Old cities, drinking cities, seaside cities, cheap cities and stuff-your-face-full-of-cheese cities. Sometimes it’s wrong to put labels on things. However, Europe is home to so many beautiful and diverse cities, that it would be impossible to know which to visit without them. And the winning categories for the best of Europe are…
Best for drinking
We all know someone who’s queued for hours to get into Berghain only to be turned away for wearing the wrong socks. But beyond this debauched, leather-friendly techno club is a weird and wonderful world of great drinking spots.
Chatty, affable and reliably pickled, the best thing about Dublin is the people. And where do you find them? The pub.
Pulling pints of the world’s finest brews since 1842, you can’t pass through Czech Republic’s cobbled capital without having a beer. Sure, the gothic architecture and unexpected city sculptures are cool but do you know what else is cool? 1 Euro pints. That’s what.
Best for your Instagram account
Despite the stubborn drizzle that falls almost all year round, Bergen’s well-applied make-up doesn’t budge. The beautifully preserved wooden houses of Bryggen are a photographer’s dream, especially in the white of winter.
With a storybook Old Town and a natural talent for industrial design, Stockholm is no stranger to the camera. Careful though, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a local that won’t make you want to pack it all in, confess your love, and open a flat-pack furniture store in their name.
The setting for countless soft-porn scenes in Game of Thrones, the city of Dubrovnik is quite literally a fantasy backdrop for photographers. Mediterranean and medieval, the stone houses just get better with age, like a fine Croatian wine, or Helen Mirren.
Paris, France’s capital, is a major European city and a global centre for art, fashion, gastronomy and culture. Let’s not forget that fine lawn stretched out in front of every instagrammers ‘must see’ spot, the Eiffel tower.
Best for old stuff
Everyone’s had a pop at Istanbul, the Romans, Greeks, even the Ottomans with their incredibly practical storage beds. For this reason, it’s a really confusing place, like your nan’s living room.
You don’t get much older than Athens, it was like totally around when democracy first became a thing. Athens is a heady mix of classical Greek architecture and gritty modern life, and still very much a social forum for open-air debate and late-night drinking.
London might not compete with the geriatrics of Europe’s mainland but it’s still pretty old. The tube system dates back to at least the Dark Ages (probably). Add in a couple of ‘ye olde’ pubs and stately Victorian architecture, and you’ve got yourself a Dickensian doppelgänger.
A heady mix of haunting ruins, awe-inspiring art and vibrant street life, Italy’s hot-blooded capital is one of the world’s most romantic and charismatic cities. Must see the Colosseum, the Pantheon & make sure to stop in at the Vatican City, a destination on its own found in the same area.
Best for food
As well as being one of Europe’s most trendy and user-friendly waterside capitals, Copenhagen is also a culinary powerhouse. Check it’s markets and cafés for affordable and wonderfully simple Scandi menus.
Forget those overpriced cones of whipped cream you funnelled into your gob as a van-chasing toddler, this is the land of gelatos… and wine.
Whoever said there was no such thing as a free dinner obviously hadn’t been to Seville. Order enough tumblers of beer and the complimentary tapas you receive should amount to an Andalusian banquet.
Best for waterworks
Reclaimed from the sea, Amsterdam’s well-used waterways are at the core of city life. Top tip, jump on a cruise and let someone else navigate the hunchback bridges for you.
We know what you’re thinking, you don’t want to go anywhere near the water in a country that contains the word ‘ice’. That’s smart. However, this cool capital has a bunch of thermal pools where you’re positively encouraged to strip down to your Speedos and play footsie with a stranger.
Venetians have learnt to totally dominate the water, audaciously building elaborate marble monuments wherever there’s an empty piazza. For the ultimate Venice experience, take a gondola ride down the Canal Grande for a wide-angle view of the Palazzo Ducale and Basilica di San Marco.
Sold on a European adventure? Fly there for less with Qatar Airways and save more dollar for the three essentials of life; cheese, wine and beer. Want more? Check out our Contiki Europe Tours, Busabout Europe Tours, or G Adventures Europe Tours. Want it all planned out? Check out our Europe holiday package options.