Wondering where to go on your next trip? Europe has so many cities it may look harsh to decide where to go. Here is a list of 30 wonderful places from Europe to go visit at least once in a lifetime:
1. Paris (France)
Paris, City of Lights, capital of France, has its charms, especially nearby the river La Seine at night where it is possible to admire the Eiffel Tower with dazzling light. During the day, sipping a café au lait at a Parisian café with a delectable buttery croissant and watching the city buzzing around is still in vogue. Later on, a visit to the Louvre Museum may take a good few hours to explore the galleries. If in need to wander in the streets, head to the districts of Le Marais or even Montmartre to grasp some romantic view… And at night, discovering the cabaret Moulin Rouge will bring you back into another era. What a nice way to time travel!
2. London (Great Britain)
Modern, cosmopolitan, London is one of the major capitals in the world. The underground can take you barely to any parts of the city. There are many urban parks where it is possible to take a stroll and picnic on sunny days. There are several sandwich shops around to find a quick lunch. Along the river Thames discover Big Ben, Westminster, the Tower Bridge, the London Eye, to name a few. To get an icon picture, go in the middle of Piccadilly Circus and watch the red double-decker buses zooming around. If you are in need of a snack, why not try a proper Tea time at The Dorchester, or some other fancy hotel.
3. Madrid (Spain)
Madrid is the place to be to enjoy downtime. Relaxed and alive, it is known to be as lively at night and day. The Reina Sofia and Prado Museums are quite remarkable to find out more about Spanish artists. Besides, there is the Plaza de Cibeles, an emblem of the country. If in search of a haven, get to the El Retiro park, an immense park where families and friends go by on weekends. The Crystal Palace is worth the detour. A good spot to end the day and watch the breathtaking sunset is at Templo de Debod. Then find some bar and eat tapas before hitting the nightclubs situated in downtown, where there is always a good atmosphere.
4. Seville (Spain)
Seville has a southern vibe, definitely hot in summer, where you feel the blend of Spanish and Arabic cultures. Very festive, you can enjoy a good red wine while attending a show of flamenco music and dance that will bring you in faraway place. Being quite rhythmic and playing an important role in Andalusia, Seville is a very famous city for tourists. You can feel this city has a prestigious past which still permeates the streets. The Giralda tower beside the cathedral is a sign of its history; once a minaret tower, now part of the cathedral, its construction is worth the ascent without mentioning the view from up there.
5. Collioure (France)
Peaceful and quiet, Collioure is a small town and is full of French charm. It is a paradisiac halt while being on the road. Take a stroll along the port and enjoy the Mediterranean sea. If you are an artist, you may want to walk in the alleys and take out your pencil and sketchpad, or even your painting supplies. No wonder fauvist artists were seduced in the twentieth century… You can also find one of the last fort royal castle from Medieval ages where visits are still taking place.
6. Córdoba (Spain)
Córdoba is a jewel where the Christian and Arabic worlds met and collided into one magnificent building: the Mosque-Cathedral. Once the principal centre in Medieval times for culture and economy, we can admire the beauty of the building with awe. Romans also came and shaped the city in a prior time. Behind the Mosque-Cathedral, you can still find the Roman bridge. If you want to find some warmth, it is definitely the place to be.
7. Budapest (Hungary)
Budapest is not so well known, yet it earns to be discovered. It is the fusion of two cities separated apart by the Danube river. Even in winter, this city is worth the trip. There are several thermal baths, making it a good spa resort. What a nice way to relax comfortably outdoor even when the temperature is low. There is also a good jazz spot for live concerts, the Budapest Jazz Club. Meanwhile, you can sip some liquorish white wines as sweet as dessert. Cheers!
8. Berlin (Germany)
In Berlin, you may find many people wearing kakis, yet the city has a lively gypsy vibe. Although it is a big capital, it feels very laid-back. Graffitis are part of the sub-culture and can be found in several areas and not only on the remnants of the Wall. At the Brandenburg Gate, many concerts take place. And it is where you find one of the most important countdown to celebrate the coming New Year. Besides, you find the Reichstag, where going on the roof top is worth for sightseeing. Also, beer is a very popular drink. Many local brews can be drank in beer gardens. There are plenty of museums of all kinds to suit your tastes if the weather gets gloomy. In Berlin, there is always something to look forward to.
9. Cologne (Germany)
Right beside the Rhine river, Cologne has been rebuilt after World War II. Though its cathedral remained mostly intact, the roof has needed some repairs. It is one of the biggest city in West Germany. Nonetheless, Cologne has 12 great Roman basilicas dating back to the first century AD. It is also where Eau de Cologne was created. By the way, it even has its own museum: the Farina Fragrance Museum.
10. Florence (Italy)
Florence is jewelry city from the birth of Renaissance. Its duomo gets to be the center of all the attention. La dolce vita is still alive. Tourists come by day and locals walk by during the evening. At the Arno river, cross the Ponte Vecchio and go see the vista from the other side. Up there, you can admire the colour from the red tiles of the roofs and the duomo in the middle of all.
11. Venice (Italy)
It may look like it is cliché, with its gondolas floating around the canals, yet Venice has quite a romantic atmosphere. No wonder why so many newly weds come for their honeymoon. It is surprising how a city can stay afloat, surrounded by blue-green water. It surpasses the logical idea we could hold unto. Due to large crowds of tourists, it may be easier to visit the place off-season.
Also read: Best places to visit in Italy.
12. Dubrovnik (Croatia)
Small city surrounded by walls, Dubrovnik is now a famous resort. With white polished slabs to walk unto, it feels good to rest and eat outdoor within the Pearl of the Adriatic. It has also been the stage for the TV show Game of Thrones. Definitely worth the trip for a day or two.
13. Rome (Italy)
Rome is very rich in architecture, and there are many churches and archeological sites to visit. History has definitely taken some monumental space here! If you are a fan of past Roman civilization, better take a tour to the ruins and Coliseum. Moreover, many couples want to be photographed by the Trevi Fountain. On a hot sunny day, stop by to eat gelato and enjoy the shade of the buildings. In addition, the Spanish Steps is worth to wander by.
14. Barcelona (Spain)
Barcelona is a very popular cosmopolitan city in the Catalan province where the youth want to live. It is the city where the cathedral is undergoing construction for many decades now. Gaudi’s works are quite impressive. A visit to the Güell park will convince you. Here, do not forget that football is a religion. Tickets are hard to get. After all, FC Barcelona is one of the most famous clubs in the world.
15. Bordeaux (France)
Known for its wine and gastronomy (foie gras, white asparagus, oysters, canalés, etc.), Bordeaux is one of the best cities to see people wandering by and being very well dressed. By renting a car, you can go to Saint-Emilion vineyards, and discover some of the finest grand cru. The best time for doing so is in autumn.
16. Brussels (Belgium)
If you want to make a trip for your taste buds, Brussels has some goodies for you. It is known for its fine chocolates filled with ganache. Otherwise, eating fries and mussels with a pint of beer is a must. Brussels has an international vibe with different migrant ethnies. After-all, the European Union Parlement is located here. Moreover, check out the Comics Art Museum, one of Brussels’ main attractions.
17. Prague (Czech Republic)
Heart of Europe, the city of a hundred spires, cafés, a collection of architecture. Prague’s historical centre is classified within UNESCO, where most of the 4000 monuments were miraculously untouched during World War II. The astronomical clock is one major attraction. Art is living within its city. Feeling thirsty? Drink some local beer, and blend in with the locals.
18. Bologna (Italy)
Bologna is a dynamic city, where you find painted walls in shades of orange and red, and many arches to walk underneath. Only a few family towers still remain in the sky, marks from its past rivalries. The first university founded in Europe is situated in this city, which you can visit. You can eat within a bookstore very good fresh pasta and taste local brews. Otherwise, taste some Lambrusco, a sparkling wine that goes down damn well with bolognese spaghetti. Yummy!
19. Valencia (Spain)
Valencia is a city with large boulevards and lovely architecture buildings with a variety of styles. A bombarded remnant of the medieval wall surrounding the city can be seen at Torres de Quart. Its climate is comfortable all year long. No need for big coats here. The central market is worth to visit, since it is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. If you want to eat the true Spanish paella dish, Valence is the place to find the best ones. Enjoy the different flavours!
20. Salamanca (Spain)
Its Plaza Mayor is truly the heart of the city. Very known by the locals to be their meeting point under the clock. Stop by Valor’s café to eat decadent churros con chocolate. Down the street, you get by the University of Salamanca. It is quite odd to find two cathedrals in one city, one beside the other. There is the old and the new one with different architecture periods. When the University of Salamanca was created, it took place within the old cathedral. This is probably one of the best cities to be a student with many bars to go at night.
21. Lisbon (Portugal)
Whether you simply want to explore the streets by tram or listen to some fado, Lisbon is an easy city to be. It will be hard to miss a good meal of fish and pastries. Access to the beach is also possible for a dip in the ocean. Don’t forget to take a look to azulejos, well painted ceramic tiles and maybe find some to bring back home.
22. Dublin (Ireland)
If you want to live an authentic pub experience, go to the Temple Bar area. Notice: you could be pub crawling. Apart from touristic classic sites, Dublin has several trek paths just outside the city where you can enjoy the view of the landscape and cliffs. If you love green nature, you are served.
23. Ravenna (Italy)
Situated in the Emilia-Romagna region, Ravenna is a small town where it is possible to see wonders made with mosaics. It is THE capital of mosaics, rich with a Christian, Byzantine and Roman background that brought up spirituality centuries ago, and also part of UNESCO World Heritage Site. Definitely a good one day trip if you are travelling in the region!
24. Bilbao (Spain)
Shockingly better than what you could think of for a small city in the Basque country. Well known for its Guggenheim museum, Bilbao in itself is worth a detour to check its lovely architecture in red and green paintings. Don’t forget to taste some pintxos, small snacks typically found and eaten in bars.
25. Aachen (Germany)
Less frequented, Aachen is a small town in the Westphalia region, where it is historically the crossroads of three countries: Germany, Belgium, Netherlands. Once the coronation place of a long line of kings, the cathedral is the very first monument of Germany to be included in the UNESCO as a conglomeration of different architectural periods. Aachen is known for its healing baths and richness in history. This town can be visited by foot easily within a day or two.
26. Praiano, Italy
Located next to the more well-know Amalfi Coast destination of Positano, Praiano is a more rustic, and quaint, Italian seaside town that is still, as much as anything can be on the Amalfi Coast can be, under the radar. One thing putting Praiano on the map is the ultra modern hotel Casa Angelina, which has received a “Most Romantic Retreat” award from the Small Luxury Hotels group. The dramatic cliffs, the chic pool club, and floor to ceiling windows make this an ideal destination for honeymooners who are seeking the glamour of the Amalfi Coast but a bit removed from the crowds in a totally contemporary hotel.
27. Santorini, Greece
Santorini has long been an iconic honeymoon destination–and one of the best places to visit in Europe. The amazing light, the sea, and the food all coalesce to create an undeniably magical atmosphere. The Auberge’s boutique Grace Hotel in Santorini is located on the Imerovigli hillside in northwest Santorini. For those really looking to splurge and indulge (and if not on your honeymoon, when?), the property has a villa that comes with, among other amenities, its own hammam steam bath, indoor plunge pool, and fire pit.
28. Mallorca, Spain
A short flight from Madrid, Mallorca is a larger island known for its rippling hills, olive and lemon trees,locally grown and sourced food, and, of course, the Mediterranean Sea. Finca Serena is 20 minutes away from Palma, the main town, and is set on a sprawling estate with breathtaking vistas and an over 2,500 square foot spa. Ideal honeymoon activities include lazying around the pool that has far reaching of the Mallorca countryside or a morning yoga class.
29. Porto, Portugal
Porto is the city that gave Portugal its name (Portucale) and the famous wine. But the city is not limited to that! Come and visit Porto and discover the city that was elected in 2012, 2014 and 2017 as the best European tourist destination.
When you visit Porto know that you will discover a city with a unique charm where the old combines perfectly with the contemporary, a cosmopolitan and intimate city at the same time. Porto is a source of inspiration, where those who visit it always end up wanting to return!
30. Algarve, Portugal
The Algarve. Known for the sun that shines throughout the year, paradisiacal beaches, pools and diving, bars and lively nights. The beaches, of excellent quality, and the sea with varying shades of blue invite you to an unforgettable holiday. But there is also mountains and culture, where people live in harmony with nature and maintain the same old traditions.
There are many great choices in Algarve and you just can’t go wrong. If you never been in southern Portugal, you’re in for a treat!
After covering at a glance several cities, which one will become your next choice of places to visit in old Europe? Wherever you go, I wish you a safe trip!