With so many amazing countries to explore in Europe where do you start when choosing an itinerary and planning a trip? In this article you will find bucket list inspiration for 29 of the most beautiful cities in Europe.
This article is a collaboration with travel bloggers from around the world -each sharing their choice of Europe’s prettiest city. Discover what to see and do, useful information and practical tips about each of these beautiful European cities.
Our aim is to inspire you to make your future European travel dreams a reality.
- Prague – Czech Republic
- Florence – Italy
- Funchel – Madeira
- Oslo – Norway
- Dubrovnik – Croatia
- Paris – France
- Dublin – Ireland
- Istanbul – Turkey
- Kotor – Montenegro
- Reykjavik – Iceland
- Athens – Greece
- Strasbourg – France
- Tallinn – Estonia
- Ljubljana – Slovenia
- Barcelona – Spain
- Lucerne – Switzerland
- Amsterdam – The Netherlands
- Bath – England
- Split – Croatia
- Rome – Italy
- Valletta – Malta
- Berlin – Germany
- London – England
- Copenhagen – Denmark
- Budapest – Hungary
- Salzburg – Austria
- Venice – Italy
- Edinburgh – Scotland
- Bergen – Norway
29 beautiful cities in Europe for your bucket list
Prague – Czech Republic
For years, Prague has been overlooked by tourists in favour of more famous European cities. No more. People have realised that this picturesque city is not only affordable but is rich with history, has a vibrant arts scene and an electrifying night life.
Prague is the capital of the Czech Republic and dates back to 870 A.D. It has survived invasions, political turmoil, fires and devastating floods. Today, its castles, cathedrals and Old Town are irresistible for those looking for fairytale charm.
Don’t miss Prague Castle, a 9th century complex that still functions as the office for the President of the Czech Republic. Also, visit the Charles Bridge — a medieval, statue-lined stone bridge that crosses the Vtlava River. Fans of the Beatles should seek out The Lennon Wall — an ever-evolving tribute to John Lennon.
Read more – A Guide to Visiting Prague
Florence – Italy
In 59 B.C., when Julius Caesar needed a settlement for his veteran soldiers, he picked a lovely spot tucked in between two rivers in the hills of Tuscany. That spot would later be named Florence — those veterans couldn’t have done much better.
Today, Florence is known as a center for Renaissance art and architecture, museums, monuments and world-renowned culinary delights. The shopping and nightlife are very much worth exploring as well. No matter what you’re doing, make sure to stop and savor the legendary Florence sunsets.
The Uffizi Gallery, home to many masterpieces, was established in 1581 and is one of the world’s oldest art museums. No trip to Florence would be complete without seeing Michelangelo’s David. It’s housed in the Accademia Gallery with other famous statues and sculptures.
Also, make time to visit the Palazzo Pitti, the palatial former home of the powerful Medici family.
Read more – What to do and see in Florence
Funchel – Madeira
Funchal is the capital of the Portuguese island Madeira located in the Atlantic Ocean. This charming town is definitely one of the prettiest cities in Europe with lots of history, cute cobbled streets, lush gardens and stunning ocean views throughout the city.
Funchal is the perfect central base to explore Madeira Island from with all the facilities around you. It is a city where young and old feel at home in a peaceful environment with the mix of beautiful old buildings, a rich history and trendy new restaurants and cafes.
Most people come to Madeira to enjoy the wonderful nature. Besides all the amazing things to do in Funchal such as visiting the Botanical Gardens, the Farmers Market and Blandys Wine museum, you are only 30 minutes away from some of the most stunning views of the island.
Go to Pico do Arieiro to see a magical sunrise above the clouds, or hike the Ponta de São Lourenço trail for some amazing rugged coastal views.
Chosen by Ilse of Digital Travel Couple
Oslo – Norway
Oslo is definitely worthy of being on a list as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and one of the most popular capital cities in Europe as it harmoniously combines nature, old architecture, and modern masterpieces.
The capital of Norway is an old city founded approximately in 1049. While it’s old, it may appear young and extremely modern to the eye with areas like Bjørvika (‘Barcode’), Tjulvholmen, Aker Brygge, and more. One of the most famous buildings in Oslo is the Operhuset (Opera House) which was built by architecture firm Snøhetta in 2008.
There are many things possible to do in Oslo during all-seasons such as cross country skiing, snowboarding, cafe hopping, and taking a boat fjord tour. There are also plenty of city walking tours and ways to experience the nightlife in Oslo.
Another great place to visit in beautiful Oslo is the ski jump in Holmenkollen located at the top of the city. The massive construction hosted many Olympic Winter Events over the decades and is still the training center for many world-class athletes.
Also, don’t miss out on the many Oslo fjord tours that will take you to Bygdøy, where many of the best museums in Oslo are located. This is truly one of the best and most beautiful cities in Europe!
Chosen by Megan of Megan Starr
Dubrovnik – Croatia
When making a list of the ten most beautiful cities in Europe, Dubrovinik must be a contender. Recently, it came to favour because it was featured in HBO’s Game of Thrones as the location for Kings Landing.
They picked a perfect place because Dubrovnik, a small Croatian city that juts into the Adriatic Sea, looks like a movie set. Its ancient walls, limestone architecture and seaside setting make it uniquely romantic.
Back in the 7th century, known then as Ragusa, it was a destination for those fleeing barbarians, thus they constructed defensive walls. Today, Dubrovinik attracts millions of people each year.
While you’re there, make sure to explore the Old Town — one of the best preserved medieval cities in the world. The city’s walls and medieval city gates are must-dos as well.
Read more – Guide to visiting Dubrovnik
Paris – France
Paris is unquestionably (as reflected in many quotes) one of the world’s most romantic cities. It began as a humble Celtic settlement around 259 B.C. and wasn’t known as “Paris” until the 4th century.
Whether it’s the cobblestone streets, the photogenic bridges or the French Classical architecture, there’s no disputing that Paris is one of the most picturesque cities in Europe.
It’s also an art lover’s paradise. If you get tired of the Louvre, the world’s largest art museum, head to the Musée d’Orsay. Fashion is the lifeblood of Paris, so be sure to take a peek into some of the world’s finest clothiers.
Food? Whether it’s a simple croissant for breakfast, a Salad Verte at a bistro for lunch or a perfectly cooked steak for your evening meal, you won’t find better food anywhere on earth.
There’s so much to see, but don’t miss The Eiffel Tower, the Champs Elysees or a day trip to Versailles from your Paris bucket list!
Read more – Visiting Paris for the first time
Dublin – Ireland
One of the prettiest cities in Europe is Dublin. A city with a long and rich city, there are so many beautiful parts of the city to enjoy. Whether you have 3 days in Dublin or a week, you will find so many things to see and do that fitting it all in will be your only problem.
Dublin appeals to everyone, from foodies who can enjoy its vibrant food scene, to history buffs who will love the stories from Kilmainham Gaol, the State Apartments in Dublin Castle or the cathedrals of Christ Church and St Patrick. Literary fans will be thrilled to visit the city of James Joyce and can view the Book of Kells in Trinity College.
Nature lovers can enjoy the beauty of Dublin along its Grand Canal, the Georgian squares of Merrion Square and St Stephen’s Green or the wide open spaces with deer in the Phoenix Part.
No matter your interests, Dublin is a great place to visit in Europe and there are pretty corners of it dotted across the city, where you can even escape the hustle and bustle.
Chosen by Cath of Travel Around Ireland
Istanbul – Turkey
Istanbul, the megacity that straddles Europe and Asia, is a magical meeting place of culture, food and remarkably hospitable and generous people.
The Old City with it’s wealth of ancient historical sites gives one a glimpse into antiquity. On the opposite bank of Bosphorus Strait the wide boulevards and palatial homes of Beyoğlu and Beşiktaş are more reminiscent of Paris and London in the 19th century. The Asian side of the city has beautiful seaside residential neighborhoods fronted by majestic wooden summer homes and a slower pace of life.
The challenge that faces any visitor to this vibrant and multi-cultural city is trying to balance sightseeing with experiencing the culture and the people.
The best way to combine a love of history, culture and food is by taking an organized food tour where participants are able to sample local delicacies from vendors who have plied their trade for generations. Try an authentic local breakfast in Beşiktaş or sample sheep’s head in Üsküdar’s wet market.
Istanbul has a very vibrant and well-organized tourism industry and tickets for the major attractions may be purchased online or accessed through an Istanbul Tourist Pass.
Attractions in the Old City that should not be missed include Hagia Sofia, Basilica Cistern, Topkapi Palace and The Blue Mosque. Also, the delights of the Grand Bazaar and Spice Bazaar would make any serious shopper blissfully happy if they know how to haggle.
Dolmabahçe Palace on the Besiktas side of the city is a magnificently preserved European styled palace where visitors gawk over the enormous chandeliers and the beautiful marble hamams. A dinner cruise on the Bosphorus is a lovely way to unwind and see the city from a different perspective.
Chosen by Razena of Tantalise my Tastebuds
Kotor – Montenegro
Montenegro is a small country and formerly part of Yugoslavia. It is breathtakingly beautiful – filled with sheer mountains, medieval villages and small strips of beaches.
Kotor is a town found on the Bay of Kotor. It is most well known for Kotor Old Town.
Kotor Old Town is a charming medieval city built between the 12th and 14th centuries. It is a Unesco World Heritage site that is completely surrounded by fortified walls. Once you enter through its gates, you find yourself in a pedestrian only zone with winding cobblestone paths, and lots of medieval architecture and historic monuments to explore.
Kotor Old Town would appeal to anyone that likes to immerse themselves in history, and enjoy great restaurants and shopping. Most restaurants and bars have outdoor patios where you can enjoy a fantastic meal or a glass of wine, and do some fun people watching.
Kotor is also well placed for anywho who wishes to explore Montenegro. One of the best places to go is Lake Skadar National Park, the largest lake in Southern Europe. This is only 65 km away and is a stunningly beautiful day trip from Kotor.
Chosen by Nicole of Go Far Grow Close
Reykjavik – Iceland
Reykjavik is a fascinating city. As capital cities go, it is pretty small with a population of just 200,000. Being so small, it is somewhere that you can explore easily on foot.
There are so many things to do in Reykjavik from visiting museums to wandering around the brightly coloured neighbourhoods to being social with the locals in the hot tubs at the municipal swimming pool.
The must-see sights in Reykjavik are Hallgrimskirkja, a large modern church which resides at the top of a hill overlooking Reykjavik with the most incredible views from the top of its bell tower and the Sun Voyager which strongly resembles a Viking ship but is, in fact, an ode to the sun. This is best visited at sunset when the light catches the gleaming metal structure.
Reykjavik is a very cultural city with a fantastic foodie scene. Whilst many of the things to do in Reykjavik can be enjoyed without spending excessively, eating out is a different matter. Contrary to popular belief, Iceland can be visited on a budget, but not if you want to eat out at the best restaurants in town.
Many people use Reykjavik as a base to discover other parts of Iceland, but it should be regarded as a destination in its own right and is perfect for a weekend break for couples, families or solo travellers.
Chosen by Jacquie from Flashpacking Family
Athens – Greece
Athens is a popular city to visit as it has two characters; the modern shops, markets, and nightlife and the archaeological treasures of the ancient city. Athens is easy to explore on foot and using the Metro and this makes it popular with visitors of all ages.
The Acropolis is the ‘must-see’. Get an early start to beat the crowds. This ancient citadel is perched on a rocky outcrop and includes the iconic Parthenon. Odeon Herodes Atticus, Ancient Agora, and Hadrian’s Arch are some of the other key monuments to see. The contemporarily-styled Archaeological Museum reveals the wealth and power of the ancient city.
There is the colorful Central Market and flea market in Monastiraki to enjoy. Choose a walking tour focusing on history, art, or local food and wine. Syntagma Square is great for coffee and to watch the Changing of the Guard ceremony and it is fun to stroll through the Plaka neighborhood.
For relaxing moments, there are the National Gardens and excursions to Lake Vouliagmeni, Glyfada Beach, and the Temple of Poseidon (Sounio). There are electric bikes to rent and stylish spas for treatments. Dinner on a rooftop overlooking the floodlit Acropolis is spectacular.
Chosen by Chrysoula of Athens and Beyond
Strasbourg – France
Strasbourg is a charming city in the Alsace region of France that will appeal to travellers who appreciate historic sites, cobblestone streets, and attractive architecture.
Many of the city’s tourist attractions are conveniently located in the Old Town, a historic district that’s packed with half-timbered buildings and surrounded by the picturesque Ill River. The district is compact and easy to explore on foot, so all the main sites can be enjoyed even with only one day in Strasbourg.
An unmissable attraction is the Strasbourg Cathedral, a Gothic treasure looming large over the heart of the city. Inside the cathedral is an impressive astronomical clock that welcomes the noon hour with quite the show.
Other things to see and do include enjoying a meal at one of the outdoor cafes, going on a boat trip around the Grand Île, and admiring the 16th and 17th century architecture in the Petite France neighbourhood.
Chosen by Rhonda of Travel Yes Please
Tallinn – Estonia
Tallinn is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. It is becoming increasingly popular with young, hip travelers and has a really chill vibe.
The main attraction in Tallinn is exploring the old town There are tons of shops and restaurants to explore, and you can even climb to the top of one of the gate towers that stood at the entrance to the city.
If you’re short on time, the two other attractions you need to check out are Kadriug Park, which is home to a castle, art museum, and the president’s house and the Estonia Open Air Museum where you can learn how Estonians lived hundreds of years ago.
There is more to Estonia that just Tallinn, and if you have an extra day in the city, consider taking a day trip to Pärnu. It is a small costal town two hours away that shows you a different side of the country.
Chosen by Erica Riley of Travels with Erica
Ljubljana – Slovenia
If Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, isn’t on your list of must-see European cities, it should be. It has been settled in a curve of the Ljubljanica River since 400 B.C. and is now Slovenia’s largest city.
The Old Town is a traffic-free area which is one of the best preserved medieval towns in Europe. The Old Town contrasts dramatically with Ljubljana’s modern commercial center that has bustling shopping complexes and businesses.
With its sprawling green spaces, Renaissance, Baroque and Art Nouveau architecture, museums and art scene, there is truly something in Ljubljana to satisfy everyone.
Visit the Ljubljana Castle, a formidable medieval structure perched on a hilltop over the city. Tivoli Park is toward the west and is the largest green space in Ljubljana.
The National Museum of Slovenia and the Museum of Modern Art are also well worth visiting.
Read more – Guide to visiting Ljubljana
Barcelona – Spain
Barcelona is a beautiful city with world-famous architecture and lively beaches, perfect for anyone from backpackers to honeymooners. The city has amazing weather perfect for enjoying some time on the beach. There is a strong food culture including the well know tapas restaurants and delicious churros with hot chocolate.
One of the main attractions in Barcelona is the architecture of Antoni Gaudí including the Church of Colònia Güell, Park Güell, and most well known, the Basílica de la Sagrada Família.
One of the main attractions in Barcelona is the architecture of Antoni Gaudí including the Church of Colònia Güell, Park Güell, and most well known, the Basílica de la Sagrada Família.
The basilica has been in construction since 1882 and is planned to be finished in 2026. The interior is unlike any other church with colorful glass lighting up the hall that changes depending on the time of day you visit.
When you aren’t touring these wonders, spend some time strolling Barri Gòtic, the Gothic Quarter. You’ll find a glimpse into the middle ages with a maze of narrow cobblestone streets and small cafes and boutiques.
The area has several museums including the Picasso Museum and the Museu d’Historia de Barcelona. Watch the best Spanish TV shows and Spanish movies on Netflix.
Chosen by Dan Bagby of Honeymoon Always
Lucerne – Switzerland
In 840, what began as a small, mediaeval settlement on the shores of the River Reuss has today become Lucerne, one of the prettiest places in Europe and one of the most beautiful cities in Switzerland.
Originally, all it had were a few houses and the Benedictine Abbey of Saint Leodegar. Today, it has blossomed into a popular destination in central Switzerland with 82,000 residents.
It looks as though it has been ripped from the pages of a storybook. Imagine covered bridges, tidy squares with fountains and quaint architecture, all in the shadow of the Swiss Alps.
One of the most famous sites is Kapellbrücke, the Chapel Bridge. Built in 1333, it is Europe’s oldest covered bridge and is one of the most photographed spots in Lucerne.
Plan to spend a little time at Mount Pilatus. The views are incredible if you dare to ride a very steep railway up 7,000 feet.
Read more – Complete guide to Lucerne Switzerland
Amsterdam – The Netherlands
With its picturesque canals, stunning streets, and charming architecture, Amsterdam is easily one of the prettiest cities in Europe. This gorgeous city, the largest in the Netherlands, is a must for anyone searching for history, culture, and gorgeous views around every corner.
Amsterdam is known for its canals – there are three main canals in the city, each connected with smaller ones that together form a semicircle around the city. Each canal is lined with beautiful canal houses, many of which date back to the 17th century. You can easily spend days roaming through the beautiful Amsterdam streets, winding around the canals, crossing bridges, and admiring the unique architecture.
To get up-close and personal with the canals, add a canal boat tour to your Amsterdam bucket list. These tours will take you around the city’s prettiest canals all while telling stories about the city’s history.
Amsterdam is home to more than 50 museums, and it would be a sin to visit the city without exploring at least one. One of the most famous museums in the city is the Anne Frank House, where Anne Frank and her family hid from Nazi persecution during World War II.
Other popular Amsterdam museums include the Rikjsmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, and the Rembrandt House.
Chosen by Sydney from A World in Reach
Bath – England
Since the Roman Empire, Bath has been a destination for wealthy elites seeking the healing properties of its thermal mineral waters. Located in Somerset, in the southeastern part of England, Bath is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and remains a popular destination today.
It has remarkable Georgian architecture, unparalleled history, fashionable boutiques and delightful restaurants. Visitors should be sure to see the Royal Crescent — an 18th-century Georgian architectural triumph. It consists of 30 identical townhouses joined together and curved around an expansive garden.
No trip to Bath would be complete, of course, without a stop at the Roman Baths — a 2,000-year-old complex built over the hot spring’s access point. Much of it is still standing, including changing rooms and plunge pools. There’s an interactive museum there, ideal for children of any age.
Read more – Bath Travel Guide
Split – Croatia
Lying on the coastline of the Adriatic Sea, the city of Split is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Croatia. Hugely popular with families, backpackers and luxury travellers alike, the city’s location makes it the perfect base for island hopping trips.
The biggest tourist attraction of Split is Diocletian’s Palace, an ancient palace built in the 4th century which now forms around half of the city’s old town. Unlike a typical palace, Diocletian’s is actually a maze of buildings, alleyways and filled with bars and restaurants.
Don’t miss climbing the bell tower of the Cathedral of St Domnius for breathtaking views over the city! It’s also very popular for visitors to the city to take a day trip from Split to Hvar, Brac, or one of the other gorgeous islands surrounding the city.
The hike up Marjan hill from Split is the perfect way to escape the city’s crowds in summer. The hike takes around 2 hours, and is full of great viewpoints overlooking the city and the ocean. Plus, you can relax after the walk at the nearby Kasjuni Beach, perhaps even taking a dip in the ocean to cool off.
Chosen by Ella of Many More Maps
Rome – Italy
One of the most popular cities in Europe, Rome is a charismatic city with heaps of history and Italian heritage. Strolling around Rome on foot you’ll find spectacular monuments, fascinating ruins and impressive archaeological sites around every corner. Add to that the exceptional Italian cuisine on offer and it’s easy to see why Rome is such a well-visited city.
There are plenty of beautiful sights to see when visiting Rome. Immerse yourself in the history of the Colosseum, and witness the size and scale of this world-famous monument for yourself.
Throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain, the largest fountain in the city (and there are a lot of fountains in Rome!). Walk up the Spanish Steps towards the Trinità dei Monti church at the top.
Or wander around the Vatican City and explore the jaw-dropping interiors and artwork by Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel.
Due to its world-renowned archaeological significance, Rome attracts visitors from all over the world. From its lively bars and restaurants to its unbeatable attractions and monuments, Rome has a far-reaching appeal. It’s this wide appeal that will continue to make the city a much-loved destination for many years to come.
Chosen by Jessie Moore from Pocket Wanderings
Valletta – Malta
It’s time more people found out about Valletta, one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. It is the capital of Malta and also bears the distinction of being one of the smallest capital cities in the world — occupying less than one square kilometre.
Valletta was established after the Great Siege of 1565 by Pope Pius IV, believing a walled city would deter further attacks on Christendom. Luckily for future tourists, it was designed in a grid, making it easy to explore on foot.
There are over 320 monuments to see in this small UNESCO World Heritage Site. In terms of architecture, there are 16th-century masterpieces right next to cutting-edge modern designs.
The narrow streets are filled with shops and cafes featuring delicious local cuisine. Make time to visit the baroque St. John’s Co-Cathedral and the 16th-century palace, Casa Rocca Piccola.
Read more – Visiting Malta – travel tips to know before you visit
Berlin – Germany
Berlin is one of Europe’s great cities. It was founded in the 13th century and eventually became the capital of Prussia. Perhaps it is most famous for being divided by the Berlin Wall in 1961.
Ultimately, of course, East and West Berlin were reunited in 1990 when the Berlin Wall came down. Today, it has been more than two decades since the wall’s fall and in that time Germany’s capital has become a popular tourist destination.
It is the greenest city in Europe, meaning it has more parks and green spaces than any other city. It has museums, fashionable shops and a legendary nightlife.
Visitors should make sure to see the Brandenburg Gate, built on the order of Prussian King Frederick William II in the 18th century. The glass dome of the Reichstag and the Berlin Cathedral are also well worth visiting.
Read more – What to do and see in Berlin Germany
London – England
London is one of the most important cities in the world. Scholars believe it was settled around 6000 B.C. and since then, hunter-gathers, Romans and Vikings have all occupied it.
Today, England’s capital is a bustling city that truly has something for everyone. There are world-class museums for every interest, like the Tate Modern, the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Fashion and Textile Museum.
Foodies can indulge in cuisine from every part of the world. There are sports, shopping and culture — not to mention a variety of unique neighbourhoods surrounding the city like Covent Garden, Camden, Southbank and the East End — all just a Tube ride away.
First-time visitors must see Big Ben, the London Eye, the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace, just to name a few of London’s bucket list attractions.
Read more – Tips for visiting London for the first time
Copenhagen – Denmark
They say Copenhagen is one of the happiest cities in the world. It’s understandable — not only is it the capital and largest city in Denmark but it’s filled with plenty of green space, canals, shops, museums and excellent restaurants.
Copenhagen dates back to the 11th century and was fortified in the 13th century. Eventually it would grow into one of Scandinavia’s most populated cities.
Children’s writer Hans Christian Anderson was born there in 1805, so it’s natural that the city would be associated with fairytales.
Copenhagen is a walking city, especially in the city’s centre where there is an extensive pedestrian area that has plenty of boutiques, bars and museums.
Visitors must pay homage to the famous Little Mermaid Sculpture at the Langelinie promenade. Don’t forget about Tivoli Gardens, a 20-acre amusement park and garden complex that has been open since 1843.
Read more – Ultimate Guide to Visiting Copenhagen
Budapest – Hungary
Budapest is one of the most spectacular cities in Eastern Europe. It is easy to reach by both air and land transport.
The downtown area has preserved numerous, over hundred-year-old buildings, not to mention the famous landmarks such as the Parliament, the Dohany Street Synagogue, or the gorgeous architecture of the thermal baths.
On the other side of the Danube, the small Gellért Hill stands, which gives a spectacular view of the town, whether you visit it during the day or night.
The Castle is spreading on a second hill bit more north from it. Make sure you spend at least half a day there, exploring the cobblestoned streets, museums, and churches.
Make sure you try the real Gulyas and Lángos, two of the worldwide famous Hungarian dishes, and in the evening, you grab a beer in one of the ruin pubs.
Budapest is a perfect choice for those eager to learn about history, love good food, or vivid nightlife.
Chosen by Katalin of Our Life Our Travel
Salzburg – Austria
Salzburg is a beautiful Austrian city surrounded by hills and mountains and with so much to see and do.
Most sightseeing revolves around the charming historic centre with its medieval streets and squares. Not surprisingly, there are plenty of locations honouring the city’s most famous resident, Mozart, who was born here in 1756. You can visit the houses where he was born and lived, and walk across the Mozart Bridge spanning the Salzach river. There is also a statue of the great composer in the square named after him.
Not far from Mozart Square is Salzburg’s Cathedral and the Residenplatz square with its ornate fountain. There’s also the Kapitelplatz, which has an eye-catching globe sculpture in its centre. However, the main attraction is the Hohensalzburg fortress which sits imposingly on the hill overlooking the city.
Salzburg is also perfect for fans of the Sound of Music. The Oscar-winning movie was filmed in the city and the surrounding area and you can take sightseeing tours to discover more about the different locations. These include a visit to another of Salzburg’s highlights: the Mirabell Palace and Gardens, which is absolutely stunning and should not to be missed.
Make sure you stand in the gardens at the Palace end and marvel at the panoramic view. This takes in the length of the gardens with the fortress perched on the hill in the distance. This is another reminder of why Salzburg is one of the prettiest cities in Europe.
Chosen by Emma of Travel on a Time Budget
Venice – Italy
Truly one of the most beautiful places to visit in Europe, Venice is a seaport in Northern Italy, famous for its web of interconnected waterways.
After the fall of the Roman Empire, its position at the end of the Silk Road allowed it to evolve into a great European trading power. Consequently, it became a cosmopolitan city with a diverse population.
Today, the city has a romantic reputation — if you shut your eyes, you can almost hear the gondola drivers singing as they taxi loving couples through the canals.
While visiting Venice, you must see the Grand Canal, Venice’s main waterway, right outside the Santa Lucia train station. St. Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s Palace are also must-dos. For art lovers, the Gallerie dell’Accademia features pre-19th century Venetian works by Titian, Bellini and Mantegna.
Of course, no trip to Venice would be complete without a gondola ride underneath the Ponte degli Scalzi, the Bridge of the Barefoot.
Read more – Tips for visiting Venice Italy
Edinburgh – Scotland
Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital, is the second most visited city in the UK after London. It’s easy to understand why. It has a tumultuous history rife with royal intrigue, much of which happened at Edinburgh Castle, the medieval fortress sitting atop a volcanic rock overlooking the city.
Edinburgh also has parks, shopping and scores of pubs and restaurants to visit. It’s home to the Fringe Festival in the summer and Hogmanay, a Scottish New Year’s Eve bash to end all bashes.
After seeing Edinburgh Castle, walk the Royal Mile — the main thoroughfare through Edinburgh’s Old Town. If you’re an art lover, stop in to see the National Gallery of Scotland — it’s completely free! And don’t forget to get yourself a wee dram of whiskey, the pride of all of Scotland.
Read more – Things to do in Edinburgh Scotland
Bergen – Norway
Picture a colourful seaside city on Norway’s southwestern coast, surrounded by mountains and fjords. Sound like a fairytale? Close. It’s Bergen, one of the prettiest cities in Europe.
A UNESCO World Heritage City, it was the capital of Norway until 1299. Bergen’s Hanseatic Wharf was the centre of Norway’s trade with Europe beginning in the 14th through the 16th century. The Bryggen, old wharf houses on the water’s edge, have been built and rebuilt over the years exactly as the originals were back in the day.
Today, many have been transformed into shops, restaurants and art galleries. At the entrance of Bergen’s harbour is the Bergenhaus Fortress, a former royal palace.
Bergen is surrounded by seven mountains, one of which is Mount Fløyen. It’s only a six-minute ride to the top via the Fløibanen, a funicular. You won’t be sorry you did — the views are breathtaking.
Read more – Things to do and see in Bergen
Which of these beautiful cities are on your bucket list?
This list of beautiful cities in Europe really just scratches the surface of course. There are many others that could make the list but these are the ones I have chosen plus those selected by fellow travel bloggers.
I am sure you will have found this list inspiring and will (hopefully soon) be able to turn travel dreams into travel reality.
On this website, you can learn more about many of the European destinations featured in this article to help plan your trip – happy planning!