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Discover the Best Beer Destinations in Europe

Europe's best beer cities

The Best Beer Destinations in Europe

Beer is a staple drink in most European cultures. Each city and country has its own unique appreciation for the humble pint, with lively beer festivals, thousands of bars and pubs, and innovative breweries. Whether you’re a fan of ale, stout, or craft beers, savouring a prime draft is about more than just its taste.

Looking for the perfect spot to enjoy your next pint? We have you covered. We’ve 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 are based on beer quality, price, social media buzz, and the character of bars and pubs, combined to award a score out of 100.

Underdogs Spain and the Czech Republic top the ranking, whilst Germany and Belgium, which are globally renowned for their beer, find themselves in spot seven and nine. The UK, despite its iconic pub culture, only just makes it into the top 20, with Manchester taking the final spot.

Discover Europe’s 10 best beer destinations below, featuring expert recommendations for local beers and the must-visit pubs and bars in each city.

Europe’s best beer cities - Copenhagen
Europe’s best beer cities - Munich

Europe’s best beer cities

We know that all beers are different. That’s why we looked at 8,000 bars and pubs and 40,000 reviews to discover what tourists and locals consider the best beer destinations.

The results show that Reykjavik is the best city for ales and pale ales, whilst IPA fans should head to Lyon.

Lager lovers should check out Vienna for their favourite tipple, while Copenhagen is the go-to for craft enthusiasts.

Finally, and perhaps most surprisingly, Madrid is the best European city for stouts – a result that may be shocking to those who revere the iconic Guinness.

Porto and Valencia are home to the cheapest beers in Europe, costing an average of £1.72 (€2) per half-litre of draught beer. If quality is your priority, head over to Milan, which was top-rated 94/100 in our quality score. The best pubs and bars are in Krakow, which scored 93/100 for venue quality.

Aspiring social media creators may want to try their luck in Munich, as this city had the most social media buzz, scoring 99/100 for that metric.

Madrid - city view with sun
city view of Madrid
architecture of Madrid
Fountain in Madrid
Madrid - city view

Madrid, Spain

Madrid is Europe’s number one beer destination, with the highest overall score of 85/100. The city 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. Be sure to try Golosa Imperial Stout, a local drink with sweet notes of chocolate, coconut, and marshmallows.

Madrid’s thriving craft beer scene enjoys a wide range of craft bars, such as Bee Beer, Starbeers, and El Mono Bikers & Beer Bar. Locals typically prefer a refreshing glass of Mahou, Real Madrid FC’s official beer. Other popular varieties include Aguila, Cruzcampo, Alhambra, and Estrella Galicia 0%. This vibrant city is also home to Beermad, a popular craft beer festival in May, as well as smaller beer festivals.

Beer expert and editor of Keg to Differ, Shaun Hill, 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.

Prague by night
Prague city view

Prague, Czech Republic

With roughly 35 breweries, it’s no surprise that Prague takes spot number two in the ranking. As one of the most affordable cities to buy a beer, Prague’s scene is all about 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. Samson Pito is another popular choice for those who prefer alcohol-free beers.

We also recommend a visit to the Strahov Monastery Brewery, a traditional brewery located in an old monastery, and U Fleků, the oldest brewery in Prague, founded over 500 years ago.

One of Prague’s most popular beers is the Budweiser Budvar, a pale lager brewed in České Budějovice since 1895, not to be confused with the American Budweiser.

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).

Vienna panorama
Vienna Karlskirche
Vienna at dusk
Vienna - Schonbrunn palace

Vienna, Austria

Ranked as the best European city for lager, be sure to try Vienna’s finest beer offerings when in the city. The Austrian capital is home to many iconic breweries, including Ottakringer, Vienna’s oldest, and Siebensternbräu (or 7Stern Bräu), with 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 complex flavours like caramel notes alongside classic malt aromas. The Stiegl Freibier 0.0 alcohol-free lager is also the perfect choice if you don’t drink alcohol.

Budapest Szechenyi Chain Bridge
Budapest- Karol Czinege
Budapest - Dagmara Dombrovska

Budapest, Hungary

Budapest has a thriving beer culture, offering a combination of affordable prices, social media buzz, and great-quality pubs and bars. When you’re not spending time in Élesztő and Hops Beer Bar, you may find yourself on a beer bus tour around the city. You might spot popular breweries such as Jónás Craft Beer House and Gravity Brewing, with the latter offering tours every Saturday.

Budapest is home to several craft breweries, popular on a night out in the city’s party district. The Hungarian capital is easily walkable, making it perfect for bar-hopping. Try Dreher, Soproni, and Borsodi for an authentic Hungarian experience. Most bars and restaurants in Budapest also offer non-alcoholic options, with Dreher 24 a firm favourite.

Thessaloniki Greece
Thessaloniki buildings

Thessaloniki, Greece

Scoring 91/100 for its bar and pub quality, Thessaloniki is considered Greece’s cultural capital. Located along the coast, it’s home to unique beer venues, serving craft beers and local brews like Vergina Beer and Pils Hellas. Some of the city’s most popular pubs include The Hoppy Pub, Bulldogs & the Beast, and Dentro Sto Bar, which stocks an impressive variety of local beers.

The city hosts the Thessaloniki Beer Festival from the end of August to the beginning of September. It features live music from famous Greek acts, over 30 beer kiosks, 150 distinct beers, and several street food stands. Tickets to the festival start at around €5, providing an affordable opportunity to celebrate Thessaloniki’s diverse beer scene.

Valencia architecture
Valencia fountain
Valencia - Jo Kassis
Valencia big city

Valencia, Spain

Valencia’s bars are stocked with the cheapest beers in Europe, with prices averaging £1.72 (€2) per half-litre of draught beer. There’s nothing budget about this beer, as Valencia scored 92/100 for quality. Brewed directly within the city, Turia Märzen is a traditional Valencian beer with citrus notes and aromatic foam. For those seeking non-alcoholic beer, Spanish favourites include Mahou Sin and San Miguel 0.0.

Like in most of Spain, you’ll typically enjoy beer alongside traditional tapas dishes such as calamari or patatas bravas in many of Valencia’s best pubs and bars. La Casa De La Mar is a popular venue, offering delicious beer, food, and live music throughout the week. Another favourite among locals is Ostrabar Valencia, a tapas bar where you can enjoy oysters and refreshing ale. Alternatively, Valencia’s roof terrace bars offer breath-taking views while you savour your drink of choice.

Porto - Mo Eid
Porto up the hill

Porto, Portugal

Porto‘s Super Bock Brewery produces one of the most popular Portuguese beers. Super Bock comes in various styles, such as lager, stout, and a non-alcoholic Pilsner, too. You’ll often find locals drinking this or Sagres, which is produced near Lisbon. Porto also has many lively craft bars serving a rich variety of locally produced beers.

If you are visiting Porto in June, you’ll have the chance to explore Porto Beer Fest, one of Europe’s best and most popular beer festivals. In 2023, the festival took place in the gardens of the National Museum Soares dos Reis. It was previously held in stunning locations like the Palácio de Cristal and Alfândega do Porto. This year, the festival will return to the National Museum Soares dos Reis from the 12th-16th June 2024.

Shaun says: “The best place for beer is Catraio Craft Beer in Porto’s art district. It’s small and compact but has the best selection of beers in the city. I’ve recommended it to others who loved it too.

Brussels Grand Place
Brussels, Belgium

Brussels, Belgium

Belgium’s beer culture is so integral to the country, and the world, that UNESCO added it to its 'Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity’ list. Naturally, Brussels made the list as one of the best European beer destinations, home to over 1,000 different beers. Delirium Café in Brussels has held the Guinness World Record for the most beer varieties commercially available since 2004.

Shaun says: “Brussels is a beer haven with so many outstanding choices, but no trip is worthwhile unless you’ve been to Delirium Café. Beers range from 6-40% ABV (alcohol content and strength), and there are over 2000 types on offer. Also, the Brussels Beer Project Brewery offers a great modern twist on Belgium beers.

Learn more about what Belgium has to offer in our Belgian beer travel guide. If wine is more your thing, check out our guide to wine in Belgium.

How to get there: Hop on a ferry to Brussels via Calais or Dunkirk. Then embark on a scenic three-hour drive through France and the Belgian countryside. You don’t need to worry about luggage restrictions, so you can bring a few of your favourite brews home. Or reserve some beers from our duty-free shopping at Calais or Dunkirk.

Berlin Cathedral

Berlin, Germany

Germany is renowned for its beers, so it’s no surprise that the capital makes the list. Although Munich is home to the country’s official Oktoberfest celebrations, Berlin Oktoberfest also deserves a mention. It runs for two weeks at Alexanderplatz and offers traditional Bavarian music, beer and food.

Matthew Keeley-Smith, buying manager at Beers of Europe, says: “With a history dating back to 1842, Schultheiss Pilsener is one of the most decorated beers in Berlin’s history. It’s brewed using only four ingredients: water, barley, hops, and yeast, and is readily available in most shops, bars and restaurants in Berlin.” As for non-alcoholic beers, Matthew recommends BRLO Naked, describing it as “a well-balanced, full-bodied pale ale, with notes of peach and honey. All without the hangover.

How to get there: Cross The English Channel to either our Calais or Dunkirk ports, and reach the German border in around four hours by car.

Vilnius, Lithuania
Vilnius, Lithuania

Vilnius, Lithuania

Vilnius boasts a rich brewing heritage dating back to the 11th century. It’s woven into old Pagan traditions featuring Ragutis, the god of beer. The altar of Ragutis, a religious site in the heart of Vilnius, serves as a testament to the deep connection between the city and the art of brewing.

Vilnius hosts the Vilnius Beer Festival (VAF), a large-scale beer festival where over 30 craft breweries gather for two days. You’ll find craft beers like Jovaru Alus, Varniuku, and Širvenos Ale. This festival normally takes place at the end of November, so be sure to plan your travel around these dates.

How to get there: Travel between Germany and Lithuania via our Kiel and Klaipeda ports and take a three-hour drive down the country to reach Vilnius

Krakow - Tomasz Tomal
Krakow - Tomasz Zielonka
Krakow - Caio

Krakow, Poland

Beer lovers can head to Krakow for its annual Beerweek Festival at the Cracovia Stadium. The three-day event typically runs in June, where guests can expect to sample only the finest Polish beers. These range from popular names, such as Tyskie and Okocim, to unique brews like Browar Lubicz. It’s common to find non-alcoholic craft beers in Poland, with the fruity Lech Free among the most popular.

Krakow offers a wealth of outstanding venues, such as Dobry Kumpel and Pub Polski, where you can relax with a beer.

Shaun recommends one venue in particular: “The best place to visit is House of Beer in the Old Town. There’s a huge selection of drinks and it serves up local beers and beers from close neighbouring countries, including Lithuania, Germany and Belgium. I’ve been on multiple occasions now, sometimes more than once on one trip because it’s that good!

How to get there: Take one of our Dover to Calais or Dover to Dunkirk crossings and road trip through France, Belgium and Germany to reach Poland.


All four metrics were given equal 25% weighting to produce a score out of 100.

The four metrics are as follows:

  • Bar and pub quality - This score is based on the Google rating/5 (60%) and the total number of reviews (40%) of 8000 bar and pub venues across 70 European cities.
  • Social media buzz - TikTok content about the beer scene in each city was judgement sampled to estimate an average total number of video views to calculate total engagement on TikTok for each city.
  • Beer quality - From the 8000 venues analysed, the most useful/relevant reviews for each venue (as determined by Google itself) were collected for text analysis - approx. 40,000 reviews in total, which were translated into English. A supercomputer was programmed to find reviews containing these keywords: beer, IPA, craft beer, pale ale, ale, stout, and lager (and relevant variations of those keywords, e.g. Indian Pale Ale). The sentiment of reviews containing these keywords was measured, and an average sentiment score for each city was calculated. The overall beer quality score is based on 60% sentiment of keywords and 40% the volume of keyword mentions.
  • Price rating - The average GBP cost of domestic beer (0.5 litre draught) was taken from Numbeo for each city. The cheaper the beer, the higher the price rating. Find out more here.

Note: The domestic price listed in the table is for informational purposes only. The price is a ranking factor within 'Price Rating'.

All data correct at time of collection: 08/01/24

Remember to drink responsibly.