Hidden Gems in Europe

I’ve been lucky enough to be able to travel Europe a little- even if only a weekend at a time. I also feel lucky to have stumbled across a few great places in Europe that may not get as many visits as others,I thought it might be nice to share some of them so other people might get the chance to visit them.

Duisburg, Germany

I might be a little bit biased as I actually lived here for 9 amazing months, this city has a bad reputation as being “ugly and industrial” but there is a lot of hidden beauty here. Not only is there a lot in the city itself, but the Ruhrgebiet is a great place full of history. Duisburg has fantastic transport links to the surrounding region and is 15 minutes from Dusseldorf and 40 minutes from Cologne. There are plenty of city centre hotels here, as well as a good hotel on Dellplatz, which is a few minutes away from Websters- the best place to get German food in the area, according to a German person!! If you do get to visit here make sure to visit Tiger&Turtle, The Landschafts Park and  The Innenhafen. There are plenty of museums here as well as the (not so) world famous MSV Duisburg football team if you’re into sports, GO ZEBRAS!

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One of the many beautiful sunsets I saw over Dellplatz.

Luxembourg City, Luxembourg

I know this isn’t a “hidden gem” as it’s the capital city of Luxembourg but it’s somewhere I feel that people don’t visit that much- at least amongst people I’ve spoken to. I find it difficult to find flights to Luxembourg directly from the UK. This is another place that I got to visit courtesy of my Year Abroad as I had access to cheap rail travel and the bonus of only being 3 hours from Luxembourg. I visited here with a friend and it wasn’t until we arrived that we realised that neither of us had actually planned anything to do while we were here! This actually worked out for the best as we spent most of our time lost in this beautiful city and found some really interesting buildings. We eventually got onto the main tourist track and enjoyed amazing hot chocolates in the Chocolate House across from the royal palace. Definitely don’t miss the crypts and catacombs, these are really interesting and also offer amazing views of Luxembourg.

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Brindisi, Italy

This was a really lucky find for us. My sister and I try to get away on a “cheeky weekend” once or twice a year and usually go to Europe- somewhere we’ve never been before. We were in desperate need of a break early in the summer last year and were checking out cheap flights into Europe, we couldn’t settle on anywhere but Brindisi kept popping up on our searches. I did a little research and was completely taken in by the pictures alone. We decided to stay in Brindisi town (although Lecce is supposed to be good too and little more lively) the town itself is quite small but gorgeous, we stayed in the Hotel Buena Vista which is right on the sea front (the difference for a sea view room is worth it!). We spent our weekend strolling through the town, eating good food, and drinking good wine. Our hotel was amazing, it included breakfast at a local cafe (coffee and a croissant) the guys that worked there were really helpful and told us all about the town and where to find the nice beaches further up the coast (easy to reach via public bus). One thing to be aware of before visiting here is that very few people speak English here (we only found two people and they were tourists too!), we had a small italian phrasebook and between our terrible Italian and the english the people did know we got through it. Our time there was so relaxing and I really enjoyed actually feeling like I was seeing “Real Italy” rather than a touristy resort. There are lots of Roman History here and the architecture is gorgeous.

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