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Paris Crowned as Europe’s Premier Cultural Destination

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Discover the Top Cities for Culture in Europe: Paris Leads the Way, with Barcelona, Amsterdam, and Milan Close Behind

Paris has been crowned the best city for culture in Europe, according to a new study.

The study analyzed data from 131 European cities with populations over 325,000, focusing on eight types of cultural venues, including artistic points of interest, live performance spaces, film and media sites, literary locations, comedy and entertainment venues, dance studios, parks and recreational spaces, and music and audio retail spots.

Each city was scored out of 100 based on the number of venues per 100,000 residents.

Paris has been named Europe’s leading city for culture.

Paris topped the list with a score of 77.14, thanks to its abundance of parks and recreational spaces—1,238 in total, or 57 per 100,000 residents. The city also excelled in live performance spaces, film and media sites, and artistic points of interest, and boasted an impressive 97 dance studios per 100,000 people.

Lyon ranked as the second-best city for culture in France and seventh in Europe, with a score of 65.28. Lyon stands out with 101 dance studios per 100,000 people and ranks third in Europe for parks and recreational spaces, following Paris and Barcelona.

Barcelona, scoring 74.89, was just behind Paris, ranking second overall in Europe. Known for its comedy and entertainment venues, Barcelona offers 41 such sites per 100,000 people and is also notable for its literary sites, film and media sites, and cultural points of interest.

Amsterdam took third place with a score of 74.74, boasting the highest number of live performance spaces in Europe—1,538 per 100,000 residents. The city also features 94 cultural points of interest per 100,000 residents and 66 dance studios.

Milan emerged as Italy’s cultural hub, ranking fourth in Europe with a score of 66.11. The city outperformed Rome, which placed 49th, in all categories, particularly excelling in film and media sites, comedy and entertainment venues, and parks and recreational spaces.

Street photos: Renae in Milan, Italy.

Budapest completed the top five, scoring 66.04. The Hungarian capital leads in literary sites and music and audio retail locations, with 207 literary sites and 681 music stores per 100,000 residents.

Zurich ranked sixth, scoring 65.92, and is notable for its parks, cultural points of interest, and dance studios. Lisbon followed in eighth place with a score of 65.13, distinguished by its artistic points of interest and literary sites.

Warsaw, Poland’s top cultural city, ranked ninth in Europe with a score of 64.64, excelling in film and media sites and music retail locations. Kraków rounded out the top ten, with a score of 63.81, known for its numerous movie theaters and music stores.

The evening in Warsaw Old Town, Poland. Old European town during sunset with lights connecting to all the buildings.
The evening in Warsaw Old Town, Poland.

The study was by global luggage storage provider Stasher.

Full table: Index ranking Europe’s 10 best cities for culture

  Per 100,000 population 
Index Ranking City Points of Cultural & Artistic Interest Live Performance Spaces Film & Media Sites Literary Sites Comedy & Entertainment Venues Dance Studios Parks & Recreational Spaces Music and Audio Retail Locations Index Score 
1 Paris 39.23 392.51 31.56 61.49 21.65 97.12 57.89 26.56 77.14 
2 Barcelona 36.97 74.00 29.38 130.34 41.90 35.67 46.22 44.99 74.89 
3 Amsterdam 94.52 1,538.22 17.66 40.05 16.45 66.20 24.94 33.17 74.74 
4 Milan 29.24 139.85 29.75 63.22 20.63 22.68 27.20 34.71 66.11 
5 Budapest 29.87 454.21 55.71 207.63 5.28 5.86 10.45 681.72 66.04 
6 Zurich 44.77 50.62 23.12 34.82 18.44 40.97 29.85 52.38 65.92 
7 Lyon 26.96 236.34 10.52 36.90 9.75 101.54 41.11 10.13 65.28 
8 Lisbon 56.39 332.95 18.73 95.98 9.66 13.13 24.91 32.83 65.13 
9 Warsaw 17.10 291.99 118.85 110.74 3.05 13.45 18.21 288.52 64.64 
10 Krakow 16.69 170.85 43.31 92.44 8.21 16.95 18.54 204.49 63.81 

Full table: Index ranking Europe’s 10 worst cities for culture

1 Makiivka 0.30 0.59 0.00 0.59 0.30 0.00 0.00 0.00 1.33 
2 Kryvyy Rih 0.66 0.66 0.83 1.99 0.83 0.33 0.50 0.17 6.69 
3 Homyel’ 0.76 1.33 0.38 1.33 0.38 1.71 0.00 0.38 7.27 
4 Pristina 1.64 1.64 1.27 0.36 0.73 0.00 0.91 0.18 7.73 
5 Vitebsk 2.04 0.58 0.58 1.46 0.29 1.46 0.58 0.00 7.79 
6 Mahilyow 1.63 1.08 0.54 0.27 0.54 1.08 0.27 0.81 7.89 
7 Brest 2.76 0.28 0.55 1.93 0.28 0.83 1.10 0.28 8.48 
8 Sevastopol 0.55 2.74 1.46 3.10 0.18 0.37 0.18 2.19 10.58 
9 Luhansk 1.01 2.77 1.01 9.56 0.00 0.00 0.50 1.51 11.32 
10 Mariupol 1.16 5.79 2.32 6.02 0.00 0.46 0.46 0.46 12.66 
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Renae is a luxury hotel consultant travels the world looking for the ultimate travel experiences for her audience of women over 35. She has more than 25 years experience as a degree qualified journalist writing for many magazines, newspapers and digital platforms. Renae spends her time professionally speaking, coaching CEO's and GM's and eating dark chocolate.

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