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‘I beloved drifting alongside the canals’: readers’ greatest unsung metropolis breaks in Europe | Metropolis breaks

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Leiden, Netherlands

Take somewhat staircase down from an outdated tollbooth on considered one of Leiden’s 88 bridges and hop on to one of many electrical tour boats. I beloved drifting alongside the canals of this gorgeous outdated Dutch metropolis previous townhouses as tremendous as any in Amsterdam, the botanical gardens, windmills, college buildings and the Seventeenth-century observatory. Besides in summer season, geese, swans and native wild swimmers outnumber vacationers. You may scout out the perfect waterside terrace cafes for lunch, daydream about dwelling on one of many many well-kept houseboats with their flower-filled decks, and plan excursions by water additional afield; town canals hyperlink up alongside the waterways for countryside day cruises to Delft, Haarlem or the coast.
Maartje

Guardian Journey readers’ suggestions
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Each week we ask our readers for suggestions from their travels. A number of suggestions shall be featured on-line and will seem in print. To enter the newest competitors go to the readers’ suggestions homepage

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Bremen, Germany

Historical houses in the Schnoor quarter, Bremen.
Historic homes within the Schnoor quarter, Bremen. {Photograph}: Heinz Wohner/Getty Pictures/Look

Bremen is somewhat bit like a German model of York: the medieval Schnoor quarter is a maze of slim cobbled lanes lined with half-timbered buildings and brass plates hanging overhead. In the present day, a lot of the buildings home unbiased retailers and cafes and you may simply spend a couple of days simply hanging across the Schnoor and the equally pleasant road of Böttcherstraße with its expressionist structure. Right here you’ll additionally discover the Paula Modersohn-Becker Museum, devoted to considered one of Germany’s best feminine painters, and simply considered one of many artwork galleries and museums that can maintain you occupied on this small however completely shaped northern German metropolis.
Anna Regeniter

La Spezia, Italy

A market in La Spezia.
A market in La Spezia. {Photograph}: Alamy

La Spezia, with its neoclassical townhouses, vast boulevards and maritime heritage, is a favorite Italian metropolis break. I really like the open air marketplace for ripe tomatoes and scrumptious cheeses. In one of many many tiny bars you may pattern native wine and feast on golden focaccia dripping with olive oil, sea salt and rosemary. Town is the second largest in Liguria – Genoa is the most important – and is an inexpensive gateway to beautiful Cinque Terre villages. I’ve spent relaxed days there hopping on and off boats, floating previous pastel homes perched on cliffs and strolling the scenic paths linking the villages. It’s properly linked by regional and quick trains to Genoa, the cities of Tuscany, Milan and Rome.
Liz Blyth

Peja, Kosovo

The old Ottoman bazaar in Peja.
The outdated Ottoman bazaar in Peja. {Photograph}: Peter Eastland/Alamy

Peja, Kosovo’s fourth-largest metropolis, is ideal for a weekend metropolis getaway, together with some journeys into the encircling countryside. Begin by strolling the outdated city and admiring the Ottoman architectural heritage, together with the Zallç bridge. Indulge within the metropolis’s vibrant cafe tradition alongside pedestrianised Adem Jashari. We took a taxi a couple of miles out to the 25-metre excessive White Drin waterfall, which plunges down from the Accursed Mountains, and explored the Radavc cave. Lunch on the fashionable Trofta e Drinit beckons. If you’d like extra outdoorsy motion, Balkan Pure Journey organises mountaineering and biking within the Accursed Mountains in addition to ziplining within the Rugova Gorge close to Peja. We additionally visited the beautiful medieval Serbian Orthodox 14th-century Dečani Monastery, which is underneath Nato’s Kfor safety because it has been attacked lately. Through the Kosovo struggle in 1998-1999 the monastery sheltered refugees of all ethnicities within the area.
Ryan Welborn

Graz, Austria

The Kunsthaus gallery in Graz.
The Kunsthaus gallery in Graz. {Photograph}: volkerpreusser/Alamy

Austria’s second metropolis, Graz, midway alongside the practice route connecting Vienna and Ljubljana is an architect’s dream, from the Unesco-listed metropolis centre, which mixes types from the center ages to these of the Habsburgs and the modernist Kunsthaus artwork gallery. The Schlossberg, a fort partially destroyed by Napoleonic forces in 1809, is about on a wooded hill. It conveniently has a beer backyard on the high with views stretching from the Alps to the north to the wine hills of the south.
Alice Roselyn

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