And England's prettiest city is...

Chester city centre

If you are planning on jetting away for a weekend break, forget Venice and Paris and head instead for Chester. Because the city has been voted one of Europe's most beautiful cities in an online poll .

Chester has beaten iconic cities including Prague, Rome and Venice to gain the title of fifth prettiest European city.

American newspaper USA Today says of Chester: "Roman walls surround a charming collection of Tudor and Victorian buildings, and a delightful shopping district filled with half-timbered shops. It's reminiscent of a Grimm tale. There's not a modern structure in sight, making Chester one of the most popular destinations for visitors to Cheshire."

Despite being one of the smaller cities on the list, the charming north-west "fairytale-like" city won over the American readers with its intimate charms.

Chester MP Stephen Mosley said: "I am staggered that there are four European cities deemed prettier than Chester. But not surprised that our city was rated so highly."

"Whether it's the landmark Eastgate clock, our world famous city walls or our beautiful Cathedral – you can see it in Chester."

Chief executive of Marketing Cheshire Katrina Michel said: "We offer the wonderful combination of natural beauty with the River Dee and the Meadows and a lively historic centre with our unique shopping Rows and Roman walls. There is literally nowhere quite like it."

See the full list of the prettiest cities in Europe below.

Europe's prettiest cities
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And England's prettiest city is...
Riga, the capital of Latvia is the 2014 European Capital of Culture. The pulsating city is home to Europe's largest collection of Art Nouveau buildings.
Surrounded by the breathtaking hills and fjords of Norway, the brightly colored timber houses of Bergen surround the boat-filled Vågen Harbour at its center.
After hosting two Winter Olympics, Innsbruck has become one of the largest ski resorts in the Alps. Summer or winter, the city enjoys the natural backdrop of the snow-capped Nordkette Alps, made especially beautiful with the medievalAltstadt, or Old Town, in the foreground.
Dubrovnik is one of Europe's most beautiful and majestic walled cities. The city's 14th century ramparts hug the Mediterranean coast, and within the walls is a sea of reddish orange-tiled roofs, bleached by more than 250 days of sunshine annually.
In Chester, Roman walls surround a charming collection of Tudor and Victorian buildings and a delightful shopping district filled with half-timbered shops reminiscent of a Grimm tale.
Prague, gives Paris a run for its money when it comes to beauty and romance. Centuries-old stone bridges spanning the slow Vltava River, cobbled lanes and busy public squares, all in the shadows of Romanesque, Gothic and Art Nouveau spires make Prague one of Europe's most popular capitals.
Straddling the Danube River in Hungary, Budapest is dotted with grand palaces, baroque monuments and Gothic cathedrals, a few Art Nouveau and neoclassical structures thrown in for good measure. Visitors come from all over Europe and the world to soak in the city's 123 thermal springs, many housed within exquisite works of architectural art.
The natural beauty of the Greek Islands reaches its crescendo on the island of Santorini, thanks in part to the quintessentially Greek blue and white color palate of the buildings and churches that cascade down the outside of a volcanic caldera toward the azure waters of the Aegean Sea. If the beauty of the city itself weren't enough, the beaches here are postcard-perfect. The village of Oia, Santorini is famous for its sunsets.
The beauty of Venice is both timeless and world renowned. This former European trade port -- built entirely on the water -- appears almost dreamlike with its pastel buildings, stone palaces and gondola-filled canals. 
As one of the world's best preserved medieval cities, Bruges is brimming with cobbled lanes, ancient canals, baroque and Gothic buildings and monuments.

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