Europe is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, and since it is packed full of different countries, cultures and fascinating place to see, that’s no real surprise. While the most popular destinations are certainly worth a visit, sometimes we all want to take a step off the beaten track and since Europe is so full of wonderful places to visit you’ll almost always be able to find something new to see. To help you out a little as you explore this historic continent, I’ve put together my own picks for some of the most underrated locations in Europe.
As one of the largest towns in the Alsace region of France, and it is the stunning home to a well preserved and beautiful medieval old town. Colmar is considered the capital of Alsatian wine (named for the region, it’s not dog flavoured or anything) and is often called Little Venice because of its picturesque canals.
As the capital of the western Austrian state of Tyrol, Innsbruck is a strikingly beautiful city nestled into a valley in the mountains and with a rich history. Innsbruck is home to a number of historic buildings and museums, including the old Austrian Imperial Palace or Hofburg, which is considered one of the country’s greatest cultural sites and homes of baroque architecture.
Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia and is a testament to that nation’s history of mixing cultures and influences. The Bratislava Castle and Devin Castle are examples of the country’s varied history and are wonderful places to visit to learn about Slovak history and the role of Maria Theresa and it’s time as part of the Kingdom of Hungary.
Zaandam is the picturesque image of the Netherlands that has found its home in the imaginations of tourists from around the world. As part of the Zaanstad region, Zaandam features the famous Dutch windmills, wooden houses and fields of poppies that have become symbols of the Dutch culture. Just a short distance from Amsterdam, Zaandam is an essential day trip away from the hustle and bustle of that city.
Located in Italy’s Tuscany region, there are few towns that leave as striking a first impression as San Gimignano does. Situated on top of a hill, surrounded by a medieval wall and populated with tower houses from this period. San Gimignano is an extremely well preserved medieval town and is one of the best examples of the architecture that was in style within this region at that time. If the history and architecture aren’t enough to draw you in, then San Gimignano is also famous for its white wine and use of saffron.