Five Obscure European Cities to Visit
Even those of us who have never traveled to Europe have obviously heard of Paris, London, Amsterdam, Rome, and Madrid. The biggest European cities are also the biggest tourist destinations, for obvious reasons. However today we’d like to explore some cities that you may not have heard of, but offer their own European charm.
Are you an adventurer? Do you prefer to go off the beaten path when traveling abroad? Then you will love these five little secret getaways that are sure to please you and leave you wondering why you have never heard of them before. Below are five obscure gems that are worthy of a visit on your next trip to Europe.
Most visitors and residents of Rome could find a close by beach but they won’t find one as beautiful or unique as Sperlonga. A like no other pedestrian only villa called Sperlonga Atla shows off a winding stone staircase down to the ocean. A visit to this amazing little known Italian beach town will take you on a back in time experience and adventure you may never want to leave.
For years, writers and artist have migrated to this tiny seaside fantasy where time seems to have stopped and the scenery is breathtaking with stunning pure white architecture nestled into a deep blue sea background. This scenic wonder is Italy’s best kept secret and will leave you in silent moments taking it all in.
A tour of the classic French village will mean absorbing delicious strong aromas from the caves of the most famous bleu cheese ever made. Tasting the locally produced Roquefort Cheese will have your tastebuds dancing and yearning for a nice finishing local wine.
After touring the famous cheese cellars you will find much more to do in this wonderful french region. It is very rich in religious architectural heritage and chateaus with history and art dating back to the middle ages. This city is home to such historic masterpieces as the Knight’s Templar and the Bastides of the Rouergue. Whether you go for the cheese or the historic beauty, a trip to Roquefort will be one of the most unique of your life.
Bonn is more than just the birthplace of the famous composer, Ludwig van Beethoven. It offers the best of Riesling wines and local beers that will probably have you over consuming just a bit. A quaint city with very friendly locals and an even friendlier atmosphere makes Bonn one of Germany’s least known little gems that’s worth the 2 hour train trip out of Frankfurt. The countryside scenery alone along the way makes the train fare a bargain. Once you arrive in Bonn, the inner city transportation is great. Bonn offers trams, trains and subways at very reasonable rates day and night.
The city presents itself as an infrastructure of museums at every turn. Not just Beethoven’s home and museum, this little tucked away town that was temporarily the capital of Germany at one time offers so much historic culture and sights you will need to return more than once to take them all in.
If you happen to be lucky enough to visit in late February or early March you can experience the Karneval, a celebration of street parties and festivals that is comparable to a week long New Years Eve party. Music, theatre and cinema are also proud cultures of Bonn.
You can begin your adventure in this historic Basque city right in the center of town at the Seven Streets and Old Quarter enjoying the sites of historic buildings and churches, ancient architecture and archeology. After working up a great appetite you will find yourself in the right place for a hungry man. Famous for its delicious cuisine, the locals gather in small societal clubs to eat, drink, talk, sing and cook together. They have what is known as pintxos and txikiteo, respectively eating and drinking. The pintxos as the Basque Country locals refer to, is a small snack, what we may refer to in the America as ‘tapas’ and txikiteo are the small glasses of wine served with the pintxos.
A culinary adventure known as the pintxos trail is a mapped out trek of bars and restaurants with a taste at each stop. It is similar to what Americans call a “pub crawl”. You’ll experience a combination of delicious food and wine paired with the warm socializing locals, which make for a very memorable experience in this little known delicious section of Spain.
Galway City, Ireland
Galway is the Irish city of festivals. Be ready to party and celebrate when you land in this unique little seaside Irish village. Galway city is full of culture and sits beautifully on the western sea coast of the country. Breathtaking beaches give the peaceful atmosphere and appearance of being uninhabited for centuries. Just a few minutes inland you will find yourself in a cosmopolitan city atmosphere buzzing with huge crowds gathering for any of the many festivals and events held throughout the year. It seems there is always a reason to celebrate something in this charming seaside city.
The center of town is packed with colorful and busy cafes, bars, shops and boutiques. If the shopping, sightseeing and festivities wear you out, you’re always only a few steps away from the comfort of a cool pub with traditional Irish music and a refreshing pint of Guinness. In the evening you can stroll the scenic promenade for a spectacular sunset over Galway Bay and watch the salmon fishing boats come in from their days work.
On a nice sunny day in Galway City, the options are abundant. Relax on their spotless and scenic beaches or head into town where the streets come to life with street performers, locals and tourist enjoying festivities. If mother nature rains on your day, then a tour of the National Aquarium or City Museum will pleasantly take up an afternoon.