It is always a good decision to visit world-famous cities such as Paris, London, or New York. There is no dilemma. But, copies of ‘love locks’ are weighing down Parisian bridges, whereas tourists jam Barcelona’s churches and Dubrovnik’s old town with one another. In Italy, measures to control the effects of tourism include segregating people and imposing fines for wearing flip-flops. Venice is about to impose a tax on tourists who plan to visit it for just one day.

It is obvious that the world is already filled with a deluge of alarming headlines documenting over-tourism. But if you deviate from the well-traveled tourist routes, you will find a completely different travel narrative. There are sites all around the world that are keen to welcome travelers. Smaller towns have a special charm. If you are planning a trip, we suggest 5 destinations in Europe that you can visit and that will surely delight you.

Toruń, Poland

We present to you Toruń, a small town in Poland that was fortified in the 8th century. In the period between the 7th and 11th centuries, this city represented the location of an old Slavic settlement. Its history is rich, which can be felt as soon as you walk through its streets for the first time. In the 10th century, Toruń became part of the new Poland ruled by the Piast dynasty.

This city has several fun names, but the most popular is ‘Gingerbread city’. It is believed that you can eat the world’s most delicious ginger cookies in Toruń, and there is even a gingerbread museum that you can visit.

If you decide to visit Toruń, you will see that there is a part where the medieval ruins of the Teutonic Order Castle are located, as well as parts of the old and new town. This gothic city is, in fact, the birthplace of the great scientist whom we call the father of modern astronomy – Nicolaus Copernicus. Of course, in the city, you can visit the house where he lived and which belonged to his family in the 15th century.

Manarola, Italy

Even if you have not heard about the name of this place, you must have seen the photos of it because Cinque Terre, a grouping of ancient seaside towns along the rocky Italian Riviera coastline, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Italy. It is the first UNESCO national park in the country, which is why visiting this place will be a little different.

Cinque Terre means five villages, which are lined up next to each other just like the top 10 European bookmakers are lined up. The villages stretch from north to south – from the village of Monterosso, through Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. Each village is beautiful and simple, and you can visit all five, and we primarily recommend Manarola because it has the typical Italian spirit that we all love. You will eat delicious food, meet great people, and frolic in the sea. In Manarola, you will not be able to visit any sights because there are none, but you will enjoy the sea and rest, which is sometimes more than enough.

Icaria, Greece

The land the gods walked on still looks just like that. Icaria is a small island in the Aegean Sea, where people reach the age of one hundred. Icaria is on the “Blue Zones” list, which marks the places where people live in the healthiest way.

The Panagiria festival is organized on the island during the summer, which takes place once or twice a week from May to October, so be sure to visit it. In addition to the beautiful beaches, you can also see the locations where the ancient Greeks lived. Visit ancient fortifications and ruins of temples and churches, as well as castles that still exist today.

Kotor, Montenegro

Tourists from Western Europe, but also from the former Yugoslavia, when they go on a vacation on the Adriatic Sea, they mostly visit Croatia and Montenegro, but even then they often skip Kotor, one of the oldest and most beautiful cities on the coast of the Adriatic Sea and the Bay of Kotor.

In it, you can visit the seductive old town, within the walls of which there are restaurants with delicious food and various shops. Numerous events, concerts, and exhibitions are constantly held, which is why Kotor is considered a kind of cultural meeting place for art lovers.

Porto, Portugal

Despite the fact that Porto is the second largest city in Portugal, its attendance is significantly lower compared to Lisbon. Porto is full of history and culture but also has an active nightlife. You can drink great wines in any part of Portugal, but going to a wine tasting in Porto is a must!

In Porto, you will certainly understand why tourists visit this city more and more, but you will also enjoy certain famous landscapes that you have surely noticed on social networks. Such photos are usually taken in the Ribeira district and we are talking about colorful buildings that exude a specific Portuguese charm.

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