The charm of the old continent is never downhill: every year tourists from all over the world choose Europe for their travels both culturally and relaxingly.
Every major European city hides secret corners, little-known monuments and unmissable atmospheres that are worth discovering and savoring.
In addition to the most popular travel destinations, such as Rome, Paris, London or Berlin, it is recommended to learn more about others less frequented but that can reserve pleasant surprises.
Here is the list of the most beautiful European capitals, to visit absolutely in 2023!
20. Helsinki, Finland
It is the capital of Finland, as well as the largest city in the entire Scandinavian nation, with its almost 600,000 inhabitants. Helsinki is a fascinating destination not only winter, but enjoyable even in the hottest months of the year.
Despite the cold temperatures, the city reveals some of its most unique features in the colder months, such as the Midnight Sun and the Aurora Borealis and one of the best Christmas markets. The sea and lakes become frozen, and there are many events.
In summer, however, the sun never sets for almost 2 months: leaving the disco at 4 a.m. and finding the sun is definitely an experience that you can hardly do anywhere else!
Don’t miss the main square, directly on the sea, the Kauppatori, where there is a very rich market where you can buy original souvenirs of Finnish crafts. Also worth a visit is the impressive Orthodox cathedral of Uzpenski and the Most Famous Alexanderinkatu Street in Helsinki, where at the beginning of the Christmas season Santa Claus makes his parade on a reindeer sleigh.
19. Monte Carlo, Monaco
Monaco is a city-state that has always been synonymous with luxury and beauty. Monte Carlo is a city where luxury shops, museums and the famous casinos are located.
Monte Carlo is certainly not an economic location to stay overnight. However, if you’re a luxury lover, here you’ll find a wide range of international chains ready to pamper and spoil you.
Do you love speed? The famous Formula 1 Grand Prix takes place here every year. Do you like fairy tales? American actress Grace Kelly here married Prince Rainier. The centre is quietly walking around and you can see the Grimaldi Palace, with the characteristic changing of the guard ceremony, which takes place at 11:55 every day.
For the more mundane, and for those who can afford it, a walk through the shopping streets is recommended.
18. Edinburgh, Scotland
It is a city with a “dark” charm, mysterious. The capital of Scotland, Edinburgh, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, can only conquer you with that mysterious ness lit through its streets, within its monuments, which ooss from the walls of its palaces, made in a Successful mix of 19th-century, Gothic and medieval style.
It is a city with a thousand faces, with a thousand-year history and with many legends that accompany it. The medieval charm of Old Town, where the ancient castle stands, predates the Royal Mile, the city centre’s most famous street leading up to the fairytale Holyroodhouse Palace.
Edinburgh is also nightlife, ethnic and seafood restaurants and pints of beer, but also nature with Arthur’s Seat, Scotland’s most impressive and spectacular volcano.
The capital of Scotland offers many wonders to see but also to enjoy. Pay attention to schedules: lunch is served from noon to 2 p.m. and dinner from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
17. Stockholm, Sweden
If you’re not afraid of the cold and want to visit one of the most elegant and fascinating cities in Europe, head to Stockholm. The capital of Sweden is tidy and efficient, can be visited nimbly on foot even if served by excellent public transport, rich in culture, traditions but also innovation.
The whole history of Stockholm is enclosed in the medieval streets of the old town, Gamla Stan. The Royal Palace, Gothic churches and also Swedish-designed bars, cafes, restaurants and shops help create a truly unique Nordic atmosphere.
Don’t miss the exclusive boutiques, shops and department stores in Stermalm or, if you’re a fan of Stieg Larsson and the Millennium trilogy-inspired films, you can’t miss the Millennium Tour on the streets of Sandermalm.
In summer in the city the sun stays high until late in the evening: 19 hours of light available to explore parks, canals, design and architecture!
16. Dublin, Ireland
Known for being a city on a human scale, Dublin is a popular destination for both young people and adults alike. Elegant, never exaggerated, the capital of Ireland is also the largest and most populous city in the country. Its pubs and beer are famous all over the world, as is the easy-going spirit of its citizens. Despite the gloomy weather the atmosphere is always sunny and cheerful!
Dublin hides great surprises, it is literature, history and friendliness. You can stop and enjoy the view of the River Liffey from the ha’penny Bridge, a true city icon, or head to the Powerscourt Shopping Centre for a unique shopping experience.
Don’t miss St. Patrick’s Day on March 17. And don’t forget to toast with a fresh beer and check the best cities to visit in Ireland!
15. Copenhagen, Denmark
Copenhagen is a city to discover: multifaceted, colorful, lively, full of charm and contradictions, ideal for a city-break in Europe.
It has many attractions and attractions for all tastes. For the little ones but also for the grown-ups there is the amusement park Giardini di Tivoli, one of the main attractions. A popular destination is also the statue of the Little Mermaid along with the partially self-managed Free City of Christiania, located in the heart of Copenhagen.
It is an easy and safe city to visit. The city centre is quite small, and it’s easy to walk in no time.
14. Madrid, Spain
If you want to visit a European capital and are looking for a city full of fun and day and night attractions, head to Madrid and the popular beaches in Spain. It really is the city of movida, where entertainment is wasted night and day. Here are the origin of some sayings related to the city, such as Madrid me mata (Madrid kills me) and Madrid nunca duerme (Madrid never sleeps)!
The city is not only carefree and dilated rhythms, but also houses precious masterpieces of art: Prado Museum, Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Parque del Buen Retiro, the Royal Palace and Plaza Mayor: these are just some of the many tourist attractions and cultural offerings from Madrid. For football fans, a visit to the famous Santiago Bernabeu Stadium is a must!
13. Budapest, Hungary
Budapest is classic and impressive, but also cheap and fun. It is nicknamed the “Paris of the East” for some landscapes and corners of the city.
From the union of Buda and Pest, divided by the slow flow of the Danube, this majestic city is born, in the style of the ancient Mitteleuropa as well as Vienna and Prague. By day you can visit interesting museums and historic churches, and then immerse yourself in the fervent nightlife among the locals in the area.
The must-see monuments are undoubtedly the Royal Palace that houses the National Gallery, the Bastion and the Church of Mattia.
Budapest can also be a relaxing city, thanks to the many famous spas that offer a unique experience, especially in winter, when the metropolis is covered in snow.
The best time to visit Budapest, both for the cheapest prices and for the more favorable climate, is that of the intermediate seasons and, in particular, May, June and September.
12. Lisbon, Portugal
Popular, indolent and melancholy like all major seaside cities, Lisbon is often underestimated but full of charm. Discover the neighbourhoods from Bairro Alto to Baixa, passing through Belem and Chiado. Here you can discover what to do in Sintra, the true cultural identity of Lisbon, listen and fully appreciate the characteristic and melancholy makes played in some typical venue.
Lisbon is also a gastronomic adventure: it is true that cod is one of the typical dishes of the Portuguese capital, but the culinary offer is much wider and varied! To be aware of is that every self-respecting meal in Lisbon always starts with nibbles, brought to the table even if you have not requested them, and paid only if they are actually eaten.
11. Athens, Greece
Athens is one of the oldest cities in the world and today it is huge and crowded, but you can still breathe the almost sacred atmosphere of Ancient Greece: art, philosophy, history, but above all politics and democracy were born and developed at the Greece’s capital.
It is a city that offers a lot, both archaeologically, as well as in terms of the sea, entertainment and good food.
The first place to see is definitely the Acropolis, then continue with the Agora, the market with the temple dedicated to Efestus, the temple dedicated to Zeus and the arch of Hadrian.
There are over 50 museums present, including the museum of the acropolis, the National Archaeological Museum, the Byzantine Museum, music, war…
But the Greek capital, with its 4,000 years of culinary tradition, with its genuine and decisive flavors, its spices, will also involve you in a truly unique gastronomic experience, and moreover at affordable prices.
10. Vienna, Austria
The capital of the Habsburg Empire and for several centuries one of the major hubs of Central European arts and culture, Vienna has maintained the image of this fascinating past.
It is a hospitable city, human-friendly and full of attractions. It offers great internationally famous museums, whose headquarters are established in the former residences of the Habsburg dynasty, and also has a wonderful historic center, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Hit the city in a carriage, admire the works of Schiele and Klimt and enjoy the delicious Austrian sweets, perhaps at the Hotel Sacher where you can not miss a taste of the mythical cake of the same name.
Vienna is a very interesting city in several respects. It owes its charm to the Danube River that crosses it, to the many historical palaces, but also to the presence of influential figures such as Mozart, Beethoven and Freud, which have left it with a rich artistic and intellectual heritage, and above all musical.
The Cathedral of St. Stephen, La Ringstrae (19th-century street along which there are numerous monuments), the state opera, parliament, the town hall and the many theatres will make your visit truly unforgettable.
9. Warsaw, Poland
Warsaw was named the Paris of the North in the 18th century and stands on the banks of the Vistula River. It was destroyed during World War II by Nazi bombing but the Old City was fortunately rebuilt as it was originally.
The peripheral area with respect to the old town is very young, modern and dynamic: its symbol is the majestic Palace of Culture and Science, made in Soviet style.
It is a city full of contrasts, perfect combination of old and new with the historic buildings and the most modern buildings next to each other. It is also one of the greenest cities in Europe, with over 79 parks and an area of 25% dedicated to lush gardens, green areas of various sizes, tree-lined boulevards and squares embellished with flowers and ornamental plants.
Life in Poland is relatively cheap: leaving out the period under Christmas and the month of May (start of the high season), prices are all in all affordable always and from Italy it is not difficult to find direct air links.
8. Berlin, Germany
The Capital of Germany is a city that has been wounded, destroyed, rebuilt and become the protagonist of the history of Europe and the world of the last 60 years. Throughout the city there are more or less long stretches of what was the “wall” that prevented free movement between West Berlin and the territory of East Germany.
From the post-war period to 1989, Berlin was able to re-evaluate and rediscover its treasures of the history of Humanity, hidden from this dark period. To this day Berlin is also known as one of the capitals of electronic music, design and fashion.
The Reichstag Palace is one of the main attractions, along with the Cathedral located in the Mitte district, the Television Tower, and the famous Brandenburg Gate. Also not to mention the huge Tiergarten park, Alexanderplatz and the memorial to the victims of the Holocaust.
Read our detailed guide about the best places to visit in Berlin
7. Prague, Czech Republic
Prague is one of Europe’s most visited cities and a popular destination especially for young people. This city is in fact famous for several aspects such as the very low cost of living, the large amount of pubs and nightclubs, the fun ensured.
To get to know Prague you must definitely visit the Old Town Hall with the famous Astronomical Clock, getting lost in the winding streets of the Jewish quarter, masterfully told in the novels of Franz Kafka.
Everywhere you’ll find cafés that invite you to come in and sit, and you can take advantage of the boats for an excursion on the Moldava River.
The Gothic Charles Bridge and the Church of St. Nicholas in the Piccolo Quarter, a Baroque-style religious construction, are magnificent.
The best time to visit Prague is summer, preferably from June to September, but for lovers of the cold, snow and winter atmosphere typical of the continental capitals, the best months are December and January, during which Prague presents itself snowy and Christmas.
Discover what to see in Prague
6. Amsterdam, Netherlands
Valiant, determined, merciful. It is with these adjectives that the inhabitants of Amsterdam are used to apostrophe the Dutch capital, land of tulips, night entertainment, art and culture.
Amsterdam has a system of canals that has allowed it to conquer the nickname “Venice of the North”. One of the most popular tourist destinations, it has always been considered a symbol of fun, especially the “forbidden” one, due to the presence of the famous “coffee shops”.
But Amsterdam is also renowned for its many cultural activities, architecture and museums, including the Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum and the Anne Frank House.
To explore by bike, to be immortalized in photography, to live day and night, do not miss the opportunity to get to know the thousand souls of Amsterdam.
Here is our detailed guide about what to see in Amsterdam
5. Moscow, Russia
Former residence of the Tsar and capital of Russia, it is the main economic and financial center of an immense country and, with its 12 million inhabitants, is also considered the most populated city in all of Europe
Due to its geographical location, however, Moscow is also one of the coldest capitals in the world with often prohibitive temperatures.
However, Moscow is all to discover and visit even during the harsh winter.
First stop is the famous Red Square with its cathedrals, museums and complexes rich in history and culture. To visit absolutely the Cathedral of St. Basil whose image is known all over the world for its colors and its multiple coverage. Adjacent to Red Square is the kremlin stronghold, the residence of the Russian President. In the heart of the city stand out the 20 towers and the Bell of the Tsar, the largest in the world.
4. Brussels, Belgium
Brussels is multicultural and steeped in history. The main square, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the Grand Place, which Victor Hugo calls “the most beautiful square in the world”.
The Atomium is one of the landmarks of Brussels and was built for the 1958 World’s Fair.
Brussels is also called the “European Village” for the high concentrations of shops, bars and restaurants where you can taste the excellent chocolate and the famous Belgian beer.
Influenced by the Atlantic, the climate of the Belgian capital is practically humid all year round. The best times to visit the Belgian capital are those that do not coincide with the most important holidays of the year, such as Christmas and New Year. For the rest, spring and autumn remain the best seasons.
3. London, United Kingdom
Chaotic and multi-ethnic, modern but retro, London is one of those cities that never get bored and have the ability to reveal new aspects of themselves every time. Suitable for tourists of all ages, the English capital is perfect for a cultural holiday thanks to the vast museum offer, but it is also ideal for lovers of evening and night fun, for those who want to enjoy some tranquility in the lush parks (the green areas are many) and for fans of shopping and/or markets, both food and vintage items.
You just have to decide where to start visiting this dynamic and multi-ethnic metropolis. There are numerous museums including the rich British Museum, the Tate Modern, the National Gallery and the Natural History Museum.
For those who don’t suffer from vertigo, we recommend a ride on the London Eye, the world’s tallest Ferris wheel, and then continue to admire Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace. You can’t leave London without walking in Camden Town, the neighbourhood famous for its colourful markets.
2. Paris, France
Always considered the center of romance, so much so that it is also known as the capital of lovers, Paris reserves countless activities to do and places to visit, for every type of tourist.
There is nothing to say about Paris that has not already been said. It is one of the most beautiful and visited cities in the world. The D’Orsay Museum and the Louvre are the city’s most famous museums, the Eiffel Tower and Notre-Dame Cathedral are the symbol not only of Paris but of the whole of France.
The secret to visiting Paris as it should is to leave prepared and avoid tourist traps, such as restaurants and clubs that charge stratospheric prices in the face of a quality not quite excellent.
1. Rome, Italy
First place all Italian for what is universally considered the most beautiful capital in the world, which attracts millions of tourists from all over the Earth at every time of the year.
Rome’s attractions are so many that it is impossible to list them all: the Colosseum, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican and its Museums, Piazza di Spagna, the Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona and the Imperial Forums and then the Pantheon, the Altar of the Fatherland and the splendid Sistine Chapel are only a small part of what it offers…
Rome can be visited at any time of the year, of course it is that spring is the best season to avoid rain and humidity or the excessive summer heat.
But the capital also offers a respectable culinary culture, with traditional dishes that will make you lick your mustache: gricia bucatini, Roman tripe, spaghetti cacio e pepe, carbonara and porchetta are just some of the must-see specialties to be enjoyed in the eternal city.