A European holiday undoubtedly occupies a hotspot in everybody’s travel bucket list. The liberal vibe of Amsterdam, the panache of Paris, the nightlife of Ibiza or the vibrancy of Barcelona; these cities are always on the mind when you think of Europe. But if you thought you’ve already visited the best of Europe in these select few famous cities, think again!
You haven’t explored it all. Some of Europe’s best offerings are its well kept secrets. So get off the beaten track and plan a visit to these lesser known, yet wonderful European destinations for your next travels.
- Lugano, Switzerland
Located on the banks of a lake, against the backdrop of the snow covered Swiss Alps, Lugano is an important financial and tourist centre in the Ticino region of Switzerland. With lush gardens blooming with florals, archaic museums, sacred buildings, stunning scenery, traffic free streets and a touch of Italy owing to its concentration of Italian speaking population, Lugano perfectly combines the aesthetics of a city with the simplicity of a small town.
The city is ideal for the connoisseurs of art and architecture, nature enthusiasts, solo travellers or a fun party of girls looking to celebrate a relaxing hen weekend in a foreign land. There is no dearth of activities and sites in Lugano, so you’ll have not a single dull moment on your trip to the city.
- Zagreb, Croatia
While the city of Dubrovnik has easily become a traveller’s favourite in Croatia, mostly by enthusiasts of HBO’s Game of Thrones, the capital city of Zagreb is often overlooked as a travel destination, which is a real shame considering how much the city has to offer.
Its medieval past still looming over the city, easily reflected in its architecture, art and culture, the city has also adopted the modern elements well, making for a unique juxtaposition of past and present rendering an exotic touch to the city.
With art galleries and museums, quirky and old cafes and natural treasures, lakeside water sports to discos, the city has something for everybody. If you are looking for a perfect family holiday spot or are planning a stag do in a European destination, Zagreb has every element that you need for an ideal vacation.
- Lloret De Mar, Spain
If you thought Barcelona was your ultimate Spanish adventure, wait until you set foot in Lloret de Mar. The city has sprawling beaches, vibrant nightclubs, archaeological civilisations and opulent castles. There is nothing you can’t find in this Spanish town in Costa Brava.
The town is also an ideal tropical paradise for hen weekends and stag weekends offering a wide array of activities for staggers and hen weekenders, ranging from adventure sports and cruising to relaxing spas and an unforgettable Catamaran experience.
- Ljubljana, Slovenia
Chances are you have never even heart of this major city, but Ljubljana is not only the capital city of Slovenia but also an undermined travel destination. As a capital city, you’d expect Ljubljana would be a bustling city, but the it has a quaint albeit energetic and sophisticated charm to it in addition to the many landmarks and hotpots dotted across its perimeter.
Flanked by a 16th century castle topped hill with a languorous river flowing through its heart, there is so much you can do in Ljubljana. There are culinary guided tours that take you through the city’s famous food streets and spots to give you a taste of fine Slovenian food and wine and famous Turkish coffee while relaying you the history and its association with the cuisine.
The city’s strategic location also makes it possible to access the nearby suburbs, most notably Krakovo, an erstwhile colony of Slovenian artists with many archaic buildings and restaurants and Trnovo, another artist’s colony.
Besides flaunting a strong artistic aura, Ljubljana also has a happening nightlife making it perfect for every traveller.
- Gdańsk, Poland
Centuries of history ebbing and flowing through this Polish city is what lends a unique touch to Gdańsk. Despite the remnants of its tragic past still alive, the modern day Gdańsk has every bit of flavour and energy that your holiday mood demands, making it a must visit destination in Europe.
The city’s impeccable architecture is what makes the first striking impression- a mixture of medieval, Renaissance and Gothic influence giving you a feeling like you are in another century.
Besides the stunning architecture, there is a so much that you can do in Gdańsk.
Its location by the sea means there are so many water adventure activities for you to try; from kayaking along the Motlawa River to cruising in the Gulf of Gdańsk. Alternatively, you can spend a day at either the Stogi beach or the Brezeźno beach, soaking the sun and sipping on your choice of poison.
The city is also gaining traction as a promising destination for staggers and hen weekenders owing to the wide array of activities, adventures and the sheer beauty it has to offer.
With so many cities and towns still left unexplored, you don’t quite get to say ‘been there, done that’ yet. Explore the lesser known treasures of Europe and be prepared to be stunned by how much it has to offer.