Everyone has heard, seen or has traveled to amazing cities like Paris, Amsterdam or Barcelona. They have heart-stoppingly beautiful architecture, unparalleled history, amazing culture, mouth water delicious food and so much more.
But, Europe is filled with gorgeous (little) towns or cities that are just as amazing. Since I thought they deserved a spot in the spotlight, I have looked up 8 amazing cities that are often missed, skipped or not even considered when planning a city trip within Europe.
Sit back and enjoy some exciting travel destinations.
BUDAPEST | Hungary
Although Budapest is the largest city and capital of Hungary, it’s still often overlooked on the itineraries of many tourists. The neo-Gothic Parliament building is a must-see, as are Castle Hill and the Castle District. No trip to Budapest is complete without a stroll down the banks of the historic River Danube.
Popular Attractions: Buda Castle, Chain Bridge and Parliament Buildings and Crown Jewels
Tips: If you are going to visit the Szechenyi Baths. Go early, or go late to avoid the crowds.
PRAGUE | Czechia
Prague, the City of a Hundred Spires, is one of the most beautiful capitals in Europe. It offers a lovely mixture of modern and historic buildings throughout. The whole cities breaths romance. Whether you are walking along the Vltava or over the Old Town Square, it brings you back in time (in the good way, obviously) More than a thousand years of building has left the Golden City strewn with architectural gems, which millions of visitors come to admire every year.
Every guide to Prague says the Astronomical Clock is a must. Sure, the clock itself is a masterpiece. But are the fifteen seconds of the hourly “show” worth the wait in the midst of a huge crowd? Yes. If you are in the area. But rushing for it all over the city? Trust us, you will ask: “Is that it?!?” afterwards. Again, if you can’t leave Prague without seeing it, do it in the morning.
Popular Attractions: Prague Castle, Charles Bridge and The Old Town Square and the Astronomical Clock
Tips: Prague Castle is spectacular, but still a bit of a tourist trap. The most pleasant way to venture to the castle is to start to the far right, where you’ll ascend a long manageable wall with excellent city views back along the river. Almost everything a normal tourist would enjoy is free, so save your money by skipping the paid tours and access.
KRAKOW | Poland
Kraków, a city in the south of Poland, and is known for its well-preserved medieval core and Jewish quarter. This city is especially appealing to history buffs.
Popular Attractions: Wawel Castle, the main square of the UNESCO-listed Old Town and St Mary’s Church.
World War II sights: Oskar Schindler’s Factory Museum, Auschwitz-Birkenau and Plaszow Concentration Camp.
Tips: If you’re planning on using public transport, Jakdojade app is going to become your best friend. Practically everyone uses it in any big city in Poland, it’s an absolute must and a great time saver.
COPENHAGEN | Denmark
Copenhagen is a surprising city and I say that with love! It’s one of those cities that feels almost town-like in its appearance but with the buzz and vibrancy that matches any major capital city across Europe! It’s also a city where can you visit one of the oldest Luna parks in the world, ride the waves of its famous waterways and gorge on delicious street food – all within one day!
It has some amazing castles, the most stunning waterways or that little mermaid that everyone seemed to mention is apparently a thing… ;-).
Popular Attractions: Tivoli Gardens, Nyhavn, Torvehallerne … and the world famous little mermaid statue (although I found it not as grand as I imagined)
Tips: No first-time visit to Copenhagen is complete without a trip to Tivoli – the greatest and quaintest theme park in all of Europe! Said to be the inspiration behind Walt Disney World, Tivoli is a truly stunning inner-city park that’s filled with some impressive and historic rides.
DUBROVNIK | Croatia
The old city of Dubrovnik is a self-contained city surrounded by ancient stone walls. Dubrovnik was the focal point of the Republic of Ragusa, a maritime republic that existed from 1358 to 1808 when it was annexed by Italy. An earthquake in 1667 severely damaged the city, but many of the beautiful Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque churches, monasteries, palaces, and fountains are still preserved.
The city got damaged again in the 1991-1995 armed conflict when Croatia sought independence from the Serb dominated Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Through a major restoration program co-ordinated by UNESCO much of this was repaired again. In its heydays, about 5000 people lived inside the city walls. Nowadays this is about 1.500, a number that is steadily dropping.
The city is one of the locations they shoot the immense popular tv show Game Of Thrones. For fans of the show, in Dubrovnik, they have shot many scenes when they are in Kings Landing, the capital of the Seven Kingdoms in the show.
Popular Attractions: Lovrijenac Fort and the City Walls.
Popular tours: The Game of Thrones Tours, a MUST if you are a fan of the show.
Tips: Dubrovnik’s City Walls are a must-see and it’s best to walk them early in the morning, both to escape the blazing sun – there’s almost no shade – and to avoid the tourist hordes. Early in the morning is also best for photography
STOCKHOLM | Sweden
In a city surrounded by 14 islands and more than 50 bridges, and enriched with history and culture, you’ll find plenty of amazing things to do in Sweden’s capital.
Gorgeous cobblestone streets in old town, beautiful palaces and a 17-century old chip. The city has so many interesting attractions. The city is also completely different during summer and winter. So you get to go twice and see a completely different side of this cool place.
Popular Attractions: Gamla Stan (Old Town) Vasa Museum, Djurgården, Skansen Open-Air Museum and The Royal Palace (Sveriges Kungahus) …. And the ABBA museum, yep.
Tips: Have time to spare and want to save some money? Then use public transport to the to the city. The cheapest way of getting from Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport to town is to take an airport transfer bus like Swebus which gets you downtown in 45-50 minutes. But the faster way to get to town is to take the 20-minute Arlanda Express train from the airport directly to their Central Station.
BRUGES | Belgium
If you wish to visit a fairy-tale medieval town, then Bruges in northwest Belgium is probably one of your best destinations to travel to. Bruges is seen as one of Europe’s best-preserved cities.
This gorgeous town is has been given so much character by its canals, cobbled streets and medieval buildings. It has amazingly photogenic market squares lined with soaring towers and historical churches.
Popular Attractions: Belfry & Halle, Basilica of the Holy Blood, Memling Museum and Béguinage
Popular Tours: Choco-Story: The Chocolate Museum in Bruges (YUM)
Tips: Avoid the naff carriage rides and canal tours and lose yourself in the warren of medieval streets.
CAPPADOCIA | Turkey
This is probably the number one travel destinations I would like to go to as a travel blogger. Although technically this is a not a metropolis, it is one of those destinations that I had to add to this list.
When you arrive in Cappadocia you will feel like you have landed in a fairytale. You are surrounded by distinctive “fairy chimneys,” tall, cone-shaped rock formations everywhere you look. People have long utilized the region’s soft stone, seeking shelter underground and leaving the countryside scattered with fascinating cavern architecture.
If you are on Instagram or YouTube then you must have seen amazing photos and videos of hundreds of hot air balloons floating through stunning backdrops. Most of those photos and videos, if not all, are taken here. Every morning, 150 air balloons are flying over Cappadocia for the sunrise.
Popular Attractions: Kaymakli Underground Cities, Goreme Open Air Museum, Pasabag (Monks Valley), and Devrent Valley….. ow yeah and something about a balloon flight, I don’t know, hard to find any information on that.
Tips: If weather conditions do not permit, the balloon flight may get canceled and delayed to the next morning. However, if you do not have another day to fly, your money will be refunded.
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