Packed with numerous wonderful and diverse cultures, in such a relatively small landmass, Europe has been attracting travellers from the rest of the globe for centuries. However, with so many unique and exciting cities all over the continent, it can be hard to know where to pick for your next vacation – particularly if you only have a short period of time available.
While many stick to Europe’s big-name destinations, such as Paris, Berlin or Vienna, there are a few more overlooked options that deserve a place on your list. These four destinations all guarantee visitors the trip of a life-time, and should be on the bucket list of every travel enthusiast.
Eastern Europe was once a place never really talked about by the travel community. Trapped behind the iron curtain for years after the end of the Second World War, it remained a mystery to many. However, more recently, its global popularity is increasing at an impressive rate. Visitors are flocking in their droves to explore the secrets of its streets. Attracting over 27 million tourists every year, it’s fast becoming one of the jewels in Europe’s crown.
Photo: Roman Boed
Highlights include the world-famous Charles Bridge, which offers panoramic views over the city and the magical Astronomical clock, an animated mechanical contraption whose beautiful carved figurines perform a show on every hour that delights audiences.
When most people think of beach holidays in Europe, they immediately opt for Spain or southern Italy. However, this tiny little island paradise just off the coast of Sicily is one of the continents best-kept secrets. The Maltese archipelago offers countless golden shorelines, glorious temperatures and secluded coves.
Photo: Creative Commons
It’s home to a whole array of prehistoric ruins for history lovers to enjoy, or the more adventurous can indulge in rock climbing, hiking or even diving in the famous and aesthetically beautiful Blue Lagoon. There are plenty of sights to see, including the wondrous natural phenomenon – The Azure Window rock formation – and the breath taking walled city of Valletta.
Many people wouldn’t consider Russia when they think of European travel, however the whole western part of the country is technically included in the continent. The famed and impressive city of St. Petersburg is by far one of the region’s most popular spots. For fans of arts and culture, it competes with London, New York and even Paris with all the fascinating delights it offers.
Photo: Aleksandr Zykov
You can enjoy the world famous Russian ballet, or a haunting opera, in the incredible Alexandrinksy theatre, whose stunning architecture is just as breath-taking as the performances that grace its stage. There is also a whole range of world-class museums, including the State Hermitage Museum. This internationally renowned establishment is one of the biggest in the world, and boasts endless collections of artwork, ancient artefacts and many more unique exhibits.
Most know Portugal for the sunshine and beach culture of the Algarve. However, the country’s capital city far surpasses these southern regions in terms of culture, history and the chance to immerse yourself in the hustle and bustle of a true Portuguese town.
Find a traditional Fado night, a haunting and soulful genre of music that has been prolific in the country for over 180 years. The city is also a food lover’s paradise, with endless restaurants providing some of the most mouth-watering delights of the delicious and underrated Portuguese cuisine. Be sure to try the locally cured meats, and the crisp and succulent desert pastry – the Pastel de Nata.
There are so many great destinations in the world that are often overlooked. These are my four recommendations, but if you have a favorite holiday spot that you think deserves a place on this list, then be sure to leave a comment below.
Post Sponsored by The Corinthia Hotel Lisbon.