Europe is perhaps the most beautiful continent in the world. Snow clad mountains, pristine rivers, classic architecture, vibrant cultures and a rich history; Europe pretty much has it all. But amidst the plethora of naturally beautiful cities that Europe proudly calls its own, there are a few who stand out. That may be because of the city’s history, its culture, the scenic locales or just the vibrancy and the free-spirited nature of the place. So, all things considered, here’s a list of 10 European cities that you absolutely must visit at least once in your lifetime.
Barcelona is a city that would top 9 out of 10 ‘must visit European cities’ lists. What makes it better is that each of these lists would give several reasons for having it up at the top! That’s the beauty of Barcelona. It lives by its own rules; grooves to its own beats. While the Gothic genius of La Sagrada Familia leaves you gasping with its jaw-dropping architecture, the La Rambla street leaves you spoilt for choices with its range and variety of bars, shops, restaurants and theatres. And if one of your travelling group mates rubs you the wrong way, send him to the maze at Parc del Laberint d’Horta instead of just screaming “Get lost!”
No trip to Europe is complete without a visit to a Scandinavian city. And what better place to visit than Stockholm! The Swedish capital is undeniably gorgeous but is also a paradox of sorts. While the city exudes a peaceful and relaxed aura, it is also one of the more ‘hip’ places in northern Europe. While in the city, it is worth making the trip to popular attractions like the Vasa museum, Gamla Stan and the Royal Palace. Photography enthusiasts could be excused for drooling over this city as it houses Fotografiska, a centre and meeting place for contemporary photography. For ABBA fans, the newly launched ABBA museum is almost a shrine.
Chances are that most of you didn’t even have a clue that Reykjavik exists. Chances also are that once you are back from a trip to this city, everyone around you (including your milkman, mailman and the neighbour you haven’t talked to in 3 years) would know that Reykjavik exists! You just won’t stop talking about it. The city experiences nearly 22 hours of daytime which gives you plenty of time to enjoy its artistic offerings and a host of adventure sports. During winter, you get the opportunity to soak in the view of the now legendary northern lights. The city also has a vibrant nightlife and a host of other natural wonders.
Think of Paris and the first thing to come to your mind is fashion. Dubbed as the Fashion Capital of the World, there is much more to Paris than just that. Sample this: Paris is home to about 2.24 million people but in 2016, one of Paris tourism’s worst years because of the cowardly terror attacks the city was subject to, about 18 million foreigners visited Paris! Some of its more popular tourist attractions include Notre Dame de Paris, Pompidou Centre, Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre. The city of light, romance and art is also popular for its ‘happening’ Club scene.
If ever a city symbolised love, it must be Rome (well, maybe Paris too). The backdrop of some of the most iconic romantic movies, Rome is a traveller’s delight. Dotted with neoclassical structures, the city is also home to some strikingly beautiful artworks. It also hosts the Roman Catholic Church, one of the world’s foremost religious organisations. The erstwhile Roman Empire is regarded as one of the strongest ever to have existed and its influence is not lost in modern Rome. And if you wanted another reason to visit this city, just have a look at some pictures of the Colosseum and you’d probably start packing your bags right away.
Venice is probably one of the most easily recognisable cities in the world and the most unique. The city’s architecture is a testament to human genius. The road-less city is connected by a network of canals and bridges. There are so many beautiful places to see in this city that some would say Venice has more tourist attractions than people! But the ones you should visit are the Grand Canal, Ponte di Rialto (the Rialto Bridge), Palazzo Ducale and St Mark’s Basilica.
Prague, Czech Republic:
Prague is simply a breath-taking city! Located in Eastern Europe, the city has a relaxed culture and friendly people. It is a heaven for beer lovers and a foodie’s delight considering the number of Michelin star restaurants in the city. Prague Castle, the world’s largest ancient castle, has tourists flocking to it while the world’s oldest medieval clock (still operational!) is also located in the city. Prague has a buzzing nightlife scene and is just the perfect place to let your hair down. And considering what the city has to offer, a trip to Prague surprisingly doesn’t cost you a bomb.
The ultimate symbol of the powerful British Empire, London is a city that grows on you. While it is not as naturally beautiful as Barcelona, Santorini, or some of the Nordic cities, there is no denying that it still has a lot that makes it perhaps more worth a visit than some of the other names on this list. Firstly, there is the iconic Big Ben and the London Eye. The Tower Bridge and the Buckingham Palace too have a charm of their own. And if you want to take a photo with your favourite celebrity, head to the Madame Tussauds! Those wax statues are as good as the original (yes, honestly!)
Amsterdam is a city of extremes. On one hand, you could enjoy a bicycle ride along the canals and on the other hand, you could venture into some anonymous red-light areas without the slightest discomfort or inhibitions. And yes, people don’t judge you for your acts in here! Amsterdam represents one of the more liberal cultures in the world and that is probably what makes the city worth exploring. The city also has a floating flower market by the name of Bloemenmark. The Van Gogh museum and Anne Frank’s house are also situated here.
Bucharest is probably one of the more unconventional choices on this list but that’s only because unlike the big players (Paris, Amsterdam, Rome, London), it isn’t a city that seeks attention. There is nothing too glitzy about it but that doesn’t mean anything beyond that. If you love peace, class and subtlety then Bucharest is the place for you. Replete with a host of museums and churches among other tourist attractions, the Romanian capital may not top your list of ‘must visit places’ but is a definite top 10 contender.
Your travel partner – TripCenter
Europe is replete with freakishly beautiful places. Though it is difficult to narrow down your search, these are the cities for which you must not miss any chance to visit them.
And while you get ready to make plans for your next European sojourn, TripCenter, the world’s first web booking platform helps you with your transport needs of a chauffeured car, coach or minibus hire, across places, across cities. Know More