It's not every day that we can hop on a plane and travel to Europe. And so, when the opportunity does arrive it's evident that we will want to see some of the world's most famous cities like Paris, Venice, Dublin and so on (which may we add that you most definitely should). However, if you're interested in shaking up your trip, check out some of the most underrated European cities that Condé Nast Traveler discovered from their network of travel specialists and European-based writers. The beauty within these lesser-known areas will pull you in along with their list of must-do attractions.
"Zamora and its 60,000 inhabitants are about to see a boost in tourism thanks to the new AVE from Madrid (high-speed train), which takes just an hour. Reasons to visit are not lacking: We are talking about the city with the most Romanesque churches in all of Europe (24 exactly) all of them built around the 12th and 13th centuries. Furthermore, Zamora is one of the most important epicenters of modernist art buildings in Spain, perhaps the third after Barcelona and Melilla." shared David Moralego, Head of Content at Condé Nast Traveler Spain
The Holy Week celebrations that happen at Easter time are highly recommended for tourists. Otherwise, the summer is another great time of year. Visitors can walk around the city and appreciate it's medieval landscape. Another must see spot in Zamora is the Lago de Sanabria Nature Reserve. Here, is the largest lake in Spain engulfed in a beautiful mountain landscape.
Narbonne is located in the southwest region of France often overlooked for its very popular neighbor, Provence. This day trip worth destination gives tourists more of the local way of living as well as tons of history accompanies with the sun.
Lindsey Tramuta, journalist and author of “The New Paris” and “The New Parisienne" shared, In lodging and wine, the destination here is Château l’Hospitalet Wine Resort, Beach and Spa, owned by Gerard Bertrand, among the pioneers of biodynamic winemaking in France with 16 biodynamic estates (Bertrand is one of the biggest exporters of French wine in the U.S.). The hotel recently added new suites, restaurants, a spa, and a beach club and guests can opt for wine tastings on the property. Travelers can also go to see the flamingos at the Regional Natural Park of Narbonne, go horseback riding through the park, visit the medieval historic city center, and stop by Narbo Via, a new museum designed by Foster + Partners focused on the ancient maritime capital’s Roman history."
What was once a preserved market town embodied by antique stores is now a more engaging town with various independent shops, cafes, and delis along its cobblestone streets.
"One of the largest estates in the area, Cowdray Park is recognized worldwide as the Home of British Polo, the sport of Kings. (NoteWorthy can arrange for you to meet with a top England player and take a private lesson for two.) The town also has the stately 17th-century Petworth House, Twenty (a one-stop destination for contemporary fashion connoisseurs), and The Hungry Guest deli (their chocolate brownies are to die for!). Make sure you also check out the lavender fields tucked away in a fold of the South Downs, open to visitors every July," shared Nicola Butler, Owner and Managing Director of NoteWorthy
This adorable English town is a must-visit location along with its surrounding areas.
Kathleen Sheridan, Independent Travel Consultant at McCabe World Travel wrote, "Often overlooked by tourists, Cork is a bustling city with a friendly, local vibe. Considered the culinary capital of Ireland, it has a sizzling restaurant scene (I especially love Greenes Restaurant), unique pubs and distilleries, and the English market—one of the best food markets in Europe. Cork is easy to navigate by foot and there are many galleries, museums, cathedrals, and historical sights to see.
It is also the perfect jumping off point for day trips to the charming seaside town of Kinsale, Blarney Castle and Gardens, Old Head golf course, and Cobh, which was the Titanic’s last port of call and port from which many emigrants departed during the Great Famine. If you can, try to visit in June for the Midsummer Festival or October for the Cork Jazz Festival."
Trieste is just a two-hour drive from Venice, Italy being a great alternative to the more crowded and famous sinking city. It's attractive to those looking to spend their days with the tourists but their nights in a more quiet and relaxed location. It's easily accessible by train and will soon be added to cruise ships' list of ports.
"Whether you prefer to be by the sea or in the heart of the historic center, the locals are warm and welcoming and there is so much to discover. Faro della Vittoria, an impressive lighthouse on Gretta Hill, is unmissable; as is the main square, Piazza Unità d’Italia. There are also many castles nearby, including Duino Castle, Miramare Castle, and Muggia Castle, and the great wine regions of Slovenia are right on your doorstep," shared Andrea Grisdale, CEO and founder of IC Bellagio