Who said that only Venice, Paris, Rome, and London are THE travel destinations? Roll-out the scratch-off world map and browse through the various hidden travel destinations, many places have never got the minimum recognition. Read the rundown of the 10 most underrated travel destinations in Europe. These places are the guiding light for your next holiday destination.
Why visiting Underrated Travel Destinations
Some countries are well known for tourism focus only on some cities or let’s say parts of the country, so the travel heat will be oriented into those spots, and tourists will pick those destinations or add them into their bucket list.
Underrated travel destinations are some unlikely vacation spots that you can travel to in order to enjoy the same travel experience while paying less, fewer tourists will result in cheap accommodations.
So why paying more for the same trip everyone can do (an overrated destination) when you can pick a hidden travel destination gem to explore and tell your friends about.
1. Bucharest, Romania
Any lover of history and architecture will vote for Romania’s Bucharest, this Spring. The entire city’s architecture is a strange yet eye-catching amalgamation of Moorish, Soviet-style and French classical edifices.
Erected under the brutal totalitarian rule of Nicolae Ceaușescu, Bucharest is the home of the world’s most substantial Parliament building. It got well recognized since the 80’s era.
To get a better perspective of the city, opt for a walking tour. All the lanes and by-lanes have some of the other different stories to narrate. Pick small souvenirs from Carturesti Carusel and enjoy a sumptuous meal at Caru’ cu Bere. It is a church transformed into a beer-hall.
Tourists and local people generally flock the place. You will curse yourself if you forget to visit the infamous Dracula’s castle. It is Vlad the Impaler’s notable home, which is a half-an-hour drive from the central city.
For a relaxing time, check-in at the cozy and conveniently designed Hotel Christina. It is a well-located hotel, at the center of Bucharest.
2. Lille, France
Lille in France has turned into a well-acclaimed town in the recent past. Its beautiful architecture has made this Europe’s underrated travel destination, the World Design Capital.
The place is famous for the exceptional amalgamation of cuisine and architecture. The commendable ix of France and Belgian influence is most apparent in most of the dishes. Some deliciously and over-indulging main courses, like carbonnade, a Flemish beef, and beef stew, is any day recommended to the food-lovers.
Visit Vieux-Lille (Old Lille), the historical place, famous for the cobbled roads, attractive-looking buildings, and assorted shops.
Be sure to stop at the must-try cafeterias, like Wally’s. Taste their famous Café-latte and croissants. Do not leave the place without paying a visit to the city’s iconic library, Librairie Furet du Nord.
Stay-over at the well-decorated with Louis XV and Louis XVII styled architecture and other modern-day amenities at Carlton Hotel. Plan to visit during summers, and you will never regret it!
3. Noto, Sicily, Italy
Are you the travel-soul in search of out-of-the-chart sun-kissed European beach? Opt for one of the underrated tourist locales – Noto. It mainly belongs to Sicily, under the Italian province.
The place is a drive of forty to forty-five minutes from Syracuse. It is the place perfect for newly-weds, or the adventure-seeking vacationers, especially during autumn.
Pre-book the boutique bed and breakfast at Case Passamonte. Book many days prior, as this place has only five rooms! Enjoy the extravagance of Italian farm-style hospitality at its great-looking Agriturismo.
Hit the beaches, like the Spiaggia Calamosche and Spiaggia di Eloro. These are the must-visit ones. Spent the entire day wandering and admiring the mind-blowing UNESCO recognized Baroque architecture of Noto.
A few notable ones, like the Palazzo Nicolaci and Chiesa Santa Chiara, steals the show. Later, stop at the sleek and chic restaurant Ristorante Manna. It is open till late at night and caters to date night eating options. Delve into any top-rated seafood and penne-pasta; and you will never regret it!
4. Genoa, Italy
Plan for a little vacation at the most underrated travel destinations of Europe, Genoa. Marked as a well-designed Italian town, this place claims its existence for its excellent cuisine.
The concept of pesto sauce and focaccia cheese has evolved from Genoa. The entire port-town produces seafood dishes. So, the one who dies for seafood will never get disappointed after traveling to this place.
All the restaurants serve the best of seafood, and you can never go wrong choosing the same. Pescatore di Nervi, one of the famous seafood helping joints, allows their diners to cherry-pick over the choicest of dishes. While posing with a wine glass in hand and focaccia at Piazza Raffaele de Ferrari. Opt to sit outdoors to get the view of the entire town.
Plan to visit the place during the onset of winters. Do not forget to get a glimpse of the wall-portion of Genoa. Head on to the Porta Soprana towers, to witness the massive laid-back beauty.
Stir your religious soul by visiting the beautiful architecture of Basilica di Santa Maria di Castello. Plan to pre-book rooms online at Hotel Continental Genova. It is situated right next to two of the most famous visiting monuments, Castello d’Albertis and Christopher Columbus.
5. Salzburg, Austria
Yet another UNESCO acclaimed but one of the underrated travel destinations in Europe is Austria’s Salzburg. It is notable for its Gothic and Baroque architectural edifices.
The impressive art and culture lure tourists from all over the world. Birthplace of Mozart, this city is famous for filming Sound of Music, Hollywood movie.
Explore the whole city and try pre-planning for the same, especially during spring or autumn. Hit at the main places of attraction. Later cool your heels at K+K am Waagplatz for lunch or dinner, do remember to try their main poison – desserts!
The next day burn your calories by hiking at the well-known nature’s preserve forest, Untersberg. Try getting to the top to get a panoramic view of the entire Salzburg city.
Consequently halt the night at the five-star and elite Schloss Mönchstein Hotel. It is adjacent to the well-acclaimed Mullner Church and the Museum of Natural History. The following day, visit these two places before moving back.
6. Malmö, Sweden
The coastal city of Malmö stands as one of the most interesting, yet underrated travel destinations of Sweden. Get the Brooklyn-esque and hipster feeling by walking through the stone-paved alleys of Malmö. The whole area is favored well during the onset of Monsoons, by those who are opposed to the over-crowded Scandinavia.
Pamper and spoil yourself in the city’s best shopping areas. Browse through the small trinkets, nick-knacks, and some souvenirs at the Blomster & Sma Ting. Later grab a cappuccino at cream-rolls at Malmö Saluhall.
The entire city stands as the food-lover’s paradise. The Raw Kitchen Malmö is famous for serving ‘depraved’ meals. Generally using raw ingredients. Vegans get crazy to dine at this bistro.
Even more, if you are a formal-loving individual, book a table at the celebrated Vollmers. It is a two-star Michelin restaurant specializing over traditiononal Scandinavian cuisine.
Rest and unwind yourself at the city’s best Elite Hotel Residens. It also houses the comfort-food joint Savoy Grille. So, you have all the reasons to go for a ‘gourmandize’ tour!
7. Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain
Santiago de Compostela in Spain’s one of the most unique and one of the underrated travel destinations. The city is a couple of hours’ drive from Porto, Portugal, via train.
The heady mix of contemporary and age-old traditions and cultures, the city is best explored walking. The various plazas and lush-green park aids as resting places.
The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, Europe’s most remarkable Romanesque fashioned edifices, is one of the underrated visiting places in the world.
Take time out shopping and lazing around the Plaza do Obradoiro and Mercado de Abastos. Get the flair of the local cuisine, like churros or else Tarta de Santiago, at the local marketplace.
Settle at somewhere comfortable and check-in at the attractive Hotel Spa Relais & Chateaux A Quinta da Auga. Also, it is where the travelers rejuvenate and get a flavor of the aristocracy, especially during summers.
8. Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany
Want to get a fairy-tale experience for the life-time? Dust-off the fairy-tale stories and escape during the summers, at the mysterious and magical land of Freiburg, Germany.
The city is located at the edges of Black Forest, this place makes a great stop-over for those who love to hunt for new traveling destinations.
Plan to spend a couple of days, as this place is a tourist destination at its right. Good meal places to visit, and stoned pathways to laze around the area – is what a traveler asks for.
Spend the first morning part fruitfully by witnessing the gorgeous architectures, and the Gothic Freiburg Cathedral. Take a break at the nearby cafes, like the Cafe Marcel im Stadtgarten. Enjoy the aroma of brewing hot coffee, fresh bagel, and pastry.
In the latter half of the day, enjoy a sumptuous lunch or dinner at Hotel Oberkirch. This traditional restaurant is well-known for serving local German food. Spend the night with a laid-back attitude at the famous brewery, Hausbrauerei Feierling. This lively brewery is located right beside the renowned museum, Augustinermuseum. It has free entry, showcasing the age-old religious sculptures. Get a good night’s sleep in the ultra-comfortable Alex Hotel.
9. Lucerne, Switzerland
Lucerne, in Switzerland, is mostly visited by adventure-seeking people. It is famous for the mountainous trails, crystal clear water, and fresh air. It stands as the active holidaymaker’s dream destination.
A forty-five to fifty minutes’ drive from Zurich, the city is located off the Golden Pass line. The train journey gives a panoramic view of the surroundings and the snow-capped Alps.
Go for early morning sight-seeing once you check-in at Art Deco Hotel Montana. The entire outstanding view of Old Town, the snow peaks, and the Lake Lucerne is what the tourist die for! Plan to visit just after autumn or before summers.
Spend half of the day at Mount Pilatus. Stir-up, the adventurous soul by traversing the steepest cog-way rail lines. It is around 7,000 feet in height and mountainous terrain.
Once back to the city, explore the medieval Old Town, the old towers, and walk along the famous Kapellbrücke (Chapel Bridge). Take a break, and get grub at the famed Manor Restaurant Manora. Opt-in for a casual lunch.
Finally witness the beautiful sunset and dine at Restaurant Balances. It is situated in the waters. Round out the night admiring the night-kissed view of the medieval town.
10. Maastricht, Netherlands
The town full of budding university goers, Maastricht, stands perfect place for those who love to travel during autumn and never get sucked inside the tourist traps!
The various international universities have successfully transformed the city into a polished locale. The whole place looks trendy, with several eateries and cobbled-stone walkways. Therefore do not be surprised if you find the university students waiting at your table, at several bistros.
Some of the international eating place, catering to the best of Pan-Asian cuisine like Pet Thai and high-end Winerestaurant Mes Amis, is the most crowded ones.
Apart from this, you can spend fruitful time browsing books and journals in the cafes, like Boekhandel Dominicanen. Formerly, it was a church, which turned into a book-store cum cafeteria.
Finally do remember to check out the walking tour at Maastricht Underground, for a life-time experience. Rewind and relax at the day’s end at Kruisherenhotel Maastricht. It is a luxurious boutique hotel, which was formerly a beautiful monastery.
Make your own list of underrated travel destinations
In conclusion, be a smart traveler. Read over those, as mentioned earlier, ten most underrated travel destinations of Europe. Build your bucket list and you will bless your stars once you plan to visit these places. They are the dream destinations of many. Plan well and pack your bags. Enjoy and tickle your traveler’s soul!
About the author
This article was written by Arpita, a traveler who loves exploring and writing about the same. She loves to travel and meet new people. An avid reader, and a pet-lover, she freelances for many companies and we got the chance to host this article from her on Travelevil.