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Alternative city getaways - View from above of Prague's Old Town with Church of Our Lady before Týn

Alternative City Getaways for Summer 2017

Big, famous cities often mean big crowds, big waits, and big budgets! You don’t want to spend your entire summer vacation waiting in line in the hot sun to get into that amazing museum! Avoid the crowds and make the most of your summer vacation with our list of the best alternative city getaways for 2017! And trust us, these are also equally amazing places, they just haven’t been as discovered yet, so you need to get to them before they are!

1. Go to Vienna instead of Berlin

The classical music capital of the world! Vienna was home to the likes of Mozart, Brahms, Beethoven, and many more musical geniuses. But it’s not just a city with a rich musical heritage, it’s a city that oozes culture – from museums to theaters and concert halls to smaller fringe venues, if you’re a culture vulture this is the place for you! Summer in Vienna will be less expensive and less packed than a trendy city like Berlin, but will not be lacking at all – in addition to the culture, the city is brimming with hip modern cafes and bars, sprawling parks and rich history. There’s something for everyone to enjoy in this magnificent European capital.

Alternative city getaways. Kursalon Hübner Music Hall, Vienna Italian Renaissance style

Kursalon Hübner Music Hall, Vienna

2. Go to Prague instead of Paris

Imagine yourself walking along a picturesque river, crossed by eclectic bridges, and surrounded by history – Paris? No – Prague! Prague boasts breathtaking scenery and parks, rich history, and unique culture. You can spend days just wandering the city, watching the sunset from the Charles Bridge, exploring the castle, and getting lost in the Old Town. In the evening, kick back in one of its great bars, enjoy an authentic Czech supper, washed down with some local beer – we recommend Pilsner!

Alternative city getaways. Swans floating on the Vltava River, Prague with the Old Town in the background

Vltava River, Prague


Alternative city getaways. View from above of Prague's Old Town with Church of Our Lady before Týn

Old Town, Prague

3. Go to Budapest instead of Krakow

Culture, history and castles. Wine, food, spas, and beer. What more could you ask for out of a vacation? Another of our alternative city getaways is Budapest. Take a trip to the Hungarian capital for the summer of a lifetime. Sample authentic local treats, especially the pastries. Drink local wines. Explore the countryside. And best of all, treat yourself to a day (or four) in one of the country’s renowned spas!

Alternative city getaways. Danube River, Budapest Cityscape, landmarks, Chain Bridge

Budapest City-scape


Alternative city getaways to Fisherman's Bastion , Budapest, archest with cityscape in the background, night sky

Fisherman’s Bastion, Budapest

4. Go to Dublin instead of London

Summer in London is noisy, crowded, hot, and expensive. Take the path less traveled and hop to the next island – Ireland! And head to the capital, Dublin. With all the perks of a major city, Dublin is also near some truly amazing hiking and nature. Make a friend in a pub over a pint of Guinness (you can actually tour the factory!). It’s really easy to make friends as the Irish are great fun! While you’re sipping your pint, make sure you’ve picked a spot where you can hear some traditional Irish music for a truly authentic Dublin experience!

Alternative city getaways. Blue sky, green lawn, Green trees, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland

Trinity College, Dublin


Alternative city getaways. Ha'penny Bridge, Dublin, colorful buildings, river

Ha’penny Bridge, Dublin

5. Go to Lisbon instead of Southern Spain

Entire cities pick up and relocate to the Costa del Sol (the south coast of Spain) for their summer holidays. Avoid the rush, but still enjoy sunny beaches and rich history in Portugal’s capital. Lisbon’s eclectic architecture, wealth of historic sites, and great museums make this city truly special. Cool down at Lisbon’s idyllic beaches, where you can relax on the sand or enjoy some water sports. Dance the night away in this vibrant city, known for some of Europe’s hottest nightlife!

Alternative city getaways. Historic architecture in Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon, Portugal


Alternative city getaways. Seaside Town near Sintra, Portugal , colorful houses on a cliff overlooking the blue sea

Seaside Town near Sintra, Portugal


Alternative city getaways. Yellow Trolley in Lisbon on an alternative summer getaway

Yellow Trolley in Lisbon

6. Go to Dubrovnik instead of Greek Islands

If you’re looking for the perfect mix of ancient history and idyllic beaches, look no further. Take a trip back in time as you walk the cobbled streets of Croatia’s stunning capital city. Recognize some of the pictures below? You’re probably a fan of HBO’s Game of Thrones – King’s Landing is filmed in Dubrovnik! Learn about actual Croatian history, or take a Game of Thrones tour of the city.

Alternative city getaways. Outdoor cafe on cobbled road in Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik, Croatia


Alternative city getaways. Hidden Bay in Dubrovnik, Croatia with clear water, blue sky, birds flying, rocky cliffe

Dubrovnik, Croatia

7. Go to Reykjavik instead of Stockholm

Take advantage of every moment of your summer vacation by heading north to the Land of the Midnight Sun! In the summer in Iceland, you can enjoy up to 20 hours of daylight. That gives you tons of time for exploring Reykjavik’s museums, parks, theaters, and bars. Iceland’s capital is just a short ride to some of the most spectacular nature in the world, including some of the world’s most unique beaches – some with black sand!

Alternative city getaways. Cityscape of Reykjavik, Iceland

Cityscape of Reykjavik, Iceland


Alternative city getaways. Kirkjufellsfoss Falls, Iceland, white horses, green grass, summer day

Kirkjufellsfoss Falls, Iceland

8. Go to Sicily instead of Rome

If you’re dreaming of Italy, your thoughts probably go to Rome. But what is it that you want out of your Italian vacation? If the answer is rich history, delicious food, and quality wine, look no further than Sicily. This island has everything that you’d want from Rome, but without the crowds, noise and cost. Not only does Sicily have all of the things that make Italy special, it also boasts pristine beaches, sprawling vineyards, and stunning nature. Climb Vesuvius whose eruption led to the destruction of the Roman city Pompeii, and then treat yourself to some vino Italiano, and some delicious arancini, a Sicilian specialty.

Alternative city getaways. Taormina, Sicily

Taormina, Sicily


Alternative city getaways. Vineyard in Sicily, green leaves, small building, blue sky

Vineyard in Sicily


Alternative city getaways. Rocky beach in Sicily, Italy , cear water, cliffs, blue sky, trees

Rocky beach in Sicily, Italy

9. Go to Ljubljana instead of Brussels

Both European capitals, set on the water, with charming architecture and lovely locals – why have more people not discovered Ljubljana yet? Discover Slovenian history through world-class museums and magnificent architecture. Make sure to check out the amazing Predjama Castle, which is actually half in a cliff-side cave. Slovenia is also known for its beautiful vineyards and fine wine. No trip to Slovenia is complete without a visit to the town of Bled, which is under an hour from Ljubljana. For the perfect summer afternoon, take a stroll through this romantic town and then a boat out to the island in the middle of the lake!

Alternative city getaways. Ljubljana, Slovenia colorful buildings, river, bridge, blue sky

Ljubljana, Slovenia


Alternative city getaways. Church on an island in the middle of Lake Bled in Slovenia

Lake Bled, Slovenia

10. Go to Kotor instead of Athens, Greece

And finally, on our run down of Europe’s best alternative city getaways, we have Kotor. Trade the Acropolis for Acruvium with a trip to Motenegro! Historians believe that the city of Kotor is built on Acruvium – a city that is older than Homer! Discover ancient history around every corner, surrounded by towering mountains, golden beaches, and bright blue water. The weather is great, the locals are friendly, the food is to die for, and there are no crowds!

Alternative city getaways. Kotor Bay, Kotor, Montenegro aerial view, colorful houses, surrounding mountains

Kotor Bay, Kotor, Montenegro


Alternative city getaways. Ancient Church, Kotor, Montenegro , stones, trees

Kotor, Montenegro

So there you have it, these alternative city getaways are truly just as beautiful as anything else you’ll see in Europe.  Get to them this summer before the crowds do! And if you do, let us know what you think!

What are your recommendations for alternative city getaways?


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