What is your favorite European city?


Hi guys! Hope you’re enjoying your Thursday (the weekend is near!). I found out this week that my friend Jane is visiting me in Copenhagen for my 30th birthday in late March and my mom (and possibly Grandma Rita) is visiting for two weeks in early May. Jane and I are considering popping over to another city for a couple days and my mom and I are thinking of doing a bit of traveling as well.

Why am I telling you all this…? Because you’re a well-traveled bunch and I’d LOVE to hear your suggestions on where to go! I did a fair amount of traveling during my two-year stint in Switzerland (my friends and I rented Smart cars and piled into hostels—college, the golden years…), but there are still a ton of places I haven’t been (Madrid, Lisbon, Amsterdam, Berlin…) and places I’d happily return to. Which city would you recommend?

P.S. All of these illustrated city maps are available as art prints on Etsy. For details, click the maps or scroll to the links at bottom.





(Etsy art prints: London by Livi GoslingEdinburgh by Clair Rossiter, Paris by TCalligrapherParis by Liv Gosling, Edinburgh by TCalligrapher, London by Clair Rossiter)

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20 comments on “What is your favorite European city?

  1. Tina Pearse

    Hi Katie, so I lived in the UK around ten years ago with my husband and two young children. Being from Australia we made every opportunity to travel extensively through Europe. To this day my two favourite cities are Florence and London. I know you’ve been to both so I don’t need to go into the why. However, my favourite place in the world is an area south of Germany near Austrian border half hour drive from Salzburg called Berchtesgaden. Amazing part of the world. We went in August so scenery as far as the eye could see.
    Enjoy your travels, I will be living vicariously through you

  2. Gina

    Long time reader and I’ve been enjoying your prolific posts. I haven’t been to as many places as I would like (yet). But out of those that I’ve visited I’ve always enjoyed them for their different offerings, history and people. Edinburgh (especially Holyrood Palace) and the Highlands (even more beautiful than on TV/movies) are amazing. Barcelona has a sort of kinship to San Francisco, I think. Old, sometimes a little weird, amazing food, gorgeous views of the sea and the architecture! I’ve never been to the Basque region, but heard that the food, wine, topography and people are amazing. Good luck!

  3. Katie Armour Post author

    Tina – How fun your UK stint must have been! I am eager to get back to Austria and have only been to Germany once and very briefly so the area is high on my list. My husband lived in Germany for a year and is looking forward to showing me around. Thanks for the good idea, will try to make it to Berchtesgaden! xx

    Gina – I’m eager to get back to Scotland! I spent a couple days in Edinburgh but didn’t make it to the Palace and then headed out to St. Andrews to visit a friend. Would love time to explore the Highlands! And I totally understand the Barcelona/SF comparison, too funny. SUCH good food there, right?!! The Basque region would be an interesting place to check out too, I need to add it to my list. Thanks for weighing in! xx

  4. Allyson

    I have to say Paris is never a bad idea. That said, I fell in love with both Barcelona and Sevilla, Spain (each for their own reasons) this spring. I also traveled to Madrid on the same trip and I’d recommend going elsewhere. It definitely has some wonderful things to offer, but is very globalized (meaning that it didn’t have as much of a unique flare to me as other European cities).

  5. Ali

    Prague, Berlin, Florence and of course PARIS! Amsterdam is lovely too, like a sunny, light-filled London (more sun reaches the streets as they are wider due to the canals.) Also Salzburg if you are as much of a Sound of Music Fan as I am– the tour!

  6. Nancy Wilde

    I like Porto and Verona very much but then I feel like my heart would go for all things Scottish so maybe Edinburgh or Glasgow… Prague is beautiful but I wouldn’t say it’s my favourite, for some reason. Vienna is a stunner of a city, while London is an all time fav (as long as I don’t work and live there). Copenhagen is ultra cute! Either way, I have moved to Dublin and still live in here because I feel like this is the place to be.

  7. Katie Armour Post author

    Allyson – Interesting to hear what you thought of Madrid. Maybe I should start with Sevilla then if I go to Spain… And yes, Paris is never a bad idea. I’m definitely escaping to France at least once in 2016. Thanks for saying hello!

    Ali – I’m SO excited to visit Amsterdam. It’s at the top of my 2016 list. Was only in Vienna for lunch once and never made it to Salzburg. I haven’t watched The Sound of Music since I was little (though I grew up to my dad playing all the songs on the piano!). Maybe I’ll watch it this weekend :)

    Nancy – How fun to live in Dublin! I loved it when I visited and am eager to get back. Nicest people on the planet! Prague was absolutely freezing when I visited so I don’t feel like I fully appreciated it. Haven’t been to Glasgow and have heard such good things. Sounds like I ought to get back to Scotland this year!

  8. Robyn Elsberry Hoganson

    Porto is a delightful city. So friendly and the local food is amazing along with Portuguese wine…not to be misses. Edinburgh has to be my all time favorite city however, and Scotland is dreamy. Very quaint and comfortable and so much to see both inside and outside the city. Such history…… Highly recommend both cities!! Enjoy! Love your blog, I am a new follower! xoxo

  9. Megan

    Antwerp is artsy and edgy but also old world and charming, all while being an easy train ride from Bussels. The vintage shops are excellent, the architecture is top-notch, the museums are phenomenal (especially for Rubens and medieval art) and the Plantin Moretus museum (an active printing house and bookshop from the sixteenth century onward) is a treasure. Plus you can eat you weight in pastries and chocolates.

  10. Teresa

    It has to be my own hometown – Lisbon.
    It’s beautiful, intriguing… Passionate, in fact.
    Going to check the link to see if they have it.
    Thank you for sharing,

  11. Lena

    Hi Katie – My husband and I lived in Germany for three years and took the opportunity to visit a lot of places in Europe while we were there. We loved Santorini, Istanbul, Paris, London, Endinburgh, Interlacken, and Prague. If you go to Scotland I highly recommend going for a long period of time and renting a car and driving through the country. It is stunning. Germany is also a beautiful country with some of the best food I have ever eaten. We didn’t visit but a lot of people raved about Portugal.

  12. Cathy M.

    My husband is German, so when we go ‘home’ to visit his family, I convince him that we need to get in a mini-vacation for the two of us to a new city. Some of my favorite places we’ve been have been: Vienna, Austria, Cinque Terre, Italy, Lake Como, Italy, Prague, and Dublin.

    Must-sees in Vienna – the Opera House, the Lipizzaner Stallions (Spanische Hofreitschule) and their amazing living quarters, and the Klimt museum.
    Cinque Terre – make sure you hike the trail between the five towns (although oftentimes portions are closed due to mudslides, etc.). There is a wonderful restaurant in Vernazza at the very top of the hill which is situated in the ruins of an old lookout tower. It’s called Ristorante Belforte. Definitely have the pesto when you’re there! Otherwise, everything about CT is incredibly charming.
    Lake Como – just walking around this town is a feast for the eyes. If CT is the Italian Riviera, Lake Como is where the big spenders go to relax. Besides, it might be fun to keep an eye out for George and Amal! ;)
    Prague – Obviously, the Charles Bridge is where everyone wants to go. I’d recommend going at off hours as it is extremely crowded with tourists and people selling souvenirs. Early morning or late at night is best. (Don’t forget to make a wish at the statue of St. John!)
    Dublin – Temple Bar, Trinity College, Guinness beer tour. I took a literary bar crawl when I was visiting (my husband was working, so I was on my own). It was a lot of fun, and it took me to places I wouldn’t have found on my own. Getting the guided tour of Trinity College is well worth the time as well. Don’t miss the library and the Book of Kells.

    Enjoy your time! Can’t wait to hear about life in Copenhagen and read about your adventures with Jane and your family. :)

  13. Katie Armour Post author

    Robyn – I don’t know anything about Porto, so glad you mentioned it! And I really need to get back to Scotland! It’s somewhere I think I’d be happy living long-term someday (a girl can dream…). So fun to have a new reader, welcome! I will try not to disappoint! :)

    Megan – I love the sound of Antwerp! I know so little about it and that all sounds right up my alley (especially the pastry part). Thanks for your suggestion—definitely adding it to my list (have never been to Brussels either!).

    Teresa – Lisbon is high on my mom’s list so we may well go there! I’ll report back! So fun to see your face! xo

    Leah – Driving through Scotland does sound dreamy! I’m eager to get to Istanbul, but don’t know if it’s the best time, so sad. Santorini looks magical, I’ve only spent time in Athens. And yes to Germany, so excited to explore it, I’ve only been to Nuremberg!

  14. Katie Armour Post author

    Cathy – You’re the best!!! I was only in Vienna for lunch so I am definitely planning a trip back to properly explore the city. And Cinque Terre is a part of Italy I’ve never explored, but have always wanted to. Will be sure they make my list. My college was on Lake Lugano, 30 minutes from Lake Como so we spent a lot of time there…it’s such a stunning part of the world! I want to take my husband and show him around my old haunts :) Prague is another place I need to return to (when it’s not freezing) and Dublin, well, what’s not to love about Dublin! Thank you for all your detailed suggestions, I’m copy and pasting them into my future itineraries! xx

  15. Jessie

    Oh lovely Edinburgh, I think I need one of those maps! I was in Scotland in October. Edinburgh is so lovely, but I actually fell even more in love with Inverness, in the highlands. We stayed on a farm outside the city and took a couple day trips (Speyside scotch distillery tours and a drive to the magical Isle of Skye via Loch Ness and Eilean Donan Castle!). Such incredible landscapes, deep rooted history, and the most hospitable culture ever.

  16. Stephanie

    Katie– My family and I are currently living in Germany and the following have been some of our favorite cities. The Amalfi coast has been my favorite by far!!!! Positano and Capri are AMAZING! We have also loved Vienna, Cinque Terre, Tuscany, Salzburg, Santorini, Dubrovnik, and Chamonix, France. For 2016 we have plans for Rome, Morocco, Malaga, Ronda and Seville, Spain. We have also heard rave reviews for Budapest and Krakow. We are hoping to make it to Copenhagen this year as well!! So many places on our bucket list and so little time for travel! Enjoy your time in Copenhagen and I look forward to hearing all about it.

  17. Katie Armour Post author

    Jessie – So many votes for Scotland! An old friend’s family has a house on Loch Ness and the photos of it always made me want to visit. Maybe 2016 is the year! Thanks for the good ideas. Your trip must have been incredible.

    Stephanie – Let me know when you’re in Copenhagen! Loved Budapest when I visited 10 years ago, definitely add it you list. And isn’t Dubrovnik gorgeous?! The Amalfi coast has been on my travel wish list for ages, dying to experience Capri in person! And now I need to add Chamonix during a trip to France… Thanks for saying hi!

    Maybeth – Ohhh can’t wait to read you post about Amsterdam! I am hoping to get there in March or April! Stay tuned! xo

  18. Fiona

    There’s so much choice and everywhere mentioned is worthy of a gander! London, Berlin, Florence and Lisbon are all fabulous. But if you were travelling with your Mum then Nice would be perfect for lovely markets, food, fashion and a short but beautiful train trip to Monte Carlo. Also Bath is unforgettable what with Jane Austen, Cotswold tours and buckets of English charm. And Dublin too of course…. no bias there. Ahem!

  19. madeline

    i cannot recommend the cinque terre, italy enough. i am very biased towards italian cities but it is wonderful. i also loved barcelona and exploring the costa brava. my husband lived in helsinki, a design minded city, and he truly fell in love with it. you would love santorini and the neighboring islands of greece. you just can’t go wrong.

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