19 of the Most Beautiful Cities in Europe

Our list of the Most Beautiful Cities in Europe...That we've been to.

This is not someone else's opinion. We did not choose cities off a press release nor did we copy from another list on the Internet. We've seen and experienced them all.

Europe's most beautiful cities

The Most Beautiful Cities in Europe

Yes, there are beautiful cities that didn't make the list that should be one here, but if we haven't been there we can't give an honest opinion. But we're updating all the time and adding whenever we visit a new one.

What is your favourite?

19 of the Most Beautiful Cities in Europe

Who doesn't dream of the perfect European vacation? Europe always makes us think of beautiful cities.

We most certainly haven't seen all of Europe and I know that there will be some cities that we'll have left off our list, 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 according to us!

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1. Paris

Paris is definitely one of the most beautiful cities in Europe

Paris is definitely one of the most beautiful cities in Europe

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 favourite things to do.

 

2. Copenhagen

Most Beautiful Cities in Europe: Copenhagen, Denmark

Most Beautiful Cities in Europe: Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen holds a special place in our hearts. We weren't there for long, but each day was a treat to explore this enchanting city.

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.

 

3. Venice

Most Beautiful Cities in Europe: Venice, Italy

Beautiful Cities, Europe: Venice, Italy

Buy this photo at our gallery

Many people don't love Venice, but we think it is because they have never stayed there long enough.

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.

We spent six days total in Venice and loved getting lost in its back alleys, taking boat trips through the canals and enjoying quiet drinks on a bistro terrace.

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

Get your Rick Steve's Pocket Venice Travel Guide

Traveling to Venice? Download your Lonely Planet Travel Guide to Venice now!

 

4. Prague

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 yourselves.

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.

 

5. Budapest

Most beautiful Cities in Europe: Budapest, Hungary

Most beautiful Cities in Europe: Budapest, Hungary

Budapest is probably the most beautiful city by 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 splendour of the two cities.

See our video on Tips for Seeing Budapest like a local

Traveling to Budapest? Download your Lonely Planet Travel Guide to Budapest now!

 

6. 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, rivalling 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.

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

 

7. Florence

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 and enjoy each and every building you lay eyes upon.

The Duomo stands proud in the centre of the city and endless cobblestone streets weave around allowing you to get lost and simply enjoy.

See more at Florence in Photos: A City of Art

 

Read more about Florence

10 Most Beautiful Things to do in Florence

Where to Stau om Florence - An Insider's Guide to Neighborhoods

A walking Tour of Florence - The Tale of Two Davids

Florence in Photos - a City of Art

 

Traveling to Florence? Download your Lonely Planet Travel Guide to Florence now!

 

8. Bern

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 centre 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.

 

9. Oia, Santorini

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 to the city, but a lot of it is disjointed. However, Oia, Santorini took our breath away.

So when choosing a Greek city to add to our most beautiful European Cities list, it was the first place to come to mind. Oia, Santorini is heavenly.

I don't think there is a more beautiful spot on earth than overlooking the Caldera from the white washed buildings of Oia.

With blue domes, marble walkways and incredible cave hotels and dwellings, it is a place like no other.

See our Santorini Photography Guide

Traveling to Santorini? Download your Lonely Planet Travel Guide to Santorini now!

 

10. Barcelona

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, colourful 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.

Inspired by Europe: Enjoy our list of the most Romantic Getaways on Earth

11. Bergen, Norway

Most-Beautiful-Cities-in-Europe-Bergen-Norway

Well, since we're in the b's. Yes, if you look, there was a b theme going the past few cities.

We think Bergen Norway is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe Period. I just want you to know, these cities are not in order.

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: Things to do in Norway's Most Beautiful City

 

12. Brussels

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 an absolutely beautiful city filled with history and charm.

For more information on Belgium, Check out Cheeseweb, Expat Life in Belgium

13. 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 Tallinn.

Tallinn was surprising. We didn't really know what to expect when visiting Estonia, but what in interesting country with a very rich history.

We can't wait to go back and see more! With it's 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.

Love beautiful things? You'll enjoy our best travel quotes in Photos

14. Rome

Most-Beautiful-Cities-in-Europe-Rome

Most Beautiful Cities in Europe: Rome, Italy

Rome made the list of beautiful cities, but we put it last because although much of the ruins in Rome are impressive, it's not the most uniformed city on the list.

However, it's the ruins intertwining with the modern architecture that makes it beautiful to us.

Rome is a city that has left the Roman history in tact. They haven't really renovated it or incorporated the old Roman architecture into the plans of the city.

Modern building spring up between ancient monuments and we love it!

Rent or Buy Roman Holiday starring Audrey Hepburn

We know we left many cities out of the list.  We hear Krakow, Poland it beautiful, but we haven't had the chance to lay eyes upon it yet.

But we're looking forward to adding more beautiful European Cities to the list in the near future.

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

Get Your Complete Guide to World Heritage Sites

15. London

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 favourite 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 colourful, massive and beautiful. Do you agree?

Have you been to the Balkan's? Check out 8 Unforgettable Things to do in Slovenia

 

16. Bologna

Most-Beautiful-cities-in-Europe-Bologna (1)

Bologna, Italy. BeautifulFood 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.)

Traveling to Bologna? Download your Lonely Planet Travel Guide to Bologna now!

 

17. Istanbul

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 flare and the other foot in the East.

It is the Eastern influence that makes this city so beautiful. Mosques dot the cityscape as spires peek out from above the skyline.

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.

Traveling to Istanbul? Download your Lonely Planet Travel Guide to Istanbul now!

 

18. Dublin

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 four 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.

 

19. Berlin

Cool Berlin

Having only been to Berlin once, we debated if we were allowed to include it in our list of beautiful cities.

We didn't go up to any high viewpoints to overlook the skyline and we didn't take a stroll through gardens or along a beachfront boardwalk

But it is the grittiness that makes Berlin appealing. 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. From squatter, residents turned to art deco condos, grand old buildings mixed with small flats and a smattering of skyscrapers developing around the Berlin Radio Tower.

But there are markets, artist areas and different neighborhoods and cultures bringing it all together. Berlin is to simply put it, cool.

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

Enjoy Next: Catalunya, Spain in Photos

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