If you are looking for a quick break from the big cities, there are some charming European cities that you must visit. Provence in the south of France, Ghent in Belgium, Leiden and Mastricht in the Netherlands are just a few of them. If you’re a foodie, you’ll love these towns for their local fare.
Provence in the south of France
A holiday in Provence means soaking up the sun and the beautiful countryside. While you can visit Provence all year round, the summer months are very popular. July and August are the best months to see the lavender fields and the Cote d’Azur beaches are at their best during this time. In addition, summer is also a great time to go kayaking and swimming in the rivers.
Visiting Provence is a great way to get a taste of southern France’s laidback lifestyle. You can immerse yourself in the culture of this area by visiting the many open-air markets, bustling outdoor cafes, and cooling fountains. This area is full of culture and history, and the residents have perfected the art of living.
Ghent in Belgium
A visit to Ghent is sure to leave you in awe. The medieval city has some of Europe’s most stunning architecture. From the café tables on either side of the river harbor to the boats taking tour groups through the city, it is hard not to feel awed by the medieval cityscape. It’s no wonder that many travel guides have declared Ghent one of Europe’s most beautiful city views.
If you are a history buff, Ghent has many museums to entertain you. The city’s museum of industrial history, the MIAT, has five floors of exhibits covering over 250 years of industry. The city has a lively nightlife, as well as many Belgian breweries and pubs.
Leiden in the Netherlands
The city of Leiden, the Netherlands, has a rich history. This university city is home to one of the oldest colleges in the country. In 1575, Prince William of Orange offered the city’s residents the option of a tax reduction or a free university. In fact, the city’s emergence marked a turning point in the country’s eighty-year-long war with Spain.
Leiden is home to many historical buildings. The Burcht gate is one such structure, with two towers straddling its arched entryway. The top tower features a lion with a sword, and it leads into the city’s fortress. You can also take a boat tour on the canals of Leiden, which will take you around the city and the surrounding area.
Mastricht in the Netherlands
The city has an interesting history and is the birthplace of the European Union. It has a diverse population and is a popular destination for international students. Its architecture combines traditional Dutch with modern design, giving it an eclectic appeal. The city is also conveniently located near Amsterdam, Antwerp, Cologne, and more.
There are a number of things to do in Maastricht, including exploring the city’s underground caves. The city also has a good nightlife, thanks to its college town feel. You can stay in a budget-friendly hostel, or book a luxury room at the nearby Kruisherenhotel.
Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic
If you are in the Czech Republic, you must not miss visiting Cesky Krumlov. This small city is a UNESCO world heritage site and is home to an impressive castle complex. It is the second largest castle complex in the country after Prague. However, unlike Prague, the castle complex in Cesky Krumlov is only a square meter smaller.
Cesky Krumlov is a picturesque small town that looks like a fairytale. It is set on the banks of the Vltava River, which also flows through Prague, under the famous Charles Bridge. The town hugs the river, forming a Greek Omega shape, and is a beautiful place to wander around. You will find quaint shops selling handmade wooden toys and cute boutiques.