Woohoo!!! It’s (bank) holiday time – you think of spending some time in Europe and the first places that come to mind are places like London, Rome, Paris, Barcelona and the like but there’s so much more to Europe than the obvious. Granted, like everywhere else in the world, Europe also has it’s own fair share of dull places (not bad, just dull) but these places will give the more known destinations a good run for their money when it comes to looking at potential holiday destinations. To top things off, as these places are not necessarily the most obvious to the undiscerning traveller (of which you are not!), prices are generally lower so you can definitely #TreatYo’self a lot more ther. Without further ado, here are the top 11 alternative Europe!
1.) Nimes, France: This little city in the South of France was also another great discovery as I wasn’t sure what to expect initially and was pleasantly surprised by the abundance of things to do. There are a lot of sights to take in and amazing restaurants with some of the best creme brulee I’ve had so far! It’s such a lovely laid back place and a perfect long-weekend getaway.
2.) Cartagena, Spain: Discovered this rather randomly on a long drive in Spain and this has proven to be one of the best last minute holiday discoveries! Cartagena is full of other surprises too and a great deal of lovely restaurants and bars to ensure you get a nice mix out of your long weekend away.
3.) St Ives, United Kingdom: So beautiful and amazing that even us Brits (who typically like to go out of the UK on holiday) stick around and head to St Ives in Cornwall for a nice little holiday! Make some time to try out some proper Cornish clotted cream on scones while you’re at it too.
4.) Gothenburg, Sweden: Stockholm’s smaller (and rather feisty) brother has a lot going on for it and is very proud to let you know. The nightlife is amazing though some people seemed surprised that we’d left London to go to visit Gothenburg but this was one of the most interesting Nordic cities we’ve had the pleasure of visiting and definitely makes for a great holiday destination.
5.) Palermo, Italy: Steeped in stunning architecture and flowing over with delicious food, Palermo is the perfect little Italian city for a nice getaway. I say little – there are over 1.2 million people in the greater metropolis – so as you can imagine, Palermo offers all the wide range of options you would come to expect of a cultured city with the laidback charm of local town – its the perfect mix really.
6.) Porto, Portugal: Porto is another jewel is Portugal that is sometimes overlooked for the bright lights of Lisbon but wrongly so. Lisbon is amazing, I absolutely loved it there but Porto is also really great to visit and just spend a long weekend exploring the city while stopping to refuel on a glass of wine here and there for your perfect city-exploration-buzz.
7.) Munich, Germany: Sometimes, seen as the more mature, less grungy and wealthier relative of Berlin, Munich still packs a punch when it comes to keeping you entertained during your visit to the city. Munich is very pretty to visit too so pack your camera and go explore the city!
8.) Maastricht, Netherlands: This is the birth place of a lot of EU Laws and boring stuff you probably don’t really care about but Maastricht is also home to a lot of stunning sights! Get lost in the side streets and explore what Maastricht has to offer.
9.) Tampere, Finland: The 3rd largest city in Finland is quite quaint but this makes for a more immersive experience into Finnish culture and lifestyles and is perfect for a more laid back weekend away.
10.) Antwerp, Belgium: Antwerp is another stunning city in Belgium and definitely worth a visit! Check out the Cathedral and guild houses and do remember to take a walk across the river Scheldt. Definitely a holiday to go equipped with your camera and comfy walking shoes.
11.) Trondheim, Norway: This is another stunning Nordic city albeit a more laid back one. This is a perfect long weekend holiday if you want to relax and get away from the daily grind while taking in some authentic Norwegian cuisine and culture.