Prague, Czech Republic – The U.S. travel platform Wanderu has ranked Prague as the third most cultured city in Europe using a specific methodology calculating the density of culturally important sites to determine which places pack the most cultural punch. With 31 universities, 350 museums, 95 churches and cathedrals, 62 historical sites and 101 theatres listed, the Czech capital ranks behind Florence and Lisbon and above Naples and Amsterdam.
Respectively 24th and 28th in Europe, Bratislava and Kraków complete the podium of the most cultured cities in Central Europe.
Prague, Bratislava and Kraków
According to the study, Prague’s ranking is justified by the fact that it has the highest ratio of theatres per capita, with 1 for every 12,957 people – that’s more than in Paris! Among others, the study mentions the National Theatre, which has been “the city’s mainstage for more than 130 years”, the Estates Theatre, “where Mozart conducted his first opera”, and Kino Lucerna, “a movie theatre housed in a spectacular, historic theatre-theatre”. Prague also has the second highest number of museums per capita, behind Florence, with 1 for every 3,739 people.
With 50 museums, including the Nedbalka Gallery, “the interior of which resembles the Guggenheim in New York”, Bratislava rank as the second most cultured city in Central Europe. The website mentions its “charming” Old Town, “lined with cobblestone streets, along with cafés and restaurants” as well as “the pretty spectacular and under-visited castle”.
With Kraków and Poznań respectively ranking 3rd and 4th most cultured city in Central Europe, Wanderu also mentions that “the many German and Polish cities listed have ready associations with World War II and the Holocaust” and that “a good number of the historic sites and museums are memorials to tragedies that took place within their borders”.
Italian cities dominate the rankings, Hungary absent
Unsurprisingly, Italian cities dominate the rankings when it comes to historical sites, with Florence, Naples, Bologna, Rome and Palermo having the most per capital, according to Wanderu. Genoa and Milan complete the Top 10 in this category along with Edinburgh, Amsterdam and Nuremberg. Florence, Palermo and Naples also rank as having the most churches and cathedrals per capita.
Behind Florence, Lisbon earns runner-up status with 29 universities, the most per capita of any city considered and a wealth of cultural riches, including 128 museums and 65 churches and cathedrals.
To conduct its study, Wanderu pulled all the cities in Europe with a population of more than 300,000 from the World Population Review, and other recent census resources, and used data from uniRank and Tripadvisor. The final ranking consists of 167 cities with complete data for every category.
Absent from the ranking, Budapest and Hungary may be a sleeper traveller destination in Europe, but undoubtedly have a large number of mesmerising cultural sites to satisfy the savviest of travellers.