Paris, Rome, London and Barcelona: yawn! Okay, we overreacted, but the fact is there are less-known, cheaper cities in Europe which are worth a trip. Unknown makes unloved? Doesn’t have to be! These five cities deserve a spot on your bucket list!
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1. Dubrovnik, Croatia
Dubrovnik is nicknamed the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’ and it’s a real gem. At least, if you like medieval treasures. Culture and history go hand-in-hand in Dubrovnik. The fortified town is overlooking the Adriatic Sea and completely surrounded by old city walls. This is why the city is a World Heritage Site. As soon as you enter the old city gates, all you see is history. In Dubrovnik you will find traditional Mediterranean houses, monasteries, cathedrals, towers and marble roads.
2. Florence, Italy
Art and culture lovers will enjoy a trip to Florence. Great artists like Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli and Dante lived in the city. It can’t be a surprise that Italy’s biggest art collection is to be found in Florence. Visit Uffizi Gallery for a great day filled with culture. Stroll the medieval piazza and enjoy the Italian atmosphere. During your breaks you can taste a real Italian espresso or gelato.
3. Porto, Portugal
Porto is a city in Portugal that really knows how to surprise it’s visitors. Pastel-colored facades, authentic port wine boats, cozy town squares and delicious Portuguese food is all to enjoy in this lovely city. Porto has several old neighborhoods where you can enjoy the genuine authentic atmosphere, with narrow streets filled with fluttering laundry. The city of Porto holds one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world: Livraria Lello & Irmão. A must-visit when you are in the area. Of course you must drink a good glass of port wine, which you will find on every street corner. Porto will conquer your heart in no time.
4. Tallinn, Estonia
Another great medieval town is Tallinn in Estonia. You will get enchanted by the fortifications, the narrow cobble streets, the towers and the wonderful medieval atmosphere in general. When you are wandering the old streets in the city, the mansions with their flaking paint, the imposing cathedrals and the city walls with the authentic towers will gradually earn a place in your heart. Tallinn is more than just history by the way: it also has a very fashionable side with trendy shops, restaurants and bars.