Anyone truly interested in delving into the rich history of the world or reveling in its wide array of cultures has to take at least one trip to Europe. However, first-time European travelers may find themselves overwhelmed with the variety of available choices of cities to explore and visit. Whether you’re following cobble-stoned streets during the day or pub-crawling at night, there’s always something to enjoy in these European cities for the first-time traveler!

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

The city of Dutch bicycles, prominent buildings, and something about legalized marijuana may remind you that Amsterdam is a popular European destination. Indeed, Amsterdam is heavily known for being a fun-loving city. Culture enthusiasts will love places like the Rijksmuseum and the Anne Frank Huis. While you’re there, remember that it’s best to see the infamous canals by bike. End the day with your new Dutch buddies at a pub if you want to taste the local brews!

Barcelona, Spain

If you’re looking for a beautiful and cosmopolitan city in the heart of the Mediterranean, look no further than beautiful Barcelona! Here is where you’ll find tourists flocking to dynamic restaurants, beautiful beaches, and crowded clubs. Main attractions include the large Park Güell — perfect for getting breathtaking views of the city — and, of course, La Sagrada Familia. Barcelona is also known for its delicious food and gorgeous sunsets at the beach.

Berlin, Germany

If you had to choose one of the most up-and-coming cities in Europe in the last twenty years, it has to be Berlin. Since the post-wall rebirth, it’s become a destination worth visiting besides seeing where the wall once stood. Enjoy your first European experience with a tour of a cultural mix of New York City cool and European posh. Catch a glimpse of unique art at the Hamburger Banhof; a converted 19th-century train station. Other famous landmarks include the Checkpoint Charlie Museum, which offers a compelling historical look at the Cold War.

Copenhagen, Denmark

Looking for a blossoming capital with fantastic architecture and a beautiful harbor? Copenhagen’s status as a wonderful city in Scandinavia rises with every visit. Travelers fall in love with the historical context of the cobbled squares and canals, yet can enjoy modern cafes and bars. Copenhagen is also very English friendly and welcomes tourists with an easy-to-navigate transport system!

Prague, Czech Republic

Even with the rise and fall of communism, Prague never showed signs of falling off the map as a prime European destination. It may be easy to be overwhelmed with just the city itself, but it’s definitely worth the trip. Enjoy the stunning melting pot of Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque influences all around you while roaming the city’s majestic buildings and streets. Besides seeing the famous Prague castle, don’t forget to taste the world-famous Pilsner Urquell in the Old Town!

London, England

If you’re a first-time traveler to the European continent, London is a great place to start your trip. After all, London is home to countless cultural attractions, historical significance, extraordinary cuisines, iconic sights, and spectacular architecture. Give yourself a couple of days to tour the city to avoid missing out on a tremendous opportunity to visit the city’s iconic sites and attractions. The city features world-class museums like the Natural History Museum, the National Gallery, the British Museum, and the Tate Modern, most of which are free. Strolling along the Thames River is another great experience you don’t want to miss. It’s the longest river walk in Europe, covering approximately 184 miles! Not enough? Then take a look into St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Tower of London, Big Ben, the London Eye, and Buckingham Palace!

Vienna, Austria

Vienna is a popular European city known for its rich history, musical legacy, architecture, and amazing French, Turkish, and Italian cuisine. There is so much to experience in this marvelous city! When it comes to enjoying art, the capital of Austria is a powerhouse. The museums in Vienna are something else entirely. They are among the best in the world and house various historical art collections. Besides that, they have hosted many international artists whose work can be admired by visitors visiting the city. In Vienna, you can navigate the Danube River, visit the world’s oldest zoo and the world’s oldest amusement park, explore trendy neighborhoods such as Leopoldstadt and Mariahilf, climb the South Tower of St. Stephen’s, and enjoy coffee in its fancy coffee houses. Sounds great, isn’t it?

Athens, Greece

Athens is among the oldest cities in the world. Its archeological treasures and ancient monuments depict the tangible breath of history. Besides being an unparalleled archeological site, this ancient capital is the cradle of modern civilization and the birthplace of democracy. It’s unlikely to get bored in Athens, as there are many amazing places to visit. Popular must-see sites for first-time travelers include the Acropolis (a classic landmark with some of the finest architecture created by Greeks) museums like the Museum of Cycladic Art and the National Museum of Contemporary Art, the Plaka neighborhood, Lycabettus Hill, Varvakios Agora, and the Temple of Poseidon.

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Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul tops the list of many people’s favorite cities in the world. It’s a destination that stretches across two continents, Europe and Asia, which means it’s possible to have lunch on one continent and dinner on the other. If you’re a first-time traveler, plan to spend at least three days on your itinerary to explore this amazing city. Popular must-visit sites in Istanbul include the Topkapi Palace (which exhibits Islamic art and offers a great view of the city),  the Blue Mosque, the Grand Bazaar, Galata Tower, Yedikule Fortress, and the historic district of Uskudar.

Budapest, Hungary

Budapest offers plenty of captivating sites for travelers of all kinds. The city consists of Buda and Pest, which are divided by the Danube River and linked by the Chain Bridge, which takes you ten minutes to cross on foot. Apart from the mighty Danube River, Budapest is famous for its underground caves, captivating architecture, and amazing dishes, and that’s why every year is a popular option for those browsing the Internet in search of cheap airline tickets to the Old Continent. Popular landmarks in Budapest include Heroes Square, the Szechenyi Therma Baths and Gellert Baths, Buda Castle, the Hungarian Parliament Building, the Hungarian National Museum, the Hungarian State Opera House, and the Fisherman’s Bastion

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