When it comes to traveling through Europe, cities like Rome, Paris, and London are an absolute must-see. But where do you go once you’ve already explored the big cities? Europe is filled with charming small towns that often get overlooked for the more well-known destinations. For travelers who are seeking a local, authentic European adventure, you don’t have to travel far to find the town that makes up the heart and soul of Europe.
If you loved Amsterdam but could have done without the crowds, look no further than the charming town of Delft. Like a miniature Amsterdam with renaissance style buildings, miles of canals, and local shops and restaurants, Delft is perfect for people who want to explore the quiet Dutch lifestyle.
Switzerland is filled with storybook towns like Schaffhausen that were spared during WWII. Situated along the Rhine River, Schaffhausen features historic buildings that line quaint cobblestone streets. A medieval fortress overlooks this quintessential European town.
At the height of the Spanish Empire, Cáceres was where all of the riches and gold ended up. The city is filled with historical wealth that is still evident today from the sprawling mansions, cathedrals, and palaces built within the city walls.
Founded in 997, Trondheim is one of the oldest cities in Scandinavia. Trondheim is situated on the Trondheim fjord and served as a major capital city during the Viking Age. Today the city is known for being home to Europe’s northernmost medieval cathedral, a stately old fortress, and delightfully colorful architecture.
Just an hour and a half from Venice is the charming town of Vicenza. For architecture lovers, the city is nicknamed the City of Palladio because of the many villas designed by Andrea Palladio, the 16th-century Renaissance architect who invited the Palladian style home.
Český Krumlov, Czech Republic
It doesn’t get more small-town Europe than Český Krumlov. The Vltava River winds through the town twice in a figure-eight pattern, creating beautiful riverside spaces. The cobblestone streets and picture-perfect castle make this town feel like an enchanted location from a storybook.
Next time you are in Europe, save time to visit some of the smaller towns outside of the bigger cities. The small-town charm, quaint streets, and local bars and restaurants will give you the quintessential European experience you won’t find anywhere else!
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