A sneak peak into the beautiful, artistic, unheard cities of Europe which have been awarded with the title 'European Capital of Culture' in their respective years.
Maritime adventure: Cork
This mesmerizing city located on the south west coast of Ireland, founded by St Finbarr over 1000 years ago and blessed with the deepest natural harbor in the country became the European capital of culture in 2005. Cork is the biggest county in Ireland with the distinction of having Ireland's first underwater Tunnel. The city is flooded with cool cafes, several galleries, museums, theatres and year-long music festivals. Among its many tourist attractions Crawford gallery and Triskel Arts centre are both a 'must-see'. Since the city is part of both the Wild Atlantic way and Ireland's Ancient east there's lots of adventure waiting to be explored. This should be your reason to book the tickets and get on the journey of innumerable maritime adventure.
The carnival city: Patras
High energy, youthful, lively, living in the rhythm of carnival is the third largest city of Greece, Patras. It is known for its port, which connects the country to Italy but there's so much more to this joyous city that needs to be known. For instance, it's home to one of the most beautiful castles built by the Byzantine Emperor, Justinian I. It's also home to The Venetian Hamam- the only Turkish bath operating in Greece today, the Rio Antirio bridge-the longest suspension bridge in the world, tentura- an exquisite postprandial liqueur produced in this magnificent city since 15th century and above all its culture. It became the European Capital of Culture in 2006. Patras is a bustling, dancing and lively city. It will reignite your hidden child and make you come alive.
A blend of old and new: Tallin
If you see colorful gabled houses and medieval buildings lined in the cobblestoned streets then you are in Tallin- a beautiful, enclosed, capital city of Estonia. Established in the early medieval era, seen as a vibrant mix of old and new, Tallin became the capital of culture in 2011. Walk around old town to know the city; visit the town hall (Raekoda) which is the hub of all the activities. Make sure you also see Raekoja Plats, Viru Gate and Tompea Hill to see the beauty of the lower town from above. Visit the mysterious hidden tunnel or Bastion passages underneath the old town and learn about its fascinating history. Tallin is best covered on foot, be willing to walk and shift from past to present, from old to new. Old Town is your starting point to discover this hidden gem of Europe.
The tale of a forgotton land: Turku
Turku, founded in the 13th century, is the oldest city in Finland and its first capital. It is located on the southwest coast, at the mouth of the auro river and is known for its neighboring archipelago. The city is bestowed with an illustrious and rich past, which can be observed by visiting Turun Lina (Turku Castle) and ancient Tuomiorkirkko (cathedral). Its riverfront, market square and city library are some of the famous spots to visit, but its real beauty lies in the neighbouring untouched, rugged archipelago spanning over 40,000 islands. Most of which are interconnected by bridges. Post the dive into the wonders of its history and islands; you cannot leave the city without trying its famous Karelian pastries. Or even best, go and make it with the locals, in their homes, get engrossed in their stories and live the life of a Turk. Get ready to go back in time, relish sumptuous pastries and enjoy the scenic view.
The city of adventure seekers: Umea
Near the edge of arctic circle lies the city of dark winter days and bright summer nights: Umea. For the fans of, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larson was the resident of Umea. This tree lined city known as the city of birches is a hidden delightful destination that is a 'must-see'. With slanted rooftop panel houses, modern brick buildings and historic appearance, the city beams with an urban touch. It has the greatest museum collection of Vintage guitars called Guitars and one of the finest centre for contemporary arts called the Bildmuseet. It is also known as the river country with 800 km of winding coast, beaches and beautiful forest. Outdoor sports fanatics make yourself at home because this is your place! From whitewater rafting to beaver safaris to a range of expeditions to dog sledding adventures, name it and you'll have it. This city promises multiple unforgettable experiences.