10 Most Beautiful Holiday Destinations in EUROPE

From Iceland to Istanbul, from Scandinavia to Sicily, the European continent spans a mind-boggling multitude of cultures, languages, and styles. What all of these 30 knockout cities share, however, is a distinctive look and appeal that have kept visitors swarming—and swooning!—for centuries.

Nice, on the impossibly blue French Riviera, offers an enchanting Old Town that’s tailor-made for strolling, exploring parks, and, of course, soaking up France’s delicious and luxurious cafe culture.

Prague is the capital of the Czech Republic, but is also the largest city in the region known as Bohemia. The Charles Bridge, St. Vitus Cathedral, and Old Town belong on your to-do list here.

Amsterdam is best known for its magical canals and distinctive architecture, but it boasts one of the greatest collections of art on earth, including a museum dedicated to Van Gogh.

London isn’t just Europe’s biggest city—it also boasts unforgettable architectural wonders like the Tower, the Houses of Parliament, the Tower Bridge, Hyde Park, the gently winding Thames, and more charmingly meandering old streets, alleys, and courts than you could explore in a year of happy wandering.

We love Birmingham for its first-rate food scene, lovely parks, and the fact that J.R.R. Tolkien and Ozzie Osbourne are both from the UK’s “second city.”
(Angie Smith)

Porto, Portugal, is the center of an up-and-coming wine scene that goes way beyond the city’s namesake port. It also offers a nice juxtaposition of old-world landmarks and modern street art.
(Ashok Sinha)

With medieval churches and monasteries, beautiful public spaces, and cobblestoned streets, Lisbon gives you the chance to savor a major European capital and feel as if you’ve stepped just a bit off the beaten path at the same time.

Madrid is home to one of the world’s most important art collections, Museo del Prado, not to mention a mind-blowing array of restaurants, palaces, and public parks. From the moment you wake up to the moment your head hits the pillow late in the evening (hopefully after lingering over plates of tapas with friends), Madrid will inspire you to carpe diem!

Barcelona pulses with a rhythm and energy all its own, with architecture and public spaces that make you feel as if you’re lost in a fairy tale.

Yes, Venice really is as beautiful, enchanting, and unforgettable as everyone says. While its museums, squares, bridges, and canals are amazing, our favorite thing to do here is get lost on its winding streets. (Don’t worry—you’re never far from a landmark that’ll help you get your bearings back!)

Whether your taste runs to gargoyles, stained-glass windows, or the treasures of the Louvre, Paris holds something for everyone. As Audrey Hepburn says in Sabrina, “Paris is always a good idea.”

Seville is home to Alcazar, a royal palace that was once a Moorish fort. The city is a vibrant and stylish gem that belongs on any Spanish itinerary alongside Madrid and Barcelona.

When it comes to beautiful cities, Florence has a bit of an edge over most, with notable buildings like the Duomo designed by major Renaissance artists.

Don’t let its political importance fool you into thinking Brussels is all business. It may be the capital of the European Union, but this Belgian city, founded as a 10th-century fort, knows how to entertain visitors.

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