With so many destinations in Europe, it can be hard to decide where to go – especially if you want somewhere away from the tourist crowds with a more authentic slice of culture. We’ve found four underrated cities in Europe that boast beauty, culture and more.
The capital of Estonia tucked right up in the far corner of eastern Europe on the Russian border, Tallinn is a small but stunning medieval city. The 13th century town square is the true heart of Tallinn, and the city embraces its heritage and culture with real enthusiasm. Highlights of the city include the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the modern Scandi-inspired Kumu Art Museum, and the Kadriorg Park – which also contains a baroque palace. Make sure you try the local rye bread or go one further with a sprat sandwich.
Don’t be put off by the pronunciation of this Slovenian city, Ljubljana is one of the greenest cities in Europe and has a whole host of beautiful architecture and spaces to explore. The heart of the city has a host of historic buildings to see, including Ljubljana Castle, the town hall, the famous Triple Bridge and Prešernov Trg (a stunning square linking the new and old parts of the city). Explore museums, cafes and the city’s many green spaces as you soak up Ljubljana’s modern city vibe.
If you want the warmth, food and relaxed lifestyle of Spain without the busy crowds, Granada is an excellent option. Known as the city of a thousand castles, Granada is steeped in the rich history of the Moorish while holding on to that classic Spanish feel. With the imposing Sierra Nevada mountains overlooking all, Granada’s absolute must-see is the Alhambra, a unique piece of European-Arabic architecture that captures the incredible history and culture of the city. The cafes and restaurants are varied and vibrant, so make sure you don’t miss out on the incredible Spanish cuisine on offer.
If you’re looking for a city that blends culture, architecture and the glorious Swiss mountains, Lucerne could be the answer. It may not immediately come to mind when you think of Switzerland, but Lucerne is a small city that still packs a huge punch. Known as the ‘City of Lights’, and with a legend that it was blessed by an angel, Lucerne is a mix of preserved medieval buildings, open-air bars and promenades along the waterfront. If you’re keen to hike and take in the mountains, then you’re in luck. With crystal clear water, cobalt blue lakes, snow-capped peaks and valleys of meadows, the landscape around Lucerne is breathtaking and not to be missed. Just remember that travel insurance is especially crucial to have in Switzerland – a hospital stay here will cost you £6,127 a day!
Whichever of these hidden gems you decide to visit, you’ll be sure to uncover a whole host of unique and wonderful experiences, making your visit one to remember. The hardest part of all? Deciding where to go!