We'll be looking at underappreciated cities from across Europe. Though the places we're discussing tend to play second fiddle to more tourist centric cities. These destinations are a perfect place to start your post-pandemic travels.
Bergamo, Italy :
Bergamo is located in the northern part of the Lombardia region which has amazing views of the Alps and lower city, Citta Alta has spacious plazas, cobblestone alleys, and impressive churches from an earlier era. This quaint town in Italy is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site boasting history and culture. This city is divided into two parts, the old town and the new town which are connected by the funicular and walking trails. Bergamo is a pedestrian town so many go for biking and walking tours which will take you to amazing places of Bergamo like Piazza Vecchia which is famous because of its government seat and the two famous churches Cappella Colleoni and Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore nearby. It's certainly one of the unique quaint small towns in Italy.
Riga, Latvia :
Riga is the largest city in the 3 Baltic States of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. Riga is not much crowded as compared to other European destinations as it's quite unexplored and is an offbeat destination. It's known for its history, Hanseatic architecture and culture. But that’s not it, this city also has the best nightlife. Black Balsam is a traditional drink which one can have. Riga’s Central Market is one of the largest markets in the entire Europe and the city is very affordable compared to other European destinations. As the city center is very pastel, there are many parks to bring natural colors, Bastejkalna Park being the major one which is also close to the Freedom Monument and surrounds the canals. Daugava Promenade is a calm place to stroll around by yourself. You can also shop for Amber jewellery which is probably of the best quality.
Lille, France :
Lille is one of the hidden gem in the north of France. Its charm is compelling and will dazzle anybody from anywhere. A lot of people know Lille as a stop-over city while on the way to Brussels in Eurostar. Lille is well known for its rich culture and Flemish architecture. Palais des Beaux-Arts is one of the largest museum in France. Place de Charles de Gaulle is a popular central square in the old town for people to relax and meet up new people. The well known Lille Flea Market is held once a year where all the visitors come to bargain. Lille also has an open-air museum where people can easily blend in with the culture and the visit to Citadelle. It is worth the trip. No matter where you are in Lille, you will always be near a chic bar or a local estaminet which helps you try their traditional specialities.
LILLE FLEA MARKET
Belgrade, Serbia :
People often see Serbia as a city of wars, destruction, bombings etc but it was 20 odd years ago. As Serbia has overcome all the hardships and has become more resilient, people in Serbia are more hospitable and overwhelming. This city will take your heart as there is more of natural beauty than man-made beauty. Belgrade is known for some of the wildest nightlife in Europe. There are many churches and a blissful waterfront as the city is on the river Danube. Other tourist attractions like Skadarlija, Knez Mihailova Street, etc will blow your mind. Serbia is yet to be discovered when it comes to a European country, but it is truly an amazing place to visit.
Ghent, Belgium :
This hidden gem is right outside Brussels, the perfect place to spend the day roaming in this quaint town. One can relate every turn with the ripped pages of a fairy tale. From stunning castles to shining canals, medical structures, famous delicious beers, picturesque architecture, Ghent has something for everyone. Encounter the fairytale-like Gravensteen Castle, Graslei for some historic buildings and city hub, Korenmarkt a historic city square with stunning buildings. Enroll yourself in some beer tasting tours whilst exploring the city and see more of the city's beauty in a canal cruise.