When people dream of touring Europe and taking in the sights, there are a few common cities that seem to always come to mind. Paris, Barcelona, Rome and London seem to get all of the tourist love and attention and for more than a few good reasons. However, there is a lot more to Europe than just the attention grabbers, and a number of places where you can stretch your money a bit further as well. If there is one thing about Europe that holds true for everyone, it is that you will definitely want to extend your stay as much as possible once you get here.
Who knows why some of cities throughout Europe do not get the attention they deserve. It could simply be due to lack of advertising, a desire to stay out of the spotlight, or that a lot of travelers tend to stick to the road more traveled as often as possible.
If you are the type that wants to broaden your horizons and see more than what can commonly be found in travel brochures, then check out this list of the top 5 overlooked destinations in Europe. Not only can these cities offer an excellent vacation and a wide range of activities and attractions, but they can also help you save money when compared to more well known locations.
Overlooked European Destination #5- Lviv, Ukraine
A list of overlooked cities in Europe could be made with regards to the entire country of Ukraine on its own. While there are certain cities that do garner some attention, mostly from adventure seeking and unique travelers, Lviv is one city that is incredibly underrated. It is unlike any other destination in the country and is adorned with architecture that will take your breath away with every step you take in the city.
Lviv offers a feeling of calm serenity that cannot easily be found in other Ukrainian cities and the mixture of eclectic cafes and splendid cathedrals make it a true sight for sore eyes. Yes, there are drawbacks that other travelers will let you in on. The roads are terrible and the traffic is frustrating, but it is a small price to pay in order to tour one of the best budget European destinations.
Overlooked European Destination #4-Edinburgh, Scotland
Now you wouldn’t necessarily think that a capital city could be considered a destination that is overlooked, but considering what Edinburgh has to offer it garners very little attention. The city offers a unique and ideal blend of traditionally elegant buildings, sprawling hills and sensational sunsets that many people don’t visualize when they think of Scotland.
Then there are the castles and historically fascinating buildings that are dotted all over the countryside. The coastal villages among the natural setting within this tucked away European city are a must see for any traveler, on any budget.
Overlooked European Destination #3- Utrecht, Holland
We all know what first comes to mind when travelers consider a trip to the Netherlands. However, there is a lot more to Holland than just Amsterdam and there are a few places that offer much more realistic insight into the country. One such city is Utrecht, which offers one of the most romantic experiences that travelers can find.
You can tour through the old canals, walk through Oudergracht, or even experience the city via horse-drawn carriage. The skyline in the city is covered with elegant buildings, sculptures and monasteries, and a relaxing tour of the city makes for the perfect wind down for the hangover you undoubtedly have from Amsterdam.
Overlooked European Destination #2- Bratislava, Slovakia
When it comes to Eastern Europe, there really is no city that receives more love and affection from travelers than Prague. There is no argument that it deserves it all, but it is disappointing that it steals all the thunder from Bratislava. Bratislava has so much to offer in its own right and is one of the most remarkable old cities in all of Europe. The history of the city is fascinating, the culture absorbs you, and the architecture is charming and almost medieval.
The culture has been influenced by a number of different traditions yet the architecture resonates with a truly Roman feel. While the old tradition is evident throughout the city, a great portion of Bratislava has been renovated and portrays a new, rejuvenated vibe. This is one place in Europe that is affordable and won’t drain your bank account when you decide that you simply must extend your vacation and enjoy the scenery and lifestyle just a little more.
Overlooked European Destination #1- Siena, Italy
Italy gets an incredible amount of attention when it comes to discussion revolving around European travel. It seems that everyone dreams of touring the sights and sounds that exist within Venice and Rome at least once in their lives, and for good reason. However, there are a number of other destinations that can offer incredible memories and dazzling sights at much lower cost. And Siena definitely deserves to be at the top of that list. The problem is that even the most experienced travelers could easily miss this jewel of a city if they didn’t do all their homework. However, a little extra preparation is more than worth it.
This city is best described as incredibly unique. It has a long history and the culture within the area is utterly consuming. Take in the Palio horse races, which are the biggest event the city holds, and sit back and relax with succulent food, fantastic wine and a view of the dazzling Tuscan sunset. It doesn’t get much better than this, no matter where you go.
Of course most travelers will still want to tour the main draws of Europe, and there is nothing wrong with that. The big, famous cities are remarkable and offer incredible experiences, but there are also a few hidden gems and other fantastic destinations out there. If you have the time, take it all in. These 5 overlooked European destinations are stops on your tour that you are never going to regret.
The next time you are with a group of people who are comparing their trip to Rome or Amsterdam, wouldn’t it be nice to pull out pictures of somewhere like Siena and show them just what they missed out on?