Who hasn’t heard about the iconic cities in Europe? From the romantic Paris, to the hip Berlin to the open-minded Amsterdam, all of these cities are usually a top priority when planning an Eurotrip.
The old continent is an endless source of culture, art, food and landmarks which are not necessarily restricted to big cities. Furthermore, their outstanding attractions have been incessantly milked to the bone for the sake of tourism, causing them to lose a bit of the flair that made them so iconic to begin with.
We have selected some of our favorite tourist dodging alternatives, which will certainly provide you with a genuine insight on the people and culture of these particular countries.
The city house of the European Parliament and the Council of Europe, Strasbourg is a city famed by their traditional Christmas markets, the Cathédral de Nôtre Dame, which is the tallest medieval building in Europe, and their astrological clock.
Petite France with its scenic views and photogenic atmosphere is a great option for an inspiring afternoon. Do not forget to eat their tarte à l’oignon or the world famous quiche Lorraine.
The historic yet modern city is a great destination for those who want to experience the real German lifestyle yet enjoy what a big city has to offer. Cologne is sprawled across the river Rhine, and offers over 2,000 years of history, for a cultural and exciting getaway.
You can start your expedition at the Cologne cathedral, one of the most visited landmarks in Germany, as it is the biggest in the world. Walk around the Padlock Bridge, where lovers lock their love with padlocks in every shape and size, festooned with ribbons and gems stretching from one side of the bridge to the other. Spend your afternoon immersing yourself in the arts of the many museums, and cease the day sipping the deliciously local Kölsh.
The stunning fishing villages are a great location, if eating locally grown wine, cheese, pasta, seafood and homemade bread sounds like a plan.
Among its hidden gems you can find a century-old complex of hiking paths which offer some of Italy’s beautiful coastal views. The Blue Trail connects all five villages and is a great attraction for the whole family. Enjoy the view of green hills that make up the Terre National Park while sipping on delicious wine in the terraces dating back to hundreds of years.
It is a great option for a tourist dodging day, the city has a lot to offer from beautiful canals to the relaxing parks. Visit the Dom Tower to experience a panoramic view of the city as well as learning about the origin of the square with the same name. Enjoy a night out in the many brown bars or visit some of the many museums the city has to offer.
3. Bristol, UK
Bristol is a city that has been getting a lot of attention lately, from its environmental friendly fame to the many museums available in the city, the place has a large variety of options for a pleasant weekend.
You can visit the flagship museum to get some insight on the roots of the city. Visit the Bristol cathedral for a taste of medieval architecture and after climb up the Brandon Hill on a clear day for a spectacular view of the city, as well a small nature reserve,ponds and informal gardens. Do not forget to shop at St Nicholas Market on Corn Street for clothes, candles or books.
Visit the picture perfect Bruges for a very romantic weekend. Enjoy the scenery of a city which could possibly be the background of a fairy tale. Walk around the historic center for the beautiful architecture or the Markt if you’ve had enough of the peace and quiet.
If you prefer some shopping you should flock to Belfry and Market Halls, which was a bustling marketplace presided over by a gothic bell tower. Today you can hear the echoing chimes of the carillon bells or check the view on the tower’s top. Don’t forget to taste one of the best beer, fries and chocolate in the world.
The city, which is the third largest in Spain, is located in the Gulf of Valencia and close to Palma de Mallorca and Ibiza. With breathtaking architecture, blue skies and amazing cathedrals, it make a perfect destination for those who crave for culture. The city sports many museums and galleries and very lively plazas. Drink some sangria and eat your way through the city.