Traveling the world is one of the favorite activities of millions of people. There are many attractions for those who prefer sports tourism, cultural tourism, and those interested in exploring the main cities of the planet.
Have you ever wondered which European cities welcome the largest number of tourists every year?
The great European cities offer all kinds of attractions for the most varied types of tourists. They are rich in history, art, but also in entertainment and seasonal events that attract visitors from all over the world. But, not to take any more of your time, let’s look at the 25 most visited cities in Europe.
NOTE: The ranking is based on the latest report provided by Euromonitor and may be subject to changes. Therefore, we invite you to report any corrections to be made via comments.
25. Krakow, Poland
Number of visitors: 2,937,200
If you believe the legends, Krakow was born from the defeat of a dragon. Despite the legend, it is true that a mythological atmosphere reigns in the streets of the city.
The Wawel Castle is a major attraction, while, at the center, are soaring churches, stately museums, and the vast Rynek Glowny, the largest market square in entire Europe.
In the first Jewish quarter, Kazimierz, the still-standing synagogues reflect the tragedy of the Second World War, just as its lively squares and alleys symbolize 21st-century renewal.
23. Brussels, Belgium
Number of visitors: 3,074,100
The charming capital of Belgium is a historic and fashionable city, bureaucratic, at the same time, bizarre and extremely multicultural.
Behind all of this an urban landscape that swings from majestic to eccentric dwells. You can see the facades of buildings in Art Nouveau and 19th-century royal buildings, which contrast with the medieval core of Brussels where the Grand Place, one of the most beautiful squares in the world, is located.
21. Lisbon, Portugal
Number of visitors: 3,790,500
Lisbon is a fascinating city full of history, where the sun shines 290 days a year and the temperature rarely drops below 15 degrees. Here, tourists can feel safe wandering through the alleys of the center day and night.
Let yourself be enchanted by the excellent traditional cuisine at the numerous restaurants for all tastes, budgets, and needs. Lisbon is an authentic city, where traditions and ancient history mix with lively cultural entertainment and hi-tech innovation.
20. St. Petersburg, Russia
Number of visitors: 3,996,000
From the priceless treasures of the famous Hermitage Museum to the palaces and artworks of the Russian Museum, this city is truly spoiled for choice.
There is also the historical aspect: Catherine the Great, Peter the Great, and the last Russian stars left their mark on this great city just like the great Russian writers such as Dostoyevsky and Pushkin did. Finally, the nightlife of St. Petersburg is legendary and the locals are famous for being much more relaxed than the citizens of Moscow.
19. Budapest, Hungary
Number of visitors: 4,004,400
Often referred to as “little Paris” Budapest is famous for monuments that tell its millennial history. The capital of Hungary is divided into two areas – Buda and Pest – which extend along the two banks of the Danube and represent two different aspects of the city.
Buda and its historic Castle are made up of medieval streets and houses, museums, caves, and Roman ruins. The most dynamic part, Pest, boasts the largest Parliament building in Europe, great streets for riverside walks, flea markets, bookstores, antique shops, and delicious cafes.
18. Munich, Germany
Number of visitors: 4,036,700
Munich has a thousand faces, from that of the affluent to that of Mediterranean-style outdoor cafes, to that of beer flowing in rivers and overflowing with huge mugs. A trip to this city is very popular, in fact, as the statistics show, more and more visitors choose it as a destination, especially during the period of the famous Oktoberfest.
17. Florence, Italy
Number of visitors: 5,015,400
What about Florence? Even if you visit it several times, you will never be able to see everything. The “cradle of Renaissance” is one of the main attractions for foreign tourists who want to visit this Italy.
Florence is magnetic, romantic, and busy. The center, which can be explored on foot, conquers its guests with its buildings, cafes, and restaurants where you can enjoy the best Italian food. The city is also a perfect destination for luxury shopping.
15. Dublin, Ireland
Number of visitors: 5,185,000
Dublin is a city on a human scale, which welcomes many visitors, especially young people, every year. It is a fairly small city and is also suitable for a weekend or a few days’ stay. It’s located at the mouth of the River Liffey and is also remembered for being the birthplace of literary geniuses such as Oscar Wilde, Jonathan Swift, James Joyce, and Samuel Beckett. Founded by some Viking populations over a millennium ago, it’s a city rich in history and culture, as well as entertainment.
It’s certainly known for its very high concentration of pubs and clubs, which makes it practically impossible to go out without knowing what to do, especially in the evening!
14. Moscow, Russia
Number of visitors: 5,404,500
It is thought that the origins of this city date back to more than eight and half centuries ago; the first references to Moscow are in fact from 1147. It was founded by the prince of Suzdal, Yuri Dolgorukiy on the broad bend of the Moskva River. From its humble beginnings (it was initially a hunting village), it has grown steadily into a fortress city, and then the center of the entire great Russian nation.
Its beautiful architecture boasts real symbols such as the Kremlin, Red Square, and St. Basil’s Cathedral. Moscow is one of the largest cities in the world, has grown rapidly in recent decades, and, as a result, includes affluent neighborhoods surrounding a relatively compact historic center stuffed with the undeniable charm of ancient architecture.
13. Venice, Italy
Number of visitors: 5,406,800
Venice is one of the Italian cities that is literally invaded by tourists every season. On the other hand, it is a unique city of its kind. Its particular conformation, where the roads are not made of asphalt but water channels, remains etched in the memory and the heart of every visitor.
The beauty of the multitude of monuments and artworks as well as St. Mark’s Square with its famous Basilica, the beating heart of the city, captivates every tourist that visits the city.
12. Madrid, Spain
Number of visitors: 5,512,600
Madrid is a city full of passion, the one that its citizens will pass on to the visitors. It is a modern and cosmopolitan metropolis but, at the same time, there is a great cultural and artistic heritage.
Culture and art, actually, play a primary role in this city, where 73 museums are located, including the Prado Museum, one of the most important art galleries in the world, and the Queen Sofia National Art Center, which boasts important works by Picasso, Joan Miró, and Salvador Dali.
11. Berlin, Germany
Number of visitors: 5,770,900
Berlin is a young, unpredictable, and extravagant destination. It is a modern city, full of clubs and entertainment, where you can appreciate the various street food, fashion, art, design, and music. All this makes Berlin a real cultural capital. The symbol of the city is the Brandenburg Gate, which represents the old division of the two Germanies and the subsequent reunion.
Although little of the original remains, there are numerous references to the Second World War and the subsequent division. Emblematic are the remains of the famous Wall, the Reichstag, Checkpoint Charlie, and the Holocaust Memorial.
10. Vienna, Austria
Number of visitors: 6,303,800
Once a land of the Habsburg rulers of the Austro-Hungarian Empire for centuries, today one of the greatest European capitals: Vienna. The memories of that past period are carefully preserved by lovers of the Viennese tradition. Past artistic glories come back to life thanks to the cultural heritage left by brilliant personas such as Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Strauss, and Gustav Klimt. The visitors today discover a city with a special grace and a very uniform architectural character, which distinguishes it from other capitals.
9. Milan, Italy
Number of visitors: 6,513,000
Headquarters of the Italian stock exchange, industrial power, and internationally accepted arbiter of fashion and design, Milan is a seething metropolis.
The great Gothic cathedral, the Duomo, sits at the center of what was once a Roman imperial capital and expresses the love for beauty and strength that still drives the city today. Its strengths are the collection of ancient and modern art, the unparalleled shopping option, one of the largest exhibition complexes in Europe, a sparkling nightlife, the prestige of the Scala Teather, the sign of Leonardo da Vinci’s genius, an almost religious addition to football, and the endless options to eat the best Italian and Lombardian cuisine.
8. Barcelona, Spain
Number of visitors: 6,726,000
Barcelona has a rich cultural and historical heritage. It has so many attractions that choosing which ones to mention is no easy feat. The Gothic Quarter (Barrio Gótico) and the Ramblas are great places to stroll and enjoy the stalls and street performers. The Sagrada Familia Cathedral, visible from practically every point of the city, is one of the most representative monuments of Barcelona.
No visit to Barcelona can be considered complete without trying the local dishes in a small restaurant in the center or at the large market.
7. Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Number of visitors: 8,476,600
With its world-famous canals and museums, Amsterdam welcomes millions of visitors every season. The historic center makes it one of the most romantic and beautiful cities in Europe: cruises along its canals are an option; captivating and a different way to explore the city. Amsterdam is also a city of diversity tolerance, as well as enjoying all the advantages of a great center: rich culture, vibrant nightlife, international restaurants, and efficient public transport.
On top of that, it’s also relatively quiet and, largely thanks to its wide canals, has very little road traffic. On the other hand, you can experience the thrill of cycling along the canals, joining the flow of hundreds of citizens who use it every day!
6. Prague, Czech Republic
Number of visitors: 9,038,900
The Old Town Hall with the famous Prague astronomical clock, the winding streets of the Jewish quarter, already known by those who have read the novels of Franz Kafka, immersed in the legend of the Golem, the cafes that just look at the visitors inviting them to enter and sit down, the boutiques, cruises on the Vltava… These are just some of the attractions that make Prague one of the most visited cities in the world.
The Charles Bridge is a majestic Gothic bridge and the St. Nickolas Church in Mala Strana is the most beautiful Baroque church in Prague.
The city presents itself as changeable, romantic, successful, ancient, and modern, but most of all cosmopolitan in all aspects.
5. Rome, Italy
Number of visitors: 9,703,200
What to say about Rome that hasn’t been said? As an open-air museum, they define it, and who we are to deny this claim?
What is universally considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world – if not the most beautiful – is the Eternal City, Caput Mundi (eng. head of the world), the city of “La dolce vita”… Tourists come for the Colosseum, Piazza Navona, the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, the Vatican Museums, the Spanish Steps, the Sistine Chapel… and they leave with its blue sky and the sunsets along the Tiber in the heart.
Numer of visitors: 10,729,300
It is one of the top destinations for foreign travelers, especially during the summer season. And, how can it not be when it has so much to offer the tourists, from an impeccable sea to amazing resorts, to natural beauties, and historic places.
Number of visitors: 12,121,100
A city lying on two continents, a city full of history… Who can deny the beauty of this ancient city? Once known as Constantinople, the center of the Roman Empire, today this city boasts with its historical and cultural heritage. From Hagia Sophia to the Blue Mosque, from the Bosphorus to Kapali Charshija (Grand Bazaar), there are really too many things to see that a weekend isn’t enough.
2. Paris, France
Number of visitors: 16,863,500
How many marriage proposals or declarations of love have been made in the light of the Eiffel Tower?
The best of European history and culture is condensed in this city. Those who visit it can enjoy incredible places of interest such as the Louvre Museum but can also get lost in fascinating neighborhoods such as Montmartre or Marais. The city offers the ultimate romance along the Seine, with truly picturesque views, manicured gardens, and plenty of outdoor bistros.
1. London, UK
Number of visitors: 20,715,900
The capital of England looks like an immense metropolis and offers a lot to the visitor, which is why it takes the 1st place on this ranking. The British Museum, with free admission, is a fascinating place where numerous archeological finds are preserved, including the famous Rosetta Stone.
Westminster Abbey is London’s historic cathedral, but those who live green walks will undoubtedly appreciate Hyde Park. A visit to Buckingham Palace is a must, perhaps during the changing of the guard. In Piccadilly Circus, you can go shopping, as well as at Harrods and Camden Town.