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These Are the Most Beautiful Cities in the World, According to Travelers

There is beauty everywhere — in the minimalist architecture and fluid floor plans of Japan’s countryside to the concrete finishes and unusual shapes of Eastern Europe — but certain cities seem to captivate the general population, wooing visitors with their storybook architecture, preserved castles, and greenery.

When Reddit user /Slommyhouse asked the r/travel community “What is the most aesthetically beautiful city that never loses its appeal no matter how many times you visit?” travelers chimed in and certain destinations rose to the top — including lesser-known cities in Central Europe and a royal sanctuary northwest of Lisbon.

Florence, Italy

Florence, along with Prague, was the “best” answer to the question, based on the ratio of user upvotes to downvotes. The result isn’t shocking — when it comes to art and architecture, Florence can’t help but stand out. You’ll find grocery stores and pizza spots housed within stunning Renaissance architecture, along with major sites like the Duomo Cathedral and Michelangelo’s “David” sculpture. 

Reddit user /claudio6992 replied, “For me it’s Florence been there on multiple visits and it hits different. I love history and for me it’s like an open museum were you can imagine yourself transported back to a different era.”

Prague, Czech Republic

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In addition to Florence, users had a lot to say about Prague, a city that’s bisected by the Vltava River and built around the Old Town Square, a plaza surrounded by colorful baroque buildings. The highlight of this historic square is the St. Nicholas Church, which is considered to be the greatest example of Prague Baroque architecture, and the medieval astronomical clock, which provides a complicated and animated hourly show. One Reddit user, /WestCoastBestCoast01, replied, “Prague was immediately my first thought!!”

Edinburgh, Scotland

The compact, hilly city of Edinburg has two distinct areas: the medieval Old Town, which is dominated by Edinburgh Castle, and the elegant, neoclassical New Town, which has stunning gardens. The juxtaposition of these two areas is so significant that they’ve been named a UNESCO Heritage Site. User /BasicLawyer noted that for them, the city is special because of the “ancient volcanic structures surrounding a gothic city with networks of underground streets.”

Ljubljana, Slovenia

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The Central European country of Slovenia is rarely on top of Americans’ must-visit list, but the country, which is known for its mountains, ski resorts, and lakes (including Lake Bled, a glacial lake fed by hot springs) finally got some recognition. The capital city of Ljubljana is split by the Ljubljanica River, which is lined with outdoor cafes, and has plenty of green space. 

User /SoullessGinger666 called it the “Most anti-car, pro-pedestrian city I’ve ever been to,” noting that it’s “Utterly stunning down the river.” User /klimatronic confirmed that “when you are in Ljubljana, you don’t need car, or even public transport, you can go anywhere by foot.”

Sintra, Portugal

The resort town of Sintra is only a 40-minute drive from central Lisbon, but the vibe couldn’t be more different. The town is set in the foothills of Portugal’s Sintra Mountains and is surrounded by forest and greenery. It has been a longtime royal sanctuary, with elaborate palaces that include the Sintra National Palace, which is heralded for its twin chimneys and notable tilework, and the Pena National Palace, which sits on a hilltop and has sweeping views.

Redding user /notyourwheezy, said, “something about those castles that just looks so fairytale. and bonus if it’s rainy and misty. truly feels like I’ve stepped into a storybook.”

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