Europe receives round 746 million worldwide arrivals yearly however what are essentially the most visited cities in Europe? On this information, I believed it could be useful to stipulate the preferred cities in Europe as a result of this serves as an important place to begin for journey planning—particularly if you wish to do a multi-city journey.
The Most Visited Cities in Europe
Fast Observe: This record of essentially the most visited cities in Europe comes from a 2019 examine finished by Euromonitor Worldwide and every metropolis’s native tourism workplace. These numbers are pre-pandemic so it can undoubtedly take a couple of years for tourism to return to earlier ranges. I’ve additionally written a information on the finest get together cities in Europe if you happen to’re in search of the highest nightlife locations.
1. London, United Kingdom — 19.6 Million Annual Guests
London has been essentially the most visited metropolis in Europe for a number of years — in truth, London is without doubt one of the most visited cities on the planet.
London is one in every of my favourite cities and it makes a wonderful first cease for a lot of vacationers for a number of causes.
First, London has a number of main airports so flights to/from London are plentiful they usually are inclined to have the bottom ticket costs. Second, London is nice for first-time vacationers as a result of there isn’t any language barrier so it’s a pleasant option to ease into visiting a overseas nation. Third, London is solely a unbelievable world-class metropolis with a lot to do, see, and eat. You possibly can simply spend per week or extra right here and by no means run out of issues to expertise.
2. Paris, France – 19.1 Million Annual Guests
Paris has at all times been a significant vacationer vacation spot — and rightfully so. In truth, Paris has been nipping at London’s heels for a number of years and plenty of specialists count on Paris to be essentially the most visited European metropolis inside a couple of years. Moreover, France is essentially the most visited nation in Europe.
Personally, Paris is my favourite metropolis (I lived there for a couple of years so I may be biased) as a result of it’s completely jam-packed with well-known sights, museums, nightlife, and tradition. Paris additionally has a wonderful Metro system so getting round is fast and simple.
Moreover, Paris additionally boasts the very best variety of trip rental flats together with a strong lodge and hostel stock.
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3. Istanbul, Turkey – 14.7 Million Annual Guests
Istanbul has suffered from political instability and safety issues for fairly some time however issues have calmed down significantly over the previous few years. This has made tourism in Instabul skyrocket and now town is without doubt one of the most visited cities on the planet—particularly for Europeans desirous to expertise Istanbul’s “East meets West” vibe.
4. Rome, Italy – 10.3 Million Annual Guests
It’s no shock that Rome is without doubt one of the most visited cities in Europe because it’s broadly thought-about the “world’s second most traditionally, educationally and culturally attention-grabbing and delightful metropolis”. Rome is one other heavy-hitting tourism vacation spot that may simply fill per week (or longer) go to.
Rome can also be nicely related to Italy’s nice cities and areas — making it a wonderful first cease earlier than exploring the remainder of this superb nation.
5. Amsterdam, Netherlands — 8.8 Million Annual Guests
Regardless of its comparatively small measurement, Amsterdam continues to be a significant European tourism vacation spot due to its stunning structure, pretty canals, and liberal social insurance policies. It’s additionally constantly ranked probably the greatest locations to dwell in Europe.
Amsterdam is definitely one of the vital costly cities in Europe — particularly with regards to lodging (which tends to occur when small cities obtain tens of millions of tourists). Over-tourism is an issue in Amsterdam so I like to recommend visiting in the course of the low season if you wish to keep away from a number of the crowds.
6. Barcelona, Spain — 7 Million Annual Guests
Barcelona finds its method onto most journey itineraries… and for good cause. This Spanish has a vibrant meals scene, a plethora of distinctive historic structure, nice Mediterranean climate, stunning seashores, and a number of the finest nightlife in Europe (many take into account it the highest nightlife vacation spot on the planet).
7. Prague, Czech Republic — 6.8 Million Annual Guests
It’s cliche to say however Prague really appears like a “fairy story” metropolis — if you happen to take away a lot of the vacationers, that’s. And whereas Prague isn’t as low cost because it as soon as was, you may nonetheless save fairly a bit in comparison with different cities on this record (particularly on meals and alcohol). Summers do get fairly busy so go to in the course of the different occasions of the 12 months if you wish to escape the crowds.
8. Vienna, Austria — 6.6 Million Annual Guests
Vienna is continually a prime contender for essentially the most livable metropolis in Europe so it’s no shock it’s a significant vacationer vacation spot. Vienna’s mixture of Artwork Nouveau, Gothic, and Baroque structure makes it one of the vital stunning cities on the planet.
And you may’t go to with out spending a couple of hours having fun with a espresso and conventional desserts on the many conventional Viennese espresso homes.
9. Milan, Italy — 6.5 Million Annual Guests
Milan is the style capital of Europe and the enterprise/finance capital of Italy. It undoubtedly has a extra buttoned-up vibe than the remainder of Italy, and it wouldn’t be my prime Italian vacation spot, but it surely’s nonetheless an important metropolis if you happen to’ve already explored Italy’s different highlights.
10. Athens, Greece — 6.3 Million Annual Guests
Athens is usually the jumping-off level to discover the well-known Greek Islands but it surely’s additionally the historic capital of Europe — in addition to the birthplace of democracy, arts, science, and philosophy of Western civilization. And, in fact, Athens is house to the Acropolis and Parthenon.
Whereas town is protected, Athens as an entire is sort of drab and gritty so it’s not your typical “stunning European metropolis” that many individuals think about it could be.
11. Berlin, Germany — 6.3 Million Annual Guests
It was as soon as famously mentioned that “Berlin is poor however horny.” And whereas Berlin isn’t as low cost because it as soon as was, it’s nonetheless one of many most cost-effective main European cities. Berlin continues to be one of many hottest nightlife/clubbing locations on the planet however you’ll discover that town provides a ton of different cultural actions as nicely — together with many glorious museums.
12. Moscow, Russia — 6 Million Annual Guests
Moscow nonetheless stays a little bit of a thriller to many Western guests — particularly since getting an entry visa is a little bit of a bureaucratic hurdle and the lengthy flight provides to the problem. However this huge metropolis provides quite a bit to folks trying to get off the crushed tourism path.
13. Venice, Italy — 5.6 Million Annual Guests
The amazingly stunning metropolis of Venice is sinking so go to earlier than it’s too late. Venice is one other one of many small cities that endure from over-tourism — particularly because it’s a well-liked port for big cruise ships. Nonetheless, Venice empties out at night time so if you happen to keep within the metropolis in a single day you’ll be rewarded with a very completely different expertise.
14. Madrid, Spain — 5.6 Million Annual Guests
Spain’s capital and largest metropolis, Madrid is a prime vacation spot for good cause — it’s a vigorous metropolis that’s each inexpensive by Western European requirements and boasts excellent tradition, structure, artwork, and glorious nightlife. But it surely’s additionally a reasonably trendy metropolis so that you’ll uncover that a lot of the structure is from the twentieth century — which might typically be a shock to many guests in search of “outdated” Europe. That mentioned, it’s a metropolis overflowing with power and old-world allure that’s value testing.
15. Dublin, Eire — 5.5 Million Annual Guests
Dublin is a small but vibrant metropolis that has a method of charming its guests — due to its pleasant locals. Dublin additionally has a massive pupil inhabitants and a very good pub tradition so the nightlife provides one thing for everybody. The town is pretty small so it’s a really manageable metropolis to discover on foot. Nonetheless, Dublin is pretty costly (particularly meals and alcohol).
16. Florence, Italy — 5.1 Million Annual Guests
Together with Rome, Florence is a must-see Italian vacation spot and it’s solely a 1.5 highspeed prepare journey away from Rome. And whereas Florence is a well-liked day-trip vacation spot, it’s finest skilled for a couple of days — plus the crowds skinny out at night time. And also you’ll want a couple of days to soak up all town’s magnificence and its scrumptious meals.
17. St Petersburg, Russia — 4.5 Million Annual Guests
Saint Petersburg is called the “Cultural Capital of Russia” and it’s filled with grandiose 18th and Nineteenth-century structure. The town can also be house to 221 museums together with the world-famous Hermitage Museum and the Russian Museum. Saint Petersburg feels far more European than Russian (go to Moscow if you wish to full “Russian” expertise).
18. Brussels, Belgium — 4.3 Million Annual Guests
Residence of the European Union, Brussels is a kind of cities that everybody has heard about but it surely doesn’t have many must-see sights. Brussels has a status for being considerably boring and costly (due to all the federal government leaders) however the metropolis is beginning to entice extra of a artistic class so it’s slowly shaking off its stodgy picture.
If nothing else, you’ll have a gentle provide of wonderful beer. And chocolate. And fries. And waffles. And beer. And chocolate. And beer.
19. Munich, Germany — 4.2 Million Annual Guests
Munich, the capital of Bavaria, is house to centuries-old classically German buildings and a number of museums. Munich can also be identified for its annual raucous Oktoberfest. Talking of Oktoberfest, Munich can also be a beer drinker’s paradise so don’t overlook to spend a while in one of many metropolis’s many beer gardens.
20. Hamburg, Germany — 4 Million Annual Guests
Hamburg is Germany’s second-largest metropolis. Hamburg has lengthy been one in every of Europe’s largest ports, and like most port cities, Hamburg is just a little tough across the edges. However Hamburg has undergone a significant transformation over the previous few years and it’s now typically thought-about Germany’s hippest metropolis. Now you’ll discover loads of new eating places, bars, and golf equipment.
21. Budapest, Hungary — 4 Million Annual Guests
Usually referred to as the “Paris of the East,” Budapest is one other one in every of Jap Europe’s nice locations that’s more and more changing into one in every of Europe’s most visited cities. It has elegant boulevards. It has stunning structure. But it surely has far more grit and edge due to its years below communist rule. It’s additionally inexpensive and one in every of Europe’s finest nightlife locations.
22. Tallinn, Estonia — 4 Million Annual Guests
Situated between Stockholm and St. Petersburg, Tallinn provides an alluring mixture of Nordic and Russian cultures. Tallinn nonetheless has a number of medieval buildings (with a mixture of Soviet-era buildings) and it’s one in every of Europe’s most full walled cities. Tallinn is without doubt one of the hottest day journeys from Helsinki and due to a lately constructed cruise ship docks, Tallinn does get overrun with vacationers — so staying in a single day helps provide you with a greater expertise.
23. Lisbon, Portugal — 3.6 Million Annual Guests
Lisbon is a scorching vacation spot and I believe will probably be shortly shifting up within the ranks of Europe’s most visited cities. Lisbon is a laid-back metropolis with coastal vibes that’s well-known for its pastel buildings, café tradition, and charmingly gritty vibe. It’s additionally very pleasant on the pockets when in comparison with different Western European cities — meals and lodging are each priced fairly and points of interest are about common.
24. Copenhagen, Denmark — 3.2 Million Annual Guests
You don’t want to go to Copenhagen for various hours to understand why the Danes are a number of the happiest folks on the planet and why Copenhagen is one in every of Europe’s “must-visit” locations. The town has so many issues going for it — a mixture of stunning outdated and state-of-the-art structure, an important meals scene, loads of sights and museums, tons of espresso outlets, a vigorous craft beer scene, loads of tradition, plenty of buying, a wonderful biking tradition, and pleasant locals.
25. Edinburgh, Scotland — 3.1 Million Annual Guests
Edinburgh is a fantastic, youthful metropolis in Scotland that has a magical medieval Outdated City, a chic Georgian New City, and the spectacular Edinburgh Fortress. It additionally attracts hundreds of tourists throughout its Edinburgh Competition every August. It’s additionally a really welcoming metropolis with pleasant locals and glorious Scottish pubs and bars.
26. Heraklion, Greece — 3 Million Annual Guests
Heraklion is a port metropolis and the capital of the Greek island of Crete. And regardless of its comparatively excessive customer numbers, most individuals spend little time in Heraklion as a result of they use town as a primary cease for exploring the remainder of the area.
27. Kraków, Poland — 2.9 Million Annual Guests
Krakow is a fantastic, old-school little metropolis in Poland that additionally has a status for being a celebration city due to its low cost costs and huge college pupil inhabitants. And whereas Warsaw is the official capital of Poland, Krakow is the nation’s cultural and mental capital.
28. Warsaw, Poland — 2.8 Million Annual Guests
Largely destroyed throughout WWII, Warsaw is the sprawling and rebuilt capital of Poland that’s simply beginning to be found by guests. Warsaw doesn’t have a big tourism infrastructure so it takes just a little extra effort and planning to get essentially the most out of your go to.
29. Frankfurt, Germany — 2.7 Million Annual Guests
Frankfurt is a largely trendy metropolis that’s extra of a business-centric metropolis than a touristic vacation spot. And whereas there are some good museums and sights, Frankfurt wouldn’t be one in every of my prime German locations.
30. Stockholm, Sweden — 2.7 Million Annual Guests
The gorgeous metropolis of Stockholm is simple on the eyes and tough on the pockets. Stockholm is definitely a metropolis unfold over 14 islands and over these islands, you’ll discover a lot to do. The one factor that retains Stockholm from being a extra standard metropolis is its comparatively distant location.
31. Good, France — 2.6 Million Annual Guests
Good is a fantastic metropolis within the South of France that’s been a favourite summer season trip vacation spot for Europeans for a whole bunch of years. And whereas Southern France has a well-earned status for being costly, Good has loads of budget-friendly choices — together with a number of glorious museums and simple prepare entry to a number of seaside cities.
32. Porto, Portugal — 2.5 Million Annual Guests
Whereas Lisbon will get the best variety of vacationers in Portugal, the marginally shabby but stunning metropolis of Porto nonetheless provides a lot to its guests — particularly with regards to stunning climate. Porto can also be a really inexpensive metropolis so it’s attracting many younger cooks and folks in search of nice journey offers.
33. Bruges, Belgium — 2.5 Million Annual Guests
Regardless of its small measurement, the medieval fairytale city Bruges is without doubt one of the hottest locations in Europe — in truth, it most likely will get extra guests than this record makes it appear since many individuals go to as a day journey. You possibly can simply see town in a day however visiting in a single day offers you a greater (and fewer touristy) view of town.
BRUGES TRAVEL TIPS: Bruges Journey Costs
34. Reykjavik, Iceland — 2 Million Annual Guests
Tourism to Reykjavik has exploded over the previous few years and now they’re getting over two million guests every year — which is quite a bit for a metropolis with a inhabitants of simply over 100,000. Reykjavik is a metropolis surrounded by unimaginable nature but it surely’s additionally a metropolis lively. It’s additionally a metropolis that’s tremendous costly so it can put a hurting in your pockets.
35. Seville, Spain — 2 Million Annual Guests
Seville is Spain’s fourth-largest metropolis and it’s one of many most-loved locations in Southern Europe. There’s a lot to see and eat on this laid-back metropolis so it’s value spending a couple of days exploring — however be warned at Seville is one in every of Europe’s hottest cities in the summertime so chances are you’ll need to go to within the spring or fall to flee the warmth.
36. Lyon, France — 1.6 Million Annual Guests
Lyon is the meals capital of France — which is saying quite a bit for a rustic well-known for its meals. Lyon can also be a hub for artwork, tradition, winemaking, and commerce. Lyon has many museums in addition to a youthful vibe due to its massive college inhabitants. Many guests additionally really feel like Lyon is extra pleasant and welcoming than Paris.
37. Dubrovnik, Croatia — 1.5 Million Annual Guests
Dubrovnik (and the remainder of Croatia) hasn’t historically been a wildly standard vacationer vacation spot however in recent times it has exploded in recognition — together with increased costs. Now the “pearl of the Adriatic” sees tens of millions of tourists desirous to discover the walled Outdated City of this stunning metropolis so go to within the low season if you wish to keep away from the crowds.
DUBROVNIK TRAVEL TIPS: Dubrovnik Journey Costs
Study Extra About Europe’s Most Well-liked Cities
The Savvy Backpacker is filled with useful recommendation about visiting the preferred and finest cities in Europe. Under are a few of my finest journey articles:
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Thanks For Studying! — James