Travel Tips & Advice

Off The Beaten Path... 7 Hidden Hotspots to Visit in Europe

Last Updated: April 29, 2024

Cobblestone streets in an old european town.

So youv'e already toured the Louvre, crashed the Colosseum, and oggled Big Ben. What's next?

Whether you're a seasoned traveler, or just looking for something a little out of the ordinary, there are plenty of things to do and see off the beaten path in Europe.

Inside the stunning galleries of the Louvre, old frech architecture reaches vaultd ceilings above museum guests and exhibit cases.
Louvre Musée, France

Comporta, Portugal

Lisbon is great, but can get a bit crowded and touristy during certain times of the year. For something a bit different and more relaxed, try the little surfing village of Comporta about an hour to the south. 

Spend your mornings hangin' ten, then relax on stunning white sand beaches, take in acres and acres of rice fields, and go dolphin-watching at Sado Estuary, followed by a nightcap around the beach fire pit at Sublime Comporta.

A deep blue ocean beach, with white sands.
Arrabida Park, Portugal

Istria, Croatia

For a more upbeat adventure, check out the ancient port city of Istria on the northern peninsula. Fill up on wine and white truffles, and then head to the Outlook music festival for your electronic dance music fix.

The next day, soothe your aching head by drinking some more wine and heading over to the historical districtfeaturing architecture from the Roman and Byzantine Empires.

Bryzantine era archways of the ancient Roman Pula Arena in Croatia.
Pula Arena, Croatia

Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Despite the fact that Rotterdam dates back to 1270 (when a dam was constructed on the Rotte Riverhence, the name), the city is absolutely bustling with state-of-the-art, ultra-modern attractions. 

From the Markthal marketplace to the Cube Houses and the Nieuwe Luxor Theater, Rotterdam has plenty of options for lovers of the hip and modern. 

Modern architectural homes in the shape of overlapping yellow cubes, placed on an angle that seems to defy gravity.
Rotterdam's Famous Architecture, Netherlands

Monschau, Germany

If there was such a thing as German Disneyland, this would be it. Untouched by WWII, Monschau has retained a pristine beauty and ber cleanliness that makes Berlin during the 36 Olympics look unkempt in comparison.

This cloth-weaving town turned tourist Mecca boasts a 13th century castle, rows and rows of cross-timbered houses, gray slate bridges over gorgeous canals, flower-filled markets, and a mustard museum.

An aerial view on Monschau, showing the medieval town amongst the dense German forests.
Monshau, Germany

Salzkammergut, Austria

Looking to release your inner Julie Andrews? Look no further than bucolic Salzkammergutthe area featured prominently in the classic film The Sound of Music. Start at the 15th century Fuschl Castle, head to the Mozart museum in St. Gilgen, stop in at the lakeside White Horse Inn for a schnitzel and beer, and follow in the footsteps of Maria and Liesl von Trapp to the cathedral in Mondsee.

The cobblestone streets of St. Gilgen, with brightly coloured buildings and quaint European charm.
St. Gilgen, Austria

Valletta, Malta

Although the capital city of Malta can hardly be considered a secret, few travelers make it past the beautiful beaches and raucous nightlife to experience some of Vallettas lesser-known offerings. 

Take a spiritual journey that spans the ages, from the prehistoric Megalithic Temples, to medieval dungeons and St. Johns Co-Cathedral. Need some midday excitement? Head to Upper Barrakka Gardens for a walking tour and witness the firing salute of vintage cannons, overlooking some of the worlds oldest standing structures.

An anncient monument among palm trees in Maltese Valletta
Valletta, Malta

Cambridge, England

Less popular with tourists than Oxford, Cambridge is certainly no less beautiful. Winding cobblestone streets are routinely filled with collegiate bicyclists seeking out knowledge (and more than a few Tudor pubs). 

Cambridge is absolutely brimming with medieval churches, old colleges and unique photo-ops, like the Bridge of Sighs over the River Cam, and the Fitzwilliam Museum.

Aerial view of Cambridge University, with its British architecture and green lawns.
Cambridge University, United Kingdom

While many of these destinations may seem a bit obscure, the vast majority are accessible just a short distance from major tourist destinations and ports-of-call. 

Find out how you can break away from your contemporary outing and make your own path by speaking with one of the vacation specialists at TravelPerks!

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