Top 5 Most Visited Cities in Europe

March 27, 2019


The continent of Europe is a treasure trove of scenic beauty and is home to many sites of staggering cultural and historical significance. Its major cities attract millions of international visitors each year.

This article provides a brief overview of the five most visited cities in Europe. We’ve included some basic facts about each city and given you a summary of some of their most well-known attractions.

Let's kick things off in style with a look at our first city, Milan, Italy.

5. Milan

The fifth-most visited city in Europe is Milan, with over 7.6 million international visitors each year. Located in northern Italy, Milan has the second-largest population in Italy, with Rome taking the top spot.

Over 1.3 million people live in the city of Milan, but its greater metropolitan area is absolutely massive, serving as home to 7.5 million people.

One of Europe's many ancient cities, Milan was capital of the Western Roman Empire from 286 to 402.

Today, Milan is the picture of modern urban advancement, excelling in the areas of art, commerce, education, entertainment, fashion, and tourism, to name just a few of its assets. It's known as a global design capital, hosting many prestigious international events, such as Milan Fashion Week.

Milan's millions of overseas visitors are treated to world-class museums and art galleries that are home to important collections. Luxury hotels and fancy restaurants abound in Milan. And if you want to escape the fast pace of the city, the Lake District of Northern Italy offers unforgettable day trips with breath-taking scenery.

4. Barcelona


Our next city is Barcelona, Spain, the fourth-most visited city in Europe, hosting 8.2 million international visitors annually. The city has a resident population of 1.6 million

Located on the east coast of Spain, Barcelona is one of the largest urban areas on the Mediterranean Sea. To its west lies the Serra de Collserola mountain range.

First a Roman city during the Middle Ages, Barcelona's fascinating cultural heritage is one of the reasons it's such a major destination for tourists. It features beautiful architecture and is the location of noteworthy venues like the Gran Teatre del Liceu opera house and the Palau de la Música Catalana concert hall.

In fact, art is everywhere in Barecelona. La Rambla in central Barcelona is a picturesque, tree-lined pedestrian street where visitors can see mime artists and street performers. There are high-profile pop music festivals like the Sónar Festival and the Primavera Sound Festival, plus a vibrant alternative music scene.

3. Rome


Rome is the third-most visited European city. With over 9.5 international visitors each year, that's enough for it to rank 14th in the world.

The capital of Italy, Rome has over 2.8 million residents. It's located in the middle of the western part of the Italian Peninsula. Rome actually contains the Vatican City, which is the smallest country in the world. That makes it the only city that has a sovereign country inside its boundaries.

People have been living in Rome continuously since around 1000 BC, but Roman mythology dates the city's birth at around 753 BC.

The ancient Latins and Etruscans that lived there first would hardly recognize the place now. This globally renowned city is the most popular tourist destination in Italy, largely due to its rich culture, history, architecture, and art. While visiting, you can take in amazing panoramic views of the city and explore it's beautiful "villas," or parks.

Museums in Rome are plentiful and contain some of the world's most impressive collections of sculpture, mosaics, frescos, and paintings from many periods. Three museums of note are the Musei Capitolini, the Vatican Museum, and the Galleria Borghese. Rome is also a major global center of fashion and design and is home to the Parco della Musica, one of the largest music venues in the world.

2. Paris


The runner-up in the rankings for most visited European city is Paris, France, with just over 18 million world-travelers making a stop in the city each year. It's the 7th-most visited city in the world.

The capital of France, Paris has a population of over 2 million people. It's been a major center of finance, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts since the 17th century.

Paris is famous for its museums and architectural sights. The itinerary of most visitors includes the Louvre, the most visited art museum in the world, and the Pompidou Centre Musée National d'Art Moderne, which has the largest collection of modern and contemporary art in Europe.

Tourists in the historical area along the Seine can experience the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris, the Eiffel Tower, and the Arc de Triomphe, along with other well-known Parisian sights.

1. London


London takes the prize as the most visited city in Europe. With close to 20 million international visitors, it's also the 3rd most visited city in the world.

Capital of the UK, London is located on the River Thames in south-east England, and it's been a major settlement for two thousand years. It's one of the world's most important cities, globally influencing the arts, commerce, education, entertainment, fashion, finance, and, of course, tourism.

Some of London's most popular attractions are the Tower of London, Kew Gardens, Westminster Abbey, and Buckingham Palace. It's home to some of the finest art galleries and museums in the world, including the British Museum, National Gallery, Natural History Museum, and Tate Modern.