6. Bern, Switzerland
When travelers land in the capital of Switzerland, they tend to head out into the mountainous region of Bernese Oberland, but the city itself is worth a visit. Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its medieval architecture, Bern is also home to one of Albert Einstein's homes and a Paul Klee museum designed by Renzo Piano that includes other artists' works.
"We're trying to call attention to Bern itself," Murdock said, calling it a very interesting mix of "historical, modern and edgy" things to do. Although people think of Swiss food as a bit stodgy, Murdock raves about the locavore restaurants on the river than runs through town.
Try visiting in August, when the streets of Bern are filled with musicians, puppeteers, jugglers and other entertainers for the Buskers Bern Festival.
7. Marseille, France
This year's European Capital of Culture, "Marseille is one of those incredibly historic seaport towns along the Mediterranean," Murdock said, and he's not kidding. The town dates to 600 B.C., when Greeks first settled in the area.
France's second-largest city is trying to shake off its reputation as a "gritty, dangerous seaport town," Murdock said. With the cultural capital designation, "a lot of money has been poured into new museums and public transportation."
That includes the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations that opened June 7. And the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Marseille, housed in the left wing of the Palais Longchamp, has reopened after a renovation. The museum's exhibit, "From Van Gogh to Bonnard," runs through October 13.
Foodies can enjoy the city that's home to bouillabaisse at the Old Port, where maritime culture and fresh seafood mix.
In some ways, Croatia's popularity is old news to American travelers, but a lot of people are seeing the coast. There will be a lot more attention on the country if it enters the European Union in July.
"Zagreb is an interesting and underrated European capital, with a huge coffee and café scene," Murdock said. "If you have that image of Italy or Paris, sitting at a café and watching the world go by, that's preserved in Croatia.
"There's also an extension of northern Italian cuisine because the border in Istria (now Croatia) has jumped around, and the cuisine doesn't abide by the border," Murdock said, pointing to Croatians' "same Italian love of cured meats and cheeses," and there's seafood on the Adriatic as well.
For "Game of Thrones" fans, Dubrovnik is the place to visit to see King's Landing location shots. (Tours are available.) And you can find a hikers' paradise in the 16 turquoise blue lakes of Plitvice Lakes National Park, another UNESCO World Heritage Site.
9. Northern Ireland
If you're addicted to "Game of Thrones," Northern Ireland should be on your itinerary, too. A lot of the scenery is in Northern Ireland, including the Causeway Coast and the Glens. The sites on the self-guided and tour-guide-led tours are so magnificent that fans and non-fans alike can appreciate their majesty.
The Giant's Causeway is Northern Ireland's only UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it can be very crowded. Although its basalt columns can appear to look constructed by the might of giant Finn McCool, the causeway is actually the result of ancient volcanic activity. A new visitor's center opened last year.
The truly adventurous can walk the 16-kilometer route from Giant's Causeway to Ballycastle, taking a moment to cross the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. It's a 20-meter walk on the bridge to the island of Carrick-a-Rede, swaying 30 meters above the rocky waters below. It's not for those with a fear of heights, says Murdock, who loves it all. "There are all these inlets, islands, castles and ruins and sea birds and stunning scenery," he said.
Also not to be missed is Derry/Londonderry, this year's UK City of Culture. Remembering the religious strife in Northern Ireland, the walk and cycle Peace Bridge across the Foyle River opened in June 2011. It's considered a symbolic handshake across the river, connecting historically Catholic and Protestant sides of town.
10. Copenhagen, Denmark
The Danish capital of Copenhagen is the place to visit for ecotourists and foodies. The city is a poster child for the green movement, where almost half of the residents commute to work by bicycle and hotels brag about their green construction.
In the two-Michelin star Noma, the city boasts the No. 2 restaurant in the world (according to Restaurant magazine's annual rankings). "It's the new Nordic cuisine with very clean and local experimental flavors," Murdock said.
And there's a little more Swedish mixing into the city these days. Ever since the 10-mile Øresund bridge and tunnel system was completed in 1999, the residents of Copenhagen, Denmark, and Malmo, Sweden, are more easily connected. "It changed the feeling of both cities once only connected by ferry," Murdock said.