Dublin, Europe, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Travellers

My Top 5 Favourite Cities In Western Europe

Are you familiar with the app been? It helps you to keep track of the countries you have visited in the world, and even the states in the USA. After checking today how many countries I have been to (4o in total as of May 2019), I noticed that half of them are in Europe. So I asked myself, after visiting 20 countries in Europe, what are my favourite cities in Western Europe? Let me share my top 5 with you!

Because I haven’t visited many countries in Eastern Europe yet, I am going to limit myself to Western Europe for this list.

1. The first on my list of favourite cities in Western Europe: Barcelona

Definitely at the top of my list of favourite cities in Western Europe is Barcelona. This metropolitan city, situated in Catalonia, Spain, has everything I appreciate most: a large, vibrant city where shopping, eating out (check my blog about the best restaurants here) and nightlife are very well represented, while also offering the relaxing sea side with a good beach. On top of that, the Barcelonés (people from Barcelona) are very friendly and speak English very well.

I lived in Barcelona for almost 3 months during my internship and aside from that experience, I have been to Barcelona three more times. And I can’t get enough! The city is getting a bit on the touristy side, but don’t let that bother you. There are still plenty of areas in Barcelona where you can live the local life. Just check out the barrios Gràcia, Sant Antoni, Sants-Montjuïc and Poblenou. 

View of the city of Barcelona, Spain from Tibidabo.

2. Lisbon

After visiting Lisbon for the first time last November for the Web Summit conference, I fell in love with this city. It reminded me of Madrid in many ways, where I had been just a few months prior. The city is quite small, so it is easy to travel around and see all of the highlights in and around the city. On top of that, the people are friendly, the sea is nearby, the weather is great most of the year, and the food is amazing. Don’t forget to try a pastel de nata when you’re there!

View of Alfama, Lisbon, Portugal at one of the many viewpoints scattered around the city of Lisbon.

3. Dublin

Last year I also visited Dublin for the first time, during a business trip to the LinkedIn office. On the first day, aside from going to the (super cool!) LinkedIn office, I went out in the centre of Dublin (Temple Bar). The next day, I had about 3 hours to explore the city. I used my time wisely and wrote this blog about it. What I loved most about this city is its small size, which makes it easy to explore, the beautiful parks, and the fact that even the business people didn’t seem rushed. I would definitely go back to Dublin some time!

Temple Bar is the most popular nightlife area among tourists in Dublin. This bar is probably the most striking in Temple Bar, Dublin.

4. Rome

It’s the third city in a Mediterranean country, which stems from the fact that I just love a warmer climate. I couldn’t help but love Rome when I was there just a few years ago. The small cobbled streets in the centre, the beautiful architecture and the remnants of the Roman times such as the Colosseum make this city simply magical. Definitely enjoy a cup of coffee, ice cream, pizza and a large portion of pasta while you are here, because it won’t taste as good anywhere else in the world (except for the rest of Italy, of course).

A beautiful view of one of my favourite cities in Western Europe: Rome, Italy

5. The last on my list of favourite cities in Western Europe: The Hague

Last, but certainly not least, is a city close to my heart. I cannot make a list of my favourite cities in Western Europe without the city I currently live in. I moved to The Hague last year January and I have loved every moment of it. As you know, I love the combination of a (relatively) large city and the beach. This is exactly what The Hague has to offer. I live right in the city centre, so I can walk everywhere I need to be. I’m at the beach in a mere 30 minutes, and in just 10 minutes I walk to the two largest train stations in The Hague. From there I can catch a train to wherever I want in the Netherlands.

Check out my blogs about the Netherlands here.

The Hague, or Den Haag in Dutch, is known for the beautiful Binnenhof, where the Dutch parlement is housed. It is one of my favourite cities in Western Europe

I hope you enjoyed this blog about my five favourite cities in Western Europe. Check out all of my blogs about Europe here.

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Melissa is the founder of Hashtag Explorers. She is a Dutch, enthusiastic, and open-minded world traveller. Melissa enjoys her time researching new travel destinations, kickboxing, singing or horse back riding. Her strong desire to experience new cultures and meet new people has led to creating #Explorers. If you cannot find her in The Hague, where she is working as a civil servant, she is probably exploring the rest of the world, where she is reliving memories from the times she lived in Australia, Argentina, Mexico, Spain, Singapore, and Malta.