As urban dwellers continue to flee big cities for some time off in the countryside, we thought you’d appreciate a low-key (or grand) vacay in these charming towns and cities in Europe. So get your travel docs and cameras ready because you’ll definitely want to fly out to these eclectic and majestically Instagramable places! Here’s our list of 7 Offbeat European Destinations you need to visit ASAP.
1. Kinsale, Ireland
Looking for a colorful fort town peppered with quirky shops and pubs? We got you! Kinsale in County Cork, Ireland is the perfect place for friends and young couples looking for fun in a quiet town. The best way to get around Kinsale is by foot or bicycle so you can admire its 16th to 17th-century era buildings at a slow pace. Kinsale tour operators also offer whale watching and sailing activities. If you’re wondering where to stay, bed and breakfast inns are just sprawling around the main town–just where you want to be.
2. Giethoorn, Netherlands
One of the best places to escape cars and pollution, Giethoorn in the Netherlands is a small town connected by 150 bridges. Locals usually take the town’s boat as public transport, while tourists can take advantage of exploring the town’s waterways with a roundtrip ride. This Dutch countryside is only an hour and a half away drive from Amsterdam, but if you’re interested in full immersion in Giethroom, you can rent out a thatched-roof house. The best time to visit Giethoorm is in Spring to Summer when its fields are green and flowering trees are in full bloom.
3. Pocitelj, Bosnia, and Herzegovina
Finally, a hillside open museum. Prepare to have your breath taken away in Pocitelj, a humble historic town in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Pocitelj was founded in the mid-13th century and fortified by Hungarian King Matthias and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. The well preserved medieval town boasts a great number of Turkish homes, mosques, cathedrals, and old bazaars.
4. Cinque Terra, Italy
Wine, dine, swim, and hike. How’s that as an itinerary for Cinque Terre? This rainbow-like Italian seaside destination is blessed with great scenery and vibrant culture. Rows and rows of cafes, restaurants, shops, and cliffside inns trail around the five villages of Cinque Terra. To make the most out of your trip, make sure to spend some time at the Fegina Beach in Monterosso, Scalinata Ladarina, and San Pietro Church in Portovenere.
5. Rauma, Finland
Don’t be fooled by the seemingly sleepy town appearance of Rauma, Finland. This waterfront municipality has its own quirks and artistic surprises that are sure to tickle your fancy. Sculptures, wooden crafts, and nautical themed decors adorn the streets of Rauma. Cafes and restaurants offer the freshest seafood, while local pubs will challenge you to drink like a Viking during the night.
6. Dubrovnik, Croatia
With high walls, towers on a cliff, and turquoise waters, Dubrovnik definitely brings medieval charm and Mediterranean vibe well together. Dubrovnik looks unbelievably vibrant and every angle of the town is picturesque–it’s no wonder the island served as King’s Landing for HBO’s hit series Game of Thrones. Star Wars Episode IX also filmed in the Old Town square. If Hollywood can’t get enough of Croatia, we’re sure you’d love it, too! To see Dubrovnik from an aerial view, we recommend you to take a cable car ride.
7. Transylvania, Romania
Of course, we are saving the best for last. Transylvania is probably the most offbeat destination in Europe one can think of. Famed by the famous fictional vampire Count Dracula (Sorry, Edward Cullen), Transylvania boasts gothic architecture, enchanting forests, and fascinating folklore that continue to attract tourists from all over the world. Dark legends aside, this Romanian region offers an idyllic retreat to visitors with its gorgeous scenery, colorful buildings, and thermal spas. For the best areas to stay, we recommend Old Town Cluj-Napoca and Sighisoara.
Ready to pack your bags to see these hidden gems in Europe? Let’s plan this trip together! From booking flexible flight and accommodations, securing travel documents, to completing your itinerary, your Viyahe travel assistant will be there every step of your journey. Chat on the Viyahe app today to get started.