When people think of a European getaway, they tend to name off places like London, Paris, and Rome. While each of those cities has earned its spot on various travelers’ bucket lists, there are many cities that are just as worthy of “must see” status that are a little more off the beaten path. Northern Europe tends to get the short end of the stick when it comes to tourism, despite its rich, long and varied history. With small populations, limited influence and often harsh climates, the northern countries, including Scandinavia, Finland and the Baltics don’t exactly seem like havens for travelers – but these underrated escapes are also home to some of the most beautiful, diverse and storied cities in all of Europe. Here are 10 of the hidden gems in Europe’s Northern kingdoms.
10. Roskilde, Denmark
Roskilde is a city with only 50,000 inhabitants, but it’s easily one of the most important cities in Denmark; in fact, it was the Danish capital for many generations. The city dates back to the Viking Age and, according to medieval sources, was the site of a royal palace and a cathedral built by Harald Bluetooth, the legendary founder of Denmark. Though the Roskilde Cathedral that stands today dates from 12th and 13th centuries, Harald Bluetooth’s tomb is here, along with the graves of other Danish monarchs. Attached to the cathedral is Roskilde Palace. Roskilde is also famed for its Viking Ship Museum, which houses the remains of 5 well-preserved Viking ships, which were unearthed from the Roskilde Fjords surrounding the city.