Ok, maybe not so secret, but definitely not very well known and frequented by tourists. Read more about the cities I chose to add to my list of secret European cities you need to visit.
1. Corfu Town, Corfu, Greece
While I was on vacation in Corfu, we took a one-day self-organized trip to Corfu Town, the island’s capital and we got to see a typical Greek city, cosmopolite, at the sea, very touristic, but with lovely buildings and narrow streets, lots of colors.
2. Belgrade, Serbia
I honestly did not know what to expect from Belgrade and I haven’t chosen to visit the city as a destination in itself, but found myself here, in a transit for 9 hours. So since I was there, why not explore the city. I was lucky enough to know someone living there so I got an express tour. And I really loved the city! It is spirited, loud, fun. We were there on a Saturday afternoon and the city center was packed with people singing, dancing, eating something. It is a must see.
3. Ljubljana, Slovenia
During my Erasmus in Italy, Ljubljana was relatively close and we were always in search for a good trip so we did a one day visit here. Even though small, the city is airy, overlooking the mountains, it offers a lot of social activities: from having a drink at one of the many terraces along the Ljubljianica River, to visit the castle, to having a Sunday walk in the central market. Oh, and in 2016 it has been the Green Capital of Europe.
4. Bratislava, Slovakia
Another city visited on a road trip with friends. I liked the peacefulness of this little town, the castle up on the hill, the colored houses. It’s really worth it to have a stroll if you have a few hours to spare.
5. Innsbruck, Austria
Have recently visited this city well known for 2 things: skiing and Swarovski crystals. But that is not all to it. I actually had a lovely Saturday strolling on the streets of this small coquette city, placed in the middle of the Alps.
6. Trieste, Italy
Trieste is and will always remain in my heart for subjective reasons, but that does not mean it doesn’t bring a lot of things on the table. It perfectly located on some hills, overlooking the Sea, it has a castle, is lively (since there is a high student population), it has great restaurants and even greater gelaterias and offers a lot of possibilities of spending time in and around the city (Miramare, Duino, osmizza, Dolomite, Grotta Gigante and so on).
7. Sibiu, Romania
Having been the European Capital of Culture in 2007, Sibiu has a great number of touristic attractions, within and outside of the city. Every year in June, it hosts the International Theater Festival, it is a green multicultural city (hosting Romanian, Saxon and Hungarian people), with a history of over 900 years, Sibiu is definitely a place to visit at least once.
8. Oradea, Romania
Located only 10 km away from Romania’s border with Hungary, Oradea is the city with the most investments made in infrastructure and building improvements in the past years in Romania. It is an elegant small city, crossed by Crisu Repede River, with a very old and spectacular Fortress where Christmas Markets are organized.
9. Sighisoara, Romania
The medieval citadel of Sighisoara, is located on a hill in the center of Romania. Fortified walls encircle Sighişoara’s lustrous merchant houses, now harboring cafes, hotels and craft shops. Every year a medieval festival takes place on the streets of the citadel.
10. Genoa, Italy
Not very touristic, but with an all so Italian flavor, Genoa is located in the NW part of Italy and is the sixth largest city of Italy. One should not miss a stop here, even if on the way to Cinque Terre.
Bonus: Camogli, Italy
Haha, this is a bonus if we get to Genoa, just look at this picture. Camogli is an oh so romantic city at the sea, where you could relax for a few days.
What hidden gem would you recommend I should add on my “to see”list?