Europe is renowned for its picturesque cities, where stunning architecture, cobblestone streets, and iconic landmarks pose against backdrops like the golden Mediterranean and the snowy Alps. But some cities are so spectacular, they keep us coming back time and time again. From London to Rome, here are five timeless and beautiful European cities to revisit this summer.
1. Lisbon, Portugal
Everyone falls in love with Lisbon and it’s easy to see why. It’s one of the most beautiful European cities, bursting with colour and charm. Canary yellow trams roam the streets, passing façades lined with azulejos, rococo squares, and pops of pink bougainvillaea.
Head to the rooftops and gaze out over the old whitewashed buildings topped with striking terracotta tiles. Look a bit further, and you’ll see the sparkling ocean, ringed by golden sand beaches that light up in that famous Lisbon light. From the cobbled streets of the ancient barrios to the towering ramparts of São Jorge Castle, Lisbon is as dazzling as they come.
You’ll get to the heart of the Portuguese capital (Europe’s second-oldest capital after Athens) with Luxury Gold. Check in to the luxurious Pousada de Lisboa, set in the historic Terreiro do Paço. Then, join a Local Expert in Belém, home to the 16th-century Belém Tower, the city’s ceremonial gateway.
Visit the UNESCO-listed Jeronimos Monastery to admire the gorgeous Manueline architecture. Or enjoy a special after-hours visit to The National Palace of Queluz, where you’ll marvel at the ornate decor and learn about the Royal Family who lived here in the 18th century. You can also join a sustainable cooking class to learn how to make the iconic Pastéis de Belém, then enjoy a dinner of Portuguese delicacies at Cozinha Velhina.
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2. Rome, Italy
If you’re looking for beautiful European cities, Italy has no shortage of them. But it’s the Eternal City which remains truly timeless. Rome is unparalleled in art, history, architecture, and food, with traces of the Ancient Roman Empire around every corner and Renaissance treasures all over town.
There’s the must-see icons like the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, the Pantheon, and the Vatican with its spellbinding Sistine Chapel. But when you travel to Rome with Luxury Gold, you’ll experience this legendary city in a new light.
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We’ll take you strolling through the streets, uncovering the hidden gems of Rome with a Local Expert, and skipping the lines at the famous spots like the mighty Colosseum. Explore St. Peter’s Basilica and see Michelangelo’s Pietà, one of his greatest Carrara marble sculptures. Top it off with a delicious dinner in the Piazza della Rotonda.
You’ll stay at the world-renowned Palazzo Montemartini, a 5-star hotel in the heart of Rome, with elegant architecture to match Rome’s exquisite ambience. If you’re wondering where to travel in Europe this summer, hop on the road to Rome.
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3. Lucerne, Switzerland
Set on the edge of Lake Lucerne in the heart of the Swiss Alps, Lucerne is simply breathtaking. Surrounded by alpine scenery and the Stanserhorn, Pilatus and Rigi mountains, Lucerne looks like something from a fairytale. Except it’s all very real.
When you visit Lucerne with Luxury Gold, we’ll take you on the scenic journey of a lifetime. Cruise across the glittering Lake Lucerne to the Stans, where you’ll take a thrilling cable car to the summit of Mount Stanserhorn. You’ll then enjoy dinner at a panoramic rotating restaurant, where you can really soak up the splendour of the Alps.
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And while it’s famed as one of the most beautiful European towns to access the Alps, this isn’t the only alluring thing about Lucerne. This ancient city is also renowned for its charming streets and squares and medieval treasures. Stroll through Weinmarkt Square to see historic colourful houses, or walk the Chapel Bridge (Kapellbrücke), one of the oldest covered bridges in Europe. Marvel at the Lion Monument, the Old Town Hall, and the Musegg Wall, dating back to 1386.
We’ll also take you on a special VIP experience to the impressionist and modernist Rosengart Collection for a private, after-hours tour, where you can admire the world of Picasso, Renoir, Chagall and Kandinsky. You’ll stay at Hotel Schweizerhof Luzern, a five-star hotel that has been managed by the Hauser family for more than 150 years. First opened in 1845, you’ll walk in the footsteps of emperors, kings, politicians, writers, actors and musicians at this grand hotel.
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4. London, UK
Once the centre of an empire, and today, one of the most modern and cutting-edge cities, London is simply timeless. It’s a city that effortlessly melds the ancient with the innovative. It’s where you can watch the historic pomp and ceremony of the Changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace and then look over the city from The Shard, the neo-futuristic icon of London’s skyline.
London will always be one of the most beautiful European cities. The River Thames snakes through the city lined with the unforgettable view of Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament. There are dozens of pretty neighbourhoods like Chelsea, Mayfair, Kensington, Soho, and Greenwich, and even more lush parks like Hyde Park and St. Jame’s Park.
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When you travel with Luxury Gold, you’ll see all the legends of London like Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus. Then get under the surface with unique experiences like a visit to the Household Cavalry Museum where you can try on royal uniforms. Or take a private after-hours tour of the Tower of London where you can witness the ancient Ceremony of Keys that has been carried every night by the Yeoman Warder for the past 700 years.
You’ll dine at lavish restaurants like the English Grill, which uses the same suppliers who serve the Queen’s kitchen. And you’ll stay at the opulent Rubens at the Palace, a five-star hotel set directly opposite the royal residence of Buckingham Palace. You’ll get a real royal treatment here, from the red tail-coated doormen to the sumptuous bedrooms and traditional afternoon tea in the Palace Lounge where you can revel in London’s beauty.
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5. Barcelona, Spain
There’s something so enchanting about Barcelona: The magnificent architecture and mosaiced parks, dreamed up by the genius Antoni Gaudí; The balmy golden beaches, just steps away from medieval cathedrals and quarters; The culinary delights and cultural wonders like the flamenco dancers. It’s all just so photogenic, which is why Barcelona is one of the best and most beautiful European cities to visit this summer.
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You’ll experience a different side to this seaside city when you travel with Luxury Gold. Kick things off by checking into Ohla Eixample Barcelona, your five-star boutique hotel that was once the palace of the first Count of Barcelona. Take a dip in the rooftop pool or enjoy a drink as you catch your first spectacular glimpse over the city. Then you’ll dive into the thick of it, exploring the Gothic Quarter, famed for its medieval squares and Catalan art nouveau architecture.
Get immersed in Gaudí’s imagination, with a trip to the Sagrada Família, a true masterpiece. You’ll also explore the colourful Park Güell on Carmel Hill, for more stunning views over the city. Or drive down Passeig de Gracia for Modernist architectural magic. Indulge in fresh seafood and tapas or enjoy a night out in this sultry city… Whatever you do, Barcelona is sure to impress.
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What are your favourite beautiful European cities and towns? Let us know in the comments below…
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