Looking for a vacation that is just as relaxing as a beach trip, but without the crowds and high prices of European capitals? Look no further than these nine urban getaways that offer all the advantages of city life, but with lower prices and fewer people.
If you’re tired of the crowds and high prices in London, Paris, and Rome, try visiting lesser-known cities like Poznan, Poland. This underrated city boasts colorful architecture and underground raves. After taking in the historic cathedral and learning about its history at the interactive heritage center, be sure to try the typical cuisine of the region, the Greater Poland, a love letter to tubers.
Munich, Germany, is perfect for those who don’t love cities too much. It’s very prepared for urban cycling, and its nearby mountains are ideal for lovers of hiking. You can even go surfing on the river Isar, an exercise that will come in handy after you’ve been sampling the local pastries and beers. Oktoberfest is, of course, the liveliest time of the year, but Munich is also ideal for a quiet stay.
Cork, Ireland, is a great place to relax in peaceful Fitzgerald Park or gaze at the stars at the Blackrock Castle observatory. Whiskey lovers will enjoy the Jameson experience and the Rebel City Distillery, while culture seekers can visit the Cork Opera House and Crawford Art Gallery.
Gdansk, Poland, boasts some of the most beautiful architecture in the country, with abundant churches and street markets. Enjoy a traditional meal in one of its milk bars and see the distinctive brightly colored buildings as you stroll along the beautiful waterfront.
Lyon, France, is a must-see decorated with murals and many beautiful buildings. Nestled at the confluence of the Rhône and Saône rivers, the city saw the birth of cinema. It is a benchmark for French cuisine, and the perfect base to explore the national parks and vineyards of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region.
Leipzig, Germany, one of the jewels of eastern Germany, has been an artistic center since the Middle Ages. Party-goers will want to explore its legendary techno scene, and culture lovers should check out its Museum of Fine Arts and Forum of Contemporary History. A must-visit is the old textile district of Lindenau.
Porto, Portugal, facing the Atlantic Ocean, offers beautiful sunsets and is home to world-famous Port wine. The lively nightlife of its medieval neighborhood and the Duero River boat trip are perfect ways to enjoy the beauty of the city. And don’t forget to try the emblematic custard tarts.
Glasgow, Scotland, is a former industrial town that is now a cultural center, home of the Scottish Opera, and Ballet. The Clydeside distillery is another good choice for whiskey lovers, and the city’s route of murals boasts magnificent works of art.
Manchester, England, the undisputed capital of the north, has culture, nightlife, and gastronomy for all palates. The city has been able to take advantage of its industrial heritage better than anyone, with Victorian warehouses and canals visible throughout. Soak up its vibrant theater scene, learn about the city’s political and industrial past at the Museum of Science and Industry, and have fun in the historic Gay Village at night.