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Small European cities for day trip

Updated: Nov 13, 2022

Key Points:

  1. There are many small cities in Europe. But we have picked the best 10 small cities worth visiting according to the poll.

  2. WikiVoyage has the original version of travelling in those cities. But we have rewritten and integrated several articles together to create a better version.

There are many small cities in Europe that worth visiting. Since it's small, it only takes a day to visit one of those cities.

Here we quote the best way to travel in the small cities in Europe provided by wikiVoyage, a multilingual, web-based project to create a free, complete, up-to-date, and reliable worldwide travel guide. Wikivoyage is hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation, a non-profit organization that also hosts a range of other project such as Wikipedia. Content on wikiVoyage can be shared under a Creative Commons License.

1. Lucerne (29.1 km²) is a beautiful small city which sits on the shores of Lake Lucerne in the heartland of Switzerland. Lucerne is a popular destination for both the city itself and the number of accessible outings around the lake and local Alps that it offers. Tourism in Lucerne has a distinguished history dating from the mid-19th century, with Mark Twain among them.

Places worth visiting: The Chapel Bridge, The Lion Monument, The old city wall, Bourbaki Panorama, Glacier Garden, Lucerne Art Museum, etc.

2. Florence (102.4 km²) is the capital of the region of Tuscany in Italy. The city is a cultural, artistic and architectural gem, and is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Politically, economically, and culturally, Florence was the most important city in Europe for around 250 years, from some time before 1300 until the early 1500s.

Places worth visiting: Santa Maria del Fiore, Giotto's Tower, Baptistery, Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Bargello, Museo Galileo, Palazzo Vecchio, etc.

3. Salzburg (65.68 km²) is a city in Austria, near the border with Germany's Bavaria state. It was the setting for the movie The Sound of Music, so you may think you know all there is to see in Salzburg if you have seen the movie.

Places worth visiting: Hohensalzburg Fortress, Schloss Mirabell, Salzburg Cathedral, Mozarts Geburtshaus, Salzburg Museum, etc.

4. Nice (71.92 km²) is a large city in France on the French Riviera. It's a popular destination for vacationers young and old, with something to offer nearly everyone. It is well known for the beautiful view on the Promenade des Anglais, its famous waterfront, and is an ethnically diverse port city. In 2021 the waterfront and a considerable part of the city were listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Places worth visiting: Colline du Château, Musée des Arts asiatiques, Musée Marc Chagall, etc.

5. Versailles (26.18 km²) is a city on the western edge of the French capital city Paris, now part of the sprawling metropolis within the Ile de France region. Versailles is best known for being the site of the vast royal palace and gardens built by King Louis XIV on what had been the grounds of a royal hunting lodge. It is also one of the wealthiest cities near Paris.

Places worth visiting: Château de Versailles, Appartement de la Reine, The Grandes Eaux Musicales, The Grand Trianon Castle, The Temple of Love, etc.

6. Segovia (163.6 km²) is a city in Spain, famous for its historic buildings including three main landmarks: its midtown Roman aqueduct, its cathedral (one of the last ones to be built in Europe following a Gothic style), and the castle, which served as one of the templates for Walt Disney's Cinderella Castle. The city centre of Segovia was declared a WV-Unesco-icon-small.svg UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985.

Places worth visiting: Aqueduct, Cathedral, Museo de Segovia, Alcázar, etc.

7. Pisa (185 km²) is a city in Tuscany, Italy, best known for its world-famous leaning tower. But the tower isn't the only thing to see – there are other architectural and artistic marvels in this beautiful city. The half-hour walk from the Campo dei Miracoli to the train station runs through a pedestrian street with many interesting sights, shops, and restaurants. The best way to visit Pisa is walking the streets, as the city centre is small and cosy, and enjoying the sight and the atmosphere.

Places worth visiting: Torre Pendente (Leaning Tower), Duomo di Pisa (Pisa Cathedral), Battistero di San Giovanni, Camposanto Monumentale, Piazza dei Cavalieri, etc.

8. Stratford-upon-Avon (14.1 km²) is an historic town on the River Avon in the English county of Warwickshire in UK, best known as the home town of the great English playwright and poet, William Shakespeare. Today, it is a major theatre-going destination as the home of the Royal Shakespeare Company. As such, it represents one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country.

Places worth visiting: Shakespeare's Birthplace, New Place, Hall's Croft, Holy Trinity Church, Butterfly Farm, etc.

9. Bruges (138.4 km²) is a picturesque city in Flanders, the northern part of Belgium. Once Europe's richest city, now both cosmopolitan and bourgeois in its compact size. It is mainly known for its exceptionally well-preserved historical centre (especially by Belgian standards).

Places worth visiting: Grote Markt, Groeninge Museum, Basilica of the Holy Blood, Onze Lieve Vrouwkerk, Choco-Story Museum, City Gates, etc.

10. Rothenburg ob der Tauber is a town along the Romantic Road in Bavaria, Germany, about halfway in between Frankfurt and Munich. It is best known for its medieval town centre (Altstadt), seemingly untouched by the passage of time, encircled by the undamaged 14th-century town wall.

Places worth visiting: Market Square, Town Hall Tower, Plönlein, Town Wall, St. Jakobskirche, etc.

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