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lrice Sep 24th, 2020 08:31 PM

Top 15 Cities in Europe
Hi all,

I may be a little late to the game but just saw the Top 15 European Cities in Travel and Leisure. Iíd love to get some opinions on what people thought...Granada? Ravenna? Iíve never been but was surprised they showed up over cities like London, Edinburgh, Vienna, and some other cities in Northern Europe. I also just read an article about Lisbon being in need of some love and care but again, I havenít been.

Any thoughts?

Heimdall Sep 25th, 2020 12:43 AM

I’ve always found those “top” listings on Travel and Leisure a bit strange. For instance, Paros was named the best island in Europe for 2020, but Naxos wasn’t even mentioned. I won’t argue with that, because Paros and Antiparos are my favourite islands, but wonder how they arrived at that conclusion.

Macross Sep 25th, 2020 04:31 AM

How are you able to post a link? I can't get a link to post or it gets deleted if I do. Travel and leisure is fodors competitor. I was told editing was done to post of mine because I posted a link. Wierd.
Travel and leisure has been always a bit off the norm imo. Maybe they are thinking people want less touristy now in COVID times.

HappyTrvlr Sep 25th, 2020 04:46 AM

I was also surprised that Paros was listed as the best island. My reaction is mainly fear that too many tourists will go there, spoiling it.

Heimdall Sep 25th, 2020 05:35 AM

Macross, you need to click the link icon (the one that looks like the link of a chain), then copy & paste the URL into the box that pops up. The new version of Fodor’s won’t let you c&p directly into the reply box anymore.

HappyTrvlr, I was a little surprised too, especially that Paros also made it into the top islands of the world as well. I think Naxos is in more danger of being overtouristed than Paros despite not being on the list. Naxos has been overhyped on TripAdvisor and Fodor’s, and is now paying the price.

willit Sep 25th, 2020 08:27 AM

I've been to 10 of the 15, and like all of them - but yes, no Munich, London, Edinburgh or Oslo?
Also - hate to be picky, but the photo of "Siena" is actually Montalcino.

KarenWoo Sep 25th, 2020 09:51 AM

lrice, I think one answer to your question is that the T&L readers are looking for smaller cities that may tend to be more charming and sometimes less crowded, although less crowded was not our experience in Seville, which was extremely crowded when we were there, but nevertheless, a beautiful small city with gorgeous architecture, outstanding historical sites, and delicious food. I am fortunate to have visited 10 of the 15 cities on the list, and I loved all 10 of them! I really really enjoyed Lisbon and would love to return, except that there are so many other places to visit. While Lisbon is not large like the other European capitals, I enjoyed its smaller size, its sites, its food and its neighborhoods so much. It is a bit more gritty than the larger capitals but that is what makes it so interesting. I highly recommend putting Lisbon on your bucket list!

And perhaps the reason for not putting more Northern Europe cities on its list is that I think more people tend to prefer southern Europe; at least that is my experience with friends and family. They like the warmer weather, abundant sunshine, olive groves, vineyards, etc.

lrice Sep 25th, 2020 12:14 PM

Macross No problem posting the link to T&L for me; I just copied and pasted. :)

KarenWoo I'm so glad you mentioned Seville and Lisbon! As you know, I painstakingly decided on Aix-en-Provence to go "live" for a month but Seville also was high on my "Live In Europe for a Month List". (Too many wonderful places to choose from.) Maybe Seville will be next! Anyway, Lisbon is high on my other list -- my "Family Vacation List". Given Covid upset plans, the family vacation may be next up for 2021. So... Lisbon... define gritty. :) I know it is very popular so I was surprised by my friend's blog report saying that she was disappointed and that it was tired, rundown, poor and needed a good scrubbing.

willit Thanks for the heads-up about the Siena photo! Siena was recommended by many as a town for my "Live in Europe for a Month List" but I have been there once and didn't "feel it". We were there in May for a couple days. Piazza del Campo was empty with little energy; the touristy restaurants lined it. The Duomo was spectacular but I couldn't see myself settling in for a month there.

willit Sep 25th, 2020 12:32 PM

Originally Posted by lrice;
willit Thanks for the heads-up about the Siena photo! Siena was recommended by many as a town for my "Live in Europe for a Month List" but I have been there once and didn't "feel it". We were there in May for a couple days. Piazza del Campo was empty with little energy; the touristy restaurants lined it. The Duomo was spectacular but I couldn't see myself settling in for a month there.

I tried to learn Italian at a language school in Siena, fell in love with the place and so I've spent some months there over the course of several years. I possibly wouldn't put it in the top 10 of European cities, but it's right at the top of my personal list. Were I to win a substantial lottery jackpot, Siena is where I'd choose to buy a home.

montypython2000 Sep 25th, 2020 01:09 PM

These lists are very individual, sometimes only reflect the taste of the writer and nothing more. You can make hundred of such lists with different cities. Some of cities from this lists would be on mine too others are nice but really not for top 15, rather top 100. And they left out e g Munich or Vienna which should be on any top 10 list

KarenWoo Sep 26th, 2020 10:13 AM

lrice, by gritty, I mean that there is graffiti in some areas of Lisbon. It is poorer than the major European capitals, but not depressingly so, IMO. I am surprised by your friend's comments. Lisbon really doesn't have any grand boulevards like the Champs Elysees in Paris, for example. I think the widest street we were on is Avenue de Liberdade with high-end stores, leafy trees, flowers, and patterned cobblestones. We really enjoyed aimlessly wandering through the Alfama, which is the oldest neighborhood in Lisbon. The Alfama is very hilly with very narrow streets and up and down walking, and twisty alleyways, which I think give it a gritty ambiance. People live in the Alfama so we saw clothes hanging to dry on balconies, we heard radios and tv's coming from open windows, children riding their bikes, and an elderly lady sitting under a shade tree with a small table selling gingrinja (sour cherry liquer). So the Alfama has a more "lived in" look to it.

If you are interested, you can click on my name to read my trip report from April 2018.

Christina Sep 26th, 2020 11:33 AM

If the article is truthful, the list was simply compiled by a survey of their own readers. So it reflects their readership a lot (which I'm guessing is older/wealthier) and also probably where was trending to go in the last year or two, that's all. Conde Nast Traveler does the same thing, the magazine has very few real articles written by journalists and several issues a year are just devoted to these lists, which I think they also claim are of their readers. Now I subscribed for a long time just because I liked the pictures and some articles and it was pretty cheap but even I stopped last year because I got sick of these lists. They have lists for hotels, cruise ships and some other things, as well as cities. Curiously, even though I was a long-time subscriber, I don't remember ever being surveyed for these lists.

ANyway, it's just a cheap way for those magazines to have content, that's all, rather than actually paying writers. Doesn't mean much, but those top cities all seem nice enough to me (haven't been to Porto or Siena). I didn't see Granada on the list myself, must have missed it. I sure wouldn't call Granada one of the "top cities" in Europe, I also preferred Seville. Doesn't mean anything anyway, of course. And sometimes I am a little cynical and wonder if some of those placings are due to fees a particular cities tourist office has given them. I guess those articles can be a little interesting just to give you ideas maybe of places you haven't been.

Sassafrass Sep 26th, 2020 08:16 PM

I don’t think there is a top 15 possible. I love Granada. It is actually one of my favorite smaller cities, but probably would not name it in the top 15. There are so many choices though, I would likely put Naples in there somewhere. I love it: the food, people, landscape, art, nearby Amalfi Coast and the archeological sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum.

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