We all know about Paris and Rome. We’ve added Santorini and Cinque Terre to our list of “must-see” places. Twenty years ago these sights were busy, today they are a tourist hell. Sure, some of them are worth a stop, but thanks to social media constantly promoting their beauty it’s hard to visit without feeling like you’re being suffocated in selfie sticks and Rayban Sunglasses.
Unique in every way, Europe encompasses thousands of years of history, dozens of independent countries, and enough small-town charm to put any Disney movie into real-life perspective. There’s more to Europe than London, Amsterdam, and Berlin. In fact, the large towns feel more like America than tourists want to admit. You can walk down the street and easily find someone who speaks English, you’re surrounded by other travelers and not by locals, and the true culture of a country isn’t gift shops and expensive meals.
I don’t mean to hate on big-city Europe. Many of them are beautiful, and fun, and have plenty of clubs that stay open until 5am. But if planning a trip to Europe, there are other cities not to be missed.