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35 Best Cities to Visit in Europe: A Bucket List for City Lovers!

CEO Tinh Phung
Europe is home to some of the most remarkable cities in the world, each with its own unique charm and allure. From iconic metropolises to hidden gems tucked away in quiet corners of the continent,...

Europe is home to some of the most remarkable cities in the world, each with its own unique charm and allure. From iconic metropolises to hidden gems tucked away in quiet corners of the continent, there is a city for every type of traveler. Whether you're a history enthusiast, a foodie, or simply someone who enjoys exploring new places, Europe has something to offer.

Once You Narrow Down Your Dream Cities in Europe...

If you're ready to start planning your European adventure, consider checking out our ultimate guide to planning a trip to Europe. We also have a detailed guide to train travel in Europe, the best European road trips, and packing lists for Europe. Additionally, we've written in-depth guides for most of the cities mentioned in this article. You can use our search bar to easily find the information you need.

The Most Iconic Cities to Visit in Europe

These cities hardly need an introduction. They have left an indelible mark on global culture and have become must-visit destinations for travelers from all over the world.


As one of the most visited cities on the planet, Paris is a dream destination for many. From the iconic Eiffel Tower to world-class museums like the Louvre, Paris has something to offer every traveler. The city's romantic ambiance, delicious cuisine, and rich history make it truly enchanting.


The bustling capital of the United Kingdom, London is a city that seamlessly blends history and modernity. From Buckingham Palace to the Tower of London, the city is brimming with iconic landmarks and attractions. London's vibrant theater scene and its connection to Harry Potter also add to its charm.


Nicknamed the Eternal City, Rome is a must-visit for history buffs and art lovers. With its ancient ruins, magnificent architecture, and world-renowned landmarks like the Colosseum and Trevi Fountain, Rome is a living testament to the grandeur of the Roman Empire.


Barcelona is a city that captivates visitors with its unique blend of history, art, and vibrant culture. From the colorful neighborhoods to the stunning Gothic Quarter, Barcelona is a feast for the senses. The famous landmark, La Sagrada Familia, is a testament to the city's architectural prowess.


Known for its picturesque canals and charming architecture, Amsterdam is a city that effortlessly combines old-world charm with a modern vibe. Whether you're exploring its museums, strolling through the historic city center, or enjoying the nightlife, Amsterdam has something for everyone.


Venice is a city unlike any other. Built on water and devoid of cars, it offers a truly magical experience. With its winding canals, ornate palaces, and stunning bridges, Venice is a place where time seems to stand still. Exploring the city's narrow alleys and taking a gondola ride through the canals is an experience like no other.


Straddling two continents, Istanbul is a city with a rich and complex history. From the magnificent Hagia Sophia to the bustling Grand Bazaar, the city is a melting pot of cultures and traditions. Exploring Istanbul is like stepping into a time capsule that spans centuries.

Other Best Cities to Visit in Europe (That Are Slightly Less Iconic)

While the iconic cities mentioned above are certainly worth a visit, Europe is also home to many lesser-known cities that are equally captivating. These cities have gained popularity in recent years and offer a unique and authentic experience.


Nestled on the Danube River, Budapest is a city that effortlessly combines grandeur and affordability. With its stunning architecture, rich history, and renowned thermal baths, Budapest is a hidden gem in the heart of Europe.


Known as the City of a Hundred Spires, Prague is a city straight out of a fairy tale. Its picturesque streets, ornate buildings, and historic charm make it a favorite among travelers. Exploring Prague's cobblestone lanes and visiting its famous castle will transport you to another era.


Spain's vibrant capital city, Madrid, offers a mix of culture, history, and mouth-watering cuisine. From the grand Royal Palace to the world-renowned Prado Museum, Madrid is a city that exudes charm and sophistication. Don't forget to savor the delicious tapas while you're there!


Located on the French Riviera, Nice is a city that effortlessly combines elegance with a laid-back Mediterranean vibe. With its stunning beaches, vibrant promenade, and charming old town, Nice is the perfect place to relax and soak up the sun. It also serves as an excellent base for exploring the nearby French Riviera.


Athens may not be the most beautiful city in Europe, but it is steeped in history and offers a fascinating glimpse into ancient Greece. From the iconic Acropolis to the charming neighborhood of Plaka, Athens has much to offer for history enthusiasts and culture lovers.


Known for its imperial grandeur, Vienna is a city that exudes elegance and sophistication. From its world-class opera house to its stunning palaces, Vienna is a city of art and music. Don't miss the opportunity to enjoy a cup of coffee in one of its famous coffee houses and experience the city's unique cafe culture.


With its charming canals, cycling-friendly streets, and reputation for hygge (coziness), Copenhagen is a city that embraces simplicity and contentment. Explore its picturesque waterfront, visit its historic palaces, and enjoy the city's vibrant culinary scene. Copenhagen is a place where modern design meets old-world charm.


Known for its Oktoberfest celebration, Munich is a city that knows how to have a good time. Its lively beer gardens, beautiful architecture, and rich history make it a fantastic destination. Don't miss the chance to visit the famous Neuschwanstein Castle, a fairytale-like fortress located just a short drive from Munich.


As the capital of Germany, Berlin is a city with a fascinating history and a vibrant cultural scene. From the remnants of the Berlin Wall to the iconic Brandenburg Gate, the city is a living testament to its turbulent past. Berlin's art galleries, museums, and thriving nightlife make it a must-visit for any art enthusiast.


With its stunning architecture, rich history, and enchanting atmosphere, Edinburgh is a city that captures the imagination of all who visit. Explore its historic Royal Mile, hike up Arthur's Seat for breathtaking views, and tour its imposing castle. If you're a fan of the arts, visit Edinburgh during the world-famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Best Small Cities to Visit in Europe

If you prefer a more intimate experience, Europe is home to several smaller cities that offer charm and character in abundance. These cities are perfect for exploring on foot and offer a more relaxed pace of life.


Known as the Venice of the Alps, Strasbourg is a unique and delightful city nestled in northeastern France. With its stunning architecture, charming canals, and blend of German and French influences, Strasbourg is a gateway to the beautiful Alsace region.


Famous for its role as King's Landing in Game of Thrones, Dubrovnik is a bite-sized coastal city that is bursting with beauty . Its medieval walls, terracotta rooftops, and shimmering Adriatic Sea make it a dream destination. Don't miss the chance to take a cable car ride to Mount Srd for panoramic views of the city.


Known as the Cradle of the Renaissance, Florence is a city that oozes beauty and artistry. Its stunning architecture, world-class museums, and rich cultural heritage make it a must-visit for any art lover. From the iconic Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore to Michelangelo's David, Florence is a feast for the eyes.


Nestled in southwestern Germany, Heidelberg is a small university city that exudes charm. With its beautiful river setting, impressive castle, and picturesque old town, Heidelberg is straight out of a fairy tale. It's no wonder that Mark Twain was inspired by this captivating city.


Slovenia's charming capital city, Ljubljana, may not be on everyone's radar, but it is well worth a visit. This vibrant city offers a blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. From the picturesque Ljubljana Castle to the quirky street-art-covered neighborhood of Metelkova, Ljubljana is a delightful European city.


As the hometown of Mozart and the backdrop to The Sound of Music, Salzburg is a city that is filled with music and charm. Its stunning architecture, beautiful gardens, and rich cultural heritage make it a captivating destination. Don't miss the chance to visit the iconic Mirabell Palace and immerse yourself in the city's musical history.


Located in southern Poland, Krakow is a city that has become increasingly popular in recent years. Its well-preserved medieval architecture, rich history, and vibrant culture make it a must-visit destination. Explore the impressive Wawel Castle, stroll through the historic old town, and pay your respects at Auschwitz-Birkenau, a sobering reminder of the atrocities of the past.


Often referred to as the prettiest city in Belgium, Bruges is a small and picturesque city that is straight out of a fairy tale. Its cobblestone streets, canals, and medieval architecture make it a romantic and enchanting destination. Climb the Belfry for breathtaking views, explore the colorful Market Square, and take a canal cruise to truly experience the magic of Bruges.

San Marino

While not technically a city, San Marino deserves a mention. This tiny country, surrounded by Italy, is a hidden gem in Europe. With its castle views and fascinating history, San Marino is a place where you can step back in time. Visit the ancient fortress, explore the charming streets, and enjoy the breathtaking scenery.


Nicknamed the Venice of the Alps, Annecy is a beautiful city located in southeastern France. Its stunning lake, colorful old town, and delicious Alpine cuisine make it a fantastic city to explore. Stroll along the canals, visit the beautiful Bonifacius Bridge, and soak in the atmosphere of this charming city.


Surrounded by medieval walls and nestled in the Carpathian mountains, Brasov is an incredibly beautiful city in the heart of Transylvania. Its Gothic-style Black Church, impressive towers, and charming square make it a must-visit destination. Don't forget to take a day trip to Bran Castle, the mythical home of Dracula.


Known for its incredible food, Bologna is a city that will delight any food lover. As the capital of Emilia-Romagna, it is home to some of Italy's most cherished culinary delights. From mortadella to traditional balsamic vinegar, Bologna is a foodie paradise. Don't forget to explore the city's beautiful architecture and vibrant street life.

More Cool Cities to Add to Your Europe Bucket List

Europe is full of incredible cities waiting to be discovered. While not as famous as some of the others, these cities offer a unique and authentic experience that is well worth adding to your bucket list.


With its stunning architecture, flamenco culture, and beautiful weather, Seville is a city that captures the heart of every visitor. From the magnificent cathedral to the photo-worthy Plaza de Espana, Seville is a city that will leave you enchanted.


As the capital of Serbia, Belgrade is a hidden gem that is slowly gaining recognition as a European destination. With its colorful history, vibrant nightlife, and beautiful architecture, Belgrade offers a unique and invigorating experience.


Lisbon, with its picturesque waterfront, steep hills, and iconic tram cars, offers a unique blend of old-world charm and modern vibes. From the historic Alfama neighborhood to the Time Out Market, Lisbon is a city that will captivate you with its beauty and charm.


While Naples may not be the most polished city in Europe, it has a charm that is hard to resist. With its rich history, stunning architecture, and world-famous cuisine (including the original pizza), Naples is a city that is sure to leave a lasting impression.


As the capital of Estonia, Tallinn is a city that offers a blend of medieval charm and modern innovation. With its beautiful cityscape, affordable prices, and hipster havens, Tallinn is a city that is gaining recognition among travelers.


Portugal's second city, Porto, is known for its stunning architecture, colorful buildings, and, of course, its port wine. With its picturesque Duoro River setting and vibrant culinary scene, Porto is a city that should not be missed.


Located in northern Italy, Verona is a city that is often overshadowed by its more famous neighbors. However, with its well-preserved Roman amphitheater, stunning views, and connections to Romeo and Juliet, Verona is a city that is well worth a visit.


As the gateway to Norway's breathtaking fjords, Bergen is a city that offers natural beauty and charm in abundance. With its colorful wooden houses, bustling fish market, and sweeping views, Bergen is a fantastic introduction to Norway.

Europe is a continent filled with diverse and fascinating cities. Whether you're exploring the iconic landmarks of Paris or immersing yourself in the history of Krakow, each city offers a unique perspective and an opportunity to create lasting memories. So, start planning your European adventure and get ready to tick off some of the best cities to visit in Europe from your bucket list.