The other European capital cities

By NH | 12:38

We are all familiar with the big hits when it comes to the European capital cities and more than often they steal our attention away from the other capital cities of Europe, sometimes known as “second cities”. They’re beautiful, intriguing, and armed with a plethora of reasons to visit. So, which of these ‘second cities’ are we talking about? Let’s see…

Zurich (Switzerland)

Most business travelers are more than familiar with Zurich, with it being a key meeting point for events, trade and more (perhaps you may have also stayed at our NH Zurich Airport). It also just so happens to be the biggest and most populated city in Switzerland. There are many reasons to love this Swiss city: its location near the Alps, the enchanting Zürisse lake (an absolute must by boat), and of course its unique blend of old meets new meets top quality of life.

It’s mixture of modern architecture and a well preserved medieval historic center is backed into wonderful boulevards and winding streets. You can’t miss Hauptbahnhof, the biggest train station in the country. And you should take the Polyban tram to go up the hill and get to the best viewpoint of the city while soaking up atmosphere  against a backdrop of beautiful nature.

Our recommendation: visit Zurich during Christmas time! It’s a great destination in winter because of its location next to the Alps (perfect for a ski trip!) as well as because of its lovely Christmas markets, where you will find all manner of cute decorative items . And of course… do not forget to indulge in as much swiss chocolate as possible! It’s one of the best chocolates in the world!


Marseille (France)

Oh, lá, lá… la belle France! There are a lot of special cities in France, and one of those is the outstanding Marseille, a coastal city that’s more than 2500 years old, and one that everyone loves to visit. A lot of people assume that is smaller than what it is but, in fact, it is the second largest city in France. Marseille has a unique style and vibe which can’t be described. The warm weather combined with its emblematic buildings, beaches and old maritime port make Marseille a dream location.

It is a perfect city to walk, to discover  picturesque neighbourhoods like El Panier, to be delighted by the beauty of its monuments like the Notre Dame de la Gare or the distinguished XIX century cathedral Sainte Marie Majeure, as well as to soak up culture at its numerous museums. There’s nothing you can’t do in Marseille. If you’re visiting Marseille in summer remember to try the typical drink El Pastis: so refreshing!

Coming soon to this not-so-little Mediterranean paradise? We can’t wait to have you with us!


Hamburg (Germany)

If you still didn’t know, Hamburg’s in luck this year, being included on Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel list 2018 in 4th position! Well, it’s safe to say that Hamburg has grown in popularity over the last year or two. It is striking and has a dynamic lifestyle, which makes it a perfect destination for a trip with friends! You’ll love its nightlife and clubs, no doubt!

As the second largest city in Germany, it has a wide variety of attractions to choose from, and is considered to be one of the most important musical references. It has the elegant, amazing Elbphilharmonie building, where hoards of famous musicians take part in unforgettable musical performances. It’s a must-visit location, even if just to look at it from outside, especially at night, when it’s beautifully illuminated with colorful lights. Moreover, it will be awesome if you can also take some time to disconnect while exploring the green areas of Hamburg and its Alster river… just incredible!

We also have two suggestions for you and your time in Hamburg: visit the famous old fishermen neighbourhood at night, Sankt Pauli, and share some drinks there (fun will most certainly be on the cards), and choose from  our 4 hotels in this beautiful water filled city.


Turin (Italy)

Turin or Torino, have you ever been there? It’s probably not the first city that comes to your mind when thinking of Italy, but this city is ready to really amaze you. Why? Wide avenues, elegant palaces, symmetric buildings and harmony? If you like organised cities (Alps as the backdrop  included), you’ll love Turin.

This Italian corner has a very interesting history that even made it the capital of the country when the Italian unification took place. It used to be the central power to some of the most important noble families in Italy, and that grace has been kept with the passing of years. Some of the buildings reflecting this fact are the Royal Palace of Turin, the Madama Palace and the different Saboya family residences, the ultimate must-see when in Turin. Talking about the Saboya family… did you also know that they were the owners of the Holy Shroud and so it is kept there in one of the cathedral’s chapels? Turin is a city full of hidden secrets!

If you’re a gastro lover too, this city is perfect not only for trying traditional Italian food but to delight in the taste of the typical Piamonte region cuisine. All of their dishes are enough to make anyone’s mouth water! Did you know that vermut was invented here, as well as grissini sticks and sandwich bread? This is a paradise for foodies!

We firmly believe everything about visiting Turin is worthy… and so they are our 4 hotels in the city! 😉


Bilbao (Spain)

This time, we won’t talk about Madrid or Barcelona, no. It is time to put the spotlight on one of the most amazing cities in the north of Spain: Bilbao. After years and years of transformation, this city has become one of the favourite destination options for both, locals and tourists. It has a strong unique personality reinforced by the charm of its varied architectonic pieces, museums, traditions and magical places.

Bilbao is a reference in the world of architecture, in between other examples, because of the Opera House, its bridges and the famous Guggenheim museum: a titanum structure that catches (and amazes) everyone’s eyes. Not only that, it is a reference of lifestyle: it even was declared Best European City of the Year 2017 by the Urbanism Academy of London, that’s a big something!

You’ll love to walk around its streets (even if it looks big, it is not as large as the other popular cities in Spain like Barcelona or Madrid, so going around it is easy and inviting!), indulging in some delicious pintxos at traditional restaurants, taking pictures by the Nervión river, and visiting both, mountain and coast landscapes! It has every single thing a smart traveller can desire. Need a place to stay? Don’t worry, we’ll help you out.


Start packing and book your stay because there are at least five European destination looking forward to having you there! Which one’s going to be first?


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