• Walk the Talk

5 charming cities to visit in Europe

If you like to explore Europe beyond its busy capitals, we have some suggestions.

If, like us, you feel the need to explore Europe beyond the obvious, we have selected five true gems that are very convenient to fly to, heard of and, surprisingly, on budget.

SIBIU - ROMANIA

Romania has been under the radar for a long time. One of the most culturally rich countries in Europe it has been unfairly overlooked by many travellers. Sibiu, a fairy tale of a town is nestled in the famous Transilvania region, you know, where Dracula used to live. Sibiu is in fact a city with the most magnificent cathedral surrounded by its twelfth century city centre and old town. Strolling in the upper and lower town is the perfect way to take in the architecture, the culture, the busy big square. If you have time to explore beyond Sibiu, a trip to the Dracula castle is a must and easy to do in a day trip. Fly flights from the UK.

SARLAT - FRANCE

Located in the Dordogne region, Sarlat is a middle sized town that is most famous for its exquisite production of foie gras. The local cuisine is to die for the duck is usually the dish of the day in most restaurants. A quaint medieval town, Sarlat has a buzzing market where you can find all you dream of, but particularly some tasty French delicacies. Do not miss a visit to the city's twelfth century cathedral. Sarlat is also a great town to choose as a base if you plan to explore the stunning region which includes some of the most beautiful villages in France such as La Roque-Gageac, Dome, Beynac and Castelnaud-la-Chapelle.  Fly to Bergerac or Bordeaux from the UK.

SPLIT - CROATIA

This glamourous looking city looks as stunning as any town in the Côte D'Azur. It has a small port, a stunning old town and medieval towers. Croatia has been on the map for decades now as one of the hottest destinations in Europe for tourists looking for both culture and sunshine with its Adriatic waters as its shore. Split is the second largest city in Coratia and it can be very busy, but you will be spellbound by its quaint and charming architecture, inviting restaurants and trendy cafes. Visit the world heritage site Dioclatian's Palace, but be sure to explore beyond and find lovely corners and exciting attractions.

Fly to Split direct from the UK.

BOLOGNA - ITALY

The terracota colour of the buildings and rooftops is a unforgettable feature of the Emiglia Romana capital of Italy. A very lively and vibrant city, Bologna is home to a prestigious university, the biggest children book fair in Europe and some of the most famous pieces of art from the Ranaissance period. Bologna, as most Italian cities and towns, is exquisite, beautiful, grand. But take turns that will lead you out of the main piazzas and streets to find a maze of silent streets dotted with small delis and be prepared to eat very well indeed. Don't forget to climb Garisenda, Bologna's leaning tower quaoted in Dante's comedy and much more dramatic than famous Pisa. Direct flights from the UK

BREMEN - GERMANY

The stunning Saint Peter's cathedral stands imposingly in the market square for over 1000 years and it is, naturally, a must when exploring the city. The building does take your breath away and it tells the History of the city as an important trades point in Europe for centuries. In the cathedral, there is a museum and some mummies for those looking for a creepy twist. Not far is Unesco world heritage site Bremen City Hall. You can visit the inside of the building as tours are offered during most of the day. If you are the arty type, don't miss the brilliant Kunsthalle museum. You will find Van Gogh, Durer, Liebermann and Munch amongst others. Be sure to explore the Schooner quarter, a maze of quaint timber framed buildings from the fourteenth century enriched by art galleries and pretty cafes. Fly direct from the UK.