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Top Five Alternative European Cities For Your Break

There's no denying that Europe is a popular destination for holidaymakers. Filled with its fair share of charm and history, it's no wonder that Europe's cities have become quite the hub for tourist activity -- but with tourist activity comes crowds and with crowds can come quite the significant amount of stress. So how do you avoid the crowds to keep your holiday a stress-free one? We've pulled together some alternative cities for you to visit for your next break, so make sure your passport is valid, you complete your European health card renewal, and you get ready to jet off on the trip of a lifetime!

Bratislava, Slovakia

Fans of Vienna will love Bratislava. This mix of contemporary and historical can be found along the Danube River, with a chunk of its charm resting in the eighteenth century buildings littered around the streets and the magnificent castle looking down over the city from a hill. This city is the perfect option for a relaxing break with all the fun of a modern location with the array of bars and restaurants giving it an edge worth visiting. There's plenty to do here, too, if you don't fancy relaxing one day. You could visit one of the many churches or parks, pass by a few monuments, or pop by a beer hall or two! After all, there are plenty of them here. The Christmas markets in Bratislava are worthy of competing against their larger city counterparts, so if you fancy visiting during the festive season, it's well worth the flight.

Haarlem, Netherlands

For an alternative to Amsterdam, Haarlem really is the place to go. With every year, Amsterdam gets busier and busier, and so this new city is definitely a great alternative. It was granted city status in the 13th century, and has been a thriving port far longer than Amsterdam. It's only a 15 minute train journey from Amsterdam if you do want to visit the charms of the big city, but there is plenty to do within Haarlem itself. Take a visit to the Teylers Museum, the oldest in all of the Netherlands, or how about a trip to the Frans Hals Museum? Haarlem was also once home to many of the great masters, giving the city a rich artistic feel -- so what are you waiting for?

San Sebastian, Spain

The Spanish city of San Sebastian is the perfect alternative to the busy Barcelona. The sands here are far finer than that in Barcelona, and with the additional perk that the beaches are far less crowded, you can enjoy the warm Spanish sunshine without worry. There's the La Perla spa too, which alone has over 100 years of history. Spa goers will bathe the same way as their ancestors did in it's opening in 1912. Why not try Pintxos, a delicacy served at bars throughout the town? Or simply just go for a swim. Whatever you choose to do, you certainly won't be disappointed.

Hamburg, Germany

If you want to escape the bustling streets of Berlin, Hamburg could be the alternative destination for you. Hamburg is Germany's biggest port, and for fans of the Beatles they'll be happy to know this city was the defining one of their career! In fact, the whole of Hamburg is perfect for music lovers. Whether you like electronic music, live performances or something else entirely, you'll find somewhere in this city perfect for your tastes. If you want a bit of sightseeing, there's the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Kontorhaus District which is home to the ship-inspired architecture of the Chilehaus!

Verona, Italy

Okay, so Verona is another Italian city growing in popularity, but for an alternative to the crowds of Rome, Verona is an amazingly romantic option. Immerse yourself in the city of Shakespeare's classic Romeo and Juliet, and even stop by Juliet's balcony. But despite the romance, this city really is just as beautiful and dramatic as Rome, and while there are crowds you may need to compete with, they won't be nearly as widespread or as relentless as those in Rome. The shopping streets on Corso Porta Borsari and Via Mazzini are perfect for a high-end purchase or two, including Italian fashion and some amazing signature perfumes.

So there you have it -- five of the best alternatives to the busier cities in Europe. Whether you choose to visit the Casa di Giulietta in Verona, or pop by the port at Hamburg, there is so much to do without having to battle crowds, and we hope we've helped you decide which is best for you!

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December 15, 2017

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