Summer has long been recognized as the ideal time to visit the European continent with sunny weather beckoning tourists to explore the mountains, beaches, and cities. However, with the wonderful summer weather comes several less-desired items: crowds, higher prices, and a feeling that you are on the same trip as everyone else.
It is easy to be focused on major capitals such as Paris, Barcelona, and Vienna as places to visit on your European vacation, but culture and sights aren’t limited to these cities. Explore some of the lesser known cities in Europe and you will find similar cultural highlights as well as better prices, fewer crowds, and more friendly locals.
When people think of visiting Europe, the natural inclination is to head to Paris. With world-class museums and centuries of history, food, culture, and romance it is easy to understand why Paris remains the world’s top tourist destination. But along with being the top destination in the world comes problems. Crowds, expensive hotels, and famously rude Parisians who deal with the onslaught of tourists each summer.
Save your sanity and instead head to a less-traveled area of France, Aix-En-Provence. Situated in the south of France near Marseille (the second largest city in France) Aix-En-Provence is well known as a jewel of southern France.
Afraid of missing out on the excellent artwork in Paris? Aix-En-Provence has you covered. The artist Cezanne lived in the area and many of his most famous works are depictions of the lavender covered hills surrounding the area.
In addition, the city architecture itself is nothing to scoff at. Also known as the city of 1000 fountains, Aix-En-Provence exudes beauty with wide, tree-lined streets dotted with fountains. A university with a large exchange program keeps the city youthful and energetic, and a location only 19 miles from the beach means that the sea can be visited when the city becomes overwhelming.
Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain and has many of the attractions to prove it. The La Sagrada Familia cathedral is a world landmark, the Las Ramblas thoroughfare is probably the best spot for tapas in the world, and an inviting beachfront make this a top destination.
But venture down the coast a few hours and you will find the oft-overlooked and equally exciting city of Valencia. Hemingway is said to have written many of his most famous books in the city, it is the birthplace of Paella, and some would say it has a more inviting beach than Barcelona. Plus, with several ancient cathedrals and other sites to see within a walkable and non-crowded old town, Valencia should definitely be considered a worthy contender to Barcelona.
An absolute cultural and economic giant in Austria and the greater Eastern European region, like all other European capitals Vienna, has a long and cultured history that has influenced centuries of citizens. This, however, is not the only gem to visit in this mountainous country.
Enter Salzburg. Although a relatively small city in Austria, most people are probably familiar with Salzburg due to the Sound of Music. And if you visit, yes the hills really are that magnificent.
Visitors to Salzburg will find a well-preserved city center set amidst picturesque hills along a river. The city is easily navigable by foot, and a great launching pad to several of the alpine villages in the region.
Well-known as the birthplace of Mozart, the city definitely plays up his time spent in the city and the musical heritage is alive and well as Salzburg hosts the well-renowned Salzburg Festival, a high-class music and art exhibition that draws performers and audience members from around the world.
Choosing where to visit on your European vacation can be an overwhelming experience, especially if your trip is a once-in-a-lifetime event. Sometimes the choices can be overwhelming, which is why Travel Central is here to help.
The agents at Travel Central are ingrained in the travel industry and experts on destinations around the world. Our dedication to superior customer care is something you just can’t find in an Internet search engine and the reason repeat customers are a strong component of our business. Our strong relationships with travel suppliers and knowledge of modern reservations software help us to get you the best value while visiting your desired destinations.
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