After 2 consecutive three days, it’s very likely that your Instagram feed was flooded with travel images in short European destinations. The truth is that such circumstances always create the ideal conditions for a city break. One thing, however, the budget tickets, another thing about travel trends, you often end up seeing the same images repeated: Paris, London, Rome and all over again. Is the whole of Europe summed up in these few places? Of course not! In fact, there are many gorgeous places to visit, some of which you may not have even thought about.

Is it time to book a trip to surprise destinations and fill your friends’ feed with something original?

  • Granada, Spain

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Nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, Granada offers a more relaxed alternative to popular Spanish destinations such as Barcelona and Madrid. So, if you want to live the Spanish experience at a more relaxed pace and with significantly reduced tourist currents, maybe this is the destination you are looking for. The Alhambra is one of the city’s most famous monuments: Don’t miss the opportunity to tour its generous spaces and palaces when you visit. Make sure, however, that you have booked your entrance ticket in advance, in order not to be faced with unpleasant surprises. A short walk away is the Mirador de San Nicolás, an observatory with a panoramic view of the city. Don’t miss a stroll along Paseo de los Tristes by the river. Somewhere there, the smells of the famous tapas served by the many restaurants in the area will begin to reach your nostrils. Experiment with different flavors and choose your favorite.

Another neighborhood worth exploring is Sacromonte, a mountainous district where most of the houses are built into the rocks. If you want to experience an unforgettable Spanish night, try to secure a seat in one of the cave-bars along the Camino del Sacromonte, where some of the most impressive flamenco shows take place. Complete your trip to Granada with a trip to the nearby Sierra Nevada National Park, which is admittedly one of the best ways to immerse yourself in the splendor of nature.

  • Valletta, Malta

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When looking for nearby destinations, surprisingly most people’s minds don’t turn to the small Mediterranean island nation of Malta. And yet, its capital, Valletta, is known as one of the cities with the most history in the world. So, you easily understand that there are a lot of things to see, without having to travel far. According to the UNESCO World Heritage Center, there are more than 320 monuments in an area of ​​less than 800 meters. Just taking an aimless stroll through the Maltese capital, you will stumble upon countless unique sights, such as St. John’s Cathedral, a gilded baroque cathedral and one of the city’s most famous landmarks. Explore the intricately carved stone walls and painted ceilings.

Another beautiful area to walk is the Gardens of Ano and Kato Baraka, where you will be able to enjoy an unparalleled view of the Grand Harbor. If you want to get a dose of culture, visit Malta’s national theatre, the Teatru Manoel, one of the oldest theaters in Europe, which still hosts performances today. The end of a busy day could not contain anything better than a sunset sailing trip.

  • Bologna, Italy

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Rome, Milan, Amalfi, Venice… Yes, these are all wonderful destinations in Italy, but they are not the only places worth seeing from this truly beautiful country. The heart of youth and freshness beats in Bologna, a budget destination that can offer you everything and easily: History, architecture and great cuisine. Bologna is the ideal destination if you want to experience the rich culture of Italy in a split second.

The heart of the city is Piazza Maggiore, a historic square that houses some of Bologna’s most important buildings and dates back to the 13th century. A visit to the two medieval leaning towers of the city, which dominate the horizon, is also considered a must. An ideal spot for a walk is the area along the Portico di San Luca, from the center of Bologna to the sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca. The longest covered street in the world, the arcade with 666 arches stretches for more than 3 kilometers. There is no better way to explore this city than on foot, so make sure you wear comfortable shoes when you come here. After a rich walk, let yourself rest in one of the tasteful cafes and restaurants of the city, enjoying fresh pasta and elaborate recipes. Bologna is not considered one of the top culinary destinations by chance.

  • Edinburgh, Scotland

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If you like London, then you will definitely love Edinburgh! The Scottish capital seems to have come out of the pages of a wonderful fairy tale, it has it all: Castles, cobbled paths, dark, atmospheric corners, princes and… dragons. Edinburgh has all the dark academic energy of London, “dipped” in an absolutely charming architecture. Start your day at Edinburgh Castle, where you’ll have the chance to admire the royal chambers, crown jewels and mythical dungeons. Then head to Princes Street Gardens for unparalleled views of the castle. This place is also ideal for a short picnic. Sit on the grass and enjoy the beauty around you.

Although the castle is the star of this city, Edinburgh hides many more travel “treasures” for you to discover. To understand this, a visit to the Holyroodhouse Palace is enough. It is the official residence of the British monarch in Scotland. When the royals are not in town, it is open to the public.

After all this imperial mood, you can finish your day in a pub, in the company of a glass of the famous Scotch whisky. If you’re missing a photo in front of London’s signature red phone booth, we’ve got good news for you: You can take it in Edinburgh, which also has the popular booths! Finally, a little shopping on Victoria Street and a walk on the Royal Mile might be the best idea to complete your trip to Edinburgh.

  • Dubrovnik, Croatia

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The coastal Croatian gem has it all: Impressive medieval architecture, incredible beaches and plenty of history to explore. Let yourself wander through the Old Town of Dubrovnik, with its magnificent baroque architecture, which will offer you a magical journey through time, into mythical times. Walk the limestone streets and look for the landscapes that housed the popular TV story “Game of Thrones”, such as the “Walk of Shame” steps and the “Red Keep” gate. An image that will surely remain unforgettable is the fantastic view from the city walls. Along the one kilometer path on top of the stone walls, you will have the opportunity to discover towers, fortresses, moats and bridges, which will make this walk the most beautiful you have ever done.

However, the best thing about this destination I haven’t told you yet: Unlike many other European destinations, here you can combine exploring historical landscapes with relaxing on uniquely beautiful beaches along the Adriatic Sea. Copacabana and Banje beaches are popular spots for swimming.

  • Lyon, France

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France’s third largest city is known for its history, culture and world-renowned cuisine, so it has all the necessary elements to make it a destination that should be added to your bucket list. You could easily take a trip solely for the purpose of culinary exploration, discovering the city’s interesting food markets and great restaurants.

This trip, however, will not be complete without spending time in Lyon’s magnificent architectural beauty, which goes beyond its delicious food. The historic city boasts stunning medieval and renaissance architecture, highlighted by buildings such as the Church of Saint George, on the banks of the Saône River. Wander through the passages of old Lyon and let your gaze get lost in the picturesque buildings that will fill your photos. The climb to the highest hill in the city is worth your time and effort, so that you have the opportunity to get to know the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière up close, but also to enjoy a panoramic view of the city. Back in the center, head to Place Bellecour for some shopping, a drink or even a ride on the Ferris wheel.

You cannot travel to Lyon without knowing that it is one of the largest producers of silk in the world. Upon arrival, you’ll have the opportunity to watch the silk artisans at work in the La Croix-Rousse neighborhood and learn interesting information about Lyon’s silk history at the Maison des Canuts.

With so much fashion history, food and architecture, who needs Paris?