18 underrated cities in Europe picked by travel experts

underrated cities in europe
By Joanna Dabrowska

By Joanna
(Contact Me)

Places to visit in Europe June 8, 2024 2024 Places to visit in Europe

You have already visited the top cities in Europe and would like to see lesser known travel destinations? That's great! Together with fellow well-travelled bloggers we created a fascinating list of 18 underrated cities in Europe which you just need to visit.

Bonus: quite a few of them are inexpensive travel destinations!

Read on and discover the beautiful places perfect for European city breaks or even longer vacations.

Europe: underrated cities

1. Riga, Latvia

Recommended by Becki of Meet Me In Departures

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Riga, the capital of Latvia, is one of the three UNESCO-listed Baltic State capitals - the other two are Vilnius in Lithuania and Tallinn in Estonia.

Of the three - Riga feels like the underdog with a much grittier facade however, it’s certainly worth visiting. In fact, it's one of the most underrated European cities!

The city often gets dubbed the "Paris of the North" thanks to its mix of gorgeous architecture, vibrant art scene, and location next to the Daugava River. The historic centre is filled with history, pretty cobblestone alleys and ancient portcullises dating back to medieval times. 

The compact size makes Riga an ideal weekend break destination. Some of the city's unmissable highlights are the House of the Blackheads, with its ornate facade and St Peter's Church & Tower - climb up for a fantastic view of the city. 

If you love old buildings and cobbled streets, don’t miss The Konventa Se. Finally, walk through the Art Nouveau District - the Art Nouveau capital of the world. The best streets here are Alberta Street and Elizabetes Street.

For a tasty bite, head to the central market - you’ll find it inside a row of old zeppelin bunkers. Spend a couple of hours eating your way around the different stalls selling traditional Latvian food.

If your visit falls during June and July, you’ll be able to catch the Riga Opera Festival or come in October for the Riga International Film Festival. If you're a fan of festive markets, the Riga Christmas Markets run from late November until the beginning of January.

Finally, no trip to Riga is complete without trying the Riga Black Balsam. It’s a traditional herbal liqueur. You’ll be able to order Black Balsam in most bars, but head to The Witchery in the Old Town where they serve up a wide range of cocktails using it.

If you'd like to stay in Riga, choose Neiburgs Hotel. It's located in Riga's Old Town. Guests are delighted with the beautiful building, spacious rooms and tasty breakfast.

2. Kirkwall, Scotland

Recommended by Maja of Away With Maja

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Kirkwall is the capital of the Orkney Islands in Scotland – but it still flies under the radar as a European destination. Like the rest of Orkney, it’s a unique place to visit, off the far north coast of Scotland. Kirkwall is a fantastic spot to discover ancient history and Orcadian culture, and a convenient place to base yourself for a trip to Orkney.

St Magnus Cathedral is the top attraction in town – it’s the most northerly cathedral in Britain, and dates back to 1137. The Orkney Museum is another must-see in Kirkwall, with a range of exhibits giving an insight into local history and culture; give yourself at least one hour here. The Bishop’s and Earl’s Palaces are two other historic sites in the heart of Kirkwall you can’t miss. 

And if you fancy a tipple, stop by the Orkney Distillery for gin, or Highland Park Distillery (pre-booked tours only) or Scapa Distillery for whiskey. Archive Coffee is a fantastic independent cafe, and Helgi’s on the waterfront does excellent pub food.

The best time of year to visit Kirkwall is in May or September. It’s best to avoid the peak summer months due to traffic from visiting cruise ships – if you do visit during these months, check online in advance to see what days and times the ships dock in Kirkwall. If you happen to visit over Christmas and New Year, don’t miss the Ba’, a medieval football game played in the city streets.

If you'd like to stay in Kirkwall, choose Heatherlea. This comfortable B&B is located very close to the center and the harbour. Guests are delighted with a generous breakfast and spacious rooms.

3. Akureyri, Iceland

Recommended by Shweta of Zest In A Tote

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When visiting Iceland most travellers head to the popular south coast. But have you heard of Akureyri, the Capital of the North? If you have more than a week in Iceland, do cover the North Iceland area as it's one of the breathtaking but underrated places in Europe.

This charming port town makes for a great base to explore the Diamond Circle attractions: all the North Iceland highlights. There is the whale watching capital of Iceland, Húsavík, and Dettifoss, Europe’s largest waterfall located in the scenic Vatnajökull National Park. Lake Mývatn area also has many attractions – geothermal springs like Mývatn Nature Baths, volcano craters, lava fields, and more. Plus the remote Ásbyrgi canyon, excellent for hiking (also with kids and seniors).

Akureyri itself has several attractions to enjoy for a great European city break. For adventure-seekers there are activities like horse riding and whale watching. I also recommend a visit to Akureyri’s botanical garden and the iconic Akureyri church. If you like hiking, climb the nearby Mount Sulur, also known as the 'town mountain'. It's 3,980 feet (1,213 meters) high.

If you visit Iceland in winter months, Akureyri would make for an excellent base to view the Northern Lights. But I feel that the best time to go is in the summer when it is easy to rent a car and drive along the ring road up north to Akureyri. 

We had a fantastic dinner at Rub 23 restaurant, they serve modern Icelandic cuisine and Japanese dishes. Greifinn and Strikid are also popular fine-dining restaurants, but both need reservations in advance especially for weekends.

If you'd like to stay in this picturesque city, choose Akureyri - Berjaya Iceland Hotel. Guests are happy with the location, super friendly staff and comfortable beds.

4. Maastricht, The Netherlands

Recommended by Lowri of Many Other Roads

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There are so many underrated cities in Europe and The Netherlands is full of them. While most visitors explore places like Amsterdam, there is one city that is like no other, Maastricht.

With its cobbled streets, a local dialect and deep historical influences, you will not find another city like it. It also helps that it has an incredible food scene! 

While visiting here there are a few experiences you cannot miss, the first one is to book a tour of the Maastricht caves. Your local guide will help you explore the cave system that runs throughout the city and played a significant role during WW2

Another great activity to do is to walk the city walls. This is completely free and you can get some wonderful views of the city.

In terms of food, you will have so many great places. One popular place with locals is “Oak”. This steak restaurant is on the central market square and is a great place for locals. If you want to try some local cuisine, stop by the “petit cafe” where you can try Zurvless which is like a beef stew. 

The city is full of cobbled streets so wear flat and supportive shoes to make exploring easier. The city is always alive but one of the best times to visit is during the André Rieu concert week. You will be able to hear the music all over the city!

If you'd like to stay in Maastricht, choose Cousins Boutique Hotel. Besides the convenient location, guests appreciate the beautiful interior, high-quality breakfast and spacious parking.

5. Nîmes, France

Recommended by Lisa of Waves and Cobblestones

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If you love exploring Roman ruins and looking for underrated European destinations, then you’re going to want to visit Nîmes, France. This lesser-known gem is a small town jam-packed with well-preserved Roman structures.

The center of attention (and rightfully so) is the impressive Arènes de Nîmes, one of the best-preserved Roman amphitheaters in the world. And don’t miss the Maison Carrée, a stunning classical temple that was recently designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Dive deeper into the region’s Roman history at the Museum Romanité, a modern building just across the street from the arena.

Tip: save money during your trip to Nîmes and get the Pass Romanité, which gives you access to the arena, the Maison Carrée, the Tour Magne, and the museum.

Enjoy lunch at the Brasserie des Arènes Nîmes. It’s a little touristy, but the food is tasty and the views of the arena can’t be beat! For breakfast or a sweet treat, pick up a decadent pastry from Le Pétrin Nîmois.

While you can see most of the top attractions in Nîmes in just a day, you should definitely spend at least one night here. This will give you time to take a day trip to see the nearby Pont du Gard Roman aqueduct bridge.

If you like experiencing local festivals, then plan to visit during the Féria de Nîmes. This celebration is held twice a year, in May and September. As a bonus, the weather is great during these months!

If you'd like to stay in this charming French city, choose Appart'City Collection Nîmes Arènes. This comfortable aparthotel is located right next to the Arènes Nîmes. Guests are delighted with spacious apartments, views from the windows and tasty breakfast.

6. Matera, Italy

Recommended by Robyn of Two Empty Passports

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One of the most underrated cities in Europe is Matera, located in Southern Italy. It’s famous for its ancient cave dwellings, known as “sassi”, which are carved into limestone cliffs creating a one-of-a-kind landscape.

Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world and a perfect addition to any two-week itinerary in Puglia.

Wander the narrow alleys of the pedestrian-only Sassi di Matera on your own or with a guided tour. Visit the Casa Grotta di Vico Solitario, a preserved cave house where you can see how people lived for thousands of years.

Check out Matera Cathedral, a 13th-century church that sits high above the city. It has beautiful frescos and stunning panoramic views of Matera, so bring your camera!

If you enjoy hiking, head to Murgia Materana Park full of trails to see ancient rock churches and caves carved into the beautiful landscape.

For dinner, head to Trattoria del Caveoso to sample traditional Materan dishes in a traditional cave. Make sure to try the orecchiette pasta, caciocavallo cheese fondue, or roasted lamb. Enjoy evening cocktails on the terrace at Crialoss Café as the sun sets over this magical city.

The best time to visit Matera is in the spring or fall when the weather is pleasant and there are fewer crowds. The summers are insanely hot and make exploring the city on foot difficult.

If you'd like to stay in Matera, choose the unique Palazzotto Residence & Winery. Guests are pleased with convenient location, exceptional cave rooms and friendly staff.

7. Olomouc, Czech Republic

Recommended by Veronika of Travel Geekery

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Olomouc in the Czech Republic may be the country’s sixth-largest city, but it remains largely off the beaten path. The charming historical center is full of picturesque houses of diverse architectural styles, Baroque churches, and a Renaissance City Hall adorning the main square.

Olomouc even boasts a UNESCO Heritage Site: the Holy Trinity Column, built as a plague column in the 1600s, and holding a record for the highest number of Baroque statues on one structure. The column is currently undergoing extensive restoration and should be unveiled again in April 2026.

The City Hall, right next to the Trinity Column, houses an astronomical clock rebuilt in the Communist era, featuring figures of common professions of the time. Unlike in Prague, here the main show is only once a day at noon. The tower of the City Hall is a great observation point over the city center.

The two main squares that make up the heart of the city also offer plenty of restaurants. For example, on the Lower Square, you can find Hanácká Restaurant and Restaurant by the Red Ox (U Červeného volka), where you can taste local specialties, including the “stinky” Tvarůžky cheese.

Olomouc is lovely to visit year-round. You can pair it with visits to Prague, Brno, and even Vienna they're all excellent examples of European city breaks. If you’re traveling to Prague in the summer, add Olomouc to your list. Two hours by train, and you’ll find yourself in a city that becomes amazingly peaceful in the summer, as a third of its population, made up of students, has left town.

If you'd like to stay in Olomouc, choose Hotel Alfréd a Hermína. Guests appreciate the location, cozy and modern rooms, and abundant breakfast.

8. Maribor, Slovenia

Recommended by Martina from Places of Juma

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The enchanting city of Maribor in Slovenia with its 112,000 inhabitants is a real gem and definitely one of the underrated destinations in Europe. Many people don't even know that this city was named European Capital of Culture in 2012. During a short trip or a long weekend, you have the opportunity to explore the cultural treasures and the charming attractions of Maribor.

A special feature of Maribor is definitely its romantic location on the Drava River, where you can take a wonderful walk along the promenade. The promenade was recently renovated and now offers a picture-book panorama. Maribor is also famous for the House of the Old Vine, where the oldest grape variety in the world grows.

You should also visit the romantic main square, Glavni Trg, with its iconic plague column and Maribor Castle, which now houses the Regional Museum.

Maribor has some great restaurants for dining out. An insider tip is Baščaršija (Maribor Poštna), a wonderfully rustic restaurant serving authentic Balkan cuisine. The prices are reasonable, and the atmosphere is legendary. If you like good wine, be sure to visit the wine bar in Vodni stolp - the water tower overlooking the river.

Maribor can be visited all year round. In winter you have the advantage of using the nearby ski resort. But summer is the best time to visit the city. The atmosphere along the river is legendary and invites you to linger.

If you'd like to stay in Maribor, choose Fani&Rozi B&B. Guests are happy with the location next to Drava river, as well as cozy rooms and delicious breakfast.

9. Évora, Portugal

Recommended by Marga of Discover Portugal

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If you like history and wine, there is no better place in Portugal than Évora. It's definitely one of the most underrated places in Europe!

The city is surrounded by the vineyards of the Alentejo Region, and the old town is classified as the UNESCO World Heritage Site! It's a great location to stop in between Lisbon and the Algarve region, or you can enjoy it as a day trip from Lisbon.

Évora has many highlights, such as Évora Cathedral. The church is incredibly beautiful, and you can climb onto the roof for an incredible view over the region. Next to the cathedral, you can check out the Roman Temple of Évora, which dates back to the 1st century A.D.!

Other highlights include the old university, the bone chapel Capela dos Ossos, and the square Praça do Giraldo. There are plenty of restaurants located around the fountain, too! It's the best spot to enjoy a traditional Portuguese meal with a glass of Alentejo wine.

When you have time, you can even visit the nearby vineyards for a wine tasting or discover the ancient stone circles in the area. Cromeleque dos Almendres and the Great Dolmen of Zambujeiro are examples of megalithic sites that Alentejo is known for. 

You might also discover a very special tree that grows in this landscape - the cork tree! Did you know that Portugal is one of the biggest cork producers in the world?

If you'd like to stay in Évora, choose Lavradores Boutique Guesthouse. Guests are delighted with beautiful decor, spacious rooms and attentive staff.

10. Cuenca, Spain

Recommended by Jacoba of Op reis met Co

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Many cities in Spain are world famous, like Barcelona, Seville and Madrid. But have you ever heard about Cuenca? This gorgeous city is located between Madrid and Sevilla and is a true hidden gem. 

What makes Cuenca so special? It’s built on cliffs and has a historic city center which is on the World Heritage List of UNESCO. Although the Spanish are slowly discovering Cuenca, it’s still quite unknown to international travellers.

Besides exploring the old city center, it’s fun to check out all the viewpoints in and around the city for scenic views. One of the best viewpoints is just behind the old city, this is called Mirador del Rey. From here, the whole city is at your feet. Another great one is Mirador del Cerro del Socorro, on the west side of the city, giving you a whole different perspective.

Make sure to admire the hanging houses from the 16th century and go for a walk on the iconic Puente de San Pablo - a bridge hanging 60 meters above the river. Cuenca is truly one of the most underrated cities in Europe!

There are several fun hiking trails in and around the city to explore, which will take you along the green river, old chapels, and steep rock walls. 

Like in many Spanish cities, you can’t go wrong on food in Cuenca. There are lots of fun local tapas bars (like Bar Bicio), but if you want to try something more international, Kadon is a great place to eat.

If you'd like to stay in Cuenca choose Hospederia Seminario Conciliar de San Julián. It's conveniently located in the Cuenca Old Town. Guests are pleased with comfortable beds, spacious rooms and tasty breakfast. 

11. Tromsø, Norway

Recommended by Bronwyn Townsend

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Head way up north inside the Arctic Circle and you’ll find the charming city of Tromsø, Norway. Best known for its spectacular northern lights sightings, panoramic fjords, and being a hotspot for whale watching, Norway’s northernmost city is a must-visit destination.

Nicknamed the ‘Paris of the North’, Tromsø is a brilliant destination for travellers with a sense of adventure. Best suited for outdoor activities, you can expect to hit the trails hiking and biking in summer. Considered a top winter destination, Tromsø offers an abundance of activities in the snow. Spend nights stargazing and chasing the Aurora Borealis or try your hand mushing during a day of dog sledding among the snowy landscapes.

From November to January, Tromsø is also an excellent place to enjoy whale watching. Orca and humpback whales migrate north and can be spotted throughout the winter months in the sea and fjords near Tromsø. For the best views over the landscapes, be sure to take the cable car up to Storsteinen. 

Tromsø has some excellent dining options and seafood is a popular choice given the city’s location. Bardus Bistro is an upscale restaurant that focuses on seasonal ingredients and honouring traditional Norwegian dishes. For great coffee and delicious cinnamon rolls in a cosy cafe, don’t miss Risø.

I recommend spending three days in Tromso for the ultimate underrated winter city break.  Winter is the perfect time to visit Tromsø as it’s a destination action-packed with outdoor activities and the opportunity to spot the northern lights. Activities can book out, so be sure to lock them in before you arrive.

If you'd like to stay in the ‘Paris of the North’, choose Clarion Hotel The Edge. It's conveniently located in the Tromsø city center. Guests are happy with the functional rooms, lavish breakfast and attentive staff.

12. Sibiu, Romania

Recommended by Joanna of The Romanian Cookbook

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Sibiu is a city located in Transylvania, in Romania. Often overlooked by tourists who prefer to travel to Bucharest or Brașov, Sibiu is a city with beautiful medieval architecture that has a historic town with houses that look like they have "eyes" in their roofs. Even though Sibiu isn't very big, there are plenty of things to do and see.

Go there if you're looking for amazing European city breaks!

Getting to Sibiu is easy. You can take a train from Bucharest, with two or three running daily, or a night train from Budapest, in Hungary.

The city centre is compact and perfect for walking around. The main areas are concentrated around the Big and Small Squares, connected by the Council Tower, which offers a fantastic view if you climb it. In the Small Square, you'll find the Bridge of Lies, which has interesting legends, including one about lovers making promises they didn't keep. 

Around the Small Square there are plenty of great restaurants where you can taste some of the typical dishes in the city. Some recommended ones are Crama Sibiana and Kulinarium. 

One of the most interesting places to visit in Sibiu is the Village Museum. It's an open air museum with traditional houses from the 18th and 19th centuries, brought here from all over the country. The entire area includes a lake, a river, and an old inn where you can enjoy traditional Romanian food and drinks.

The old fortress wall is another great place to learn about Sibiu's history. You can walk between the towers on a suspended walkway and visit the museum inside. This area is one of the most beautiful streets in the city.

Sibiu is also home to plenty of cultural events, especially in autumn. There's a big pottery fair with handmade items from local artisans, the Transylvania film festival, and the Sibiu Jazz Festival.

If you'd like to stay in this charming Romanian city, choose the ART Hotel. It's located in the Sibiu Old Town. Guests appreciate the beautiful interior, large rooms and a good breakfast selection.

13. Peniche, Portugal

Recommended by Milene of Surf & Unwind

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Located just an hour’s drive north of Lisbon, Peniche is one of the largest fishing ports in Portugal and definitely among the underrated cities in Europe. 

It’s also a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts, offering untouched natural landscapes and a laid-back atmosphere.

You can snorkel on Berlengas Islands, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, hike to the uneven rock formations of Carvoeiro Cape, or ride the waves on Supertubos beach. In fact, whether you know how to surf or not, you should still give it a try while you’re in town. For decades, surfers from all over the world have been flocking to the area to ride Peniche’s renowned tubular waves. So you’ll be spoiled for choice with so many surf camps and schools around.

Every March, Peniche hosts MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal, one of the World Surf League's championships where you can see the world’s tops surfers doing what they do best.

For a bit of a history and culture fix, head to Peniche Fortress on the tip of the peninsula. It’s a remarkable structure that houses a museum with displays of archaeological, nautical and handicraft pieces. If you want to learn more about the local traditions, Museu de Renda de Bilros, or bobbin lace museum, provides an insight into its history and production.

As no trip is complete without food, our favourite spots in Peniche were Il Boccone and Xakra Beach Bar. Cheap and cheerful, Il Boccone is an Italian restaurant that is always packed with pizza lovers. Xakra Bar is an excellent place to end your day with a sundowner in hand looking at a stunning view.

If you'd like to stay in Peniche, choose Ilheu 25 Peniche House. Besides the convenient location, guests are delighted with private swimming pool, ample breakfast and helpful staff.

14. Vilnius, Lithuania

Recommended by Helen of Helen on her Holidays

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If you're looking for a charming European city break, Vilnius, Lithuania is well worth adding to your travel wishlist. With its stunning Old Town, rich history, and delicious cuisine, Vilnius offers a perfect blend of culture, architecture, and gastronomy.

When visiting Vilnius, be sure to explore the city's top attractions. The Gediminas Castle Tower is a must-see, offering breathtaking panoramic views of the city. The cathedral with its separate bell tower is another architectural gem you won't want to miss. For a unique experience, visit the Republic of Užupis, a bohemian neighborhood known for its quirky art installations and independent spirit.

Foodies will love Vilnius' culinary scene. For traditional Lithuanian dishes, head to Senoji Trobele, where you can savour delicious cepelinai (potato dumplings). If you're in the mood for something more modern, check out Sweet Root, a trendy restaurant that focuses on seasonal, locally-sourced ingredients.

To make the most of your trip, consider visiting during one of Vilnius' lively festivals. The Vilnius City Fiesta in September is a fantastic time to experience the city's vibrant culture. And if you're a music lover, don't miss Street Music Day in May, when the city's streets come alive with talented musicians. It's a truly unique experience you won't forget.

Vilnius is a hidden gem that deserves a spot on your travel itinerary. With its unique architecture, rich history, and warm hospitality, it's a city that will capture your heart and leave you with unforgettable memories.

If you'd like to stay in Vilnius, choose Comfort Hotel LT - Rock 'n' Roll Vilnius. It's located in the Vilnius Old Town. Guests appreciate the interesting decor, spacious and quiet rooms and the access to a fitness center.

15. Pécs, Hungary

Recommended by Richard of RJ On Tour

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Pécs is a city in the southwest of Hungary, near the border of Croatia. It is a pretty place with lots of colourful architecture and interesting sights. It's definitely one of the best inexpensive travel destinations in Europe!

There are lots of things to do in Pécs, including visiting the early Christian UNESCO World Heritage Site. Pécs Cathedral is a fantastic place to visit as it’s beautiful inside and the towers have amazing views.

The city is famous for its ceramics, which are used in many famous buildings throughout Europe. You can find out about the ceramics of the city in the Zsolnay Porcelain Museum and see many examples in the central areas.

Other places of interest include a former Ottoman empire mosque and a toy museum. The central areas have many beautiful buildings to see including in Szechenyi square and the stunning Kiraly Street.

Pécs also has many pleasant restaurants serving Hungarian cuisine. Főtér Bistro is a place with views of the main square that serve delicious modern food, including a tasty duck and a good cheese board. For a budget place to eat, István Pince is a great option where they serve a daily menu of local classics at great prices.

Overall, Pécs is a top place to spend time sightseeing or enjoying food or drinks in its many eateries. For maximum enjoyment, staying near the central areas is the best way to enjoy the city.

If you'd like to stay in Pécs, choose Szinbád Hotel. It's conveniently located in the city's Old Town. Guests are happy with the comfortable rooms, abundant breakfast and budget-friendly prices - it's a great value for money.

16. Lublin, Poland

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Lublin is one of the larger Polish cities and one of the most underrated cities in Europe. It has a centuries-old history and many valuable monuments, yet so few people visit it! Its atmospheric streets could be easily featured in numerous films. Add to that the magical aura of street performers and you have a unique place to visit (and very budget-friendly).

Lublin isn't yet among the top visited cities in Poland, and that's a great advantage – tourists come here in small numbers, the streets are peaceful, and you can explore the city without stress.

The Lublin Old Town is one of the most beautiful and best-preserved old towns in Poland. A significant part of it consists of original buildings, numerous monuments and restaurants. Perfect place to absorb the unique climate of the city.

Another remarkable attraction is the Lublin Castle. The beginnings of the Castle date back to the 12th century. Definitely worth seeing at the castle is the Chapel of the Holy Trinity, built during the reign of Casimir the Great. The Chapel of the Holy Trinity is adorned with beautiful paintings, making it one of the most important medieval art treasures in Poland. 

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The castle tower, or donjon, dates back to the 14th century. Themed exhibitions are set up on its successive floors, and the roof has been adapted into an observation point. I recommend climbing to the top of the donjon - you will have an interesting perspective on Lublin from up there.

On the Litewski Square, there are one of the most modern multimedia fountains in Poland. The fountain, shaped like a large leaf, is divided into two parts by a five-meter embankment. In the evenings you will get to admire captivating shows of water, light, sound, and image projection on the walls of buildings.

Another important place to visit is The State Museum at Majdanek. It's the oldest museum in Europe commemorating the victims of World War II. It was established in the autumn of 1944 on the grounds of the former concentration camp, commonly known as Majdanek. It's not a pleasant visit but so necessary - we all need to remember about the past so that we'll not make the same mistakes again.

If you'd like to stay in Lublin, choose Rynek 10 Apartments. They are located in the heart of the Lublin Old Town. Guests appreciate the beautiful interior, cleanliness and spacious apartments.

17. Poznań, Poland

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Poznań just has to be on this list of underrated European cities! It's so beautiful and full of interesting attractions, yet travellers visiting Poland rarely go there.

Go for a walk in the Old Market Square - it's full of colorful tenement houses and historic monuments. Take a look at the beautiful Renaissance building is the heart of the Old Market Square. It's the Town Hall which was built in the 14th century. Inside, you will find the Museum of the History of Poznań, where you can learn about the city's history and the interesting story of the Town Hall itself. The museum houses a rich collection of city plans, artifacts, historical memorabilia, photographs, and art. The Town Hall is also famous for its tower - every day at noon, you can hear the bugle call and see two billy goats butting heads.

The Imperial Castle in Poznań is certainly one of the most important attractions to visit. The building was constructed in 1905 and served as the residence of Emperor Wilhelm II. The castle's interiors can be visited daily with a map, audio guide, or castle guide.

Poznań is located on the shores of the Lake Malta where you'll see the largest floating fountain in Poland. Additionally, during the summer season, every evening, the 60-meter-high jet stream is spectacularly illuminated.

Around the lake, there are many recreational facilities including Malta Ski, where you can use the ski slope, ride a mountain railway or a toboggan run, play mini-golf, or rent water sports equipment.

For a relaxing walk in a beautiful scenery, go to the Citadel Park which covers covers a massive area of about 100 hectares! Built on the site of the former Winiary Fort, it hides many interesting places including a rose garden, a former amphitheater, and sculpture installations.

Poznan Ostrow Tumski

In Ostrów Tumski Island, it's worth seeing interesting relics dating back to the early days of the Polish state. In the crypts of the cathedral in Ostrów Tumski, you will find the tombs of Polish kings, as well as relics of the 10th-century cathedral.

If you're already there, it's worth seeing and exploring the Interactive Center of the History of Ostrów Tumski "Poznań Gate" (also known as "Poznań Gate" ICHOT).

For more information about Poznań, check out our complete travel guide.

If you'd like to spend some time in Poznań, choose B&B Hotel Poznań Old Town. Besides location, guests appreciate comfortable rooms, abundant breakfast and captivating decor.

18. Durham, UK

Recommended by Sinead of York Travel Expert

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The City of Durham in northern England is a lesser visited U.K destination yet it offers historic attractions, famous filming locations, great architecture and scenic walks. If you want to sample everything a trip to the U.K can offer, add Durham to your itinerary.

Visit the UNESCO listed 12th century Durham Cathedral which dominates the city skyline. It’s the resting place of St. Cuthbert and St. Oswald and is known for its stained glass windows and mix of Romanesque and Norman styles. You’ll also recognise the cathedrals’ cloisters which doubled as Hogwarts in the Harry Potter movies. 

Nearby is the 11th century Durham Castle and the small but engaging Durham Museum. Allocate time in your schedule to wander the city’s pedestrianised streets lined with independent boutiques or to pop into the Victorian Town Hall or in the indoor Victorian market. 

If you want to escape the city centre, follow the 3km circular trail alongside the River Wear which runs through the centre of the city. 

At the end of a long day of sightseeing, enjoy an afternoon tea at Cafedral Durham or a traditional fish and chip dinner at Bell’s. 

Durham is a compact city which can easily be covered on foot so wear comfortable shoes to get the most out of your day. If you arrive in Durham by train from the south, sit on the right hand side of the train for incredible views of Durham Cathedral.

For your stay choose Radisson Blu Hotel. This comfortable hotel is located on the riverside in Durham center. Guests are happy with the spa facilities and super friendly staff.

Other beautiful places in Europe

european lakes

Maps of Europe

underrated cities in Europe 18

Maastricht deserves to be among underrated cities in Europe, doesn't it? 😉

Travelling with a paper map gives you advantages:

✅ Unlike digital maps that rely on the internet, a paper map is accessible at all times, regardless of location or network availability.

✅ Paper maps don't rely on batteries or electronic devices, making them dependable and immune to technical malfunctions or battery drain.

✅ Using a paper map eliminates the need for data usage, which can be costly or limited when traveling internationally. You can avoid roaming charges and data overages by relying on a paper map instead.

If you'd need a reliable, high quality map, check out the National Geographic map on Amazon:

If you enjoy collecting memories and showcasing your travel destinations, check out this detailed scratch-off map of Europe. It's perfect for marking your city breaks to European cities!

Have fun exploring Europe's most underrated cities! 🧡

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