Capital cities steal the limelight when it comes to European weekend breaks — so most second, third or fourth cities fly, happily, under the radar.
Not necessarily big names such as Barcelona or Milan, of course, but the less-fashionable likes of Naples, Ghent and Lyons. Each is likely to be far less touristy because of this lack of fanfare, making for a more authentic experience.
British newspaper The Times has published a ranking of the best second and third cities in Europe to visit, hoping to highlight some of the lesser-known cities that European holiday-makers should choose for city breaks.
The Times ranked Brno as the 10th best non-capital city in Europe to visit, and the only Czech destination on the list.
“Leave Prague to the masses, and head for this little-visited domestic alternative. Medieval castle? Tick. Impressive cathedral? Definitely. Pints of pilsner? Not so much — deep in the Czech Republic’s wine-growing region, Brno veers more towards the vino. Packed with students, it also serves up quirky offerings: there’s a modernist masterpiece in Villa Tugendhat, and an underground ossuary where the wall-lining bones of 50,000 epidemic or war victims accompany — as you do — contemporary sculptures,” states the British newspaper.
Last week, Prague has placed seventh overall in Time Out magazine’s 2021 Index of the best cities in the world to live in.
The Czech capital was among five European cities to make it into the top 10 of the ranking which focuses on several aspects including culture, nightlife and food.