Those who visit Europe are often attracted to the big capitals, cities like Rome, Paris or London, which need a few days to be visited properly. However, there are less high-sounding names than smaller and "hidden" European cities, which preserve equally interesting tourist attractions.
These cities are very suitable for those who, perhaps, are planning a weekend trip, as they can also be visited in just one day.
Usually, even though they are not big cities, have an international airport or in any case they are perfectly connected to larger and more important metropolitan areas.
If you fancy a short break to get away from the daily grind, why not take a day trip to one of these charming European cities?
1 - Nice, France
Reaching Nice is easy, both by plane and by train, thanks to the high speed.
You can choose to visit the city independently or through guided tours, but in any case we recommend the purchase of the daily ticket for the Hop-on Hop-off bus, which allows you to easily move between the main attractions.
The first stop on your visit could be the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of Saint Nicolas, a beautiful cathedral dating from the early th century inspired by the St. Basil's Church located in Moscow's Red Square. Avenue Jean Médecin it is instead the mecca for shopping enthusiasts. At the end of this street is the most important square in the city, Place Massena, which houses characteristic nineteenth-century palaces, splendid arcades and a well-kept garden dating back to 1800. The visit continues with the old Town, which you will find on the left of the square.
A comfortable lift takes you to the top of the castle hills, from where you can admire a breathtaking view over the bay of Nice. You cannot miss a walk on the splendid Promenade des Anglais, sadly known in recent times but never without charm.
- From Rome starting from € 63,75 -
- Hotel and b & b starting from € 57,00 per room -
2 - Ljubljana, Slovenia
Ljubljana is like a little Prague, offering the typical charm of central European cities and a medieval core dotted with several attractive bridges and labyrinthine streets filled with Baroque and Art Nouveau buildings. The city boasts some quality museums and galleries, but the real highlight are its outdoor attractions: the narrow streets, squares, bridges, lively cafes. A day in Ljubljana gives you plenty of time to see the city's best attractions. And then, the city it is just over an hour's drive from Trieste, this truly makes it one of the best destinations for a 24 hour flash vacation.
You can start your tour from Prešernov Square, admire the Franciscan Church of the Annunciation of the Virgin, cross the Triple Bridge and go shopping at the famous Central Market, then take the funicular up to the Castle, one of the symbols of the city, then visit the Cathedral St. Nicholas and admire the city from the Dragon Bridge. Finally, end the day on the riverside, enjoying an aperitif or dinner in one of the many places available.
- starting from € 89,00 -
- Hotel and b & b starting from € 49,00 per room -
3 - Ghent, Belgium
Belgium, in addition to Brussels and Bruges, holds another pleasant surprise for tourists. We are talking about Ghent, the town that hosts many, characteristic buildings made with the Flemish architectural style. One example is the Cathedral of Saint Bavo in Ghent, a must visit. The city is also home to many trendy places, including the famous Cycle Café Bidon, typical restaurants, pubs and various clubs.
If you are in the city for a day, the activity not to be missed for any reason is undoubtedly the boat tour of the city center, during which you can admire the splendid buildings of Ghent, such as the Castle of the Counts of Flanders.
- Flights to Brussels (68 km from Ghent) starting from € 41,98 -
- Hotel and b & b starting from € 52,00 per room -
4 - Rotterdam, Netherlands
If you have already visited Amsterdam and enjoyed it, you cannot miss Rotterdam. The city shows itself with the typical Flemish design and it is a true paradise for those who love architectural works, especially the most characteristic ones. In this case, a visit to the Het Nieuwe Institute of Architecture, the Tent and the Mama Showroom is a must.
During your day tour, you should definitely treat yourself to some unforgettable activities, such as the river cruise. To make sure you don't miss any of the key attractions, we suggest a fun guided bike tour.
Here too it is possible to enjoy a lively nightlife and attend concerts and live music performances at the numerous clubs in the center, such as the Bird and Perron. If you happen to be in the city in July, you can't get lost the North Sea Jazz festival.
- From Rome starting from € 72,00 -
- Hotel and b & b starting from € 75,00 per room -
5 - Gothenburg, Sweden
Are the cities of Northern Europe cold and devoid of any tourist attraction? Nothing more wrong! Gothenburg is a perfect alternative destination: the Roda Sten, a boiler factory, has today been transformed into a cultural, artistic and recreational center and is an unmissable destination. The oldest part of the city welcomes you with its narrow streets where you will find characteristic cafes, shops and restaurants, as well as clubs such as the historic Ölhallen brewery and the Bar Kino. In summer the city comes alive with music festivals, which usually host internationally renowned artists: during the summer months, the sun does not set before 10 pm! The annual culture festival lasts six days and takes place on the outskirts of the city, featuring comedies and film performances.
- From Rome starting from € 57,91 -
- Hotel and b & b starting from € 48,00 per room -
6 - Belgrade, Serbia
Belgrade is said to have been destroyed 44 times in history, but almost never completely. Due to all the reconstructions, today it looks like a mix of magnificent and depressing buildings, a contrast between glitz and decay, resurgence and ruins. To admire the city's musts, the most comfortable and recommended solution is the panoramic tour by minibus.
If you prefer a do-it-yourself tour, start your visit at the Kalemegdan, a huge park that will allow you to also appreciate the surrounding walls of the medieval citadel, as well as the magnificent views of the Old Town and rivers. The Old Town is home to the Cathedral of St. Michael the Archangel, with its tall bell tower. The alleys of the oldest part of the city are home to Neo-Renaissance palaces but also traditional restaurants and the Knez Mihailova street, the pedestrian shopping street where you can also admire various street artists and musicians. The main square of the city is Trg Republike, with its large Equestrian Monument dedicated to Prince Mihailo Obrenović. Belgrade offers its best when the sun goes down: the scene is lively, thanks to the many bars, restaurants and night clubs.
- From Rome starting from € 98,00 -
- Hotel and b & b starting from € 38,00 per room -
7 - Zurich, Switzerland
Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland and is crossed by the Limmat River. Thanks to its customs station, in Roman times it played a fairly important role and, even today, its railway station hosts a significant national and European traffic every day. In the city you can admire the Grossmunster cathedral, dating from the th century and later enlarged from the th to the th century. Originally a place of Catholic worship, today it is the seat of the Protestant religion.
The Cathedral also houses the stained glass windows by Sigmar Polke and Augusto Giacometti, of extraordinary beauty, as well as the bronze doors by Otto Münch and the Romanesque crypt. Zurich is an elegant and refined city, this atmosphere is breathed while walking along Bahnhofstrasse, the shopping street of the city where you can admire the windows of the exclusive clubs and shops.
To make sure you visit all the must-sees of the city while optimizing your time, we suggest you book an excellent complete tour, including a ferry excursion, farewell by cable car and a panoramic bus tour.
- From Rome starting from € 74,98 -
- Hotel and b & b starting from € 49,00 per room -
8 - Riga, Latvia
The historic center of the so-called "Paris of the Baltic" has been recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, it is very small and therefore it is very easy to get around on foot.
Make sure to book in advance a private tour with a local guide, in order to optimize the times and visit all the peculiar attractions while discovering the most fascinating secrets and curiosities. The first stops on the tour are the Cathedral and the statue dedicated to the Bremen Town Musicians. Continue towards the House of the Black Heads, a building dating back to the Middle Ages but which was destroyed by bombing and rebuilt a few years ago. In the same square you will also find the museum of the occupation, which can be visited free of charge! Among other attractions, we cannot fail to mention the Riga Cathedral, the largest church in Latvia, and especially the Riga Castle dating back to 1300, built by the religious order of the Livonians. The palace houses the residence of the President of the Latvian Republic and an important museum of national art and history.
- From Rome starting from € 109,00 -
- Hotel and b & b starting from € 42,00 per room -
9 - Copenhagen, Denmark
The Little Mermaid Statue is, without a doubt, the most famous attraction in the city and therefore a must for any visit to Copenhagen. Equally well known is the ancient port of Nyhavn. It is a large canal on whose banks there are shops and colorful houses dating back to the seventeenth century. Here you can take advantage of characteristic boats and enjoy a wonderful guided cruise that will allow you to see the main attractions of Copenhagen.
The TiFlights Gardens are another very famous place, as well as one of the oldest amusement parks in the world. Opened in 1843, it still houses some of the buildings built in the mid-800th century. The next stop is the Amalienborg Palace, the winter residence of the royal family, consisting of four rococo-style buildings arranged around an octagonal square. The statue of King Frederick V dominates the square. If the royal family is present at the palace, it happens every day at 12 the changing of the guard ceremony. End the visit with the round tower: if you manage to climb the 209 meters of ramp to get to the top, you can enjoy the beautiful panorama.
- From Rome starting from € 43,96 -
- Hotel and b & b starting from € 57,00 per room -
10 - Bruges, Belgium
Bruges (Brugge in Dutch) is one of the most picturesque cities in Europe. And the perfect medieval fairytale destination for a weekend getaway, but it is often visited in less time, as it is well connected to other important places in Belgium, such as Brussels. Fascinating squares with horse-drawn carriages, picturesque canals lined with gothic houses and so much more, Bruges has a timeless charm, which we recommend enjoying on a fantastic free guided tour.
The perfect day tour starts from Rozenhoedkaai, where you can admire one of the most famous views of the city. Immediately after, you can give yourself a boat ride on the canals. After the tour, visit the Church of Our Lady and then relax at the Begijnhof and Minnewater. After a lunch in one of the well-known Bruges breweries, finish the meal with a dessert, tasting some Belgian chocolate.
In the afternoon let yourself be enchanted by the beauty of the Grote Markt, the square and the market, visit the Basilica of the Holy Blood and finally conclude with a walk along the Gronerei.
- flights to Brussels (95 km from Bruges) from € 39,00 -
- Hotel and b & b starting from € 50,00 per room -
11 - Innsbruck, Austria
The historic center of the capital city of Tyrol is of medieval origin and still bears the evidence. Over 800 years of history are monuments and buildings that tell the eventful history of the city, which you can discover on a fascinating classic panoramic tour.
The most famous is the Golden Roof, the symbol of the city: it is a loggia whose roof is covered with 2.657 gilded copper flake tiles, all still original. The loggia was added around 150 to the "Neuhof" building, at the behest of Emperor Maximilian I. In the same square there is also the Civic Tower, 51 meters high, as well as many bars and restaurants where you can taste the typical specialties without forget the delicious and mouth-watering Austrian cakes including the famous Sacher Torte! The Hofburg imperial palace is another stop, together with its splendid garden.
- From Rome starting from € 107,70 -
- Hotel and b & b starting from € 51,00 per room -
12 - Dubrovnik, Croatia
The historic center of this city is very reminiscent of Venice, with its monuments, small and characteristic cafes and bars where you can relax. The best way to enjoy the city is the guided walking tour, which allows you to discover all the most iconic attractions.
Leave for your visit from Pile Gate, the ancient main entrance leading to The Old City, the old Town. You will experience the emotion of cross a real drawbridge which will take you not only to the heart of the city, but will catapult you back in time: outside in the Renaissance, and inside in the Gothic era. Following the Wall you can take a walk that is absolutely recommended, which will make you enjoy a magnificent view of the city and the sea that surrounds it. You will arrive at the Porto Vecchio where the Maritime Museum is also located. Luza Square is the heart of social life, here are the Sponza Palace, the Clock Tower and Roland's Column. The church of San Blas is a cathedral that also houses a statue dedicated to the patron saint of the city, not far away is the palace of the Rectors, an ancient seat of government, in Renaissance style.
- starting from € 74,95 -
- Hotel and b & b starting from € 64,00 per room -
13 - Segovia, Spain
Far from the large metropolitan centers of Spain, with just 30 minutes by train from Madrid you can reach this very charming Spanish town. It will win you over with its churches but, above all, thanks to the slow and relaxed pace of life of the citizens.
It is a great destination for a day trip! You will be bewitched by his huge cathedral and from fairytale castle, excellent destinations to cool off during the visit: in summer, the temperature could in fact be quite hot, so we recommend that you tackle the trip perhaps in spring or autumn.
- Flights to Madrid (116 km from Segovia) starting from € 43,64 -
- Hotel and b & b starting from € 54,00 per room -
14 - Oslo, Norway
Oslo it is a quiet city but also lively and full of things to do and unmissable tourist attractions. The offer includes both naturalistic and cultural resources, but also many possibilities for entertainment. In one day you can easily visit the center, the outer residential districts and the Bygdoy peninsula.
In the historic center you can find trendy shops and most of the nightclubs, some important museums including the National Gallery and the curious Ski Museum, in addition to famous Munch Museum with his most famous work, the scream. The fortress of Akershus dates back to the Middle Ages, it is possible to visit its reception room, the hall, the chapel where the crypts where Olav V and King Hakon VII lie, as well as the underground prisons. The Bygdoy peninsula, or Bygdo is the area of Oslo where culture and nature blend perfectly. It is a strip of land on which the western part of the city extends and where it is possible to visit the Norsk Folkemuseum, which contains evidence of Norwegian culture and the Viking Ship Museum.
- From Rome starting from € 87,00 -
- Hotel and b & b starting from € 72,00 per room -
15 - Vilnius, Lithuania
Vilnius has medieval origins and, after years of occupation, today it looks like a modern European city. Its historic center was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1994. The city is chosen as a destination every year by many visitors, who are gradually discovering the beauties of a country off the main tourist routes. The city has an international airport and can be visited in one day, perhaps starting right from the historic center, where proud Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance buildings stand out, creating a unique effect of its kind. To see the Cathedral of the city, dedicated to St. Stanislav and St. Vladislav, is located inside the oldest wall fresco in the nation, dating back to the end of the fourteenth century: "The Crucifixion". An excellent alternative to immerse yourself in the beauties of the city and to move between one place of interest and another is the Hop-on Hop-off bus.
- From Rome starting from € 63,22 -
- Hotel and b & b starting from € 45,00 per room -
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