Are you tired of visiting the same old cities that are always overcrowded with tourists? If so, it’s time to start exploring some alternative options! In this post, we will explore four alternative cities that are just as charming and captivating as their overrated counterparts: Lille instead of Paris, Bruges instead of Brussels, Trieste instead of Venice, and Edinburgh instead of London.
Lille instead of Paris
Paris may be the city of love, but it’s also the city of crowds, long lines, and overpriced everything. If you’re looking for a more laid-back, yet still cosmopolitan, experience in France, then head to Lille. This charming city is located in the north of France, close to the border with Belgium. It’s a lively university town with a rich history, gorgeous architecture, and a vibrant food scene.
One of the highlights of Lille is the Old Town (Vieux Lille), which is filled with stunning 17th-century buildings and picturesque cobblestone streets. Make sure to visit the impressive Grand Place, which is the heart of the city, and the magnificent Palais des Beaux-Arts, one of the largest museums in France outside of Paris. For a more off-beat experience, check out the street art scene in the city’s Saint-Sauveur district.
Another reason to visit Lille is for its delicious cuisine. Lille is known for its hearty Flemish-inspired dishes, such as carbonade flamande (beef stew), moules-frites (mussels and fries), and welsh rarebit (a cheese and beer sauce served on toast). Wash it all down with a locally brewed beer, such as the blonde La Goudale or the amber Ch’ti.
Bruges instead of Brussels
Brussels may be the political capital of Europe, but it’s also a city that’s often criticized for being boring and bureaucratic. If you want to experience the real charm of Belgium, then skip Brussels and head to Bruges instead. This small medieval city is often referred to as the Venice of the North due to its network of picturesque canals and narrow cobbled streets.
One of the highlights of Bruges is the Markt, the city’s main square, which is surrounded by impressive Gothic and Renaissance buildings. Take a stroll along the canals and enjoy the stunning views of the city’s architecture. For an off-beat experience, check out the Frietmuseum, a museum dedicated to the history of French fries (which were actually invented in Belgium!).
Of course you should also visit Bruges for its amazing chocolate, waffles, and beer! Visit the Choco-Story Museum to learn about the history of chocolate and sample some delicious Belgian chocolate. Indulge in some freshly made waffles from one of the many street vendors, and wash it all down with a glass of Brugse Zot, a delicious beer brewed locally in Bruges.
Trieste instead of Venice
Venice may be one of the most beautiful cities in the world, but it’s also one of the most crowded and expensive. If you want to experience the charm of Italy’s northeast coast without the crowds, then head to Trieste. This historic port city is located at the crossroads of Italy, Slovenia, and Croatia, and has a rich cultural heritage.
One of the highlights of Trieste is the Piazza Unità d’Italia, one of the largest sea-facing squares in Europe. Take a stroll along the city’s elegant seafront promenade, the Riva, and enjoy the stunning views of the Adriatic Sea. Make sure to visit the Castello di Miramare, a beautiful castle overlooking the sea that was once the residence of the Archduke Maximilian of Austria.
Foodies will also love Trieste for its delicious cuisine. Trieste is known for its seafood, especially the famous baccalà, which is salted cod that’s cooked in a variety of ways. Make sure to also try the local coffee, which is served in the city’s elegant historic cafes, such as the Caffè San Marco and the Caffè Tommaseo.
Edinburgh instead of London
London may be one of the most exciting cities in the world, but it’s also one of the most crowded and expensive. If you want to experience the best of Scotland, then head to Edinburgh. This historic city is known for its stunning architecture, vibrant cultural scene, and lively nightlife.
One of the highlights of Edinburgh is the Royal Mile, a historic street that connects Edinburgh Castle with the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Take a stroll along the cobbled street and explore the city’s charming Old Town, which is filled with stunning medieval and Georgian buildings. For a more off-beat experience, check out the city’s street art scene, which is centered around the Leith neighborhood.
In conclusion, these alternative cities offer a unique and captivating travel experience that’s just as exciting and memorable as their overrated counterparts. Whether you’re looking for delicious cuisine, stunning architecture, or vibrant culture, these cities have something for everyone. So, pack your bags and head to Lille, Bruges, Trieste, or Edinburgh for your next adventure!