Did you think there was one and only Venice in Europe? If yes, then you might want to read what comes next! Actually, several cities featuring canals claim to be defined as the Venice of their geographical area. Let’s have a brief overview of a few of them, a glimpse into this exhaustive scope of travel opportunities. These ideas might ignite a spark, a willingness to explore unknown territories!

First my favorite, the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, in northern Germany. I warmly invite you to spend heaps of time in this outstanding city with a very dynamic and independent spirit. For instance, the Elbphilharmonie is just beautifully impressive. The city center is incredibly diverse in terms of atmosphere, with its wide diversity of neighborhoods. By the way, have you read the novel “A Most Wanted Man” by British author David John Moore Cornwell, better known by his pen name John le Carré?

Should have extra motivation for exploring the far ends of Germany, you could board a train and end up further north in the city of Flensburg, located in the neighboring Land of Schleswig-Holstein near Denmark. Over there, you can experience a genuine cross-border identity, with German and Danish cultures and languages coming together.

Then Bruges, in north-western Belgium. I just went there shortly to board a ferry for Scotland in the frame of a high-school trip. I had only a glimpse of it, so dedicating more time to explore this lovely city is definitely well-ranked on my to-do list. One piece of advice: you should definitely beware of the bicycles which are the kings in town! By the way, have you seen the movie “In Bruges”, starring talented French actress Clémence Poésy?

Finally, the town of Colmar with its neighborhood called “the little Venice”, in north-eastern France is very charming. This is one of the highlights of Alsace, a French area bordering Switzerland on the one hand and Germany on the other hand. While wandering in its alleys, there is a fairy tale atmosphere. Also, why not spend some time either in Strasbourg or in Mulhouse, formerly known as the “French Manchester” as a foreword or an epilog on your trip?

And last but not least, La Ferté-Bernard in north-western France is also part of this surprisingly long list, as the so-called Western Venice. I am especially keen to discover this place as I do not know well its area, Pays de la Loire region.
This is quite fascinating so many cities share this designation. But after all, this makes tellingly sense, as water has this reputation of being the essence of life!

Jules Striffler



Where Hamburg is like Venice! A compendium of the city’s most beautiful canals
Floch, M. and Martaguet, P., 2019. Hambourg, L’appel Du Large. Paris, Ambassade d’Allemagne.

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