Cover Image by Peter Gronemann

We know you have your contemporary fashion wardrobe packed and ready to go, but we want to remind you that sometimes being a tourist in a city and actually living in a city are two entirely different things.

The shorter your stay the less of the real city you will discover. Anywhere beyond a week is a reasonable time to begin to get to know a place, and anything less than that you are probably destined to see only the prepackaged tourist experience. So, with a pinch of salt, here are a few of what some may consider, the most boring cities in Europe for tourists and contemporary fashion.

How do you determine that a city is dull? We scour the web for comments from travelers, of course. But because this is the internet, these opinions are subjective.

Brussels, Belgium

Brussels is home to some of the world’s most boring institutions, such as the World Customs Organization, the European Commission and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Populated by busybodies, officials and various other office dwellers aplenty, the city seems to have lost its essence and become a massive administrative center for Europe. It also features some of the worst traffic jams in the world.

Charleroi, Belgium.

Just 40 miles south of Brussels lies Charleroi, a city that will surely not bore those interested in natural fuels. It is a city with a history rich in fossil fuels and perhaps an indicator the future of mankind when fossil fuels run out. But it you’re planning to marvel at the beauty of the city, and search the shops for contemporary fashion, well, Charleroi is no Paris.

Charleroi is perhaps more ugly and defunct than it is boring. It’s so ugly and so defunct, in fact, that there are guided tours and “safaris” of the ruined industrial complexes and decaying buildings. Bicycle routes have been built through the town and some of the old properties

The city also errs on the side of danger: crime rates are high, and it’s been reported that junkies and prostitutes are an interesting sight on the safaris of Charleroi.

Berne, Switzerland

Boring Berne. Switzerland, doesn’t have the greatest reputation for interesting cities or people, although it does have some extraordinary countryside (just like all the neighboring countries!). There is almost nothing to say about Berne, effectively illustrating the point that it is one of the least interesting cities in Europe for tourists.

Zurich, Switzerland

If any place in Switzerland can be called a city, it’s Zurich. It isn’t really a city by measure of population, but it’s the most populous place in Switzerland. It’s also home to more bankers, insurance brokers, and although it’s not a bad place for contemporary fashion –you will undoubtedly see stylish men and women lining the streets — the people tend to stay as anonymous as their bank accounts. The coffee is good though, and you will find nice toilets on the trains. Apart from that, nothing much else occurs in the city except sunrise and sunset.

Any Travel is Good Travel

Traveling is all about self-discovery. You can learn all you want about whatever you want without leaving home, but traveling allows you to gain new perspectives on things you thought you already understood — it also allows you the opportunity to see some of the best European travel fashion.

But what some may consider to be a boring city, is not exactly boring for all of us. Relieving stress is another major benefit of taking a holiday. A dull city can sometimes be perfect for reducing stress, and allowing you plenty of time to relax, shop the contemporary fashion, and discover its hidden gems.

Compare this to Milan for example, not a dull city and a fantastic place to shop for the latest in contemporary fashion, but you will need to be constantly on your toes, aware of pick-pockets, gypsies, tourist traps and bad deals. The traffic and crowds will drive you crazy, the monuments and museums of artefacts will overwhelm you. And you will yearn for a holiday, even though you’re already on one.