As cities frozen in time, the historic centers transport us to another era in which life went more slowly and the mystery waited behind each cobbled corner. Europe has some of the best preserved neighborhoods and cities in the world; Perfect places for weekend getaways and photo shoots for Instagram. If you are planning a trip and you can not decide where you want to go, here we present seven of the most picturesque historical centers of the continent. It is not going to make the choice easier, but it can help you reduce the options.
1. Bruges, Belgium
There are not many places where medieval fantasy comes alive as in the historic center of Bruges. This Belgian jewel is known for its squares with markets, its impressive cathedrals, its cobbled streets and its quiet canal networks. During the day, it is a hive of activity, as the city is full of visitors who come to experience its medieval splendor. But Bruges reveals its best secrets at nightfall. Watch white swans floating through the channels during sunset and lose track of time. And when it gets dark, something tells us that you’ll run into a lively typical pub to try some of Belgium’s best beers.
2. Edinburgh, Scotland
Edinburgh, the lively capital of Scotland, has a unique ghostly atmosphere . Each building has a story to tell, be it siege, progress or revolution. In addition, you can enter its beautiful shops to protect you from the famous Scottish drizzle, which makes the city even more charming. If you want to go back in time, head to Edinburgh Castle. If you’re looking for a perfect picture of the city’s landscape, go up to Arthur’s Seat. After a day walking, look for one of the many cozy pubs and old restaurants in the city to have a drink and enjoy the local folklore.
3. Ronda, Spain
Located at the top of the highest gorge of the Tagus, Ronda offers incredible views of kilometers of green pastures and vineyards from the heights. The city crosses the canyon on which it is built through the beautiful New Bridge, which rises spectacularly from the bottom of the valley. This landmark architecture is the most prominent place in the city, especially at night, when you can admire its romantic lighting.
4. Tallinn, Estonia
It is easy to understand why the historic center of Tallinn has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Located in the Gulf of Finland, this wonder of red roofs is full of evocative streets and ancient architecture that make it one of the best kept secrets in Europe. If you have time to explore, we recommend walking to Katariina Kaik (the Santa Catalina passage). This beautiful hidden avenue connects with the Müürivahe street, which is a perfect place for an evening stroll. If you are looking for good views, climb to the top of the church of San Olaf to see extraordinary views of the city. With some of the best scenery and the lowest prices in Europe, it is worth visiting Tallinn before the word gets out
5. Riga, Latvia
On the other side of the river, far from the elegant and glassed office towers of the city, highlights the historic center of Riga, with pastel shades of blue and pink almost too perfect to be real. From a distance, the buildings look like toy houses with impeccable white windows and colorful facades. This city of exquisite modernist architecture and delicious food (with the odd market ) is waiting for you to discover it in the best way: on foot.
6. Dubrovnik, Croatia
Nestled on the coast of the sparkling Adriatic Sea, the walled city of Dubrovnik maintains its charm no matter how many times you visit it. From the top of the Srđ mountain you can admire the terracotta roofs of the city, its stone houses bathed in the sun and the views of the sea. At dusk, sail along the islands that surround the city aboard a catamaran. And if you are a fan of “Game of thrones”, stay a little longer, since this is where all the scenes of King’s Landing were filmed .
7. Krakow, Poland
When you discover the historic center of Krakow, you will not want to leave. The vaulted stone passages call you from both sides of the streets, while the imposing cathedrals proudly veil over the largest market square in Europe. Legend has it that Krakow was founded after a local cobbler saved the village from a grumpy dragon, and legends still echo through these narrow streets. In addition, luckily, the historic center is also the place where most of the best pubs in the city are located.