Most Beautiful and Underrated European Cities to Visit This Year
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In terms of overseas travels, Europe should be everyone’s top destination. This continent has arguably the most picturesque cities in the world, and this can be supported by the fact that in Conde Nast Travel’s 2016 list of the 50 most beautiful cities on Earth, six of the top ten are European.
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But Europe is more than just Paris, Munich, or Italy. With 50 countries in this lovely continent and thousands of cities to explore, we have handpicked the top ten European cities that you should add to your bucket list this year:
Lyon is France’s third largest city and is known for its historical attractions. Roman ruins like the Amphitheater of the Three Gauls and the Ancient Theatre of Fourviere, and 13th-century cathedrals and basilicas are just some of the architectural wonders that has wowed generations. Somewhere in the city also lies the Parc de la Tête d’Or (Golden Head Park), the largest urban park in the country, measuring at a whopping 117 hectares!
Imagine a castle atop a hill, with a beautiful, lush forest intersected by a peaceful river. If you can, that’s great: because that is what Germany’s oldest university town, Heidelberg, looks like. If you cannot paint that picture in your head, then it’s all the better, because that means you have to come here to see its splendor in itself. When here, come to The Old Town and get a glimpse of Germany’s oldest and most reputable university, Heidelberg University.
With a climate not any hotter than 23°C, Bruges is one of Europe’s must-see cities. Besides being the largest city in northwestern Belgium, it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000, and its medieval buildings, canals, and cathedrals make it every artist’s and history junkie’s dream. The Madonna and Child sculpture in its Church of Our Lady is believed to be Michelangelo’s only obra maestro that he allowed to be displayed outside of Italy.
This city, which is the most populous one in Hungary, is known for its historical and contemporary sights. On one part of town is the neo-Gothic Parliament Building and the traditional coffeehouse Gerbeaud Café. On the other hand, there is also the Hungarian National Museum, Metropolitan Szabo Ervin Library, and the Hungarian Opera, which are all central to local life.
Since 1986, Besancon has been internationally recognized as the “Town of Art and History”. In 2008, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city houses the University of Franche-Comte, which was founded in 1423! The entire city feels like a world from a classic novel: the Doubs River encircling the town, Renaissance-style buildings, and the Porte Noire.
Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979, Split has been known for its museums, galleries, and buildings that date to as early as 1820. One notable building is the Diocletian Palace, which was built for the Roman emperor in 305 CE! It is also known for its pop culture, with musicians like Ivo Tijardovic, Olver Dragojevic band, and Gibonni.
Also read: Top 10 Best Things to Do in Split, Croatia
Since the municipality of Gent is cool all year round, having a walking tour is completely feasible any time of the year. There are just so much to see here, and riding a cab would take the fun out of it. The Historical Center of Ghent is already a field trip on itself: try to spot the Old Post Office and the Saint Bavo Cathedral. Afterwards, go to the Gravensteen, a 10th-century castle aptly surrounded by a moat.
The Estonian capital of Tallinn is beyond fantastic. Millions of visitors go to this city yearly to see Old Town, where trees dot the streets of buildings and houses with red rooftops. Stop by a café by its narrow streets, or try to find the hidden courtyards. And just when you think its city cannot get any better, you will chance upon a cruise in the Tallinn Passenger Port, which is known for serving more than a half a million cruise passengers in 2013.
If you are given the opportunity to ride a helicopter and view Segovia from afar, the first thing you would see is the towering Segovia Cathedral. While it is known for its monasteries and convents and centuries-old structures, the city is home to the labyrinthine Alcazar Gardens, the Aqueduct of Segovia, and the Plaza de la Artilleria.
Siofok owes much of its growing economy to its tourism. The boardwalk by Lake Balaton and Siofok Borsodi Beach are just some of the reasons why people keep coming back to this place. Many also choose to have a view of Siofok atop the Water Tower.