On my very first backpacking trip in the mid-nineties, way back when many of you were still in diapers (yes, I’m old!) I made my way through numerous cities spanning 10 European countries over a wonderfully exhausting 3-month period. What struck me most over those 90 days or so was just how easy it is to get around Europe, and how relatively small compared to my gargantuan home country of Canada. This was pre-internet days mind you, so I was going by friend recommendations, my dog-eared copy of Lonely Planet Europe, and wherever the wind took me.
Not everyone can travel “wherever the wind takes them” though and for many folks with limited vacation time and a “more bang for your buck” mentality, research into finding the perfect city break is key. Thankfully in this day and age, plenty of websites are willing to do the legwork for you.
So what exactly are the best destinations in Europe? The good folks at HomeToGo rolled up their sleeves, and did some digging in order to get the answers. Measuring vitals across 5 categories including Nightlife, Day Activities, Food & Drinks, Accommodation, and Public Transport, HomeToGo, in collaboration with GoEuro, ranked major cities across the continent to come up with the Top 100 Destinations in Europe. With a major focus on the affordability of each European city (the price of a beer and the price of a night’s accommodation all factored into the equation), what results is a very interesting read indeed.
Some surprises on the list for sure — Spain (a country I didn’t visit during my first trip to Europe since Canadians needed a visa at that time) holds down 3 of the top 10 spots on the list. Barcelona reigned supreme by taking in the number one spot on the list, while Madrid and Seville (at numbers 4 and 10 respectively) made the Top 10 buoyed by their respectable numbers in the Nightlife and Food & Drinks categories.
I was quite happy to see Lisbon, Portugal in at number 7. I lived in Estoril, about 40 minutes outside of Lisbon for just over a year, and I can attest to city’s overall awesomeness, not to mention its affordability.
I have to admit I was surprised to see one of my favourites — Bucharest, Romania — come in at only number 42 on the list. Although it garnered high marks for it’s public transportation, that alone wasn’t enough to pull it into the Top 40 even.
To see the full results with the rankings of all 100 cities, including a nifty clickable, sortable table of the results, simply head to the article here on the HomeToGo website.