My Top 10 Favourite European Cities

As an Australian, travelling to Europe is kind of a big deal. It takes, on average, 24 hours to get there, and you're often fighting jetlag for much of your holiday. But it's so worth it! Each country has so much to offer, and there is such incredible history to be found in virtually every city and town. And the food. Oh man, the food!

I occasionally get asked about my favourite cities in Europe, so thought I'd put together a handy list, because who doesn't love a list? To note, I've spent at least five days in each of the below cities. I don't pretend that this is nearly enough time to know a city intimately, but I like to think it's just enough time to explore them a little more than on a surface level. 

10 / London, England
My visit to London coincided with the London Film Festival, which greatly enhanced my enjoyment of the city as I was able to catch a couple of great film in between sightseeing. I adored the enormous parks, the expansive food markets, and I don't think I'll ever get over the novelty of seeing those red buses!

9 / Stockholm, Sweden
Despite visiting in summer, the weather in Stockholm was, for the most part, grey, wet, and dreary. Not ideal sightseeing weather, but it sure didn't dampen (heh) my enjoyment of the city. Gamla stan (the old town) was absolutely gorgeous, I loved getting lost in the cobblestoned streets, and Djurgården was such a lovely place to wander around. 

8 / Paris, France
Ok, who doesn't love Paris? It's hard not to love this city, and visiting in December seemed to make the city even more magical. There were Christmas markets popping up everywhere, vin chaud available everywhere and making the streets smell wonderful. It's hard to narrow down what I loved so much about Paris, although I think it's definitely a combination of the delicious pastries I was eating every day, the incredible museums, the spectacular architecture, and, of course, the shopping.

7 / Vienna, Austria
Embrace the stereotype and enjoy Vienna's cafe culture - I had iced coffee and apple strudel every day, and I regret nothing! That aside, Vienna is such a gorgeous city, virtually every building looks like a masterpiece. I would live there in a heartbeat!

6 / Munich, Germany
While most people would list Berlin over Munich, my Munich experience was so amazing I just had to list it here. I was there during summer and spent almost every day sitting outside in beer gardens, eating Weißwurst, Brat Kartoffel and schnitzel, and drinking many, many litres of beer. The experience was one of the best weeks of my life, and I highly recommend visiting in the warmer months!

5 / Amsterdam, The Netherlands
After an unfortunate experience involving an extremely potent brownie, Amsterdam quickly became one of my favourite places. Much of it reminded me of Melbourne: the fantastic food and cafes, the arts culture, the beautiful houses. It's hard not to fall in love with Amsterdam, I was constantly whipping my camera out every time I stumbled across a canal. And the Van Gough museum - swoon!

4 / Venice, Italy
I love Italy. Looooove it. It's quite hard to actually pick one city above the rest - Florence is equally amazing, with one of the most beautiful views I've ever seen. But Venice is just so special. It was my first destination in Italy (after arriving there by plane from Geneva), and I quickly fell in love with the narrow laneways and dead ends - you wouldn't want to get anywhere in a hurry. The Peggy Guggenheim museum is also one of the most beautiful and inspiring spaces in the world and happens to be located in Venice.

3 / Reykjavík, Iceland
After going to Iceland and only visiting Reykjavík (and the Blue Lagoon), I knew immediately that I had to return one day. It's quite a small city, but is incredibly unique and picturesque - I was stopping every couple of minutes to take photos. The weather may be bitterly cold year-round (it was 9 degrees when I was there in June), but that definitely shouldn't be a deterrent to visiting. The landscape is absolutely stunning and it's truly like nothing else I've ever seen.

2 / Lisbon, Portugal
A new addition to the list, as I visited Portugal for the first time last year. I absolutely fell in love with the country, and Porto could easily have made this list too. If you're a foodie, Lisbon absolutely must be on your list of places to visit. An endless amount of fresh seafood is available, and you'll definitely deserve it after trekking up hills all day while sightseeing. Also, I cannot recommend the pastel de nata (Portuguese custard tarts) highly enough, particularly from the famous Pastéis de Belém located a short tram ride from the city centre.

1 / San Sebastian, Spain
Maybe not the glitziest of Europe's cities, but definitely the one I love the most. I had the most incredible time in San Sebastian, and keep in mind this was in December - a time where it was too cold to enjoy the beautiful beaches the city had to offer. What makes San Sebastian my number one choice? Well, the food is definitely a large factor. The pintxos bars that line the streets were truly amazing, each offering their own delicious snacks that you could help yourself too. Wandering lazily between the bars each night was a really wonderful way to spend the evening.

The city, too, was incredibly beautiful. Old buildings that curve their way along the river, ocean and bay really made it hard to put the camera down. I must have hundreds of shots as I walked next to the ocean and back into town along the bay.

But really, for me San Sebastian just had that feeling you get where you're totally happy. It's not something that can really be explained, it's just felt, and it's a really wonderful feeling. 

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