Are cities in Europe Overrated or Underrated?

Granada spain andulucia tapas spanish

Europe is home to so many impressive cities filled with culture and amazing attractions. Tourists flock towards famous cities like Paris, Rome, London and Dubrovnik (just to name a few) in crazy numbers. After multiple Europe adventures, including 6 months travelling in 2022, we share our thoughts on the cities we have visited. We rate the cities ‘Overrated’, ‘Rated Correctly’, or ‘Underrated’. We base this upon our experience, the ‘over touristy’ nature of some cities, the cost, the general public perception and the cities reputation. We would love to hear your thoughts on if we got this list ‘right’, as we are sure there’s a few ratings here that will ruffle feathers.

Are cities in Europe ‘overrated’ or ‘underrated’? Our Opinion:

Paris: Overrated

Paris, the ‘city of love’, the origin of so many movies, number 1 on many peoples bucket list. Don’t get us wrong, Paris has some fascinating aspects, and we enjoyed our visit, however we personally didn’t think it lived up to the hype. Paris is expensive, has busy crowds, and many of the main attractions are underwhelming (in our opinion). Paris however does have excellent croissants (see our croissant tour here), great gardens, cute neighbourhoods to wander and more. While Paris is still one of those cities you will likely want to go visit, we urge you to consider some of the other impressive old European cities instead.

See our Paris Highlights here!

Seville: Rated Correctly

Seville, located in the heart of the southern Andalucía region of Spain, is a thriving hub of food and culture. We enjoyed our stay, exploring the old town, the Alcazaar, and of course trying as many tapas as we could (see our tapas tour here). Seville can get very hot in summer, so head there in a shoulder season if you can. Overall, whilst Seville is a popular and highly rated tourist destination, we think the praise is justified.

See moments from our time in Seville here!

Granada: Underrated

We visited Granada and fell in love with its charm. The ‘little sister’ compared to Seville, we rated Granada higher! With the Alhambra, the old town, great flamenco shows, and lots of cute bars & cafe’s.. Granada has a lot to offer. If you visit the Andulucia region, make sure you include Granada on your itinerary.

Take a look at our Granada visit and recommendations here!

London: Rated Correctly

The popular tourist destination of London has a lot going for it. With bustling food markets, parks to explore, cute neighbourhoods, wonderful pubs, musicals, EPL soccer and more! However, London is crazy expensive, busy, and the weather can be suspect. We think despite the hype, London is rated correctly and has a lot to offer.

Our London guide is available here!

Venice: Rated Correctly

Venice is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world.. and we think this hype is justified. Despite the crowds, the city on the water has so much to offer. Wandering through the narrow alleys and along the canals, you can’t help but be impressed with Venice. The food is excellent! And there’s a lot to do! You will pay a pretty penny to visit, as Venice isn’t cheap, and you will likely battle the crowds. See some of our tips to beat the crowds and have some cheap bargains in our Venice overview here!

Florence: Overrated

Calling the popular Italian city of Florence overrated is a big call, but one we are happy to stick to. Whilst Florence has some seriously impressive old buildings, the city attracts massive crowds, and entry into locations like The Duomo and Uffizi Gallery has long lines and often need to reserve tickets days ahead. Florence is also quite expensive and the dining in the city is relatively ‘touristic’. There are some great highlights, particularly a sandwich from All’antico Vinaio, Mercato Central for lunch, and sunset at Piazzale Michelangelo.

Check out our thoughts and recommendations for Florence here!

Rome: Overrated

Rome, one of the prime jewels of Italy, and high on many people’s bucket lists! This city brings in so many tourists, and has a lot to offer. However, we personally think the crowds have ‘ruined’ the city. Lines for key attractions (e.g. Coliseum) take hours to get through, and popular areas like the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain are overrun with crowds. Rome isn’t bad, we just don’t think it matches the high high status it is generally given. Rome has some excellent food, impressive piazza’s, and some great areas out of the main town (e.g. Trastevere).

Take a look at our weekend in Rome here!

Split: Overrated

Split is a bustling city in Croatia and the main transport hub for busses, ferries and airport. Despite boasting some impressive old buildings, Split was a little soulless, had a small old town, and was very expensive. We recommend you only transit through, or stay for 1-2 days at most. Spent your time in Croatia at more impressive cities like Dubrovnik, or at the stunning beaches and islands.

See how long we think you should spend in Split here!

Dubrovnik: Rated Correctly

The old town of Dubrovnik has shot to fame after the widely popular Game of Thrones. The city that ‘Kings Landing’ is based upon has a wonderful old town and so many attractions. Dubrovnik is also situated right on the water, with some great beaches to cool off in the summer. However, Dubrovnik is very expensive.. so prepare your wallets. Be prepared for crowds and high cost, but we think Dubrovnik is worth a visit!

See our guide to Dubrovnik here!

Budapest: Underrated

The capital of Hungary, Budapest, is one of our favourite cities in Europe. Boasting impressive old buildings matched with history and great culture. Budapest also has an amazing food and and cafe scene, and don’t sleep on their ruin bars. This underrated city is also very budget friendly compared to many of it’s bigger counterparts. We definitely think a visit to Budapest is worth it!

See our highlights and recommendations for Budapest!

Prague: Underrated

Calling Prague ‘underrated’ may surprise some people who rave about this medieval city, however we think it doesn’t get enough credit. Boasting one of the most impressive old towns we have ever seen, Prague should definitely be on your list. Whilst not cheap, it is a lot more budget friendly than other big cities like London and Paris. Prague has a lot to do, and a great hospitality scene. With good attractions in summer, shoulder seasons, and winter months, you should think about adding Prague to your list!

Don’t miss our thoughts on Prague here!

Copenhagen: Underrated

Copenhagen is definitely underrated, and remains one of our favourite cities in the world! With slick architecture, charming old harbours, a great cafe scene and effortlessly cool and friendly locals, Copenhagen has lots to offer! We particularly enjoyed the food markets, great coffee, varied parks and Nyhavn! The only downside to Copenhagen is the cost, but we still think it’s worth visiting!

Our guide to Copenhagen is found here!

Skopje: Underrated

When we say Skopje, many of you may say.. “where?”. The capital of North Macedonia is very much off the radar, and for that reason, we believe it is underrated. Whilst Skopje isn’t our favourite big city, it is unique, has a good cafe scene, and is very budget friendly. Don’t go out of your way to visit, but if you’re passing by, check it out!

Skopje is the city of statues.. see here!

Sofia: Underrated

The Bulgarian city of Sofia is off the radar, and very much underrated. Sofia continues to bounce back from the the communist history, offering some interesting architecture, good food scene, and lots to see. We are sure you have a lot of questions about Sofia, so take a look at our guide here if interested in visiting!

Bucharest: Rated Correctly

The Romanian city of Bucharest is an interesting one to rate. Boasting some impressive old Parisian style buildings, a great coffee scene and it is budget friendly. However, the old town is a little ‘seedy’, the amount of old communist-style buildings, and a concern of safety counteracts these positives. As Bucharest doesn’t have a high reputation, we would consider it ‘Rated Correctly’.

See the highs and lows of Bucharest here.

Istanbul: Overrated

The capital of Turkey is chaotic and fascinating mixed together. We loved aspects of Istanbul (like the ‘Asian side’, the food, the sampling of culture), however we didn’t love some of the ‘touristy’ elements, and found it very chaotic (especially the ‘European side’). We had heard people ‘rave’ about Istanbul, but after visiting, we would say we feel it is a little overrated.

See some things to know before you visit Istanbul!

Zurich: Rated Correctly

The riverside Swiss city of Zurich is architecturally beautiful, and sits just a stones throw away from rolling hills and lakeside walks. We loved our visit due to having Tess’s family living there, and catching up with old friends. Zurich has lots of great cafes, restaurants and culture around the city, Zurich has a fair bit to offer. However, Zurich is also very expensive, and we feel this causes it to be ‘rated correctly’.

Our weekend in Zurich!

Salzburg: Underrated

The beautiful riverside city of Salzburg was our home for a few days in October. Filled with lovely riverside walks, charming old town and impressive old architecture, Salzburg is a great holiday destination. It is also home to many locations from the popular ‘Sound of Music’ (much to Tess’s delight!). We won’t let the poor weather we encountered during our stay influence our rating, Salzburg is underrated!

Our rainy weekend in Salzburg!

Munich: Underrated

Munich was our base as we visited the popular Oktoberfest, however we believe it offers much more than just the popular festival. With an impressive old town, harrowing history, and lots to do, Munich is a little underrated in our opinion. Try the delicious beers, shop at the market, and walk your way around the old town.

See more about our stay in Munich here!

Edinburgh: Underrated

The medieval Scottish city of Edinburgh was very impressive. We loved wandering the streets, hiking the gorgeous Holyrood Park (see here), and tasting the Scottish food. There’s a lot of old history, Harry Potter influences, and heaps of free things to do. We feel Edinburgh is criminally underrated and should be on your list!

Check out our guide to Edinburgh!

Lisbon: Underrated

The gorgeous Lisbon remains one of our favourite cities in Europe after we visiting in 2019. Lisbon boasts a great foodie scene, a wonderful old town, and lots of history. Of course you also have the famous Pastel De Nata, the Portuguese tart. We strongly urge you to visit Lisbon during your European travels!

See our list of the top things to do in Lisbon here!

Porto: Underrated

The riverside Porto is so charming, and definitely will have you wanting to come back. Despite the numerous hills, Porto offers great food, lots of culture, some beautiful Portugese tiles and much more! If you visit Portugal, make sure you don’t forget to include Porto on your list!

See our snapshot of Porto here!


The bustling capital of Belgium is underrated! Despite not boasting as much impressive old architecture as some cities, it has one of the best main squares in Europe (Grand Place). It also has an incredible multicultural food scene, and don’t forget the world best waffles & potato frites. See our highlights & recommendations for Brussels.

Bruges: Underrated

Bruges is highly regards as one of the cuter towns around, however we still think it’s possibly underrated. Boasting well preserved architecture, achingly cute canals, charming neighbourhoods to wander and more. Bruges is small, and perfect for a day trip or short stay. Bruges is Belgium’s cutest city!

Amsterdam: Rated Correctly

Despite the temptation to call Amsterdam ‘overrated’, the city has a lot to offer. Well known for it’s picturesque canals, Amsterdam also garners attention for it’s legal marijuana, party scene and red light district. However, we preferred the impressive coffee culture, beautiful parks, and neighbourhoods outside the centre. Amsterdam also has a huge amount of history and a multitude of museums to check out. See our visit to Amsterdam here.

Leiden: Underrated

The smaller city of Leiden is situated around half an hour out of Amsterdam. We used Leiden as our base when in the Netherlands, and can confidently say we think it is underrated. We found Leiden to be a calmer, cuter, and less touristic version of Amsterdam. Boasting impressive canals, windmills, and lots of charming streets to wander, Leiden was a hit for us! See our thoughts on Leiden here.

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Check out more from one of the unexpected highlights of our trip and hidden gems of Europe, Transylvania!

Take a look at some of the highlights from one of our favourite stops yet, the beautiful Lake Ohrid!

Comments (6):

  1. Diane

    December 1, 2022 at 11:04 pm

    Great post Ky!!
    I agree with you except for
    Lots to learn in the
    “Jewel of the Renaissance”. 😘

    • Ky

      December 2, 2022 at 7:34 am

      Florence definitely has a lot of appeal for art/culture lovers!

  2. Dean

    August 16, 2023 at 7:12 pm

    Budapest and Copenhagen “underrated” but Bucharest, an amazingly complex city with barely any recognition is “rated correctly”? How is Istanbul overrated and Venice “rated correctly”? Cool list…

    • 2CupsofTravel

      August 17, 2023 at 7:42 am

      Hi Dean, thanks for your feedback. This list is based upon our personal preference and feedback.
      – Bucharest has some amazing highs, but also some ‘lows’ (in our opinion). We rate Romania quite highly as an underrated travel destination.
      – Istanbul was given big wraps on blogs/word of mouth, and we feel it didn’t live up to this expectation, however we were only there for 4 days so agree we didn’t get a chance to see everything.
      – Venice, despite the tourists, is a pretty unique city. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit at the start of June and think it does match some of the hype.

      However, we acknowledge many others will have differing views and we always encourage that!

  3. Louisa Klimentos

    February 24, 2024 at 6:28 pm

    I wouldn’t visit any if them . I am a nature person and would rather visit Norway or Iceland . Sorry to say .

    • 2CupsofTravel

      February 27, 2024 at 4:42 pm

      Thanks for the comment! We love nature and agree often the open spaces, nature areas or beaches are much more beautiful than the big cities! We are visiting Norway this year and can’t wait!


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