From Paris to Ibiza, European destinations are famous around the world. Yet, there are still plenty of hidden gems that are unknown even to European holidaymakers.
Whether it is breath-taking natural landscapes or unique masterpieces to admire, Europe has something to offer to all types of tourists.
On this page, those already planning their next European trip or dreaming of their first tour will find a list of 18 unmissable destinations that are not on the radar of most tourists.
1. Chateau de Fontainebleau, France
Chateau de Fontainebleau is a perfectly preserved 800 years-old castle that still has not experienced the popularity of other French destinations. The grandeur is the same as Versaille’s (Marie Antoinette and Napoleon both walked these halls) but the crowds and price are much smaller.
Remember that in order to visit France and Europe from outside the EU, you may have to apply for an ETIAS authorisation.
Best for: art and history.
2. Cuenca, Spain
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this medieval city presents colourful houses perched on the side of an ancient rock.
Best for: picturesque landscape and few tourists.
3. Erfurt and Thuringia, Germany
Erfurt is a beautiful small city that serves as the capital of the Thuringia region. It is home to Germany’s oldest university so it is buzzing with young people, beer gardens, and festivals.
Best for: architecture and good vibes.
4. The Alentejo, Portugal
The Alentejo is a wine region that also offers a wonderful coastline for surfers. The nature is lovely and so is the local food.
Best for: weekend getaways for fine dining and wineries and several stunning beaches.
5. Salzkammergut, Austria
This region will make you fall in love with what’s possibly Austria’s most charming Alpine lake, Lake Hallstatt.
Best for: nature lovers, both in summer and winter.
6. Perast, Montenegro
A true hidden gem, Perast is an enchanting small town with Venetian architectural influence. From here, you’ll be able to see Our Lady of the Rocks, the Adriatic’s only artificial island.
Best for: a luxury experience on a budget.
7. Saarema Island, Estonia
Think windmills, meteorite craters, and top-quality beer in the heart of the Baltic.
Best for: a quiet escape away from everything.
8. Mechelen, Belgium
A charming small town with old buildings and a welcoming spirit. Picture yourself having Belgian waffles for breakfast while looking at colourful lovely houses across the street.
Best for: exploring the Flanders without the crowds.
9. The Isle of Lewis, Scotland
This tiny and proud Gaelic community dates back 5 thousand years and has all the best Scotland has to offer, from wind-swept cliffs to friendly locals.
Best for: whale and dolphin watching from the cliffs.
10. The Apennines, Italy
Not as famous among international tourists as the Alps, these mountains are just as stunning. Perfect for both winter and summer sports, the Appennines are covered in traditional little villages where visitors will be welcomed with delicious Italian food.
Best for: incredible views, unforgettable cuisine.
11. Lviv, Ukraine
Located in Eastern Ukraine, Lviv is a multicultural city with unique architecture. Here, holidaymakers will find a blend of baroque buildings, old cathedrals, and cobblestone streets.
Best for: art galleries, pretty cafes, the opera.
12. Helsingør, Denmark
A short 40-minute ride from the capital Copenhagen, Helsingør’s main attraction is Kronborg Castle, the real-life fortress that inspired Elsinore Castle in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The town also has a Maritime Museum and an unmissable weekend street food market.
Best for: watch Shakespearean actors perform in the castle and explore its dungeons.