If you’re planning a trip to Europe, then you’re probably starting to realize there are too many destinations to choose from.
With their bustling city nightlife, rich history, and unbelievable architecture, it’s not surprising to learn that Amsterdam, London, and Paris received more than 60 million tourists in 2019 alone.
Now, that’s a lot of people crammed up in one place!
Of course, you probably dream of visiting these wonderful cities too, like the rest of the world.
But if you want to avoid long lines, crowds, and rude tourists, then make sure to add these 5 alternative European cities to your European bucket list.
1. Utrecht, Netherlands
Utrecht is the 4th biggest city in the Netherlands after Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and The Hague. But from a tourist’s perspective, this picturesque medieval city ticks every single box.
Although it can get a bit crowded on the weekends, Utrecht still manages to keep that old small-town charm. From the Oudegracht, a medieval canal that’s lined with historical Dutch houses, to Dom Tower, the highest church in the country, Utrecht is surrounded by beautiful sights. If you have a few hours to spare, Kasteel de Haar is a neo-Gothic-style castle that’s only 20 minutes away from the city.
2. Innsbruck, Austria
Innsbruck is an absolute masterpiece, the type you won’t be able to peel your eyes from. There are so many things to do in Innsbruck, like visiting the Golden Roof, a giant alcove balcony that’s lined with 2,657 fire-gilded copper tiles, and walking through the peaceful meadows of Nordkette, a peaceful mountain range that’s easily accessible from the city center.
3. Ljubljana, Slovenia
Ljubljana is one of those European destinations that has it all. You can stroll through postcard-perfect cobblestoned passageways one day, and the next, you can travel back in time at Ljubljana Castle. In this historical fortress, you’ll get to learn all about Slovenia’s rich history.
4. Reykjavik, Iceland
Reykjavik is not the first destination that comes to mind when you’re putting together your Europe bucket list, but it should! In just 48 hours, you can tick off the most incredible experiences off your list.
You can catch the striking Northern Lights with one of the many organized tours that make the whole experience really accessible. Or hop on a boat and go whale watching! Iceland is home to 20 different species of whales, plus you might also run into a few porpoises, puffins, and dolphins. How cute is that?
On top of that, Reykjavik is carpeted with amazing geological wonders, like the Blue Lagoon, (located just 20 minutes from the airport and 50 minutes from Reykjavik) and Reynisfjara, an inky black sand beach that is only a 2.5-hour ride from Reykjavik.
5. Wroclaw, Poland
Coffee culture, eclectic operas, gothic architecture, and the heartiest food in Eastern Europe, Wroclaw is full of life. Even though it’s the biggest city in Poland, it’s still a heavily overlooked destination in Europe, which is great news for anyone who hates crowds.
Aside from the friendly atmosphere, colorful architecture, and exciting nightlife, Wrocław also has a quirky obsession with gnomes! Over the last few decades, a series of small figurines started popping up everywhere in the city. You can find them scattered around in boutique shops, souvenir stores, or standing next to a doorway.
There are tons of alternative European cities that should be on everyone’s bucket list, like Marseille, Riga, Girona, Gothenburg, and Porto. Even if some of these destinations get a bit crowded at times, they’re definitely worth experiencing everything they have to offer!