Most Underrated European Cities?


Oct 5th, 2007, 08:12 AM
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Most Underrated European Cities?

What are some of the cities off the main London-Paris-Rome-Venice-Florence type beaten path that surprised you or were a lot more - the often smaller cities that you enjoyed but which don't get that much hype and aren't on many foreign tourists' itineraries.

Just list - no comments please

Lyon, La Rochelle, Strasbourg, Nancy, France

Antwerp, Gent, Belgium

Haarlem, Holland

Cacares, Salamanca, Spain

Porto, Guimaraes, Nazare, Coimbra, Portugal

Bern, Switzerland

Regensburg, Bamberg, Celle, Germany

Bratislava, Slovakia

Bristol, Salisbury and Winchester, England

Luxembourg City, Luxembourg

Cork, Ireland

Lund, Sweden

Potsdam, Germany (the city)
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Oct 5th, 2007, 08:18 AM
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Verona comes to mind. It's fairly well known, I guess, but you rarely see it mentioned among the top destination cities in Italy.

It's the first European city I ever stayed in, and still one of my favorites. A great place to wander around and soak in.
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Oct 5th, 2007, 09:07 AM
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Last trip I fell for Lviv in Ukraine (I almost hate to mention it, because it's not really on the tourist trail yet).
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Oct 5th, 2007, 09:15 AM
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In addition, I liked

Auxerre, Fr
Kientzheim, Fr
Naples, It
Praiano, It
Haarlem, ND
Roskilde, DK
Odense, DK
Frederiksborg Castle, Hillerød, DK
Helsinki, Finland

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Oct 5th, 2007, 09:18 AM
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I like Olomouc in the Czech Republic.
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Oct 5th, 2007, 09:23 AM
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Olmützer Quargel, yummy!
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Oct 5th, 2007, 09:23 AM
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Strasbourg and Colmar in France
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Oct 5th, 2007, 10:06 AM
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Trier and Tubingen, Germany

Dinan and Loches, France


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Oct 5th, 2007, 10:20 AM
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Yaroslavl, Russia

Tricarico, Italy (for sentimental reasons)

Jerez de la Frontera, Spain
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Oct 5th, 2007, 10:40 AM
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Namur, Be., Maastricht, Neth., Oostende, Be., Cesky Krumlov, Cz., Dubrovnik, Cr. I think you can throw the whole country of Portugal in there...
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Oct 5th, 2007, 11:29 AM
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I would add:
Antrim Coast, N Ireland

and repeat:
Bratislava, Slovakia.

Outside Europe:
Christchurch, NZ
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Oct 5th, 2007, 11:40 AM
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I would include York amongst several others already listed.
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Oct 5th, 2007, 11:44 AM
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Cuenca, San Sebastian-Spain


Not a city but the Perigord region-France

Western side of Sicily
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Oct 5th, 2007, 11:48 AM
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I would say Tallinn (Estonia), Bucharest (Romania), and the Metz-Nancy-Strasbourg (France) triangle.
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Oct 5th, 2007, 12:04 PM
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I don't see much talk here about Budapest though I know many go there. I really enjoyed my trip there---same with Vienna. Again, a very major city but not one that I hear people get particularly worked up about (unlike Paris, Rome, etc.)...
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Oct 5th, 2007, 12:23 PM
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Katie, I think Budapest gets plenty of good press here (from me, among many). Some of the other places nominated surprise me because I think they are generally highly rated.

I'll nominate Rennes and Saumur, revealing my preference for France as a destination country.

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Oct 5th, 2007, 12:26 PM
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I've been to Budapest twice and enjoyed it, but I can't imagine telling anybody that it is a must. Nor overrated Prague, for that matter.

I would say that Marseille is extremely underrated, especially since so many people claim that it is horrible because of "immigrants"!
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Oct 5th, 2007, 12:29 PM
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but still Vienna and Budapest are places non-veteran tourists don't all that often seem going to - Prague and Munich get many more foreign tourists i believe and though they are great places so are Vienna and Budapest.

As for thinking some of the places mentioned get a lot of ink - only relatively to the mega tourist cities it's lost in the shuffle for say folks planning first or second trips to Europe.

Basically any city besides London, Paris, Barcelona, Florence, Rome, Venice, Munich and Amsterdam and a very few others are the focal points. And though they are all great places in season it's generally from one tourist mob scene to another - whilst other cities may be more relaxed and just as interesting.
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Oct 5th, 2007, 12:39 PM
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I'm not sure why "just list... no comments" - - aren't comments worth something to explain?

And likewise, to dissent?

Anyhow, others are offering some comments, so I will too...

Agreeing with candidates proposed earlier:

Gent - - loved it; hope the Hotel Erasmus will never change (but I fear it will - - some perfect things can only get less perfect)


Lyon - - wasn't there long enough... not as long as one might like to visit, but I found it very difficult to negotiate by car, even hard to get out of town (a Friday afternoon, driving towards Chambery - - maybe that was the problem). Remember: this is a BIG city.

Luxembourg City - - once again, maybe too much of a spot impression, as I only stopped ther for supper one night, nearly a decade ago, but it seemed to match notions that others had planted in my head: high-priced, relatively charmless.

Odense - - went seriously looking for the charm, but I feel like I never found it

My candidates (some of these are fairly small, but hopefully they qualify as cities)...

Thaxted, UK - - pleasant to look at, and a fantastic Indian restaurant whose name I have since forgotten

Stirling (Scotland), UK

Etretat, France

Paimpol, France

Biarritz, France

Dijon, France - - all the reasons that I thought I would like Lyon seemed to be there in spades for Dijon, and I didn't even give it a proper visit

Turin, Italy - - shhh... don't tell anybody; this deserves to be number one behind the "big three" in Italy destinations (though everyplace in Italy deserves to be number one behind the big three, doesn't it?)

Trento, Italy - - one of the best day trip destinations I ever had

Graz, Austria - - if Vienna seems too "cold" or formal for you, and Salzburg seems too touristy, then come discover Austria here.

Seu d'Urgell, Spain

Luebeck, Germany

Weimar, Germany

Ulm, Germany - - sorry to learn that this is now a hotbed of jihadism, but maybe you wouldn't encounter it if you don't go looking for it.

Jelenia Gora, Poland - - maybe this was just a really good day (day trip), but I wasn't pleasantly surprised at ease of getting around, nice to look at it, even without specific tourist attractions, and quite manageable without any meaningful Polish on my part (beyond usual tourist, please, thank you), and not because we encountered many English speakers either; German was slightly useful.

Best wishes,

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Oct 5th, 2007, 12:41 PM
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Where to begin:

Jyvaskaala (Fin)
Tashkent/Bukhara/Samarkand (Uzbekistan)
Suzdal (Russ)
Konstanz (Ger)
Triberg (")
Potsdam (")
Brasov, Sighishoara and Iasi (Yash), (Romania)
Varna and Sofia(Bulg)
Antalya, Pammukale (Turk)
The Tatra region of Slovakia
Ronda (Sp)
Pau and Biarritz area (Fr)
Another vote for Strasbourg, Colmar
Caen and Bayeux
Spa (Belg)
Lake District (Eng)

Out of Europe:

Several others, but this is restricted to Europe.

Stu T.
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