Paris, London, Berlin; these are the city’s most travelers either have already been to, or they’re planning to visit. Yes, all of these places are amazing and definitely worth seeing, buy there are many capitals across Europe that don’t get nearly as much attention as Rome, Madrid or Athens, even though they’re fascinating as well. Tragic history, small population, lack of famous tourist attractions – the reasons vary, but the result is the same: the cities listed below belong to Europe’s least visited capitals. Still, each one of them is interesting – to find out why, look through the list of Capitals in Europe.
A small gem, Ljubljana’s cozy and cute. It’s neither a bustling metropolis nor a spectacularly located town, but it has a unique charm hard to find elsewhere. Ljubljana’s likeable and livable. It’s one of the greenest cities in Europe. In the center the car traffic is restricted, so streets are quiet and walks delightful. There are countless cafés, which is especially pleasant in the summer, when chairs and tables are placed on the streets and along the Ljubljanica River. Because of the university, Ljubljana has many students and because of the students, its night-life is lively. The Ljubjlana Castle and the gorgeous Triple Bridge designed by a famous architect Jože Plečnik add some elegance to the city’s architecture.
Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina
Sarajevo’s definitely one of the most unusual cities in Europe. Architecturally diverse, it combines the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian elements. Culturally varied, it’s a meeting point for Orthodox, Catholic and Muslim traditions. Politically, it connects two divisions: Republika Srpska and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The world still associates Sarajevo with tragic events of the Bosnian War for independence and the Siege of Sarajevo in 1990’s, but the city has recovered since then and became a safe, captivating place. Scenically located amongst hills and valleys, full of historic minarets, synagogues, cathedrals and bridges, Sarajevo’s beautiful. Besides, there are countless restaurants in which, for a low price, you can eat and drink so much you’ll be surprised with your stomach’s capacity.
Capitals are usually major tourist centers, but Croatia’s mainly famous for its coast – not without a reason, it’s stunning indeed. Yet, while everybody heads to the seaside, Zagreb remains overlooked. It shouldn’t. It doesn’t have golden beaches and dramatic cliffs, but it does have beautiful architecture, charming cafés and friendly residents. The Old Town, with its cobbled streets and medieval buildings, is as pretty as it gets. Actually, Zagreb has more than just the Old Town – there’s the Upper and the Lower Town, two cultural and commercial hubs. Zagreb manages to be eventful without being large, which is a rare quality. Plentiful events are being held through the year. Bars organize concerts, old-style cinemas constantly have some film festivals and streets musicians gladly present their creativity in the Upper Town.
Tallinn is magical. The spirit of old times floats around the Old Town, strong and undisturbed. Estonians do their best to preserve their customs and you can see it on the streets of Tallinn. Wooden houses look the same as they did years ago, the medieval Old Town is in a great shape and restaurants serve traditional dishes and delicious honey spirit. Yet, despite of being old-style in many ways, Tallin’s also a modern, bustling city. When you leave the Old Town area, you’ll see lots of glassy buildings and gleaming shopping centers. Add the greyish residential blocks made of concrete, reminiscents of Soviet times, and you get an interesting mixture.
Even though outside of the center Skopje doesn’t look very cozy, it’s actually a pleasant town. A large part of the city was destroyed by an earthquake that struck the city in 1963. After this catastrophe many unsightly apartment buildings were built, so much of Skopje looks like stereotypical Soviet-style town. However, if you won’t let this first impression to be discouraging, you’ll discover the capital of Macedonia is actually a lovely place. There are many wonderful examples of Ottoman and Byzantine architecture, beautiful churches, bridges and statues adorn the centre, numerous museums offer fascinating history lessons.
The city of Luxembourg, Luxembourg
There’s one major reason Luxembourg doesn’t get many visitors: it’s just small. The country’s tiny and so is its capital. Putting aside the size, Luxembourg’s grand: the location’s spectacular and architecture stunning. Situated above the dramatic gorges of Alzette and Pétrusse River, Luxembourg City is incredibly picturesque. The Old Town is full of well-preserved medieval jewels. Besides of historic gems, such as the Luxembourg Castle or Notre-Dame Cathedral, the streets of Luxembourg are also full of modern buildings, bars and art pieces. There are lots of fabulous boutiques, so the city’s perfect for shopping. Because there are many banks and European Union offices, many people visit Luxembourg for business. Nevertheless, it’s also a great destination for a fun city break.
Have you been to any of these Capitals in Europe? What’s your impression? Let us know! And share this article – let’s break the stereotype of these cities being uninteresting!