7 Lesser-Known European Cities We're Excited To Visit
Travelling to Europe is a dream vacation for many, and it's obvious as to why. These days we've been nostalgic for the cobblestone streets and romantic city lights that only European locales can offer. For those of you seeking inspiration for the next travel adventure, here are some of the cities on our bucket list that you should definitely add to yours as well.
1/7 Strasbourg, France
This beautiful Christmas city, located north of France, is an exciting tourist destination all year round. It's much less overwhelming than Paris but has all the unique French charm you're likely craving for. It's also a wonderful melting pot of both French and German tradition, giving birth to some unique gastronomy such as tarte flambée and choucroute. Enjoy the vast idylls of this UNESCO World Heritage Site as you explore the charming city centre at Homme de Fer, the historic La Petite France quarter, or the majestic Gothic masterpiece that is the Strasbourg Cathedral.
2/7 Heidelberg, Germany
Once home to Dr Jose Rizal himself, Heidelberg is a magical town located by the banks of the Neckar River. Everywhere are amber-coloured rooftops, all of which dot the mountainous panorama of one of Germany's most romantic vistas. Perhaps the main attraction here is the Heidelberg Palace, a 15th-century castle that was destroyed in a war against the French four centuries later. The Karl Theodor Bridge is another must-see stop, where street musicians can usually be found performing a charming allegro on violins or cellos. Enjoy a picnic with food and dessert bought from local cafes to truly cap off a perfect day here.
3/7 Metsovo, Greece
To those looking to explore a more traditional side to Greece, consider Metsovo. Part of its charm comes from the fact that it's less renowned than the other parts of this historic country. Located in Epirus, Metsovo is also home to some of the most skilled stonemasons in the country—this means there's plenty of rich architecture to enjoy from mansions to monasteries and even town squares. There's also much nature to be seen nearby, including awe-inspiring mountain peaks and pristine forests where tourists can enjoy scenic sites of the surrounding areas.
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4/7 Bari, Italy
Sitting just by the shores of the Adriatic Sea, Bari is a magical coastal town that also serves as the capital of Puglia. Due to its strategic geography, it's a convenient connecting point for people coming from or heading out to Croatia, Greece, and Albania. The best thing to do in Bari is to soak in some culture at Bari Vecchia (or Old Bari), where winding streets and alleyways will have you enchanted at every turn. If you're feeling hungry, Bari is also known for its fresh seafood, most of which come straight from the city's fishermen who can be seen selling fresh fare at the Porto Vecchia—oysters, sea urchins, and octopi at the ready!
5/7 Salamanca, Spain
There's a little bit of everything in Salamanca. From tapas to wines, foodies are sure to find love at the city's bustling markets. Speaking on the arts scene, Salamanca is also home to the Museo Art Nouveau y Deco, which is among the most renowned in the region; even the building itself, with its stained glass design, is an artwork on its own. Lastly, culture and history buffs can find interesting sites at every turn: from the palatial Casa de las Conchas to the largest plaza in Spain, the Plaza Mayor.
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6/7 Bath, United Kingdom
Unsurprisingly, the most famous thing to see Bath is—of course—the Roman Baths (which date back to AD43). These historic places weren't just for hygiene but were places where people could socialise as well. Though these areas are no longer functional, tourists can come to visit these and head out to spas around the city to experience their very own baths to enjoy.
In the city, literature lovers can also learn more about the famous novelist, Jane Austen, who called Bath home. Other cultural attractions include the Theatre Royal Bath or the live jazz music at the Green Park Brasserie.
7/7 Braga, Portugal
Religious devotees may find fulfilment on a trip to Braga in Portugal. It's often considered the religious capital of the country is home to a proud tradition of important religious centres and traditions. The Museo de Sacra Arta (Museum of Sacred Art) is home to some of the world's rarest religious artefacts such as ancient statues and filigree carvings. Of course, this wouldn't be complete without a trip to the Sé (Cathedral), which was first constructed in 1070. Afterwards, tourists often head out to the archbishop's palace, the Antigo Paço Episcopal, which is but a stone's throw away and features a majestic 17th century garden perfect for a lovely afternoon stroll.
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