Planning a trip to Europe? Picking out the best cities in Europe can feel overwhelming in the planning stages.
Let’s face it.
Most of us aren’t going to have that many chances to make it over there.
So it’s natural to try to cram in as many places as you can while you’re there. But it’s best to not try to do too much or your trip will be an exhausting one. ( Check out this older post we wrote to help with planning your trip to Europe)
Well, we want to help you with your planning!
We made a list of the best cities for you to visit while you’re in Europe. And we also have a post written about each city on the list in case you want to read more.
So try to relax as we try to narrow your options down.
Check out the best cities in Europe below.
15) Reykjavik, Iceland
Northern Lights – There’s usually a good chance you’ll end up seeing the Northern Lights when visiting Reykjavik. There’s plenty of options for tours with expert guides!
The Blue Lagoon – A very popular man-made, geothermal mineral spring and spa.
The Pearl – A dome-shaped building with a Viking museum, man-made geysers, observation deck, and much more.
Golden Circle Route – 190 miles of road that provides some of the most breathtaking views.
National Museum of Iceland – Learn about the history of Iceland in this interactive museum.
Laugardalur Park – A popular spot with natural hot tubs and geothermal pools. There’s also a zoo and a skating rink if you don’t feel like getting wet.
Hallgrimur’s Church – A unique piece of architecture that is the tallest and largest modern structure in Reykjavik.
Arbaejarsafn – An open-air museum that shows the architecture, lifestyle, and furnishings of the past.
Click here to read more about Reykjavik.
14) Athens, Greece
Parthenon – A prime example of ancient Greek architecture. It once was the Treasury and a Christian Church.
Ancient Agora – An ancient square has plenty of history that includes ancient buildings, monuments, and old roadways.
Plaka – A residential neighborhood with many restaurants, cafes, and retail shops.
Acropolis – An archaeological site with many famous buildings and statues. A must-see attraction!
Erechtheion – An old temple where the Ancient Greeks used to worship their gods.
Herod Atticus Odeon – An ancient, large outdoor arena that still hosts big events and music festivals.
Temple of Hephaestus – An old church with Greek columns and intricate carvings on the exterior of the building.
Click here to read more about Athens.
13) Copenhagen, Denmark
Rosenborg Castle – A 17th-century renaissance style castle amazing grounds and tons of artifacts to see.
Little Mermaid – A bronze statue that pays tribute to the Hans Christian Anderson story, “The Little Mermaid”. The same story that inspired the Disney classic!
Open Air Museum – 86 acres of land with historical museums, homes, farms, shops, and mills to see.
Tivoli Gardens – A famous amusement park with historic buildings, rides, entertainment, and much more!
National Gallery of Denmark – One of the world’s largest collection of Danish and international art.
Christiania – A small and pleasant self-governed town near Copenhagen. Check out the art galleries, music shops, and inexpensive eateries.
Click here to read more about Copenhagen.
12) Dublin, Ireland
St. Patrick Cathedral – The largest cathedral in Dublin and the national cathedral of Ireland.
National Gallery of Ireland – An extensive collection of European and Irish art from artists like Van Gogh and Caravaggio. And it’s free!
St. Stephen’s Green – A beautiful park with gardens, walking trails, and a playground for kids.
Grafton Street – A busy street filled with quaint shops and several malls for those that like to shop.
Trinity College – The oldest college in Dublin with tall gothic-style halls and one of the best libraries you’ll ever visit.
Guinness Storehouse – The home of Guinness! Learn how the Storehouse makes Guinness and learn how to pour it correctly. But the best part is… you get to drink beer!
Dublin Zoo – A 70-acre park with over 600 species of exotic animals to visit.
Click here to read more about Dublin.
11) Edinburgh, Scotland
Natural Museum of Scotland – Check out the history of Scotland and much more at this free museum.
Royal Mile – A busy road that connects Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Hollyrood House. There are many attractions that include: shops, museums, cafes, and restaurants.
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh – 70 acres of gardens with 10 glasshouses and over 3000 species of plants.
Calton Hill – A UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to several monuments. The hill has an elevation of 338 feet and the best views of Edinburgh!
Arthurs Seat – A dormant volcano with the highest elevation in Hollyrood Park and the best views of Edinburgh.
National Galleries of Scotland – A large collection of European Art with over 65,000 pieces of art dating back to the 16th century.
Museum of Childhood – A free museum full of fun and collections of trains, toy dolls, and games from all over the world.
Edinburgh Castle – A grand castle full of history that serves as one of the most famous attractions in Scotland.
Click here to read more about Edinburgh.
10) Prague, Czech Republic
Prague Castle – A famous ancient structure that’s over 1,000 years old.
Prague Astronomical Clock – One of the most famous clocks in the world with statues, a procession of the apostles, and the visualization of time.
St Vitus Cathedral – One of the most popular attractions of the Prague Castle Complex that dates back to 925 AD.
Jewish Quarter – A restored 13th-century Jewish neighborhood with 6 synagogues.
Charles Bridge – One of the best bridges in the world. A pedestrian-only zone with baroque statues, street vendors, and amazing views.
Old Town Square – A busy square in the heart of Prague that contains the Town Hall, Tyn Cathedral, and The National Gallery.
John Lennon Wall – A wall dedicated to the ideas of the famous musician. A must-see for Beatles fans!
Click here to read more about Prague.
9) Venice, Italy
Grand Canal – The 2 mile “main street” of Venice that is full of water buses and gondolas.
Gondola Rides – Who doesn’t think of a romantic gondola ride when they think of Venice?
Doge Palace – A beautiful palace along the water with government chambers, and prisons connected by the Bridge of Sighs.
Saint Mark’s Basilica – The most famous church in Venice and the most popular building. An amazing building that showcases Italo-Byzantine architecture.
St. Mark’s Square – The largest and most famous square in Venice. It’s near St. Mark’s Basilica and Doge Palace.
Rialto Bridge – A popular landmark of Venice and one of the best bridges in the world.
San Marco Campanile – A historic 20th-century bell tower that offers the best views of Venice.
Click here to read more about Venice.
8) Barcelona, Spain
Barri Gotic – One of the oldest neighborhoods that represent medieval Barcelona and the type of architecture of that time.
La Barceloneta – A seaside resort neighborhood that has great beaches, restaurants, shopping and water sports.
Port Olympic – Another popular seaside neighborhood that has a zoo and a subway station close to the beaches.
Guell Park – The most famous park in Barcelona that contains the amazing architecture of Antoni Audi. Here you’ll find an indoor marketplace, a playground, a bar, and much more!
Montjuic Castle – A 17th-century military fortress near the Mediterranean Sea that provides the best views of the area.
La Sagrada Familia Church – A UNESCO World Heritage Site and the most recognizable building in Barcelona. Construction began during the 19th century and still continues today!
Cathedral of Santa Eulalia – A 13th-century gothic style church with amazing architecture and stained glass windows.
Las Rambalas – A popular tourist area that’s busy during all times of the day. There are plenty of bars, hotels, restaurants, and shops. And there is a red light district too!
Click here to read more about Barcelona.
7) Berlin, Germany
Museum Island – A tiny island on the Spree River that hosts 5 different museums.
Eastside Gallery – One of the longest sections of the Berlin Wall remains. This part of the wall is 1 mile long and it has over 100 murals painted on it.
Memorial to the Murdered Jews – A Holocaust memorial that consists of 2,711 concrete blocks to teach about the mistakes of the past.
Potsdamer Platz – The main plaza in Berlin that has restaurants, coffee shops, a museum, a mall, and art exhibits.
Tiergarten – A 630-acre park with plenty of walking paths and gardens. There is also a zoo that has over 17,000 species of animals to see!
Charlottenburg Palace – One of the best palaces in Germany with impressive architecture and art collection.
TV Tower – A 650-foot tall tower that provides the best views of Berlin.
Click here to read more about Berlin.
6) Amsterdam, Netherlands
Leidseplein – The center of the entertainment district that has an assortment of concert halls, theaters, coffee houses, casinos, and nightclubs.
Anne Frank House – A museum that depicts the story of Anne Frank and her family hiding from the Nazi’s
Nine Little Streets – A scenic area near the canal district that has 9 upscale streets with shops, boutiques, and restaurants.
Vondelpark – A large park in the center of the city that has an open-air theater, 6 play areas, and a large playground.
Van Gogh Museum – A large collection of art, prints, and etching by Vincent van Gogh.
Verzetsmuseum – A Dutch Resistance Museum that depicts the history of the Nazi occupation in the Netherlands during World War 2.
Arts Royal Zoo – A great zoo for kids with over 750 species of animals to see.
Heineken Experience – Learn the history of Heineken beer, see how it’s made, and then taste some samples!
Amsterdam Central Station – The largest train station in the city and the center of the public transportation center. A great piece of architecture with food and shops.
Click here to read more about Amsterdam.
5) Munich, Germany
Hofbrauhaus – One of the most famous beer halls in Munich that can fit 3,500 people and serves great German beer.
The English Garden – A large public park in the city’s center with gardens and hiking trails. You can also get food and beer there too!
The Chinese Tower – A famous wooden beer garden in the English Garden that’s shaped like a Chinese pagoda.
Marienplatz – The busiest and most popular square in Munch with tons of shops and street vendors.
Church of Our Lady – Gothic-style church that is one of the oldest church halls in southern Germany.
Deutsches Museum – A museum that offers exciting exhibits in a combination of science and technology.
Viktulienmarkt – The oldest farmer’s market in Munich with over 140 vendors.
Residenz Royal Palace – A royal palace turned into a museum with furniture art, tapestries, religious artifacts, and over 130 rooms.
St Peter’s Church – One of the oldest and smallest churches in Munich that provides an amazing panoramic view from the steeple.
Click here to read more about Munich.
4) London, England
Tower Bridge – The famous bridge in London that crosses the Thames River.
Buckingham Palace – The world-famous palace in the center of London that serves as home to the queen.
House of Parliament – An impressive building that consists of the House of Lords and Commons, Westminster Hall, and the Royal Gallery.
The London Eye – A giant 400-foot Ferris wheel that provides the best panoramic view of London.
Hyde Park – London’s “Central Park” with walking trails, biking trails, and beautiful gardens.
Portobello Road Market – The world’s largest antique market that takes place every Saturday.
Camden Market – An outdoor market with around 200 local vendors that sell a variety of items from food to clothing and home goods.
Piccadilly Circus – A road junction where 5 busy streets meet. There are tons of entertainment venues, bars, restaurants, clubs, and shopping.
The National Gallery – An enormous museum that has one of the largest collections of artwork in the world.
Click here to read more about London.
P.S. – There are a bunch of Harry Potter filming locations nearby too!
3) Rome, Italy
Roman Forum – The ruins of the ancient buildings that once stood in Rome that includes government buildings, shrines, and monuments.
Colosseum – The ruins of the world-famous amphitheater that used to hold gladiator fights and other competitions.
Spanish Steps – A grand staircase that is over 200 years old and has 135 steps to climb.
Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel – One of the largest collections of religious art in the world and Michaelangelo’s most famous work of art.
Palatine Hill – A large hill that provides a panoramic view of the city. The hill also has a botanical garden.
St. Peter’s Basilica – A world-famous basilica that holds the tomb of St. Peter, intricate architecture, religious statues, and crypts.
Trevi Fountain – The largest baroque fountain in the world that millions of people visit and make a wish at.
Pizza Navona – A popular square with historical monuments, cafes, and street performers.
Click here to read more about Rome.
2) Paris, France
The Eiffel Tower – One of the most famous landmarks in Paris… and the world! The best views of Paris are on the 3rd level of the tower.
The Louvre – The largest art museum in the world that is home to the Mona Lisa and over 35,000 other pieces of art.
Luxembourg Gardens – 60 acres of gardens, greenhouses, statues, and walking paths.
Arc de Triomphe – A 19th-century arch that is 164 feet tall and offers great views of Paris at the top.
Musee Rodin – The former mansion of the famous sculptor Auguste Rodin that contains over 300 works of art.
Notre-Dame Cathedral – A world-famous gothic style church. The church is still waiting for restoration to begin after getting damaged by fire in 2019.
Click here to read more about Paris.
1) Florence, Italy
Duomo – A large Gothic cathedral with impressive architecture and amazing views of Florence at the top of the dome.
Boboli Gardens – Operating since the 18th century, the gardens has fountains, an outdoor museum, an amphitheater, and much more!
Palazzo Pitti – An old palace that now has several museums inside. Some of the attractions include the Gallery of Modern Art, The Silver Museum, and The Palatina Gallery.
Piazzale Michaelangelo and the Statue of David – A popular square that is home to the Statue of David. It’s quite a hike to get to the square but you’ll have great views of Florence once you get there.
Giotto’s Bell Tower – The Duomo’s 85-foot bell tower that provides great panoramic views of the city.
Ponte Vechio – One of the most historic and beautiful bridges in the world.
Galleria dell’Accademia – A popular art gallery that holds some of the work of Michaelangelo and other famous Italian artists.
Click here to read more about Florence.
If you’re planning on what cities you’re going to visit in Europe…
You can’t go wrong with any of the 15 cities we have on this list.
In certain cases, you’ll be able to knock out several cities in one trip.
An example is looking at London, Paris, Dublin, and Edinburgh…
They’re all pretty close to each other and travel time between them is short. You might be able to visit 3 or 4 of them depending on how much time you have.
It might help if you check out the Eurail website to see how long it takes to get from city to city by train.
Have you visited Europe before?
Where did you go and what cities would you recommend?
Tell us about it in the Comment Section!