Top ten Europe’s best beer cities

Europe is a haven for beer enthusiasts, home to a rich and varied appreciation of the world’s most popular alcohol. From Prague’s Pilsner to Brussels’ UNESCO-worthy beer culture, there’s nothing like tasting local, traditional beer when travelling somewhere new.

To get a taste of what Europe has to offer, Europe travel expert and ferry operator DFDS analysed 70 European cities, 8,000 bars and pubs, scoured social media, and scanned over 40,000 reviews to determine the best cities for beer. The results show the best cities based on beer quality, price, social media buzz, and their bars and pubs.

Europe’s 10 best beer cities

Rank City Bar & Pub Quality/100 Social Media Buzz/100 Beer Quality/100 Price Rating/100 Weighted Score/100
1 Madrid 72 93 90 87 85
2 Prague 78 91 65 96 83
3 Vienna 92 89 73 61 79
4 Budapest 83 79 46 89 74
4= Thessaloniki 91 63 67 76 74
4= Valencia 39 64 92 100 74
7 Porto 69 80 35 100 71
7= Brussels 59 97 82 43 71
9 Berlin 83 96 42 61 70
9= Vilnius 82 84 52 61 70
9= Krakow 93 57 49 80 70

Europe’s best destinations for each type of beer

  • After analysing the sentiment of 40,000 beer reviews on Google, Madrid is named the best place for stouts.
  • In a shocking result, Madrid beat Dublin, which appears in spot number 10. The Guinness capital was even outranked by another British city, as Glaswegian stouts received higher reviews than those in Dublin.
  • The remaining results found ales and pale ales are best in Reykjavik, IPA is top-rated in Lyon, Copenhagen is Europe’s craft beer capital and Vienna has the best lager.

Europe’s best and cheapest beers

  • Porto and Valencia offer the best bang for your buck as the average beer costs £1.72 (€2) per 500ml serving. The most expensive was Reykjavik at £8.59.
  • Krakow’s pubs and bars are the most loved, averaging high Google ratings and overwhelmingly positive reviews.
  • Munich’s beer scene has the most social media buzz with over six million views across #MunichBeer on TikTok.
  • Milan has Europe’s finest brews, winning the top spot for its beer quality.

The top 3 cities

  1. Madrid, Spain

While many may consider Belgium and Germany the gold-standard European beer destinations, the index reveals Madrid tops the chart. It has significant social media attention and boasts quality beers and pubs to support the hype. The research also found that Madrid is home to some of the best stouts in Europe after scanning approximately 40,000 Google reviews.

DFDS also partnered with beer expert and editor of Keg to Differ, Shaun Hill, who says: “Just outside of the main city centre is a must-visit brewery called Fábrica Maravillas. They offer artisan beers, and you get free nuts with every drink, so you find plenty of locals and tourists. My top choice is their FL(IPA) IPA.”

It’s also home to Beermad, a popular craft beer festival in May, as well as smaller beer festivals.

  1. Prague, Czech Republic

Prague’s beer scene is full of good vibes and Pilsner. The locals’ go-to is the Pilsner Urquell, a classic Czech beer that many hail as responsible for inspiring other Pilsner recipes.

Shaun says: “When you go to Prague, it’s all about the Pilsner. It’s what all the locals drink, and most places only serve this, which you can get either light or dark. It’s served with a huge head of foam and it’s great. The best place to try it is U Zlatého tygra (The Golden Tiger).”

Samson Pito is another popular choice for those who prefer alcohol-free beers.

  1. Vienna, Austria

Ranked as the best European city for lager, the Austrian capital is home to many iconic breweries, including Ottakringer (Vienna’s oldest) and Siebensternbräu (or 7Stern Bräu), which has an exciting range of craft beers.

Austrian beer is held to high quality standards, with strict rules on the use of any artificial flavourings or preservatives. This means that Vienna’s beer is an entirely natural product, guaranteeing an authentic tasting experience. Try the Ottakringer’s Wiener Original, featuring notes of caramel alongside classic malt aromas. Stiegl Freibier 0.0 alcohol-free lager is also the perfect choice if you don’t drink alcohol.



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