welcome in restaurants late at night too! Here are the author’s top attractions for kids or you can visit the official tourism website for kids at https://www.esmadrid.com/en/madrid-for-kids
- Parque Warner
- Parque de Atracciones
- Zoo Aquarium
- Ice Palace
- Madrid SnowZone
- Windobono Indoor Skydiving
- Parque Europa
- Parque Warner Beach
- Aquapolis water park
20. Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul is a city that has something for everyone. It’s a place where East meets West, with its mix of modern and traditional culture. The city is full of history and culture, with its many mosques, palaces, and museums. Take a stroll through the Grand Bazaar or visit the iconic Blue Mosque to admire some of the world’s greatest works of art. For those looking for an unforgettable experience, Istanbul has plenty to offer. Enjoy a night out in the city’s lively bars and clubs or take a tour of the Topkapi Palace. Istanbul also offers some of the best shopping in Europe, with its many boutiques, markets, and department stores. Whether you’re looking for culture, nightlife, or shopping, Istanbul is sure to have something that will make your vacation unforgettable.
How Safe Are The Cities For Travelers?
When it comes to safety, all of the cities mentioned are generally safe for travelers. Stockholm is known for its low crime rate and is considered one of the safest cities in Europe. Madrid also has a very low crime rate and is safe for families. Istanbul is a large city with some areas that can be dangerous, but overall it is considered safe for travelers.
It’s important to take the usual precautions when traveling to any city, such as avoiding dark alleys and being aware of your surroundings. It’s also a good idea to research the area you’re visiting before you go and familiarize yourself with local laws and customs.
Overall Article Review
All of the cities mentioned are great destinations for a vacation in Europe. Stockholm, Madrid, and Istanbul each offer something unique and unforgettable for travelers. Whether you’re looking for culture, nightlife, or shopping, these cities have something to make your vacation memorable. Additionally, all three cities are generally safe for travelers with low crime rates. However, it is always important to take the usual precautions when traveling to any city such as avoiding dark alleys and being aware of your surroundings. With their mix of modern and traditional culture, stunning architecture, and vibrant nightlife, these cities are sure to provide an unforgettable experience.