Part of all the travel fun is deciding which destination to go next. And believe me, that’s a challenge everytime. There’s so much to see and do, and our bucket lists don’t seem to get any shorter. Sometimes it’s tempting to go back to a place we’ve already explored. It’s also a challenge to choose a less touristic destination. Big cities such as London, Rome, Parijs, Berlin and Antwerp are crossed of our lists already. But France, the UK, Belgium, Italy and Germany have so much more to offer. In this article we share 3 lesser known citytrip destinations, which we absolutely loved.
My list with places that really surprised me has become quite long already. Actually it’s a pity this article only contains 3, right?
- Brighton, UK
Let’s start with the UK. London probably is an obvious choice and a destination many people have visited. I get that: it’s such an amazing city, I’ve been there at least 8 times. A little bit more to the south, you’ll find city on the beach Brighton is located. I love spending time in Brighton, it has so much to offer. If you like to go shopping, this city is great: for fair and vintage fashion as well as fast fashion. The veggie food scene is definately worth exploring too. Dinner at Terre a Terre is always delicious. Brighton has a beautiful pier (where you can jump on a trampoline!) and don’t forget to go for a stroll in The Lanes. It doesn’t matter when you visit Brighton: it’s always a good choice and it’s a relaxed city to explore in a few days.
Travel: we drove from Groningen to Calais, took the boat or train to cross the pond and drove from Dover (sometimes visiting London first) to Brighton. Average costs for a boat or train ticket, if you book ahead: € 130,-.
2. Dresden, Germany
A few years ago (in 2013 to be precise) we celebrated Janet’s birthday in a German city: in Dresden. There was not a lot of info online about Dresden so we were curious to find out what it has to offer. A 6 hour car drive brought us to our hotel. Our first impression of the city? In the city center there are a lot of beautiful buildings, like the Frauenkirche for example. The center looks old, but don’t be misguided by the looks. In 1945 the city was bombed and the city center was destroyed almost completely. So old looking buildings can be quite new, because they rebuilt it. It’s a green city: lots of parks, trees and a spacious feeling. We discovered coffee and cake spots, had a delicious iced coffee on a terrace with a view over the water. Vegetarians and vegans don’t have to be hungry in Dresden: plenty of places to enjoy yummy food, like Brennessel. Janet had a few best buys in a vintage and second-hand clothing shop: nice skirts and dresses which will probably be worn again during our trip to Bologna in May. You might remember one of our weird fascinations: visiting graveyards. In Dresden you can visit a beautiful old cemetery too. Lucky for us: the weather was great, lots of sun. We think Dresden is a great city to explore in a few days.
Travel: by car from Groningen do Dresden, it’s about 650 kilometres.
3. Thessaloniki, Greece
In April of 2015 a friend and I went to the Greek city Thessaloniki. Because we were longing for some sun, Greece seemed a good choice. The tickets to Thessaloniki were cheap and I had never been to Greece before. All the more reason to choose this destination, right? Thessaloniki turned out to be an intriguing city. People living on the streets and at the same time full terraces with locals having dinner. In some parts you’ll see beautiful buildings and in other parts of the city you’ll find old and broken-down houses. This city also has a raw edge to it: in some parts there’s a lot of graffiti and street art for example. But I loved the atmosfere: during the evening and nights people were making music and dancing together next to the promenade and the sea. So much fun to watch and listen! I would go back in a heartbeat: to enjoy all the yummy veggie food, meet some more friendly people, enjoy the city vibes. We didn’t have enough time to go on a daytrip, so next time I would really like to rent a car and explore Chalkidiki and Edessa (the city of water).
Travel: our flight was about € 7o,- per person, from Düsseldorf (Weeze, Germany). For a double room we paid about € 80,- each. Food, drinks and entrance fees are very cheap compared to prices in The Netherlands.
How about you, do you already know these cities? And, how do you choose your next travel destination? What city is your favourite and which one would you recommend exploring?