10 “Unknown” European destinations worth visiting

Translated by Anastasia Tsitsani

Based on the original article in Greek by Μαρία Παπακοσμά

Feeling lost? No idea where to travel to next? Here are 10 of the most culturally rich cities in Europe that you might not be aware of, but definitely need to explore!

Odense, Denmark

It is the third-largest city of Denmark and the birthplace of the very famous poet and writer, Hans Christian Andersen, hence the variety of attractions and museums that are located there, all dedicated to his life and his work. The picturesque bicycle-friendly narrow streets in Odense make it the ideal place that can be discovered either on foot or, clearly, by bicycle.

Maastricht, the Netherlands

Even though it may not be as known as Amsterdam, Maastricht is, undoubtedly, as beautiful. It’s one of the oldest cities of the Netherlands with a very long history, as the castles, the old center with the medieval cobblestone roads, the Romanesque and Gothic style churches and a visit at the kazemates (underground fortification) are some of the most popular sights.

Coibra, Portugal

Built in the eastern coasts of Rio Modeg, this city is well- known for its architecture, its churches and its numerous galleries. The university of Coibra is one of the oldest universities in Europe and it has contributed to the city’s cultural development, with its students providing a special vibe around the city.

Freiburg, Germany

Freiburg is the ideal place for all cycling and mountain biking lovers since they have the opportunity to discover a wide variety of paths that lead to the city and Schwarzwald. It is also considered a hidden jewel because apart from its breathtaking natural scenery, it is known for its wine, its tiny canals and the Basel Minster, one of the oldest cathedrals of Europe.

Matera, Italy

Matera is a historical city rich in culture, located in the south of Italy. It was declared an UNESCO World Heritage site in 1993. The Sassi di Matera are known globally for their ancient cave dwellings, where the visitors are offered the opportunity to dine or even spend the night in one of them.

Mons, Belgium

Being the hometown of three UNESCO World Heritage masterpieces, Mons was granted the European Capital of Culture in 2015. The phenomenal baroque belfry El Catiau, the Neolithic flint mines at Spiennes and the folkloric ritual Ducasse, which takes place every year on the first Saturday after the Pentecost, attract people from all over the world.

Pilsen, Czech Republic

It is located in western Bohemia, just 90 kilometers away from Prague. It is the birthplace of Pilsner beer and the place where Skoda Engineering Works headquarters are. Pilsen was the European Capital of Culture in 2015 (second to Mons, Belgium) with an old picturesque square full of beautiful trees and well-tended gardens.

Sibiu, Romania

With a mix of Romanian, German and Hungarian culture, the city of Sibiu constitutes a beautiful representation of the architecture that dates back to the Middle Ages. Do not miss the Medieval Citadel of Sibiu (also known as Cibinium), one of the best fortified citadels in Europe, which remains exceptionally preserved to this day.

Toruń, Poland

Toruń is the birthplace of the famous astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus and it is naturally full of attractions dedicated to him, such as the statue built in his honor and his house, which was later converted into a museum. Toruń is well-known especially for its pierniki (traditional Polish gingerbread) which you can find in almost every shop in the city.

Vézelay, France

Located at the top of a hill, this stunning city is famous for the Romanesque Basilica of St Magdalene and Vézelay Abbey, a worth-visiting church that dates back to the 11th century. Apart from its picturesque panoramic views and the amazing architecture, Vézelay is also known for the local white wines, bizarre boutiques and art galleries.

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