Love your Swedish/Danish crime dramas? Then Malmo gives you the best of both worlds. A 25-minute train ride from the Danish capital, Copenhagen, and you could be exploring one of Sweden’s most ‘continental’ cities. Trawl the designer stores on Gamla Väster, or pick up some unique souvenirs in Möllevȧngstorget’s open air market. Make sure to pack your Sarah Lund jumper!
Linz goes a long way to prove that Austria is not all Von Trapp children and lederhosen. Since being named European Capital of Culture in 2009, the former industrial city has become a hub for contemporary art and architecture. Check out the Warhol paintings in the Lentos Kunstmuseum, a huge cube made entirely from steel and glass. If you like your cities a little less shiny, then Linz’s Old Town still serves up neo-gothic cathedrals and hefty slices of Linzer Torte fruit pies.
Next to Neapolitan pizza, Turin’s Fiat 500 has got to be one of Italy’s most famous exports. Four wheeled icons are not all that Italy’s fourth largest city specialises in. Visitors flock to the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist to gaze upon the Turin Shroud, believed to bear the imprint of Christ’s face on his way to the cross. Take a break from all that racing around with a gelato from Pepino, the first parlour to put ice cream on a stick and dip it in chocolate.
Bored of Barcelona? Gerona is just north of Barca and has its fair share of late night tapas bars and sangria stops along its very own Las Ramblas. But what gives Gerona much of its unique character is The Call, the Jewish quarter that’s a labyrinth of narrow lanes, charming archways and medieval museums. It’ll tempt you to put any other Spanish city on hold for a while.
Faro isn’t that far away! Hop on a three-hour flight and be transported back in time to medieval Portugal. Spend the sunshine hours sitting in a café on a cobbled side street amidst a jumble of white-washed houses. For an unusual after-dark adventure, head to the Capela dos Ossos, the 19th century chapel built from the skulls of over 1000 monks.
The cheapest on the list, you’ll have more beer money to spend in Brussels, the perfect city for an old-fashioned pub crawl. Many of the bars in Belgium’s capital are kitted out with traditional wooden benches and fireside dens. They serve the finest Belgian brews and rounds are typically topped-off by baskets of sourdough and sausages. Sounds like the start to the best Hergé adventure.
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