Some of the largest cities in Europe are found all across the continent. They are home to more than 50 million people altogether and they have one of the most diverse ethnic compositions of all large cities in the world.
The following cities have seen slower population growth than those in China but they offer some of the best tourist attractions for those who want to learn more about them.
Table of Contents
Population – 15m
Istanbul is the capital city of Turkey. Formerly known as Constantinople, it was the capital of the Byzantine Empire and one of the cities in Europe with the biggest cultural shifts over a few hundred years.
Since then, the city has flourished into a large metropolis and a major shopping destination across the country and Europe. It also offers quick international access as the home of Turkish Airlines, one of the biggest air transport companies in the world.
The city is also known for its role in the manufacturing industry and its role in education in Turkey. It has some of the best universities in the country and those seeking a high-paying career usually stay here rather than moving to another Turkish city.
Medical research is growing here both in hospitals and in universities. It is also a major tourist hub being the only city on the list which sits both in Europe and in Asia. Found at the crossroads of different cultures, it is also a city that has plenty of attractions such as the Bosporus Canal crossings.
Population – 12m
Moscow is the political and economic capital of Russia and the second-largest city in Europe. It represents a strong city with the highest capita earnings in the country. Top employers are found in the chemical, textile, food, and metallurgy sectors.
Many Russian artists such as writers and poets live here although the cultural impact of the city is far from its Golden Era. The Red Square, cathedrals, and the Bolshoi Theatre are the main tourist attractions of Moscow which see millions of tourists every year.
Population – 9m
London is one of the political, economic, and cultural hubs of Europe. It represents a top tourist destination and it shows one of the best capacities to deal with large crowds in the entire world.
The city hosted the Olympic games a few years ago without much disruption to everyday lives. But it is also one of the capitals where people can earn the most. Top employers here for high wages include banks and accounting firms.
4. Saint Petersburg
Population – 5.3m
St Petersburg is known as the birthplace of Russia. This is the home city of the tsars and their resting place after the royal family’s execution by the communist regime.
Today, the city shows parts of this impressive royal heritage more than anything else as it has the largest historic city center in Europe, mostly shaped by the neo-classical architectural style of old royal Russia.
The city is mostly turning towards the manufacturing of low-tech goods such as power turbines, and transport ships. Low-cost car manufacturers such as Opel and Nissan are also planning to invest in the city.
Population – 3.7m
Berlin is the capital of Germany and the most important political hub in the EU. Most continental policies have to be agreed here as well as in Brussels given the economic impact the city and Germany have over the entire continent.
The city is also known as the cultural capital of Germany with most artists and performers in the country being located here. Most media outlets in the country also have headquarters in Berlin.
Population – 3.2m
Madrid is Spain’s capital city and the pole of economic growth and culture. The city is known as an excellent international tourist destination, mainly due to its weather.
It also represents a major European sports hub with top teams in football, handball, and basketball being located here. Construction is one of its main areas of economic growth over the past few years.
Population – 2.9m
The Ukrainian capital of Kyiv is one of the largest cities in the country and its main economic pole. It has been the house of the parliament for decades and it is the place the country is trying to rebuild itself.
Unfortunately, Kyiv is also a place of cultural clashes as most of its residents speak Russian and not Ukrainian.
Amid an ongoing war with Russia, Ukraine is still trying to get free from its complicated past and truly emerge as one of the major European tourist destinations through its largest city of Kyiv.
Population – 2.8m
Rome is one of the ancient European cities that preserved much of its old architecture. It’s the most important city in Italy for transport, education, and culture.
It’s home to the Vatican, the chair of the Catholic Church around the world. But Rome is also known for its military history as it used to rule much of Europe, Asia, and North Africa under the Roman Empire.
Population – 2.1m
The French capital of Paris is a major tourist destination in Europe. The city with more than 2 million residents attracts most international tourists with its romantic atmosphere and distinct architecture.
It’s the home to some of the world’s largest art galleries, best restaurants, and some of the finest perfume houses. Paris is also known for its political contribution being at least as important as Berlin in the rule of the European Union.
Population – 2.1m
Bucharest is the capital and most important city in Romania. It has the best international transport links with 2 main airports connecting the country to all continents.
The city is known for almost 25% of the country’s economic contribution with most manufacturing facilities and large companies in the country being based here.
The city has seen some economic growth over the past 4 decades by building shopping malls and high rise apartment buildings.