Travel Rankings & Advice

Best Places to Visit in Europe

To help you plan your next trip to Europe, U.S. News rounded up a list of vibrant cities known for their museums, shops, restaurants, nightlife, recreation and architecture. After careful consideration of these factors — and opinions among travelers and experts — we found 20 must-see destinations in Europe. Use this list to guide your travel choices, and cast your vote to help us compile next year's list.

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Why go: Roma is a can't-miss spot on your European tour. The aroma of fresh Italian cooking wafts through alleys, locals are adorned in couture, and historic sites sit at every turn. The Colosseum and St. Peter's Basilica are essential attractions for any world traveler. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Rome

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Why go: Paris is filled with museums (like the Louvre and the Musée d'Orsay), monuments (like the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe) and churches (like the Sacré-Coeur and Notre Dame). Still, save some time for drawn-out meals and relaxing at sidewalk cafes. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Paris

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Why go: Exploring the world-class British Museum, seeing a musical in Leicester Square, touring the Tower of London and gorging on fish 'n' chips at a local pub are all part of a London vacation. However, London's high hotel prices can make bargain-hunters cringe. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in London

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Why Go: Compared to Rome, Firenze gives visitors a taste of a more authentic Italy. Florence boasts renowned museums, stunning architecture and mouth-watering cuisine. You can't miss admiring Michelangelo's David and climbing to the top of the Duomo. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Florence

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Why go: Barcelona offers a unique blend of old and new architecture. The designs of Gaudi's Parc Güell and La Sagrada Família are impressive, and La Seu and Montjuïc Castle showcase the city's traditional side. When you tire of architecture, relax on the beach or sip sangria along Las Ramblas. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Barcelona

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Why go: There's more to this city than its notorious coffee shop culture. Bike rides along the city's canals are popular with locals and visitors alike, and stylish galleries keep travelers returning time and time again. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Amsterdam

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Why go: Visiting Prague is like stepping onto the set of a fairy tale. The gothic architecture impresses visitors of all ages. And the city's love of music is contagious. You'll also appreciate Prague's affordability compared to other captivating European destinations.  Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Prague

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Why go: In addition to its abundance of urban charms — buzzing nightlife, innovative cuisine, trend-setting fashion and modern museums — Berlin offers visitors a history lesson (albeit a somber one) with Holocaust memorials and remnants of the Cold War.  Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Berlin

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Why go: Venice may conjure images of romantic gondola rides down the Grand Canal, but this "City of Water" isn't only for swooning lovebirds. With an abundance of theaters, churches, historic sites and notable eateries, all types of travelers will enjoy Venice's charms. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Venice

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Why go: This storied city is best known for its music and monarchs. While in Vienna, explore the Habsburg's Schonbrunn Palace and stroll the narrow streets of the Inner Stradt. If you're an art-lover, head to the MuseumsQuartier to tour the Museum of Modern Art. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Vienna

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Why go: This renowned culinary region is full of quaint eateries serving up traditional Italian fare. You can savor Tuscany's rich flavors at charming restaurants in Florence, Siena and Cinque Terre, or head straight to the source on a winery or olive grove tour. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Tuscany

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Why go: One of Lisbon's biggest draws is its affordability: You'll pay far less (relative to other Western European capitals) on accommodations, meals and attractions. Travelers enjoy spotting gothic cathedrals, lounging along picturesque beaches and exploring interesting museums. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Lisbon

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Why go: Budapest can be seen as the backpackers' Vienna; it's fun, young and budget-friendly. Although it's not at the top of many Americans' European to-do list, Budapest's architectural beauty, cheap eats and unique culture merits consideration. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Budapest

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Why go: Madrid is easy to navigate and cost-effective. Take advantage of all the opportunities to experience the local culture: Savor an afternoon in Retiro Park, shop for souvenirs in the Mercado San Miguel, roam museums like the Prado and sample delicious tapas. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Madrid

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Why go: Half of Istanbul rests in Europe, the other half in Asia. Notable sites like the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque bear evidence of the two converging worlds. For a taste of Istanbul's lively culture, spend a few hours hunting for bargains in the Grand Bazaar. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Istanbul

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Why go: Dublin is popular among beer enthusiasts for being home to the Guinness Storehouse and the subsequently unparalleled pub culture. But the beautiful parks, towering cathedrals and castles in this walkable Irish city are not to be missed. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Dublin

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Why go: Sprawling, striking, soaked in history…Stockholm wins over visitors with its blend of ancient architecture and modern charms. You can't miss exploring the city's cutting-edge museums, exhibitions and galleries, meandering along the cobbled streets of Gamla Stan or indulging in Nordic cuisine. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Stockholm

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Why go: Surrounded by a rugged Scottish landscape, Edinburgh possesses a wealth of attractions. Visitors can stroll the Royal Mile, climb the nearby hills and tour ancient castles. Meanwhile, the city's bed and breakfasts offer authentic local experiences at affordable prices. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Edinburgh

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Why go: Famous for its star-studded clientele, yacht-filled waters and glitzy Monte-Carlo casino, Monaco lures jet-setting types seeking a fairytale Côte d’Azur setting. But even with its striking Belle Epoque architecture, trendy bistros and pebbly shores, Monaco isn't for the budget traveler.  Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Monaco

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Why go: Though Peter the Great built this city on a swamp, St. Petersburg soon became Russia's most beautiful city. There are Tsarist palaces to explore and museums (like the Hermitage) to tour. But if you're maintaining a budget, consider another Eastern European city, like Riga. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in St. Petersburg

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