10 Amazing little known European cities that are worth visiting
For most people, a European adventure means visiting the well-known cities, like Rome, Barcelona and London. It’s true that cities like that are packed full of history and culture and they are amazing places to visit, but there is a lot more to Europe than just the bustling metropolises that are so famous. If you do take a trip to Europe, we highly recommend that you add a few of the lesser known European towns and cities to your itinerary to get a quieter taste of life in the country you are visiting. Here are just ten of the wonderful hidden gems of Europe that are well worth a visit.
1. Heidelberg, Germany
Heidelberg is a beautiful, picturesque city that is located on the banks of the River Neckar in a valley in the Odenwald Mountains. Possibly one of the most enchanting cities in Germany, Heidelberg has an historic old town to wander around and the half ruined Heidelberg Castle is well worth a visit too.
2. Ferrara, Italy
Surrounded by 9km of medieval walls, Ferrara is a frozen in time gem that will take your breath away. It’s a perfect city visit of you want to get away from the crowds that you find in other cities, like Venice, and you can stroll around its bicycle friendly broad streets and admire the huge palaces, some of which date back to the 14th and 15th centuries. There is also a massive castle right in the middle of the city, complete with a moat.
3. Cork, Ireland
When most people visit Ireland, they head straight for Dublin, but some people call Cork, the “Real capital city of Ireland. Cork is a vibrant city that has a good mixture of traditional Irish pubs and restaurants along with more modern shopping and coffee shops. It’s also known as one if the best places in Ireland for food and it’s become a bit of a Mecca for foodies.
4. Maastricht, the Netherlands
Maastricht is an unbelievably pretty city that defiantly deserves a visit if you are ever in the Netherlands. It’s a city that is steeped in history, with its Spanish and Roman ruins, cathedral, and fortified walls. Maastricht is also well-known for its bars and sophisticated dining. It’s a youthful and vibrant city that still retains its sophistication.
5. Valencia, Spain
A city of amazing architecture, beautiful winding streets, and stunning cathedrals, Valencia is the third largest city in Spain and is located on the Gulf of Valencia, fairly close to Ibiza and Palma de Mallorca. It’s also a thriving cosmopolitan city with great restaurants, nightlife and some amazing modern architecture too.
6. Biarritz, France
Biarritz is known as the surf capital of Europe and is a very popular tourist destination. Close to the border with Spain, it used to be the favourite resort for Napoleon and his Spanish wife Eugenie Today it’s a busy coastal resort that has its fair share of glitz and glamour, and prices to match! If you want to catch a few waves on your European adventure; make sure that Biarritz is on your list of cities to visit.
7. Gothenburg, Sweden
Gothenburg, or Göteborg, is what many people would call a “cool” city. Trams rattle their way down streets lined with Neoclassical architecture, while street artists perform on the sidewalks. There’s always something going on in Gothenburg, the city just buzzes with creativity. There’s also a wonderful seafront area with loads of shops, and some fantastic restaurants serving fresh, locally caught, seafood.
8. Ghent, Belgium
Ghent was once Europe’s second largest medieval city and is a jewel of a town that the Belgians seem to have kept a secret from the rest of the world. It’s arguably one of the best cities in Europe for culture. It has amazing museums and galleries, medieval cathedrals, and more listed buildings than any other city in Belgium. There are also plenty of lovely bars and cafes asset alongside the beautiful canal.
9. Genoa, Italy
Italy has so many incredible cities that Genoa often gets overlooked by visitors to the country, which is a shame, because this ancient maritime city has a lot to offer. Colourful buildings and winding streets are just a few of the attractions in Genoa, and the old port of Porto Antico is a beautiful spot to sit a rest for a while if cafe. Don’t miss the wonderful old town of Genoa too, with its cobbled streets and the San Lorenzo Cathedral.
10. Porto, Portugal
Porto, in Portugal, is the home of port wine. A colourful and romantic city that dates back to Roman times, Porto is a city that is rich in history and culture and the historic centre of the city, the Ribeira district, is a world heritage site. Porto is a vibrant city too, with many open air concerts and plenty of places to eat and drink.