One of the best parts of traveling is exploring side streets and hidden alleys, getting a taste for the adventures off-the-beaten-path. While Europe might be more well-known for its iconic cities like Rome, Barcelona and Dublin, these seven hidden gems deserve some exploration of their own—making it the perfect opportunity to find some peace, quiet and perfect landscapes.
A stunning coastal city in Croatia, Split’s landscapes offer a mystical escape from reality. Climb up to the top of Marjan Hill to grab a beer from the bar and soak in the panoramic views of Split Harbor.
Explore the eclectic capital of Romania as you learn about its communist history and take in the elaborate, ornate architecture that spans the decades. After a day full of exploring (which should include a visit to the second-largest building in the world, Ceausescu’s Palace), head to the pedestrian-only area of Lipscani for great restaurants and nightlife—the perfect spot to try a glass of Romanian wine.
Full of Flemish charm, Antwerp features an intriguing mix of Gothic, Renaissance and modern architecture. Don’t miss a visit to the Kloosterstraat, an area full of antiques and vintage markets perfect for finding a well-worn souvenir.
Home to the majestic Alhambra, the last Moorish stronghold in Spain, Granada is full of charm and surprises. A visit to the Arab baths is a relaxing way to spend an afternoon before catching a flamenco show in one of the ancient gypsy caves of the Albaicín.
Prague, Czech Republic
Known for a vibrant beer culture and fairytale castles, Prague is one of the most interesting places in Eastern Europe. After visiting the Lennon Wall, rest your feet at one of the charming cafes surrounding the Charles Bridge, where you’ll be treated to a moment of calm amid beautiful views.
Just like you’d imagine, Edinburgh is the epitome of medieval times, featuring ancient castles, endless green landscapes and charming villages. Harry Potter fans can’t miss a stop at the Elephant House, the coffee shop where J.K. Rowling penned the famous novels. She supposedly sat toward the back of the cafe that overlooks George Heriot’s school, supposedly the building that inspired Hogwarts.
What’s your favorite hidden gem? Tell us in the comments!