In an effort to help you uncover the wonders of Europe, we’ve taken a poll here at Maupintour and assembled a list of our top 25 must-visit cities in Europe. Our list includes some of the major cities, along with some hidden gems that come highly recommended by our team of travel experts.
Looking for a bigger list? Check out our top 100 cities to see before you die list!
I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list
– Susan Sontag
25. Dublin, Ireland
Dublin rounds out our list of 25 must-visit cities in Europe. The city is full of life, and its unique charm makes it a must-visit destination. The Guinness Storehouse, the Dublin Writer’s Museum, and Collins Barracks are all highlights.
24. Helsinki, Finland
The capital of Finland offers lots to see and do for the avid traveler. Visit Mannerheimintie Street, the Ateneum, and Keskuspuisto, along with many other attractions. Maupintour’s Unforgettable Scandinavia Tour offers a day tour of Helsinki, explore our itinerary for more options.
23. Copenhagen, Denmark
Copenhagen sits on the coastal islands of Zealand & Amager and is linked to Malmo in southern Sweden by the Öresund Bridge. Indre By, the central district, contains 18th-century, rococo Frederiksstaden, home to the royal family’s Amalienborg Palace. The city’s center also has the Christiansborg parliament building and the Renaissance Rosenborg Castle, which has a museum of royal artifacts and a popular garden.
22. Geneva, Switzerland
From the European headquarters of the UN to the beautiful parks and nature, Geneva is a first-class city just waiting to be explored. Whether in the summer or the winter, the landscape is remarkable.
21. Stockholm, Sweden
Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, encompasses 14 islands of the vast Stockholm archipelago on the Baltic Sea. The cobblestone streets and gorgeous old-town buildings give the city a distinct feel. Museums, theaters, sights, and attractions are everywhere – don’t miss Stockholm if you’re traveling to Northern Europe.
20. Porto, Portugal
A coastal city in Northwest Portugal, Porto is well known for its amazing bridges and world-famous Port wine. Located along the Douro river estuary in Northern Portugal, Porto is one of the oldest European centers, and its historical core was proclaimed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996.
19. Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Amsterdam is undoubtedly one of the most charming cities on our list of 25 must-visit European cities. Travel like the locals and see the city by bicycle – the sights, sounds, and tastes are guaranteed to overwhelm you (in a good way).
18. Lyon, France
France’s third largest city (after Paris and Marseille), Lyon sits at the confluence of the Rhône and Saône rivers. Its city center reflects 2,000 years of history, with a Roman amphitheater in Fourvière, medieval and Renaissance architecture in Vieux Lyon, and the modern, redeveloped Confluence district on the Presqu’île peninsula between the rivers. If you’re traveling to France, visiting Lyon is a must.
17. Rome, Italy
If you’ve yet to visit Europe, Rome is a great starting point. The city is full of famous attractions including the Colosseum, the Spanish Steps, Vatican City and Saint Paul’s Cathedral.
The Creator made Italy from designs by Michelangelo
– Mark Twain
16. Bruges, Belgium
You will love the historic center of Bruges, home to unique Gothic architecture. Be sure to try some of the amazing beer, our Beautiful Brussels Tour includes a trip to Bruges and a beer tasting tour like no other. See a sampling of the beer they have to offer in the video below.
15. San Sebastian, Spain
Located in the stunning Basque Country in Spain, San Sebastian is home to one of the finest beaches in Europe, conveniently located right in the city.
14. London, England
Tour Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, St. Pauls Cathedral, and so much more. This world capital is home to some of the finest sightseeing in Europe. If you’d like to learn more about a trip to London, our England tour page has a sample of tour offerings.
When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.
– Samuel Johnson
13. Reykjavik, Iceland
Reykjavik is a small city with much to offer the discerning traveler. Along with a vibrant music scene, the city center is full of life year round. Whale watching, hiking, geothermal pools and more await. Browse our tour offerings to learn more about visiting Iceland.
12. Dubrovnik, Croatia
Easily one of the most picturesque cities on our list, Dubrovnik is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. Travelers will delight in seeing the city walls or visiting the lovely island of Mljet just off the coast of the city.
11. Paris, France
There’s a reason the City of Light is the most popular tourist destination in the world, and we believe that you’ll love Paris just as much as we do. Paris is full of energy that you must experience if you’re thinking about a trip to Europe. There’s a reason it was voted the 2nd most romantic city in the world by our staff – see the full list here.
Paris is always a good idea
– Audrey Hepburn
10. Munich, Germany
Famous for its architecture, beer, food, and Oktoberfest celebrations, Munich is the jewel of Southern Germany. Visit in the summer months or during the Christmas season, either way you’re sure to love this world capital.
9. Stuttgart, Germany
Also located in Southern Germany, Stuttgart is the automobile capital of Germany. Be sure to visit the Mercedes and Porsche museums, featuring a sampling of the most beautiful automobiles on earth, along with some of the oldest. The magnificent Ludwigsburg Palace should be one of your first visits in Stuttgart.
8. Edinburgh, Scotland
Watched over by the imposing castle, the symbol of the city, Edinburgh is a combination of medieval relics and contemporary avant-garde. The city stands on seven hills creating a dramatic skyline that is sure to delight. Known as the Athens of the North, both the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh were listed as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO in 1995.
This is a city of shifting light, of changing skies, of sudden vistas. A city so beautiful it breaks the heart again and again.
– Alexander McCall Smith
7. Innsbruck, Austria
The provincial capital of Tyrol in Austria, Innsbruck has hosted the Olympics twice and the 2008 European Football Championship. The city is surrounded by the Alps giving it a breathtaking feel, walk the streets and enjoy this picturesque city.
6. Bergen, Norway
Bergen is set amongst the Norwegian fjords, and a cable car ride to the cities viewing point will leave you speechless (see photo below). This coastal city has a small-town feel, with warm and friendly locals and colorful cod houses lining the pier.
5. Vienna, Austria
One of the finest cities in Europe, Vienna can be enjoyed by car, bicycle, or on foot. Visit the Schonbrunn Palace and Imperial Palace, and be sure to get your dress attire out and attend the Opera. The city is the perfect mix of culture and history, relax at one of the local cafes and take in the pace of the city. It’ll be like no coffee experience you’ve ever had before.
4. Prague, Czech Republic
Whether visiting old time square or the historic Prague castle, Prague is a city sure to leave your travel desires fulfilled. The city has a sophisticated charm that is unmatched in the world, we can’t recommend it enough to our travelers.
3. Florence, Italy
Florence is the largest city in Tuscan and was once a center of medieval European trade and finance. Famous for its history, Florence is considered the birthplace of the Renaissance and has been dubbed “the Athens of the Middle Ages”. Today, one will have no trouble finding a plethora of things to do when visiting. Florence is a must-visit European city, and we’re happy to name it #3 on our list.
2. Budapest, Hungary
There’s so much to see and do in Budapest. You can bring your bathing suit and enjoy a relaxing thermal bath in a giant palace, take a river cruise on the Danube, go on a walking tour and discover the histoic Castle Hill…the list goes on. Don’t forget to walk across Chain Bridge and take in a performance at the world famous Budapest Opera House. If you need help planning a trip to Budapest, take a look at some of our Hungary tour itineraries for ideas.
1. Barcelona, Spain
La Sagrada Familia Church, the Picasso Museum, Las Ramblas, the Bario Gotico Gothic Quarter, Parc Guell, Montjuic Hill and the spectacular city views from Tibidabo Hill….the amount of other-worldly things to see and do in Barcelona is never-ending. Be sure to visit Montserrat and the fantastic hiking trails. Barcelona is buzzing with life, and it’s definitely one of our favorite cities in the world – not to mention our #1 must-visit city in Europe. If you’re looking for a trip to Spain, take a look at our Spain tour itineraries for ideas to spark your wanderlust.
Thanks for reading our list of 25 must-visit cities in Europe! What is your favorite city in Europe? Let us know in the comments section below.