Top 10 Medieval Cities To Visit In Europe

Europe is home to some of the world's most beautiful and well-preserved medieval cities, each with unique features, cultural heritage, and attractions.

Best medieval towns in europe

In this article, we will take you on a tour of the top 10 medieval cities to visit in Europe.

1. Bruges, Belgium

Bruges, located in northwest Belgium, is known for its stunning medieval architecture. The Belfry Tower, a medieval bell tower in the city center, is one of Bruges' most famous landmarks. Visitors can climb the tower's 366 steps for breathtaking city views. The Church of Our Lady, one of Belgium's most impressive Gothic churches, is another must-see attraction.

The Beguinage, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a beautiful complex of white houses and gardens that dates back to the 13th century. Bruges is also famous for its chocolate shops. Tasting some of the world's best chocolates will make this journey memorable.

2. Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, is a must-visit destination for those interested in medieval history and culture. The city's stunning medieval architecture, including the iconic Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Mile, reflects its rich heritage. Edinburgh is known for its literary heritage and famous authors such as Sir Walter Scott and Robert Burns. Visitors can explore this heritage by visiting the Writers' Museum or the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

The city is famous for its festivals, including the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the largest arts festival in the world, and the Edinburgh International Festival.

3. York, England

When traveling to York, you must visit York Minster, considered one of the finest Gothic cathedrals in the world, or walk through the Shambles, a charming medieval street lined with timber-framed buildings. York has a rich history, including its role as a Roman, Viking, and medieval settlement.

Visitors can learn about the city's past by visiting the York Castle Museum, which features exhibits on the city's social history, or the Jorvik Viking Centre, which offers an interactive experience of life during Viking times. York also has a vibrant cultural scene, with many theaters, galleries, and museums showcasing works by local artists.

4. Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn's Old Town has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It features beautiful landmarks such as the Town Hall Square and St. Olaf's Church, which dates back to the 13th century.

Tallinn has a rich cultural heritage, including the famous Estonian Song and Dance Festival, which takes place every five years and features performances by thousands of singers and dancers. Visitors can also learn about the city's history by visiting the Estonian History Museum or the Kiek in de Kok Museum.

Those who like exploring food destinations in Europe will enjoy Tallinn's local cuisine, which includes traditional dishes such as black bread, sauerkraut, and smoked fish.

5. Krakow, Poland

Krakow has a rich history, including its role as the former capital of Poland and its significance during World War II. Visitors can learn about the city's past by visiting the Wawel Royal Castle, which was the residence of Polish kings for over 500 years, or the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum, which serves as a reminder of the atrocities of the Holocaust.

Krakow is also famous for its local delicacies, including traditional Polish dishes such as pierogi (dumplings), kielbasa (sausage), and zapiekanka (a type of open-faced sandwich). Visitors can sample these dishes and others in the city's restaurants and cafes.

6. Carcassonne, France

Carcassonne is one of the most impressive medieval cities to visit in Europe. It has a rich history, dating back to the Gallo-Roman era. During the Middle Ages, the fortress was crucial in the Cathar Crusade and the French Wars of Religion. Visitors can learn about the city's past by visiting the Château Comtal, once the home of the city's rulers, or the Musée de la Torture, which features exhibits of medieval torture devices.

Carcassonne is also famous for its local wine, cheese, and other delicacies worth trying. The city is located in the Languedoc region, known for its wine production. You can take a wine-tasting tour and try local wines like Corbières or Minervois.

7. Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany

Rothenburg ob der Tauber is a charming medieval town in the heart of Germany. It is one of the best-preserved medieval towns in Europe, with well-preserved walls, towers, and buildings that date back to the 12th century. The town's narrow streets, half-timbered houses, and charming squares add to its unique charm.

The town hall, a beautiful Gothic building that dates back to the 13th century, and St. Jakob's Church, another stunning example of Gothic architecture, are among the iconic attractions that shouldn't be missed.

8. Prague, Czech Republic

Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, has iconic landmarks, such as the Charles Bridge, Old Town Square, and Prague Castle, which offer breathtaking views of the city and its surroundings. Prague has a rich cultural heritage, including its famous music, art, and literature scenes.

You can experience the city's cultural offerings by attending a classical concert at the Municipal House, admiring the works of famous Czech artists at the National Gallery, or visiting the birthplace of Franz Kafka, one of Prague's most famous literary figures. Those considering moving to the Czech Republic usually choose this fantastic city.

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9. Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik is located on the southern coast of Croatia. The well-preserved Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, features stunning medieval architecture, narrow streets, and charming squares. The city walls, which date back to the 13th century, offer breathtaking views of the Adriatic Sea. Dubrovnik has a rich history, influenced by Venetian and Ottoman occupations over the centuries.

You can explore the city's past by visiting the Rector's Palace or the Franciscan Monastery. One of the things those traveling to Europe probably know is that Dubrovnik was filming location for the popular TV series Game of Thrones, which used the city as a backdrop for many scenes. Visitors can take a Game of Thrones tour and visit popular filming locations.

10. Toledo, Spain

Toledo has a rich history that dates back to the Roman era. During the Middle Ages, the city played a crucial role in the Spanish Reconquista and the Spanish Inquisition. Toledo's stunning architecture includes the iconic Alcazar fortress and the Cathedral of Toledo, considered one of Spain's finest Gothic structures.

Visitors can learn about the city's past by visiting the Museo del Greco, which features works by the famous painter who lived in Toledo, or the Monastery of San Juan de los Reyes, which was built to commemorate the victory over the Portuguese at Toro. Spain is a popular place for vacations.

Some must-try traditional dishes are cochifrito (roast lamb), perdiz estofada (stewed partridge), and marzipan. If you plan a longer trip, it is a good idea to find a short-term unit and keep your belongings safe when traveling for a while.

Final thoughts

This was a guide to the top 10 medieval cities to visit in Europe. Now it is your turn to pick the following location for your trip!

Kalyan Panja