31 Most Beautiful Cities in Europe to See in 2021

Written By: The Planet D

Enjoy our list of the most beautiful cities in Europe that have actually been to. This is not someone else’s opinion, these are the best European cities that we have visited personally in real life.

We did not pick cities off a press release nor did we copy from another list on the Internet. We’ve seen and experienced all of these cities first hand. That way we can give you an honest opinion.

Yes, there are some European cities that didn’t make the list but we are constantly updating this list each time we visit a new European destination.

It can be difficult to narrow down which are the best cities in Europe to visit on beauty alone.

Most European cities have done an amazing job preserving their buildings and history which plays such a big part in determining where they place on this list.

When it is safe to travel again, What city in Europe will you visit first?

Best Cities in Europe

venice gondolas
One of the most beautiful cities in Europe is Venice, Italy

We most certainly haven’t seen all of Europe, but we wanted to do a round-up of Europe’s most beautiful cities….that we’ve seen so far.

So without further adieu, enjoy our photos and memories of the most beautiful cities in Europe to visit… according to us!

1. Paris, France

Paris is definitely one of the most beautiful cities in Europe
Paris is definitely one of the best cities in Europe

Paris is often considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

It may seem cliché, but Paris will always be the most beautiful city in Europe to us.

No matter how many other cities we see, we still come back to the City of Lights and gaze upon it with wonder and awe.

Walking through the city streets at night is one of our favorite things to do and each time we visit Paris, we never tire of seeing the Eiffel Tower.

With each visit we find more art galleries to explore and we always stumble upon a quiet corner to have a romantic escape.

It is the cornerstone of what makes this city great.

2. Copenhagen, Denmark

Most Beautiful Cities in Europe | Copenhagen, Denmark
One of the. most beautiful cities to visit in Europe is Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen holds a special place in our hearts. This enchanting city is a treat to explore.

With Tivoli Gardens, Nyhavn, The Little Mermaid and an endless stream of canals, Copenhagen definitely deserves to be named one of Europe’s most beautiful cities.

It is like a fairytale to wal around.

3. Venice, Italy

Most Beautiful Cities in Europe | Venice, Italy
One of the Best European Cities to Visit Independently

Venice is one of the best European cities to visit as long as you don’t go on a cruise. Traveling it independently and staying overnight in the city is an amazing experience.

Many people don’t love Venice, but we think it is because they have never stayed there long enough. We spent six days exploring Venice and got lost in its back alleyways.

We would watch cruise lines and bus tours come in for a day and zip right back out before they had a chance to really explore Venice.

Taking boat trips through the canals created a picture perfect experience and enjoying quiet drinks on a bistro terrace felt like a dream.

See what it’s like to see Venice by Private Water Taxi, it was our favourite tour we’ve ever taken.

4. Budapest, Hungary

Most beautiful Cities in Europe | Budapest, Hungary
Most beautiful Cities in Europe: Budapest, Hungary

Budapest is probably the most beautiful city in Europe that’s on the water. Walking over the chain bridge to witness the beauty of Buda and Pest looking back at one another across the Danube is pure perfection. When the lights come on in Budapest, make your way down to the river and take in the splendor of the two cities.

Buy the Book: Secrets of the Smallest Seven States in Europe

5. Florence, Italy

Most Beautiful Cities in Europe Florence
Florence, Italy is a city of Art

Florence is truly a city of art. With every turn you make you will run into sculptures or intricate etching in the architecture.

It’s a city that you can walk slowly through its cobbled streets while enjoying each and every building you lay eyes upon.

The Duomo stands proud in the city center and endless cobblestone streets weave around allowing you to get lost and simply enjoy. See more at Florence in Photos: A City of Art

Make sure to make more than a day trip out of visiting Florence, spend several to really delve into the art and culture of this gorgeous metropolis.

6. Bern, Switzerland

Most Beautiful Cities in Europe Bern, Switzerland
Most Beautiful Cities in Europe: Bern, Switzerland

Bern, Switzerland is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the political center of Switzerland. It doesn’t feel like a political hub though, this city was made for walking.

The walkways of Bern are all covered making for pleasant shopping in any type of weather.

Seeing Bern from the river reinforces our decision of why we included it in our list of the most beautiful cities we’ve ever visited.

7. Barcelona, Spain

Most Beautiful Cities in Europe Barcelona
Barcelona, Spain

The more we visit Barcelona, the more we love it. At first, we weren’t fans of the works of Gaudi, but as we got to know him a bit more, we fell in love with his innovative, colorful and playful architecture.

With a beautiful waterfront, quiet parks, downtown walking streets, and bustling markets, Barcelona is definitely up there as one of the most beautiful and vibrant cities we’ve visited in Europe.

8. Bergen, Norway

Most Beautiful Cities in Europe | Bergen Norway

We think Bergen Norway is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe due to its natural beauty. Surrounded by mountains, it is truly picture perfect. the historic Bryggen Area makes for a picturesque waterfront.

I just want you to know, these cities are not in order. Each city has its own charm and there is no way to choose which one is the most beautiful. But I must say, while we were visiting Bergen, we kept commenting on just how scenic it is. I believe it is definitely the most beautiful city in all of Scandinavia.

We even named our original post about Bergina: Things to do in Norway’s Most Beautiful City

9. Brussels, Belgium

Most Beautiful Cities in Europe | Brussels
Most Beautiful Cities in Europe: Brussels, Belgium.

Brussels was one of the first European cities we’ve ever visited and I will never forget the feeling we had when we finally found the square. We rounded a corner and the sight took our breath away. We visited it again a couple of years ago and the feeling did not fade.

We still think that the square of Brussels is one of the most beautiful squares in all of Europe. It’s art nouveau buildings are some of the best in Europe. In fact, Horta Hotel Tassa was the first building in Europe constructed in the Art Nouveau style. It’s an absolutely beautiful city filled with history and charm.

Often people think Bruges is one of the most beautiful European cities. Check it out and see what you think!

10. Tallinn, Estonia

Most Beautiful Cities in Europe | Tallin

We only managed to pop over to Estonia for a day, but I am so happy that the city we visited was beautiful Tallinn. If you are doing a Scandinavia tour, Tallinn is definitely worth a visit.

Tallinn was surprising. We didn’t really know what to expect when visiting Estonia, but what an interesting country with a very rich history. We can’t wait to go back and see more! With its medieval square, high lookouts and ancient wall, it has everything you need to see when visiting a European City.

If you are traveling through Scandinavia, make sure to add Estonia to your list.

11. Rome, Italy

Most Beautiful Cities in Europe | Rome
Most Beautiful Cities in Europe: Rome, Italy

Rome made the list of beautiful cities because of the way the ancient ruins weave through modern architecture. Rome is a city that has left the Roman history intact. They have incorporated the old Roman architecture into the plans of the city. Modern buildings spring up between ancient monuments and we love it!

Rent or Buy Roman Holiday starring Audrey Hepburn

12. Prague, Czech Republic

Most Beautiful Cities in Europe | Prague
We really fell in love with Prague. Such a beautiful city.

We had often heard that Prague was beautiful and when we first laid eyes on her, she didn’t disappoint. Yes , it is busy and crowded, but if you step out of the main trail, you’ll find quiet spots to grab a bite or a pint.

If you wake up early and walk around the city, you will have it all to yourself. Dave and I were amazed to see that people didn’t really get started until after well after 9:00 am giving us plenty of time to enjoy the beautiful architecture in private.

13. Istanbul, Turkey

Most Beautiful Cities in Europe | Istanbul
Istanbul is such a beautiful city.

When gazing upon the city of Istanbul from our rooftop terrace at night, it is set afire with light. Istanbul is a city with two personalities.

One foot in the West with a European flair and the other foot in the East of Asia. Spanning two continents it is also Europe’s largest city. It is the Eastern influence that makes this city so beautiful. Mosques dot the cityscape as spires peek out from above the skyline.

Visiting Istanbul is a rich cultural experience where East meets West. It’s an enormous city yet it is easy to walk and navigate. If you can make it up the Galata Tower to witness it from above, make sure that you do. You’ll understand why we say it is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.

14. London, England

Most Beautiful Cities in Europe | London

I know we will probably get some flack for putting London in as a beautiful city, but we find it to be stunning. Our favorite part of London was hanging out by the river.

We took water taxis and ferries and took in the beauty of the city from the water. It is filled with memorable and notable architecture. It’s colorful, massive and beautiful. Do you agree? Have you been to the Balkan’s?

15. Dublin, Ireland

beautiful cities dublin

It took me a while to add Dublin to my list of beautiful cities. When I first started compiling this, I only thought of skylines and places that took my breath away.

But after visiting Dublin on several different occasions, I realize that it isn’t just about a skyline of skyscrapers that makes a city beautiful, it’s the culture and people. The River Liffey snakes through the heart of the city and when going for a walk, one can really take in its charm.

Dublin has quiet parks for getaways, castles to explore and an excellent put scene. The more we travel to it, the more beautiful it becomes.

16. Amsterdam, Netherlands

amsterdam canal with boats

Dave and I visited Amsterdam before our travel blogging careers, but it left an impression. Known as the Venice of the North, Amsterdam truly is a city of picturesque canals.

The colorful waterways are perfect for a stroll making it a perfect walking city.

Of course, you can ride a bicycle too! We feel a kinship with Amsterdam’s Liberal values. Being Canadian, we have a lot in common with the people of the Netherlands.

17. Stockholm, Sweden

sweden travel guide

Stockholm was one of our favorite cities in Scandinavia.

Located on the Baltic Sea, the colorful buildings of the old town line the waterfront taking your breath away.

What we love about Scandinavian towns is how there are amusement parks right in the center of the city and Stockholm is no exception with its grounds on the river.

The city is connected with ferries taking visitors to 14 different islands. You won’t forget visiting Stockholm.

19. Reykjavik, Iceland

reykjavik waterfront beautiful cities

Visiting Iceland was a dream come true and its capital city of Reykjavik is beautiful. Reykjavik is one of the smaller cities on our list, but it packs a punch.

Like many of Europe’s beautiful cities, Reykjavik has colorful buildings lining the waterfront, pedestrian avenues and lots of shopping, dining, and nightlife. It is a city that is quintessentially Nordic and when visiting Iceland deserves a couple of days to explore.

20. Bologna, Italy

Most Beautiful Cities in Europe | Bologna
Bologna, Italy. Beautiful food and people.

When we found out we were spending three weeks in Bologna, we were excited. But we didn’t know much about it. It turns out, that Bologna should be added to everyone’s Italian itinerary.

It’s just as beautiful as Florence or Rome but it’s quieter. It has a more local vibe and as you can see it’s absolutely stunning. Bologna even has the highest leaning tower in all of Italy. Move over Pisa, this leaning tower is the real deal. (note, we took this photo from the top of Bologna’s leaning tower.)

21. Berlin, Germany

Cool Berlin

Having only been to Berlin once, we debated if we were allowed to include it in our list of beautiful cities. It’s been filled with so much graffiti over the years, instead of fighting it, it has embraced it. It has turned vandalism into a work of art. The architecture of Berlin is all over the place with a mix of buildings that clash with one another. And that is what makes Berlin Beautiful.

22. Oia, Santorini – Greece

Most-Beautiful-Cities-in-Europe-Santorini
Oia, Santorini. Definitely a beautiful city in Europe.

I debated whether to put Oia, Santorini into this post or not. Is it a city or is it a destination? Should Athens be ahead of Oia, Santorini instead?

The thing is, we didn’t find Athens to be a beautiful city overall. There are beautiful parts of the city, but a lot of it is disjointed. So when choosing a Greek city to add to our most beautiful European Cities list, it was the first place to come to mind. I don’t think there is a more beautiful spot on earth than overlooking the Caldera from the whitewashed buildings of Oia.

23. Vienna, Austria

beautiful cities in europe vienna christmas

We visited Vienna during the holiday season and it is second to none when it comes to Christmas Markets. The city shines with lights and festivities.

Bundle up and drink some mulled wine while you browse the walking streets and outdoor shops. Vienna’s opera house was rebuilt after World War II and is considered one of the most glamorous in the world.

24. Munich, Germany

munich germany

Germany’s Bavaria surprised us. We didn’t expect to love it so much, but it is Europe’s hidden gem. Munich is a city filled with walking streets and squares and it’s perfect to explore by bicycle. Just outside the city is Europe’s largest park and there are plenty of beer halls, beer gardens and don’t forget the famous Glockenspiel located at Marienplatz.

25. Kyiv, Ukraine

beautiful cities in europe kyiv

We traveled to Kyiv while taking part in the Mongol Rally. It was one of the best cities we stopped in during our overland journey from England to Mongolia. It’s filled with Orthodox Churches and cathedrals, wide avenues and lovely ornate buildings all stemming out from Independence Square.

26. Porto, Portugal

beautiful european cities | porto

The Medieval architecture of Porto is a lovely city located on the Douro River. Taking a tram ride through the city takes you back in time. They are designated with a heritage status for tourists to enjoy the historic transportation.

Taking a walk along the bustling waterfront makes for a romantic evening and don’t forget to take the funicular up for panoramic views.

27. Brasov, Romania

brasov square is a beautiful european city

We fell in love with Romania and while the city of Bucharest is lively and exciting, it is the area of Transylvania that stole our hearts. Brasov is filled with walking streets, medieval architecture, and gothic churches. Council Square is one of the best places to hang out in Brasov.

29. Seville, Spain

beautiful cities |seville

We popped into Seville on a road trip through Spain and Italy years ago. That was when we traveled to check off a lot of places at once and we wish we stayed longer!

Something we love about European cities is how they don’t change the historic parts of towns. If you’ve visited them before, they are just as beautiful as they are today.

People have taken note of Seville all over again thanks to Game of Thrones who used this location for the city of Mareen and locations in Dorne. It’s no wonder, Seville is one of the most beautiful places in Europe!

30. Helsinki, Finland

beautiful cities finland

Helsinki was our final stop on our Scandinavian tour and like all the cities we visited, it too was beautiful!

The Helsinki Cathedral is the center point of the city towering over the colorful buildings lining the waterfront.

We love how Scandinavians always have swimming pools right in the heart of the city. Helsinki has a prominent swimming hole at the the canal. The water is so clean!

Like so many cities we love, there’s walking streets, shopping and plenty of bistros and cafes.

31. San Marino

Most Beautiful Cities in Europe San Marino

San Marino is a city and an independent republic in the middle of Italy. It sits high on a hill overlooking possibly the most beautiful view we’ve ever seen from a city. It overlooks the Italian Apennines, rivaling the beauty of Tuscany.

San Marino is the oldest surviving sovereign state in the world and it’s known as the Serene Republic. Serene it is indeed.

Do you have a favourite beautiful city in Europe? Do you think some of our suggestions are downright crazy? We want to know! 

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Europe's most beautiful cities
The Most Beautiful Cities in Europe

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About The Planet D

Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil are the owners and founders of The Planet D. After traveling to 115 countries, on all 7 continents over the past 13 years they have become one of the foremost experts in travel. Being recognized as top travel bloggers and influencers by the likes of Forbes Magazine, the Society of American Travel Writers and USA Today has allowed them to become leaders in their field.

Leave a Comment

151 thoughts on “31 Most Beautiful Cities in Europe to See in 2021”

  1. Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, is an incredibly beautiful city with a mediaeval Old Town and neo-classical New Town separated by the gorgeous Princes Street Gardens.

    Reply
  2. World is so beautiful. I am so lucky that I born on this planet & I thankful my parents they gave birth on the earth.
    I couldn’t go outside India, but through media Imagine the beautiful world.
    Thanks everyone who is trying to bring things up to me.

    Reply
  3. Great list! I’ve been to a little more than half of these.
    Bern and Bergen both sound incredible! Thanks for putting it together

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  4. Frankly, I’ve always thought of London as an impressive city, but not a beautiful one. To me, Paris was built by artists — London was built by bureaucrats. My choice for beautiful city that’s often overlooked is Salzburg, Austria. There’s a palace in the middle of town where scenes from the Sound of Music were filmed, and the major buildings in the old quarter were influenced by classic Italian achitecture. And of course, there’s Mozart and the music …

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  5. Any list is imperfect by definition. In your case, for a start you miss many nice places for not having been to them. And then beauty is a very subjective concept. Nice effort anyway and I am happy to say that I have been to all 31 sites you mention. Plus many others you don’t, like St. Petersburg, Riga, Vilnius, Gdansk, Krakow, Bratislava, Dresden, Salzburg, Annecy, Bruges, Ghent, Edinburgh, Cambridge, Verona, Dubrovnik or Granada.
    All of them worth being in such a list, for me far more than Helsinki, Reykjavik or Dublin, that are interesting places, or call them exotic if you want, but not really beautiful.
    Europe is amazing, and there is no country or region that is not worth a visit.

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  6. Well I’ve only been to 7/31 so far…so I’ve got some traveling to do!

    I lived in Florence for 3-months during University and have been to Prague twice. I highly recommend both cities!

    Copenhagen, Budapest, and Berlin are next up on my list!

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  7. Brussels a beautiful city?
    And Dublin’s skyscrapers adds to its beauty?
    I don’t think I’m on the same page at all with the writer 😀 I prefer cities with old and beuatiful architecture and nice views. Brussels used to have an old town too, but most of it was bombed in WW2, and now it is mostly just a very small part of town that has old architecture.

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  8. Where is Moscow, the unreal, and the iconic city. And where is Amsterdam, the city with flowers and river canals.
    Not just moscow and amsterdam and your listed city is beautiful. Every city of europe is beautiful with their style, place, climate, architecture, people, street and many more.

    Reply
    • Unfortunately we haven’t been to Moscow Personally. We only included cities that we have been to. It’s been a long time since we have been to Amsterdam, but I really should add it to our list, I didnt’ think of it and will definitely do more research. Cheers!

      Reply
      • In that case I will encourage you to visit Spain, because it´s funny there´s only one city on the list from the world´s second most visited country on earth.

  9. Interesting list. If you’re only including cities you have visited (good idea), it would be great if you were to visit Edinburgh, Riga, Vienna, Turin, Bordeaux, Lyon, Toulouse, Lubeck, Bruges, Heidelberg, Munich, Stockholm, Dresden, Leipzig, Bonn, Bratislava and Ljubljana. It would be interesting to see how you rate them.

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    • We haven’t been to Edinburgh personally and only included cities that we have visited. WE have a wonderful guest writer that has written about Edinburgh though and as soon as we do visit, we will be sure to add it!

      Reply
  10. I like your blog but there’s something missing, Lisbon. Budapest is veautiful no doubt but not the most beautiful over the water, that would Lisbon. Visit it asap and see if I’am right….

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  11. MADRID??? It is completely incredulous that Madrid is not pretty much at top of this list – it is infinitely more beautiful and with more cultural depth to it than the vast majority of cities listed here! And to note the one unique aspect of Madrid that no other city in Europe shares: an incredibly deep blue sky almost every single day of the year due to its position as the capital city of highest altitude in Europe!

    Reply
  12. Its subjective what makes a city beautiful. Personally I like authenticity and places that have become less spoiled and wrapped up in globalisation and convenience.

    I love Tallinn, Rome, Budapest and Brussels and they’d probably be in my top 4 in some order.

    Riga is a lovely city with amazing Art Nouveau buildings. and I’d also have space for Ghent and Mechelen. Porto has a beauty to it and Innsbruck, the dramatic mountains surrounding it are stunning. I’d have Stockholm ahead of Copenhagen and someone mentioned Wroclaw which is lovely with all the little gnomes and lots of spires.

    I’d probably include Turin and Verona too, and much overlooked Luxembourg City. A quaint city with plenty of huge business on the outskirts, but a lovely core and valley with some grand buildings and structures.

    I’d also recommend Rovinj in Croatia and finally looking closer to home in Britain…. Bristol is a beautiful city by the waterfront and up in Clifton.

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  13. i can say all european countries are stunning. i pray one day to be lucky and visit europe at least. #help me please any one

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  14. Berlin beautiful!? I live in Berlin. It is an extremely interesting city. No doubt about it! Beautiful? Nah! However, nearby Potsdam is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. London beautiful? Must be a joke! European cities like Urbino, Perugia or Susdal are true pleasures for our sore eyes. London and Berlin are just famous, big and capitals.

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    • Berlin is wonderfully beautiful from Museum Island, around Unter den Linden then on to the fabulous Tiergarten and Zoo.

      Reply
  15. Agree with the most of your picks. But Definitely will change London with Viena . .. . Viena is one of the most beatiful pearls in the world. London ..well, London is definitely a must for visit but beatiful ..is too strong statement.

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  16. Surprised Edinburgh isn’t on the list.

    Even more surprised that San Marino and Santorini are. They’re both beautiful, but they arent cities. You could put my living room on the list – it’s beautiful and also isn’t a city.

    Reply
    • We haven’t been to Edinburgh so I can’t include it. This isn’t’ a list based on photographs from the Internet, it is a list based on where we have visited. I would love to see it one day though, and I am sure I will add it when I do.
      I actually stated that I debated Santorini, but then decided to go with Oia because it is so beautiful. It is the one place in Europe that literally took my breath away.
      San Marino is a republic, but the city of San Marino is the capital city of the republic. And it is beautiful. It’s a small city, but it is still a city.

      Reply
  17. Simply want to say your article is as astonishing. The clearness in your put up is just cool and i could think you are a professional in this subject. Well along with your permission let me to take hold of your feed to keep up to date with drawing close post. Thanks 1,000,000 and please carry on the rewarding work.

    Reply
    • We have since visited Berlin and agree. It’s not the typical beautiful city, but it is eclectic and filled with energy. So we added it to the list now that we have visited. Cheers

      Reply
  18. In my opinion i’d go with madrid,paris,rome,milan,lisbon,venice,berlin,london,brussels,barcelona as my top 10…i love the madrid city

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    • We have yet to visit Madrid, Milan, or Lisbon, but I hear they are beautiful. I can’t wait to get back to Europe to see them in person. Then I will be able to update this list!

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    • When we visit Lisbon I am sure we’ll add it. We haven’t been personally, but we have had some other bloggers write guest posts for us about it and they say it is beautiful. I can’t wait to see it in person.

      Reply
  19. WOW, EXCELLENT…
    I LOVED BUDAPEST… LOOK HOW BEAUTIFUL IS THE NIGHT VIEW… IT JUST LOOK AWESOME…
    IT LOOK SO RICH AND BEAUTIFUL…
    THANK YOU FOR SHARING THESE 17 MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACES IN EUROPE…
    KEEP POSTING AWESOME POSTS LIKE THIS…

    Reply
    • That is because we didn’t spend enough time there, we were there for a short time a few years ago for a conference. For this post, we only shared where we had been personally.

      Reply
    • We can’t wait to visit Edinburgh. We have been to Amsterdam, but it was before we owned a digital camera. I wanted to include only places we’ve been to personally and could post a photo to go with hit. I’ll have to dig one out because yes, Amsterdam is beautiful.

      Reply
  20. Hi Dave & Deb,

    Amazing choices! I been to Venice, Rome and Florence on my honeymoon and Barcelona, Granada, Seville and Madrid for our first anniversary this year, I think I am in LOVE with Europe. 🙂
    Need some help to decide which other cities I can cover in Feb 2015 in 10 days.

    Reply
  21. Not sure if anyone else has mentioned it but Salzburg is almost impossibly picturesque.

    But Europe has so many stunningly beautiful cities it’s almost unfair to rate them. Still, I thought I’d try! So here’s my list of the ten most beautiful European cities I’ve visited:
    -Salzburg
    -Vienna
    -Prague
    -Krakow
    -St Petersburg
    -Riga
    -Amsterdam
    -Bruges
    -Salamanca
    -Florence

    Reply
    • You are right. So many beautiful cities I. Europe. We didn’t spend enough time in Salzburg but would love to go back and really discover it. Thanks for sharing your list!

      Reply
    • Thanks for sharing. WE haven’t been to Krakow, St. Petersburg, Riga or Salamanca. Can’t wait to see them and add them to the list!

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  22. Great post! I’m glad you included Budapest, it’s often overlooked but it’s one of the most beautiful cities in the world! Yet I disagree with Barcelona being in the list, there are so many cities in Spain much more beautiful than Barcelona like Seville! Plus including Barcelona and not Madrid (which in my opinion is way more beautiful than BCN) would be like including Reims but not Paris, or Birmingham and not London… I would really recommend to visit Madrid if you haven’t yet. The list is great otherwise, Europe is such a fascinating continent!

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  23. I live in Budapest and a lot has changed since 1999, the city can hardly compare to now begin with a huge investment in the restoration of pre-war Castle which is the greatest spectacle will be in Budapest

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  24. This is well-sorted list of beautiful cities in the Europe. However, I do feel that cities like Vienna and St. Petersberg should have been included in the list. I have been to St. Petersburg, I loved the Russian architecture there, they are really a treat for the art lovers. I strongly feel the city should have featured in your list of beautiful European cities, but then Europe has so many beautiful cities that compiling a list is really difficult.

    http://www.travelspec.com

    Reply
    • Thanks for the heads up! We haven’t been to St. Petersberg yet, but it’s definitely on our list and I’m sure we’ll be adding it to another list when we see it with our own eyes

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  25. Beauty is so subjective, but you’ve managed to include my top 3 picks – Paris (my spiritual home), Barcelona, which would probably be my favorite if I spoke Spanish or Catalan, and Istanbul – my current crush. All very different, but vibrant, stunning to look at and deeply proud of their cultures

    Reply
  26. Krakow is definitely one of my favourite European cities and like a lot of Eastern Europe, it’s pretty underrated. To me, the juxtaposition of the largely rundown Jewish quarters with the fairytale like Old Town is extremely interesting. I spent nearly 3 months in Poland a couple of years ago and loved every minute of it!

    This is a great list! Paris, Barcelona & London are some of my other top European cities too 🙂

    Reply
    • We have heard that Krakow is beautiful. I hope to go one day. We only included places we’ve visited, but when we go, I’m sure it will be added.

      Reply
  27. I love this post is a tribute for Europe, but Valencia should be in the list before Barcelona (Valencia is more authentic), instead of Brussels should be Bruges (for me Bruges is very beautiful) and I think Lisbon should be in the list.

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    • Great additions. We have been to Valencia and I didn’t think of it. I’ll look through my photos again. We have not been to Bruges, but have always wanted to go.

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  28. Great list, lots of wonderful cities I still have to visit.
    My top 10 European cities list would also include: Porto, Valencia and Lisbon.

    Reply
    • Great additions. We’ve been to Porto and Valencia, we’ll have to revisit our photos and take a look at them. Porto was only a short 3 day trip for a conference, so I don’t think we gave it the attention it deserves.

      Reply
  29. Nice summary of europe 🙂 For me the best city in Barcelona. I really love Spain and the people in Barcelona are friendly all the time. Furthermore there are a lot of inhabitants from middle and south america. Awesome mix of cultures 🙂

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  30. They are really 13 amazing cities to visit. This year I’m on my way to Barcelona and I must say your picture looks more than promising.

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  31. Great post Dave and Deb. Since there are still countries in Europe I haven’t visited yet. This post is very helpful for me for specific destinations for my travelling plan.

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  32. An amazing place with such natural delights. I will surely plan my upcoming vacation to this place. thanks for posting nice views.

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  33. Amazing pictures and some of the cities I’ve been to. Wish I had spent more time in Florence than in Rome though.

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  34. Okay, there are 3 cities on your list I haven’t visited. Obviously I’m falling down on the job of touring Italy because I missed San Marino and Bologna. The other city I haven’t visited is Brussels – except to whiz through on the train. Back to Europe I go! PS Astounding photos as usual.

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  35. I adored the Italian cities of Rome and Venice. Your photos are stunning! I should make the effort to learn HDR photography this summer. Always loved seeing the effects, but I never learned the technique.

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  36. Your pictures are beautiful. I don’t know what HDR is but I think it’s great.
    I’ve traveled a lot with my daughter throughout Europe and loved it all.
    Spain and Portugal are high on my list. Did love London because of all the
    history. Spent some time in Shanghai, China. It’s so crowded but loved all the
    temples and the parks. They do have a lot of green spaces. Get to go to
    Latvia in November. Looking forward to that and traveling to all the countries
    near by.

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    • Thanks Deanna. HDR Is a process that takes several different exposures of one scene and then you blend the photos together. The human eye sees all the exposures at once, but normally a camera can only focus on one, so if there is a blue sky and rich green scenery, you only see one or the other in a photograph. With HDR, you see it all.
      We loved Shanghai too. We’re going to have to do the best cities around the world one day soon,but we’re lacking in our South America travels, We’ve only been to Peru and Ecuador on that continent so once we get more SA cities, we’ll have to do a round up. I think we can do Asian cities though easily, I believe we’ve seen most of them. You’ve got me thinking 🙂

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  37. I think that Prague is probably the most beautiful city in the entire world, let alone Europe! I’d also argue that Madrid, Granada and Lisbon should make the list. I’ve just moved to Riga, Latvia and, from what I’ve seen so far, this place is also quite stunning. That’s the trouble with Europe – every place you visit is more charming than the last!

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    • Great choices Heather. We didn’t spend enough time in Lisbon. We were only there a couple of days, and although it was pretty walking in the old town, I don’t think we got to see it from the proper vantage point. I must go back. Ooh, we haven’t been to Latvia yet, you must keep us posted how it is. I’ll keep checking out your blog for updates!

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  38. I beleive Athens should be in the list too.Just came back from there and was awsome.The places to visit were just numberless.Visited almost every place seen in a video guides’ site (http://www.myathens.tv/en/ if you are interested which site was it) . Cheers!

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  39. Aw, thanks for the shout-out guys! And I agree. Grand Place still takes my breath away even after 9 years of living here.

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  40. INDEED!!!!! Paris is the most beautiful city EVER!!!! Summed up in one word: MESMORIZING.
    It may also be considered the sexiest city in the world:)

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  41. Not sure about Budapest and Bern. Although Budapest looks very good on “paper”, I got there during a heat wave in 1999. It was hot, humid, smelly (everybody smoked), people were unfriendly, and I almost got pick-pocketed while trying to get that night view from the bridge. As you say, experiences are subjective. Bern has a nice view from that high point above the river, but because of the covered walkways, your views are often limited. I was in Brussels for the first time less than two weeks ago and the Grand Place is definitely impressive!

    Beautiful cities not on your list: Dubrovnik, Ljubljana, Lisbon, Salzburg, Lyon
    European cities I really want to visit next: Prague, Berlin, Krakow, Seville, Istanbul. So many places! 🙂

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    • A heat wave can turn off almost everone 🙂 1999 is a lot different than today too. Everybody smoked in Toronto in 1999 as well. I din’t really notice the smokers and I’m quite sensitive to it, so maybe it’s not so bad anymore. Italy and Spain is where I noticed a lot of smoking still going on. It’s funny, the covered walkways are what I love about Bern 🙂 Glad we agree on Grand Place! We’ve been to Croatia, but didn’t get to Dubrovnik, I can see it being beautiful as the smaller cities we visited there were lovely. Cheers!

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  42. Absolutely fantastic imagery to represent each of these incredible cities. I’m making Budapest my 8th out of those 13 later this year. Fingers crossed to add Istanbul and Bologna within the next year too! Happy travels.

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    • Fantastic and thank you! We hope you enjoy Budapest. It is really a beautiful city. And Istanbul is so unique you are going to love it as well. We traveled from Istanbul to Budapest when we went. Maybe you’ll be able to go from Budapest to Istanbul 🙂

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  43. Wow what a great list, I can’t wait to explore Europe more. I have visited a few on your list but that was when I worked on cruise ships and you get such a small amount of time in port its hard to really discover the best, hidden parts of a city. Stunning pics as always – I can’t wait to see these sights for myself.

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    • What a great way to see the world! Working on a cruise ships gives you a taste of everything and then you can go back later to explore in depth. Appreciate the comment!

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  44. Nice list! I totally agree with Rome, Barcelona and Prague, my favourites! Have you been to Oslo or other cities in Norway yet? I think you will like Norway, with it’s mountains and fjords, midnight sun and northern lights.

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    • We haven’t been to Oslo yet. We’re hoping to get more Scandinavia travel under our belt next year. (fingers crossed) I have a feeling this list will change a lot over the years as we explore more.

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  45. I remember the first time I went to Europe I actually considered skipping Paris as I was worried it was too cliché. What a mistake that would have been. Paris truly is the world’s most beautiful city, although I do have a soft spot in my soul for Madrid 🙂

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    • It’s true isn’t it Mike? Even after visiting so many European Cities, we still love Paris. We haven’t truly explored Madrid yet, so we’ll have to get back and explore some more.

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    • I know! we didn’t make it to Dubrovnik when we were in Croatia. But judging from the parts of the country we visited, I bet it is beautiful. We visited Rijeka and the islands of Rab, Krk and and Cres. The towns on these islands were absolutely beautiful and we nearly considered including one of them but thought that they probably weren’t large enough.

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  46. Sometimes I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I love Venice because so many people complain that it’s too touristy. It’s definitely crowded – particularly if you stick to the big sites – but, for me, it still has this magical feeling about it that even the crowds can’t take away.

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    • I know how you feel Jessica. We love Venice and Paris and many people think that you have to go for the more obscure choices, but there’s a reason these places have always been so popular. They are beautiful! Same with us, even the crowds are ok. getting lost in the back streets is a wonderful way to escape them.

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    • Great choices! We forgot about Monaco. I think it is only because we simply drove through it quickly. We wanted to say that we popped into see it, but didn’t spend enough time exploring. We’ve got to get to Dubrovnik. We loved Croatia and hear it is beautiful.

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  47. I am on your blog after a while and I’m happy to be treated with gorgeous photos of Europe! My personal favorites are cities in Italy. I’m not sure about Paris, because I have heard it is getting dirty and too much of construction going on.

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    • Thanks Renuka! Hopefully you’ll be able to give Paris a try and see what you think. Some people love it some people hate it. I think either way, people always have a strong opinion of the city.

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  48. I have to agree with Lucas. I have been following your blog for years, but the excessive use of HDR in travel photography has gotten excessive. When I want to think dream and learn about travel, I want to see what things REALLY look like. I respect HDR as an art form, but I don’t think it should be a default for travel photojournalism. The surreal approach is a turn off (and at the end of the day appears to be the tool of a weak photographer – which I know you are not as you have posted some other lovely pictures). But the majority of your 11 here are posted as HDR and I think that does a disservice to the beauty of these actual cities. Maybe consider taking a break?

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    • Thanks for your comment Alyssa and I am sorry that you feel that way about HDR in travel photography. I have personally found it a great way to increase my creativity around the places that we visit. For some it works for others it does not. HDR is certainly not the only type of photography I practice as you can see if you have a look though other posts and our gallery. As for your comment that HDR is the tool of a weak photographer this is applying a broad stroke to the subject. I know quite a few wonderful and successful travel photographers that use HDR in a lot of their work and that would beg to differ with your opinion. As I replied to Lucas above, photography is an art and therefore based on personal taste. As far as doing a disservice to these places I think you may have blown that a little out of proportion. If you look around there are millions of photos of each destinations on the net. These are just our interpretation of them. Beauty after all is in the eye of the beholder 🙂
      Thank you again for your comment and I hope you will continue to read and visit The Planet D.

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  49. Yes those are some of my favorite cities because they are so photo worthy and too many incredible places to visit with scenic vistas and amazing views.

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  50. Love the list could only imagine how difficult it was to pick top 10. I know Dublin didn’t make top 10 but look at competition, maybe next trip go the city park “Phoenix Park” where you will find 10 square miles of park land including Dublin zoo, presidents house, US embassy and papal cross among the wild deer.

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    • I know eh. We had Dublin on the list. It’s definitely in our top 12. I think Dublin can go down as one of the coolest cities in Europe. That’s where we’d place it alongside Berlin.

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  51. Brussels is an under-appreciated city. I hear far too many people dismiss it–but it is gorgeous. (Just got back from Amsterdam–also beautiful, Ruby).

    And, wow, your photo of Casa Batllo is way better than any I took.

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  52. Great list (and pictures)!! I completely agree with Paris – it seems cliche, but no European city can top Paris in my option either! I personally would have swapped Bruges for Brussels, but there are so many beautiful cities in Europe, hard to narrow it down to 10!

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    • Thanks Helen. I know exactly how you feel. We wrote this post because we were having such joyous conversations about our times in Europe, we started making a little list as we talked and said, let’s share!

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  53. I recently visited Prague, Budapest and Vienna. Each city was beautiful but Budapest in night was something magical. I never knew a city can look so different in day and night. River cruise in Danube was the highlight of my trip. Hope to see rest of cities in above list in upcoming years 🙂

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    • Ah yes, Vienna. We had thought about including it, but it just didn’t do for us what it has done for others. I think I must go back and give it another try. Sometimes a city can grow on you after another visit. I agree as well about the Danube. The first time we were in Budapest, we didn’t cruise the Danube, we just walked along the riverfront, but when we went a second time and saw it from the river, it was even more outstanding.

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  54. *Sigh* what a terrific feature and beautiful pics thanks SO much 🙂 PS London always deserves a spot, you are right!

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    • Thank you! I’m glad you agree with London, we thought it was beautiful, but I know that everyone has different tastes.

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  55. I have been to many places on this list and agree with most! We visited Budapest in April and were blown away by its beauty especially at night as you mentioned. We have also just returned from Dublin which is also beautiful. I do love Hamburg though after I spent sometime on work experience there whilst at university and also Moscow with st Basil’s and the metro is an amazing sight. Visiting krakow later in the year and as mentioned I have heard it is very nice. Have to give a shout out to Edinburgh too. Prague is also one of my favourite places in Europe. Nice list! 🙂

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    • Hi Nic, great addition about Dublin. We almost put in on the list. We were just there last month and loved it. We found it to be a bit like Berlin, a very cool city with a fun hip vibe, but it wasn’t the traditionally beautiful city we were thinking of. I can understand why you’d add it though, we had a bit of a discussion about it. We have yet to visit Hamburg, but I have heard it is beautiful. We love the conversation it is sparking about what cities are beautiful and which ones are not, it raises our wanderlust even more. We’re going to see Edinburgh in October, can’t wait! And Moscow has been a dream of ours for quite some time. Thanks for sharing!

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  56. Galway, Edinburgh and Berlin would make my list. Brussels wouldn’t make my top 100 and London would be just outside top 10. Otherwise I agree, good choices!

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    • Galway is nice too. Good choice, maybe we should have taken a closer look at things when we were there. We haven’t been to Edinburgh but are going in October. Hopefully we’ll feel the same way. Berlin is definitely the coolest city in Europe. For us it is not the most beautiful of them all, but definitely the hippest and coolest of them all for sure. We loved it too!

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    • We have been to Lisbon, but only spent a couple of days there. WE didn’t get to explore it as much as we would have liked. Hopefully we’ll have more time there in the future and it can make it.

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  57. Beautiful photos! Agree with all nominations except for Brussels, never enjoyed it there…probably cause I’ve been there too much for work.

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    • Ah yes, when you spend too much time at a place for work it can turn you off. I think Brussels stays with us because we saw it on one of our first trips to Europe and we were blown away by the square then. It has a special place in our hearts.

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  58. Europe is a very beautiful place and these are some very nice pictures. Thank you for sharing this as I believe traveling will help you live longer as you enjoy this beautiful world.

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    • Ferrara we a great town and it nearly made the list. There are so many beautiful cities in Italy. We loved Ferrara too but it just didn’t quite make it. But definitely in the top 20 for us. 🙂

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    • Thanks Sophie, we haven’t been to Bergen, but we’ll definitely check it out. We’ll be doing more of Europe this year, so we’ll have to do a follow up piece next year for sure as we add more. We’ll keep it always to 13 so we’ll have to either take away.

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    • Thanks for stopping by Lucas. HDR is not for everyone and I don’t use it all of the time. One of the things that I love about photography is that it is subjective. What one person likes perhaps another doesn’t. I hope you have been able to peruse our gallery and enjoy some of the other images we have posted.

      Cheers,

      Dave

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  59. I’ve been to several of these cities and I agree wholeheartedly with them being on the list.

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  60. Europe is the best! It has many nice places to visit. My target ones are the Venice and Paris. 🙂

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