Europe has some of the most beautiful places to visit, but places like Paris and London got all the loving from tourists. These places often get 40 million and even more visitors every year. Aside from these more known travel destinations, Europe has a lot more to offer. Nobody talks about them, though, and these places are rarely featured in travel magazines and shows, but these wonderful destinations can rival Paris and London in both culture and history.
We decided to feature them with their gorgeous landscapes, tasty food, and historic architecture so you, our dear readers, will know about them, and maybe visit them someday.
Why you need to go: First and foremost, visiting Kraków won’t hurt your wallet. The place is really cheap. If you did quite good in your world history course, you’re familiar with the history of Kraków. The village in Poland was once a place full of Nazi headquarters and Jewish ghettos. Today, Kraków is a lovely little village full of upscale kosher restaurants, school groups in kippahs, hipster cocktail bars, and a lot of sick graffiti.
The one must-do thing: One of the places in the village tourists must visit is the Pharmacy Under the Eagle (Apteka Pod Orlem). It is located across the Ghetto Heroes Square. The pharmacist and his staff once risked their lives to secretly help Jews from the Nazis.
Why you need to go: If you are planning to experience the beauty of the Alps, there is no better place to go to than Lauterbrunnen. The peaceful town is the epitome of beauty housed in the Alps. The place is full of conservation areas with secluded meadows and valleys. You can also enjoy the seventy-two waterfalls, each as stunning as the next. It won’t be hard to find a place to stay because there are plenty of inns and beer gardens along the mountain trails. This is a good place to kick back and relax.
The one must-do thing: Remember the seventy-two waterfalls? One of the most stunning falls in the area is the Trümmelbach Falls in the Black Monk mountain. Witness 5,300 gallons of water cascade over ten glacier falls every second.
Why you need to go: This town is known to be a university town in southwest Germany. Freiburg is also one of the world’s greenest cities. You won’t be able to hail a taxi or rent a car in this town because the local government has restricted car traffic. Instead of using cars, they developed over 250 miles of bike paths around the town. The town is full of bars, restaurants, and historic buildings. The nearby Black Forest and wine country will keep tourists from being bored while visiting the beautiful green town.
The one must-do thing: Do you like beer? Then you must pass up the chance to visit a traditional German brewery like Ganter Brauereiausschank or Hausbrauerei Feierling.
Why you need to go: This beautiful secret seaside village is located just an hour ride away from Lisbon. This Portuguese gem is blessed with white sand beaches, stunning rice fields, and a whole lot of laid-back living. The place reminds us of St. Tropez before it got super hyped and super commercialized. Visitors can enjoy dolphin-watching tours that are popular on the Sado Estuary and enjoy a seafood feast at night.
The one must-do thing: Enjoy the starry night in Comporta by sipping evening cocktails around Sublime Comporta’s beach fire pit.
Why you need to go: Ski runs, dense forests, and vineyards surround the city. While in the city, tourists can enjoy cafes that serve the locale’s best beers, wine, and some traditional dishes like goulash and dumplings. Bratislava offers the best relaxing vacation in Central Europe. For single men who are looking for a vacation destination, Bratislava was just named the best-value city for a bachelor party weekend.
The one must-do thing: For just $22, you can take a boat trip on the Danube River and cruise all the way to Vienna.
Why you need to go: The city’s blossoming foodie scene is enough reason to visit the port city of Malmö. Aside from the fact that the city is a multicultural and eco-friendly, famous chefs from London and Copenhagen are opening new restaurants in there. The city’s restaurant industry is thriving because of the abundance of organic produce and all kinds of adventurous diners.
The one must-do thing: B.A.R. Krog & Vinbar is famous for its sustainable contemporary Nordic cuisine. Try the resto’s grilled hangar steak with elderflower, brown butter, and mangold.
Why you need to go: For people who are very fond of posting images on their Instagram, Sofia is definitely a destination for you. The city is full of diverse architecture, a spread of Ottoman mosques and communist monuments. The city’s downtown is full of Old-World markets and mineral water springs, and seven are free for public use. Art bars and live music clubs make the city’s nightlife lively.
The one must-do thing: After a night of partying, you should try the traditional Bulgarian hangover remedy, tripe soup. The soup is made from animal intestine and milk.
Why you need to go: Valletta is a small city. The whole city is just 124-acre big, but don’t tell them that because for a small city, Valletta packs more historic monuments than any other city in the world. For example, a sixteenth-century palazzo is now used to house new Mediterranean tapas and wine bars. Cathedrals, palaces, and ancient harbors are also found in the city.
The one must-do thing: The newly reopened Fort St. Elmo, a star-shaped fortress from the Great Siege of Malta in 1565, is now okay for public viewing.
Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Why you need to go: Rotterdam is a modern city. It is a state-of-the-art, ultra-modern city to balance Amsterdam’s retro aesthetic. Tourists will enjoy plenty of imaginative and modern architectures in the city such as the Erasmus Bridge to the Cube Houses and Nieuwe Luxor Theater. Visitors can also relax and enjoy the bustling city at the city’s many sidewalk cafés and bars.
The one must-do thing: A uniquely designed marketplace, Markthal, is a place to visit, designed by “SuperDutch” starchitects MVRDV.
Why you need to go: Biarritz is a surf town. It has a mellowed Cali attitude and with an elegance that can only be European. Biarritz is located on the Basque Coast. Visitors can enjoy many activities here like catching waves off jagged cliffs, nibbling at French bakeries, and enjoying wine and seafood in old-fashioned outdoor terraces.
The one must-do thing: Surf the beautiful waves off La Côte des Basques beach.
Why you need to go: The country of Croatia is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Istria, Croatia, boasts of a cluster of ancient port towns on the northern peninsula. Tourists will enjoy dining on local prizes like wine and white truffle, while being surrounded by historic buildings from the Roman and Byzantine empires.
The one must-do thing: Europe’s largest summer music festivals for dubstep and bass are held in Istria’s Dimensions and Outlook.
Why you need to go: Salzkammergut’s rolling hills, alpine lakes, and spectacular mountains may look familiar to you because the place is where The Sound of Music was filmed. Tourists can rent impressive holiday houses on the waterfront. But visitors can also enjoy plenty of opportunities to go camping, fishing, and sailing away into the wilderness.
The one must-do thing: Salzkammergut boasts of Hallstatt, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for Dachstein Salzkammergut and its caves, the world’s oldest salt mine, and more.
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