Health and Travel Alerts Learn More Left arrow

If you’re a lover of cities in the mountains, there’s no shortage of spectacular places to visit around the globe.

You could visit Vancouver, where the craggy North Shore Mountains have views toward the island-specked Strait of Juan de Fuca. Or take in Barcelona’s Mediterranean charm at the same time as exploring the Serra de Collserola coastal range.

Amazing cities from Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the Canary Islands to Hobart in Tasmania and Granada, Spain all come with a mountainous backdrop and will captivate you with their diverse cultures, rugged terrain, and magnificent views.

Ushuaia, Argentina

Beautiful waterfront of Ushuaia, Argentina

Ushuaia, Argentina

If you like the idea of a backdrop of massive, snow-tipped peaks for your adventures, head to the southern reaches of the planet and visit Ushuaia.

Argentina’s southernmost city makes a great starting point for exploring the Tierra del Fuego National Park, known for its spectacular trekking through dramatic sub-Antarctic landscapes, with great opportunities for wildlife spotting. You could see condors and foxes, and from the shore, dolphins and whales.

View of the End of the World Train in Ushuaia, Argentina

End of the World Train in Ushuaia, Argentina

One of the best things to do in Ushuaia is to ride the End of the World Train, or the Southern Fuegian Railway, a former convict and timber train. This historic railway winds through green forests and past tumbling waterfalls, offering you incredible views of the mountains.

Ushuaia, a jumping-off point for expeditions to Antarctica, offers plenty to see and do as well. In town, you can visit the Maritime Museum, a former prison, seafood restaurants, and some quirky shops.

The city is set on the edge of Beagle Channel, a breathtaking, fjord-like stretch of water with a rich marine ecology and a dramatic history of human endeavor and exploration that’s worth exploring.

Banff, Canada

Banff, one of the best cities in the mountains

Banff, Canada

Head to Banff, located in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, and you might be surprised to find a Canadian mountain town that looks like it was plucked out of the British Isles due to its 19th-century Scottish baronial architectural influences.

In Banff, you’ll be treated to spectacular vistas, chock-full of snow-capped peaks, many of which create lovely reflections in the jewel-like lakes of the region, which also happen to be surrounded by beautiful forests.

Banff, one of the best cities in the mountains

Banff, Canada

Banff National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, will offer you wonderland-like landscapes that Canada is known for, such as Lake Louise and Moraine Lake, plus activities like hiking, mountain biking, and wildlife viewing.

You can also enjoy cultural life at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, hosting an array of performance events, or else head up to Banff Upper Hot Springs, where you can soak in naturally heated water while surrounded by wilderness and the Rundle Mountain Range.

Take the gondola to the top of Sulphur Mountain for views from even higher ground, then survey the woodland valleys below. Later, check out Johnston Canyon, with forests, waterfalls, and an elevated walkway above the rushing river.

Hobart, Tasmania

Aerial view of Hobart, Tasmania

Hobart, Tasmania

If you’re searching for a city surrounded by mountains, Hobart will offer you a slice of metropolitan life mixed in with the power of the wild.

Located on the water’s edge, along the southeastern coast of Tasmania, Hobart is overlooked by Mount Wellington in the near distance. You can drive, cycle or walk up to the peak where you’ll get to see the town, plus the Tasman Sea, in the distance.

Lush waterfalls in Mount Field National Park, Tasmania

Mount Field National Park, Tasmania

To the northwest, you’ll find Mount Field National Park, one of the most beautiful places in Australia. It features a beautiful mossy rainforest and several lovely waterfalls well worth exploring.

Try to set time aside to get to know the town as well, which offers dining and cultural attractions like the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens. The Salamanca Market is packed with arts, crafts, gourmet food, and a lively atmosphere, while the docks along the waterfront are lined with restaurants, bars, and galleries, like the Pier Gallery.

Whether you’re exploring town, trekking in the wilderness, heading off on a bird-watching expedition, or exploring the Wellington Range or Mount Faulkner, Hobart will enchant you.

Bergen, Norway

Bergen, one of the best cities in the mountains

Bergen, Norway

Bergen is the quintessential coastal mountain city, squeezed between massive granite peaks and the North Sea, and, just to the west, picturesque fjords. You could easily spend several days experiencing all this city has to offer.

The first mountain stop here has got to be a hike or ride to the top of Mount Fløyen, where you can see Bergen’s expansive cityscape stretching out before you, boats buzzing back and forth on the water.

Couple hiking in Mount Fløyen in Bergen, Norway

Mount Fløyen in Bergen, Norway

If you don’t want to trek up the mountainside, taking the funicular is one of the best things to do in Bergen as well. It’s a simple six to eight-minute trip to the top. After disembarking, you’ll find more walks and wide hiking trails through the woods as you tour around the summit.

Back in town, at sea level, you can call upon Bergenhus Fortress, which is just across the street from Bryggen, the medieval town center and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The fortress, which is still a working stronghold today, once guarded Bergen with its stone ramparts from the English and other would-be attackers. These days, Bergenhus is better known for hosting musical and cultural events.

Street view of Bryggen in Bergen, Norway

Bryggen in Bergen, Norway

Bryggen, on the other hand, is a harbor area that was thriving during the days of the Hanseatic League in the mid-1300s, the waterfront lined with colorful wooden buildings and a lively fish market. The dockside locale has been rebuilt many times over the centuries due to fires and the wooden warehouses today accommodate local artisans and independent shops.

Vancouver, Canada

Vancouver, one of the best cities in the mountains

Vancouver, Canada

Vancouver does urban sophistication the right way, offering travelers the majesty of the mountains and wilderness coupled with the sublime beauty of the sea, with all the comforts of a vibrant city.

Situated between the Pacific Ocean and the Coastal Mountains, Vancouver serves up endless opportunities for outdoor adventure. Grouse Mountain is a noteworthy playground for hikers and skiers. You can hop on the gondola if you don’t want to hike to the summit, where you can see bears at play at the mountain’s grizzly bear refuge.

Burnaby Mountain Park, in the city proper, will also offer you glorious views and forested hiking trails. And of course, don’t miss out on experiencing Vancouver’s nature at Stanley Park, an urban park where you can take in the seawall, meander along pathways, relax on the pebbly shores, and visit the Vancouver Aquarium.

Barcelona, Spain

Family sightseeing from Montserrat, Spain

Montserrat, Spain

Barcelona, in addition to its mind-blowing architecture from Gaudi and other modernista geniuses, serves up a unique confluence of Catalan culture and easy-to-access nature.

Venture just outside of the city to the Serra de Collserola mountain range, which pushes up against the city, for some great rambling trails, letting you stroll along shrubby and forested paths that offer panoramic views of Barcelona.

Another elevated point you ought to visit is Parc Tibidabo, a vintage amusement park, located on Mount Tibidabo. In some ways, the park is something of a historical relic, as it first opened its doors to the public in 1901.

Majestic exterior of Sagrada Família in Barcelona, Spain

Sagrada Família in Barcelona, Spain

Inside the city, you’ll be awe-struck by the strangely beautiful architecture of Antoni Gaudí’s Sagrada Família, as well as Park Güell, spilling over a hill within the urban area.

As you wander down Las Ramblas, a pedestrian boulevard lined with markets and street artists, or the historic Gothic Quarter, or some of the city’s long, sandy beaches, you can take heart in the fact that the mountains are never far away.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro, one of the best cities in the mountains

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro is a study of contrasting topography, where rocky landscapes bring the jagged mountains almost down to the city’s golden sands.

This has to be one of the most beautiful mountain cities in the world. The ridges that lead to Sugar Loaf Mountain, jutting into the sky like a giant missile, along with Corcovado Mountain, where the iconic Brazilian landmark Christ the Redeemer statue is enthroned, are two vertiginous sites that shouldn’t be missed.

Couple sightseeing from Sugar Loaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Sugar Loaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

The mountains sprawling along Rio’s coastline are thick with vegetation. For even more greenery, visit the precipitous Tijuca National Forest, the world’s largest urban forest, which circumnavigates the slopes around these peaks, full of hiking trails and waterfalls.

For some urban fun, head to Copacabana, one of the most celebrated beaches in Brazil, as well as Ipanema, for people-watching, cool eateries, chic art galleries, and shopping.

Regardless of whether you’re relaxing along the sandy shores, climbing through forests, or riding a cable car up to Sugar Loaf Mountain, Rio de Janeiro and its mountainous scenery will impress.

Juneau, Alaska

Juneau, one of the best cities in the mountains

Juneau, Alaska

Juneau, the Alaskan capital, is a must-visit for anyone who loves the idea of cities in the mountains.

The city is bounded by mountains, which dominate the scenery. Mount Juneau will provide you with strenuous hikes, with fabulous views of the town below and the Gastineau Channel.

Aerial view of Juneau, Alaska

Juneau, Alaska

Not far from the town center, you’ll find the splendid Mendenhall Glacier and Mendenhall Lake, with kayaking, hiking, and the opportunities to spot wildlife, including bears and bald eagles.

Two more peaks in the region worth checking out are Mount Jumbo, a conical mountain, popular with hikers and climbers, and Mount Roberts, rising abruptly behind downtown Juneau, which can either be reached by the tramway or via a forested trail.

Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik, one of the best cities in the mountains

View from Reykjavik, Iceland

Surrounded by volcanoes and glaciers, along with the impressive Mount Esja, which fills the skyline to the west, Reykjavík, the capital of Iceland, is a city defined by the forces of nature.

For a slice of raw and pure nature, the Bláfjöll, or Blue Mountains, east of Reykjavík, offer you some hauntingly beautiful trekking opportunities through stark-looking volcanic geography, which is great for seasoned and novice hikers alike.

To gain a bit of urban height, climbing to the top of the distinctively shaped tower of the Hallgrimskirkja church, designed by Guðjón Samúelsson, is one of the best things to do in Reykjavík for panoramic views across the city.

Couple relaxing in Blue Lagoon, Iceland

Blue Lagoon, Iceland

Reykjavik also has a playful arty scene, a fun rainbow-colored shopping street, and several geothermal spas nearby, including the Sky Lagoon and the Blue Lagoon, where you can soak in the steamy, mineral-rich water.

For snowy peaks and roaring waterfalls, head out to Thingvellir National Park, where you can walk between the two tectonic plates pulling Iceland apart, while being surrounded by mountains and mighty glaciers at the same time.

Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain

Beautiful waterfront of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain

Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain

Tenerife, in the Canary Islands, is dominated by Mount Teide, Spain’s highest peak and one of the tallest volcanoes in the world. If you visit the island’s elegant capital, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, a day trip to Teide is worth it for the far-reaching views.

The city itself is also overlooked from the north by the rugged peaks of the Anaga Mountains, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, covered in leafy subtropical laurel forests and in places, plunging straight into the Atlantic.

Beautiful landscape of Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Auditorio de Tenerife in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain

After exploring the mountains of Tenerife, take in some of the sights in town, including the striking Auditorio de Tenerife, somewhat reminiscent of the Sydney Opera House, plus the Mercado de Nuestra Señora de África, full of fresh produce and seafood. This is a great spot for grazing at lunchtime.

If you want beaches next to the mountains, Tenerife won’t disappoint either. Some of Tenerife’s best beaches include Playa de las Teresitas and Playa de Benijo, each coming with their own particular vibe.

Tromsø, Norway

Aerial view of Tromsø, Norway

Tromsø, Norway

Tromsø, which is nicknamed the “Arctic capital,” is overlooked by a range of mountain peaks, like Mount Storsteinen, which can be accessed via the Fjellheisen cable car, offering an exceptional vantage point over the city, mountains, and fjords.

This Arctic city, partly located on an island wedged inside the middle of the Tromsøysundet fjord, is in Norway’s far north.

Unique architecture of the Arctic Cathedral

Arctic Cathedral

Venture here to check out the white, triangular-shaped Arctic Cathedral and if you’re traveling outside the peak summer months, possible sightings of the northern lights that Norway is known for.

Another Tromsø highlight is the Polar Museum, which documents the history and exploration of this extreme-weather destination over the centuries, along with some of the brave souls who first ventured here.

In summer, head out of town to admire the mountain scenery and perhaps try your hand at dog sledding, possible at any time of year.

Granada, Spain

Granada, one of the best cities in the mountains

Granada, Spain

The city of Granada, situated at the foot of the Sierra Nevada or “snowy mountains” in Southern Spain, is an exceptionally attractive mountain city worth visiting.

Granada’s magnificent Alhambra Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is an Iberian Nasrid Dynasty palace complex and stronghold that will offer you a sublime view of this beautiful Spanish city and the surrounding Sierra Nevada mountains.

Moorish architecture of Alhambra Palace

Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain

Granada’s Moorish past can be felt everywhere you go, especially in its old Albaicín district with its steep streets and whitewashed houses, and the Sacromonte neighborhood, known for its cave dwellings and colorful flamenco shows.

Meanwhile, the Sierra Nevada, the highest mountain range in Spain, is a playground for hikers and cyclists in the summer months. From the very highest peak, you can see all the way to Morocco on a clear day.

Banff, one of the best cities in the mountains

Banff, Canada

If you’re captivated by cities in the mountains, there are plenty of opportunities to explore some of the world’s finest with Celebrity Cruises. Browse itineraries now and plan your dream voyage.

Free Vacation Planning Services

Free Vacation Planning Services