Travel as we know it has changed pretty drastically in the past few months, and it might be some time before things return to previous levels. Nobody is certain what the future of travel looks like, but what is certain, is that how – and where – we travel is different than before. People are seeking out more remote destinations and ‘quieter’ cities for staycations, instead of tourism hotspots. So, we’ve rounded up some of the most underrated European cities that we think everyone should visit at least once.
Whether you’re planning a trip sometime this year or staying close to home and just looking for some future travel inspo, these places in Europe are worthy of a trip.
Underrated European Cities to Visit
Centuries-old history envelopes the sleepy yet modern town of Bratislava. Bratislava feels as if it belongs in a fairytale book and the fact that you’re not surrounded by tourists with cameras around their necks make the city feel that much more magical. Check out the Bratislava Castle, the UFO tower and St Martin‘s Cathedral for stunning views and unique cultural insights.
Similar to Madrid and Barcelona, we believe that visitors in Portugal are a bit over it when it comes to the two largest cities of Lisbon and Porto. This makes Braga one of the cutest European destinations. Braga is located just an hour away from Porto by train. And, it’s home to cosy, winding streets and a truly remarkable Gothic cathedral. Sunsets here just seem so much sweeter than anywhere else in Portugal.
Serving up a delightful fusion of Greek, Roman, Ottoman and Soviet influences, Sofia is perhaps one of Eastern Europe’s best-kept secrets. It’s a peculiar mixture of Communist-style buildings and colourful modern design, but if you visit Sofia with an open mind you’ll absolutely fall in love with it.
Why? There’s a cool up-and-coming artsy scene, with stylish cocktail bars and events happening year-round.
Norway’s famous, Instagrammable fjords are one of the most popular places that travellers to gawk over on Instagram. However, Fjord Norway meets many of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council’s criteria for destinations.
The Norwegian government ensures that fishing, hunting and drilling for oil are all well-regulated in Bergen and beyond, pushing the city to the top of our list for the hottest travel destinations for the next decade.
Last year, Bilbao won the title of the European City of the Year. And, it’s not hard to see why. From the iconic Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim Museum to the numerous restaurants serving Basque-inspired cuisine, it’s recently evolved into one of the most culturally intriguing cities in Europe.
While other Spanish cities such as Madrid and Barcelona will always be popular, there’s something extra charming about Bilbao.
We’ve long been fans of the hilly country and historical charm of the entire country of Romania. From the cascading Carpathian Mountains to the numerous centuries-old castles that line the countryside, Romania is a country with plenty to offer any kind of tourist. However, Brasov possesses a unique charm that seems to have disappeared from major cities in Western Europe. And, horror buffs will love the chance to tour Dracula’s Castle in the nearby town of Bran.
The 18th-century Eyre Square acts as a central point at which rich history, Irish folk music, and brightly-painted pubs extend outwards and into the veins of the rest of Ireland. There’s world-class restaurants serving up the best of Irish ingredients and pretty cobbled streets and stone arches. The beautiful beaches and countryside of Connemara are just an hour or so drive away.