Even a list of Europe’s 100 “most beautiful cities” would be incomplete. From the beauty of the blurred countryside seen through a train window to a moment of stillness amidst cosmopolitan chaos, there are millions of places to witness Europe’s beauty. Here are just a few of our recommendations on where to get a good view.

Rome, Italy

Rome’s beauty is timeless, from the towering Colosseum casting shadows over well-dressed locals to the heated debates happening over checkered tablecloths and espresso. Street artists in the piazzas can draw inspiration from the surrounding works of masters like Michelangelo and Caravaggio. Rome is easily one of Europe’s most beautiful places.

Rome - Trevi Fountain
Rome’s iconic Trevi Fountain

Top 3 Things to Do When You Get There:

  1. Grab a seat on The Spanish Steps with a few scoops of gelato and breathe in the smell of rhododendrons while doing some prime people-watching.
  2. The Trevi Fountain – this 18th century Baroque masterpiece is beautifully bathed in light (and less crowded) in the evenings. Don’t forget to toss a coin in, ensuring you a return visit to Rome.
  3. Blogger suggests a visit to Le Terrazze del Vittoriano for a 360° panoramic view of Roma.

Aegina, Greece

With Mediterranean views just as blue as the postcards promise, and ancient temple ruins rubbing elbows with modern life, Greece’s islands cement its status one of Europe’s most beautiful countries. Aegina’s small town charm provides a quiet alternative to the packed tourist resorts of Santorini or Mykonos.

Greece - Temple of Aphaia
The Temple of Aphaia at Aegina

Top 3 Things to Do When You Get There:

  1. The well-preserved Doric Temple of Aphaia built around 500 B.C. is perfect for photos without a crowd of tourists as a backdrop.
  2. Avli Restaurant‘s twinkling lights and flowers dripping from latticed walls make the atmosphere as enjoyable as the authentic Greek salads, pizzas and pastas.
  3. Settle into a lounge chair on Avra Beach, admire the wooden fishing boats lining the docks and, if you happen to visit in August, enjoy the sounds of the Aegina International Music Festival.

Budapest, Hungary

The Hungarian capital maintains plenty of majesty from its days as the second capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Elements of quirkiness connect the unified halves of Buda and Pest, creating a modern European city with a beauty all its own.

Budapest Fernicular View
Two halves united: Buda and Pest

Top 3 Things to Do When You Get There:

  1. Take a 90-second Castle Hill Funicular ride from the Buda Castle to the banks of the Danube River. This is the perfect opportunity to snap the panoramic photos of the skyline, including the Neo-Gothic Hungarian Parliament Building.
  2. Walk along the Pest side of the Danube River and you’ll find waterfront sculptures ranging from whimsical figures to the powerfully simple Shoes on the Danube memorial, which pays tribute to Jewish men, women and children killed during the Holocaust.
  3. Heroes Square is one of the best places to take photos while taking in some history. The Archangel Gabriel tops the central Millennium Column, surrounded by statues representing War, Peace, Work and Welfare, and Knowledge and Glory along with the Hungarian tribesman who settled the area.

Vienna, Austria

The pure elegance of this other Austro-Hungarian Empire capital complements the offbeat beauty of Budapest. With impressive castle gardens, a pastel palette of Baroque and Renaissance architecture, and a world-renowned classical music scene (not to mention one of Europe’s best desserts) there’s no denying Vienna is one of Europe’s most beautiful cities.

Vienna Schonbrunn
Vienna’s Schonbrunn Palace

Top 3 Things to Do When You Get There:

  1. Schonbrunn Palace was one of the Hapsburg family homes, and its pristinely manicured lawn has been open to the public since 1779. This UNESCO World Heritage Site showcases springtime color and hosts a charming Christmas market in the winter.
  2. To get a bird’s eye view of the city, the North Tower at St. Stephen’s Cathedral is your best bet. Admire the church’s mosaic rooftop, the mix of Romanesque and Gothic architecture, and the bustling crowds of Stephansplatz Square below.
  3. Your eyes aren’t the only sense with the ability to appreciate beauty. Vienna’s Haus der Musik offers interactive exhibits and classical symphony recordings that will envelop your ears in the beauty of music.

Prague, Czech Republic

From “The City of a Hundred Spires” to “a fairy tale town,” Prague’s descriptive nicknames embody its beauty, and the unassuming modesty of its residents only adds to its charm. With ancient bridges, peaceful parks, cobblestone streets, and the largest castle complex in all of Europe, Prague is, quite simply and stunningly, beautiful.

Prague - Bridges
Prague’s Charles Bridge

Top 3 Things to Do When You Get There:

  1. Locals and tourists alike flock to the beer garden atop Letna Park the moment the weather turns warm. This patio filled with picnic tables, dog owners and friends enjoying a pivo (beer), provides a perfect panoramic view.
  2. St. Vitus Cathedral, nestled inside the gates of the Prague Castle, worked hard to be built, from its 14th-century foundation to completion of its Neo-Gothic style in the late 19th century. The resulting structure is well worth a visit.
  3. Some of the most beautiful views of Prague come from the multiple bridges over the Vltava River. Take a walk across Charles Bridge to admire the saintly statues, but then head north or south for a less crowded camera angle that includes the famous monument.

Barcelona, Spain

With miles (or meters) of coastline, vibrant colors and an infamous architect, you can’t talk about beautiful cities in Europe without mentioning Barcelona. The city streets compete with sandy beaches giving visitors plenty of options to enjoy the city.

Barcelona - Font Magica
Barcelona’s Font Magica

Top 3 Things to Do When You Get There:

  1. You know you’ve made it when they name an architectural style after you, and Antoni Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia is an impressive work-in-progress. Financed by individual donations, it also embodies the beauty of community.
  2. The attractions of the pedestrian-friendly central street of La Rambla change on a daily basis, thanks to the creativity of street artists and performers delighting the eyes of anyone passing by.
  3. At the top of Montjuic hill, you’ll find an uninterrupted view of Barcelona, an 18th-century military fortress, and the dancing lights of the Font màgica (magic fountain), performing for audiences since 1929.

Riga, Latvia

Once nicknamed, “Paris of the East”, the Latvian capital has been enjoying a resurgence of culture and tourism since regaining independence in 1991. The largest city in the Baltic States is quickly gaining a reputation as one of Europe’s undiscovered gems, and was named the European capital of free wi-fi in 2014, making it easy to pin, post and Instagram the beauty of your visit.

Riga
Riga’s iconic architecture

Top 3 Things to Do When You Get There:

  1. “For the best bird’s eye view of beautiful Riga,” according to Life in Riga blogger Lelde Benke, “take the lift up to the observation deck at Zinātņu akadēmija (Academy of Sciences), also referred to colloquially as Stalin’s birthday cake due to its period architecture.”
  2. The prevalence of Art Nouveau architecture in Riga is enjoyed just as easily with a walk through the city streets as a visit to the Art Nouveau Museum, opened in 2009.
  3. Benke also recommends enjoying the sights over cocktails at the sky bars of the Albert Hotel and the Radisson’s Blu Latvija, or from the rooftop terrace of the Galleria Riga shopping center.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

The man-made canals of Amsterdam rival Mother Nature when it comes to creating beautiful cities. The reflections of the tall, narrow architectural style in the water, lined with colorful bouquets of bikes locked alongside the canals, give this city a unique vibe you can’t help but love.

Amsterdam - Vondelpark
Vondelpark: oasis of calm in Amsterdam

Top 3 Things to Do When You Get There:

    1. To find a quiet moment of silence in the middle of this cosmopolitan city; take a walk through Vondelpark.
    2. Amsterdam’s array of museums and galleries are packed with beauty, including the largest collection of the Netherlands’ famous son at the newly renovated Van Gogh Museum.
    3. “You should walk around in the Jordaan area at night – with canal bridges lit up and old canal houses, it is very beautiful,” says Ashley Howe of Amsterdam Blog.

London, England

Crisp, clean lines, an abundance of green spaces, and old-world sophistication define the beauty of the UK capital. There is a certain grace embedded in this bustling metropolis that combines so many distinctive neighborhoods into a collage of modern life.

View from St Pauls Cathedral London
View from St Paul’s Cathedral, London (Photo credit: Wikimedia)

Top 3 Things to Do When You Get There:

  1. “There’s nothing quite like climbing to the top of the hill in Greenwich Park and watching the city come to life in the distance,” says Eating London’s Lisa Robinson.
  2. St. Paul’s Cathedral offers a variety of sights to delight the eyes, from the expansive view from the top of this 17th century landmark to regular art exhibitions that explore the connection between art and faith.
  3. The Columbia Road Flower Market is a local favorite. This East End street brightens gray days with an endless selection of colorful flowers nestled among vintage shops and cute cafes every Sunday, year round.

Skerries, Ireland

Beauty certainly exists outside of city limits, and this quiet coastal town amidst the Irish countryside could easily qualify as one of Europe’s most beautiful villages. With moss-covered rocks surrounding fishing boats bobbing in the water, Skerries gives visitors a glimpse of the beauty of serenity.

Skerries - Sunset from The Harbor
Sunset from The Harbor at Skerries

Top 3 Things to Do When You Get There:

  1. Pack a picnic and spend an afternoon on the lawn of Ardgillan Castle to truly understand that when people say Ireland is green as far as the eye can see, they’re not exaggerating.
  2. On an elusive sunny day, join half the town for a pint of Guinness in front of Joe May’s to watch the sunset over “The Harbor”.
  3. Turn off your alarm clock and wake up to an ocean view at the waterfront residences at the White Cottages.

Where do you think are the most beautiful cities, towns and villages in Europe? Let us know in the comments below!

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