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The Insanely Fun European Cities [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2017-12-4 13:14:49 |Display all floors
(By Daniel Cole via Thrillist)

From the Balkans to the Baltic, past the Black Sea all the way to Tbilisi, you’ll find playful, progressive enclaves flourishing with students, artists, musicians, and young people with a vigorous appreciation for a good time. So take  flights to Europe in the coming months and get off that well-worn tourist track -- these underrated European destinations should be on your radar.

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1. Leipzig, Germany (Image: FLICKR/POLYBERT49)

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This city of 20-somethings is giving Berlin a run for its money

The birthplace of the peaceful protests that ultimately led to the fall of the Berlin Wall, Leipzig has picked up the nickname of “Hypezig” over the past few years, thanks to an onslaught of media attention praising it as “the new Berlin.” Nearly 40,000 student inhabitants have made this former industrial city a haven for creatives and youngsters drawn by the cheap rent, coffee houses, art spaces, vegan restaurants, and techno parties. It’s the kind of city that hosts a goth festival one weekend (Wave-Gotik-Treffen) and a classical music fest the next (BachFest). Opt for an Airbnb in the “cool neighborhood” of Plagwitz, stroll the canals, Instagram the street art, then dance your face off to some house music -- try Institut für Zukunft for a bigger club vibe, or find a show at beer-garden-slash-artist-residence-slash-concert-venue Villa Hasenholz.
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Post time 2017-12-4 13:20:51 |Display all floors
2. Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina

A counterculturalist hotbed listed as one of the safest capitals in Europe

Historic Centre Of Sarajevo, Bosnia And Herzegovina (Image: LEONID ANDRONOV/SHUTTERSTOCK)

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Still trying to overcome its “war-torn” history, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina has very little in the way of high-end or luxury tourism. Instead it’s thriving as a spot for extreme counterculturalism with huge punk and electronic music scenes. Drinks will run you no more than $1.50 apiece; steer to the rakija, the local potent fruit brandy. Locals are a multi-ethnic bunch, extremely accommodating and happy to fraternize and barhop along Mukevita Street. There’s Pink Houdini, the city’s premier jazz spot, or Mucha Lucha, lauded for its street parties. Silver and Smoke is the electronic music joint of choice, and Kriterion has built its reputation as LBGTQ-friendly space with kickass events.
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3. Krakow, Poland (Image: FLICKR/NICK MOULDS)

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Fascinating history, lively squares, and fairytale bars

Easily accessible by train from Warsaw, Berlin, or Budapest, Kraków's Old Town has long been a stop for big tourist groups. And for good reason -- the city’s sprawling history lends itself to magnificent architecture, museums, churches, and synagogues. The former Jewish district of Kazimierz is one of Europe’s indisputably cool neighborhoods, full of funky boutiques and street art. Off the beaten path and down cobblestone backstreets, you’ll find tucked-away dives and underground lairs -- drift from smoky jazz bars to cabaret shows to the occasional techno party. Meeting people in Krakow is easy; finding your way back to your hostel at dawn can be more challenging.
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4. Riga, Latvia

A capital more cosmopolitan than its cheap bachelor-party rep

City Hall Square, Riga, Latvia (Image: KAVALENKAVA/SHUTTERSTOCK)

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On first sight the Latvian capital comes across as your typical European port city: old historic squares, quiet cobblestone streets, a cityscape of Gothic churches and castle spires. Under that, Riga’s reputation is mainly as a dumping ground for weekend revelers and British stag parties looking forward to staggeringly cheap drinks. Look closer and you’ll find a cosmopolitan center with a well-educated, forward-thinking community that’s been reinvigorated with modern art centers and music festivals that keep popping up around the city. A barrage of hipster cafes and live music joints like Aristīds, which offers up obscure, vibey disco and electronica, keep the party popping. Oh, there’s a great beach too. Bring your favorite groom-to-be.
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5. Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast

Europe’s most underrated paradise has world-class beaches, parks, and partying

Murter Island, Dalmatia, Croatia (Image: XBRCHX/SHUTTERSTOCK)

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From Love International to Selectors Festival, Croatia is leading the way in Eastern Europe’s international music and festival scene. Both take place in the gorgeous small town of Tisno, on the coast outside of Zadar, where bands play on beach-facing stages and DJs spin on boats cruising down the coast. There’s also the massive EDM fest Ultra Europe that comes to the city of Split every summer, or Zrće, basically the Croatian version of Ibiza during spring break. If dancing with sun-kissed, half-naked types doesn’t sell it, the Croatian coast is dotted with gorgeous medieval towns, national parks, and some of the best damn beaches in Europe, with plenty of options for white-water rafting, sailing, and diving. Somehow tourists still haven’t overloaded Croatia, despite accommodations that start at $10 per night.
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6. Kiev, Ukraine

A city in transition that’s playing by its own rules

Olorfest in Kiev, Ukraine (Image: DROP OF LIGHT/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM)

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At the heart of a revolution back in 2014, Kiev is now a center for artistic expression and large-scale counterculturalism in the face of political hardship. The younger generation is largely bilingual and unemployed, intent on having a good time, and establishing festivals, clubs, and cultural centers, especially in the old-city Podil. Driving the action are locations like Closer -- an old warehouse turned art gallery and music space -- and crews like Cxema, who specialize in throwing events in thrilling, unused spots. Throw in a delicious street-food scene, colorful architecture, and fantastic options for theater, and you’ve got a fascinating city worth visiting while it works to redefine itself.
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