7X AMAZING UNDERRATED CITIES IN EUROPE
Barcelona, London, Copenhagen, Prague or Berlin, we have all been there before. Understandably, we often pick “the usual suspects” that never disappoint and guarantee a weekend full of fun, culture and shopping. But there are countless, relatively less-visited cities, that in our opinion, are also fantastic and more than deserve a visit.
We expect these cities to be on the rise in the coming years. We have compiled a list of ten (still) underrated cities in Europe.
Wow. What a beautiful city Tallinn is (just check out the header photo). Not unknown, but rarely first choice. Funny, because as soon as you walk into Tallinn it looks like a fairytale. In spring and summer, the sun shines on the picturesque pastel-coloured roofs and when it snows in winter, the town turns into a true winter wonderland, with a traditional Christmas market in the middle of the Old Town. Fun fact: public transport is completely free for the residents of Tallinn! If only she implemented that for the tourists..
It has to be said, that even before we travelled there, we’ve already heard positive stories about Tbilisi and we were not disappointed. Tbilisi has a vibrant food culture and is full of trendy cafes and restaurants, something we did not necessarily expect. Some hip highlights are La Fabrika, Bina 37 (a secret rooftop restaurant in an ordinary apartment building), Wine Factory No. 1, Café Stamba and Organique Josper. From the city you drive straight into the beautiful nature reserves and you can, for example, visit Vardzia, the fascinating hidden cave city of Georgia.
Nothing makes our travelling hearts more happy than a good old city trip.
This city is located in that country that you might know from the Euro Song Contest. We certainly give Baku douze points! Because Azerbaijan borders Asia, the Middle East and Europe, Baku has many different influences in religion, culture and food. For example, eat at Dolma, an underground restaurant in the old town with European and traditional dishes. You can also find plenty of good coffee and beer here. For a fun evening with beer you can visit The Brewery where they also play live music.
It is the oldest city in Poland and reminds us of Amsterdam with all its beautiful mansions. There are beautiful churches, shops, but also cozy eating and drinking places. From Gdansk you can easily take a trip to the nearby beach Sopot, also known as the Ibiza of Poland. Do you want a bit more Off the Beaten Track? We advise you to visit the beach region Kępa Redłowska. Slowinski National Park is also worth a visit, which is located on the west side. You will find stretched beaches and moving sand dunes, a unique natural phenomenon on the Baltic coast.
If you like wine and tapas, this is the place to have it all. Located in the La Rioja region of Northern Spain, Logroño is known for its local wine industry. From Bilbao it is a 2-hour drive through the beautiful mountains and this immediately explains why this city is often overlooked. In the evening Logroño really comes to life and the locals can be found outside eating tapas and pintxos. Logroño has even been named the gastronomic capital of Spain! By the way, we ate the best tomato salad ever, a concept in Logrońo.
Find out which are the most visited cities in the world!
Ostrava, Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is certainly not unknown territory for foreign tourism. However, most tourists visiting this country are limited to Prague. Often overlooked by travellers, the lively city of Ostrava has a lot to offer. The old buildings, abandoned factories, green parks and beautiful architecture of the old town are enough reasons to visit Ostrava! In summer, the annual Colors of Ostrava also takes place – a festival where music, games, art and film come together on an industrial site. Colours of Ostrava is still relatively unknown to a large foreign audience, so be sure to take a look if you happen to be in the area!
The capital of Lithuania is truly an undiscovered gem with a rich history that dates back to the Middle Ages. Everything is easily accessible on foot so that you can take in spacious buildings and churches. In the summer, many streets in the city center are closed to car traffic and space is made for cozy terraces. Vilnius (read more about it here) is known for its traditional cuisine and local ingredients, such as wine made from rhubarb and cherry. If you are going to Vilnius, take a trip to Trakai where the Karaim live, an ethnic population brought to Lithuania in the 14th century.
Are you curious about the most underrated cities in the world? Check out our book Off the Beaten Track where we highlight these in a special chapter!