7 Travel Alternatives in Europe

By Briana Seftel

Planning a trip to Europe and need vacation ideas on where to go? If you seek authentic, undiscovered cities off the beaten path, we have the list for you. Check out these alternative destinations to the most visited cities in Europe!

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If you love Paris...

...try Lyon

France’s “second city” offers visitors outstanding museums, a dynamic cultural life, thriving university, and unrivaled gastronomy without the Paris crowds. Sample Lyonnais specialties like quenelles in a typical bouchon, a homey restaurant serving rustic cuisine found all over the city. Lyon is also known as the “gateway to the Alps,” which means a ski trip to the Alps is within reach.

If you love London...

...try Manchester

Often called the London of the North, Manchester is no longer the city of “Hard Times” as Charles Dickens once wrote. Today, Manchester is a thriving, multicultural hub of fantastic museums and stunning Art Nouveau and Neo-Gothic architecture. From Manchester, you can easily take day trips to the Lake District, Chester, and Leeds.

If you love Barcelona...

...try Bilbao

The capital of Spain’s Basque Country, Bilbao is a city filled with quirky architecture and surrounded by green mountains. Trade in Gaudi for Guggenheim at the Museo Guggenheim Bilbao and enjoy pintxos (tapas) in one of the many wine bars. The city really comes alive during the annual Semana Grande festival (“Aste Nagusia” in Basque), which includes strongman games, free music performances, bullfighting and nightly fireworks.

If you love Amsterdam...

...try Utrecht

See canals without the crowds in Utrecht in central Netherlands. Home to the largest university in the country, Utrecht is a college town at heart. It's also home to museums that could rival Amsterdam's including Centraal Museum. Do as the locals do and hop on a bike to see the best of this city!

If you love Florence...

...try Modena

Modena may not have the same star power as Rome, Florence or Venice, but this city in the Emilia-Romagna region delights with its charming piazzas and laidback attitude. As the gastronomy center of Italy renowned for its balsamic vinegar, Modena certainly attracts a food-obsessed crowd. The city is home to the world’s #1-rated restaurant, the three Michelin star Osteria Francescana.

If you love Dublin...

...try Galway

Galway is a bohemian, cultural city on the western coast of Ireland. Along with being a popular seaside destination with beautiful beaches and long winding promenade, it also has a buzzing cosmopolitan city center. The city is a joy to explore with its labyrinthine cobbled streets, colorful shop facades, and busy café/ bar culture. The city is also well known for its many festivals throughout the year including an internationally-recognized summer arts festival.

If you love Vienna...

...try Salzburg

Famous for Mozart and “The Sound of Music,” Salzburg might just be the most quintessential city in Austria. Stroll the Old Town, renowned for its baroque architecture and one of the best-preserved city centers north of the Alps.

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