“5 cities you should visit in Europe” posts tend to be all about things that don’t matter. WHO IS GOING TO GO TO A CITY FOR A SCULPTURE? ARE YOU MAD? Jeez.
Yet, most posts offer that kind of ridiculous content that does not help people at all. I traveled to over 25 major cities in Europe in the last 365 days. This post will mention things that actually matter to us. And no, it won’t include great cities such as London and Paris. As much as I love them, they don’t make for the 5 cities you should visit in Europe because while there are many perks to them, there’s also a lot of disadvantages. But not great to actually make this list. Prices matter. Transport matters. People matters. Atmosphere matters. Those have them, but not enough of all.
I JUSTTTT WANNNAA SEEEEE MY LISBONNNN PEOPLE DANCINGGGGGG!!!!
A bottle of beer. Old non-modern pavement. Sitting on the stairs on one of the hilliest cities in Europe. Well, no wonder they have special tram escalators. Listening to a musician playing his own versions of songs that relate to the city. Every night he plays for the Lisbon people. Many songs. Many different instruments. This is Lisbon.
You wouldn’t be able to do this in Poland as you would have to pay a fine for drinking outside of a bar. You wouldn’t have that much space in London. This guy sums up the atmosphere in Lisbon. It’s special. One of it’s kind. This list is in a random order, but Lisbon comes as a top city to visit in Europe. Without a doubt whatsoever!
Imagine going somewhere in November and being able to wear a t-shirt and shorts during the day. Imagine everybody being able to speak almost perfect English even though it’s not their official language. Shoutout to lazy English speakers that never learned a second language. Imagine people actually joining in on the fun. I always say it’s not the places but the people. And Lisbon and the people, I don’t even have the right words.
Boat rides. Skydiving. Walking. Swimming. Whatever you want. Lisbon has it. Red bridges. Walk by the river that looks like a sea. Constant blue skies. I mean I did not see any bad weather or even kind of bad weather at all. And the old trams add to the atmosphere. Not that I would use them since walking is healthy and why would somebody use transport when the weather is great? In terms of metros, Lisbon provides just enough metro lines to get you home without confusing you. And it has a metro that goes to the airport which is great.
It’s a city that looks stunning during the day and at night. In fact, it looks completely different during both periods.
I know prices matter to you, especially if you are on this blog. It’s one of the cheapest countries when it comes to the Euro currency. You can buy beer for about €1 or €2. I drink very rarely, but I sure prefer to pay less when I do. Even food in the center is cheap. I’m talking too
Remember me mentioning the atmosphere? Even the homeless build it. In most cities when I saw homeless people, they sat, they begged. In Lisbon, homeless do magic tricks. They talk to you. Like normal people. They are making some effort. There’s not a lot of homeless people, but there is some. Just like in any major city.
Lisbon is that city that offers so much value in terms of progress in Europe, I mean it is growing at an enormous pace, but yet at the same time, it sticks to its old values.
Web Summit goes on there for example. 60,000 people gather in Lisbon each year for it. It goes on in November, and that’s when you should visit Lisbon. It’s phenomenal. The biggest names on the planet talk. The networking opportunities are amazing. People are so open to speaking. Just like overall in Lisbon.
I think a short video will do better than text in this instance. I’ll also be making a post on why you should visit Lisbon soon.
If you have to debate over which 5 cities you should visit in Europe this year, out of the 5 cities you should visit in Europe this year, it would be Lisbon for sure.
Prague is that city that is weird in many aspects. If you want to cross the road, you will wait years at the traffic lights. And when the light actually turns green, you only get like 10 seconds to cross the road but you can’t because a big dam tram is blocking all of the road waiting for the lights to turn green.
Oh, and I once paid €2 for a pack of chewing gums.
So why did I pick this city for this list?
It has its charm. Very old bridges. Spires are everywhere. Prague is that city that you really want to see from the top. And you can. It has an incredible castle that shows Prague from a beautiful point of view. It’s definitely one of the 5 cities you should visit in Europe in 2018. Especially if you love beer which happens to be incredibly cheap there too.
Remeber how I said the city is weird in many aspects? Well, it has giant statues of babies. Not weird at all. Sadly I don’t have any great pictures of them.
Out of Eastern Europe countries here, Krakow is by far the cleanest. Cleanest in terms of rubbish, not overall. The air is not great there at all. Krakow offers a very lively atmosphere with huge gatherings of people around great musical bands playing. It’s also incredibly cheap.
If you love history, Krakow has a lot of it. You can expect to see buildings from the Renaissance era. The most important Polish leaders are buried at Wawel castle. A rumor says a dragon used to live there.
And Krakow a big Jewish history. There’s an old Jewish district in the city called Kazimierz, there’s plenty of museums relating to war and Jewish history around it. Auschwitz is also nearby.
Krakow has more history than a lot of cities. If you love history this should be your top pick.
You know, I really admire communists. I mean how could you even design such disasters? No. I’m not saying Budapest is ugly. I’m saying that some of the old communist things are just designed in such a way that makes you think how it’s even possible. Budapest is extremely beautiful. It offers extremely wide streets. Somebody knew how to design it back in the days. It’s also extremely cheap. The architecture is also very unique due to the communist history, just like in a lot of eastern Europe.
You know, I would say that Budapest has its charm, but to be honest, every city on this list has a different kind of charm. This one is so retro that I love it. It’s great to see for the communist history. And there’s a lot of bars themed that way there too. The lamps at night give me vibes like I was living in 1918. I feel like I was somewhere 100 years ago.
If I was to describe it though, old Walt Disney cartoon movies.
Oh, and it offers an incredible range of thermal baths.
This is the most expensive place on this list. It’s also the one with the highest standard of living. You can expect top-notch apartments and top-notch metros. You can expect not to see homeless people. Oh, and they have the best damn metros in Europe. And not just the cleanest but also the best. Their metros are art. Overall transport is outstanding in Stockholm, and that is a key for a great trip!
Stockholm has invested in modern while also keeping to their culture. It’s full of cozy cafes with outstanding music.
Perhaps people are not as open as in Lisbon, but everybody also speaks great English. If you are a person of high standards, Stockholm is the right city for you. No doubt about it. More expensive than most but with comforts that London and Paris don’t bring, that’s why it made this list.
5 Cities You Should Visit in Europe This Year
These are my picks for 5 cities you should visit in Europe this year. These are based on my experiences. There might be a city I’ve never visited that might be worth it. Perhaps. I have been almost everywhere in Europe, but I haven’t been everywhere. Your experience will also differ depending on who you talk to or don’t talk to. The weather you
What would your recommendations be if you were to pick 5 cities you should visit in Europe from your experiences? Let me know on my Instagram. @michaelsmolski