The warmer months of 2018 are just around the corner. There are many excellent destinations to visit throughout Europe this year, many of which are inexpensive and offer a wide range of magnificent sights and activities. Here are five underrated cities to visit in Europe this year that are guaranteed to leave an impression.
- Zagreb, Croatia
For years, Croatia has been seen as one of the premier European destination spots to visit during the spring and summer months. There are more than 1,000 islands alongside the Croatian coast, many of which see massive numbers of tourists visit every year. Unfortunately, the capital city Zagreb hasn’t yet earned the reputation as a place truly worth visiting.
In fairness, Zagreb hasn’t offered the same touristic experience that cities such as Paris or Barcelona can. Over the past several years, however, Croatia’s capital has been improving and is slowly gaining a reputation as a fun, beautiful place in which to spend a few days. For budget travelers, in particular, Zagreb is worth a look.
There are more than 50 hostels and many fantastic hotels in Zagreb right now. The city boasts some of the best nightclubs in Southern Europe and offers visitors a different cuisine than what they’ll find on the coast. Sights such as the St. Marks Church and Cathedral of the Assumption are sure to impress, and visitors can check out some of the more fascinating museums in Europe including the Museum of Broken Relationships. There’s no doubt that Zagreb is one of the most underrated cities to visit in Europe in 2018.
- Brussels, Belgium
Brussels, the historic capital of Belgium, is the center of politics within Europe. However, it hasn’t quite gained the reputation for being a city genuinely worth exploring by many travelers. That’s unfortunate because this incredible city possesses some of the most beautiful sites in the entire European continent alongside a fantastic culinary scene.
There’s a widespread belief that Brussels is one of the most expensive cities to visit in Europe. That can indeed be true, however many budget hostels are available throughout the city, and you can easily find many cheap eats. “It’s not difficult to spend an entire day in Brussels on less than $50,” says world traveler, Edward Granlund.
For beer lovers, Brussels may be the top city to visit in Europe this year. It’s is considered to be the beer capital of the world and for a good reason. Many of the world’s best breweries are located directly in Brussels, and they welcome visitors throughout the year. Spending a day sampling the top beers on the planet is reason enough to include this city as one of the most underrated places to visit in Europe.
- Siofok, Hungary
Hungary’s capital city, Budapest, is well-known as a unique, exciting place to visit in Eastern Europe. The nearby town of Siofok, however, has mostly flown under the radar despite its incredible scenery and numerous activities available.
Siofok is on the southern shore of Lake Balaton, the largest lake in Central Europe. During the winter months, tourism in this area is scarce. As the warmer months approach, this beautiful city sees more and more visitors looking to soak up the history and activities available in and around one of Europe’s most beautiful lakes.
Every summer, Siofok sees a growing number of tourists visit to take part in Balaton Sound, a four-day music festival featuring many of the top artists in electronic music. During this time, the city of Siofok indeed comes alive. Accommodation here is still cheap, and the nightlife is some of the best you’ll find anywhere in Europe.
- Bratislava, Slovakia
Unlike many cities, Bratislava has yet to recover their tourism industry since the fall of the Soviet Union. This historic city still shows signs of the destruction that the communist rule brought, and is only now beginning to make its name as a place worth checking out.
In many ways, the raw, unassuming aspect of Bratislava is what makes it so appealing. “What you see here is what you get. Travelers won’t find charm on every corner, but there are hidden gems spread throughout the city,” says cybersecurity student and world traveler, Edward Granlund.
Furthermore, Bratislava is an incredibly cheap city with many great hostels. There is a fantastic culinary scene with many international options available, and some of the best nightclubs in Europe such as the Nu Spirit Club that sees hundreds of party-goers visit every weekend.
- Belfast, Northern Ireland
During The Troubles, a conflict that lasted from 1968 to the ’90s, Belfast was said to be one of the most dangerous cities in the world. Today, it’s a vibrant, historic city offering visitors a wide range of things to see and do.
Those looking to learn more about this city’s recent struggles with violence can visit the Peace Wall and Crumlin Road Gaol. End the day on a lighter note by attending one of the hundreds of incredible pubs that dot the city.
Belfast has recovered to become one of the most popular cities for tourism in Ireland, yet it’s still an underrated place that deserves more attention.
Each of these cities is guaranteed to leave an impression on visitors. They all offer some incredible historical sights, so check them out this year and see why each is beginning to gain more attention from travelers around the world.