Top 10 European Style Cities in America For Your Bucket List

Last Updated on March 02, 2023 by Nikki Jain

European colonists came to America in droves during the late 1500s and have built the country into one of the most diverse nations in the world.

When it came to designing the New World, their roots began to show through their architecture and stayed through their charm.

Some of the most European cities in America are also the most beautiful with their luxe buildings and flowing gardens.

Walking through these cities, you can feel the power of history and the love they had for their homeland and their new home.

We've scoured the country in search of places in the US that look like Europe so that we could present you with this list of top 10 most European cities in America. Let's explore!

Most European Cities in America

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1: Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts

Birthplace of the American Revolution, Boston is a town that instills fierce loyalty to those raised there and those who transplant themselves.

Towering historical buildings, sprawling college campuses, and nationally celebrated sports teams make it easy to see why Boston is one of the most European cities in America.

The pride felt walking the 2.5 miles of Freedom Trail sets the mood for the day as you pass King's Chapel, Faneuil Hall, and Bunker Hill.

A trip to North End, Boston's Little Italy, makes the perfect end to the tour with the smell of Italian pastries and coffeehouses wafting through the air.

Craving more from the colonial period? Take a stroll through Beacon Hill to bring history to life! Adorned with gas-lit lanterns and federal-style rowhouses, you can almost hear the horse hooves beating across the cobblestones.

Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in Boston

2: Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C.

Designed by the French engineer/architect Pierre Charles L'Enfant, Washington, D.C., is a mighty city void of towering skyscrapers or overwhelmingly modern infrastructures.

Instead, it boasts a low skyline, magnificent gardens, spectacular domes, and wondrous monuments, making it a top destination for those seeking to find Europe in America.

Arguably one of the most European cities in the US, the nation's capital is dotted with splendors paying homage to those who came before.

Union Station is often the first stop for tourists who marvel at the elaborate sculptures, marble corridors, and ionic columns resembling the greatness of Rome.

The Lincoln Memorial continues this feel while the National Mall and National Cathedral call forth memories of the Victorian and Medieval Gothic styles of France and England.

A walk through Washington, D.C., with its green spaces, open-air skies, and powerful designs bring to life the Old World feel of European cultures.

Also Read: 12 Famous Landmarks in Washington, D.C.

3: Leavenworth, Washington

Leavenworth, Washington

Originally built by settlers in the early 1900s as a timber-community, Leavenworth blossomed in the 1960s when it was redesigned as a Bavarian community.

Home to one of the largest American Oktoberfest celebrations and an annual Christmas bash not to be rivaled with, this city is truly one of the most European cities in the US.

Sitting in the snowy Cascade mountain, this German-themed town is the perfect destination all year long.

In the summer, enjoy paddleboarding down the river before grabbing a slice and a brew at Blewett Brewing Company.

Looking to ski your way through the holidays? Hit the slopes after grabbing a cup of joe from the Gingerbread Factory and make sure to schedule a long soak at the scenic hot springs.

4: Solvang, California

Solvang, California

From adorable boutique shops and charming windmills to quaint little hotels, the Danish influences are strong within Solvang, CA.

Originally founded by the Spanish, Solvang was flooded with Danish-American settlers looking to create their own new world.

They began by building a Lutheran church, the center of Danish communities in the 1900s, and grew from there, sharing their heritage with those who came to be their neighbors.

During a visit, many tourists take a chance to explore the museum celebrating Hans Christian Andersen, the only one in the nation that memorializes his works, such as "The Snow Queen” and “The Little Mermaid".

Their dedication to honoring their Danish roots is what keeps Solvang, CA, at the top of the list as one of the most European cities in America.

5: St. Augustine, Florida

St. Augustine, Florida

Colorful buildings, an old Spanish fort, and elaborate fountains showcase St. Augustine's long history and tell the story of all this town has been through.

Founded in 1565 and owned by both the Spanish and the French at various times, this great city holds the title of the oldest continuously inhabited settlement in the continental United States.

Take a stroll through the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, marvel at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine, or simply enjoy the coastline of St. Augustine Beach, complete with a stop at the historic lighthouse and maritime museum.

Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in St. Augustine

6: Frankenmuth, Michigan

Frankenmuth, Michigan
Flickr/Ken Lund

Known as "Michigan's Little Bavaria", Frankenmuth is one of America's most European cities to date.

Established in 1845 as a Bavarian mission colony for the Lutherans, this town is full of tradition.

Holiday cheer can be found year-round in Frankenmuth, home of the world's largest Christmas store, but don't let that fool you.

Their German heritage runs deep when Oktoberfest comes to town! Whether you'd take a ride on the local riverboat or the 16-person Pedal Trolley, there's something for everyone looking to experience German culture.

7: New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana

Easily one of the most European cities in the US, New Orleans is known for its rich French-Spanish heritage as well as its sweet southern charm.

If you're short on time, be sure to head straight for the French Quarter.

Originally named Le Vieux Quartier, this intimate little neighborhood is packed to the brim with live music, mouth-watering delicacies, and beautiful European-inspired architecture.

Indulge in Creole classics such as gumbo or take a moment to savor some freshly baked beignets while listening to the music of life that drums through this vibrant city.

Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in New Orleans

8: Montpelier, Vermont

Montpelier, Vermont
Shutterstock/Sean Pavone

Noted as the smallest state capital in the US, Montpelier's quaint charm and rolling hillsides are what land this distinctly New England on our list of the top 10 European-style cities in America.

Traditional European architecture, regular farmers' markets, and cafes with locally sourced menus give this town its French feel.

Also Read: Best Places To Live in Vermont

9: Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston, South Carolina

With sprawling architecture dating back to the 1600s, Charleston is one of the most European US cities for weddings, bridal showers, and those seeking the romance of European culture.

Historic cobblestone streets lined with cafes, boutiques, and galleries give the warm Mediterranean vibes, while the southern charm of the residents draws in tourists in huge numbers.

Looking for date night ideas? Sign up for a walking tour of the historic buildings, dine at an authentic Italian pizzeria, or enjoy a late-night carriage ride through downtown.

Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in Charleston

10: New Glarus, Wisconsin

New Glarus, Wisconsin
Flickr/Cragin Spring

Established as a Swiss Colony in 1845 and later incorporated as a charming tiny village, New Glarus has grown into a lovely community now famous for being "America’s Little Switzerland".

Nestled within the city is a 14-building compound that includes a blacksmith shop, a schoolhouse, Wurst Laden Sausage Shop, an old firehouse, and more, allowing tourists to trace the history of New Glarus' growth into what stands today.

Voted as one of the top breweries in the state, be sure to stop by New Glarus Brewing Company for a pint or spend an afternoon strolling while sipping at Bailey's Run Vineyard and Winery.

Also Read: Best Places To Live in Wisconsin

Ready to explore Europe in America?

America is proud to be a melting pot of cultures from around the world, but the heritages behind their cities are strongly represented to this day.

Whether you're strolling through the courtyards of the French Quarter or standing in awe of the monuments in Washington, it is clear there are still many places in the US that feel like Europe. Their beauty may inspire you to cross the Atlantic and see the Old World for yourself.

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