10 best places to visit in Europe
Indeed, travelling anywhere in the world is always the most exciting and fun experience. Different European countries, different cultures, different cuisines, and new people - how can these be not exciting? If there are so many places to be explored, such a country to travel in the world! Each has its unique nature, flora and fauna, and fascinating traditions. Each one hides a history that can tell us a lot. Architectural monuments, preserving its grandeur for centuries, are a real proof of this. Of course, it is the dream of many people to travel to each country and make the world tour. However, it is more important to take a more in-depth look at each country and to get acquainted with everything.
Unlike most tourist attractions, the less-visited places, the unbeaten roads, different sites located in the difficult and challenging areas mostly attracted me. For instance, I prefer to visit hidden places, less famous sights rather than visiting the Eiffel Tower in France, the Pizza Tower in Italy, Big Ben in the UK, and the Taj Mahal in India. Of course, these places are worth seeing, but people who are attracted to the more mysterious and unusual places will turn their destinations into more different areas.
Are you one of those who prefer more tourist destinations while travelling, or those who make changes and prefer more hidden, secret, less-visited places? Are the obscure and less visited places exciting and attractive to you? Or do you want to get away from the crowd and visit more quiet places? What are the best places to visit in Europe for you? Then, this time, we will introduce the areas that are hidden, little known and less visited but 10 best places to visit in Europe.
1. Setenil de las Bodegas, Spain
Let’s start our list with Spain. I am pretty sure that Madrid and Barcelona are the first European cities that come to mind while talking about Spain. Setenil de las Bodegas is a small settlement built into the rock in southern Spain. It means that the people here live under a rock. Can you imagine? Although it sounds terrifying, it has a very different beauty and beautiful air. The houses in this town with a population of over 2,700 people are entirely white. The reason was to choose a colour that separates them sharply from the darker stones.
Although it is known as the settlement located beneath the cliffs, it has a genuinely remarkable attraction. Nazari Castle and the La Encarnacion Church are some of the sights and attractions inherent here. Nazari Castle is located at the top of the hill and was an Arab fortress in the 13th century. All the towers except the original tower were destroyed after the last siege. But no matter what, if you want to experience the perfect view of the city, it is worth a visit to a castle located in one of the best places to travel in Europe.
La Encarnacion Church also has a fascinating history. It was built in the early 1500s to reflect the gothic architecture. It may not be one of the most prominent and magnificent churches in the country. However, it has a tranquil and peaceful aura, typical to all small Spanish settlements.
I am sure that this new settlement attracted your attention. If you decide to visit or add this to your plans, it is better to give you the exact location. This settlement, located between Seville and Granada, the famous Spanish cities, is one of the unique places in both the country and the world. It is an exciting and mysterious phenomenon to see how it was protected under the cliffs for so long.
2. Brisighella, Italy
Now let’s head up to another beautiful country in our 10 best places in Europe to visit list Italy! I think Brisighella should be included in this list of less seen and known places. This small settlement south of Bologna is also known as the “Fairytale of Middle Ages.” It has a population of more than 7,500. Brisighella is a place with a rich history and aboriginal culture. It is located between three magnificent hills known as the 14th Century La Rocca Castle, the 16th Century La Torre Clock Tower, and the 18th Century Il Montesino Church.
During the summer months, walking around the country is a prevalent activity here. Brisighella is a place where you can spend an exciting time and admire the adventurous and colourful streets without getting bored. We also have particular advice for those who are tired of walking! You will have the opportunity to taste world-class wine, olive oil, and gelato in restaurants and cafes here.
If you want to be in nature, get acquainted with ancient architectural monuments, witness the centuries-old history, and, most importantly, visit the less visited and less seen place, Brisighella is one of the places to travel in Europe.
3. Mittenwald, Germany
While talking of Germany, of course, European cities such as Berlin, Munich, and Frankfurt are the first to come to mind. But I want to talk about a small place, I was struck by the moment I saw the pictures and was amazed at how I could not have noticed this beauty before. It reminds the areas of fairy tales. It is astonishing how Mittenwald has remained so secretive, given its closeness to Germany’s robust automotive industry.
It is the small settlement far from the tourist crowd, but at the same time rich with lively, historical monuments, where you can taste the best of German cuisine and admire the spectacular views of the snow-covered mountains. The Karwendel Alps located around the town makes this place an attractive destination for winter skiing and summer hiking.
It would be a lie if I said that I did not envy more than 7,500 lucky people living here. Mittenwald is one of the German cities that everyone should visit at least once in their life. The colourful architecture and paintings on houses as a work of art make the city so fascinating that it is hard not to fall in love with the city. Homes with hundreds of years of history are almost as modern as they were built yesterday and, most importantly, durable. If you are travelling here, definitely take the time to go to Altstadt or Old Town. Every street, especially the main road, Obermarkt, fully represents the timeless tradition.
Another interesting fact is that Mittenwald has a long history and heritage in violin art. Thus, it is often referred to as the “Thousand Violin Village.” The story behind this name dates back to the seventeenth century: when the Klotz family began working to produce fine string instruments. By the nineteenth century, violins were so famous in Europe that every family in Mittenwald was involved in the process of making or selling them.
If you are looking for a unique and perfect place where you can travel safely away from the tourists, add this one of the less visited European cities, preserving the most beautiful traces of culture and history to your best places to travel in Europe list immediately!
4. Perast, Montenegro
Montenegro is one of the smallest countries and less well known, with a population of about 630,000. We can focus our attention on the many European cities and many small towns here. Unfortunately, the country is not as famous as other European countries, and it is not subject to the same influx of tourists, which would just mean missing out on the beautiful nature of this country.
The little known village of Montenegro is Perast, home to just over 400 people. The peace in the city can be understood from this figure. One of the most beautiful cities in Europe, 12 km north of Kotor is a small coastal town called Perast. Although it may seem strange and inaccessible, its nature is fantastic.
It was a strategic port between the 15th and 18th centuries between the Ottoman Empire and the Republic of Venice. It is complicated to imagine that this small village with only one main street was once at the crossroads of these mighty empires. There are 16 churches in such a small town, and this indicator makes this village to be recognized as the town with the most significant number of churches per capita. The most magnificent and must-visit of these while your travel to Europe is the Church of St. Nicolas, a 17th-century Baroque masterpiece. The settlement is also surrounded by picturesque mountains with viewpoints to the Gulf. Isn’t it nice to have mountain views in the small villages and towns?
There is also an artificial island called “The Lady of the Stones,” which, according to the legend, was built by the seamen 500 years ago by gathering rocks and old ships. A small church sits on this rocky mound in the water. Inside there are many beautiful 17th-century paintings and a symbol of Saint Mary Mother of the 1400s. Perast is also an excellent place for seafood lovers. Local fishers bring fresh fish that day directly from the Gulf of Kotor and the Adriatic Sea. It is a small but exciting place with a mysterious and rich history!
5. Folegandros, Greece
Greece is one of the countries that many people love and often visit. But this time, we’re going to talk about place different than Athens or Santorini, about Folegandros with around 1000 population and 32km2 area!
Folegandros is an undiscovered island forming the southern part of the Cyclades near the famous Santorini. Its untouched beaches and architecture amaze everyone. Beaches like Karavostasis, Vitzetzo, and Hohlidia, which are known for their clean and colourful water, are must-visit places. The island is designed for hiking along the road from the Khora cemetery to the magnificent sunset views of Panagia Hill Church. When you come here, you can enjoy different experiences by tasting home-made pastas with popular matsata, fried lamb, and tomato sauce.
In short, if you are tired of the already ordinary island walks, crowded areas, overflowing beaches, and the desire to discover and explore the news inside you, then this extraordinary little island is for you!
6. Figeac, France
If you ask anyone in the world about France, Paris will be first to come to mind. These two names are already inseparable abstractions. Of course, travelling to this beautiful city of love is a must, but this time, I want to talk about undiscovered and less known Figeac, the town that will never come to anyone’s mind while mentioning France.
Figeac is silent, strange, and perhaps one of the best places that witnessed the medieval life. Visitors who travel here even without information can guess how old this place is from the architecture and monuments. Also, it is impossible not to fall in love with this town, seeing the harmony of history and nature. The age gracefully charm of the city is capable of enchanting everyone. Luxurious streets, 13th-century buildings, and breathtaking scenery prove this. You will find an incredible reproduction of Rosetta stone in the Musee Champollion. There is a market with local products on Sundays, which keeps its beauty for a hundred years.
7. Mdina, Malta
Malta is an archipelago in the central Mediterranean located between the coast of Sicily and North Africa, with a population of around 494,000, according to the 2019 statistics. However, even though it is the archipelago, it is officially recognized as the Malta Republic. One of the things that travel lovers like the most is that the country is one of the safest to visit. However, although this country is not subject to tourist-flow as much as other European countries, some cities are not generally known, and there is even a city known as the Silent City. It is one of the less visited European cities - Mdina, home to about 300 people.
This charming Mdina city is a valued fort for nearly 2,700 years. It is said that when you stand on the streets of Mdina, you feel as if you are standing in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. You can ask, “How is this possible?” It depends on the geographical location, history, architecture, and culture of the area. The architecture was influenced by many powerful empires, including the Phoenicians, the Romans, the Arabs, the Byzantines, and the Normans, which explains everything.
There are many places to visit here. The 12th-century St. Paul Church is one of the most magnificent buildings in the city. Most of the structure we see today dates back to the late 1600s and is made in a Baroque style. And for the fans of Game of Thrones, we have even more exciting news! After that, you will want to add this city to your list. The Mdina Gates and Castle were filmed for the King’s Landing and Red Storage.
8. St. Gilgen, Austria
Again, a European country, distinguished by its beauty and admiring everyone: Austria! And one of its hidden and less known attractions, St. Gilgen! It is a small town on the head of the Wolfgangsee, one of the most beautiful lakes in the country, in the “Salzkammergut” region of Salzburg.
This small town does not have high prices or crowded streets like other Austrian cities. It makes it a perfect place to get acquainted with landscapes, houses like in fairy tales and traditional cuisine of the country. The colourful homes and shops here are designed to keep you in the pleasant aura. Facades are painted in all colours of the rainbow.
It is one of the favourite places for Austrians to ski during the winter months. The view of Mount Zwolferhorn overlooks the city and its adjacent lake, which gives a chance to witness a beautiful view of the country in winter, which can be called as the Land of Wonders. During the summer months, there is every opportunity to play water sports on the lake. You can rent boats, paddleboards, and any other water equipment you want, depending on your desire to have a quiet or adrenaline-filled vacation.
9. Pag Island, Croatia
Croatia, as a country, was once one of the most secretive and least visited places in Europe. Although it is now becoming a popular destination for tourists, there are still many places to be recognized, discovered, or to be known. And Pag Island is one of them!
Pag is one of the 1200 islands of Croatia in the Adriatic Sea. This number may also explain how this island remains hidden and is one of the least known places in Europe. Many of these islands are known for their tropical and dense vegetation. However, Pag Island, unlike these islands, is like not from this world, and it looks like to moon more than our planet. There are no rivers or trees, but on the contrary, the island is covered with dry landscapes, white stones, and lots of salt. It is the reason why it reminds the moon. Although the north of the island is known for its lively nights, the southern part is quieter.
An interesting fact is that Pag Island is also known for its cheese made of sheep milk, which is considered the best professional cheese in Croatia. Make sure you taste it with local white wine Pag Zutica and Pag lamb. It is said that after that you can understand why it is famous. The taste is exciting to me; what about you?
10. Bohinj, Slovenia
And finally, we end our 10 best places to visit in Europe list with Bohinj, a mysterious, unique, charming, and fascinating place in Slovenia. Unlike the others, this is not a town or a village. The name is simply associated with the region. Bohinj is located in the centre of the Julian Alps. The largest and highest mountain range in Slovenia is also the southeastern part of the Alps. The most popular and astonishing natural place is Bohinj Lake, Slovenia’s largest lake. There are 24 villages in the valley and above, and these villages combine the richness of the past with the beauty of the present, making it an invaluable place.
Before you see Lake Bohinj, you may consider that you have already seen the beautiful lake in the world. However, the mountains, which are mirrored by the blue waters of the lake, make this place so magnificent and beautiful that you want to spend hours away from all people, enjoy the silence and beauty of nature, and enjoy the pleasure of being one of the few people who come here. Vogel Cable Car, Mostnica Gorge, St. John’s Church, and mainly Triglav National Park are some of the region’s most popular and favourite places to visit.
There are many European countries and hidden beauties such as Romania, Slovakia, Switzerland, Portugal, Poland, and many others in the world. There are many other places than the countries we count. However, we tried to put together some of the most unusual, most beautiful and least known sites in this list. Every point of the world is worth exploring. Let this list be the map guiding you from where to start!
Nargiz loves sharing. Gradually, she learnt to direct this feeling by sharing what she experienced and read with her readers. Nargiz started her career way by writing short stories and articles and aims to publish her book in the future. She believes that by writing we express ourselves and leave memories for future generations. Her favourite gift is a book. She wants everyone to contribute to her future library. She is very interested in art and learning new languages. If she expressed herself in one sentence, that sentence would be: "I am a 12-year-old Madridista who wants to watch a REAL MADRID game at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium while being in Madrid during the world trip I dream of one day."