Europe is so much more than the touristy destinations that get so much annual traffic. In the same way that New York and Los Angeles alone are not representations of the U.S., Paris, London, and Venice, while gorgeous and memorable, are not the only places to see in Europe. Next time you plan a trip, consider one of these lesser known, secretly stunning European destinations.
6 Secretly Stunning European Destinations Definitely Worth a Visit
1. Trier, Germany
It’s the oldest city in Germany, founded in 16 BC, with a crazy collection of architecture to show for it. Check out the 11th century St. Peter’s Cathedral and the ancient Imperial Baths–the ruins have stood for over 2,000 years. This is one of my favorite European destinations.
2. Peniche, Portugal
It’s a seaside gem and a hotspot for surfers. It’s famous for the Peniche Surf Camp, a week long experience where you eat, sleep, and surf. The accommodations, public or private, are included and the camp even has a restaurant and bar.
3. Leuven, Belgium
Image: Eddy Van 3000
Located about 20 minutes east of Brussels in the Flemish Region, Leuven is a brewing hub and one of the country’s oldest university towns. This vibrant little town is bubbling with activity and creativity. Take a tour of Stadhuis, the town hall and explore the old market square.
4. Riga, Latvia
Riga is the capitol and largest city in Latvia that sits on the Gulf of Riga on the Baltic. Visit the Riga Castle, which dates back to 1440s. Founded in 1201 as a base for the Northern Crusades, the city has today emerged as the capitol of a new independent Latvia.
5. Thessaloniki, Greece
Image: Ioannis N. Athanasiadis
It’s an ancient masterpiece with a cosmopolitan streak. Thessaloniki boasts an ancient forum which dates back to the 2nd century AD as well as the palace complex of Galerius Maximianus (4th c. AD). There are also a number of Byzantine sites like a Byzantine bathhouse from the late thirteenth century.
6. Wengen, Switzerland
A tiny village located in the heart of the Alps–it’s hard to imagine more impressive views. Enjoy 365 degree views on the Wengen Mannlichen Aerial Cableway and then start your hike to Kleine Scheidegg. It’s definitely worth the trip.
top image: Loenerrr
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