In anticipation of the warm season, many begin to plan their vacations. And if you like walking through half-empty cities and getting into museums without huge queues at the entrances, difficult times are coming for you. But don’t worry, there are still many places in the world that have not been explored by tourists.
We have chosen five cities that are no less beautiful and interesting than Rome or London, but at the same time fewer people go there. A nice bonus: a trip to each city from the selection will cost no more than 20 thousand rubles.
If you want to discover the capital of Romania, hurry up: according to forecasts, this city will soon become popular. In 2016, Bucharest was included in the list of the fastest growing tourist destinations according to the Global Destination Cities Index. And we are surprised that tourists have not discovered this beautiful city before.
Bucharest is a bit like the capital of France, it is not for nothing that it is called Paris in the Balkans. Quarters of beautiful old buildings, small cafes under umbrellas, shopping galleries – at some point you can almost feel like you are in Montmartre. True, this impression quickly passes, it is worth looking at the concrete building-boxes, saturated with the spirit of socialism.
A trip to Bucharest is surprisingly inexpensive today, especially when compared to other European capitals. At the same time, there is excellent local cuisine, delicious beer and pleasant wine, good hotels and many attractions: from its own Arc de Triomphe to the largest Parliament Palace in the world. Be sure to check out the ancient Cismigiu Garden, which contains flora from all over the country, and the Bucharest Botanical Garden, which is considered one of the best in Europe.
Visa for Russians: required, national
Flight + hotel: from 12 900 ₽ for 5 days for one
The capital of Serbia is one of the oldest cities in Europe. Despite the difficult times that the city experienced less than twenty years ago, today Belgrade is a very pleasant city with a homely atmosphere. If you love Emir Kusturica’s films, feel their unique atmosphere in Belgrade: a combination of enduring optimism and bitter folk memory, merry festivities and sad memories.
There are many beautiful places in the city. On a hill above the river rises the Belgrade Fortress, behind the walls of which there are traces of various eras, from Roman ruins and the ruins of a Byzantine castle to the landscape park “Kalemegdan”. Visit the Cathedral of Saint Sava, the largest church in the Balkans, and walk up the narrow streets to the Gardos Hill. And for the best Instagram shots, head to the Skadarli artists ‘and musicians’ quarter. And of course, you can’t miss the museum of Nikola Tesla, the most famous Serb. In the evening, go for a walk along the embankments and drink brandy in small restaurants.
Visa for Russians: not required. The maximum stay in the country without a visa is 30 days.
Flight + hotel: from 17 600 ₽ for 5 days for one
The history of the amazing and beautiful Sofia goes back several thousand years: the first city appeared on this place in the VIII century BC. Over the years, there have been Romans, Huns, barbarians, the city belonged to the Ottoman Empire – in general, Sofia cannot complain about the poverty of history. At the same time, today the capital of Bulgaria is a modern and energetic metropolis, in which there are many clubs, hotels and shopping centers.
It is noteworthy that Sofia remains one of the most inexpensive European capitals. According to the rating of the British consulting company Hoppa, Sofia is the cheapest vacation spot out of 84 cities that made the list. The daily costs here will not exceed 2800 rubles.
The center of attraction for tourists is the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, located in the very center of the city. It is the largest Orthodox church in the Balkans and the most famous building in Sofia. Other interesting religious buildings include the Church of Hagia Sophia, built in 537 and later giving the name to the city. And the oldest church, the rotunda of St. George, has been preserved since the 4th century. Around the rotunda, you can see the remains of the streets of ancient Serdica – this was the name Sofia had during the Roman Empire.
Be sure to take a stroll along the most beautiful boulevard in the city – Vitosha Boulevard, along which the best shops in Sofia are located. Shopping here, however, will not be cheap – the boulevard is included in the list of the most expensive shopping streets in the world. For shopping it is better to go to the Mall of Sofia. Don’t forget to bring the famous rose water and rose oil as a souvenir.
Visa for Russians: you need it, you can enter the Schengen area
Flight + hotel: from 19 200 ₽ for 5 days for one
Not the most obvious choice for a traveler to Belgium: tourists are still attracted
Brussels, Antwerp and Bruges. But that’s what we need? So add this small town with unique architecture and fun student life to your trip. The city has many pubs, excellent museums, a beautiful cathedral and a cozy, almost homely atmosphere.
The central attraction of the city is the Cathedral of St. Bavo, which houses the famous masterpiece of Van Eyck “Adoration of the Lamb”. Explore the Castle of the Counts of Flanders and its prison history museum. Stroll along the old Graslei street or the pedestrian Veldstraat with shops and boutiques, sit in a cafe on Vrijdagmarkt, the city’s main square, and then go to one of the many pubs for a delicious beer.
In Ghent, as in Bruges, there is a network of canals and we advise you to take a guided tour. For a more atmospheric look, look for Ghent Water Tourist, which runs a 1971 waterbus tour. Or choose a cozy wooden boat for 6-12 people, Viadagio vzw has them.
Visa for Russians: needed, Schengen
Flight + hotel: from 16 600 ₽ for 5 days per one based on double occupancy
Northern Italy is not only Milan, Venice and Verona. If you want an Italian flavor without the crowds on the streets and half-hour lines for ice cream, come to Trieste: this small town, the capital of the province of Friuli Venezia Giulia, is located 145 kilometers east of Venice, near the border with Slovenia. Once Trieste belonged to the Austro-Hungarian Empire and was its main seaport. But then he moved to Italy and gradually ceased to attract travelers.
And in vain: the city combines the warmth and friendliness of Italy with lush Viennese architecture. Add to this a wonderful sea view, a nice beach, an amazing mixture of Italian and Austrian cuisines and attractions from Roman ruins to the house where Joyce wrote “Ulysses” – and you will not find a reason not to come to Trieste.
From the must-see: the ancient Basilica of San Giusto, the Church of St. Michael and the romantic Miramare castle 10 kilometers from the city. Trieste also has excellent museums: post and telegraph, natural history and science museum. Children will love the Marine Aquarium, where you can see not only a variety of fish, but also pythons and iguanas.
Visa for Russians: needed, Schengen
Flight + hotel: from 18 400 ₽ for 5 days per one, double occupancy
* Prices for flights and accommodation are indicated at the time of writing. The cost indicated in the material and the final price may differ.