Europe is a melting pot of different languages, cultures and age-old civilisations. With so many different countries within easy travelling distance of each other, it’s no surprise that several of Europe’s capital cities are usually on most traveller’s list of greatest hits. Paris, Barcelona, London, Rome - all must see cities without doubt, but chances are you have probably visited them already. 

For the seasoned traveller looking to wander off the beaten path, yet still venture somewhere close to home, we’ve listed our top alternative cities for a European City Break:

Instead of Amsterdam, Discover Haarlem

What better than a weekend trip to discover the Netherland’s ‘Capital of Flowers’? Haarlem is a gem of a city full of vibrancy and rich in history. Similar to Amsterdam, it is a city navigable by boat and was one of the major trading centres of the world in its heyday. It’s a perfect city for getting lost in, and its old cobblestone streets are full of art, culture and heritage.

Instead of Sofia, Discover Bankya

Ditch the normal city break and and discover the world famous spa town of Bankya. With Sofia only 17 km away, Bankya is a perfect alternative to a normal city break. Thousands of people visit this spa town every year for its world famous mineral water treatments from its hydrothermally warmed mineral water. When not taking part in a rejuvenating treatment, head to the coastline and sunbathe on its spectacular mineral beach. Could it get any better than that?

Instead of Copenhagen, Discover Malmö

With its history of being a major seaport, Malmö is renowned as being one of the world’s cultural melting pots. Despite not actually being in Denmark, Malmö is in Sweden, just a short hop across the Öresund Bridge from Copenhagen. The journey is an experience in itself as the bridge is one of the world’s largest suspension bridges.

With the 14th century Malmö Castle at the centre of this city’s cultural gems, Malmö is the perfect city to experience all the vibrancy that Nordic and viking culture have to offer.

Instead of Rome, Discover Ostia

For the history buffs, Ostia is the second oldest habitation after Rome itself in the region. With it’s temperate climate on the seaside, Ostia is often where Romans themselves flock to escape the city heat. Renowned as a wealthy trading port during the Roman Empire, visitors can see parts of the ancient Roman theatre, the Shrine of Attis and the Thermal Baths of Neptune. With a number of refreshing beaches and water leisure activities that make for a relaxing escape from the city centre, combined with the town’s close proximity to the airport, Ostia is arguably a more convenient place to stay in Italy than Rome itself.

Europe is a continent full of more than its capital city hubs. These cities are important trading, cultural, historical and political hubs that of course need to be experienced. However, there is a lot more that Europe can offer if you know where to look. Venture a bit farther and discover a new destination. You’ll discover a new place that may just become your favourite.