Europe is home to gorgeous tourist destinations, from London and Paris to the Amalfi Coast and Swiss Alps. If you don’t feel like battling crowds of tourists and locals alike, there are still plenty of places to explore throughout the continent. Some of the most underrated destinations in the world can be found in Europe.
Undiscovered European Cities and Villages
These nine locations are among the best hidden gems in Europe!
This small city on the border of Switzerland, Germany and France is home to just over 150,000 residents, but it offers tourists dozens of things to do. A large handful of art and design museums, as well as a few history museums, house impressive collections of culture. One of the most fascinating hidden gems in Europe, Basel sits on the Rhine, claims 300 days a year of sunshine and is home to the Rehberger-Weg art trail, so it’s a great stop for outdoor enthusiasts too.
Berchtesgaden National Park, Germany
Many travelers think of Europe’s historic cities when planning a visit. The region is also home to vast natural landscapes, including the Berchtesgaden National Park in Germany. Snowcapped mountains, alpine lakes and 250 km of hiking trails greet visitors willing to journey to the southeast of Germany, about two hours from Munich.
Located in the heart of the Julian Alps, the most south-eastern part of the Alps, Bohinj is situated in the center of Triglav National Park. Perhaps the valley’s most breathtaking natural site is Lake Bohinj, the largest lake in Slovenia, glistening of crystal-clear water that reflects the massive mountain range. Aside from Bohinj’s natural scenery and adventure, this European hidden gem boasts a rich cultural heritage worth exploring.
Faroe Islands, Denmark
There is a little bit of everything, from dramatic waterfalls to tiny fishing towns, in the Faroe Islands, which are a self-governing territory within Denmark. This collection of islands enjoys summertime temperatures around 55°F and almost 20 hours of sunlight on the longest day of the year, perfect for the hours of hiking you’ll want to do here.
Olomouc, Czech Republic
One of the most underrated places to visit in Europe, Olomouc is almost dead center between Prague, Czech Republic and Krakow, Poland. On your next trip to Central Europe, make a point of stopping in this cultural hotspot. The Holy Trinity Column, boutique hotels, detailed fountains, botanical gardens and a huge number of gorgeous churches greet visitors spending a few days here.
The Island of Ortigia, part of the city of Syracuse, is located in the Mediterranean Sea just off the shore of Sicily. Take in the ancient architecture (including the Piazza del Duomo and Duomo itself), open air cafes, blue skies and bluer water, and picturesque narrow stone streets.
One of the most beautiful undiscovered European cities, Ragusa sits on a hilltop nestled in the Hyblaean Mountains. Picturesque scenery, baroque architecture and ornate artwork characterize this post-earthquake Sicilian town. Explore the city’s breathtaking cathedrals, winding cobblestone streets, and exquisite food and wine.
Macedonia is just north of Greece, but it only hosts about a million tourists each year, as compared to Greece’s 28 million visitors! As Macedonia’s capital city, Skopje offers travelers architecture dating back to the Roman’s rule, lake and mountainside day trips, independent shops and the Museum of the City of Skopje.
If you’re looking for a truly remote getaway, this quaint village of 300 inhabitants offers the perfect unexpected escape. Just a 90 minute carride from Penada Geres National Park, Sistelo offers an abundance of natural treasure, which is viewable from the thousands of manmade terraces covering the landscape. The old little village of Sistelo, also known as “The Little Portuguese Tibet,” is also home to a wealth of local history and culture, visible in its incredible architecture.