Europe is undoubtedly one of the most tourist-friendly continents on Earth.
If you’re currently contemplating what part of The Old Continent you should visit this fall, the good news is that you really can’t go wrong.
The world-famous landmarks, awe-inspiring scenery, and pleasant moderate climate will have you spoilt for choice.
The one downside of having such a wide array of destinations to choose from, though, is that it can feel overwhelming to decide which cities, attractions, or landmarks will leave you feeling like you’ve gotten the most out of your trip.
That’s why Statista recently conducted a study in hopes of revealing Europe’s top destinations.
Dozens of cities were evaluated based on criteria such as culture, landmarks, sights, food, friendliness, and overall value.
These were the destinations that had the highest average scores:
1. Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul seems to have taken the travel world by storm lately.
After topping the ranking of Turkey’s most visited destinations, it now claims an even bigger title – that of the best city to visit in all of Europe.
Though only part of the gorgeous city lies within the confines of Europe, Istanbul is widely viewed as a European destination.
The city scored a remarkable 90.23 points out of 100 in the Statista study, and it’s easy to see why.
Istanbul is simply one of the most visually stimulating destinations in the world, featuring vivid colors, ornate architecture, and some of the most historically significant attractions in all of Turkey.
The city once served as the capital of the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman Empire, which goes to show that its culture and favorable geographical position were a source of pride and beauty even hundreds of years back.
You can experience part of that history by visiting the famed Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, and the Blue Mosque.
The Bosphorus Strait is also a must-see, especially on those late-night sightseeing excursions.
Some of my fondest memories in Istanbul, however, were made in the Grand Bazaar.
Though a bit chaotic for those not used to the Eastern shopping experience, the colors, atmosphere, and the products themselves are impossible to replicate anywhere else on Earth.
2. Florence, Italy
Widely considered the birthplace of Renaissance Art and Architecture, Florence is one of Italy’s most gorgeous cities – and remember that the competition is stiff.
Though the city is generally well-known among travelers, I still believe that it’s criminally underrated.
I’ve had the chance to take a tour across multiple Italian cities, and while the likes of Rome, Venice, and Milan were all stunning, Florence was by far the most remarkable.
Some of the most famous historical landmarks to enjoy in the city include the Florence Cathedral (Duomo), the Uffizi Gallery, and the Ponte Vecchio.
After a long day sightseeing, you can sit down at a local tavern and enjoy some truly exceptional Tuscan dishes, renowned for their simple yet bold flavors.
3. Rome, Italy
The list wouldn’t be complete without Italy’s capital, which scored 88.91 points out of 100.
If you’re anything like me and want to spend most of your trip taking in local landmarks and architecture, Rome is the place to be.
Between the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican Museums, and a dozen other attractions, each equally captivating, you’ll have a hard time deciding what to do if you’re only planning to spend a couple of days in the city.
4. Lisbon, Portugal
Portugal is just coming out of a record-breaking summer, during which millions of visitors flocked to the country to enjoy its trendy attractions, gorgeous scenery, and affordable prices.
Lisbon, as the capital, has long been Portugal’s most coveted destination.
Even now that the temperatures have settled down and tourists aren’t able to enjoy the famed beaches in the area in their full glory, the city still boasts the kind of Mediterranean climate and exceptional food scene that most of us crave this time of year.
Portugal scored an impressive 88.62 out of 100 points in the Statista study, which goes to show that the scenic coastline, historic neighborhoods, and rich cultural experience all make for an unforgettable European getaway.
5. Porto, Portugal
Porto is a coastal city in northwest Portugal that was once best known for its famed port wine production.
Recently, though, the destination has been surging in popularity, with tourists flocking to the area to enjoy not only the delicious wine but also the Historic Center protected by UNESCO, the gorgeous Ribeira District, and the traditional Bolhão Market.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com