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Sveti Stefan island in Budva, Montenegro | ©  emperorcosar/Shutterstock
Sveti Stefan island in Budva, Montenegro | © emperorcosar/Shutterstock
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13 Underrated Places You Must See in Europe

Picture of Alex Jordan
Travel Editor
Updated: 25 May 2018
When it comes to amazing destinations we all know Europe is teeming with choices. So many, in fact, that some destinations actually fall under the radar. But fear not, Culture Trip has compiled a list of the continent’s lesser known locations that any Europhile will love.

Berat, Albania…

Berat is one of the world’s longest continuously inhabited cities (inhabited since 314 BC), nicknamed the ‘city of a thousand windows’ for all the white Ottoman houses that line its river valley. Millennia old, visiting Berat is like stepping back through time and the evolution of Eastern and Western cultures.

Bridge linking Gorica and Mangalem neighborhoods at twilight | © ollirg/Shutterstock
Bridge linking Gorica and Mangalem neighborhoods at twilight | © ollirg/Shutterstock

Schwangau, Germany…

Schwangau is home to not one, but two Royal Bavarian castles, the kind Walt Disney would have been proud of. In fact it’s believed the filmmaker’s famous logo is based on real-life fairytale castle Neuschwanstein, perched high in the mountains.

Neuschwanstein Castle, southwest Bavaria, Germany | © canadastock/Shutterstock
Neuschwanstein Castle, southwest Bavaria, Germany | © canadastock/Shutterstock

Sveti Stefan, Montenegro…

The Adriatic coast doesn’t get much more picturesque than Sveti Stefan, especially this small islet off the coast of Montenegro. It’s home to some beautiful hotels and connected to the mainland via a narrow ribbon of popular beach.

https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/sveti-stefan-island-adriatic-sea-montenegro-211914250?src=mif9LBnzPpqToxS5hxGfgQ-1-3
The Sveti Stefan island in the Adriatic Sea | © nadtochiy/Shutterstock

Český Krumlov, Czech Republic…

You can walk through ‘mini Prague’ in 20 minutes, but really the journey will take much longer, such is the beauty of its architecture. Český Krumlov is a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to a castle looking down over Vltava River and old town square.

Czesky Krumlov's historical city center | © Nikonenko Tatiana/Shutterstock
Czesky Krumlov’s historical city center | © Nikonenko Tatiana/Shutterstock

Hvar, Croatia…

A popular if underrated Mediterranean island off the coast of Croatia, yet to fulfil its potential as one of Europe’s hottest destinations, Hvar has it all. Stunning beaches, good food and interesting architecture it’s also a hedonist paradise with plenty of nightlife.

Old church bell tower on the island of Hvar, Dalmatia | © nomadFra/Shutterstock
Old church bell tower on the island of Hvar, Dalmatia | © nomadFra/Shutterstock

Colmar, France…

France’s ‘little Venice’ is full of narrow winding streets lined with colourful medieval timber homes. Colmar is best explored by foot with museums and galleries on every corner.

Colmar and its colourful houses. Alsace, France | © StevanZZ/Shutterstock
Colmar and its colourful houses. Alsace, France | © StevanZZ/Shutterstock

Andros, Greece…

A popular getaway for Greeks, Andros is just a short ferry ride from Athens. The island has remained largely unchanged for decades and you’ll find plenty of deserted beaches on which to relax throughout the day, not to mention stunning coastal towns like Chora.

Andros, Greece | © leoks/Shutterstock
Andros, Greece | © leoks/Shutterstock

Piran, Slovenia…

The idyllic Slovenian town of Piran is often compared to Venice. The watery wonderland is lined with colourful houses that make for stunning photos, while the sprawling expanse of Tartini Square is great for enjoying a cocktail and people watching.

Tartini Square, the largest square in Piran, Slovenia | © baldovina/Shutterstock
Tartini Square, the largest square in Piran, Slovenia | © baldovina/Shutterstock

Mellieha, Malta…

Golden Beach on Malta’s north coast alone makes Mellieha worth visiting, but you’ll also find plenty of other attractions including some of Europe’s best coastal reefs and Popeye Village, a former film set turned idyllic beachside resort.

Popeye Village, Mellieha, Malta | © Renata Apanaviciene/Shutterstock
Popeye Village, Mellieha, Malta | © Renata Apanaviciene/Shutterstock

Vaduz, Liechtenstein…

Liechtenstein’s capital Vaduz sits on the Rhine river near the Swiss border. This quaint city dates back to the 12th century and is best explored by the miniature city train. It is best known for Vaduz castle, the official residence of the Prince of Liechtenstein.

Vaduz Cathedral, Lichtenstein | © Telegin Sergey/Shutterstock
Vaduz Cathedral, Lichtenstein | © Telegin Sergey/Shutterstock

Vernazza, Italy…

Vernazza is up there with some of the most beautiful coastal towns in Italy. Go cliff jumping near the port entrance and enjoy evening aperitivi (drinks and nibbles) near the waterfront surrounded by colourful apartments.

Vernazza, Liguria, Italy | © cge2010/Shutterstock
Vernazza, Liguria, Italy | © cge2010/Shutterstock

Dinant, Belgium…

Escape the hustle and bustle of Brussels and head south to Dinant, a riverside town that will take your breathe away with its medieval architecture. Don’t miss the Collegiate Church of Notre Dame de Dinant, a 13th-century gothic cathedral.

The Collegiate Church of Notre-Dame, Dinant, Belgium | © Anibal Trejo/Shutterstock
The Collegiate Church of Notre-Dame, Dinant, Belgium | © Anibal Trejo/Shutterstock

Carvoeiro, Portugal…

Sometimes on holiday all you want to do is sit back with an amazing view and watch the world go by. With just two roads leading to a main square, the sleepy town of Carvoeiro is better known for its fisherman than its night life. It’s also close to the Benagil Caves, some of Portugal’s most impressive natural wonders.

Benagil beach caves, Carvoeiro, Portugal | © AngeloDeVal/Shutterstock
Benagil beach caves, Carvoeiro, Portugal | © AngeloDeVal/Shutterstock

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