10 Lesser-Known Cities That Are Made For Short Breaks

10 Lesser-Known Cities That Are Made For Short Breaks

10 Lesser-Known Cities That Are Made For Short Breaks
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10 Lesser-Known Cities That Are Made For Short Breaks

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Europe is packed full of popular weekend break destinations such as Amsterdam, Paris and Barcelona, but scratch a little deeper under the surface and you’ll find equally beautiful cities that benefit from less crowd and arguably more charm.

We spent months traveling around Europe this year and while we absolutely loved many of the popular cities, we really fell in love with smaller cities we never planned to visit such as Innsbruck, Austria, Tallin, Estonia and Budapest, Hungary. So take a look at these fantastic little cities in Europe and plan your dream getaway to a city you may never have heard of!

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1. Leipzig

Just over quarter of a century ago there were concerns Leipzig may not survive following the fall of the Berlin Wall. Now, the concern is they may be soon overrun with tourists and developers as the city builds its reputation as ‘the better Berlin’, combining poignant reminders of history, glorious green spaces and beautiful architecture.

With a focused and blossoming artistic society, Leipzig is fast becoming a city of note for collectors, aficionados and lovers of beauty.

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10 Lesser-Known Cities That Are Made For Short Breaks

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2. Naples

Considered to be Milan’s more affordable and beautiful sister, Naples is a historic city, and has been inhabited since the Neolithic period. Small streets wrapped around charming old buildings make for an authentic Italian visit. The home of the pizza, nobody creates this culinary favourite like the Neopolitans (Da Michele is the city’s most famous pizzeria, with good reason).

The Neopolitans are fervent football fans; locals worship former Napoli player Diego Maradona, so be sure to make time for a game at the Stadio San Paolo.

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3. Reykjavik

The world’s northernmost capital of a sovereign state, Reykjavik is not the location for sun-worshippers. That aside, it’s recognised as one of the cleanest, greenest and safest cities in the world, and offers incredible natural beauty, plenty of photogenic geographical features such as geysers and glaciers, and a decent chance of seeing the Northern Lights

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10 Lesser-Known Cities That Are Made For Short Breaks

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4. Bruges

Located on the north-western point of Belgium, Bruges is picture-perfect, offering incredible architecture and humble beauty. The medieval architecture of the city, mostly still intact, makes it a wonderful place to spend a day simply wandering around. Perhaps Bruges’ most celebrated sight is the Belfry – a stunning 83-meter high medieval bell tower, which still employs a full-time carillonneur (who gives regular free concerts).

Bruges is an ideal city to visit for a day – companies such as Cruise 1st (take a look at the site here) run regular taster cruises, which typically stop off at Bruges and Paris.

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5. Gothenburg

The second city of Sweden is often overlooked by overseas visitors in favour of the capital Stockholm, but offers much in the way of entertainment and culture including the influential Göteborg International Film Festival. The city is growing increasingly popular with Swedish daytrippers looking for a cultural and entertaining visit.

Gothenburg is also developing a reputation as a shopping lovers’ paradise with Nordstan, Scandinavia’s largest shopping centre, based in the city centre.

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10 Lesser-Known Cities That Are Made For Short Breaks

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6. Reims

Wine-lovers continue to flock to Reims, which is in the Champagne region, thanks to the city’s wine output. Lovers of the grape make up the majority of the city’s tourism, but there is plenty for teetotallers to enjoy as well including the beautiful architecture of the Basilica St. Remi and Chateau de Conde.

Reims Tourism offers tours around the great Champagne houses, giving visitors the chance to sample the local delicacies.

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7. Ljubljana

Slovenia may not be the first choice which comes to the mind of the British holidaymaker, but the capital Ljubljana is a beautiful city with more than 10,000 cultural events taking place every year. Ljubljana Old Town is beautiful and unspoiled, the perfect size to spend a couple of hours wandering around before finding a café or bar to chill out in for lunch.

For a more modern, contemporary experience Metelkova is an autonomous social centre in the city centre comprising of bars, galleries and artistic studios.

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8. Torshavn

The largest city on the Faroe Islands, Torshavn translates to Thor’s Harbour – after the God of thunder and lightning in Norse mythology. The modern city is much more relaxed than the name suggests with rolling green hills, beautifully simplistic architecture and a clean, peaceful atmosphere.

Take a step back in time by visiting Tinganes, the old region of the city made up small wooden houses covered with turf roofs.

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10 Lesser-Known Cities That Are Made For Short Breaks

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9. Braga

Whilst the Algarve is the epicentre of British tourism in Portugal thanks to the beautiful sunshine and stretches of sandy beaches, the northern reaches of the country have plenty to offer visitors. The city of Braga is a historically significant region with Neolithic, Medieval and Modernist monuments making up the ancient streets.

The Episcopal Palace of Braga is a beautiful old place comprising of baroque, gothic and Portuguese architecture.

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10. Cork

Selected as the European Capital of Culture in 2005, Cork is a beautiful old city on the southern coast of Ireland. Known as ‘the rebel city’ thanks to its people’s support of the Yorkist movement during the English War of Roses and as the country’s ‘real capital’ in reference to the city’s anti-treaty stance during the Irish Civil War, Cork has had a controversial and varied history which still scars the city.

The medieval architecture of the city is enduringly popular, charming visitors for hundreds of years.

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Images provided from Flickr via Leandro Neumann CluffoDavid EversGreg NeateWolfgang Staudt and Jean-Pierre Dalbéra

2 COMMENTS

  1. Europe in real terms consist of several weekend replenish destinations at very short break time take to reach there. Such as Tallin,Estonia,Hungary,etc….
    Among all these above discussed cities, i really like to visit Reykjavik. It such a beautiful city covered with natural glaciers and a plenty of eye capturing scenes.
    Also,i recommend to visit Braga, if you really love to see sunshine and wanna spend some fun time over sandy beaches.

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