Western Europe definitely has its prominent destinations that everyone must hit, from Paris to Rome, London and Barcelona. Most young backpackers will hit Europe setting out for some of these spots, understandable because they are full of history and things to do. But for a more off-track experience, there are tons of interesting spots to hit in Western Europe that most backpackers might not know about. You can find cheap flights on sites like www.fly.co.uk, so grab a ticket and head towards some some of these cities and towns waiting to be explored.
A visit to Bath could not feel more different from the massive hustle and bustle of London. The Roman baths from which the city gets its name are still almost all intact, and the city itself is a pure English dream. Eateries lining the streets offer tasty pastries and sausage rolls, and the people are friendly as can be. Bath is right in the idyllic leafy English countryside so you can go explore right outside the city and return in the evening for a chilled pint at the local pub.
France’s capital city seems to take all the limelight for the country with its poshness, astronomical prices and overwhelming fame. But France is filled with small treasures and Lyon is one of these. This spectacular and vibrant city has another Notre Dame cathedral, but its is located on a massive hill which you must access by furnicular railway. The beautiful architecture in Lyon surrounds stunning piazzas and the city itself is far cheaper than Lyon- so you can enjoy the same food and wine for a fraction of the cost.
For enjoying all of the outdoor activities Switzerland has to offer, Interlaken is a prime jump-off point. Just as its name suggests, the town is smack between two massive mountain lakes, making it a paradise for mountain sports in the winter and water sports in the summer. Hiking, trekking, rock climbing, skiing, rafting… the choices are endless.
Another city overshadowed by its country’s capital, Gent can really offer everything Belgium has with a quainter atmosphere. It has the picturesque historical sights, charming beauty, vibrant street and nightlife and great culinary scene of all the great Flemish cities combined. The locals are friendly and welcoming, often willing to chat with visitors over a pint of their Kwak beer.
Like France, the Netherlands is one of those countries where most visitors stop at the capital, and see nothing else. But Utrecht, just 30 minutes from Amsterdam, is the kind of city that you might miss at your peril. It has a rich heritage, narrow medieval streets and stunning churches, abundance of bars and cafes and an intricate network of canals like Amsterdam’s. And yes, it has the coffeeshops. It also has a surprisingly cosmopolitan student population, as Utrecht University is one of the prime choices for international students in Europe.