15 Most Charming European Cities (10 That Give Us Claustrophobia)

If you're seeking picturesque landscapes and unique tourist attractions, today's European cities will genuinely have you awe-struck. Indeed, only a few places on this planet can stir up the same ounce of passion, character, and beauty as Europe does. There's just something about these foreign places that have all visitors spellbound. Whether you're an adventure junkie or a history lover, the following European towns will instantly make you want to spend a lifetime there with your family. From shimmering rivers and canals to vast grasslands with no clear end in sight, these charming locations are merely perfect for a family vacation as well. Add the spectacular sunset vistas over the city to the extras, and you'll forget that this is real life and not some beautiful dream of yours. Indeed, lucky are those who’ve already tasted the historical beauty of these remarkable places in Europe.

From the wild reaches of Northern Piedmont to the sunny climes of Greece, we’re about to show you around 15 of Europe's most colorful, peaceful and picturesque destinations. Once you've arrived here, you'll be impressed by the beauty, vibrant culture, and hospitality of these towns as opposed to other overcrowded and unsafe places. That is why alongside the 15 most charming European cities, we will also discuss 10 cities that are not as impressive.

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25 Charming: Piedmont, Italy

Via The Golden Scope

Admittedly, Italy is one of the most beautiful and elegant countries in Europe, and so is its charming town of Piedmont. This small, yet stunning place, is encompassed by ski fields, red-hued villages, and craggy summits of the French and Austrian Alps. Known for its majestic cityscapes like Turin, the whole northern region of Piedmont boasts vast lands of rolling vineyards and wine growing areas. In fact, it's precisely Piedmont's fertile lands and wine areas that helped the city earn a place on UNESCO's list of the most interesting cultural sites in Europe.

24 Charming: Tromsø, Norway

Thousand Wonders

If you've been here before, then you probably know that Tromso's place on today's list is no coincidence. Flanked by an eerie range of mountains and beset by heaps of frightful glaciers, Tromso sure looks like the real-life version of Disney's hit animation "Frozen". Besides, if you're fond of such Disney-inspired Scandinavian locations, then consider coming here for your next short getaway. As exciting as it is, the Norwegian town of Tromso boasts an authentic source of quirky timber homes that are quite the attraction around here.

23 Charming: Reykjavik, Iceland

Via Trover

To those seeking an adventurous vacation that's like nothing else they've experienced before, we'd definitely recommend a getaway to the mind-blowing fjords of Reykjavik, Iceland. From monstrous volcanic peaks to bubbling pools of the world-famous Blue Lagoon, the capital of Iceland truly abounds in fine viewing spots from where you can enjoy the Northern Lights. Thanks to the unlimited choice of low-cost flights to Iceland, Europe, this unique place has never been more accessible. Indeed, Reykjavik, Iceland, is just another gorgeous European destination that's totally worth exploring.

22 Charming: Pilsen, Czech Republic


Best known for its legendary beer being its eponymous beverage, Pilsen is, in fact, an old Bohemian city dating as far back as the 10th century. In other words, this tiny detail practically turns Pilsen into one of Europe's oldest and most beautiful cities. As lovely as it is, this marvelous city is also famous for its rich culture, ancient-looking streets and plazas, riddled with Renaissance architecture and styles. Admittedly, one of Pilsen's most impressive attractions is the Moorish-style synagogue which inspires travelers with its grandeur and massiveness.

21 Charming: Novi Sad, Serbia

Via Pinterest

When it comes to the eastern European cities, there's one particular destination that we cannot leave unmentioned. Located in the northern parts of Serbia, the old town of Novi Sad is, indeed, quite an excellent choice for both history lovers and nature enthusiasts. Take a leisurely walk along its cobbled streets and you'll fall in love with Novi Sad's gothic architecture and vibes floating through the air. This small, yet, elegant town of Novi Sad is also famous for its legendary EXIT festival.

20 Charming: Tórshavn, Faroe Islands, Denmark

Via Wilderness Travel

Bursting forth from the sea's wild swells, the Faroe Islands have got everything you may need for your cute little getaway.  As exotic as they are, the famous Faroe Islands will truly make you feel as though you've just arrived on the movie set of the next Viking series. Steeped in an epic Viking world, Torshavn, Faroe Islands, is such a fantastic choice when looking for different kind of experiences. Once you've arrived here, take your time to enjoy the beauty of the snow-dressed cliff tops and chiseled rocks draped in vast meadows of green.

19 Charming: Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland

Via Sidles' Adventures

Another fantastic location that really looks like a fairy tale is this beautiful valley town of Lauterbrunnen.

Located in the heart of the Jungfrau area, being one of the most spectacular valleys in the Swiss Alps, Lauterbrunnen is deeply adored for its marvelous mountain peaks, thundering waterfalls, secluded inns and picturesque alpine meadows. This beautiful Swiss town is quite an idyllic place for nature lovers and devoted mountaineers who'll surely get awe-struck at the sight of Lauterbrunnen's 70+ waterfalls and nature conservation areas.

18 Charming: Bruges, Belgium

Via Bel Around The World

Situated in the northwest parts of Belgium, this fairytale-like town is often referred to as "The Venice of the North" because of its numerous canals and boat rides through the city.The charming town of Bruges, which is also the capital and biggest city of West Flanders, abounds with great tourist attractions, including the famous Bruges' Markt and Frietmuseum. However, if you're not interested in doing something particularly exciting, then you can catch your breath at a nearby cafe as well.

17 Charming: Granada, Spain

Via Short Holidays and Getaways

While nothing can outrank the excellence and splendor or Spain's capital city, the charming town of Granada is the better option when looking for more seclusion and peacefulness. Situated in the Andalusian region, this small, yet marvelous town is known for the impressive architecture of the Alhambra, hospitality as well as a unique range of stunning mountainous views. Best of all, travelers are offered a free plate of tapas for every drink order. Well, this lovely Spanish town perfectly knows how to treat its guests.

16 Charming: Vilnius, Lithuania

Via Pinterest

With its fabulous mix of architectural styles, narrow gothic streets and fantastic wooded hills, the capital of Lithuania makes an ideal destination for every low-budget traveler. As beautiful as it is, Lithuania's main city features an exotic blend of cultures, classical and baroque styles while its warm hospitality keeps travelers excited about coming here over and over again. As a majestic center of Europe, Lithuania really seems to be in the middle of it all. From medieval towers to Vilnius' baroque old town, this European city truly deserves any traveler's appreciation.

15 Charming: Delphi, Greece

Via Travel Passionate

Best known for its rolling strips of olive plantations, this charming town offers majestic views of the Gulf of Corinth being the biggest draw to the area.

Clinging to the rugged edges of Mount Panaross, Delphi attracts visitors with its numerous religious rites and sanctuaries; all of which allowing the thrill-seekers to take a journey into the mixed culture of the ancient Greeks. Also, the area is filled to the brim with off-the-beaten-tracks offering breath-taking scenery and city views.

14 Charming: Tuscany, Italy

Via Live Love Learn

Situated in the heart of Italy, Tuscany is best known for its excellent wine, rich culture and immense historical impact in Europe's Medieval ages. As one of Italy's most beautiful cities, Tuscany instantly catches the eye with its rolling farmland strewn with slender cypresses while its local marketplaces are abundant in fresh foods and produce making it such an attractive place to explore this year. Last but not least, this fabulous town is the actual birthplace of the Renaissance and some of the world's most influential visionaries and artists, like Michelangelo.

13 Charming: Vienna, Austria

Via GPSmyCity

Vienna is another marvelous city which is certainly a dream come true for many travelers. As one of the most famous European cities, Vienna is home to musical greats, like Beethoven and Mozart; not to mention that the Austrian capital is actually a fantastic place to soak up some unique history and culture. From strolling its charming streets under the star-lit sky to chilling out by the banks of Danube River, Vienna is definitely a great place to explore this summer or fall.

12 Charming: Porto, Portugal

Via Sumfinity

Perched on the slopes just above the Douro Estuary, Porto is a wonderful source of history, rich culture, and business, mixed all together. This historic, mercantile city is a World Heritage site, dotted with cream-colored buildings in the UNESCO-attested Ribeira district. This charming Portuguese city is sprawled out over the hills of the Douro River valley where travelers can take in stunning views of the nearby port and ancient buildings. So, next time you can't decide where to go on vacation, just get the car ready for a relaxing trip to Porto.

11 Charming: Florence, Italy

Via The Zoe Report

No vacation in Europe can be complete without a short visit to the picturesque town of Florence. Renowned as one of Europe's center of culture and history, Florence is packed with unique architecture and places of high significance. Although many travelers come to Italy to explore the grandeur of the Duomo cathedral in Milan, this colorful town is also worth a visit or two. As the capital of Tuscany, Florence is also considered the birthplace of the Renaissance as well.

10 Not So Charming: Barcelona, Spain

Via Destination Think!

While the other European cities are considered peaceful and safe, the following ones are pretty much the opposite of that. For instance, Barcelona may be a fantastic place to see, but it still holds a reputation for being one of the pickpocket capitals of the world. On top of that, this otherwise charismatic city is pushing it into rank 64th on the safety index. According to the British foreign office, "there has been an increase in the number of thefts from hire cars; so remove all valuables or store items out of sight."

9 Not So Charming: Warsaw, Poland

Via The Independent

The capital of Poland is, without a doubt, a beautiful European city with great historical background and modern visage. The city of Warsaw may offer a wide array of tourists attractions and sights to explore, but it's been given poor marks due to its political protests which often get out of hand. When it comes to its crime rates, the Polish capital isn't doing that bad; however, the country's regular political sagas and protests cannot be overlooked either.

8 Not So Charming: Bucharest, Romania

Via Wikipedia

When it comes to Bucharest, this otherwise charming city is, in fact, one of the most corrupted ones in Europe. While the scale of serious crimes is considerably low in Romania, we can't really say the same thing about the level of widespread corruption. Another less exciting feature about Romania's capital is the dirty and overcrowded parking lots where it's always such a hassle to find a parking spot. So if you're looking for a dose of inspiration and romantic setting, you should probably think of some other European destination.

7 Not So Charming: Zagreb, Croatia

Via Toronto Star

Like the previous European cities, Zagreb is truly fantastic for those seeking a different kind of journey. After all, this lovely European town boasts an exceptional baroque architecture, art pavilions, ancient towers dating as far back as the 13th century; however, Zagreb's problems with corruption and pickpocketing are still unsolved ones. Situated in the northwest parts of the country, Zagreb is full of significant historical sites representing different periods; however, this charming town is still a bit chaotic when it comes to its traffic and corruption levels.

6 Not So Charming: Riga, Latvia

Via The Straits Times

Riga, Latvia, is another lovely city that's full of unique sights to see, like the famous House of Blackheads, Freedom Monument or St. Peter's Church, which features such a marvelous architecture; however, if you look at this city from a different perspective, you'll also realize that the corruption here simply drags the city down.Unfortunately, this otherwise beautiful city has been struggling with high corruption levels while its streets are often packed with demonstrators. Sadly, Riga, Latvia also seems to be facing serious problems with its immigration policies.

5 Not So Charming: Athens, Greece

Via Reuters

Unlike the other Greek city in today's list of best European towns, Athens has got some serious issues regarding its poverty levels and scales of political and economic turmoil. Besides, the city's influx of thousands of migrants resulted in undermining the city's safety levels. Today, Athens is still a beautiful destination full of foreigners; however, its political turbulence has taken a toll on its economic growth. As a result, Athens, Greece, is given such a bad spot on today's list. It's got lots of problems to solve before it finds its way to the top.

4 Not So Charming: Paris, France

Via Travel Weekly

Although the French capital is practically the perfect place for romantic couples and newlyweds, Paris is pretty much another overrated destination. While the Eiffel Tower is, without a doubt, a marvelous attraction, you'll be shocked to see miles of tourists in lines to get tickets to the city's best attractions, including the world-recognized Musée du Louvre. Sadly, all of this makes Paris a prey of its own making. Admittedly, this charming city has an excellent reputation, but outside of its top attractions, Paris is just another European city where everything is overpriced and fully packed with tourists and thieves, of course.

3 Not So Charming: Marbella, Spain

Via KYCR 1440 AM

If you've been there before, then you've probably heard about the city's shaken reputation of a safe or peaceful place. Over the years, this otherwise exotic city has been struggling to find a way to shake off its association with specific groups and organizations. However, from the look of things, this Spanish city is still referred to as the Costa del Crime, a nickname that clearly explains why Marbella is one of Spain's most corrupted cities. So, if you’re planning a trip to Spain anytime soon, we’d kindly advise you against coming here in Marbella.

2 Not So Charming: Ceuta, Spain

Via The Telegraph

Although Spain isn't known for being a perilous place, incidents do happen on its territory. For instance, this autonomous city has gained a pretty bad reputation as a lawless, overcrowded place where the police presence isn't a typical sight to see. Also, the town of Ceuta is only 14 km from the Cadiz province making it such a magnet for many immigrants trying to enter EU illegally. Hopefully, you won't need any more reasons to avoid traveling through this Spanish city, will you?

1 Not So Charming: Opatija, Croatia

Via bournemouthecho.co.uk

A few decades ago, Opatija really used to be an exclusive resort for wealthy travelers out there. Sadly, though, today's version of Opatija is hardly that impressive when you bump into its overcrowded attractions and beaches. Also, add the dirty and poorly maintained beaches to the list, and you'll hardly want to spend your next vacation there ever again. Unfortunately, Opatija can't really offer peaceful, pristine beaches or quiet evenings anymore but overcrowded areas that will give you claustrophobia. Indeed, this Croatian city is barely the best option for a secluded holiday in Europe.

References: traveltriangle.com, rearviewmirror.tv, adventureinyou.com, theculturetrip.com

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