There are so many places to see when you study abroad, and just not enough time to see them. Someone told me before I left that I would go over with a bucket list and come back with one twice the size…they were right. While it is cool to see mainstream spots like Paris and Barcelona, check out some lesser known, not-as-touristy, and more authentic cities while you are abroad!
1. Trondheim, Norway
Nestled in the upper half of Norway lies the fairytale village of Trondheim. Known for being a Viking village, they have refurbished all the old Viking storehouses into a beautiful downtown area. It is also home to one of the longest Fjords in Norway! Being the home of a University, it is full of action with plenty of college age people and nightlife. Filled with history, nice people, and beautiful architecture, spend your weekend in a traditional Scandinavian setting.
Visit: Nidaros Cathedral, Bakklandet, Old Town Bridge, and Trondheimkajakk
2. Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon is the capital of Portugal and home to just over 500,000 people. It is a beautiful coastal city with great weather, incredible food, and the iconic “Pink Street”. Ride historic Tram 28, get lost in the streets of the “Alfama” neighborhood, have dinner in the square and hike to the top of St. George’s Castle for an amazing view of the city. They have incredible beaches a short train ride away and iconic castles in Sintra just 20 miles north. Spend a couple days getting to know a lesser visited, but just as breathtaking, country!
3. Eastern Europe (Tallinn, Estonia; Riga, Latvia; Krakow, Poland; Kutna Hora, Czech Republic)
There are too many places to name in Eastern Europe that are unknown to the typical tourist. Backpack through the Eastern Europe area for an experience that is unlike Western Europe. Spend a week touring amazing cities with fairytale architecture, amazing local food and drink, and historic sites.
4. Hallstatt, Austria
180 miles from Vienna and a quick hour train ride from Salzburg is the quaint and picturesque town of Hallstatt. It is a small-town right-on Lake Hallstatt and surrounded by mountains. While there, you can check out the market square, beautiful lookout points, and historic old Churches. Go during the holidays and see their Christmas market and see the town while it is covered in snow. A hidden gem of central Europe, it is a must see!
5. Bologna, Italy
Known for being the best food in Italy, it is a town you can eat your way through! In fact, Bologna is where Bolognese sauce was created. It is in Northern Italy in the Emilia-Romagna region. Check out Piazza Maggiore, the learning towers of Bologna, the beautiful architecture, and the Piazzola Market. Bologna is incredibly easy to get to, it is a quick train from Florence, Rome, Venice or Milan. It is the perfect place for a quick weekend trip that is not as touristy and well known.
6. Rhonda, Spain
Rhonda is located on the south tip of Spain in the countryside of Andalusia, it is a quick trip from Seville and Malaga and just as close to those places as Tangier, Morocco. They are the birthplace of Spanish Bullfighting. Visit the historic bullring that dates to 1785! Rhonda has unique structures, incredibly old bridges, and stunning architecture. Checkout this gem for a different kind of weekend getaway!