7 Hidden European Destinations To Visit
Well, I just don’t understand whenever people are being asked the best European destinations, Paris and London always seem to top their list. Yes, even I also agree that both of these places are great whether you are planning your honeymoon, going on holidays with your kids, or you are planning to get married.
But, there are other hidden European destinations across the continent you should know. So allow me to discuss these hidden European destinations.
This seaside village is located at an hour distance towards the south of Lisbon. With spectacular rice fields, laid-back living, and beautiful white sand beaches, this place is surely a Portuguese gem. During the nighttime, you can enjoy a seafood feast at Ilha do Arroz. It is a beach lounge and a restaurant, their specialities are clams in a garlicky broth (amêijoas a bulhão pato) and salt-cod fishcakes (pastéis de bacalhau).
If you have always dreamt of learning surfing, then this is the place where you can turn your dream into reality. You can also hire a canoe in Sado estuary nature reserve where you may get to spot some dolphins swimming along with you and you also have the possibility of spotting flamingos and nesting storks. Riding a horse at Praia da Comporta Beach is an unforgettable experience.
If you want to enjoy the best of luxury, then make sure you stay at Sublime Comporta. Spread in the 17-acre estate, this is a popular country retreat, it has 14 bedrooms, beautiful polished concrete floors, and you get a private terrace as well.
photo credit: forbes.com
Not many people know about this small and triangular peninsula called Istria. But, this place packs in splendid natural beauty, hilltop towns, and picturesque surroundings. Its towns of Porec, Rovinj, and Umag continually tops the list of the finest holiday resorts. During summers (starting from 27 July), Istria becomes the host to various festivals. Motovun is the place which is famous to host an independent film festival and it goes for five days.
If you are visiting during autumn or late summers, then this is the ideal time to enjoy cycling and walking. In Pula, Triumphal Arch of the Sergii (8 metre high arch) was erected by a Roman family and it still maintains its power and glory. During the 19-century the gate and the walls were destroyed.
Travel towards the west coast to visit some of the gorgeous beaches. If you are travelling with your kids, then the most child-friendly beach is Bijeca and it is towards southern coast of Medulin. Porec is known to have the most striking church building in Istria as well. You can enjoy windsurfing in Medulin.
photo credit: marcali.hu
With its charming suburbs and charming old buildings, Sofia instantly grabs the attention of whosoever visits this place. It is one of the oldest cities in Europe and Sofia is a Greek name which means wisdom. Owing to this, you get to see a plethora of old streets, artefacts, old buildings, and monasteries. One thing I like about Sofia is that it is not just about ancient monuments, but it is a nice blend of modernism as well and you get to visit various parks, museums, malls, galleries, and universities.
There is no doubt it is a vibrant place and you get to witness this vibrancy mainly on the fine days when its lush green gardens and cafes buzz with life. When you are in Sofia, the local attractions and its rich history and culture will surely help you to collect some fond memories to take back home. Travel towards the East to visit Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. This cathedral was built in 20th-century and it was made in the memory of 200,000 Belorussian, Bulgarian, Russian, and Ukrainian soldiers who gave their lives in Russo-Turkish War 1877–1878.
photo credit: travellingbuzz.com
Being the second most beautiful city in Poland, it is a great place to travel with your friends and family members. Of course, when you are here, you would want to explore its legendary attractions. One of the striking attractions of this place is its first stone cathedral built in 1000 AD. Visit Wawel Castle to hear the tales of a dangerous dragon or visit Market Square where you will have the opportunity to listen to hejnal bugle call and feeding the hero pigeons.
Situated towards the south of Royal Castle, Kazimierz is known for its mazeline streets and with its low-standing houses, it certainly gives an impression of Old Town. While you are wandering around the town, make sure you have explored Corpus Christi Church, Temple Synagogue, and Ulica Szeroka. Wieliczka Salt Mines is not only popular for its antiquity but it is also home to one of the popular wonders of Poland. This is the place you will find the chapel of Blessed Kinga. It is a full-fledged church and one fact that makes it amazing is that it is 200 metres under the ground and most importantly carved from the salt. Visit Cracow’s Museum to see samurai warriors, Egyptian mummies, and native winged horsemen.
If you love art, then visit National Museum to see some of the best paintings and art work. You can also find some more gems in the upstairs gallery of Cloth Hall. Cracow is a popular theatrical city and Stary Teatr (The Old Theatre) was founded in 1798 and this is the place from where Helena Modrzejewska launched her career.
photo credit: thousandwonders.net
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Being one of the largest ports and the biggest city of The Netherlands, it has a lot to offer to the tourists. The city is popular for its rich history and you will not feel any dearth of tourist attractions. Start your itinerary by visiting Rotterdam Zoo Blijdorp and it is also one of the major attractions of the city. In the zoo, you will come across numerous animals. There is a gorilla island, a crocodile river, a tropical park where you can see elephants and polar bears, and a bat cave.
photo credit: roeldijkstra.net
The city is located towards the south-west of the country. It was incorporated in 12th-century and today it has developed into a leading commercial, ecclesiastical, and intellectual centre. The city is popular for its advanced environmental practices and high standard of living. You get to see the biggest art movements of the last 100 years at Museum of Modern Art.
In addition to Museum of Modern Art, you will also find various art galleries, municipal and public institutions. Make sure you have visited Freiburg Art Society. The old town of Freiburg is worth a stroll. Here you will find a wide variety of leather shops, departmental stores, boutiques, jewellers, art and antique shops.
photo credit: samfrancisfoundation.org
Being Sweden’s third largest city, you will instantly have a contemporary feel. The city is home to lush green parks, contemporary museums, and awesome cuisine. With 150 nationalities including Middle Eastern street stalls, hipster skateboard parks, and Italian coffee culture, the city is certainly a multicultural metropolis. Enjoy wandering in the King’s Park, there is also an organic community garden and then there is Folkets Park which often hosts various concerts and has a huge playground where you can have a gala time with your kids.
Malmo and the nearby region of Skane make it a nice place for cycling. Make sure you have checked Turning Torso (one of a kind twisted residential skyscraper). No visit to Malmo is complete without visiting Kockums Shipyard, this is the place where submarines are built.
photo credit: photoshelter.com
Sophia Jones tries to live her life like the sun – setting her sights high and vowing to always rise up again. Always game for an adventure, Sophia loves widening readers and her own expectations of our vast, beautiful world. As a journalist, Sophia writes to inform. As a creative writer, Sophia strives to inspire. Overall, she hopes to captivate. She currently writes for sites like Qwikfix.
Featured image photo credit: worldofwanderlust.com