I know my bucket list has some big-name cities that most people would agree are popular European destinations. France, Italy, Germany, Spain, England may boast some of Europe’s biggest and most-visited cities, but my past experiences tell me that size does not matter when it comes to gaining an amazing travel experience.
I say, in 2014 skip the big lights and head for the “off-brand” cities that make up these beautiful countries and let this new year take you everywhere!
Toledo is known as the “City of Three Cultures” because of its Christian, Muslim, and Jewish influences. Located in central Spain, Toledo is only a quick, 30-minute train ride from Madrid.
I passed through the Zurich airport and was instantly drawn to this enchanting city. Surrounded by the majestic Alps, this picturesque capital is inhabited by vibrant, trendy locals who enjoy the finer things in life. Any city famous for fondue and chocolate is a must-see for me!
Whether visiting one of Italy’s greatest gothic churches, the Opera della Metropolitana di Siena, or cruising through the Piazza del Campo, your time in Siena will be well spent. This architectural beauty is famous for gorgeous, gothic glories. Don’t forget to check out Enoteca I Terzi for great vino!
One of Germany’s oldest cities, Cologne proudly holds over 30 museums with many world-class exhibits. From the city center to the famous Cologne Cathedral, you can explore all of the hot-spots of this beautiful German city.
Lyon is known as the culinary capital of France, as well as one of the world’s silk capitals. Come and enjoy baguettes and scarves for days!
Roam though the gorgeous marble hillsides and stumble along unique coves of the Mediterranean coast. Explore this treasure by cable car in its scenic, mountainside railway or by sea on a classic sailboat. I’m not sure if the beautiful blue sea or baroque buildings are more enchanting!