My 5 favourite cities to visit in Europe

20th January 2015

my 5 favourite cities to visit in Europe

I love to travel, and it’s that time of the year when I would love nothing more than to be on a plane jetting off to do some exploring. Instead, I’m stuck in cold, wet Liverpool doing coursework and simply dreaming over my future travels.

To bring some sunshine and joy into my life, I’m going to talk about my 5 favourite cities to visit in Europe. Yes, I know, three of them are in Italy. There’s nothing wrong with that, right?!

My choices are based 50% on architecture and 50% on food – because that’s why I travel!


1. Venice, Italy

I spent less than 24 hours in Venice but instantly fell in love. There is truly nowhere else in the world quite like Venice. As you wonder the narrow streets and cross hundred of bridges you will realise that every view is picture perfect. I can’t wait to return some day and stay for much longer. There’s so many more adventures to be had.

In Venice you must: visit St Mark’s Square (especially at night), eat pizza while over looking the Rialto Bridge, and try the Nutella Ice Cream.


2. Rome, Italy

Rome is certainly one for the history lovers. I think what I love the most about Rome is the fact that urbanisation really hasn’t occurred. It’s a capital city that has manage to retain it’s heritage perfectly.

In Rome you must: visit the Colosseum and throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain to ensure your future return.


3. Florence, Italy

“Italy? Again? You’ve got to be kidding me!”

Believe me, all the greatest cities in Europe are in Italy – I just haven’t visited them all yet.

I once over heard a couple saying that they were disappointed with Florence when they visited, and I had to bite my tongue. Florence is simply stunning. The architecture is beautiful and the history is fascinating. The day I visited Florence it rained, but even then I could still see it’s beauty.

In Florence you must: walk along the Ponte Vecchio and visit the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore.


4. Barcelona, Spain

I have a thing for beautiful architecture and Barcelona delivers every time. It’s a very modern city, so the buildings (like the one above) designed by GaudΓ­ put an interesting twist on things. I genuinely think I could move to Barcelona and be quite content.

In Barcelona you must: hop on the tour bus to visit the Olympic park and Sagrada Familia.


5. Lagos, Portugal

According to the ever trustworthy Wiki, Lagos is a city, so we will go with that.

I’ve stayed in Lagos 9 times and had visited the city twice before that. In fact, it feels like a second home to.

If you want to see the true Algarve, Lagos is a must visit. It’s a great example of a city on the Algave that hasn’t been completely altered by the tourism industry. It managed to retain so much of it’s tradition and character while keeping the tourists entertained. Whether you are a fan of lazing on the beach all day, or exploring the walled town, Lagos has something for everyone.

In Lagos you must: take a boat trip around the grottos and eat at a restaurant called Adega de Marina.

What’s your favourite city to visit?

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  1. Elena

    I love this post! The pictures are amazing and they really make me want to travel. I am so fed up with Trondheim at the moment, there is ice and snow everywhere and I keep falling on the ice.

    I have only been to Barcelona out of these places, and I really liked it. I felt like it was a really colorful city and GaudΓ­’s work is stunning. Some day I have to go to Venice and Rome as wll, they are definitely on my bucket list!

    I don’t know if this is going to come as a suprise but my favourite city is … Paris! I also love Madrid, Cophenhagen and Bergen though.

    Would you mind if I did a post like this in the near future? I would of course give you credit for the idea!

    • Holly

      Sure, feel free to use this idea. πŸ™‚ And let me know when you do so I can come and read about your favourites!

      I’m proud to say I took all except the last picture (which Tyrone took). πŸ˜›

      I agree. Barcelona is very colourful.

  2. I loved Florence too – everything there is so beautiful!

    My fav is Berlin – I’ve been there a few times – in the summer just wandering around all the history is great, and in Winter you can visit the Xmas markets and drink mulled wine! πŸ™‚

    • Holly

      I desperate to go to Germany. I think it’s the type of place I’d love. I’d definitely have to go at Christmas time for the markets. I’m a big fan of mulled wine πŸ˜›

  3. Interesting choices πŸ™‚ I’ve never been to Italy, Spain or Portugal, it doesn’t appeal to me like Netherlands or Germany do.

    My favourite cities abroad are: Rotterdam, Stuttgart, Vienna, The Hague and Veliko Tarnovo (Bulgaria).

  4. Susanne

    Of course three of them are in Italy. Italy is the best place to travel. But I really think you should move from the big famous cities out to the countryside and the real Italy, meaning outside of the tourist areas. I have tons of places to recommend when you’re interested. We always go to a place near Pescara, and either have our car or hire a car, and go for day trips up the mountains or to other nice places. Abruzzo is a fabulous region and there’s so much to explore there.

    • Holly

      I’d definitely like to explore more of Italy’s hidden gems. We’ve been studying about the Abruzzo region and it’s national parks in university recently and it looks an amazing place!

  5. Lauren

    I absolutely love Rome, it’s easily the most interesting city I’ve been to. I love walking down random streets and then coming across some beautiful historical building you weren’t expecting!


    • Holly

      I agree! I remember walking down the smallest street and coming out by the Trevi Fountain. It just kind of sprung up on us!

  6. Agent Q

    Great list! I hope more people sees this post. Even some “touristy” sites are good starting points for first-time visitors. πŸ™‚

    For me, personally, I’m biased toward adding Milan, Italy to the mix because I lived there for a few months. Although not a touristy city, Milan has its hidden gems if one’s willing to utilize the public transportation system. When I was a student there, I had a pretty neat deal where for unlimited travel on bus/tram/subway, I pay 17 Euros each month. By the US standards, that’s a pretty neat deal. This is one of the reasons why I miss good public transportation system.

    • Holly

      Thanks! (And thank you so much for sharing on Twitter!)

      I would love to go to Millian. It looks stunning. Also, that sound like a great deal for public transport. πŸ˜€

  7. Cat

    I’m jealous that you’ve visited these cities! I haven’t been to any of these, but I would love to visit Italy one day. Venice, Rome, and Florence sound and look amazing. I also like that you give a little tip for each city! The only time I visited Europe was for my London business trip. Hopefully I’ll find time to make it out there again πŸ˜€

    As for my favorites, NYC always has a special place in my heart since I grew up there, but I really loved Kyoto and Tokyo in my recent Japan trip.

    • Holly

      You need to come back to Europe just for Italy! I sometimes forget how lucky I am to have all these places so close to home.

      I’d love to visit Japan some day.