Have you always wanted to pop over to another country for the day? Here are six cities where you can do just that.
One of the coolest things about traveling in Europe the close proximity of one country from another. Depending on which city you’re in, you might find yourself close enough to cross another country’s border for a day trip.
Here are six cities from where you can reach another country for the day.
1. Milan, Italy to Lugano, Switzerland
Just an hour from Milan on the high-speed train will have you in Switzerland’s Italian-speaking region. Take a cruise of the serene lake, peruse the fancy watch and jewelry stores on Via Nassa, take the funicular to the top of Monte San Salvatore for spectacular views and visit the Alprose Chocolate Museum to savor Swiss chocolate in its motherland. Remember: You’re in Switzerland so expect Switzerland prices.
2. Munich, Germany to Salzburg, Austria
When in the Bavarian capital, a train can take you to Austria’s fairytale-perfect Salzburg in just 90 minutes. In addition to being the birthplace of Mozart and the backdrop for The Sound of Music, this alpine city boasts a UNESCO-protected Baroque old town. Here, walk the streets to see storefronts bedecked with the charming old-school medieval guild signs, take a funicular to Hohensalzburg Castle, visit the Augustiner Bräu monastery that brews its own beer and more.
3. Vienna, Austria to Bratislava, Slovakia
The Austrian and Slovakian capitals sit along the Danube, just a mere 34 miles apart from each other, so Bratislava is just a one-hour train ride or drive from Vienna. Head here for the day to stroll the city’s intriguing castle, Instagram a pic of the Blue Church, admire edgy street art and nosh on some Halusky, potato dumplings topped with cream sauce and bacon. Slovakia’s wines are starting to get more attention on a global level so make sure to sip a sweet puttonyo from the Tokaj region.
4. Copenhagen, Denmark to Malmo, Sweden
The ten-mile Øresunds Bridge connects Copenhagen to this worldly city on the Swedish coast. Whether it’s by car or by train, the entire journey usually takes less than an hour. Explore the enchanting cobbled streets and canals of Gamla Staden or Old Town, take a walk in Folkets Park, the world’s oldest public park, and see the Turning Torso–Sweden’s tallest building. If your schedule permits, check out a modern or contemporary art exhibit at Moderna Museet. Don’t forget to feast on äggakaka, a savory egg cake topped with bacon that’s typical of Skåne, Malmo’s county.
5. Costa del Sol, Spain to Tangier, Morocco
What’s most exciting is that this trip takes you not only to another country but to another continent. From Spain’s paradisiacal Costa del Sol, ferry across the Strait of Gibraltar to arrive in Tangier. Thanks to its strategic location, this Moroccan port city has an intriguing, yet complex history. See the Arab influences of the old medina and kasbah juxtaposed against the European Ville Nouvelle (New Town) which dates back to the 1930s. Head out of the city to see Cape Spartel, where the Mediterranean and the Atlantic meet as well as the legendary Caves of Hercules. Before heading back, ride a camel on the beach! Of all the Costa del Sol towns, we suggest staying in Málaga as it packs some solid cultural punch in addition to offering some fun in the sun. Note: You can also do a day trip to Tangier from Seville.
6. Helsinki, Finland to Tallinn, Estonia
A ferry across the Baltic Sea will bring you from the White City of the North to the capital of Estonia in just about two hours. Tallinn’s UNESCO-protected Old Town looks like it’s right out of a storybook, and Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and Saint Olaf’s churches are must-sees. The KGB Museum, located on the top floor of the Soviet-era Hotel Viru, where the KGB had set up shop during the occupation. Have lunch at Olde Hansa if you’d like a Medieval experience or if you’re gastronomically minded, opt for one of the New Nordic restaurants like Kaks Kokkam, Noa, Leib or Moon.