ALL Capital Cities in Europe 2024: List and Detailed Guide

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Some of the most famous capital cities in the world are among the capitals cities in Europe! This fact file of capitals and countries explores all capitals of Europe – not just capitals of EU countries, but an a to z of capital cities of the whole continent! Below is a list of European capitals in alphabetical order.

This capitals of European countries’ list explores the whole region and some of the cultural highlights of the world. So if you’re looking to reference the name of European countries and their capitals, look no further!

Both Eastern European countries and capitals and Western Europe capitals are listed below. The list also contains the names of capital cities in different languages native to that country.

map, germany, berlin-2236961.jpg

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Europe Countries List and Capitals

  1. Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  2. Andorra La Vella, Andorra
  3. Athens (Athína), Greece
  4. Barcelona, Catalonia (Spain)
  5. Belfast (Béal Feirste, Bilfawst), Northern Ireland (United Kingdom)
  6. Belgrade (Beograd), Serbia
  7. Berlin, Germany
  8. Bern (Berne, Berna), Switzerland
  9. Bratislava (Pressburg, Pozsony), Slovakia
  10. Brussels (Bruxelles, Brüssel, Brussel), Belgium
  11. Bucharest (Bucuresti), Romania
  12. Budapest, Hungary
  13. Cardiff (Caerdydd), Wales (United Kingdom)
  14. Chisinau (Chișinău), Moldova
  15. Copenhagen (København), Denmark
  16. Dublin (Baile Átha Cliath), Ireland
  17. Edinburgh (Dùn Èideann), Scotland (United Kingdom)
  18. Haag (The Hague), Amsterdam (seat of government)
  19. Helsinki (Helsingfors), Finland
  20. Kyiv (Kyïv, Kiev), Ukraine
  21. Lisbon (Lisboa), Portugal
  22. Ljubljana, Slovenia
  23. London, England (United Kingdom)
  24. Luxembourg (Luxemburg, Letzebuerg), Luxembourg
  25. Madrid, Spain
  26. Minsk, Belarus
  27. Monaco, Monaco
  28. Moscow (Moskva), Russia
  29. Nicosia (Lefkosía, Lefkoşa, Nikusiya), Cyprus
  30. Nuuk (Godthåb), Greenland
  31. Oslo, Norway
  32. Paris, France
  33. Podgorica (Podgoritza), Montenegro
  34. Prague (Praha), Czech Republic
  35. Reykjavik, Iceland
  36. Riga, Latvia
  37. Rome (Roma), Italy
  38. San Marino, San Marino
  39. Sarajevo, (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
  40. Skopje (Shkup), North Macedonia
  41. Sofia (Sofija), Bulgaria
  42. Stockholm (Tukholma), Sweden
  43. Tallinn (Reval), Estonia
  44. Tirana (Tiranë), Albania
  45. Vaduz, Liechtenstein
  46. Valletta (il-Belt Valletta), Malta
  47. Vatican City, (Status Civitatis Vaticanae, tato della Città del Vaticano), Vatican City/Holy See
  48. Vienna (Wien), Austria
  49. Vilnius, Lithuania
  50. Warsaw (Warszawa), Poland
  51. Zagreb, Croatia

Capital Cities of Europe

This list of national capitals in alphabetical order explores the capital cities of European countries in a little more depth, helping you learn about cultural places all over the continent! Each site and its official urban capital cities have a little more info on each page, discussing the specific European capital city in more depth.

After that comes a little knowledge about each capital of Europe! Each entry names the city, its subregion of Europe, the European capital’s population, and whether or not it is a member state of the European Union. All listed populations include the greater metropolitan area of the city.

1. Amsterdam

amsterdam, capital cities in europe, netherlands capital

Country: The Netherlands (Nederland, Holland)

Subregion: Western Europe

Population: 1,166,000

EU Member?: Yes

Amsterdam is the most populated and the official capital city of the Netherlands. Its famous canals make it one of the prettiest capitals in the EU, and it is called the Venice of the North.

Amsterdam is known amongst European capitals for its variety of attractions – from its red-light district and cannabis coffee shops for adults to its scores of museums for families, including the Anne Frank House, the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh museum, to the beauty of the royal palace – there’s something for everyone.

The most common way to get around in the city is by bicycle, making it amongst the European continent’s greenest capitals!

2. Andorra La Vella

andora de la vella, andorra capital

Country: Principality of Andorra (Principat d’Andorra)

Subregion: Southern Europe

Population: 20,430

EU Member?: No, but treated as one for some trade purposes and uses the Euro as currency.

The capital of Andorra, Andorra La Vella, is one of the smallest cities in Europe. It’s one of the capital cities hipster tourists love to visit – it’s so unique that they couldn’t miss it! Andorra La Vella is one of the most beautiful European capitals, snuggly placed between scenic mountains. It’s known for its tourism and being a tax haven for foreign nationals.

It’s also a very well-known ski destination and is the highest of all the cities in Europe!

3. Athens (Athína)

athens, greece capital, capitals of europe

Country: The Hellenic Republic [Greece] (Elliniki Dimokratia [Elláda])

Subregion: Southern Europe

Population: 3,154,000

EU Member?: Yes

As one of the oldest cities of the world, known as the cradle of Western civilization, it’s no wonder that Athens, Greece, is a tourist’s paradise. Of all the capitals in Europe, this one has one of the longest histories of culture, from ancient times to the present.

It’s experienced every known form of government in its time! Athens combines modern urban city life and tourist attractions with ancient history, including temples to the ancient gods like the Parthenon atop the Acropolis. It’s also one of the biggest European capitals by population!

Athens and Greece, in general, are also proud members of the European Union.

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4. Barcelona

barcelona, catalonia capital

Country: Catalonia [autonomous region within Spain] (Catalunya, Catalonha, Cataluña)

Subregion: Southern Europe

Population: 5,658,000

EU Member?: No (as Catalonia, yes as Spain)

As well as the capital city of Catalonia, Barcelona is the second most populated municipality in Spain. It’s the fifth most populated European city!

Many international sports tournaments and other cultural events occur in Barcelona, and it’s considered a global city economically.

It’s home to two of the highest-regarded universities in Spain (the University of Barcelona and Pompeu Fabra). Many tourist visits are a page in a larger journey, as Barcelona is also a transport hub connecting to European capitals all over the continent.

5. Belfast (Béal Feirste, Bilfawst)

architecture, belfast, city hall

Country: Northern Ireland [country within the United Kingdom] (Tuaisceart Éireann, Norlin Airlann)

Subregion: Northern Europe

Population: 639,000

EU Member?: No, left the EU in 2020

Belfast is steeped in recent history, as the city was widely affected by the Troubles, a low-level civil war that split Ireland in two. It’s also famous for once being a key player in industry and shipbuilding – in fact, the HMS Titanic was built in Belfast at what was then the world’s largest shipyard.

There are many industrial-style landmarks around the city, from the ‘peace walls’ to the giant cranes known as Samson and Goliath. As well, the city is home to many beautiful parks, as well as its own zoo – one of the best zoos in the UK.

6. Belgrade (Beograd)

belgrade, serbia capital

Country: Republic of Serbia (Republika Srbija)

Subregion: Southern Europe

Population: 1,405,000

EU Member?: No, but it is an EU candidate and is expected to be a full member by 2025.

Belgrade is one of the oldest cities in the world and one of the best places to visit in Serbia. Before Belgrade was the capital of modern Serbia, Belgrade was the capital of Yugoslavia from when it formed in 1918 to when it dissolved in 2006.

Almost all of Serbia’s largest companies, media organizations, and scientific institutions are in the city, so it is included in any list of major cities in Europe. The Clinical Centre of Serbia is in the city – one of the largest capacity hospital complexes in the world!

7. Berlin

berlin, germany capital

Country: Federal Republic of Germany (Bundesrepublik Deutschland)

Subregion: Western Europe

Population: 3,571,000

EU Member?: Yes

Berlin, Germany, is one of the most populated cities in Europe and the most populous in the EU. It’s surrounded by stunning lakes and rivers and is also the largest city in Germany.

The city is a very popular place to visit; Berlin is known as a tourist city and attracts most tourists of the capitals of Western Europe. It’s located on the eastern side of the map of Germany, and was once split into East and West Berlin, the former of which was the capital of East Germany. It stayed this way until the fall of the infamous Berlin Wall in 1990.

Berlin is now considered a world city, and a major player in global culture, politics, media and science.

Yoy may also like: 70+ Facts About Germany

8. Bern (Berne, Berna)

bern, Switzerland capital

Country: Swiss Confederation [Switzerland] (Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft, Confédération suisse, Confederazione Svizzera, Confederaziun svizra)

Subregion: Western Europe

Population: 437,216

EU Member?: No

Though it is the capital, Bern is only the fifth most populated city in Switzerland! The capital of Switzerland has a historic medieval old town which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

It’s one of the capitals in Europe which has German as its official language, though the most spoken language is actually a regional Swiss variant known as Bernese German.

Bern was the home of Albert Einstein for two years, and his home is now the Einsteinhaus Museum. There’s a zoo, an open-air enclosure of bears, a palace, a scenic rose garden, and several other stunning sights.

9. Bratislava (Pressburg, Pozsony)

bratislava, view, slovakia

Country: The Slovak Republic [Slovakia] (Slovenská republika [Slovensko])

Subregion: Eastern Europe

Population: 439,070 (officially, numbers may be up to 150% of this)

EU Member?: Yes

The capital of Slovakia is a capital city in Europe that can boast something unique: it’s the only national capital that borders two other sovereign states; Austria and Hungary. Bratislava is the third richest region in the European Union!

It’s one of the capital cities of Europe with unique architecture; there are 27 historical and modern palaces standing in Bratislava, plus five that have been demolished!

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10. Brussels (Bruxelles, Brüssel, Brussel)

brussels, Belgium capital

Country: Kingdom of Belgium (Koninkrijk België, Royaume de Belgique, Königreich Belgien)

Subregion: Western Europe

Population: 2,109,631

EU Member?: Yes

Brussels is on the map as the capital city of the European Union as well as the capital of Belgium. It’s both the richest and most densely populated city in Belgium. The headquarters of NATO are also located there. It is often known as “the geographic, economic, and cultural crossroads of Europe”, and it’s one of the most populated cities Europe has to offer!

Brussels is officially bilingual (French/Dutch) though 90% of locals have French as their first language. It’s known for several UNESCO World Heritage Sites as well as its cuisine and gastronomy. Brussels is also called the capital of the comic strip!

Read More:

List of Cities in Belgium

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11. Bucharest (Bucuresti)

bucharest, romania capital

Country: Romania (România)

Subregion: Eastern Europe

Population: 1,785,000

EU Member?: Yes

Bucharest was the joint-second most recent capital city of countries in Europe to join the EU, as Romania and Bulgaria only became member states in 2007. It’s the largest city in Romania and its cultural, industrial, and financial center.

Its current workforce is highly tech-focused, with the largest high-tech summit in Southeast Europe hosted there. Its beautiful architecture makes it stand out amongst Eastern European capital cities as the “Paris of the East”.

It’s attracting more and more tourists each year, and is currently ranked as the highest development potential for tourism in all of Europe! Discover more of the the best cities in Romania to visit here.

12. Budapest

budapest, hungary capital, capital cities in europe

Country: Hungary (Magyarország)

Subregion: Eastern Europe

Population: 1,775,000

EU Member?: Yes

Budapest is the ninth-most populous city in the EU as well as the biggest by population in Hungary – in fact, a third of the Hungarian population live there!

It’s considered a highly global city in commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and entertainment, with a rapidly growing economy amongst Eastern European capitals.

There are more than 40 higher education institutes in Budapest, and the central area of the city along the Danube river is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s known for its beautiful classical architecture.

Some of Budapest’s records include its 80 geothermal springs and the largest thermal water cave system, second largest synagogue, and third largest Parliament building in the world.

It was ranked the best European destination for tourists by Big7Media in 2020!

Read our guide to visiting Budapest with kids here >>>

13. Cardiff (Caerdydd)

europe with kids, cardiff

Country: Wales [country in the United Kingdom] (Cymru)

Subregion: Northern Europe

Population: 485,000

EU Member?: No (as of 2020)

Cardiff is the largest city in Wales and the eleventh largest city in the UK. It’s the main commercial and political center of Wales, and the meeting place of the Senedd (Welsh Parliament).

The city contains an international sports village, several bayside art projects, and large portions of the city are dedicated to television and other media.

Several dramas and British shows, including BBC’s famous Doctor Who, are primarily produced in Cardiff! It’s a member of the Eurocities network which includes over 200 European cities.

14. Chisinau (Chișinău)


Country: Republic of Moldova (Republica Moldova)

Subregion: Eastern Europe

Population: 490,632

EU Member?: No, but began the application process in March 2022

The largest city in the Republic of Moldova is one of the capital cities in Europe that is located right in the middle of its country. Chisinau has hot, humid summers and icy, windy winters. There’s a blend between old and new; while many more senior citizens only do their shopping at bazaars and similar small shops, two new large malls have opened up, including the massive Malldova.

There are also several amusement parks and 22 total universities. Moldova National Wine Day and the Wine Festival occur here the first weekend of every October.

15. Copenhagen (København)

denmark, Copenhagen

Country: Denmark (Danmark)

Subregion: Northern Europe

Population: 1,370,000

EU Member?: Yes

This most populous city in Denmark, Copenhagen, is on the island of Zealand. It started life as a Viking fishing village but took its place amongst the capitals of Europe as early as the 15th century.

It was the capital of the Kalmar Union of Sweden, Norway, and Denmark for hundreds of years before they separated, and it took its place as Denmark’s capital. Nowadays, it is connected by a bridge with the city of Malmö, Sweden.

The two cities form the Øresund Region, and even though they’re in different countries, a lot of their economic and cultural activity is joint. Copenhagen has many museums, universities, and places of the arts, and it’s one of Europe’s major financial centres. Many people get around Copenhagen by bicycle.

Planning a trip to Copenhagen? Discover the best Copenhagen hotels for families

16. Dublin (Baile Átha Cliath)


Country: The Republic of Ireland (Poblacht na hÉireann, Éire)

Subregion: Northern Europe

Population: 1,256,000

EU Member?: Yes

Dublin is the largest and probably most well-known city in Ireland. Known as the Fair City, it’s considered one of the top thirty global cities of the world in terms of education, commerce, industry, arts, and culture!

It’s very close to full employment and is full of exciting landmarks, both modern and historical, not to mention lots and lots of green space.

The Old Library of Trinity College Dublin, which is home to the illustrated manuscript from 800 AD known as the Book of Kells, is one of the city’s most visited places, while the Ha’penny bridge over the River Liffey is so iconic that it’s among the most photographed sights in the city.

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17. Edinburgh (Dùn Èideann)

edinburgh city break, capital cities in europe, scotland capital

Country: Scotland [country within the United Kingdom] (Alba)

Subregion: Northern Europe

Population: 548,206

EU Member?: No, as of 2020

From the castle right in its city centre to its impressive bayside views, Edinburgh has a special place amongst the capital cities of Europe. It’s the second-largest city in Scotland after Glasgow and is a hub for education, arts, and culture.

The Fringe Festival (the world’s largest international arts festival) is held every year alongside the Edinburgh International Festival, attracting comedians, actors, and artists from all over the globe.

The Old Town and New Town of Edinburgh are listed as one UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are three universities within the city’s boundaries, one of which (the University of Edinburgh) ranked 18th of all universities globally.

It’s also home to many museums, both contemporary and historical.

More on Scotland:

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18. (Den) Haag (The Hague, s-Gravenhage)

The haag netherlands

Country: The Netherlands (Nederland, Holland)

Subregion: Western Europe

Population: 709,000

EU Member?: Yes

Though Amsterdam is the official capital of the Netherlands, the Hague is the royal and administrative capital, where the government is based – placing it firmly among Western European capitals.

The royal family also lives and works here, and most foreign embassies are also in the city. It’s known as the international home of law, as it hosts over 200 international government organizations, including the International Court of Justice.

The inner city’s small streets aren’t cramped and are reminiscent of smaller towns, and there are several universities. Other areas of the city are characterized by wide, long streets and low rise houses.

19. Helsinki (Helsingfors)

Helsinki. finland

Country: The Republic of Finland (Suomen tasavalta [Suomi], Republiken Finland)

Subregion: Northern Europe

Population: 1,328,000

EU Member?: Yes

Helsinki is not only the most populous city in Finland, it is also a primate city, meaning it is disproportionately larger than any other city in the country. It is geographically and culturally close to Tallinn, Estonia, Stockholm, Sweden; and Saint Petersburg, Russia. It’s only 30km from Nuuksio National Park – one of the best national parks in Europe.

It’s a cultural hub, having been named the World Design Capital, hosted the Eurovision Song Contest, and serving as the country’s most important centre for politics, education, finance, culture, and research. It’s known as the only metropolis in Finland and the most northern metro in Europe. It’s also in the top five of world’s most livable cities.

20. Kyiv (Kyïv, Kiev)

kyiv, ukranian capital, ukraine

Country: Ukraine (Ukraïna)

Subregion: Eastern Europe

Population: 2,797,553

EU Member?: No, but their official application began in March 2022

Kyiv is one of the most populous Eastern European capitals and is the seventh-most populated city in the whole of Europe. It’s an important hub of culture, industry, science, and education across all of Eastern Europe, and has remained the country’s wealthiest city since the fall of the Soviet Union and Ukraine’s subsequent development toward electoral democracy and a market economy.

The city is decorated with stunning horse chestnut trees and people claim that you can walk from one end of the city to the other without leaving their shade. There are two botanical gardens, several parks, some islands, amusement parks, outdoor and indoor museums, and a 100-year-old zoo! In 2012, it was the most popular destination for all European tourists.

21. Lisbon (Lisboa)

lisbon, portugal capital

Country: The Portuguese Republic (República Portuguesa)

Subregion: Southern Europe

Population: 2,986,000

EU Member?: Yes

Lisbon’s claim to fame amongst European countries and their capitals is that the Portuguese Riviera at the west of its metro area is the westernmost point in Europe, as well as the only capital city Europe has on the Atlantic coast.

It’s the ninth most visited city in Europe and the second oldest after Athens. Since the 12th century, it has been the economic, cultural, and political centre of Portugal. Lisbon is known for its Romanesque, Gothic, Manueline, Baroque, Modern and Postmodern architecture as well as many museums, art galleries, monuments, theatres, and opera houses.

It’s also well-known for its roles in Portuguese and international football.

22. Ljubljana

ljubuana, slovenia capital

Country: Republic of Slovenia (Republika Slovenija)

Subregion: Southern Europe

Population: 286,978

EU Member?: Yes

Ljubljana is the cultural, educational, economic, political, and administrative centre of Slovenia and the largest city. The view of the city centre is dominated by Ljubljana Castle atop Castle Hill.

The castle is a fascinating mix of Romanesque, Gothic, and Renaissance architecture, and hosts everything from cultural events to weddings.

The thirteen-story skyscraper, Nebotičnik, is another landmark; when it was finished in 1933 it was the tallest residential building in Europe. There are numerous decorated bridges, most famously the ornamented Dragon Bridge that is now a symbol of the city.

23. London

london, capital of the United Kingdom, europe cities

Country: England and the United Kingdom overall

Subregion: Northern Europe

Population: 9,541,000

EU Member?: No, since 2020

London is one of the most populated European cities, sprawling across England from “London proper” to the areas of Greater London.

It’s most known for landmarks like Buckingham Palace (the official home of the Queen of England), Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, and Tower Bridge. It’s the home of the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes and 221b Baker Street has actually been transformed into a Sherlock Holmes museum!

London was the first city ever to host three summer Olympic games, and it has four UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

There are several cultural touchstones in London, and it’s a very multicultural city with a mix of architecture and people from around the world. There are so many things to do in London with kids and it’s the perfect UK city break destination for families!

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24. Luxembourg (Lëtzebuerg, Luxemburg)

luxembourg, luxembourg capitalm city in luxembourg

Country: The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (Groussherzogtum Lëtzebuerg​, Grand-Duché de Luxembourg​, Großherzogtum Luxemburg)

Subregion: Western Europe

Population: 642,371

EU Member?: Yes

Luxembourg is the European capital with the highest GDP in the world per capita. The country is one of four official capitals of the EU, and the Council of the European Union is based in its capital for three months every year.

It hosts the Court of Justice of the European Union, the European Court of Auditors, the Secretariat of the European Parliament, the European Public Prosecutor’s Office, the European Investment Bank, the European Investment Fund, the European Stability Mechanism, as well as amongst other European Commission departments and services,

Eurostat. As well as this, the small city is brimming with museums, sports clubs, and other attractions. It’s been named the European capital of culture twice – not bad for such a small capital!

Read Our Guide on Visiting Luxembourg City with Kids Here >>>

25. Madrid

madrid, spanish capital, capital of spain

Country: Spain (España)

Subregion: Southern Europe

Population: 6,714,000

EU Member?: Yes

Madrid is the second largest of all the cities in the European Union and the largest city in Spain. It has the second-largest GDP in the European Union.

Madrid holds many important political organizations including the UN’s World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the Ibero-American General Secretariat (SEGIB), the Organization of Ibero-American States (OEI), and the Public Interest Oversight Board (PIOB).

Its architecture is mostly preserved from historic Madrid, though there are modern buildings too. There are many museums, art installations, and cultural touchpoints in Spain. Madrid is also known for two world-famous football clubs; Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid.

26. Minsk

minsk, belarus

Country: The Republic of Belarus (Respublika Bielaruś, Respublika Belarus’)

Subregion: Eastern Europe

Population: 2,049,000

EU Member?: No

Minsk is the 11th most populated city in Europe, and in 2019 it was the host of the European Games. It’s the industrial centre of Belarus; around 20% of electricity, 75% of trucks, 15% of footwear, 90% of television sets, 99% of washing machines, 30% of chocolate, 30% of distilled alcoholic beverages and 20% of tobacco goods in the country come from Minsk.

It has 11 theatres, 16 museums, 20 cinemas, and 139 libraries. There are several sports clubs as well as a number of Orthodox and Catholic churches.

27. Monaco

monaco, capital of monaco

Country: Principality of Monaco (Principauté de Monaco, Prinçipatu de Mu̍negu)

Subregion: Western Europe

Population: 39,783

EU Member?: No

Monaco is a sovereign city-state on the French Rivera- the city and the countries are one and the same. It’s one of the wealthiest and consequently most expensive places in the whole world, with more than 30% of the population being millionaires.

It’s one of the most famous places in Europe with names like singer, swimwear designer, fashion model, Princess Stéphanie of Monaco and electronica pioneer Didier Marouani calling it home.

Despite its small size, Monaco has many cultural attractions, banking centres, religious places of worship, and sports teams. It’s famous for its gambling industry, most notoriously the Monte Carlo casino.

28. Moscow (Moskva)

moscow, capital of russia

Country: The Russian Federation [Russia], (Rossiyskaya Federatsiya [Rosiya])

Subregion: Eastern Europe and Northern Asia – Moscow is entirely in Europe

Population: 12,641,000

EU Member?: No

Among the world’s largest cities, Moscow is the biggest city entirely within Europe and the second biggest after Istanbul which straddles Asia. Moscow is home to many Russian artists, scientists, and sports figures as well as many museums, academic and political institutions, and theatres.

There are a number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Many famous Russian landmarks are here, including the Red Square, St. Basil’s Cathedral, and the Kremlin. It’s one of the greenest cities in the world, with 40% of it covered in greenery. It’s known as “The Third Rome”, “The Whitestone One”, “The First Throne”, and “Forty Soroks”. There are many museums and sports teams in Moscow.

29. Nicosia (Lefkosía, Lefkoşa, Nikusiya)

nicosia, cyprus, capital ofcyprus

Country: Republic of Cyprus (Kypiriaki Dimokratia, Kibris Jumhuriyeti)

Subregion: Though it’s in Europe, Cyprus is geographically in Asia Minor.

Population: 200,452

EU Member?: Yes, though it joined as a divided island the whole island is EU territory

Nicosia is the largest city and capital of “The Island of Aphrodite”. In Greek mythology, Lefkosia was a siren, and the name translates as “city of the white gods”. It’s the most southern of major European cities within the EU.

The city serves as an international business centre and is in the top 40 richest cities in the world based on purchase power. These days, it is known for its culture in its museums and theatres, including The Cyprus National Theatre, the Lyric Theatre, and the Dionysos Theatre. There are five universities and three major football teams.

30. Nuuk (Previously Godthåb)

nuuk, northern lights

Country: Greenland (Kalaallit Nunaat, Grønland)

Subregion: Geographically in North America, politically a constituent of the Kingdom of Denmark

Population: 16,000

EU Member?: No; it was a member between 1973 and 1985

Nuuk is the largest city in Greenland and its economic and cultural centre. A third of Greenland’s entire population lives in the city! It’s mostly powered by hydroelectric energy and is the northernmost capital city in Europe, just beating out Reyjavik, Iceland.

Fishing and mineral mining are the main business of Nuuk. The only university in Greenland is in the city. There are also several trade schools, including the department of nursing and the iron and metal school. From the small city-town, you can see the stunning Northern Lights.

Read More: Fun Facts About Iceland for Kids

31. Oslo


Country: The Kingdom of Norway (Kongeriket Norge, Norgga gonagasriika, Vuona gånågisrijkka, Nöörjen gånkarïjhke, Norjan kuninkhaanvaltakunta)

Subregion: Northern Europe

Population: 1,071,000

EU Member?: No

Oslo is the most populated city in Norway and an important maritime centre for the whole of Europe. It is amongst the most famous of city names in Europe due to its growth, high global ranking, and extremely high standard of living.

Oslo is one of the most expensive places in the world, but its citizens are also amongst the happiest.

It’s a city of music, holding the six-day Oslo Jazz Festival every year, along with many rock festivals. The biggest is Øyafestivalen, a rock festival that lasts four days.

They’re also famous for being the base of the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony. It’s considered one of the 10 capital cities in Europe that is most attractive for tourists!

Read More – Oslo with Kids

32. Paris

paris, paris at night, cities in europe, capital cities in europe

Country: The French Republic [France] (République française [La France])

Subregion: Western Europe

Population: 2,140,000

EU Member?: Yes

If a non-European was asked to name European capitals, Paris would be near the top of the list. The famous city is known for its art, cuisine, architecture, and landmarks – the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and the Arc d’Triomphe amongst its most famous. It’s the largest city in France and is host to a number of UNESCO organizations as well as other international groups. In 2024, Paris will host the Summer Olympic Games for the 3rd time, having previously done so in 1900 and 1924. Many sporting tournaments are also held in Paris, most notably the annual Tour de France bicycle race. Unlike most other capitals in the world, Paris has never been destroyed by disasters or wars!

33. Podgorica (Podgoritza)


Country: Montenegro (Cma Gora, Mali i Zi)

Subregion: Southern Europe

Population: 627,950

EU Member?: Not yet, but in the process of accession since its application was accepted in 2010.

30% of Montenegro’s population live in Podgorica, a well-placed city at the meeting point of the Ribnica and Morača rivers and between the Zeta Plain and Bjelopavlići Valley. The city has a mix of architecture including some with Ottoman influence mixed with much more modern buildings. It’s the cultural centre of Montenegro, containing many museums, galleries, and theatres. Football and basketball are the most popular sports in Podgorica, and chess is also a popular pastime. Most of Montenegro’s industrial, financial, and commercial institutions are in the city.

34. Prague (Praha)

prague, bridge, people

Country: Czech Republic [Czechia] (Česká republika [Česko])

Subregion: Eastern Europe

Population: 1,318,000

EU Member?: Yes

The largest city in Czechia and the 11th largest in the EU, Prague is an economic, cultural, and political hub for all of central Europe. It is well-known for its UNESCO World Heritage historic city and its famous landmarks including Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, Old Town Square with the Prague astronomical clock, the Jewish Quarter, Petřín hill and Vyšehrad. There are several universities, museums, theatres, and other cultural events. It’s considered an Alpha- on the scale of global cities, second from the top rank. It’s amongst the top five most visited cities in the whole of Europe.

View Our Complete Prague City Break Guide >>>

35. Reykjavik (Reykjavík)

reyjavic, capital city of iceland, europe

Country: Iceland (Ísland)

Subregion: Northern Europe

Population: 233,034

EU Member?: No

Reykjavik is a very popular tourist destination, located on the south shore of Faxaflói Bay. It’s the most northern capital in the world! According to reports and surveys, it is one of the greenest, cleanest, and safest cities in the whole world! It’s the only city in Iceland and home to much of its cultural and literary works, including the Norse epic the Poetic Edda. Ancient and modern literature are both very important to Reykjavik as they are one of the main ways that the Icelandic language is preserved. There are many live music events including the massive annual Iceland Airways festival. Reykjavik is known around the world for its New Year’s Eve celebrations.

More Info – Iceland in October

36. Riga (Rīga, Rīgõ)


Country: The Republic of Latvia (Latvijas Republika, Latvejas Republika, Leţmō Vabāmō)

Subregion: Eastern Europe

Population: 624,925

EU Member?: Yes

Riga is a primate city in Latvia and the largest in all three Baltic States (Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania). In fact, one-tenth of the population of all three countries lives there! Its historical centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, especially known for its 19th-century wooden architecture and Art Noveau/Jugendstil architecture. Riga has hosted many cultural, political, and sporting events, including the Eurovision Song Contest, the NATO summit, and the women’s curling championships. It also has six theatres and ten universities.

Read More – Riga with Kids

37. Rome (Roma)

vatican, rome, catholic

Country: The Italian Republic [Italy] (Repubblica Italiana [Italia])

Subregion: Southern Europe

Population: 4,298,000

EU Member?: Yes

Rome is one of the most famous countries Europe had to offer, with a mix of modern metropolises and ancient empires all in one place. Once known as the capital of the world (or at least the Roman Empire) and now known as the City of the Seven Hills and the Eternal City, the capital of Italy has been around for more than 28 centuries! As well as the grandiose past of Rome displayed in its famous Colosseum and other landmarks within its historical UNESCO World Heritage Centre, Rome is a city of fashion, food, and culture. It’s also the headquarters of several international organizations, most notably several factions of the United Nations.

More Italian City Breaks:

Turin with Kids

Palermo with Kids

Lucca with Kids

Florence with Kids

38. (The City of) San Marino (Città di San Marino)

sam marino

Country: The Republic of San Marino (Repubblica di San Marino; Ripóbblica d’ San Marein)

Subregion: Southern Europe

Population: 4,050

EU Member?: No

San Marino is the capital of a microstate of the same name, and is located on the slopes of the country’s highest mountain, Monte Titano – itself a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The microstates aren’t generally included with EU capitals, but they still have close ties to the union. The very small city was the only city in San Marino for a long time.

Nevertheless, it attracts over 3 million tourists every year, many of whom are Italians. Among the most famous landmarks are the Basilica di San Marino, the Palazzo dei Capitani, The Three Towers of San Marino and the Grand Hotel San Marino.

39. Sarajevo


Country: Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosna i Hercegovina)

Subregion: Southern Europe

Population: 344,481

EU Member?: No, but is in the application process

The largest city in Bosnia and Herzegovina is a cultural mashup. Sometimes known as the Jerusalem of Europe or the Jerusalem of the Balkans, it’s one of very few European cities where you can find a Catholic church, a synagogue, an Orthodox church, and a mosque all in the same neighbourhood.

It’s a rapidly-growing city of culture, often appearing on lists of the best cities to visit in the world. Sarajevo is one of UNESCO’s 18 Cities of Film and has been named the Culture Capital of Europe!

Tourism focuses on historical, religious, and cultural sites, as well as winter sports. They hosted the Winter Olympics in 1984 and this is still a big attraction today.

40. Skopje (Shkup)


Country: North Macedonia

Subregion: Republic of North Macedonia (Republika Severna Makedonija, Republika e Maqedonisë së Veriut)

Population: Southern Europe

EU Member?: No, but is in the application process

Skopje is one of the newest European capitals on the map, as North Macedonia only became a country in 1991. However, it has been a capital city before – in fact, it was the capital of the Bulgarian Empire in the 10th century and the Serbian Empire in the 14th century, as well as the capital of the federal state of Macedonia in Yugoslavia.

An earthquake in 1983 destroyed more than 80% of the city, including most of its historical landmarks. As a result, the city has been rebuilt in a much more modern low-lying fashion, especially since North Macedonia declared independence. The city is very ethnically diverse, though people generally stick to their own ethnic areas.

Discover the Airports in Macedonia Here >>>

41. Sofia (Sofiya)

sofia with kids, bulgaria capital

Country: Republic of Bulgaria (Republika Bǎlgariya)

Subregion: Eastern Europe

Population: 1,287,000

EU Member?: Yes

Sofia is the 14th largest city in the EU and the largest in Bulgaria. It has a mixed history of Ottoman rule and Bulgarian autonomy, and as a result, is a very culturally diverse place. It’s known as the triangle or more recently square of religious tolerance, as three temples and a cathedral of the world’s major religions are located in one square – a synagogue, a mosque, an Orthodox church, and, more recently, a Catholic church. The metropolitan area is so big that it even expands outside the country, including the town of Dimitrovgrad in Serbia! These days, Sofia is known as one of the start-up capitals of the world, filled with new IT companies that are flourishing around the globe all based in Sofia.

View Our Complete Sofia City Break Guide >>>


42. Stockholm (Tukholma)


Country: The Kingdom of Sweden (Konungariket Sverige)

Subregion: Northern Europe

Population: 1,679,000

EU Member?: Yes

As well as the largest county in Sweden, Stockholm is the largest urban settlement in the entire Scandinavian region. There are fourteen islands in the Stockholm boundaries, including in Lake Mälaren and right out to the Baltic Sea. Many of the top universities of Europe are right there in the city, and the Nobel Prize ceremony is held there annually. There are two palaces in Stockholm that host the country’s royal family – Stockholm Palace (the official residence), and Drottningholm Palace, the private residence and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

43. Tallinn (Reval)

talinn, capital of estonia

Country: The Republic of Estonia (Eesti Vabariik)

Subregion: Northern Europe

Population: 445,000

EU Member?: Yes

Tallinn is by the sea and is a primate capital of Estonia, with more people by far than any other city in the country. The old town, known as Vanallin, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the best-preserved and maintained historical cities in the whole of Europe. Tallinn has the highest number of start-up businesses by a person in the whole of Europe, and many international tech companies, including Skype, have their headquarters and origins there. The European Union’s IT agency and the NATO Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence are both located in Tallinn, and it has been named the top digital city in the world.

44. Tirana (Tiranë, Tirona)


Country: The Republic of Albania (Republika e Shqipërisë)

Subregion: Southern Europe

Population: 511,559

EU Member?: No, but their application was approved in 2020

Tirana is influenced heavily by the Mediterranean climate, and it’s one of the wettest and also sunniest places in Europe. It’s considered a great place for young people and is the European Youth Capital for 2022. Tirana is not only physically the largest and the biggest city in Albania for business, but cultural centres including entertainment, music, media, fashion, and the arts make it a massive player in the cultural centre of Europe. The city is known for its various festivals and exciting nightlife.

45. Vaduz


Country: Principality of Liechtenstein (Fürstentum Liechtenstein)

Subregion: Western Europe

Population: 5,229

EU Member?: No

Vaduz is the home of the Liechtensteinian ruling prince and his family, who live in the city’s most prominent landmark, Vaduz Castle. Though it is the capital city and the most well-known, it’s actually smaller than the city of its neighbour, Schaan. 42% of the resident of Liechtenstein are foreign-born. It’s one of the few capitals in the world that does not have an airport, though the tourist income is still high. This is primarily due to its high cultural atmosphere, with several museums including the National Museum, the National Art Gallery, the Postage Stamp Museum and the Ski Museum.

46. Valletta (il-Belt Valletta)

valletta, capital of malta

Country: Republic of Malta (Repubblika ta’ Malta)

Subregion: Southern Europe

Population: 6,315

EU Member?: Yes

Valletta is on the main island of Malta. The whole city is often known as an open-air museum, as it’s one of the most cities with the most monuments in the world – over 320 if them! As a result, the whole city is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Valletta is the most direct southern capital of Europe,[and it is the EU’s smallest capital city – only 0.24 square miles in total! It’s also the sunniest city in Europe! The architecture is Baroque, with forts, castles, bastions, gardens, churches, and more. It was previously the European Capital of Culture.

47. Vatican City

vatican city

Country: Vatican City State (Stato della Città del Vaticano; Status Civitatis Vaticanae), part of the Holy See (Sancta Sedes, Santa Sede)

Subregion: Southern Europe

Population: 799

EU Member?: No

The Vatican City is a city-state located in the middle of Rome, Italy. It’s the seat of the Catholic Pope, who lives in the Apostolic Palace, and is under the jurisdiction of the Holy See, making it an independent country. It’s the smallest state in the world both by population and by physical size. There are many landmarks in the Apostolic Palace, most famously the Sistine Chapel, painted by Michaelangelo. The city-state’s economy is run entirely from religious donations, postage stamp and souvenir sales, publication sales, and museum entry prices.

48. Vienna (Wien)

vienna, capital of Austria

Country: Republic of Austria (Republik Österreich)

Subregion: Western Europe

Population: 1,960,000

EU Member?: Yes

Nearly a third of Austria’s population lives in Vienna and its metropolitan area – it’s actually the sixth-largest city in the EU!

The principal language of Austria is a dialect of German, and after Berlin, Austria is the second biggest German-speaking city in the world. Vienna is the headquarters of many international organizations, most notably the United Nations, and its city centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Its history of classical musicians including Mozart earn it the nickname of City of Music, while its place as the birth town of Sigmund Freud added the moniker City of Dreams.

Vienna is consistently listed as in the top ten of best cities to live in the world and is a centre of global innovation and international conventions. Between its historical sites and modernity, Vienna attracts nearly 7 million tourists each year.

Visiting during christmas? Take a look at the best christmas markets in Austria.

49. Vilnius

vilnius, european capitals

Country: Republic of Lithuania (Lietuvos Respublika)

Subregion: Northern Europe

Population: 592,389

EU Member?: Yes

Like many cities, the Old Town of Vilnius is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. One of its greatest historical points of interest is its previous nickname of the Jerusalem of Lithuania or, as Napoleon called it, the Jerusalem of the North; before the Second World War, it was one of the largest Jewish centres in Europe, and that influence is still clear in the city’s appearance today.

It’s considered extremely forward-thinking; it has been named a Capital of Culture and, in 2021, was one of the top 25 Global Cities of the Future for its forward-thinking potential.

The city is home to many events and festivals, both Lithuanian and foreign – like dyeing the Vilnia River green for St Patricks Day! It’s also been known as a very extravagant city of fashion since the middle ages.

50. Warsaw (Warszawa)

poland, warsaw, old city

Country: Republic of Poland (Rzeczpospolita Polska)

Subregion: Eastern Europe

Population: 1,795,000

EU Member?: Yes

The biggest city in Poland and the seventh-most-populated city in the EU, Warsaw is a city of history and culture, and one of the best cities to visit in Poland

The Warsaw Grand Theatre is the world’s largest theatre of its kind and sits alongside cultural icons like King Sigismund’s Column, the Palace on the Isle, the Royal Castle, and many more. Over a quarter of the city’s area is filled with parks, many of which hold festivals and events.

The club and arts scene is extremely popular, and there are many lovely mansions and churches throughout the city. Additionally, its historic Old Town, once razed, was reconstructed and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

More on Poland:

Krakow with Kids

Gdansk with Kids

51. Zagreb

zagreb, cathedral, architecture

Country: Republic of Croatia (Republika Hrvatska)

Population: 684,000

EU Member?: Yes

Over a quarter of the Croatian population live in Zagreb, which is not only the largest city but one with a special status as a city county.

There are 17 distinct administrative divisions in Zagreb, and the city spans both valleys and foothills of mountains in its 19 miles by 12-mile area. The city has a high quality of living and is known as a transport hub that has a major high-tech economy.

Considered a global city, it is visited by over a million tourists a year, many of whom are drawn by its famous Christmas market. There are also many live re-enactments right in the centre of the city’s historic area.

Souvenirs like the cravat are popular and the city is known for its many museums both of Croatian and of European history.

Read More: Croatia Landmarks

Discover the Best of Europe

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Cheapest Cities in Europe

How many capital cities are there in Europe?

There are 51 capital cities overall, but officially there are 47 capital cities of Europe. Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales are officially counted as part of the UK (under London as the capital), Catalonia as part of Spain (with Madrid), and Amsterdam is the only official capital of the Netherlands.

What is Europe’s largest capital city?

Berlin is the capital city in the European Union, while Moscow, the capital of Russia, is the most populous city in Europe. Istanbul, Turkey, has a larger population than Moscow, but it is not a capital city and neither is it entirely in Europe.

What is the longest name capital city in Europe?

Andora La Vella is the longest capital city name in Europe, with 14 letters. At 10 letters, Luxembourg, Copenhagen, and Bratislava hold the record for the longest single-word name. The longest place name in Europe with 58 characters is Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch – a large village in Wales mostly shortened to Llanfairpwllgwyngyll.

What is the highest capital city in Europe?

Andorra La Vella is the highest capital city in Europe. The whole city is at an elevation of 1,023 m or 3,356 ft. The highest point in Europe overall is the summit of Mount Elbrus in southwest Russia. The elevation of the mountain reaches 5,642 m (18,510 ft) at its highest point.

How many capital cities does the EU have?

As of March 2022, there are currently 27 capital cities of European countries which are member states of the EU. The UK exited the EU in 2020, while several more countries are in the process of trying to join.

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Sylvie Simpson is the founder of European Cities with Kids. For the past 6 years, she has been travelling all over Europe whenever she has the chance, both solo, for work and with her daughter. Sylvie is on a mission to help people make the most of city breaks in Europe with kids and helps over 50,000 readers per month plan and make the most of their trips in Europe with kids.

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