Europe's most charming cityscapes

Europe's most charming cityscapes


Europe is known for its rich history, its varied cultures and its tasty food. But after just a few minutes walking the streets, you’ll find it’s also home to stunning architecture and charming cityscapes.
Although every city is worth a mention, we’ve rounded up six of Europe’s beautiful cities to give you a taste of what the continent has to offer. 

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Amsterdam is probably best known for its winding canals, and for a good reason too. There are over 100 kilometres of these 17th century canals which make their way through the city. The inner canal ring was even named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2011. 
 
Lining the waterways are picturesque town houses. Don’t miss the narrowest house in Amsterdam which is only two metres wide. 

Elsewhere in the city, you’ll find grand structures from the Dutch Golden Age like the Rijksmuseum, the Royal Palace and Oude Kerk – the oldest freestanding building in Amsterdam. 
 
There is also plenty of contemporary architecture like the EYE Filmmuseum, Silodam and the NEMO Science Centre.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Paris, France

Paris is known for being one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. Of course, there’s the iconic Eiffel Tower, Arch de Triomphe and Sacre-Coeur, all of which stand out in the cityscape. 
 
But there’s also smaller, and just as romantic, architecture like the uneven rooftops, the winding cobblestoned streets and the buildings lining the River Seine, which flows through the heart of the French capital. 
 
To take it all in, climb to the top of one of the many monuments for a view over the city. You can enjoy it at a slower pace from a boat on the Seine, or head to one of the many parks and squares for a pain au chocolat with a view.
Arc de Triomphe, Paris, France

Budapest, Hungary

Did you know Budapest was originally made up of two cities split over either side of the Danube River? Nowadays, Buda and Pest are one metropolis and Budapest is known as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.
 
Head to the river to see the Széchenyi Chain Bridge. It was the first permanent crossing between the two sides of the Danube. During World War II, the bridge was blown up and only the pillars survived but, luckily for visitors, it’s been rebuilt and is still hugely impressive. Look out for the stone lions statues at either end. 
 
Elsewhere across Budapest, you can find fairy-tale structures including the huge Parliament Building with its winding spires, the Neoclassical St Stephen’s Basilica, and the Hungarian State Opera House. 
Budapest, Hungary

Vienna, Austria

Austria’s capital has it all when it comes to architecture. There’s everything from Gothic to Baroque, Art Nouveau to Modernism, and imperial to contemporary buildings lining the streets. So, it’s no wonder Vienna is often named as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. 
 
Be sure to visit the Schonbrunn Palace, St Stephen’s Cathedral, Hofburg Imperial Palace and St Charles’s Church to see what all the fuss is about. 
 
Along with a beautiful cityscape, Vienna is also known as the City of Music – having produced composers such as Mozart, Beethoven and Strauss – so no visit would be complete without seeing the opera house, Staatsoper. Inside, ballet, opera and musical performances are held but be sure to spend some time outside taking in the Neoclassical architecture. 
 
When you’re done looking at buildings, be sure to walk the charming cobblestoned streets that crisscross the city. And don’t forget: the best way to experience Vienna is as the locals do – with a slice of cake. 
St Charles Church, Vienna, Austria

Cologne, Germany

Although most of Cologne’s buildings were destroyed during World War II, the city still has stunning examples of Gothic, Neo-Romanesque and Modernist architecture. 
 
You can’t miss the iconic Cologne Cathedral that towers over the city as one of the world’s largest churches. The UNESCO World Heritage site was built over six centuries and visitors can climb up 98 metres to a viewing platform overlooking the city. 
 
In the old town of Cologne there are 12 Romanesque churches to explore and, by the river Rhine, you can see the three Crane Buildings which were inspired by the cranes that used to line the docks.
 
Be sure to look out for the modern marvels too like the Cologne Central Mosque, the Peek & Cloppenburg Building and the WDR Arcades.
Cologne Cathedral, Germany

Prague, Czech Republic

We can’t talk about Europe’s beautiful cities without mentioning Prague. Being largely undamaged during World War II, the Czech Republic’s capital is home to some of the continent’s best examples of Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, and Neoclassical architecture. 
 
Wander the streets to take in the twisting spires, arching bridges and fairy-tale façades. Be sure to visit the Prague Castle – the largest ancient castle complex in the world – the National Theatre, Saint Vitus Cathedral and the Dancing House – built to resemble two dancers. 
 
If you’ve got time, head to the baroque quarter of Mala Strana and then sip coffee in the Old Town Square. And don’t forget to cross the Charles Bridge – the 14th-century stone structure that spans the Vltava River – a main character of Prague’s cityscape.
Prague, Czech Republic
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