Europe is one of the most popular travel destinations, and there’s just so much to take in. If you’ve already visited must-visit cities like Paris, London, Rome, or Barcelona, or you’re just looking for new places to explore, why not check out these amazing, but underrated European cities?

They offer an exciting opportunity to explore new cultures, foods, and destinations, minus the hefty bills and large crowds. You’re sure to fall in love with these charming but underrated European cities, with their stunning landscapes and beautiful architecture.

1Matera, Italy

Matera, Basilicata, Italy: landscape at dawn of the old town (sassi di Matera),

The third oldest inhabited city in the world, Matera is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This ancient city is known for its networks of cave dwellings (called sassi). Evacuated due to overcrowding in the 60s, they have been transformed into picturesque bars, hotels, restaurants and more.

Also Read: 18 Underrated Towns In Italy You Have To See

2Trier, Germany

Classic view of famous Porta Nigra, the largest Roman city gate monument north of the Alps, in beautiful golden morning light at sunrise in summer, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany

One of the oldest cities in Germany, the picturesque Trier is a hidden gem. Founded by the Romans, it is still full of well-preserved buildings like the Porta Nigra gate, Roman baths, and an amphitheatre. Don’t miss the Trier Cathedral, and the Karl Marx House, where the famous philosopher was born.

3Zell am See, Austria

Panorama of Zell am See, Salzburger Land, Salzburg, Austria

Located in the Austrian Alps near Lake Zell, this beautiful mountain town is known for its excellent ski slopes and summer hiking trails. It is the perfect place for those who like outdoor activities. Take in the panoramic views of the Kitzsteinhorn from the Gipfelwelt 3000 platform. Don’t forget to visit the medieval St Hippolyte Church with its distinctive tower.

Also Read: The Best Alpine Ski Resorts In Europe

4Maastricht, Netherlands

Saint Servatius Basilica and Saint John's church and the Military Guard House at the Vrijthof Square in the city of Maastricht in The Netherlands. Underrated cities in Europe

This tiny Dutch town packs quite a punch. Located on the Maas River, on the border with Belgium and Germany, it is filled with historic monuments, parks, museums, and muh, much more. It’s two amazing town squares (Vrijthof and Markt) also boast delicious food stalls, quirky cafes, and amazing churches.

Also Read: 6 Things You Have To Do In Maastricht, the Netherlands

5Arles, France

Arles, France - September 4, 2017: Locals and tourists spending time at the Place du Forum with its Cafés and Bistros.

This town in southern France is perhaps best known for its connection to famous painter Vincent Van Gogh. Set along the Rhône River, it was once a provincial Roman town, and still has many buildings from that era, including the Arles Amphitheater, which is still in use. The city and the vibrant countryside can also be seen in many of Van Gogh’s works.

6Krakow, Poland

Daytime panorama of Krakow, Poland, featuring Wawel Castle. The Vistula River flows along the left side of the image, and the castle is visible on the right, near the horizon. There is a blue sky with sparse, wispy clouds above the horizon and a manicured lawn intersected by walking paths in the foreground.

This small city is among the most underrated European cities but is bursting with exciting sights to see. Historic castles, ghost tours, majestic churches, and vibrant markets, Krakow has it all. The city even offers free walking tours by locals, which the perfect way to explore.

Also Read: 6 Places You Have To See In Warsaw, Poland

7Longyearbyen, Norway

The polar arctic Northern lights aurora borealis sky star in Norway Svalbard in Longyearbyen city the moon mountains

Often considered the northernmost town in the world, Longyearbyen is known for its fantastic landscapes and mighty glaciers. While there aren’t any famous monuments or large galleries, you can visit various old abandoned villages (such as Pyramiden), or even cross the Polar Circle to experience the Northern Lights.

8Lille, France

Central Place General de Gaulle in Lille, France.

In the Hauts-de-France region, Lille is filled with historic buildings and rich culture. Once a Flemish town, it was captured by King Louis XIV of France in 1667. The city is full of churches, museums (like the Palais des Beaux-Arts, which has the second largest art collection in France), and delicious food.

Also Read: The 15 Best Things To Do In Lille, France

9Tallinn, Estonia

Aerial view old town, Tallinn

Set between Russia and Latvia, the Baltic nation of Estonia is an undiscovered gem. Its capital, Tallinn, is one of the most underrated cities in Europe and is known for its charming Old Town, which looks like you’ve stepped right into the 14th century. Explore its many churches, bustling markets, and more.

Also Read: 6 Reasons To Visit Tallinn, Estonia This Year

10Lucca, Italy

Lucca, Italy

Often overlooked in favour of neighbouring Pisa, the gorgeous walled city of Lucca in Tuscany is a wonder. With Renaissance-era walls encircling its historic centre, and its tree-lined cobblestoned streets, the city is a delight to explore. Set on the Serchio River, it also has many amazing churches, buildings, and squares.

11York, England

York, UK - September 27, 2015: Tourists walking along the old roman city walls of York with the York Minster in the background. The walls of York are the most complete example of medieval walls still standing in England.

Inhabited for centuries by the Roman and then the Vikings, York is the perfect destination for history buffs. It is home to the spectacular York Minster (with its massive stained glass window), the Jorvik Viking Centre, and the picturesque ‘Shambles” with its Tudor-style shopping streets. Don’t miss the Monk Bar near the river Ouse.

Also Read: 6 Incredible Medieval Cities To See In The UK

12Metz, France

Temple Neuf de Metz

This beautiful and quaint French city is full of lush green gardens and leafy promenades. Set between the Moselle and Seille Rivers, it is dominated by the Gothic Metz Cathedral and the Chapelle des Templiers. Also, check out the Cous d’Or Museum and its artefacts of the famous Merovingian Kings who once ruled from here. Many of its buildings are built from the golden hues Jumont limestone, which seems to almost glow on sunny days.

13Ghent, Belgium

Image of Ghent, Belgium during twilight blue hour.

Perhaps best known for being the “vegetarian capital of the world,” Ghent is often overshadowed by other Belgian cities, like Brussels and Antwerp. This quiet and quaint town nevertheless has some stunning buildings with intricate architecture as well as many fascinating museums, cathedrals, castles, and more.

14Llandudno, Wales

View of Llandudno Bay

Most people who visit Wales often head straight to its castles, or its natural parks. However, it is full of wonderful towns such as Llandudno. It was frequented by Lewis Carroll of Alice in Wonderland fame (and is said to have inspired his books). Explore its peaceful beach, its charming shop, and the Great Orme

Also Read: 11 Unique Things To Do In Cardiff, Wales

15Ljubljana, Slovenia

Cityscape of the Slovenian capital Ljubljana at sunset. Ljubljana castle on hill above town. River Ljubljanica running trough city center. Karavanke mountains in background, Yugoslavia

The capital and largest city of Slovenia, Ljubljana (pronounced lub-lana) is the perfect place to experience the new Eastern Europe. The city is divided by the Ljubljanica River, and its banks are lined with charming shops and cafes. Don’t miss the distinctive Tromostovje bridge over the river near the central square, and the hilltop Ljubljana Castle.

16Ronda, Spain

The village of Ronda in Andalusia, Spain.

This small Spanish town in the province of Málaga is set dramatically atop a series of immense stone cliffs. It is full of stunning Moorish buildings and a fascinating bullfighting culture. Be sure to visit the massive Plaza del Toros (a bullring) and walk across the Puente Nuevo Bridge that spans the El Tajo Gorge.

Also Read: What To See and Do in Ronda

17Bremen, Germany

Ancient Bremen Market Square in the centre of the Hanseatic City of Bremen with view on The Schuetting (former guild house) and famous Raths-Buildings, Germany

Located in northern Germany, this small town is known for its connection to the  Grimm fairytale “The Town Musicians of Bremen“. Once a bustling seaport, this now quiet town is filled with ornate medieval buildings and cathedrals. Check out the central Schnoor Quarter and the Böttcherstraße.

18Split, Croatia

Split waterfront and Marjan hill aerial view, Dalmatia, Croatia

Though it’s one of the largest cities in Croatia, this vibrant coastal city is still a laid-back Mediterranean paradise. While it’s not a historical time capsule like Dubrovnik, nor a metropolis like Zagreb, it is truly a hidden gem. Visit ancient Roman sites at the Diocletian’s Palace and the Cathedral of St Domnius, take a trip to Marjan National Park, or just relax at Kaštelet beach and the nearby island of Hvar.

Also Read: 11 Islands You Have To Visit This Summer

19Valletta, Malta

Typical Narrow Streets With Colorful Balconies In Valletta, Malta,Europe.

Malta is one of the smallest countries in the world and its capital, Valletta, is a fascinating UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is full of royal palaces, narrow streets, and colourful balconies. Don’t miss the gilded St John’s Co-Cathedral, the luxurious Grand Master’s Palace, and the National Museum of Archaeology.

Also Read: Top 11 Things To Do in Malta

20Eguisheim, France

Charming street scene with colorful houses in the historic town of Eguisheim on a beautiful sunny day with blue sky and clouds in summer, Alsace, France

Often overlooked in favour of the larger (though equally picturesque) Colmar, Eguisheim in the Alsace region of France is nonetheless one of the country’s most beautiful towns. Its narrow streets are filled with charming half-timbered pastel-hued houses and flowering window boxes. The town is also set along the Alsace Wine Trail and hosts an annual Stork Festival each August.

21Bratislava, Slovakia

Bratislava - aerial view

Just a few hours from Vienna, the Slovakian capital of Bratislava is all but unknown to most tourists. Dominated by its majestic castle and the Danube River, it a colourful city centre and many whimsical buildings as well as an exciting nightlife.

Also Read: The Top Things To Do In Bratislava

22Uppsala, Sweden 

The Uppsala Cathedral is a cathedral located in the centre of Uppsala. The cathedral dates back to the late 13th century.

Close to Stockholm is another major Swedish city, Uppsala. Once home to an ancient Temple to the Norse gods, it is now known for its university, the oldest in Scandinavia. Don’t miss the Uppsala Cathedral (where Swedish royals are buried), the Linnaean Garden, and the Augsburg Art Cabinet.

Are there any underrated European cities we’ve missed? If so, be sure to share them in the comments below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Hi, I look forward for more information on travel and teach English.

    Would you please help me with the same?!

    Thanks,
    Bansari THAKKAR
    FRENCH LINGUIST

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