While places like Paris, Rome, and London all have their merits and are definitely worth a visit, there are some seriously underrated places across the continent that have a lot to offer (even if you’ve never heard of them). Business Insider has put together a list of the underappreciated cities worth your time in Europe.
1. York, England
Located in the north of England —North Yorkshire, to be specific — the city was founded by the Romans around the year 71 AD. It remains a vibrant hub full of beautiful architecture (York Minster, a Gothic cathedral, is a particularly beautiful sight) and narrow, winding streets that truly make you feel as if you’ve stepped into another era.
2. Budapest, Hungary
While tourism is on the rise in Hungary’s capital city, it’s safe to say that it still remains a somewhat well-kept secret. The fourteenth largest city in Europe, Budapest is certainly one of the most beautiful cities in the world, boasting amazing museums, churches, and scenic views of the Danube.
3. Strasbourg, France
Paris may be the city of love, but Strasbourg, located just over two hours from the capital by train, serves as the official seat of the European Parliament and showcases the exquisite beauty of the Alsace region. Located close to the German border, Strasbourg’s city center is an official UNESCO World Heritage site and features architecture and culture that’s a charming mix of both German and French.
4. Rotterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam gets plenty of tourists, and for good reason, but just a quick 36-minute train ride away is Rotterdam, Europe’s largest port and the home of the insanely cool Cube Houses. It also boasts the delicious and impressive indoor market, Markthal. The city is currently “riding a wave of urban development, redevelopment and regeneration,” according to Lonely Planet, making it an exciting place to check out.
5. Carlsbad, Czech Republic
Prague has been a long-time favorite of travel lovers, and while you should certainly check it out if you’re in the Czech Republic, don’t neglect a trip to Karlovy Vary, a spa town in West Bohemia that’s every bit as charming as its capital. Founded in 1350, Carlsbad, as it’s also called, is famous for its numerous hot springs, which you can visit. It also features “elegant colorful architecture.”