All hail the city break. Friend of last-minute bookings, boutique accommodation and more opportunities for cultural enrichment than you can shake a stick at.
But come British summertime, the problem with visiting some of Europe’s best-loved cities is that it can seem like you’re on holiday with the whole world. And while you might have visions of sailing down the Spanish Steps in Rome or skinny dipping in Barcelona, the more likely reality is that you’ll be jostling with selfie sticks at the former and struggling to find a slither of sand at the latter. To paraphrase Audrey Hepburn, when it’s nearing 30 degrees and the Metro is suspended due to overcrowding, Paris is not always a good idea.
The solution lies in casting our nets a little wider to take in a host of lesser-known European cities that are just itching to be explored. Take Denmark’s Aarhus, for example. Eclipsed by Copenhagen for years, this cultural capital is now enjoying a much-deserved moment in the sun. The best part? You won’t have to plan your trip to the nth degree just to ensure you get a table for dinner and a ticket to the latest art exhibition.