The 10 Favourite European Cities For South Africans

We recently asked our fans on Facebook which European city was their favourite. If you’re stuck for ideas on where to start your Euro trip, check out this list for cities you’re least likely to be disappointed in.

10. Istanbul

Istanbul at Sunset

No surprises that a city which is just as much European as it is Asian is on the list. Loved by millions the world over this ancient city is popular for it’s romantic views over the Bosporus, spectacular ancient architecture, fragrant and exotic cuisine and for its cosmopolitan culture.

9. Florence

Florence skyline

Firenze, as it is known to Italians is arguably the country’s capital of culture and art. Not only that but it is the capital and largest city of Italy’s scenic and culinarily rich region of Tuscany. The city was the birth-place of the Italian Renaissance movement and was home many personalities who changed the world like Machiavelli and da Vinci.

8. Barcelona

a view over the skyline of Barcelona

Barcelona is city which regularly attracts a lot of young, trendy travellers with it’s fashionable cafe culture, incredible architecture and countless sandy beaches. Marvel at Gaudi’s magnificent constructions and ramble down Las Ramblas, Barcelona’s famous pedestrian street, this city is all about quirkiness and Mediterranean atmosphere.

7. Munich

view over Munich with the Alps in the background

A city with a fantastic location, Munich really is a perfect base to explore central Europe from. You’re about an hour from Switzerland, Austria and the Bavarian Alps, so there’s loads to do when visiting this city. But you don’t have to go out of town to get in on some fantastic Bavarian culture like the many beer halls and pretzel stands dishing out tasty local cuisine.

6. Amsterdam

Amsterdam canal with buildings reflecting in the water

As a South African you’ll especially love Amsterdam, a city with such a strong connection to our history. From its liberal and eccentric culture to an intriguing range of museums and world famous art galleries to its pretty tree-lined canals and architecture, Amsterdam will not disappoint.

5. Prague

A view from the Charles Bridge, Prague

There are no surprises that this magnificent city is in the top 5. It’s absolutely beautiful, it’s one of Europe’s most in-tact medieval cities and it’s excellent value for money. Visitors rave about the many picturesque photo opportunities and about the awesome history too.

4. Venice

Venice Grand Canal

Venice is another gem in Italy’s tourist crown and for obvious reason too: it’s a city literally built on water where the streets are canals and the cars are boats. It’s romantic, it’s historic, it’s a total one of a kind.

3. Rome

Roman ruins in Rome

Yes, another Italian, but this list would not be complete without the “Eternal City”. Home to the world’s most famous landmarks like the Vatican City (arguably part of Rome) and the Colosseum. Rome is loved by millions of travellers the world over for its cuisine, its culture, its history and its attitude: Rome is sassy, classy, romantic and it encapsulates “Italianness” so concisely.

2. London

Houses of parliament in silhouette

Ah, London, you may not be the prettiest, you may not be the most historic, you may not be the most romantic, but there is just something about you which hooks the world and keeps them coming back for more. This eclectic and sophisticated, yet grungy and wild city has so much to offer people from every walk of life, if there’s a city which epitomises being human, it will be London.

1. Paris

skyline of Paris showing Eiffel Tower and La Défense

We were surprised to see this at the top of the list because it gets such a mixed reaction. Some travellers love this city for its art, culture, food and air of romance, others find it dirty, smelly and unfriendly. What is for sure is that no traveller should ever avoid visiting this city, even if it’s just once in their life. After all, there are no more iconic symbols of travel than Paris’ great architectural landmarks.

Our Readers Comments

  1. I think Greece has a charm and beauty that for sure deserves to be on your list. Ive never been but i sure would love to go. Been looking at packages to Greece for our honeymoon next year 🙂

    • Dear Hayley. Ever since Olympic stopped coming here and those dreadful Arab airlines are the only real way to get there, count yourself poorer by at least R20k just for the flight. But I have been 17 times, even though I’m not Greek, and to a different island every time, and we’ve had such beautiful times there, first BC (before kids,) and then with them. The most important decision we made? Don’t judge the accommodation by our standards like you see at Umhlanga and Cape Town. The rates are brilliant when you see your room as a place to keep your clothes, have a shower, and sleep at night. Rather spend your money at hidden tavernas on the side roads. Even though Athens irritates me, we always spend a few days there to see the historic stuff, which, with some research or a decent guide never bores me. I also love getting on the old ferries to the nearer islands, even thougn it takes forever, especially when you can sit outside and tan. That’s when my true holiday starts, and when the ferry stops at various islands before your destination, be sure to buy what the men in baskets bring on board in the few minutes they have. Jis, now I’m becoming all lus to go again!

  2. I am interested in flying Jhb Istanbul London Jhb in October What do flights cost? What visas etc. SA passport

    • i need the exact information the cost of P.E. LONDON AND ISTANBUL PE What will it cost?

    • mary jane,check flightcentre.they hav specials on at the moment.i wopuld also sujject u check eurail.u can purchase a pass that will take u to more than 10 countries in europe from istanbul.

  3. Copenhagen also very nice

  4. London? Why? The most overrated city in teh owlrd, mostly because of its miserable ihabitants. If it were not for the colonial connection, it would not be on the list. Grubby, ugly, polluted, unsafe, what’s to like? St Petersburg, Stockholm, Berlin, Bergen, Madrid, Lisbon, Sevilla, Vienna, Budapest, Moscow all more worthy.

    • @Larsen: I Agree 100% and don’t forget Turkey.

  5. Hayley, I agree. We go over every 2 years, and it is the cheapest European destination for travel. Athens is dead easy to get around, public transport is everywhere, food, clothing, entertainment is cheap and an apartment much better than a hotel. The people are friendly and everything is bilingual. I have loads of info if anyone is interested, I keep a file on every trip

    • Please share more info. I am single and want to go there next year. The cruises, and even tour groups, when you are single, is to expensive and then mostly 1 day in Athens. I love the history.

  6. What about Sweden? Went to Stockholm last year and it was amazing!!

  7. Hi Yianna. Please share details – would love to take the family! DM me?

  8. I have been to all of these on the list, except Prague, some more, than once. We are looking for a CRUISE that goes to Alturnative places, like Corsica, Sardinia, Scily, Alba etc. etc. is there one? Can only find cruises, that go to the same old places, all the time.

  9. I am going yo isrsnbul in april 2015 for a week any suggedtions where to sray what to see and eat thanx

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