I don`t know about you, but when I visit a place, the thing I like to do the most is to get myself in a tram or bus and head towards the residential areas, to where the locals live.
Of course there is plenty to see in the centre of all European capitals I can think of, but you just won`t feel the essence of a place, the real thing, unless you take a break from all the recommended cafés, tours, museums and chain stores and go where the people of that city actually live. On those streets where they carry their groceries to, where they park their car / scooter / bike and where they take their dog out for a walk. Residential areas might not seem as attractive as the popular streets in the centre, but they offer you the chance to feel a city the way its people feel it when they go to work in the morning, when they come back home tired in the evening or when they go out, on a Sunday morning, to have a cup of coffee at the unpretentious café downstairs.
I have prepared a selection of photos to illustrate my belief that you cannot say you`ve seen a place unless you set foot in its neighbourhoods. There are definitely other images more suggestive for the life outside the city centre than these, but, because I am also interested in the architectural element – so beautifully different from one place to the other -, I have also tried to keep this into account when selecting the one and only photo.
To be honest, if I had to choose a single place from all this list, I would find myself in a very big trouble. If it`s easier for you, I would like to hear about your choice. In the meantime, enjoy the tour!