Europe, a continent with the most beautiful cities in the world! From countless castles, beautiful small towns to romantic cities that span the continent- it’s evident why everyone wants to experience this continent. Even though it’s relatively small in size, the impact it leaves on people who travel there is big enough to see them going back every chance they get. Whether you want to ride on a gondola in Venice or just want your breath to be taken away by the lights from the Eiffel tower, there is a lot to add to your Europe bucket list.
With many stunning picturesque cities, famous cathedrals, cobblestone pathways, there are so many beautiful cities in Europe that you must visit at least once. And since Europe has many of those, I will be writing about the best cities in Europe from my point of view – and I hope my European bucket list inspires you to travel to these beautiful cities on your next trip. Though this list of the most beautiful cities in Europe is in no particular order, some of these places are closer to my heart than the others but nevertheless, they are all amazingly beautiful.
But before you go, make sure that you don’t make these Europe travel mistakes that most travelers make especially first-time visitors.
Most beautiful cities in Europe to add to your Europe Bucket list
1. Paris, France
If Paris didn’t come first on my Europe bucket list, then I am not only lying to everyone else but to myself as well. I know I said the list is no particular order (which is true) but Paris still tops my European bucket list places to visit.
From gazing at the lights at the Eiffel tower or climbing up the stairs to enjoy the thrill of seeing the city from the top, taking a romantic dinner cruise along Seine river or just taking a walk along the famous Alexander III Bridge, there is definitely a countless number of things to do in Paris.
Commonly known as the city of love and the city of lights, this French capital never ceases to amaze its visitors with so many different things that appeal to all kinds of travelers. Whether is it to appreciate art by visiting the Louvre museum or learning about the history of the french by visiting The catacombs, the Notre-Dame Cathedral for a spiritual journey or discovering the hidden gems of Paris– there is something for everyone.
When you visit Paris, don’t be afraid to indulge yourself in the delicious French cuisine at one of the many pretty restaurants in the area.
2. London, England
If you’re looking for a European city break, then London should come to mind first. Considered to be one of the most diverse cities in Europe, it’s historic and modern charms have made it one of the most visited cities in Europe receiving over 27 million visitors per year. London is divided into distinctive areas of East, West, South, North and central London which is the commercial and most touristy area in London.
While in London, some of the places not to miss include Big Ben, the Tower Bridge which is one of London’s famous landmarks and Instagramable places, the London Eye which you can even visit at night to get amazing views of the different colors when it’s lit up, the Buckingham Palace, British Film Institute (BFI ) for movies lovers and don’t forget to book a Thames cruise to view the city from a different perspective.
3. Istanbul, Turkey
When we talk about the beautiful cities in Europe, Istanbul cannot be left out. Being the only city in the world that lies on 2 continents, Asia and Europe, this fascinating city of Istanbul has grown to be one of the most popular European destinations receiving over 39 million tourists every year.
With a mix of history and modern touch to it, Istanbul is partially recognized as a Unesco world heritage center with a number of archaeological sites including the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia. Other than these ones, there are a number of things to do in Istanbul like cruising the Bosphorus strait, which connects the European part of Turkey to the Asian side, shopping in the Grand Bazaar which is the largest covered market worldwide and strolling on the famous streets of Istanbul – All this proves as to why Istanbul should definitely be added to anyone’s European bucket list.
Though Istanbul is one of the top cities to visit in Europe, it can be quite overwhelming for first-time visitors, but these Istanbul travel tips will guide you on what to do, and if you want to experience Istanbul at night, check out this post to find out the best way to enjoy Istanbul at night or this post to know how to travel to Istanbul on a budget.
4. Venice, Italy
Built on more than 100 small islands in a lagoon in the Adriatic sea, Venice is a city connected by waterways and canals and not roads like most cities in Europe – a feature that makes it the most unique city in Europe.
With a countless number of canals in the city, palazzos, colorful buildings, art, and historical heritage, there is no doubt Venice is one of the most romantic places in the world that should be on everyone’s Europe travel bucket list. The famous colorful buildings in Burano, a ride on the Grand Canal, the countless Bridges make Venice one of the most visited cities in Europe.
Even though the city is always crowded almost all year round (something that explains it’s beauty), this should not scare you from exploring one of Europe’s best cities.
When you visit Venice, don’t miss riding on a gondola on the Gand canal as it is the highlight of a visit to this amazing city, be amazed by Venice’s architecture by visiting the famous St Mark’s Basilica, the Gothic Masterpiece Doge’s Palace, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection which is the world’s most illustrious modern art collections and Rialto Bridge which is the most beautiful bridge in Venice.
Some of the other equally incredible places to visit in Venice include; Teatro La Fenice which is Venice’s Opera house, Campanile Di San Marco which is one of the city’s famous landmarks, San Giorgio Maggiore Island to see the white church of San Giorgio Maggiore and so many others. All these incredible places make Venice truly one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.
5. Mykonos, Greece
Mykonos may not be a city per se but rather a Greek Island but its magnificent beauty can not be overlooked when talking about the most beautiful places in Europe.
Being one of the most popular islands in Greece, Mykonos is a popular destination in Europe for travelers who want to enjoy quality beach time, party away or just tick it off their European bucket list. If you spend some time on Instagram, you probably know that Mykonos island is one of the most picturesque places in Europe due to the countless number of photos of white and blue houses making rounds on the platform. It was also voted the top summer holiday destination and it is no surprise that it receives VIP guests (famous actors and reality stars) every now and then.
Even though Mykonos is ultimately a beach getaway destination, there is more to it than just laying in the sand, taking in incredible views or catching one of the best sunsets in Europe – here are some other things to do in Mykonos; Explore the maze walkways of Mykonos town through the narrow streets surrounded by a number of houses painted in white and blue, visit the Armenistis Lighthouse, explore the old harbour of Mykonos and visit the Kato Milli Windmills.
6. Amsterdam, The Netherlands
The capital of the Netherlands, Amsterdam is famous for its historic architecture, elaborate canals, narrow houses, a number of museums and cycling which have made it one of the most popular cities to visit in Europe.
Some of the things to do in Amsterdam include visiting it’s 40 museums some of which include; the Rijksmuseum which is one of the most popular attractions in Amsterdam, the Jewish History Museum which has a small section dedicated to World War II, The Tulip Museum which showcases the history of Tulips in Holland and the Tulip craze, Museum Van Loon and others – there are a number of Museum in Amsterdam that it might be hard to see all of them unless your trip is quite long.
Other than visiting the museums, you can also stroll through Amsterdam’s Plantage which is a district full of green neighborhoods from well-maintained gardens, parks, Planetarium, and an Aquarium. Visit Amsterdam’s windmills, explore some of its bridges that link the city’s 90 islands, visit the Red Light district, wander the streets of the Jordaan neighborhood, and ride on a boat through the many canals. The list of things to do in Amsterdam is endless and the beauty that this city provides is unimaginable that has seen it emerge to be one of the beautiful cities in Europe.
7. Barcelona, Spain
The capital of Spain’s Catalonia, Barcelona is one of those European cities that are so easy to fall in love with. Known for its art, beautiful colors and amazing Gaudi architecture, it’s no surprise that Barcelona makes it to the list of the most beautiful cities in Europe.
Barcelona has almost something for everyone, from numerous foods to try for food lovers, architectural wonders for cultural travelers to an endless nightlife for travelers who want to let loose when the sun goes down.
Enjoy more of Barcelona by visiting Sagrada Familia, an architectural marvel church building that combines several architectural styles and it hardly resembles any religious building in the world, Park Guell to enjoy Paranomic views of Barcelona from the park’s main terrace and Casa Mila to enjoy a different kind of architecture. After getting amazed by all the Gaudi buildings, relax from the amazing city beaches of Barcelona as you take in the cool breeze.
8. Rome, Italy
Rome is one of the cities in Europe that you should visit at least once in a lifetime. The capital of Italy is bustling with several masterpieces of Roman art and architecture, history with a touch of a romantic vibe making it one of the beautiful cities in Europe.
Rome is so beautiful that just wandering through the cobblestone streets is as rewarding as visiting other tourist attractions. Even though it gets crowded at the Trevi Fountain, a visit to Rome is not complete without going to this over the top Baroque sculpture flowing with water – which is also Rome’s most popular attraction and also don’t forget to fulfill the tradition of the fountain by throwing a coin in the water.
Rome is not just about visiting beautiful churches, museums and historical places like the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, you can also indulge yourself in the delicious Roman foods like Cacio e Pepe, shop away in Monti’s vintage market, or just chill a bit on the Spanish steps.
9. Copenhagen, Denmark
Though Copenhagen is the capital of Denmark, it’s much more chilly and gives a town vibe compared to other cities in Europe but it’s still sophisticated and beautiful enough to rank as one of the coolest cities in Europe (no wonder they say the Danes are some of the happiest people in the world). The city is a mixture of old and modern architecture, great street food, a number of museums, friendly locals but unfortunately, it’s not budget-friendly.
Copenhagen is home to the Tivoli amusement park which is the world’s oldest park that has seen a number of tourists travel to Denmark just to have fun at this incredible park. Some of the other things not to miss out while in Copenhagen include; The Little Mermaid statue which is the most famous landmark in the city, explore Nyhavn – the historic waterfront area with cute tall painted houses, Nationalmuseet which is Copenhagen’s National Museum and the Christiansborg Palace to learn more about the Danish Royal Family.
10. Budapest, Hungary
Considered to be one of the most beautiful places in Europe, Hungary’s capital – Budapest is partially a Unesco world heritage center. The city has a laid back contemporary style with a fascinating history that has made it one of the popular destinations in Europe.
Whether it is relaxing from Szechenyi Baths complex which is the largest medicinal bath center in Europe, admiring the architectural wonder of the Hungarian Parliament Building which is one of the famous Europe landmarks and the largest building in Hungary, or visiting St Stephen’s Basilica which is the most important religious buildings in Hungary, Budapest is definitely worth adding to anyone’s Europe bucket list.
This list is by no means exhaustive at all but it will keep growing over time as I fall in love with other European cities. Have you been to any of these beautiful cities in Europe or is there any other city that you feel should be added to this European bucket list? Let me know in the comment section.
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