Are you planning a European vacation this summer? Are you looking for a location that’s off the beaten tourist path or maybe one that’s less densely populated? Leave London and Paris behind in favor of these more exciting and less visited locations. Whether recommended for their architecture and art, their scenery, their culinary delights, or their history, these places are not to be missed. Read on to discover the perfect European destination for you.
In this small city in the region of Andalusia, you can find all the charm and flavor of Spain without the large crowds and lines for tourist attractions. This city, although not as large as Grenada or Seville, is nonetheless known for its beautiful Mezquita, an impressive mosque-turned-cathedral originally dating from the 8th century CE. This attraction is easily accessible from the center of the city.
While here, another beautiful attraction near the shopping district is the Palacio de Viana, a stunning villa with elaborate gardens and fountains. Don’t miss the Medina Azahara, the 10th-century ruins of a massive Arab Muslim medieval palace-city, accessible by a short bus ride from the center of town. And be sure to sample the delicious salmorejo soup, a regional specialty. It’s a chilled tomato soup made with cream, bread, and bacon bits, and drizzled with olive oil. Pair it with a glass of local white wine for a memorable repast!
Fiumefreddo Bruzio, Italy
Italy is the perfect summertime destination, but you might want to avoid the busy streets of Rome and the expensive resort towns of the southern coast. Fiumefreddo Bruzio is a hidden treasure in southern Italy’s Calabria region. This small town has incredible panoramic views and is well known for its historic castle sites. Visit the medieval ruins at the outskirt of the city, as well as the small churches within the walls.
In addition, the views out to the Tyrrhenian Sea are fantastic, and you can enjoy them while dining on delicious local food and wine. This town is perfect for those looking for a remote retreat free from the pomp and circumstance of a tourist destination yet retaining the charm of old-world Italy.
This city in Germany makes the list for its stunning cathedral and its local fare. The famous Strasbourg Cathedral is a Gothic structure made primarily from sandstone. It houses a famous astronomical clock built later in the Renaissance. This cathedral was the world’s tallest building for a span of 227 years. Its impressive structure makes it one of the most famous examples of high Gothic style. Plan to visit and tour the cathedral, which was described by Victor Hugo as “a gigantic and delicate marvel.”
After you’ve visited the cathedral, you’ll have worked up an appetite, so head down to a pub or restaurant and enjoy the local specialties. The choucroute plate is one you won’t want to miss, but you should definitely come with an appetite and maybe a few friends to help you finish it. It’s a large plate of sauerkraut laden with every type of meat and sausage imaginable: bratwurst, blood sausage, ham, bacon, and other types of boiled meats alongside soft, well-seasoned boiled potatoes. This is a dish for a hungry person, or two or three—and it pairs well with a strong local beer. It will fuel all your walking and explore to follow!
What’s the best lesser-known location you have visited in Europe? Please comment below to share with other readers!