All you have to do is think the word, Europe, and immediately you think of all the amazing cities such as London, Paris, Rome and Amsterdam. Although these are the highlights of Europe, the continent is flooded with other amazing cities that are waiting to be discovered. These cities present a walk through Europe’s past as well as unique architecture that expresses the culture and history. On your next European adventure, check out one of these other must-see European cities. You won’t be disappointed.
Krakow is a European dream. Beautiful, historic and affordable. The US dollar goes far with Poland’s zloty, and visitors can stay in apartment style hotels for as little as $35 per night. One Krakow highlight is the Wawel Castle that was built in the 1300’s. The main square bustles with street side cafes, horse and carriage, jazz clubs and more history. The Gothic, Town Hall Tower, has been standing tall and proud in the square’s center since the 13th Century.
This 13th Century city has changed many flags throughout its history. The city was once conquered by Poland, Austria-Hungary and the Soviet Union. The historical center is preserved and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Market Square (Ploshcha Rynok) and the Neo-Renaissance, Lviv Opera House are two main attractions. Bring your camera as the market square is surrounded with 50 architectural monuments.
Valencia, Spain’s third largest city, is emerging to be one of the nation’s most progressive cities. History meets modern day living from the Cathedral, Quart’s Towers to the Valencia Aquarium. Located on the ocean, catch the Mediterranean breeze at the white sandy, Malvarrosa beach. Known as the city of flowers, visitors can visit the Turia Garden, Royal Garden and the Botanical Garden. Valencia is the perfect combination between old and new and urban and natural landscapes.
One look at Wismar and you’ll forget you are in Germany. Located on the Baltic Sea, the city is decorated in red-brick Gothic architecture. The small port, hanseatic town is a UNESCO listed site, and was once conquered by Sweden in the 16th and 17th Century. Flooded with churches and museums, many visitors find the “Markt” to be a great place for a coffee, photo or bratwurst.
Zagreb lies on the Adriatic Sea and is known for its amazing public transportation and pristinely manicured parks. The fusion of European, Baltic and Mediterranean culture decorates the town with medieval and Austro-Hungarian era buildings. Upper town features Zagreb Cathedral, St. Mark’s Church and Lotrscak Tower.
Riga is noted for its grandiose collection of Art Nouveau architecture, the most in Europe. Old Riga is the cobblestone, historical center located on the banks of Daugava River. Visit the “Three Brothers,” which are the oldest stone houses in Riga. Each was built in a different century between the 15th to 18th Century, and showcases the architectural change. For those who like to party, Riga sparkles with nightlife and stands true to its famous nightlife reputation.
While wandering around these beautiful towns, remember to keep everything safe with security bags!
Elizabeth is a fitness professional, workshop presenter and freelance writer. She is an active traveler who treks the globe looking for interesting stories to write and places to photograph. Her most significant travel achievements include living and volunteering in Australia twice and studied yoga in India.