Top 10 Cities in Europe – Readers’ Choice Awards

 

1. Florence -Italy

Readers’ Choice Rating: 83.8

Culture: 92.7
Friendliness: 75.8
Atmosphere: 89.8
Restaurants: 85
Lodging: 79.1
Shopping: 78.9

Tied for the top spot is the art-centric Florence, which also boasts “food out of this world.” This Italian city was not only a hit with the thousands of readers who participated in our survey this year, but it was also the location chosen by our 2012 Dream Trip Photo Contest winner; after winning a $25,000 trip of a lifetime, Florence is where he wanted to take his family.

2. Budapest – Hungary

Readers’ Choice Rating: 83.8

Culture: 94.2
Friendliness: 82.5
Atmosphere: 89.4
Restaurants: 80
Lodging: 83
Shopping: 70.7

The “classic masterpiece” of a city gives off a “different feeling than other European cities.” There is “so much to see, great food and easy navigation,” one reader said. The “gorgeous residences and buildings” are “gracious and grand.” “Everything about Budapest was entrancing.”

3. Salzburg -Austria

Readers’ Choice Rating: 83.3

Culture: 93.4
Friendliness: 82.5
Atmosphere: 91.6
Restaurants: 80.6
Lodging: 76.4
Shopping: 70.8

Salzburg is a “pleasant little town” that is “one of the truly European cities still left.” Most famous as the hometown of Mozart (and those other musical geniuses, the Von Trapps), Salzburg will “transport you back in time.” It’s the perfect place for “folks who still care about culture and history.”

4.San Sebastian – Spain

Readers’ Choice Rating: 83.2

Culture: 87
Friendliness: 84.5
Atmosphere: 92.5
Restaurants: 90.1
Lodging: 79.7
Shopping: 62

Which city can rightly be called the food capital of Europe? No, not Paris. Copenhagen? Try San Sebastián, a Basque beauty with stunning coastline and serious culinary cred: It just happens to have a slew Michelin stars—16 and counting. And the food is the main reason our readers rave about it. All you need to do here is “eat, eat, and eat.”

5.Vienna – Austria

Readers’ Choice Rating: 83.1

Culture: 93.9
Friendliness: 78.5
Atmosphere: 89.2
Restaurants: 82
Lodging: 79
Shopping: 72.3

“Drenched in music, history and the arts,” Vienna earned its highest marks in the subcategory of culture. Not that anyone would find that suprising. “Classical music opportunities are out of this world and you can hear great music in beautiful venues.”

 

6.Rome – Italy

Readers’ Choice Rating: 83.0

Culture: 93.3
Friendliness: 74.9
Atmosphere: 88.6
Restaurants: 84.9
Lodging: 78
Shopping: 76.7

Rome has “endless exploration opportunities.” “It is not a one-time destination so you can return again and again and always see something new.” “Food, restaurants, service people, and easiness of getting around are better than any American city.”

7.Siena – Italy

Readers’ Choice Rating: 82.9

Culture: 93.2
Friendliness: 81.5
Atmosphere: 91.3
Restaurants: 83.3
Lodging: 76.4
Shopping: 67.1

Called a “timeless place where one needs only to soak in the ambience,” Siena has so much to offer that even one reader, who has been to the city 18 times, is still finding new food and cultural experiences. Others praise it as “quieter than Rome and Florence, but jam-packed with history and culture amid rolling Tuscan hillsides.”

8.Bruges – Belgium

Readers’ Choice Rating: 82.3

Culture: 91.8
Friendliness: 81.3
Atmosphere: 91.3
Restaurants: 78
Lodging: 79.5
Shopping: 67.5

“Beautifully preserved,” picturesque Bruges is an “unexpected gem.” Most of its attractions are close together, so it is “easily seen by walking.”

9.Krakow – Poland

Readers’ Choice Rating: 81.3

Culture: 96.2
Friendliness: 82.5
Atmosphere: 89.2
Restaurants: 79.4
Lodging: 73.5
Shopping: 67.4

This Polish city boasts “beautiful architecture and old charm,” leaving visitors with something to “always cherish and remember.” In addition to having many cultural and historical sights of its own, Kraków is also “centrally located for different side trips.” The restaurants are “very quaint with excellent food and reasonable prices.”

10.Prague   –  Czech Republic

Readers’ Choice Rating: 81.3

Culture: 93.7
Friendliness: 78.8
Atmosphere: 88.6
Restaurants: 77.6
Lodging: 79.2
Shopping: 67.6

One reader raved: “If you can only visit one city in Europe, Prague should be it.” There is “music that permeates the atmosphere and wonderful cuisines, served by gracious people.” In this “adult Disneyland,” expect to see “fairytale architecture, horse-drawn carriages, winding brick street, majestic castles and swans providing an enchanting setting for tourists in the capital.”

 

Source: Conde Nast Traveler

 

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