Spain and Italy claimed most of the top prizes in Travel + Leisure’s 2017 reader’s survey of the top tourist draws in Europe. Out of this list of 15 cities, eight spots went to locales in these two nations.
The top prize went to Italy’s Florence. This shouldn’t come as a shock to readers, especially considering Florence won the top honor ten out of the past eleven years. Out of a possible score of 100, Florence got a 90.75.
Italy also clinched second place with the capital city Rome. “The Eternal City” raked in a score of 89.73 from Travel + Leisure’s readers.
Coming in third place was Spain’s second largest city: Barcelona. Barcelona’s score of 89.52 was extremely close to Rome this year.
Rounding out the top five European cities on this list were San Sebastián in Spain and Hungary’s capital Budapest. These two cities scored 89.52 and 89.19, respectively.
The only other nation that had more than one city on this year’s list was Portugal. The Portuguese capital Lisbon came in tenth place and the city of Porto came in ninth. Travel experts say this is yet more evidence of Portugal’s rising status as a major player in the European tourism industry. Both cities scored in the 88-point range.
Travel + Leisure authors asked readers to rank major tourist destinations in areas such as friendliness, cost, food quality, shopping opportunities, and cultural experiences. Respondents praised Florence’s efforts to preserve its cultural identity by blocking off fast-food chains from the city center and planning renovations at the Uffizi Gallery.
From sixth place to fifteenth, this is how Travel + Leisure’s list broke down: Siena, Seville, Kraków, Porto, Lisbon, Prague, Venice, Edinburgh, Istanbul, and Madrid.