These small cities may not pack the cultural punch of Europe’s grande dames – and that’s the point of going. All are full of local colour but also served by budget airlines. Perfect for a weekend break
The Montenegrin coast feels very different from neighbouring Croatia: it’s more Russian-influenced and beauty spots can be thick with jetskis, large black 4x4s, and beach bling. But Kotor, served by Tivat airport, is a gorgeous spot on a huge fjord-like sea inlet. For a good panorama, climb up to the castle, built by the Venetians (again), who ruled for almost four centuries and left an old town that is a Unesco world heritage site of labyrinthine lanes and piazzas, the 12th-century St Tryphon cathedral and city walls. There are pleasant boat trips and villages nearby. For food, Galion is an upmarket local favourite by the water, walking distance from Hotel Villa Duomo (doubles from €110 B&B) in the old town.
• EasyJet flies from Gatwick and Manchester to Tivat (until 27 October then starting again next spring)