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The Most Underrated Cities to Visit in Europe

Travelers Today       By    David Thompson

Updated: Aug 05, 2022 11:11 AM EDT

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Photo by Joss Woodhead on Unsplash

(Photo: Joss Woodhead on Unsplash)

It's possible to witness a different perspective of European life even when visiting Europe's renowned metropolises, which are full of historical monuments and iconic landmarks. You can explore untouched natural areas and ancient castles in these less-traveled locales. 

Additionally, you will observe the contrast between the best and worst airports in Europe, along with archaeological wonders, while learning about history from the locals' perspective.

1. Stavanger, Norway

Stavanger is located in the southwestern region of Norway, also home to a wealth of natural escapes. As you explore the city and its environs, fjords, hiking trails, boat trips, and abundant natural beauty will soak you in Norwegian nature.

Stavanger Cathedral, constructed in the 12th century, and the ancient wooden housing settlement are historical landmarks. This underrated European city is also rich in Norwegian cuisine and culture, making it a well-rounded haven.

2. Zadar, Croatia

Zadar, a getaway in Croatia on the country's northern Dalmatian Coast, is a reasonably undiscovered gem that is well worth exploring. The best parts of any trip here are eating fresh seafood at every meal and looking at the beautiful Velebit mountain range to the east and the Adriatic Sea to the west.  

Rich in history, including Venetian and Roman ruins, Zadar is the ideal departure point for exploring nearby Eastern European urban areas and islands with breathtaking beaches or hiking in awe-inspiring nature reserves with waterfalls.

3. Malaga, Spain

The stunning Costa del Sol, an idyllic stretch of Mediterranean coastline, is located along the southern coast of Spain. There, you'll discover the emerging city of Malaga, a place to slow down and relish the Spanish way of life.

Malaga is evidence that Andalusia's capital, once recognized only as a transportation city with the region's airport, can regain its vitality. The architectural style and culture of this underrated European city reflect the city's diversified history.

4. Bilbao, Spain

Bilbao, located in the picturesque Basque Country on Spain's northeastern coast, is an ethnic and culinary mecca. The city's artsy ambiance and diverse collection of neighborhoods can be experienced while indulging in authentic tapas, known as pintxos. You can also marvel at the innovative architecture that seamlessly blends old and new styles.

Visitors can admire Baroque, Renaissance, and Modernist architecture while walking through Bilbao's historic Old Quarter. Stroll through the cobblestoned streets, look into the quaint shops, indulge in the delectable cuisine, and take in the history of this Spanish gem.

The Vizcaya Bridge, resting above the Nervion River, uniquely connects the towns of Las Arenas and Portugalete. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this "hanging" bridge transports people and automobiles via cable car while allowing larger vessels to pass beneath it.

5. Trieste, Italy

Italy is always a wise option, and Trieste is another example. The ancient Roman Amphitheater is still standing; the Castle of Saint Giusto, perched atop the Capitoline Hill, offers spectacular views of Trieste; and regional Italian cuisine, such as Triestino goulash, can be sampled.

Make sure to visit Trieste's main square to see the amplest seaside piazza in European history: Piazza UdItalia di Trieste, an enormous seaside piazza in Europe. 

6. Bruges, Belgium

Travelers in the know adore Bruges for its culinary traditions, authentic Belgian beers, gorgeous canal-woven streets, and enchanted atmosphere. Art and culture abound in the city's historic core, designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

For a breathtaking vantage point of Bruges above us, climb the 366 steps of the medieval Belfort (Belfry Tower) tower. Count the 47 carillon bells and admire the historical market square below while doing so.

Among the most incredible things to do in Bruges are sampling the region's decadent chocolate and learning how to make chocolates by hand in a country renowned for its expertise in the field. Professional cocoa manufacturers will teach you the complexities of making this delectable treat while divulging their trade secrets.

7. Liverpool, England

Liverpool, Northern England's answer to well-known London, is known for its culture, arts, and musical history. In addition to its numerous UNESCO World Heritage spots and booming waterfront district, Liverpool is known for being the abode of the Beatles and its welcoming, creative atmosphere.

The Liverpool Cathedral, the Royal Liver Building, the Royal Albert Dock, and the Maritime Museum are the city's historical monuments and museums that can be explored in a single day.

Final Words

Visit these underappreciated European cities on a premium European cruise and discover some hidden gems. There is much to discover, from ancient historical remains and stately historic buildings to riveting adventures and natural wonders.

See Now: The U.S. had the highest number of Most Wanted properties, dominating the Hotels.com Loved By Guests Awards 2018

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