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These Are The Top 5 Cities To Visit In Europe According To New Report

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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. 

woman overlooking Lisbon, Portugal

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.

Aerial view of Florence, Italy

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.

Aerial view of Istanbul, Turkey

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.

aerial view of the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, Turkey

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.

City center of Florence, Italy

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.

A woman sits on a ledge overlooking the Ponte Vecchio Bridge in Florence Italy

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.

St.Peter's basilica and Ponte Vittorio Emanuele II bridge in Vatican, Rome.Italy

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. 

Palace of Pena in Sintra. Lisbon, Portugal

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. 

Porto Portugal

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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Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.


Wednesday 4th of October 2023

Great places but not off the beaten path. If I were to return to any of them, it would be for a couple of days before heading to less traveled, also terrific places

Carmen Pisani

Saturday 30th of September 2023

Porto was disapponting. Dirty, crowded, dilapidated buildings. The only thing we enjoyed was the river boat trip because we got away from it all. How about enchanting Venice, Madrid and Barcelona, Split in Croatia, Salzburg, to name a few.

Dave sansom

Saturday 30th of September 2023

Who writes this?. Absolute nonsense. We are currently near the end of a six month trip around Europe. Many places we have visited previously. I can honestly say that out of the 21 countries and 58 cities/places we have visited Istanbul is at the bottom It's a dump and unless you like queuing for 4 hours to s juggle round a mosque th ere is nothing else to see Found it unfriendly with local only to keen to rip off a tourist. Florence is now so crowded and the markets now so controlled that it's a waste of time In general so many of Europe's gems are now touristed to death.for cities try zagreb and anywhere in Croatia apart from Dubrovnik. Ljubljana in Slovenia. Bratislava in Slovakia. Turin in Italy so much to see an d am a z ing markets. Milan was so disappointing.


Friday 6th of October 2023

@Lisa, i agree about the tourists but please for me Rome i could go back year after year and find it fascinating and i love rome.


Friday 6th of October 2023



Thursday 5th of October 2023

@Dave sansom, disagree, Istanbul is fabulous and so are the people. So much history to absorb and beautiful mosques are free entry. We queued for the Blue Mosque and it definitely didn’t take 4 hrs even though the queue was around the entire courtyard. Same for the Hagia Sophia. It was actually pretty quick. The place is heaving with history and beauty. Not sure how you missed that part. You get back what you put out I guess 🤷‍♀️


Wednesday 4th of October 2023

@Dave sansom, I love Istanbul and have had great experiences there.I've found I get back what I put out when I travel. Old Town Dubrovnik is too crowded, which they are working on, but if you venture out into the rest of the city and surrounding area, you can have an amazing way. We did -- got to meet a number of friendly, interesting people and had great food at restaurants recommended by locals. We'd rented an apartment in a locally owned apt hotel several miles away from the Old Town.


Sunday 1st of October 2023

@Dave sansom, I agree .,,,that article was written by an ignorant European visitor. I lived and travel in Europe for 12years and every city that was mentioned is a disaster ( but once was lovely)

Adrian M

Saturday 30th of September 2023

Silly article! Porto and Lisbon over Madrid and Barcelona?


Wednesday 4th of October 2023

@Adrian M, It depends on which culture you want to experience.


Saturday 30th of September 2023

Visited Istanbul, Porto and Lisbon. They are truly mesmerizing.