While Avignon draws in thousands of tourists thanks to its summer festival and arresting Papal Palace, nearby Orange is usually overlooked.Easier to navigate with far fewer visitors, the city’s key attraction is the vertiginous Roman theater, which was built in the first century C.E.Meanwhile the Orange Museum, set in a beautiful 17th-century mansion, is also well worth a visit.
Norwich has one of England’s most impressive cathedrals.Pixabay / Creative CommonsThe saying goes that Norwich has a pub for every day of the year and a church for every Sunday.While that’s perhaps stretching the truth, this most quintessential of English cities is certainly home to some of the most stunning medieval architecture in England.Norwich Cathedral dates back to 1096 and the streets of Colegate and Elm Hill are home to picturesque, centuries-old homes.The Adam and Eve pub, on Bishopsgate, is said to be the oldest pub in the country, dating back to 1249.
Denmark’s second city has long been overshadowed by its alluring capital Copenhagen.But Aarhus makes the perfect alternative for a Danish long weekend thanks to its pretty beaches, towering Domkirke and the superb ARoS Aarhus Art Museum, with its rainbow panorama walkway.ARoS’s Wine and Food Hall is one of the best places in the city to try Nordic cuisine on a budget.For those looking to splash out, Gastromé,based in the Latin Quarter, has a tasting menu that will satisfy the most demanding of foodies.
The UNESCO-protected Cathedral of Our Lady dominates the Antwerp skyline, but there’s so much to this Belgian city than its most famous building.Highlights include the diamond Square Mile, where travelers can get to the heart of an industry that’s been a core part of the city since the 15th century.There’s also the Red Star Line museum, located on Antwerp’s old docks, which uncovers the city’s past as a hub for migration to the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The Hague, Netherlands
Laid-back city The Hague is far less crowded than Amsterdam.Pixabay/Creative CommonsAs Amsterdam attempts to rein in tourists with plans to close its Red Light District and impose strict rules on short-term lets, the Hague serves as a fabulous, low-key alternative for those still keen on a Dutch break.The city boasts some of the Netherlands’ finest architecture, a pretty network of canals and, in the Mauritshuis, a museum to rival Amsterdam’s behemoth Rijksmuseum.It’s also just 15 minutes away from the gorgeous Scheveningen beach resort.
Sarajevo is filled with stand-out architecture.Pixabay, Creative CommonsOften snubbed for more popular destinations in neighboring Croatia, Sarajevo is a resurgent city brimful of culture and history.At its heart is Baščaršija, the old market quarter that still buzzes with spice stalls, cafés and the fascinating Gazi Husrev-beg Mosque.Visitors can learn about Sarajevo’s four-year-long siege during the 1990s civil war at the Tunnel of Hope and the War Childhood Museum.The derelict bobsled track from the 1984 Winter Olympics is also a stand-out sight — the nearby Pino Nature Hotel offers superb views and first-rate Bosnian food.
Kosovo’s capital is a quirky city with plenty to see and do.ShutterstockThe Kosovan capital isn’t usually at the top of many tourists’ destination wish lists, but that’s no reason not to visit this fascinating city.While Pristina may have been synonymous with war 20 years ago, its undergone a major transformation since then, with various quirky buildings popping up.The excellent Emin Gjiku Ethnographic Museum is well worth a morning of exploring, as is the superb National Museum of Kosovo.Pristina University’s unique library will fascinate architecture buffs, while those looking to cool off can find solace in the vast pool tucked away in Germia Park, located just north of the city.
Malmo — the third largest city in Sweden after Stockholm and Gothenburg.ShutterstockMalmo is so much more than a day trip across the Oresund Bridge from Copenhagen.The excellent Moderna Museet Malmo is one of the best contemporary art galleries in Europe, while culture fiends will find succor at Malmöhus Castle, home to several museums focusing on the local area.The city’s food scene rivals the nearby Danish capital — foodies should check out Bloom in the Park and its “no menu'”concept, as well as the global offerings at Malmö Saluhall.Meanwhile Ribersborg beach, located just a short walk from the city center, is a wonderful haven from the heat in high summer.
Aberdeen is often referred to as “The Flower of Scotland” thanks to its greenery.ShutterstockThe hordes visiting the Scottish capital can feel hugely oppressive, particularly during its annual festivals.However, travelers keen to escape the crowds can simply head north to Aberdeen instead.The city’s amazing architecture has given rise to the nickname “Granite City,” with fascinating buildings at every turn.Aberdeen’s main art gallery is due to reopen in late September 2019, while those keen to sample the local culture can head out to nearby Speyside for a tour of some of Scotland’s best single malt distilleries.
The Old Town of Bern — a UNESCO World Heritage site.ShutterstockWhile travelers often simply pass through the Swiss capital en route to a summer vacation or winter ski trip in Zurich or Geneva, Bern is definitely worthy of a few extra days of your trip.When the heat rises, locals take to the River Aare for cooling dips and paddle board trips.Elsewhere, the Museum of Fine Arts features works by Picasso and Klee, while hikers can tramp to the top of the Gurten, the mountain which overlooks the old city.
Wroclaw is one of the oldest cities in Poland.Sean Gallup/Getty ImagesFew small cities in Europe pack a cultural punch like Wroclaw.This western Polish city, on the banks of the Oder river, served as European Capital of Culture in 2016 and has plenty of attractions for art, architecture and history fanatics to marvel at.Wroclaw’s main highlight is the 114-meter Panorama of Racławice, depicting the 1794 defeat of a Russian army by the Poles.The beautiful Centennial Hall should also be on any itinerary, as should the Penitent Bridge between the towers of the Mary Magdalene Church.No visit is complete without a day spent exploring the Gothic Old Town.
The name of Georgia’s capital comes from the Old Georgian word “tbili,” which means warm.Pixabay/Creative CommonsTbilisi derives its name from the hot springs which bubble beneath its surface.Its sulfur baths are a magnet for visitors, albeit far fewer than those that head to the famous spas.The Georgian capital wears its multi-ethnic history with pride — the famous Metekhi Church, which dates back to the 13th century, sits close to the Narikala Fortress, built by the occupying Persians in the fourth century.Meanwhile, the rambling alleyways and small shops of the Old Town are perfect for whiling away the hours.
source: Owusu- Amponsah Emmanuel