Historic European Cities

Europe is filled with iconic cities that have played important roles throughout history. From ancient sites to medieval towns to modern capitals, Europe offers an incredible diversity of urban destinations for travelers. Here are four historic European cities you simply must add to your bucket list this year.

Istanbul, Turkey

Straddling both Europe and Asia, Istanbul seamlessly blends its rich history with vibrant modern life. As the former capital of both the Byzantine and Ottoman empires, Istanbul is filled with breathtaking historical sites like the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, Topkapı Palace, and the Grand Bazaar. The Süleymaniye Mosque is one of the hidden gems of Istanbul if the crowds at the famous Blue Mosque are too great.

Wander the atmospheric streets of the Sultanahmet neighborhood to fully immerse yourself in old Istanbul. Then take a ferry across the sparkling Bosphorus strait to experience the dynamic energy of modern Istanbul. With incredible architecture, delicious food, and warm hospitality, Istanbul should be at the top of your European bucket list.

Athens, Greece

As one of the oldest cities in the world and the birthplace of democracy, Athens oozes history and culture.

Visit the towering Acropolis, home to the iconic Parthenon temple, for a glimpse into ancient Greece. Then admire the expansive collection of Greek artifacts at the Acropolis Museum. Stroll through the charming Plaka district to shop and dine amidst neoclassical architecture and Byzantine churches. And don’t miss the buzzing nightlife scene complete with rooftop bars overlooking the Acropolis.

Rome, Italy

Rome is the capital of the great Roman Empire. As such, it packs millennia of history into one captivating city.

Follow in the footsteps of ancient rulers among the Colosseum, Forum, and Pantheon. Throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain to ensure you’ll return to Rome again. Marvel at the massive dome of St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, the world’s smallest country. Indulge in mouthwatering pasta, pizza, gelato, and more as you explore Rome’s charming piazzas.

With relics of ancient Rome rubbing shoulders with Baroque churches and Renaissance palazzos, Rome is an open-air museum just waiting to be discovered.

Edinburgh, Scotland

Scotland’s charismatic capital is steeped in rich history, dramatic natural beauty, and cultural delights. Overlooked by the magnificent Edinburgh Castle, the Old Town comes alive each summer for the world-famous Edinburgh Festival showcasing comedy, theater, music, and more. On sunnier days, take a hike up Arthur’s Seat for panoramic city views or ramble down the cobbled Royal Mile dotted with charming closes and wynds leading off on either side. Learn of Edinburgh’s darker past on a ghost tour through underground vaults and abandoned alleyways. And don’t miss trying Scotland’s beloved haggis as well as its famous whiskeys.

With stunning architecture, verdant landscapes, and legendary festivals, Edinburgh promises an unforgettable visit.

So, there you have it – four incredible European cities brimming with culture, history, cuisine, and charm. No matter your interests, these destinations offer an unforgettable travel experience you won’t want to miss. So start planning to add them to your bucket list today!

Whether you’re interested in ancient ruins, medieval architecture, world-famous museums, or vibrant modern culture, you’re sure to be captivated by the dynamic history and allure of these remarkable cities.