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This Affordable City Named Best Destination In Europe For 2024

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A historically-charged continent replete with historic cities dating back thousands of years and home to a host of iconic landmarks, with the Colosseum, the Eiffel Tower and Big Ben to name a few, Europe seems to be on top of everyone's wishlists lately.

Young Woman Admiring A View Of Alfama In Lisbon's Historic District, Portugal, Southern Europe

With summer approaching, millions of Americans will be flocking to its sun-drenched shores to soak up some of that Old World charm—interestingly enough, it's not Rome, Paris, nor long-time favorite London that are dominating travel trends.

As Visa Guide World reports, the Portuguese capital of Lisbon is the best city to be a tourist in Europe this year due to its cultural value, high levels of safety and friendliness, and most importantly, affordability:

Lisbon Is The Most Tourist-Friendly Capital In Europe

Beautiful Buildings Making Up The Terracotta Roofed Cityscape Of Lisbon, Portugal, Southern Europe

Formerly a hidden gem of Europe, Lisbon is now an increasingly trendy holiday spot visited by millions of travelers every year.

Visa Guide World, a leading source in tracking travel trends, assessed it as the best European destination in 2024.

Portugal's capital straddles the banks of the River Tagus, which flows into the Atlantic.

It's one of Europe's most ancient cities, with a History spanning at least two millennia, from the Roman era to a period of Moorish control to the Age of Discoveries, and a rich cultural heritage to match.

Belem Tower In Lisbon, Portugal, Southern Europe

Lisbon is known for its elevated cityscape, with colorful buildings and Baroque churches distributed across seven hills, as dictated by Roman policy.

All the cobbled roads seem to lead up to a castle boasting views of the sea of terracotta roofs below.

Its ‘Sé', a prime example of Iberian Gothic, is among the most monumental cathedrals in the country, towering above the winding alleys of Alfama, Lisbon's hippy Old Town where tourists are serenaded by fado artists and there are new charming cafés to discover at every turn.

Ancient Cultural Heritage Coupled With Lovely Weather

Commerce Square In Lisbon, Portugal, Southern Europe

Lisbon is also famous for its iconic Belém Tower, a 16th-century fortification that served as an embarkation and disembarkation point for Portuguese navigators in their exploration of the world, the ruined Carmo Convent, and the medieval Jerónimos Monastery.

It is one of Europe's warmest capitals, with an average temperature of 74°F, though it typically gets much warmer than that, and walkability is high, as the historic center is dotted with large praças and cut through by pedestrianized streets.

Yellow Tram Traveling Past Lisbon Cathedral In Lisbon, Portugal, Southern Europe

As the highest-rated city on Visa Guide World's ranking, Lisbon excels in safety, English-speaking levels and friendliness of locals, and travel expenses:

Lisbon Is One Of The Safest Capitals In The Continent

Though the risk of pickpocketing is always present, there are fewer tourists getting bag-snatched here than there are in Paris, Rome, or other major European capitals, and the rates of armed robbery and violence are extremely low.

Historic Yellow Tram Traveling Up A Street In Lisbon With Lisbon Cathedral In The Background, Portugal, Southern Europe

Day or night, you can walk around Lisbon's lamp-lit ruelas without fear of being mugged off: overall, Visa Guide World's attributes a safety score of 0.87, similar to Amsterdam in the Netherlands (0.93) and even higher than Switzerland's Bern (0.78).

As for the local hospitality, tourists will find locals are much warmer and more welcoming than their French, Italian, or Northern European counterparts.

You shouldn't be surprised if you get a friendly smile back brushing up on your rusty Portuguese here, as opposed to a Parisian internal eye roll.

woman solo traveling lisbon

Additionally, you'll have no issue communicating in English, especially with younger generations, as Lisbon has an English-Speaking Score of 607, again almost on a par with Amsterdam's 647.

The Dutch capital is perhaps the most proficient city in Europe where English isn't a native language.

Lisbon Is Incredibly Affordable To Visit

Last but not least, Lisbon is incredibly affordable by Western European standards, with Visa Guide World reporting the average weekly budget is only €385, or around $412, without including accommodation.

A Person Taking Out Euro Notes From A Wallet, Europe Travel Concept

Grabbing a quick bite to eat at a pastelaria – a cheese and ham sandwich, a Portuguese custard tart and some freshly-squeezed orange – is unlikely to cost more than five bucks, while a more elaborate, three-course meal in a mid-range restaurant frequented by natives is roughly $27.

It is the second cheapest city out of the capitals listed after Prague in Czechia, where a one-week stay excluding hotels costs $390; in comparison, a getaway to Paris will set you back $684 per week, and an even more whopping $775 in Bern, the priciest capital.

lisbon city views, portugal, western europe

The full top 10 of best capitals in Europe for tourism, as assessed by Visa Guide World, can be seen below:

  1. Lisbon, Portugal
  2. Amsterdam, Netherlands
  3. Prague, Czechia
  4. Warsaw, Poland
  5. Madrid, Spain
  6. Zagreb, Croatia
  7. London, United Kingdom
  8. Rome, Italy
  9. Bern, Switzerland
  10. Paris, France

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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.


Monday 29th of April 2024

I live in Lisbon. It is only affordable for tourists due to the absurd house pricing bubble—ironically, a direct result of over-touristing in the city.