European Destinations - The Top 28 Cities You Must Visit at Least Once

Europe is definitely one of the most sought after and desirable tourist destinations in the world if not the universe! With its rich culture, spellbinding architecture, fascinating history, exquisite taste in music & food and diverse geography, Europe finds itself on everyone’s wishlist. Comparison on any basis would be virtually impossible and thus all we can do is jot down a few names from the never-ending list of attractions in the great continent.

So here’s a list of some of the must visit european destinations, in no specific order, that one can visit, be it day or shine, summer or winter:

Vienna - The City of Music

The City of Music is a stunning example of the miracles of classical European architecture along with dollops of Mother Nature’s love. Vienna is resplendent with cafes, restaurants, museums and theatres sprawled around and on the outskirts lie lush green meadows which make you wonder if The Hills are Alive with The Sound of Music!! Tourists must make it a point to visit the St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Schonbrunn Palace, Freud Museum, Viennese Cafes and the Vienna Opera House. Viennese cuisine is also a must try especially dishes like Wiener Schnitzel, Croissant, Apfelstrudel and Sachertorte.

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Brussels - Capital of Europe

It can be easily called Europe’s friendliest city and since centuries has been impacted by all major European cultures. It is a major centre for international agencies like the European Union, NATO and Benelux. The majority populate is French and Dutch speaking and the city itself is influenced heavily by the 2 cultures which can be seen in their cultural, political and social life. Must visit places are the Grand Palace, Manneken Pis and the Guiness World record holding Delirium Café. One should also indulge in tasty sins such as the Brussels waffle, Belgian chocolates and innumerable kinds of beers.

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Copenhagen - The City of Spires

The best way to get that European feel up & running inside of you is by taking a leisurely stroll on the cobbled path ways of Copenhagen. This charming european travel destination is a tourist’s paradise and is regarded to be one of the safest and happiest places in Europe. Also one can find historical buildings, variety of cafes and friendly people all over the city and places near to the capital. No tourist should come back without having visited The Little Mermaid statue, Tivoli gardens and having shopped at the Stroget. Food enthusiasts shouldn’t miss out on Danish cuisines like Smorrebrod, Danish pastries and the best restaurant of the world in the years 2010-14 according to Restaurant magazine Noma.

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Paris - City of Lights

One can’t help but fall in love with the City of Light, the cultural capital of the World, Paris. It has something to offer to any and everyone, be it a hopeless romantic, the deep in thought artist or a weary backpacker. The city has seen countless wars, destruction and plagues but still has risen up from the ashes to its former splendor each time. If you ever plan on visiting Paris do not miss out on the Eiffel Tower, The Louvre Museum, Notre Dame de Paris and Disneyland. Paris also has an enviable culinary history and is famous for its haute cuisine. Food items like L’Ambroisie, macaron, crepe, croissants are a must have. Your european vacation is incomplete if you do not visit this most romantic city in the world.

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Nice - Angels City

It is the second most popular tourist destination in France and for valid reasons. Paris, though beautiful, is a very busy city with a bustling population and fast paced life. Nice on the other hand gives what Paris can’t. One can enjoy the finer things here whilst making good use of the famous French hospitality without any haste. It has beautiful beaches, vibrant markets and varied-diverse restaurants which make it major tourist magnets. Everyone should visit the Promenade Des Anglais and Le Chateau Nice while in the city. Also cuisines like Ratatouille, Socca and Salade Nicoise are a must have.

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Check out some smaller towns and villages in Europe if you are tired of the city chaos:



Berlin - The Grey City

The mighty German capital has seen quite a lot throughout its long and illustrious history. It’s only natural that this European destination is such a dazzling mix of culture, science and art. It attracts countless number of tourists every year who flock over to witness the renowned orchestras, museums and nightlife firsthand. When in Berlin one shouldn’t miss out on the Berlin Wall, Holocaust Memorial and the Reichstag. Berlin has gained massive culinary reputation to challenge the traditional bigwigs and dishes like Spanferkel, Currywurst and Doner kebabs should not be missed.

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Hamburg - The Land which Gave us Hamburgers

Germany’s second largest city is also one of the busiest in the country. It is also a transport hub and has a beautiful harbor which attracts both national and international travelers. Because of this very harbor, historically Hamburg has been a major trade port and has a mercantile background. Some of the must visit locations are St. Michaels Church, Miniatur Wunderland and the Planten Un Blomen. The home of the Hamburger, dishes like Frikadelle, Bohnen und Speck and Franzbrotchen, are a must have.

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Athens - The Glorious European City

The capital of Greece is also one of the oldest cities in the world. Athens has a remarkable history and is a treasure trove of culture and ancient architecture. Along with its glorious history, it also has an active nightlife, marvelous shopping destinations and amazing restaurants. A visit to Athens isn’t complete without having visited the Acropolis, Parthenon, Acropolis Museum and the Plaka. Mediterranean cuisine enthusiasts should try out Mousaka, Keftedes and Tiropita.

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Thessaloniki - The City of Frappes

It is a very popular tourist place in europe especially for those who want a slice of the Grecian nightlife, beaches and classic culture. Being a coastal town has its privileges and Thessaloniki exploits them to the max. When in town do flock over to the Beach, The White Tower and Kapani Market. Thessaloniki cuisine is famous in Greece for its Meze, Bougatsa and Frappe Coffee.

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Rome - The Eternal City in Europe

"When in Rome, do as the Romans do." A clichéd line perhaps, but still the most effective in making someone understand, the epic saga that Rome is. Continuously inhabited for 2800 years, the city has seen great kings and kingdoms rise and fall, philosophers preach and warriors battle. Though it is close to impossible to pinpoint places, one must visit the Colosseum, The Pantheon and St. Peter’s Basilica. It would also be a crime to miss out on cuisines like Spaghetti alla carbonara, Saltimbocca alla Romana and Gnocchi while you are .

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Before planning your vacation read about the best places to visit in Europe:


Florence - The City of Lillies

Does the birthplace of the Renaissance really need an excuse to be visited? A stroll in one of the most beautiful European destinations will tell one what must have inspired the artists and writers to start the Renaissance. Also thanks to the mighty Medici family, Florence became one of the wealthiest cities of medieval times, a fact visible in its magnificent architecture and monuments. A few of the must visit places here are the Florence Cathedral, Piazzale Michalengelo and the Piazza Della Signoria. Also it has rich culinary history with dishes like bistecca alla florentina, ribolita and pappa al pomodoro.

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Venice - The Queen of the Seas

Possibly the most romantic spot on Earth, Venice, or The City of Water, as it is popularly known is a place straight out of fairytales and legends. Instead of taxis, the most popular way to commute is to hitch a gondola floating on the canals spread out throughout the city. Boasting a vast array of places to see, some of the absolute must visit delights are the Grand Canal, St. Mark’s Basilica and Bridge of Sighs. Cuisines like bigoli in salsa and Riso Vialone Nano are also popular.

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Amsterdam - Venice of the North

The capital of Netherlands is also the second best city to live in the world and a very popular european destination for tourists. Though a large city, still the best and most popular way to commute is by bicycle, which is easily available in the city. Apart from excellent Dutch architecture, the city has excellent pubs, EDM and progressive laws that make a vacationing here an excellent experience. Places to visit in Amsterdam are Rijksmuseum, Anne Frank House and the Royal Palace. Dutch dishes like Hollandse Nieuwe, Stroopwafel and Kaas are a must have.

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Lisbon - City With a Future

The capital city of Portugal is a dream come true for all vacationers and backpackers. It has a weather which is pleasant throughout the year and the best part is that during the day one can check out the city’s historical treasure troves and in the night go crazy exploring all the pubs and night clubs of the city. Some rad places in the city are the Oceanario De Lisboa, Belem Tower and the Centro Vasco Da Gama. Also snack on dishes like Bacalhau and Cozida a portuguesa.

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Porto - The Invincible City

Portugal’s second largest city is the food and cultural capital of the country. It is an ideal place to just sit back and relax and let the highly intoxicating Portuguese way of life wash over you. It is also famous for its port wine which is famous all over the world and is in great demand. Do chalk out a visit to the Palacio da Bolsa, Duoro and the Porto Cathedral. While in Porto try out the Francesinha, Tripas a Moda do Porto and Bacalhau.

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Plan your European vacation around these events and festivals and explore Europe's many faces


Barcelona - The City of Counts

Home to one of the biggest soccer clubs, Barcelona is a city which is ever moving with dizzying pace and remarkable fluidity. The centuries old city is full of culture, life and excitement. Plan a trip to one of the best cities to visit in Europe and do check out the Sagrada Familia, Camp Nou, La Rambla and Tibidado. Barcelona has excellent Catalan cuisine in which dishes like Coques, Esqueixada and Ollada are extremely delicious.

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Ibiza - White Island of Europe

The island that inspired the now legendary song by Vengaboys which once became a standard party anthem, has a lot more to it than just nightlife and dancing on the beaches. The island has an abundance of natural beauty and historical monuments that are perfect for exploring during the daytime. Do not miss out on Dalt Villa, Es Vedra and of course Las Salinas Beach. It also has some very good Mediterranean food like Flaons, bullit de peix and sofrit pages.

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Seville - A Tourist's Delight


The 4th largest city of Spain is a classic combination of the medieval beauty of Spain and the growth and technology that the modern period has brought. It is a tourist favourite and filled with enough attractions to keep all sorts of people entertained. Places like The Alcazar, Seville cathedral and Plaza de Espana are a must visit on your European holiday. Seville is also famous for its gastronomy and dishes like Jamon iberico, serranito and tortas de aceite are favourites.

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Zurich - Little Big City in Europe

It is a leading global city and the world’s largest financial centre because of all the banks and financial institutions it hosts. Zurich has been settled in for more than 2000 years and the city is a testament to that fact. It has an active nightlife and possesses a unique blend of cultures and society. While in Zurich do take out time to visit the Lindenhof, Lake Promenade and Uetliberg. Some delicious traditional dishes are Zurcher Geschnetzeltes and Tirggel.

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London - The Big Smoke

Easily Europe’s most bustling and popular tourist destination, London is a phenomenon that can’t be just described in plain words. Seeing is believing and the statement is totally valid with this mighty city. London has a cosmopolitan culture with traditional roots which make wandering around in the city a colorful experience. Do visit the London Eye, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and Tower Bridge. Popular food of London is the traditional fish & chips, chicken tikka masala and a full english breakfast.

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Dublin - The Fair City

The city is full of fun loving people who love to just enjoy and have a good time in general. Pubs are an integral part of Dublin culture, which is but obvious seeing that the famous Guinness beer was brought to us by the Irish. Some famous attractions here are the Guinness Storehouse, Phoenix Park and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Popular food dishes here are the Irish stew, Colcannon and again Fish & chips.

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Edinburgh - Athens of the North

The capital of Scotland is a celebrated destination for education and arts. The city has signs of its old heritage in the form of the medieval architecture and display their progress with modern buildings and ever rising education standards. Some famous places to visit here are the Edinburgh castle, The Scott Monument and Scottish National gallery. Do try out the very popular Haggis and world famous Scottish Whiskey called Scotch when visiting.

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Prague - The Golden European City

This beautiful city has some magical feel to it that anyone visiting it can’t help but fall in love with its architecture, culture and history. It has a very medieval feel to it with the local population being very friendly and cheerful. The city itself is quite affordable to stay and dine in. Check out the Old Town Square, Charles Bridge and Prague Castle while here. Also grab a bite of the traditional Bohemian platter, Gulas or the Schnitzel.

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Budapest - Pearl of the Danube

It is easily one of the most beautiful cities in all of Europe and to many people’s surprise made up of 2 different districts ‘Buda’ and ‘Pest’. Budapest has a lot of historical buildings, avenues and parks that can melt even the most hardened of hearts and transport one back to the medieval Europe. Do plan a visit to the Buda Castle, Szechenyi thermal bath and the Chain bridge. Do try out the Hortobagyi palacsinta, chicken paprikas and Gundel Palacsinta for some delightfully tasting treats.

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Stockholm - Capital of Scandinavia

Sweden's capital is renowned world over for its very high education standards and fine and refined taste in the arts. It has the privilege of hosting the Nobel Prize ceremonies and most of the major Government institutions are located here. Don’t miss out on visiting the Vasa Museum, Stockholm Palace and Gamla Stan. Also savor some mouth watering dishes like Swedish Meatballs, smorgasbord and Lutfisk.

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Reykjavik - Land of Fire & Ice

The perfect holiday spot, Reykjavik is a perfect blend of a modern faster life and an authentic rural life. It is a perfect sample of what Iceland has in store for an eager tourist with its natural and man-made wonders. A visit is incomplete without viewing the Gullfoss waterfall, Hallgrimskirja and the Golden Circle. Also have some Porramatur, Puffin and Black pudding while visiting.

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Oslo - Tiger Town

This capital of Norway started off as an important trading place and one can still see signs of that culture prevalent throughout the city. It has a lot of sightseeing places to offer and is a big tourism hotspot in Norway. Do visit the Viking Ship Museum, Oslo Opera House and The Royal Palace while here. Also dishes like lutefisk, smalahove and pinnekjott are very popular.

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Helsinki - The White City of the North

The capital of Finland is very famous for its natural beauty and some amazing architecture. It also has an incredible pub and nightlife and a very refined taste of the arts. Visit the Suomenlinna, Toolonlahti and Seurasaari for some incredible sights. The Karelian pasty, Fried vendace and Bltic herring are some popular local dishes.

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Europe has so much to offer to a travel hungry wanderer that it is almost impossible to jot everything down on a piece of paper and just state it like that. Take your time and explore the beauty that the vast continent has to offer one at a time and you're surely to fall in love with it.

You May like to Read:

Top 10 Road Trips in Europe

Best Honeymoon Destinations in the World

Festivals in Europe  

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
ROHIN RAJ ROHIN RAJ

Little by little, one travels far... - J. R. R. Tolkien | | These magical words brought out the traveler within me, and prompted this 'Engineer by mistake', 'Fauji Brat by birth' and 'Ninja by fantasy', to start compiling all of those miles traveled into beautiful words!

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