5 Best Underrated Cities In Europe You Will Love

Europe is home to some of the most well-known and popular cities in the world, such as Paris, London, and Rome. However, there are also many lesser-known cities that are just as worthy of attention. These underrated cities in Europe offer a unique blend of history, culture, and modern amenities, and are often more affordable and less crowded than their more well-known counterparts.

5 Best Underrated Cities In Europe

1. Krakow, Poland

Underrated cities in Europe
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Photo by Giota Sakellariou

One underrated city in Europe is Krakow, Poland. Known for its well-preserved medieval architecture and rich history, Krakow is a hidden gem that is often overlooked by tourists. The city is home to the Wawel Castle, a stunning Gothic structure that was once the residence of Polish kings.

The Wawel Castle is a must-see attraction in the city and offers a glimpse into the rich history of Poland. The castle is a complex of buildings with a variety of architectural styles, including Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque. The castle is surrounded by beautiful gardens, which are perfect for a stroll on a sunny day.

Another highlight of Krakow is the Main Market Square, one of the largest medieval town squares in Europe. The square is surrounded by colorful buildings, each with its own unique architecture and history. The center of the square is dominated by the Cloth Hall, a Renaissance-style building that now houses a variety of souvenir shops and cafes.

The square is also home to St. Mary’s Church, a beautiful Gothic church with a distinctive two-tower facade. The church is famous for its wooden altarpiece, which is one of the most important works of art in Poland. The Main Market Square is also the site of many festivals and events throughout the year, making it a great spot to experience local culture.

One of the most notable events that take place in Main Market Square is the Krakow Christmas market. The market features traditional handmade crafts, delicious food, and festive entertainment.

Visitors can also enjoy the beautiful Christmas lights and decorations that adorn the square during the holiday season. The market is a great place to buy unique gifts and souvenirs, and enjoy the festive atmosphere of the city.

Krakow is also known for its vibrant cultural scene, with numerous museums, galleries, and theatres showcasing the best of Polish art and culture. The city is home to the National Museum, which is the largest and most important museum in Poland.

The museum has a vast collection of Polish art, artifacts, and historical objects, including a replica of the famous Wawel Dragon. The museum also has a section dedicated to the history of Krakow, which is a great way to learn more about the city’s past.

Another must-visit museum in Krakow is the Museum of Contemporary Art, which has a collection of works by Polish and international artists.

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One of the most popular attractions in Krakow is the Kazimierz district, which was once the Jewish quarter of the city. The district is home to many synagogues, including the Old Synagogue, which is the oldest synagogue in Poland and one of the oldest in Europe.

The district also has a variety of Jewish-themed museums, including the Galicia Museum, which tells the story of the Jewish community in Poland. Visitors can also explore the Jewish cemetery, which is the oldest Jewish cemetery in Poland and is the final resting place of many famous Jewish figures.

2. Lisbon, Portugal

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Photo by Lisa Fotios

Another underrated city in Europe is Lisbon, Portugal. Often overshadowed by its more popular neighbor, Barcelona. Lisbon is a city that offers a unique blend of old-world charm and modern amenities.

The city is known for its beautiful architecture, including the Belem Tower and the Jeronimos Monastery. The Belem Tower is a 16th-century fortification that sits on the banks of the Tagus River.

The tower is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the most iconic landmarks in Lisbon. The tower is open to visitors and offers stunning views of the city and the river.

The Jeronimos Monastery is a Gothic-style monastery that was built in the 16th century to commemorate the voyages of Vasco da Gama. The monastery is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the most important examples of Manueline architecture. Inside the monastery, visitors can admire the intricate stone carvings and ornate decorations that adorn the walls and ceilings.

Lisbon is also famous for its historic trams, which are a popular way to explore the city. The most famous tram is the number 28, which takes visitors on a scenic tour through the city’s historic neighborhoods.

The tram passes by many of Lisbon’s most famous landmarks, including the Belem Tower, the Jeronimos Monastery, and the Sao Jorge Castle. The tram ride is a great way to see the city and get a sense of the local culture.

Lisbon is also known for its lively nightlife and delicious cuisine, with a wide variety of seafood dishes and traditional Portuguese pastries. The city is famous for its seafood, and there are many restaurants and cafes that serve fresh fish and shellfish.

The traditional dish of Lisbon is “bacalhau”, which is a salted cod dish that is prepared in a variety of ways. Another popular dish is “cozido”, which is a stew made with meat, vegetables, and beans.

Lisbon is also famous for its pastries, and there are many bakeries and cafes that serve traditional Portuguese sweets such as “pasties de Nata” and “ovos moles”.

3. Budapest, Hungary

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Photo by Bayo Adegunloye on Unsplash

Another underrated city in Europe is Budapest, Hungary. Often overshadowed by its more popular neighbor, Prague, Budapest is a city that offers a unique blend of old-world charm and modern amenities.

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The city is known for its stunning architecture, including the Parliament Building, a magnificent Neo-Gothic structure, and the Buda Castle, a medieval fortress that sits high on a hill overlooking the city.

The Parliament Building is the largest parliament building in Europe and is an impressive sight to behold. The building is open to visitors and offers tours that take visitors inside the building to see the ornate decoration and the impressive halls.

The Buda Castle is another must-see attraction in Budapest. The castle is a complex of buildings that date back to the 14th century, and it is now a museum showcasing the history of Hungary. Visitors can explore the castle’s many rooms and halls, which are filled with art and artifacts that tell the story of Hungary’s past. The castle also offers beautiful views of the city and the river.

Budapest is also known for its famous thermal baths, including the Szechenyi Baths, which are the largest thermal baths in Europe. The baths are a popular spot for locals and visitors alike, and they offer a variety of pools, saunas, and massage treatments.

The baths are a great place to relax and experience the local culture. Visitors can also enjoy the beautiful architecture and decoration of the baths, which are a unique blend of Art Nouveau and Ottoman styles.

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4. Bratislava, Slovakia

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A city that is often overlooked by tourists is Bratislava, Slovakia. This charming city sits on the banks of the Danube River and is known for its well-preserved medieval architecture and rich history. The city is home to the Bratislava Castle, a stunning Gothic structure that sits high on a hill overlooking the city, as well as the Old Town, which is home to a variety of shops, restaurants, and cafes.

The Bratislava Castle is a must-see attraction in the city and offers a glimpse into the rich history of Slovakia. The castle is a complex of buildings that date back to the 9th century, and it is now a museum showcasing the history of Bratislava and Slovakia.

Visitors can explore the castle’s many rooms and halls, which are filled with art and artifacts that tell the story of Slovakia’s past. The castle also offers beautiful views of the city and the river.

The Old Town of Bratislava is another must-see attraction in the city. The Old Town is a well-preserved medieval district that is home to many historical buildings and monuments.

Visitors can explore the cobblestone streets and admire the colorful buildings, which are a blend of Gothic, Baroque, and Renaissance styles. The Old Town is also home to many shops, restaurants, and cafes, where visitors can enjoy the local cuisine and culture.

Bratislava is also known for its vibrant cultural scene, with numerous museums, galleries, and theatres showcasing the best of Slovakian art and culture. The city is home to the Slovak National Museum, which is the largest and most important museum in Slovakia.

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The museum has a vast collection of Slovakian art, artifacts, and historical objects, including a replica of the famous Slovakian crown jewels. The museum also has a section dedicated to the history of Bratislava, which is a great way to learn more about the city’s past.

Another must-visit museum in Bratislava is the Museum of Slovakian Culture, which has a collection of works by Slovakian and international artists.

5. Riga, Latvia

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Photo by aivars

Another underrated city in Europe is Riga, Latvia. Often overshadowed by its more popular neighbor, Tallinn, Riga is a city that offers a unique blend of old-world charm and modern amenities.

The city is known for its stunning Art Nouveau architecture, including the Riga Central Market, a vast indoor market that is housed in a series of Art Nouveau buildings, and the House of the Blackheads, a 14th-century building that is now a museum showcasing the best of Latvian art and culture.

The Riga Central Market is one of the largest markets in Europe and is a great place to buy local produce and souvenirs. The market is housed in a series of Art Nouveau buildings, which are a unique blend of Latvian and German architectural styles.

The House of the Blackheads is another must-see attraction in Riga. The building is a 14th-century guild hall that was built for the city’s merchants and traders. The building is now a museum that showcases the history and culture of Riga and Latvia.

Visitors can explore the building’s many rooms and halls, which are filled with art and artifacts that tell the story of Latvia’s past. The building also offers beautiful views of the city and the river.

Riga is also known for its lively nightlife and delicious cuisine, with a wide variety of seafood dishes and traditional Latvian pastries. The city is famous for its seafood, and there are many restaurants and cafes that serve fresh fish and shellfish. The traditional dish of Riga is “sklandrausis”, which is a sweet pastry filled with potatoes and cottage cheese.

Another popular dish is “gray peas with bacon”, which is a hearty stew made with peas, bacon, and potatoes. Riga is also famous for its pastries, and there are many bakeries and cafes that serve traditional Latvian sweets such as “sklandrausis” and “piparkukas”.

Conclusion: Best Underrated Cities In Europe

In conclusion, Europe is home to many well-known and popular cities, but there are also many underrated cities in Europe that are just as worthy of attention.

Cities such as Krakow, Lisbon, Budapest, Bratislava, Riga, and Utrecht offer a unique blend of history, culture, and modern amenities and are often more affordable and less crowded than their more well-known counterparts.

These underrated cities in Europe are perfect for travelers looking for an off-the-beaten-path destination and a chance to experience the local culture and history.

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