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What are the 15 most beautiful cities in Europe?

by Susan Blanchet | January 27, 2022
Barcelona at dusk

Europe is a beautiful continent of contrasts. Nature, sea, mountains, history... you name it, it's in Europe. There are some really beautiful cities, although they are not the typical ones that everyone knows and visits. Some of them you might not even know about. 

The cities we are going to show you below are 15 of the most beautiful cities in Europe. A visual spectacle with unique characteristics that make them really beautiful and special.


Amsterdam is much more than the side everyone knows. Its beautiful canals run through the city, creating a lively and busy life along them. Its colourful bicycles and tireless citizens create a clean and friendly atmosphere in the city. 

Although one of its main attractions (or at least one of the most talked about) are its famous coffee shops, the beautiful capital of the Netherlands has so much more to offer. A stroll along the water streets to see the houseboats and enjoy the scenery, its famous flower market or its impressive tulip fields will delight any tourist.


Budapest is considered the most beautiful city in Europe by many. Every corner of Budapest uncovers some visual treasure that will not disappoint you. The Hungarian Parliament is one of these visual gems. It is located next to the Danube River and occupies a square 268 metres long and 123 metres wide.

Without a doubt, the exquisite architecture makes the city look beautiful. The mighty Danube River, the Buda Castle, the passages and corners of the Jewish quarter all combined, create a city full of contrasts that you can't help but admire with every step you take.

Not only can you enjoy beautiful symmetry and complex buildings in Budapest, the nightlife in the city is very lively. You can enjoy music concerts, nightclubs, have a relaxing drink or go to the famous "ruin pubs", which are definitely the most striking thing about Budapest's nightlife. Its picturesque and daring pubs are very appealing to all tourists. 

Széchenyi Chain Bridge in Budapest


The Scottish capital is also one of those cities that has a special charm, and not just for Game of Thrones fans, although it is here, in Edinburgh Castle, where one of the best chapters of this intriguing series was inspired.

At the base of the castle lays the Royal Mile, Edinburgh's most famous street, a total of 1814 metres of street length that connects with the Palace of Holyroodhouse. All along the route you can find dozens of courtyards and alleys, and enjoy the medieval taste that still exists and is preserved in many places.

It is on this very street that one of the darkest and most chilling tours in Edinburgh can be found. Underneath the buildings of Old Town, stories and urban legends of plague victims, murderers and murder victims are born from real documented stories. 


Ghent straddles the border between Bruges and Brussels. Ghent is Belgium's fourth largest and its most beautiful city. Nowadays, Ghent is one of the cities in the Flemish region with the most historic buildings, which is ideal for those who love classical and traditional architecture

In Ghent, besides its extensive architectural beauty, you can also enjoy its ludic and warm atmosphere and its people. Evenings in Ghent are just perfect. 

A medieval town with a very young atmosphere, many of the bars in the area offer free jazz concerts, ideal to accompany you while you eat some of the typical dishes of the region, such as Waterzooi, Flemish asparagus, Stoemp, Ganda ham and finish the feast with a good Belgian chocolate.

Gravensteen castle in Ghent


The Maltese capital has approximately 55 hectares, in which you can find up to 320 historical monuments, making it one of the most densely historical areas in the world. This was one of the reasons why UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site. With a population of only 7,000 inhabitants, in 2018, the European Parliament designated Valletta as the European Capital of Culture thanks to its cultural life and development.

The old town is protected by a wall which also acts as a breakwater. Only a few of these walls are still standing, which makes them a great tourist attraction worth seeing. 

There are many places in the city to visit and admire, from Hastings Gardens and St John's Cathedral, to the Grandmaster's Palace and the National Museum of Archaeology, but what will really make you fall in love with this city is having dinner while admiring the sunset


In Slovenia’s heart you find this incredible city, capital of the country and worthy of being among the most beautiful cities in Europe. It is a capital filled with Joze Plecnik’s architecture, who succeeded in transforming this small and lonely city of the Habsburg Empire into the genuine capital of Slovenia, thanks to his urban vision.

Ljubljana, a city of just 270,000 inhabitants, is not very large. If you organise properly, you can visit the most interesting places in the city in one day, such as the Ljubljana Castle, an impressive medieval fortress that stands over the top of the highest hill in the city. 

You can also see some creations by architect Plecnik, the famous Dragon Bridge and the Ljubljanica River that crosses the old town.


This splendid French city, where deep blue waters decorate many streets, is full of wonderful places. Its picturesque and attractive old town is surrounded by a set of pastel-coloured houses, small and narrow streets, full of shops and restaurants to visit. 

Bordering the coast of the Baie des Anges, you can find the Promenade des Anglais, which is nothing more than an extension of its long and beautiful promenade where, along the entire length of the avenue, you can find a total of 26 buildings of great architectural interest.

But if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle and are looking for something more natural, you can cycle to one of its many vineyards and breathe in the fresh, clean air, perhaps accompanying it with a good wine. 

St. Petersburg

Gardens, palaces, theatres, dreamy cathedrals... All this and much more is what you can find in the cultural centre of Russia, St. Petersburg. A short walk through the streets of the city will be enough to see a great architectural display and incomparable beauty

Despite all the architectural splendour to be found in its streets, one of the gems of the city is its famous museum, the Hermitage Museum. It is considered one of the best museums in the world, being the second largest after the Louvre. In it you can find one of the largest collections of ancient art in the world.

Another of the strengths of the city are its palaces. The Peterhof Palace, which can be reached by boat, consists of two large parks, 6 huge buildings, 20 fountains, 2 waterfalls and many other things. 

Other palaces that will not leave you dissatisfied are the Pushkin Palace, also known as the Catherine Palace, and the Yusupov Palace, this last one being located in the very heart of the city. You cannot forget the icon of the Russian city, the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood. 

General Staff Building in St Petersburg


More than 2 million people a year choose to travel to this beautiful city with its exuberant artistic and cultural heritage. It is one of the most beautiful cities in Poland, and perhaps in Europe, due in part to the impeccable state of preservation of all its Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance buildings, thanks to which it was declared a World Heritage Site.

The incredible history of this country is a must-see if you want to indulge in its cultural essence. Every year, Krakow offers around 100 festivals and other international cultural events to enjoy, but if there is one thing you have to do, it is to enjoy its gastronomic culture. In 2019, it received a title from the European Academy of Gastronomy.

From Krakow you can visit the horrific concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau. Built after the German invasion of Poland, it was the largest concentration camp of the Nazi regime. We cannot say that it is a nice visit, it is not open to the public as a nice attraction, but rather so that you are able to learn about the extent of human cruelty.


This charming European city combines modern architecture with medieval and Germanic culture. A visit to Strasbourg will take you back in time. Its perfectly preserved buildings and unique forms from another era will give you the feeling of being in a theme park or on the set of 'Les Miserables'.

One of the best things to do in this city is to cross the canals and waterways of the old town on one of the various boats along the route. During the trip, you can see its enormous medieval towers and admire the bridges and mills of the tanners' quarter. Its wide range of cultural activities will make your visit a memorable one and you won't want to ever leave the city.


Defined as "the City of Art", Florence has become a cultural city that attracts all kinds of tourists, offering the best art galleries and museums in the continent. In its skyline, the Florence Cathedral, episcopal see of the archdiocese of Florence and one of the main tourist attractions of the Tuscan capital, stands out.

Another major highlight of Florence is the Uffizi Gallery. Inside this palace you will find one of the oldest and most famous art collections in the world. In 2015, it reached almost 2 million visitors, making it the most visited art gallery in the country. 

Of course you cannot forget the Ponte Vecchio, a medieval bridge that is a symbol of the city and one of the most famous bridges in the world. 


Portugal is a country that in the last few years has been experiencing a strong growth in tourism. Cities such as Porto are becoming a favourite for travellers visiting the country. There is more to this welcoming city than good wine.

For a start, you can travel at any time of the year, it has a very stable and pleasant climate. It is one of those cities that is best explored by walking, as it is the best way to enjoy its narrow streets full of history, which UNESCO has declared a World Heritage Site. 

You can contemplate and cross the great Dom Luís I Bridge, and at its two ends, you can get on one of the boats available to cross the Douro River and go through the 6 bridges or take a tour by the old Ribeira de Porto.

Paisaje de Porto


The nostalgic Central European capital of Croatia still preserves the characteristic baroque style of the Middle Ages in a modern era. Leaving aside its urban character, the city has almost a million inhabitants who, along with the famous Dolac Market, add a colourful and warm atmosphere to this sumptuous but humble city.

A visit to Tkalciceva, the heart of Zagreb, is a must. Here you will see day-to-day life in a classic city, where you can find an endless number of restaurants. There you can taste its spectacular gastronomic culture and then wander along its main avenue, full of lights and colours that give life to one of the most touristic areas of the capital.

When you're ready and your stomach is full, you can stroll through the Upper Town (Gornji Grad) or visit the unique St. Mark's Church, where you can admire the baroque style with a Munich roof. 


Considered the Rome of the Alps, it is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities, not only in Europe, but also in the world. The city is known for being the birthplace of the composer and pianist Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and for the many musical festivals that take place here every summer. 

The impressive Hohensalzburg fortress, the largest and best preserved in Europe, rises above the city from a bird's eye view, but as always, the real beauty is to be found in its streets, specifically in Getreidegasse. This street is located in the old part of the city. It is the most touristic and commercial area, where the composer was born and lived until he was 17 years old. 


This cosmopolitan city has a great touristic, cultural, commercial and financial importance, being one of the most visited European cities. As a song by catalan singer-songwriter Peret (Gitana Hechicera) says, Barcelona has power. The song mentions the Mercat de Sant Antoni, one of the biggest and most important markets in Barcelona, and its Canaletas fountain, the centre of celebrations. 

The Catalan capital was fortunate enough to attract Antoni Gaudí's interest, who dedicated many years to transform the city and show us his vision through his emblematic pieces of art, such as his unfinished, but still spectacular Sagrada Família, the original La Pedrera building or beautiful Park Güell.

Cosmopolitan and welcoming, Barcelona is a city open to the Mediterranean Sea, and somewhere between historical and modern.

View of Plaza España from Montjuic in Barcelona