Central Europe has started to enter the route of many tourists with its magnificent cities to be seen. Central European cities , which are very close to each other but host very different cultures , attract a lot of attention with their cultures that still maintain their ties with the past, local flavors, history and original architectural texture.
Last year (2014) I had the opportunity to visit Central European cities from mid-August to the end of September. I enjoyed my trip very much, even though it was my second visit to some of them. Central Europe has started to enter the route of many tourists with its magnificent cities to be seen. Central European cities , which are very close to each other but host very different cultures , attract a lot of attention with their cultures that still maintain their ties with the past, local flavors, history and original architectural texture.
Countries in the region located between the Baltic Sea and the Adriatic; Germany, whose social and cultural life is extremely rich; Austria, whose streets smell of coffee; Czechia with its streets smelling of history; Liechtenstein, the tiny country famous for its castles; Hungary and Poland, now defunct Warsaw Pact members; Slovakia quietly seceding from the Czech Republic; Slovenia, which broke away from the former Yugoslavia and is now a member of the European Union, and Switzerland, with its breathtaking mountain scenery, are classified as Central European countries.
ⓘ Content List
The Most Beautiful Central European Cities to See
- Prague, Czechia
- Budapest, Hungary
- Vienna, Austria
- Salzburg, Austria
- Bratislava, Slovakia
- Dresden, Germany
- Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic
- Heidelberg, Germany
- Berlin, Germany
- Krakow, Poland
- Bled, Slovenia
- Gdansk, Poland
- Vaduz, Liechtenstein
- Friedrichshafen, Germany
- Sibiu, Romania
The Most Beautiful Central European Cities to See
1. Prague, Czechia
Prague , which has been the capital of Bohemia for hundreds of years , is also a favorite city for Central European tours with its elegant bridges, cathedrals, and unique architectural structures. The emotions I felt while walking on the cobblestone streets of the historic district are indescribable. II. In this lucky city, which managed to survive the World War II almost unscathed, the atmosphere of the Middle Ages is almost everywhere.
The 9th-century castle of Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, includes the Old Town Square (Staromestske nam), the Charles Bridge, the Astronomical Clock , the Old Town Bridge Tower (Stare Mesto) and St. Nicholas Church is one of the places to visit. One should not return without tasting the world-famous Czech beers. Although the Czechs are the most whining nation in Europe, the energy emanating from the crowds of tourists filling the streets can be felt in almost every street of the city. Prepare yourself for long walks!
2. Budapest, Hungary
Budapest is one of my favorite and best known cities among Central European cities. I can say that I got emotionally attached to this city, probably because I stayed for 2 weeks and walked in its many streets. Budapest , one of the most interesting cities in Central Europe , formed by the combination of the cities of Budin and Pest on both sides of the Danube , is called the Paris of Central Europe. However, they have very different characters with Paris. Despite its size, the city is the second largest city in the region after Berlin, with its advanced transportation system and easy to get around on foot.
Watching the unique Danube view from Gellert Hill , which I climbed 3 times , sitting in the delicious cafes of the Fisherman’s Bastion , which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List; Margaret Island , Gul Baba Tomb, Renaissance Palace, designed to breathe and be in touch with nature , should be added to the places to visit.
Boat tour on the Danube should not be forgotten either. While you’ve been there, you can’t go back without enjoying the famous hot spring. Ruin bars , where old slums have been converted , are famous all over Europe. Visit at least one. Sometimes the flight ticket to Budapest is as low as 99€. Estilo Fashion Hotel Budapest is an excellent choice for accommodation .
3. Vienna, Austria
Vienna, the capital and largest city of Austria , is also known as the center of culture and art. Vienna, which has hosted important diplomatic and cultural events of Europe throughout history, is also a green city with its forest assets of nearly 30 percent. It has always been at the top of the list of the most livable cities in the world for several years.
The museum, which offers many alternatives, is the summer palace of the Habsburg Dynasty, Schönbrunn Palace , which is the most popular place for tourists. I had reserved 1 day only for this palace to visit. In Vienna, which hosts one of the most important art collections in Europe, also the Hofburg Palace , Vienna Opera House , City Hall, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Butterfly House, Belvedere Palace are among the places to be seen.
One of the symbols of the city, which is considered the capital of Baroque and Art Nouveau, St. Stephen’s Cathedral is another must-see. There are incredible options for art lovers in Vienna, where different music festivals are held throughout the year. Be sure to try the schnitzel, which is an Austrian delicacy.
4. Salzburg, Austria
Salzburg , which means ‘castle of salt’ , is also the city where composer Mozart, one of the symbols of Austria, was born. Salzburg and its surroundings, which I visited in October, made me fall in love with it. I like to travel without any expectations or prejudices about cities, but honestly I did not expect that I would be so impressed with Salzburg. Located at the foot of the majestic Alps, UNESCO Heritage Old City, with its simple but impressive streets created by art and design, Salzburg has taken a firm place in my heart.
The city, which has managed to preserve the features of Baroque architecture, attracts travelers with an interest in history. Salzburg, which gives the impression of walking in a natural painting, is also famous for its music festivals. The house where Mozart was born welcomes its visitors as a museum today. Cycling tours and sports activities on the banks of the Salzach River provide mingling with the locals.
The city was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1997 due to its unique architecture and protected structure. Mirabell Palace, Aigen Palace, Johannes Palace are among the recommended places to visit. At the first opportunity, I would like to go again and spend more time around Hallstatt and Acheensee , which resembles a fairy tale . Accommodation recommendation: Hotel Goldener Hirsch.
5. Bratislava, Slovakia
Bratislava , the capital of Slovakia , was established on the banks of the Danube just like other Central European capitals. Bratislava, which borders both Austria and Hungary, attracts the attention of visitors with this feature. Bratislava, one of the most dynamic and young populated cities in Europe, which I visited after Budapest, has a calm and serene atmosphere for a capital city.
After seeing the peaceful Old Town Area; Bratislava Castle, Devin Castle, Clock Museum, National Museum, Weapons Museum, Mozart House, Jewish Culture Museum, Genocide Monument and Blue Church are among the spots to see. Since Bratislava is built in a very small area, it is possible to explore most of the entire city on foot in a full day’s time. If you come across it, sit on the open-air sofa, mix magazines and books from the open-air library, and relax on the pear armchairs under the trees. Accommodation recommendation: Patio Hostel .
6. Dresden, Germany
The city of Dresden , which was founded in the valley on the Elbe River , close to Germany’s border with the Czech Republic , has been noted for its cultural and artistic splendor for centuries. The city, also known as the Florence of Germany, II. Towards the end of World War II, although the war was over, three-quarters of the city was destroyed by 2 days of non-stop bombing by the Allies. The people of Dresden, whose unfinished monuments and historical buildings have been restored in accordance with their originality, deserve to be appreciated with their dedication to the past and their hard work.
Dresden Art Gallery, Zwinger , Opera House and other magnificent buildings, which seem to have been there for 1000 years, have a full museum city atmosphere. In the city, which is among the greenest cities in Europe; Botanical Garden, Zoo, Great Garden, Elbe Valley are among the places to visit. Also , ask where is Kunsthofpassage , go and see! I am sure you will like it. Accommodation recommendation: Ibis Hotel Dresden.
7. Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic
Cesky Krumlov is a charming town located 174 km south of Prague, the capital of Czechia. Walking the streets of the city takes you back a few hundred years. When I reached the town in the middle of the night after a long and connecting train journey from Vienna, the streets illuminated by the yellow lights of the city were empty. With the new day, when the streets of the town come alive and crowded with tourists, Cesky Krumlov’s medieval town taste that made me fall in love with it cheered my soul.
Included in the UNESCO World Heritage List with its gardens offering magnificent views and a well-preserved castle, Cesky Krumlov is also known as Prague’s younger brother. The town, located around the Vltava River, is between Austria and the Czech Republic. st. Vitus Church, Český Krumlov Castle, the old streets of the city and the Square, museums and art centers are among the places to be visited. In the city where there are no big hotels, small hostels and boutique hotels welcome travelers who have gone on a tour of central Europe. Accommodation recommendation: Hostel 99.
8. Heidelberg, Germany
Another city that I lost my heart to many years ago is Heidelberg , the most beautiful city in Germany . Established in the valley between the Rhine and Neckar rivers, the heart of the city beats on Hauptstrasse street. With its 1.5 km length, Hauptstrasse has the title of the longest pedestrian street in Europe.
More than 30 thousand university students live in the city where Heidelberg University, the oldest university in the country, is located. You come across lively young people cycling, reading and reading on the streets of the city, and you are also affected by their dynamism. Cafes and restaurants, shops, hotels and bookstores, toy shops, souvenir shops lie on this lively Hauptstrasse street. The historic bridge over the Neckar River, Heidelberg Castle is a must-see.
9. Berlin, Germany
Berlin , the capital of Germany , one of the exciting favorite cities of Europe, welcomes millions of tourists every year. Reuniting with the disappearance of the Wall of Shame, which was demolished in 1990, the city is one of the liveliest cities in Europe. It is possible to encounter a festival almost in every period in the city, which is famous for its festivals.
Potsdamer Platz in the heart of the city center, Brandenburg Gate, one of the symbols of Berlin, Brandenburg Gate and Alexander Platz, Gendarmenmarkt, Bellevue Palace, Berlin’s famous cathedral, Berliner Dom, which are among the popular spots, are places to see in the east of the Reichstag.
He should also add places such as the Museum District, the Berlin Wall Monument, the Jewish Memorial and Museum, Ku’damm Street. In Berlin, where the activities to be done will not end, you can either visit the markets selling second-hand goods or wander around the touristic museums and squares of the city; This is a city that draws you in as you explore. If you have questions about what to do, where to visit, what to eat and drink in Berlin, there is an article you should check out: All About Berlin
10. Krakow, Poland
Krakow , one of the oldest and largest cities in Poland , built around the Vistula River, is known as the cultural center of the country. Considered one of the best preserved medieval cities in Europe, Krakow deserves the title of fairy tale city. How nice that he was able to get out of the war unscathed!
Perhaps the two most important places to see in Krakow are Auschwitz Camp and Wieliczka Salt Mine. Also, the Old Town and Main Square, St. Mary’s Basilica, Krakow City Tower, Florian Gate and Krakow Castle, Archaeological Museum and Synagogue are among the top places to visit. Polish beers of different colors are available at surprising prices.
The parties organized by Erasmus students from many European countries are the main reason why Krakow is mentioned more frequently on social media. The city, which is more famous than the capital of the country, is also among the most beautiful cities in Europe. Many claim that Krakow nightlife is one of the best in Europe. Accommodation and entertainment prices are both more economical than other popular cities.
11. Bled, Slovenia
Known for its ice age lake in Slovenia , Bled hosts many tourists. The city, which attracts attention in all seasons due to its mild climate and its proximity to many countries in Central Europe, promises a wide range of sports activities. Visited by lovers of nature sports such as golf, fishing, horse riding, hunting and mountain climbing, Bled draws attention with its unique landscapes.
The city, which is shown as one of the most important recreation centers of Central Europe, is also known for its congress and camping areas for athletes. The island and the church on Lake Bled attract attention as an important attraction for those who visit the city. Combining Austrian manners, Italian aesthetics and Balkan warmth in their character, Slovenes are very naive people. Every town I visit and every person I meet has a special place in my heart.
12. Gdansk, Poland
Gdansk , which has been a problem between Germany and Poland for years , is one of the most important tourist attraction centers of Poland today. Treaty of Versailles and II. The city, whose name was frequently mentioned during the developments during World War II, draws attention with its important architectural structures that have been preserved.
Gdansk, where you can freely wander around the streets with its historical past, cultural elements and sense of experience, is also an important port city with its shore to the Baltic Sea. The city, which has the most striking nightclubs of the region with its nightlife, is called Danzig by the Germans. The Cathedral and Maritime Museum are worth a visit.
13. Vaduz, Liechtenstein
Vaduz , the capital of Liechtenstein , is in the last place when compared to other European countries in terms of both surface area and population. Vaduz, which has a population of 5 thousand people, attracts tourists especially in the winter season, and its structure suitable for winter tourism from December to the end of April provides an important alternative for those who love winter sports.
It is not possible to go directly to Liechtenstein, which does not have an airport. It is necessary to go to the 160 km country by bus or private car from Switzerland or Austria. Kunst Art Museum and Vaduz Castle are among the must-see places in Vaduz, the capital of Liechtenstein , the fourth smallest country in the world . Note that the castle is actually where the Prince of Liechtenstein also lived. Wander around, take pictures of the city from above, but don’t knock on its door! Even though you don’t see soldiers and police around, the prince lives there.
14. Friedrichshafen, Germany
Friedrichshafen (fridrishafen), whose name is difficult to read , is a small and cozy place in the south of Germany, located on the edge of Lake Constance (Bodensee), which forms the common border with Switzerland, and looks more like a town than a city. I had the opportunity to visit this beautiful city and its surroundings, along with Hallstatt , Vaduz , Innsbruck , on my trip planned as a departure from Salzburg and return from Friedrichshafen with Turkish Airlines . There are wonderful villages, towns and nature in and around this region, which we have not even heard of.
Offering the atmosphere of a holiday center with its cafes and restaurants along the lakeside beach, Friedrichshafen is a peaceful and very quiet place. Since it was the first city to produce an airship, the zeppelin is also known as the zeppelin city. When you scan the sky, you can see the giant oval balloon airship vehicle floating slowly in the sky. For those who wish, there is also a wonderful museum where you can discover the world of airships.
Meersburg , a medieval city founded on the shores of Lake Constance, 20 km west of Friedrichshafen, is a place worth seeing. While I was there, I considered myself very lucky to have come across a festival that is held once a year. Almost everyone in the established market place and streets were selling their products or accompanying the festival with their medieval clothes. It was like being right in the middle of a movie scene. Insel Mainau (Flower Island), cute town Lindau is among the places to visit. It’s also a good idea to put the Swiss city of Konstanz on your travel route.
15. Sibiu, Romania
Sibiu is a medieval city in the Transylvania region of Romania. Sibiu, which was chosen as the European capital of culture in 2007, is a striking place with its magnificent view, delicious cuisine, historical texture and colorful houses.
Sibiu is an exquisite place with its 3 squares that fully experience the medieval texture and 2 clock towers adorning it. The Great Square (Piata Mare) is the city’s most popular attraction. Liars Bridge is one of the symbols of the city. Brukental Museum is the first museum in Romania. Let’s take a note of the city, which is 2-3 hours by car from Bucharest.
Central Europe is one of the favorite regions on the route of many tourists with its magnificent cities to see. With its features that protect the historical and cultural heritage from the past to the present, it offers travelers a museum city experience. In recent years, among travel lovers, ‘Vienna Prague Budapest tours’ has started to rise to the top of the list of holiday preferences abroad, and it deserves all the attention in my opinion.
Wander among the magnificent buildings in the streets where history is not only seen but smelled, sit in old cafes, rest in parks and green areas where you can feel nature and breathe, take river cruises, see works of art in museums.
What are your favourites, heartfelt and favorite Central European cities?