There’s so much more to Europe than London, Paris and Rome-and sometimes it’s the less popular locales that prove the most spectacular vacation spots of them all. Take the road less travelled and visit these hidden gems, which we’re celebrating as the 6 most underrated cities in Europe.
The city of Split, Croatia, will appeal to just about any traveller. It is known for fine dining, excellent shopping and loads of bars to choose from. The city is also home to the Diocletian’s Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and formerly a retirement palace built for the Emperor Diocletian around the year 300 A.D. If that weren’t enough reason to book your trip to Split right now, then the captivating view of the sea from this coastal town will surely do the trick.
The city of love may be calling your name but before you book your ticket to Paris, you might want to consider Vézelay. Built back in the 11th century, this ancient city is known for its vineyards, and the famous church built for Mary Magdalene. Built on a hilltop, this town is nothing short of picturesque. Fine wine, inspiring architecture and beautiful landscapes ensure a most peaceful stay.
Madrid and Barcelona may be among Spain’s most visited cities, but Gibraltar will inspire awe in even the most jaded traveller. Historically, Phoenicians were thought to be the first inhabitants of Gibraltar (around 950 B.C.), but new evidence suggests that Neanderthals were here as far back as 28,000 B.C. The Rock of Gibraltar, which borders Spain, is its only official landmark, but the densely populated city is so rich in its own unique culture and history that it never disappoints.
Rome isn’t the only Italian city with rich history, culture and architecture. Located in Northern Italy, Ferrara, a lesser-known and less frequently visited city, is the destination missing from your summer itinerary. Ancient walls-nearly 9 kilometres long-surround this city, which is filled with immense cathedrals and castles that date back to the 14th century. Every road and building are reminiscent of the era the city was constructed, garnering it a UNESCO World Heritage Site designation.
Bordering Germany and France, this multi-cultural, multi-lingual city is among Europe’s most unique. Boasting the most museums in Europe, it’s a culture-lover’s dream. It also happens to be peaceful and quiet with an absolutely serene atmosphere, making it the perfect getaway from everyday stressors.
If the name of this city reminds you of wine, your head is in the right place: this is indeed the place where port wine originated. Built during Roman times, this beautiful port city’s architecture, landscapes and history will certainly impress. Soak in the beauty of this underrated city with a glass of the finest wine and you’ve got the recipe for a perfect vacation.
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