Individual neighbourhoods give Europe’s cities their charm and character. It’s easy to fall in love with local delights, whether you’re sitting in a cafe on the corner of a Paris boulevard or admiring the local shops on cobbled streets in Lisbon.
But where are the best neighbourhoods located? We’ve put this guide together featuring the most desirable areas in Europe. So read on and prepare to fall in love with the beauty, charm and sophistication of Europe.
Alfama, Lisbon 🇵🇹
You will find Alfama sitting high in the city of Lisbon, with an elevated position that saved it from an earthquake in 1755. Today, it’s Lisbon’s oldest neighbourhood and has some of the finest viewpoints in the whole of Portugal. Wander the narrow streets and squares, set to the backdrop of Lisbon’s beautiful blue coast.
Montmartre, Paris 🇫🇷
Experience the twisting streets and rising hills of Montmartre, a neighbourhood like no other in Paris. You’ll find colourful houses, walking tours and a village-like feel as you stroll around this charming part of the city. The settings here are inspiring, and it’s no wonder that people such as Van Gogh, Monet and Renoir all lived in this Paris neighbourhood.
Malasana, Madrid 🇪🇸
If you’re looking for a neighbourhood where you can socialise, then Malasana in Madrid is the place for you. There are bars aplenty to sample and embrace local life. But it’s not all drinking games in local haunts; Malasana has bistros, street art and jazz clubs playing music until the early hours.
Järntorget/Långgatorna, Gothenburg 🇸🇪
Järntorget and Långgatorna ooze chilled-out vibes. Set on the south bank of the Gota, this was once a place where sailors and dock workers with cash went in search of a good time. Today, it still has a vibrant pub culture, but the seedier side has been replaced with restaurants and the street party, Hela Dagen Lang. It’s the closest thing there is to Notting Hill in Sweden.
Basmanny, Moscow 🇷🇺
Basmanny comes to you from Russia with love. Wander the local streets, marvel at the neoclassical buildings and well-presented lawns before discovering the contemporary art scene in the area. There’s a selection of lovely bars and pubs too, so you can enjoy spending a few hours in Basmanny with great food and drink.
Monti, Rome 🇮🇹
Forget the Colosseum for a minute and spend some time in Monti during your next trip to Rome. It’s the neighbourhood to visit if you want to enjoy bohemian cafes, stylish bars and artisan shops. It’s slightly off the beaten track, despite being near the Colosseum. Perhaps it’s harder than we thought to forget one of the world’s most iconic landmarks.
University Quarter, Brussels 🇧🇪
You know you’re in for a good time when an area is called the University Quarter. It’s a favourite with Brussels locals and is off the tourist path, so you can feel like you’ve discovered somewhere new during your visit here. There are bars and boutiques, and the neighbourhood has benefited from investment over the years.
Leith, Edinburgh 🏴
Leith is a harbourside neighbourhood stretching away from central Edinburgh. It’s known as The Shore to the locals and is quickly building a reputation as a cosmopolitan and culturally significant destination. Head here and soak up the local atmosphere at the many bars and restaurants.
Marylebone, London 🏴
Mayfair is famous for its lavish homes, and everyone knows about Oxford Street and Bond Street. Marylebone, however, is somewhat of a peaceful, hidden gem right in the centre of London. It has a village-like feel, with a high street featuring charming pubs, upmarket restaurants and fashion boutiques. Marylebone might feel tucked away, but it’s right in the heart of London, just a two-minute walk from the West End.
Kreuzberg, Berlin 🇩🇪
Once a poor West Berlin neighbourhood, today Kreuzberg is a place for immigrants, creatives and misfits, painting a Germany of the future just minutes away from the Berlin Wall. If anywhere in Germany represents its transformation, it’s the popular neighbourhood of Kreuzberg.
Powisle, Warsaw 🇵🇱
Pubs and riverboats await you in Powisle, a delightful little neighbourhood in Warsaw. It’s especially vibrant in the summer when you can enjoy craft beers and cocktails with a range of street food while wandering the quaint streets and embracing the local atmosphere.
Oude Noorden, Rotterdam 🇳🇱
Oude Noorden is one of the few places in Rotterdam that retains its pre-war architecture. The result is a charming neighbourhood that looks like no other. It’s filled with bustling restaurants and is set to the backdrop of The Rotte river.
Rudolfsheim, Vienna 🇦🇹
Sample the range of classic Viennese, Turkish and Balkan restaurants in Rudolfsheim, another neighbourhood that not many tourists know about. Admire the urban gardens as you browse this multicultural district and embrace one of the best neighbourhoods in Europe.
The most alluring neighbourhoods in Europe
The next time you’re planning a trip, think about adding one of the neighbourhoods on our list to your itinerary. They represent the best of their cities and help to create a unique feel that only adds to the community while offering an authentic and local experience.