Europe is a favored destination for many travelers dreaming of an exciting city trip. From Prague to London and Rome to Athens, European capitals are chock-full of world-famous landmarks. The only problem is that you won’t be the sole tourist out there since these iconic cities are some of the world’s most visited. So, what if you were looking for some more hidden gems? Here are four alternative destinations for an unusual European city break.
Belgium might be known worldwide for its popular comics and talented national football team. But this tiny country between France and the Netherlands also boasts some picturesque cities. Often referred to as the Venice of the North, Bruges is as romantic as it is majestic. Gothic buildings, belfries, and medieval basilicas line up in the city’s Old Town.
In this walkable city, getting lost along cobbled streets is ideal for exploring scenic back alleys and even quirky museums. Visitors can then stroll along Bruges’ whimsical canals or navigate them on a boat, snapping pictures of willow-lined quays and old-time bridges.
Bruges is also a foodie destination. So, cocoa lovers can have a field day at chocolate factories before grabbing a waffle or some comforting Belgian fries on the go.
The Caucasus region comprises Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan. Despite its rich history at the juncture of East and West, the area is often overlooked by international tourists. Culture vultures can seize the opportunity, thus, to stray off the beaten path and discover the magnetic capital of Georgia.
Tbilisi’s foundation dates back to the 5th century AD. Incidentally, the city boasts an astounding array of historic monuments, from Iranian bathhouses and Orthodox churches to caravanserais. Plus, the city is kind to budget-wary travelers with cheap eateries selling hearty Georgian dumplings and fresh khachapuris.
Tbilisi is also a perfect spot to discover the most beautiful Georgian landmarks. The former capital of Mtskheta and its centuries-old monasteries is a mere 20-minute ride away. The dramatic mountains of Stepantsminda and the fortified town of Sighnaghi are other popular excursions.
France equates to Paris for many foreign tourists. Yet, there are many gorgeous cities to discover besides the capital. And if you’re in for a sunnier trip, Nice is your best pick. This city on the French Riviera boasts a quintessential Mediterranean charm. With sun-soaked cafe terraces and buoyant open-air markets, visitors can soak in the atmosphere strolling in the Old Town. After a stop at an art museum or a commanding fortress, the Promenade des Anglais walkway is the perfect spot to cool off by the turquoise sea.
Nice also allows for day trips to the picturesque countryside or to Monaco. The glamourous Principality lies 30 minutes away from the French city. Therefore, tourists can easily stop by to attend a prestigious Formula 1 Grand Prix or take a gamble at the iconic Monte Carlo Casino, which appeared in several Hollywood movies.
Along the way, players can hone their skills in the best online casinos. Top gambling websites offer an extensive selection of games, from innovative machine slots to classic poker and roulette sessions. Gamblers can even look forward to generous rewards, from no deposit bonuses to welcome offers and free spins. And experts have already laid the groundwork and ranked all platforms for gamblers to find top-notch casinos to suit their playing style.
Poland is a popular destination in Central Europe, with Warsaw and Krakow drawing most of the crowds. Up north, the city of Gdansk appears a less popular choice. However, this coastal city is a true European gem. Gdansk was formerly known as Dantzig, as it bounced back between German territories and Poland.
Indeed, its prime location on the Baltic Sea made it a desirable trading post. The city even entered the powerful Hanseatic League to become a commercial powerhouse in the Middle Ages. Hence, Gdansk Old Town now brims with ornate palaces, grand churches, and colorful merchant mansions.
The city was scarred by WW2, but most buildings were reconstructed to the last detail. History buffs might want to delve deeper into the city’s recent past with a visit to the Museum of the Second World War. Gdansk also accounts for many captivating museums, from the Maritime Culture Centre to the Amber Museum.