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Top 5 atypical cities in Europe for your next trip

Albina PanchenkoNews
Atmospheric cities in Europe

Paris, Rome, Vienna, Budapest, and Munich are certainly interesting locations with a rich history. However, such popularity also has its drawbacks: crowds, queues, and hackneyedness. If you want something new or decide to start the beaten path, we offer you places that have something to see. And there are much fewer travelers there.

Bergamo, Italy

The city is located just 50 kilometers from Milan. There are restaurants, boutiques, and shops here, but there are much fewer people. The historic center has also been preserved, reminiscent of the Middle Ages.

The most popular place is Piazza del Duomo. It houses the Colleoni Chapel, one of the greatest masterpieces of Renaissance architecture.

If you climb the hill of St. Ephraim, then visit the fortress of Bergamo (Rocca). It was built on the site of former settlements of the Romans and Celts. It offers stunning views from its top. There is a museum inside the fort.

In the Lower Town, you should visit the Carrara Art Gallery. It presents masterpieces by masters of the Bergamo, Venetian, and Lombard schools: Canaletto, Maroni, Lotto, Basenis, and others.

Music lovers are advised to visit the Gataeno Donizetti Opera House. It was built in the XVIII century. Music festivals are held here every summer, bringing together the best performers from around the world.

Top 5 atypical cities in Europe for your next trip

Split, Croatia

This city has fewer attractions than Dubrovnik and fewer people than Zagreb. However, it has its gems. The Romans once ruled this land. The architecture here is atypical for the country. So while walking around, you can repeatedly catch yourself thinking that you are in Italy.

The most popular place is the Palace of Diocletian. This is a complex of buildings surrounded by a fortress, as well as the Cathedral of St. Domnius and the Temple of Jupiter. Several scenes from Game of Thrones were filmed within these walls. In the fifth season, it was here that dragons first appeared.

A little further down is the city market, Strossmeyer Park, and National Square, which is lined with cozy streets.

For those who like beautiful panoramas, we recommend climbing a mountain in the Marjan National Reserve. A real tropical paradise awaits tourists in a two-hour drive from Split – the island of Hvar.

Top 5 atypical cities in Europe for your next trip

Granada, Spain

In the XII century, it was the capital of the Granada Emirate, the largest in the Pyrenees. Therefore, all architecture, including churches, is reminiscent of the Moorish era. But the buildings also have Gothic and Renaissance features.

The most popular place is the Alhambra. To get in, buy tickets 1-3 months in advance. This is a masterpiece ensemble consisting of a fortress, palaces, and parks of Muslim rulers. Keep in mind that you will have to stand in line to take a few photos. We recommend taking the "Night visit to palaces and gardens" tour, but it also needs to be booked in advance. For those who want to delve deeper into the Moorish Middle Ages, we recommend visiting the Generalife, the summer residence of the Caliphs.

Among other things, Granada is a city of flamenco. It is here that guitars, castanets, and cajones, musical instruments indispensable for this style, have been produced for centuries. And the best dance performances are held in the Sacromonte caves, where local gypsies once lived.

Top 5 atypical cities in Europe for your next trip

Ghent, Belgium

A small and cozy province where you will find a lot of historical buildings, hipster coffee shops, and museums. There are more than 20 of them here!

As in many parts of Europe, the main attraction is the Town Hall. It was built in the Renaissance style and is a typical representative of Renaissance architecture.

Next, you should visit Gravensteen Castle, built in the late XII century. It once served as the center of the city's cultural life and the development of the silk industry. Now it houses a historical museum and a collection of torture instruments.

St. Bavo Cathedral is popular among tourists, built in 942. Initially, it housed a small chapel, and later a church appeared in its place. For its existence, the appearance of the shrine has changed several times. First, elements of the Romanesque style were added, then the Gothic style.

Inside the church is the Ghent Altarpiece, painted by the van Eyck brothers. Throughout its history, it has changed hands many times and is now hidden under glass. A copy is on display for public viewing. In addition, the room is decorated with paintings by Renaissance artists: Delvaux, Rubens, and others.

The St. Michael's Bridge is one of the symbols of the city that must be photographed. You can just stand on it and admire the panorama.

Top 5 atypical cities in Europe for your next trip

Lille, France

Lille is not inferior to the capital in terms of the abundance of cultural values, richness of history, cuisine, and richness of nightlife. But there are much fewer tourists here, which means you can enjoy all this beauty without long lines.

Lille was first mentioned in the 7th century as a small province that developed thanks to trade. A hundred years ago, mass industrialization came, and the city focused on textile production. It is only nowadays that it has gained popularity. Today, it is connected by high-speed trains to Paris, Brussels, and London, and most of the locals are students.

The historic center has been restored to impress tourists with its bright brick and stone facades.

The cultural program includes a visit to the Palais des Beaux-Arts, which houses the second-largest collection of masterpieces in France. Also, take a look at the Stock Exchange – inside you will find a beautiful 17th-century decoration.

And what about French delicacies? Be sure to visit the coffee shops and order the local dessert Merveillieux - a small chocolate cake made of two wafers.

Top 5 atypical cities in Europe for your next trip

As you can see, sometimes it's worth going off the beaten path to see something unique, hidden from the eyes of the majority. Discover a slightly different Europe. We are sure that you will bring back a lot of vivid impressions from your trip.

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