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14 Underrated Cities In Europe You Should Visit


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Anestassia Maley


Europe is renowned for its iconic cities like Paris, Rome, and London. However, there are countless hidden gems waiting to be discovered off the beaten path. These underrated cities offer a unique blend of history, culture, and charm that often goes unnoticed by travelers. If you’re looking to escape the crowds and delve into lesser-known destinations, we’ve got you covered.

In this article, we’ll explore 14 underrated cities in Europe that deserve a spot on your travel bucket list. From stunning architectural wonders to picturesque landscapes, each city has its own distinct character and has plenty to offer. Get ready to uncover hidden treasures, immerse yourself in local traditions, and embark on unforgettable adventures that you won’t find in your typical tourist guidebook.

Porto, Portugal

Located along the Douro River, Porto is famous for its vibrant atmosphere, stunning architecture, and rich history. Explore the narrow streets of the old town, visit the iconic Dom Luís I Bridge, and indulge in the city’s renowned port wine.

Ljubljana, Slovenia

Nestled between the Alps and the Adriatic Sea, Ljubljana is a charming city with a picturesque old town filled with colorful buildings and vibrant cafes. Take a stroll along the Ljubljanica River, visit the iconic Ljubljana Castle, and discover the city’s thriving art and music scene.

Bruges, Belgium

Famous for its medieval architecture and scenic canals, Bruges is a fairytale-like city that should not be missed. Explore the cobblestone streets, visit the impressive Belfry Tower, and indulge in delicious Belgian chocolates.

Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn’s well-preserved medieval old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and offers a glimpse into the city’s rich history. Explore the stunning Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, walk along the medieval city walls, and enjoy breathtaking views from Toompea Hill.

Valencia, Spain

With its beautiful beaches, futuristic architecture, and vibrant food scene, Valencia is a hidden gem of Spain. Visit the iconic City of Arts and Sciences complex, sample delicious paella at local restaurants, and relax on the sandy shores of Malvarrosa Beach.

Graz, Austria

Graz, the second-largest city in Austria, is known for its charming old town and innovative architecture. Explore the Schlossberg, a hilltop fortress offering panoramic views of the city, and discover the vibrant art and culinary scene.

Riga, Latvia

Riga, the capital of Latvia, combines a rich history with a vibrant nightlife. Visit the stunning Riga Cathedral, wander through the cobblestone streets of the old town, and explore the city’s diverse range of art galleries and museums.

Ghent, Belgium

Ghent, often overshadowed by its more famous neighbor, Brussels, is a medieval city with a lively atmosphere and stunning architecture. Marvel at the medieval Gravensteen Castle, stroll along the picturesque canals, and visit the vibrant local markets.

Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Sarajevo, a city with a turbulent past, has transformed into a vibrant and multicultural destination. Explore the historic Baščaršija, visit the poignant War Childhood Museum, and try the city’s famous cevapi.

Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Plovdiv, one of the oldest cities in Europe, boasts a rich history and a charming old town. Explore the well-preserved Roman amphitheater, wander through the narrow streets of the Old Town, and discover the city’s thriving arts and music scene.

Bologna, Italy

Known for its incredible food and rich cultural heritage, Bologna is a city that deserves more recognition. Explore the historic center and its iconic leaning towers, taste the famous Bolognese sauce, and indulge in gelato at one of the many gelaterias.

Vilnius, Lithuania

Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, is home to a charming old town with stunning Baroque architecture. Explore the Gediminas Castle Tower, visit the beautiful St. Anne’s Church, and immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant arts and music scene.

Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Cluj-Napoca, often referred to as the heart of Transylvania, is a vibrant city with a rich cultural heritage. Stroll through the Union Square, visit the impressive St. Michael’s Church, and explore the nearby Turda Salt Mine.

Bergen, Norway

Bergen, surrounded by majestic mountains and fjords, is a picturesque city with a rich maritime history. Explore the colorful old wharf, Bryggen, take a funicular ride up Mount Fløyen for breathtaking views, and explore the stunning Hardangerfjord.

These 14 underrated cities in Europe offer unique experiences, rich cultural heritage, and incredible sights to explore. Venture off the beaten path and discover the hidden gems that await you in these charming destinations.


Europe is home to a plethora of incredible cities, and while popular destinations like Paris, Rome, and London often steal the spotlight, there are many underrated gems waiting to be explored. From the enchanting coastal towns of Portugal to the historic capitals of Eastern Europe, these cities offer unique experiences beyond the crowded tourist trails. Whether you’re a history buff, an art lover, a foodie, or simply seeking a hidden gem off the beaten path, these underrated cities in Europe will not disappoint. So, step away from the typical tourist hotspots and venture into the lesser-known corners of Europe. You might just find your new favorite destination.


1. What makes a city underrated?

Underrated cities are those that often fly under the radar and are not as well-known or popular as the major tourist destinations. They might offer similar attractions, cultural experiences, and historical sites, but they are often overlooked by travelers.

2. Are underrated cities in Europe safe to visit?

Yes, underrated cities in Europe are generally safe to visit. Like any other destination, it’s always a good idea to take basic safety precautions and be aware of your surroundings. It’s advisable to research and follow local customs and guidelines to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.

3. Are underrated cities in Europe affordable?

Most underrated cities in Europe are comparatively more affordable than their popular counterparts. Accommodation, dining, and attractions tend to be more budget-friendly. However, the cost of travel can vary depending on factors such as the time of year and local demand.

4. How can I discover underrated cities in Europe?

There are several ways to discover underrated cities in Europe. You can research travel blogs and websites, read travel guides, or seek recommendations from fellow travelers. Additionally, exploring lesser-known destinations within a country or region can lead to discovering hidden gems.

5. Which underrated cities in Europe are ideal for a romantic getaway?

For a romantic getaway, cities like Bruges in Belgium, Rovinj in Croatia, and Sintra in Portugal offer enchanting atmospheres, romantic settings, and picturesque landscapes that are perfect for couples.