Thinking of heading off on holiday this summer but don't want spend an age on the plane? Europe has a host of beautiful and sunny locations that you can get to within a few hours. But, forget the classic few days in Paris or a week on the beach in Spain, how about looking at some of the more underrated cities around the continent?
Not only will you be free to explore these beautiful sights but there's a good chance you'll escape the stress and queues of the better-known holiday destinations.
Topping the list is Budapest in Hungary. The Hungarian capital is one of Europe's cheapest city break destinations and when it gets too hot you can take a dip in the Széchenyi baths or take a stroll along the banks of the Danube.
Closely following Budapest is the UK's very own Edinburgh and Tallinn in Estonia.
Edinburgh boasts a host of stunning buildings and attractions including the historic fortress of Edinburgh Castle and the stunning views available from Arthur's Seat which overlooks the city. Meanwhile, Estonia's capital city sits on the north coast, on the edge of the Baltic Sea . Tallinn's Old Town dates back to the 13th Century and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The other cities listed can be seen here:
1. Budapest, Hungary
2. Edinburgh, Scotland
3. Tallinn, Estonia
4. Helsinki Finland
5. Verona, Italy
6. Porto, Portugal
7. Salzburg, Austria
8. Seville, Spain
9. Bruges, Belgium
Europe's best beaches (according to Lonely Planet)
Underrated European cities to visit this summer (video)
This pebble beach is made up of two sections, one of which used to be a nudist beach. Popular with tourists looking to enjoy a spot of sunbathing, the beach has also gained notoriety for the concerts it has hosted over the past few years, including the Rolling Stones.
Peniche is known for its long beach and excellent surfing waters. Close to the Ilhas Berlengas nature reserve, Peniche has a historic centre with a coastal fort and plenty of opportunity for visitors to get involved with water sport lessons and activities.
Rondinara Beach sits on a horseshoe shaped bay and is known for its beautiful white sands and clear blue waters. There is also a smaller beach just off the main beach at Rodinara which can be accessed easily and offers plenty of walking trails to visitors.
Cala Goloritzé in Sardinia is unreachable by car or boat so visitors must make their way to the stunning beach on foot which gives you the chance to take in some of the stunning scenery before you relax on the sand.
Iceland is known for its iconic black sand beaches made of black basalt and Vík is no exception. The striking cliffs surrounding the beach are home to a host of wildlife including puffins.
One of Devon's premier beaches, Bantham can be found in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Visitors to the beach can expect stunning views over Bigbury Bay and Burgh Island. The shallow and sandy bay makes the area perfect for swimming and paddling.
This natural bay in the north west of Scotland is unreachable by car, instead you have to make your way to the one mile stretch of sand on foot but it will be worth it for the stunning views found at the end of the walk.
Cala Macarella can be found in the south of Menorca and the smooth white sands and turquoise waters are overlooked by rocky cliffs and palm trees. Take a stroll along the shore to discover the second, smaller cove at Cala Macarella.
Voutoumi is one of Antipaxos's two main beaches and although it has a pebble shoreline as soon as you get into the water the ground underfoot is sandy. Voutoumi boats some of the clearest waters in Europe, making it the perfect location for snorkelling and swimming.
The Curonian Spit is 98km long curved sand dune spit which is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Pine forests in the area are home to plenty of fascinating wildlife including deer and elk.