When planning a trip to Europe, many people want to visit the most popular tourist destinations, but queues to attractions and overpriced prices can be disappointing and ruin the vacation experience. “Mandry listened to the expectations of tourists and compiled a selection of European cities that are not so crowded and expensive, but very beautiful and cozy.
Catania is not inferior to its more famous Italian competitors in the beauty of architecture: it combines the grandeur of the Baroque and the spirit of the Italian province. The city has many attractions: Ursino Castle, Villa Bellini Park, Roman amphitheater and odeon, Benedictine monastery, Botanical Garden, museums, basilicas and theaters.
On Cathedral Square, many buildings were designed by the talented architect Vaccarini: the town hall, the city gates, the famous Elephant Fountain, and the Cathedral of St. Agatha. According to legend, this patron saint of Catania protects the city from the threat of the nearby Mount Etna. The street named after its formidable neighbor, Via Etnea, is paved with bricks made of lava, and beautiful palazzos, churches, and other buildings line it. At the foot of the volcano is the Etnaland water park. The fish market sells fresh fish and seafood.
The capital of Serbia is interesting for its flavor and historical past, and there are plenty of places to stroll and have a tasty bite to eat. Go to the Kalemegdan Park with a fortress, walk along the pedestrian street of Prince Mikhailov, visit the Cathedral of St. Sava, look at the Skadarlija quarter and the House of Flowers, the mausoleum of the leader of the peoples of the former united Yugoslavia, V. Broz Tito. The National Museum with a historical exposition covering the period from the Paleolithic to the 20th century, as well as the Museum of Modern Art, are worth a visit.
The second most important city in Lithuania will become the European Capital of Culture in 2022, and this is no coincidence: it is full of museums, galleries, and magnificent examples of architecture. In 1920-40, Kaunas was the capital of this Baltic state, when magnificent examples of modernism, such as the Church of the Resurrection, were built here. From the Middle Ages, a 14th-century castle has been preserved, rising among the Santaka Park at the confluence of the Neman and Neris rivers, as well as a 16th-century hall known as the White Swan. It is worth taking the oldest funicular in the country to the top and admiring the panorama of the surroundings.
The world-famous Lithuanian artist M. Čiurlionis lived in Kaunas, and his works can be seen in the National Museum of Art. But perhaps the most famous object in the city is the Museum of Devils with a collection of more than 3000 figures of the evil one from 70 countries.
In the center of the old town lies Vilniaus Street with many restaurants and bars, and nearby is the pedestrianized Laisves Street, considered the best for shopping. In summer, verandas are open all over the city, where visitors are treated to cold borscht, and you can taste modern Lithuanian cuisine at Uoksas and local craft beer at Hop Doc in any weather.
Bari is a real find for those who like to wander the picturesque streets: it’s fun, noisy and interesting. The city has many ancient buildings: the 11th-century St. Nicholas Basilica, the recently restored Petruzzella Theater, which hosts opera and ballet performances. The so-called new town is also quite old: it was rebuilt in the time of Napoleon.
Turned into pedestrian streets, Via Argyro and Sparano are lined with shops and restaurants (try the famous sgallozza dish), and on Via dell’Arco Basso, craftswomen sell plastic souvenirs. In the summer and until mid-October, tourists relax on the local sandy beaches of the Polignano a Mare resort.
During the united Yugoslavia, this city was called Titograd. It is one of the newest capitals in Europe, formed after the collapse of the federal republic, but its history dates back to the 2nd century BC. The city has buildings from the Ottoman era, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and completely modern structures.
Podgorica is a kaleidoscope of architectural and gastronomic styles, with interesting places to walk and good restaurants. The Korzo Bar in the center of the capital serves boza wheat beer, the Feto Cafe treats you to a delicious burek with cheese and spinach, and the Pod Volat restaurant attracts visitors with cevapi, a dish of peeled meat sausage. The summer season lasts until October, at which time you can take a trip to the Adriatic coast, just 50 km away through picturesque mountainous landscapes.
Ohrid is an ancient seaside town in Macedonia, running down a hill from the ruined fortress of Samuel to the shore of Lake Ohrid. There are many cobblestone streets with temples and traditional houses, and architectural monuments include a 2000-year-old amphitheater and the beautiful 13th-century St. John Kaneo Church, located on a cliff overlooking the lake.
After exploring the city and the lake, you should go on a boat trip to the St. Naum Monastery and nearby springs, scuba dive in the Bay of Bones to underwater ancient ruins, or take a walk in the mountains of the Galicia National Park. Back in the city, you can try fried “plasnica” (small fish) on the terrace of the Letna Bavca Kaneo Hotel. And in beach bars and nightlife, such as the Jazz Inn, there are many strong drinks for every taste.
The surroundings of Grenoble, located at the foot of the Alps, are one of the best places for outdoor activities (hiking in summer, skiing in winter), but the city itself is worth paying attention to. The Grenoble Museum has a world-class collection of artworks, including paintings by Bonnard, Modigliani, and Miro, and in Magasin, 2 km from the city, there is a modern exhibition space built by Gustave Eiffel. Spherical cabins – “bubbles” of the cable car will take you to the 18th-century fortress at the top of La Bastille hill, along the way you will have a panoramic view of the city and the alpine landscapes of indescribable beauty.
Grenoble has many educational institutions, cafes, bars and restaurants. Check out Lo Zafferano: its first-class French-Italian cuisine makes you forget about the modest facade and cramped interior. To feel like a student again, check out the crowded Le Tord Boyaud bar on Rue Auguste Gache. And you can enjoy coffee on the terrace or a classic French lunch in the oldest cafe in Grenoble, and perhaps all of France – Cafe de la Table Ronde.