Eupedia strives to provide a fair and objective rating for all destinations and attractions in its travel guides using well-defined criteria. The criteria include:
- The historical significance of a place: History is indissociable from sightseeing in Europe. Dubbed the Old Continent, Europe has more historical buildings than any other part of the world (in part because bricks and stone were used early on even for ordinary houses). Eupedia also focuses more on local history than "traditional" travel guides.
- The artistic value and aesthetics of a place: Whether it is a whole city or just an isolated castle, beauty is obviously an important factor in wanting to visit a place. Although it may sound like a subjective criterium, the popularity of destinations like Venice or Versailles testify of a certain sense of quasi-universal beauty.
- How much to see: a small mountain village might be very pretty, but if you can see it all in half an hour then wonder what to do, it probably doesn't deserve to be ranked as a must-see attraction. Conversely, some cities are pretty ugly at first sight, but have plenty of good museums and interesting activities that will increase their overall rating.
- The setting: Some castles just wouldn't be so impressive or attractive were they not perched on top of a rock overlooking an alluring valley. The backdrop is of course as much part of the sight as the building itself.
- The atmosphere: This criterium is mostly a negative mark for cities that are unsafe, dirty or unpleasant to visit, regardless of the quality of their attractions. Occasionally some cities or towns get extra points for being unusually pleasant, charming and tourist friendly.
- Local food: Eating is an important and pleasurable part of travelling. An increasing number of people choose their holiday destinations according to the reputation of the local cuisine (which may have something to do with the fact that France is the most visited country in the world). But not all cities in a same country are equal when it comes to dining out. There are culinary hotspots and these count. You can get a basic idea of regional differences by checking the ranking of European cities by Michelin stars and Gault-Millau toques. Of course that is not all that matters. Some regions like Gascony or the Po Valley have exceptional local produces that generally enlivens the cuisine almost anywhere you eat.
Cities, towns, villages & historic buildings
- : moderately interesting - nice for a quick stop. This category includes most ruins (of castles or abbeys) bar a few exceptional ones. Cities and towns that are not really tourist destinations but are mentioned for their history or because they are convenient to explore the region also get this rating.
- : recommended - to visit if you have time. This category fits most of the towns and smaller cities with some tourist interest, and castles or abbeys that are nice enough but not exceptional.
- : outstanding place - really deserves to be seen. These are generally the top attractions a region has to offer. Cities with lots of museums, charmning old towns, remarkable castles, and so on.
- : best of the country - shouldn't be missed. These are the must-see destinations and attractions at the national and European level. Those are destinations that are usually worth the trip in themselves.
- : one of the world's great cities. In Europe the list includes London, Paris, Venice, Florence and Rome only. These are cities that never leave visitors indifferent and take weeks or months to explore.
- : interesting
- : recommended
- : highly recommended
- : world-class
- ※ : UNESCO World Heritage site