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
Table of Contents
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 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.
- Read more about Paris
2. 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.
- To see more of Copenhagen check out:
3. Venice, Italy
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.
- Read more about Venice
4. 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.
- Read more about Budapest
5. Florence, Italy
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.
- Read more about Florence
6. 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
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.
- Read more about Barcelona:
8. 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
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
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
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
- Read more about Rome
12. Prague, Czech Republic
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
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
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?
- Read more about London
15. Dublin, Ireland
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.
- Read more about Dublin
16. Amsterdam, Netherlands
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.
- Read more about Amsterdam
17. Stockholm, Sweden
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.
- Read: How to Visit Stockholm on a Budget
- check out another picturesque city in Sweden in our Malmo Itinerary
19. Reykjavik, Iceland
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.
- Read more about Iceland
20. Bologna, Italy
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.)
- Read more about Bologna
21. Berlin, Germany
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
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.
- Read more about Santorini
23. Vienna, Austria
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
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.
- Read more about Bavaria
25. Kyiv, Ukraine
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
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
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.
- Watch our video: Scenes from Romania
29. Seville, Spain
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!
- Check out
30. Helsinki, 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
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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