Leave the famous and well-known tourist destinations. The continent of Europe is full of small “diamonds” that can mesmerize you with their brilliance. See which cities are worth visiting, that you may not even know their names until now.
Check out the following ten “secret” cities in Europe and discover the places that can create unique travel experiences for you. The biggest surprises, after all, happen when you least expect them.
Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic
The small Gothic town in South Bohemia, Cesky Krumlov, is known for its small alleys and medieval houses and the second largest castle in the Czech Republic after Prague Castle – Krumlov Castle, which dominates the city center. The small town has retained its medieval identity, and rightly its historical center is included in the UNESCO list for World Cultural Heritage and the list for Natural Heritage Places.
The city of Annecy is located between Geneva and Chambery, in the Haute-Savoie region of eastern France, which has received the nickname “Venice of France” mainly because of the canals that cross the city. Today it is one of the most famous alpine destinations but also one of the most photographed cities in France.
It is one of the most picturesque fishing villages in Cornwall, hardly reminiscent of England. The tiny houses are built amphitheatrically around the port, resembling much more to a painting and lesser to an actual landscape.
Sintra is a city and municipality in Portugal, located in the Lisbon region, and has the largest population after the capital (about 33,000 inhabitants). The city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its romantic 19th-century architecture, with colourful houses, castles, and churches.
Dolceacqua is located in the province of Imperia, about 120 km southwest of Genoa, on the border with France. The beautifully preserved medieval town of Dolceacqua continues to impress visitors with its bridges and small houses around Castello dei Doria on top of a verdant hill.
Bonifacio, the southernmost tip of Corsica, is known as the 7-mile-long Cape Gibraltar of Corsica, which cuts through Corsica from Sardinia. It is considered the “diamond” of Corsica, with the old town enchanting anyone who visits it.
Trogir is a small, beautiful historic town on the Dalmatian coast of Croatia near Spli that is considered the best-preserved Romano-Gothic complex in Adriatic and Central Europe. The historic city centre, located on a small island, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.
The medieval castle town of Gruyères, home of gruyere cheese and chocolate, will take you on a journey into the world of fairy tales as you will see the inhabitants of the small village circulating in colourful costumes.
It is no coincidence that anyone who has visited Hallstatt in Austria is enchanted and talks about one of the most beautiful destinations in Europe. Built-in a beautiful location on the shores of Lake Hallstättersee, the village dominates between the crystal clear waters of the lake and the green mountain, while the whole landscape is completed by the beautiful square, the ivy-covered buildings, and the wooden houses with the balcony full of flowers.
Hallstatt and the sights of Dachstein comprise the Hallstatt-Dachstein cultural landscape of Salzkammergut, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Gibraltar, United Kingdom
Gibraltar is a tiny British colony but of significant geostrategic importance, as it oversees the western gateway to the Mediterranean. Spain has been claiming it since 1704 when it lost it to Great Britain in the War of the Spanish Succession.
The most impressive point of the peninsula and the main reason worth a trip to Gibraltar is its rock. As you approach from afar by car, you will see it emerge steep and lofty. It offers impressive views and another view with a height of 416 meters (higher than the Eiffel Tower and the Empire State) since you can see across Morocco. In fact, the rock of Gibraltar has permanent residents who are none other than the monkeys, Barbary macaque. On the rock, there is a cafe-restaurant and docks to see the view unobstructed and a beautiful natural landscape to enjoy your view.
Gibraltar is very small, and one day is enough to explore it. You can include it in your schedule when making a road trip to Andalusia.