Europe is filled with culture, history, natural beauty, wonders, and remarkable cities. We mixed in a couple classic cities like Dublin and Rome with some not so traditional cities like Budapest and Riga to create a list of European cities worth adding to your bucket list. Hopefully it gets you dreaming about European travel. Here are our 5 European cities worth adding to your bucket list.
Budapest, Hungary’s capital, is worth exploring in depth. It is one of my favorite European cities, and probably one of the most underrated. Geographically and culturally, Budapest is at the border of Western and Eastern Europe. Ottoman Turks, Austrian, and Soviet-led communist regimes left Budapest very distinct and diverse. You can enjoy a performance at the world famous Budapest Opera House, explore Hungary’s Parliament Building, go shopping on Andrassy Street, relax in one of Budapest’s famous baths, or walk across Chain Bridge, the first bridge to connect Buda and Pest. The most intimate way to discover the hidden gems of the city is on one of the Budapest private tours. There are complete city tours, food tours, heritage tours, and hidden corner tours. Although Budapest is a largely populated city with almost two million people, it’s easily walkable. making private tours an amazing option.
Riga has always been a capital of culture. Ancient, but at the same time youthful, multicultural, and European, Riga surprises visitors with its diverse and rich cultural history. The Central Market, in which old zeppelin hangars have been converted into covered markets, is one of the largest of its kind in Europe. It is an on-going example of culture in Riga, which stands out with its architecturally dramatic pavilions. At the Central Market, you can buy Latvian countryside produce harvested by farmers themselves, as well as fruits and consumer goods. As a cornerstone of Riga’s living history, Freedom Street and the Freedom Monument are symbols of Riga’s independence. The buildings around Riga tell a similar story to Freedom Street and, while build on war and turbulence, create a distinct beauty that draws you in and demands your attention.
With world-renowned nightlife, literature, history, and so much more, you’ll never want to leave Dublin, Ireland. You can discover the story of iconic drinks at The Guinness Storehouse, trace Dublin’s literary tradition at the Dublin Writers Museum, and follow the disturbing history of Kilmainham Gaol. But there is nothing like a night out on the town in Dublin. Smithfield, one of the city’s oldest neighbourhoods, is the ideal spot to hear traditional Irish folk tunes and drink with locals and tourists alike.
Rome stands on Seven Hills by the Tiber River and it is a discovery of monuments among some of the most beautiful architectures and creations in the world. From the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, Trevi Fountain, Vatican City, Sistine Chapel, and Saint Peter’s Basilica, every street houses an imperial Roman ruin. The people of Rome, including ancient gladiators, powerful emperors, and influential religious leaders, have shaped world history for 2,000 years and counting.
You can’t visit Rome without eating gelato, pizza, and pasta. Nor can you leave without standing inside the Colosseum, throwing three coins in Trevi Fountain, or walking up and down the Spanish Steps. You must rendezvous with Michelangelo and step inside The Sistine Chapel. And don’t forget to explore Piazza Navona.
The city of Füssen is the southern-most end and climax of the famous German Romantic Road. Its location in the heart of one of Bavaria’s most charming hill and lake districts make it the ideal starting point for visits to Neuschwanstein Castle, one of the best castles in Germany. The central part of Füssen is a pedestrian area filled with historic merchants’ houses painted in pastel colors, baroque churches, and the High Castle with its inner courtyard and wonderful frescoes. Around the town is some of Bavaria’s most beautiful landscape framed by mountains and lakes and with a fabulous network of trails for cyclists, mountain bikers, and hikers.
Iconic cultural, historic attractions, Old World charm and romance, and art and architecture, Europe offers something for everyone. There are dozens and dozens of magnificent cities to explore in Europe but we figured we’d give you a great starting point with these five European cities worth adding to your bucket list.