European getaways: Small cityscapes

European getaways: Small cityscapes

by Mary Del Rosario
Stripes Europe

The best thing about European cities is all the history that awaits to be uncovered. From the museums housing a city’s most ancient artifacts to a memorial of an important battle — these places tell the story about how these cities came to be. If you’re looking for a break from everyday life and want to conquer Europe, book a flight, hop on a train or simply drive to these small cities that will be the perfect escape. 

Amsterdam 

Amsterdam is a striking canal city that calls its visitors to let go of the usual stressors in life. The city itself is made for a relaxed weekend getaway. To get a feel of Amsterdam’s care-free vibes, participate in a bike tour since the city is known for many cyclists populating the streets. If biking isn’t your cup of tea, view Amsterdam on the water by booking one of their famous canal cruises. It’s also a good way to jot down noteworthy spots you’d like to visit once you get off the boat. 

De Pijp, or The Pipe, is a neighborhood to put on your list as it considered to be a favorite area of locals and tourists alike. A clash of nationalities and cultures make this district lively and a good gastronomic scene. While roaming around, be sure to stop by their lengthy selection of bars and restaurants. 

If you’re a history buff, head to the many museums Amsterdam has and you’ll come out feeling more cultured than ever before! The Rijksmueum takes a look inside Dutch history while the Moco Museum houses the works of Banksy. 

 

Dublin 

Situated on the east coast of Ireland, you’ll find Dublin, Ireland’s capital. Visit the legendary Temple Bar, which is not only a bar but a district teeming with pubs, diners and fun boutiques. 

Being dubbed as the 49th smallest city in Europe, Dublin is the perfect city escape you never knew you needed! With its endless amount of shopping on Grafton Street to the Guinness Storehouse, Dublin makes the ultimate Irish getaway. Famous sites to see is the idyllic Trinity College, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the Dublin Castle and of course, the Jameson Distillery where you’ll be turned into a whiskey connoisseur. 

Bruges 

Similar to Amsterdam, the canals and medieval buildings in Bruges makes this capital an ideal small city escape, so participating in a canal tour is a must! The charming city center is dotted with Gothic architecture and traces of medieval history. If you’re a fan of art, pay a visit to the Museum-Gallery Xpo: Salvador Dalí to see the popular artist’s works of art. Not to mention, the museum is located in the prominent Belfry, a medieval bell tower in Bruges’ center. The Groeningen Museum is also a hot spot amongst art lovers as this museum houses a collection of Flemish and Belgian paintings. Belgium is known for its iconic windmills so be sure to go for a windmill walk where four rustic windmills are located along the city gates of Bruges. 

For those who want to eat and drink their way to this small city, be sure to make room in your stomach for some Belgian fries with mayo and curry ketchup! They even have a museum that specializes in fries and the Frietmuseum here you will learn about the history of this popular snack. Also, if you’re a fan of beer, take a brewery tour at De Halve Mann, a popular brewery that serves tasty Belgian beers. Don’t forget to sink your teeth into Bruges’ delicious Stroop waffles and renowned Belgian chocolates! 

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