Europe is a diverse continent, with countless cities that offer unique experiences and rich histories. While many travellers flock to popular destinations such as Paris, Rome, and London, there are several underrated cities that deserve to be on your travel itinerary. From the stunning beauty of Granada, Spain to the charming town of Ostuni, Puglia, each of these cities has something special to offer. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at nine of the most underrated cities in Europe that should be a top priority to visit on your next trip.
Nestled at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, Granada is a city that should be on every traveller’s radar. Known for its Moorish architecture and stunning views, the city is home to the iconic Alhambra Palace, one of the most visited tourist attractions in Spain. Other top attractions include the Albaicin neighbourhood, a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Royal Chapel of Granada, and the Cathedral of Granada. The city is also a food lover’s paradise, with a wide range of traditional Spanish dishes and unique fusion cuisine. With a rich history and vibrant culture, Granada is a must-visit destination in Spain.
Porto is a city that often flies under the radar when it comes to European travel, but it is a hidden gem that should not be missed. Located on the Douro River, the city is known for its historic centre, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visitors can explore the city’s narrow streets and colourful buildings, visit the stunning São Bento train station, and sample the city’s famous port wine. Other top attractions include the Dom Luis I Bridge, the Clerigos Tower, and the Livraria Lello bookstore. With its charming atmosphere and rich cultural heritage, Porto is a destination that should be on every traveller’s list.
While Dubrovnik and Split are often the most popular destinations for travellers visiting Croatia, Zadar is a hidden gem that should not be overlooked. Located on the Dalmatian Coast, the city is known for its stunning sunsets, unique art installations, and rich history. Visitors can explore the Roman Forum, the St. Donatus Church, and the Sea Organ, an incredible musical instrument that uses the sound of the waves to create beautiful melodies. Other top attractions include the Museum of Ancient Glass and the Five Wells Square. With its stunning coastline and vibrant culture, Zadar is a city that should be on every traveller’s radar.
Ostuni, located in the Puglia region of southern Italy, is a charming town that is often overlooked by travellers. Known as the “White City” due to its whitewashed buildings, the town is perched on a hill overlooking the Adriatic Sea. Visitors can explore the town’s winding streets, visit the stunning Ostuni Cathedral, and take in the panoramic views from the Piazza della Libertà. Other top attractions include the Church of San Vito and the Museum of Pre-Classical Civilizations of Southern Murgia. With its picturesque scenery and laid-back atmosphere, Ostuni is a hidden gem that should not be missed.
Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, is a city that is often overshadowed by its European counterparts, but it is a destination that deserves more attention. With a rich history that dates back to ancient times, visitors can explore the city’s numerous museums and historic landmarks, including the stunning Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and the National Palace of Culture. Other top attractions include the Vitosha Mountain, the National Museum of History, and the Sofia Zoo. With its diverse cuisine, vibrant nightlife, and affordable prices, Sofia is a city that offers a unique and unforgettable travel experience.
Located in southern Sweden, Malmo is a city that is often overshadowed by its larger neighbour, Copenhagen. However, this charming city is a destination that should not be missed. Known for its contemporary art scene, visitors can explore the Moderna Museet Malmo, the Malmö Konsthall, and the Form/Design Center. Other top attractions include the Malmö Castle, the St. Peter’s Church, and the Ribersborgs Kallbadhus, a traditional Swedish bathhouse. With its relaxed atmosphere and picturesque canals, Malmo is a city that offers a perfect blend of history, culture, and modernity. Malmo also has a thriving cafe culture and hosts a popular free summer festival headlined by big local and international acts.
Mostar is a city located in Bosnia and Herzegovina that is often overlooked by travellers. Known for its iconic Stari Most bridge, the city has a rich history that is reflected in its stunning architecture and cultural heritage. Visitors can explore the Old Town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and visit the Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque, the Crooked Bridge, and the Muslibegovic House. With its charming cafes and restaurants, visitors can sample the local cuisine and enjoy the city’s laid-back atmosphere. Mostar is the perfect addition to your Croatian or Balkan travels due to its close proximity.
Located in southern Albania, Gjirokaster is a city that is known for its Ottoman-era architecture and stunning mountain scenery. Visitors can explore the historic Old Town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and visit the Gjirokaster Castle, the Ethnographic Museum, and the Skenduli House. With its charming cafes and traditional bazaars, visitors can immerse themselves in the local culture and enjoy the city’s unique atmosphere.
Wengen is a small town located in the Swiss Alps that is a hidden gem for travellers seeking stunning natural scenery. Visitors can take the cogwheel train to the top of the Jungfraujoch, one of the highest peaks in Europe, and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. Other top attractions include the Wengernalp Railway, the Männlichen Cable Car, and the Staubbach Falls. With its picturesque scenery and peaceful atmosphere, Wengen is a destination that offers a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. See a guide to the charming Wengen here!
In conclusion, Europe is a continent full of hidden gems and underrated cities that should not be overlooked by travellers. From the stunning beauty of Granada to the charming town of Ostuni, each of these cities offers a unique and unforgettable travel experience. So next time you plan a trip to Europe, consider adding one of these destinations to your itinerary and discover the hidden treasures that await you.