Search icon


28th Jul 2022

5 of the coolest European cities you might not think of visiting this year

Sarah McKenna Barry

Fancy going somewhere that’s a bit under-rated?

While it may seem like everyone and their mother is soaking up the rays by the pool right now, your classic sun getaway isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, particularly when you consider the wealth of European city-breaks that are just a few hours away.

We’re all familiar with the delights of Paris, Rome, London and Berlin, but Europe is also home to plenty of lesser known cities that have just as much to offer.

So, if you’re planning a city-break, consider thinking outside of the box with these five under-rated destinations.

1. Lyon, France

Nestled between the Rhône and Saône rivers, Lyon is truly a city of leisure. This hilly town has a rich history, dating back to the Roman Empire and it’s also known as the gastronomical capital of France. Expect plenty of delicious meals, cute bars and stunning parks during a weekend away here.

2. Tallinn, Estonia

The old town of the Estonian capital is considered to be among the most beautiful medieval cites in Europe, and just by looking at the pictures, we can see why. However, it’s also a very modern city, with luxurious hotels and a versatile nightlife scene. You may also be surprised to learn that despite its Baltic position, the coastline is dotted with sandy beaches, a popular spot for locals in the summer months.

3. Valencia, Spain

If, like national treasure Nadine Coyle, you’re at once a city girl and a beach girl, then this Spanish city might be your vibe. Stunning, sandy beaches and clear water line the coast, while the city itself is home to some real architectural treasures. Valencia is also the city where paella originated, so yeah, there’s that.

4. Ljubljana, Slovenia

If green spaces are high on your list of priorities when visiting a new city, then the Slovenian capital should tick that box. As well as being super green, the city quite literally feels like a fairytale village. Hiking to the city’s castle is a must here, as well as exploring the city’s vibrant art scene.

5. Bucharest, Romania

Bucharest in Romania boasts an impressive nightlife scene, but there is plenty to do in the day as well. From absolutely stunning churches, to fascinating museums and huge green spaces, a weekend may not be enough to enjoy this city. It’s also home to an urban beach, if you feel like cooling off on a hot day.