Europe is arguably the most diverse continent on the planet, in terms of culture, architecture, attractions and of course…the weather.
If you’ve done a bit of travelling around Europe, you’ll have no doubt been to many of the cities that are regarded as ‘key’ spots – London, Paris, Rome, Dublin etc. However, there’s a whole world of cities on the continent that have so much to offer. To prove how great opting for alternative breaks are, we’ve rounded up 5 of the most incredible and inspiring cities across the continent.
1. Rotterdam, The Netherlands
The Netherlands is a really popular holiday destination for Brits every year, with return flights from the likes of Bravofly being extremely cheap. Most people tend to just associate the country with Amsterdam, which is of course a great city that’s well worth a visit, but it’s certainly not the only worthwhile tourist destination it has to offer. Rotterdam is just one example; it is the architecture city of Holland that stimulates innovation and its skyline is constantly changing.
2. Krakow, Poland
Poland may not be one of the first places you consider when booking a trip away, but there are some great cities there that means it should be. Krakow in particular is a great choice as it has an incredibly interesting history, as it contains more historic buildings and monuments than any other city in Poland. When visiting, we highly recommend a stop at the beautiful Old Town, and you can take tours which run throughout the year.
3. Zurich, Switzerland
Zurich is a great alternative to Switzerland’s capital, and it is becoming more and more popular with tourists from all over the globe each year. It’s a fantastic mix of old and new, with the ancient centre with its cobbled streets and historic architecture still providing a backdrop today for the more cosmopolitan cultural centres, shops and a bustling nightlife.
4. Riga, Latvia
You’re probably not alone in not knowing too much about Latvia’s capital – Riga, but after a bit of research, you’ll wonder why it’s so underrated. It was even given the prestigious and well sought after title of European Capital of Culture in 2014, thanks to its 800 year strong history, its annual international festivals, its world class architecture, amongst countless other things.
5. Bologna, Italy
It’s pretty much a given that Italy is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, but so many people tend to stick with the ‘main’ cities when visiting, and therefore are missing out on some really unique experiences. Bologna in particular is our favourite alternative destination in Italy, and not just because of the Bolognese (though that definitely helps). It’s known for having quite a large student population, so it’s a must for young people, and it boasts a fantastic nightlife and unbeatable restaurants and bars as a result.