Unique Places to Visit in Europe – Europe Bucket List Destinations

Unique Places To Visit In Europe

The continent of Europe has some of the most beautiful places and this is a list of some of the most unique places to visit in Europe.

Unique Places To Visit In Europe

The continent of Europe is indeed the stuff that dreams are made of. While its cities and towns are wrapped in an old-world charm which is so endearing, there are so many other gems of Europe scattered across the countries that constitute Europe. There is so much to see and experience in Europe, that probably a lifetime would not be sufficient. Our tryst with Europe has been limited to exploring parts of France, mainly Paris; Switzerland which enchanted with its fairy-tale landscapes; Florence, Rome, Pisa, and Venice in Italy.

But there is so much more to explore. In our quest to ferret out some of the unique places to visit in Europe, we asked suggestions from those who have travelled widely in Europe and they came up with some amazing suggestions which will all go down in our dream bucket list of the best-hidden gems in Europe. Here we share the suggestions for some of the best offbeat destinations in Europe.

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Unique Places to Visit in Europe – Europe Bucket List Destinations

The mesmerizing map of Europe embraces within its contours some of the most beautiful and offbeat European destinations. The beautiful countries in Europe are home to places that are truly the dreams of millions of travellers around the world. Read on to get a glimpse of places, many of them known and many of them unsung and pristine, waiting to be explored.

Uster, Switzerland

Unique Places To Visit In Europe - Uster
Uster

The beauty of Switzerland lies in the fact that you are sure to come across a beautiful surprise around every bend in the road. A small village with its clock tower leaves you hypnotized while the never-ending green pastures seem to stretch till the snow-clad mountains. Every small town seems to have sprung out of a fairy tale. One such small town that completely enchanted us was Uster which is located about 21 kilometres from Zurich in Switzerland.

The small and yet modern town is embellished with a beautiful garden and tranquil lakes. Colourful and quaint houses skirt the roads and walking around the town is a pleasurable experience in itself. One of the most interesting sights of Uster is a medieval castle that stands on a hillock that overlooks the town. A hike to the castle is a lovely experience, as you pass through emerald-green pastures with the famed Swiss cows grazing nonchalantly.

The castle is believed to have been built in 1200 AD and has an imposing tower. An early morning stroll to the castle is a lovely experience and so is an evening walk which enables one to watch a glorious sunset from atop the hill. Uster is surely one of the unique places to visit in Europe and can also be called as one of the offbeat places to visit in Europe.

Lecce, Italy | Unique Places to Visit in Europe

Marek Bron from Indie Traveller

Lecce Italy
Lecce, Italy

Only in a country that has such world-famous destinations like Rome, Venice, or Florence could an incredible city like Lecce at all be overlooked. And yet, this ancient city in southern Italy feels well rather the beaten track, despite being home to numerous Ancient Roman and Baroque monuments.

Once founded by Messapians, Lecce is located in the region of Puglia, also known as the heel of Italy’s ‘boot’. The surrounding area is famed for its Lecce stone, a particular type of limestone, with which much of the old centre was constructed. What’s so great about Lecce is that it’s filled with churches, cathedrals, arches, and even an ancient amphitheatre, but without any of the crowds. It’s a city where you can truly experience the romance of Italy and still find yourself mostly among Italians. Don’t miss the typical Pugliese pasta dishes which are unique to this place, especially the Orecchiette (or “little ears”).

Lecce is also a 20-minute drive from the underrated Adriatic coast — the same waters as Croatia, but where the beaches can be all to yourself. The countryside surrounding Lecce is known for its unique and typical conical dry-stone houses called Trulli, once used by farmers as storehouses.

A visit to Lecce is not complete without making a stop at the Museo Faggiano. This unique little museum was started by accident by several brothers, who were actually remodelling a building to start a restaurant, but then stumbled on layer upon layer of ancient history below the floors. They kept digging, finding hidden basements and tunnels, and recovering a treasure trove of artefacts belonging to Franciscan Nuns, Templar Knights, and ancient Romans. The brothers clearly love to tell their story and how fate turned them into amateur archaeologists.

While Lecce may not have once been home to Leonardo Davinci like Florence or been the beating heart of the Roman Empire like Rome, if you’re looking for somewhere unique to go in Italy, then one of the unique places to visit in Europe is surely Lecce, be sure to go before the secret is out!

Fuente de Piedra, Spain | Unique Places to Visit in Europe

Joanna from Andalucia in My Pocket

Fuente de piedra
Fuente de Piedra, Spain

Fuente de Piedra is an off the beaten path destination in Spain, a small corner of paradise for bird lovers. The lagoon in Fuente de Piedra is a protected natural park because of the number of bird species that come here annually during the breeding season. No matter which time of the year you go to Fuente de Piedra, there will be species of birds to observe. Among the 170 different ones, there are migratory birds, winter birds, and summer birds.

The most famous bird that comes to Fuente de Piedra each year, for the perfect breeding conditions, is the pink flamingo. Between February and May, almost 30,000 pink flamingos gather on the lagoon of Fuente de Piedra and lay eggs which they incubate for approximately a month. By the end of May, around 15,000 new chicks take over the shallow waters of the lagoon. This is the perfect time to visit, to observe both the parents and the chicks, and the interaction between them.

If you would like to learn more about birds but don’t have the proper equipment, the visitors centre at Fuente de Piedra lagoon organizes daily tours in which they provide access to binoculars and telescopes. As the lagoon is a protected area, you can’t approach the shores, so binoculars are essential in order to see the flamingos and the other birds around.

Fuente de Piedra is a village around an hour’s drive from Malaga, easy to access both by driving and by public transport. There are not many options on where to spend the night in the village, but the nearby city of Antequera has plenty of hotels and family-run B&Bs. For an off the beaten path experience, however, having lunch in the village of Fuente de Piedra is recommended. The village is one of the unique places to visit in Europe and there are not many tourists coming here, the restaurants cater mostly to locals, so you will have the chance to try delicious local dishes such as the Porra Antequera, a refreshing cold soup based on tomatoes and crusty bread.

Sao Miguel Azores, Portugal | Unique Places to Visit in Europe

Atiba & Ilse from Digital Travel Couple

boca-do-inferno-viewpoint-azores
Sao Miguel Azores, Portugal

Sao Miguel island is part of the Azores in Portugal, a group of lovely green Portuguese volcanic islands in the mid-Atlantic ocean. The spectacular landscapes, waterfalls, fishing villages, green pastures, hot springs, beautiful flowers, and options for whale watching, surfing, and hiking make Sao Miguel one of the most diverse and unique islands to visit in Europe.

Best things to do Sao Miguel island

Visit Tea Plantation Cha Gorreana
Cha Gorreana is Europe’s oldest and currently only remaining tea plantation. You can explore the endless tea fields by foot and get a tour through the tea factory which is free of charge. Don’t forget to drink a cup of tea in the restaurant, it’s delicious!

Enjoy the beautiful viewpoints on the island
There are a few amazing viewpoints on the island which you have to see! Boca do Inferno, Vista do Rei and Fogo lake is all amazing viewpoints overlooking different massive volcanic calderas and crater lakes. Luckily there is no long, exhausting hike involved to get to these spots!

Hike to the waterfalls
Sao Miguel has some beautiful waterfalls to explore during a short hike. For Ribeira dos Caldeiros waterfall you don’t even have to hike as it’s located right next to the main road. Other waterfalls worth to explore are Salta da Farinha waterfall and Salto do Cabrito waterfall.

Go whale watching
Whale watching on Sao Miguel island is a beautiful experience if you go in the right season of course! There are 24 species of dolphins and whales that you can see around the islands of the Azores. The best time to spot whales is around spring and summer (April, May, June, and July).

Where to stay on Sao Miguel island
Sao Miguel island is up to 40 miles (65 km) long and 9 miles (15 km) wide which makes it easy to get around with a rental car. So during your time on Sao Miguel island, you can stay at one central place in Ponta Delgada, or move around to different corners and accommodations on the island. It’s easy to book a nice accommodation or bungalow in nature via Airbnb for example, while most hotels are only located in the main city Ponta Delgada.

What to eat when visiting Sao Miguel island
The typical dish from the Azores is called ‘Cozido’ which is a delicious stew of meat and vegetables sealed in a pot. In Furnas, a small town on the east side of the island, are many natural calderas, or geysers where they place these pots into the ground early morning where they stew throughout the day. You will see steam billowing up from the ground and hot water bubbling up through each hole in the ground which is interesting to see when you visit Furnas. You can’t miss this dish when visiting Sao Miguel!It is surely one of the unique places to visit in Europe.

Asinara National Park, Sardinia | Unique Places to Visit in Europe

Claudia Tavani from Strictly Sardinia

Asinara National Park
Asinara National Park, Sardinia

If you are looking for a truly unique place to visit in Europe, make it a point to go to Asinara, a small island off the north coast of Sardinia. Home to some of the best beaches in Sardinia, this is hardly the only reason you should visit.

Declared a National Park in 2002, Asinara has been a prison and a leper colony for more than 120 years. During that time, nobody lived on the island other than the prisoners and the prison guards. This has helped in the conservation efforts: the environment and the wildlife in Asinara are pristine and even now access to some parts of the island and/or fishing off its coast is only allowed for research purposes – there are beaches where Caretta caretta turtles lay their eggs and those are not accessible at all.

At the moment, nobody other than rangers live on the island, and there are just a hostel, a boutique hotel, a couple of restaurants, and a coffee shop.

Most people visit Asinara on day trips from either Stintino or Porto Torres, but it’s best to spend a few days there to take in all that it has to offer. Make sure to hike a few of the trails – the one to the lighthouse is the most challenging yet the most rewarding one; enjoy the beaches (Cala Sabina is easily accessible on a panoramic trail departing right outside the hostel) and the historic places, which obviously include the prisons (there are 10 scattered around the island), the main one in Cala d’Oliva, where mafia bosses Toto Riina and Bernardo Provenzano were kept.

If you rent e-bikes or e-golf carts you get to see even more. At every stop, you’ll be able to spot the donkeys – including the albino ones – that the island is famous for. Spend the night there and the only noise you’ll hear is that of donkeys and the wind.

You can reach Asinara by boat from Porto Torres (90 minutes) or Stintino (30 minutes). If you intend to sleep there, make sure to book in advance. The boutique hotel – La Locanda del Parco – is on booking and a much better place to stay. It also serves delicious seafood meals.

Pristine Asinara is truly one of the unique places to visit in Europe.

Kutna Hora, Czech Republic | Unique Places to Visit in Europe

Jo Williams of Lost Wanders

Kutna Hora, Czech Republic
Kutna Hora, Czech Republic

Kutna Hora is a little under an hour away from the capital of the Czech Republic, Prague. It is located in the region of Central Bohemia, one of the longest standing provinces in the Germanic world. Kutna Hora is famous for its Sedlec Ossuary which contains the remains of around 40,000 souls. In the 12th century, the Abbot of Kutna Hora brought back holy soil from Golgotha, the burial place of Jesus. Making this an extremely desirable place to be laid to rest. So much so that in the early 16th century the buried remains were dug up in order to make room for new tenants.

The bones were organized into some truly bizarre arrangements including a coat of arms and a chandelier made from every single bone in the human body. Though it falls on the side of dark tourism, as a burial site most of the residents chose to be here, so there is a strange sense of peace when visiting Kutna Hora. It’s surely one of the most unique places to visit in Europe.

Tickets are available from the nearby tourist information centre for 90CZK, cash or card. Getting here from Prague takes an hour by road or train (100CZK one way), or 1 hour 40 by bus (70CZK). Find the best ways of getting around in Europe with these top 10 Apps. Make sure not to miss the UNESCO-listed Cathedral of Our Lady while visiting Kutna Hora from Prague. Famous for its Baroque and Gothic architecture, head up the spiral staircase for the best views of the interior. You can get a combined ticket with the Sedlec Ossuary from the information centre.

Stay in the capital and do Kutna Hora as a day trip from Prague or enjoy a more relaxed side to the Czech Republic with a local hotel. Down a quaint cobblestone street in the centre is Café Pension Havlicek, a cafe with comfortable rooms and the perfect place to spend a night or two. Eat delicious traditional Czech cuisine at Staročeská Restaurace V Ruthardce, a casual and budget-friendly place to eat in Kutna Hora.

Isle of Islay, Scotland | Unique Places to Visit in Europe

Kathi from Watch Me See

Isle of Islay, Scotland - Flowers near Bruichladdich - Photo by Kathi Kamleitner
Isle of Islay, Scotland

The Scottish Isle of Islay is famous around the world for its characteristic peated whiskys – the kind that tastes like a smoky bonfire, but on a good way! However, it’s not just a great destination for whisky-lovers – there are many other reasons why Islay is one of the best Scottish islands to visit and one of the unique places to visit in Europe. It is indeed one of the loveliest places to visit in Northern Europe.

Islay is a large island off the west coast of Scotland that offers a great variety of landscapes and things to do. You could spend a week here and see a little bit of everything Scotland is famous for. Apart from its 9 (!) whisky distilleries, which are all open for tours and tastings, Islay is renowned for its pristine beaches, interesting history, and several archaeological sites.

Islay is big on local produce. Whisky is used in many traditional Scottish dishes here, from porridge in the morning to sweet desserts at night. While restaurant choices on the island are not endless, the quality of food is very high – particularly at Peatzeria in Bowmore, 18 Restaurant at the Machrie Hotel and the Old Kiln Cafe at Ardbeg Distillery.

History buffs will appreciate the artistically carved Kildalton Cross from the 8th century, the stunning seaside ruins of Dunyvaig Castle, and the archaeological site at Finlaggan. While outdoor enthusiasts can choose from a variety of hiking trails across the peaty moorlands, along the coast and around serene freshwater lochs.

Islay has some of the most stunning beaches on the west coast with crystal clear water, long stretches of sand, and remote bays. The best way to explore this beautiful coastline is either on foot, in a sea kayak (under guidance), or by hiring fat bikes, which are excellent to ride on the sand.

Because of its shape and size, it makes sense to spend a few days exploring the south half of Islay and a few days in the north. Port Ellen, Bowmore, and Port Charlotte are popular places to stay and there is a plethora of traditional B&Bs and self-catering cottages available on the island. If possible, squeeze in a day trip to the neighbouring Isle of Jura, which is a complete contrast to Islay – more mountainous, fewer villages, and a completely different style of whisky.

While Islay is particularly popular among fans of Scottish whisky, the island unique for so many other reasons and an excellent choice for an island getaway in Scotland.

Isles of Scilly, England | Unique Places to Visit in Europe

Annabel Kirk from Smudged Postcard

Great Bay, Isles of Scilly
Isles of Scilly, England

The Isles of Scilly are a secret archipelago hidden away off the southwest coast of England. To reach the islands, visitors must first travel to western England and then take either a light aircraft, helicopter or ferry. It’s worth the journey. The Scilly Isles are made up of five inhabited islands and some 140 others.

The main island of St Mary’s has the best infrastructure: several roads, plenty of shops and restaurants. There’s also a church, a castle, and some ancient ruins to explore. However, the main reason for visiting is the empty beaches. Even in the height of summer, the Isles of Scilly are never busy and visitors can find a beach just for themselves. It is truly one of the unique places to visit in Europe.

For those looking for luxury, the island of Tresco is the best bet. This private island features a handful of upmarket villas and hotels along with some excellent dining options. The Sea Garden Cottages are a particularly appealing place to stay while the Ruin Beach café is a great spot for lunch. Tresco is also home to the world-famous Abbey Gardens. Visitors preferring a spot of solitude should head to the tiny isles of Bryher and St Agnes. While the fifth island, St Martin, is the place to go for those incredible Caribbean-Esque beaches which the Scillies are famed for.

There are inter-island boats that ferry visitors on day trips across the archipelago. Water sports are popular pursuits on the Scilly Isles: stand up paddleboarding, swimming with seals, and kayaking. Cars cannot be brought to the islands so most visitors explore on foot or by bike. On the main island of St Mary’s, there are golf buggies for visitors who prefer not to walk too far.

Above all, come to the Scilly Isles for a family holiday, the islands are safe and perfect for children to enjoy. Outside of the peak travel months, the islands are great for couples looking for a quiet holiday, away from the hustle and bustle of modern life.

Isle of Skye, Scotland | Unique Places to Visit in Europe

Jordan Adkins from Inspired By Maps

Isle Of Skye
Isle of Skye, Scotland

The mythical Isle of Skye is undoubtedly one of the most unique places to visit in Europe. Titled ‘cloud island’ in Old Norse, the Isle of Skye is the second-largest of the Scottish island but unquestionably the most beautiful.

A jumbled mess of remote moors, serrated mountain peaks, precipitous sea cliffs, wide-open landscapes and mysterious fairy glens – the Isle of Skye is, in a word, otherworldly.

Most travellers explore Skye from a base at one of the small villages on the Isle – Portree, Dunvegan, or Trotternish. However, if you are visiting with a car (which you should be), there are plenty of options for more secluded camping. One top tip would also be to visit outside of winter to escape the peak tourist season – the uniqueness of this landscape has resulted in crowds at many sites. Winter here is still utterly transcendent. The cloudy and rain is quintessential Scotland, which only adds to Skye’s charm.

The Old Man Of Storr is one of the most popular hikes on the island. It would be best if you didn’t skip this magnificent pinnacle, but also try to visit quieter places like The Fairy Glen, the dinosaur footprints At Staffin Beach or the Neist Point Lighthouse. Exploring off-the-beaten-track is part of what makes Skye so enjoyable, so don’t be afraid to get lost and make your own discoveries. While the remarkable scenery is the biggest drawcard, there is plenty of quaint pubs, curious museums, and a few castles to investigate when the mist sets in. Not to mention the recent flourishing of art galleries from the many creatives who have been inspired by this extraordinary landscape and decided to make Skye their home. All these contribute to the charm of the place making it one of the unique places to visit in Europe.

The contemporary Storr apartments on the edge of Storr Lochs are the best places to stay and are only a five-minute drive from the adorable village of Portree. In terms of food, Skye is not the most gastronomically innovative – but the Scottish comfort food served in the rustic cottage-style Dulse and Brose is worth a mention. The fish-stew, in particular, is a lifesaver after a long day in the bracing winds of Skye.

Laodicea on the Lycus, Denizli, Turkey | Unique Places to Visit in Europe

Vaibhav Mehta from The Wandering Vegetable

The ancient city of Laodicea is one of the most unique places to visit in Europe
Laodicea on the Lycus, Denizli, Turkey

Located 6 km north of Denizli and built on the river Lycus, is the ancient city of Laodicea in Turkey. Laodicea was originally called Diospolis or “The City of Zeus”, and was later named Rhodes. This Hellenistic city was established in 263 BC by Antiochus II after the death of Alexander the Great. It is situated on a hill between the narrow valleys of the rivers Asopus and Caprus, which are also the tributaries of the river Lycus. Its exclusivity coupled with the rich history associated with the place makes it a must-visit in your Turkey itinerary and one of the unique places to visit in Europe.

The ancient city is unique as firstly, it has significant importance in Biblical history. St. John, in the final book of the New Testament ie. the Book of Revelation, mentioned Laodicea as one of the Seven Churches of Asia. Secondly, the place is not known to many tourists and underrated when compared to the more popular places like Pamukkale and Hierapolis.

Walking through the streets of this ancient city, you are transported to the Greek times and can visualize what the place must have been like in the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC. The major attractions in the ancient archaeological city are the Church of Laodicea, the Western Baths, Temple A, the stadium of Laodicea, and the Western Theatre. From some spots, you can even enjoy views of the paradisiacal travertines and the ancient city of Hierapolis. There are walking trails with scattered signboards that guide you to various important points in the city.

The city is spread over 5 square kilometres and some parts of it are still being excavated. So don’t be surprised if you see people from the archaeological department at work, digging and excavating remains from this magnificent city. You can get to Laodicea by boarding a direct minibus or “dolmus” (in Turkish) from the Denizli bus station. Every 20 minutes, buses depart from the station to Laodicea, Pamukkale, and Karahayit.

You can also get there in a private car. There are restrooms and a cafeteria near the parking area. You can grab some munchies or enjoy a coffee at the cafe. Remember to stock some water as you can get thirsty while exploring this big city and there aren’t any separate food stalls anywhere on the site.

The entrance fee per person is 15 Turkish Lira (2.2 USD). Early morning would be the best time to visit the site as you don’t want to be walking when the sun’s beating down with all its fury. The best places to stay around the ancient city are the Akhan Kervansaray Hotel and Park Dedeman Denizli hotel. Entry to the site’s free if you have a 7-day Aegean Museums pass.

Manarola, Italy | Unique Places to Visit in Europe

Ruma Dey Baidya from The Holiday Story

Unique places in Europe - Manarola Italy
Manarola, Italy

Manarola is a small and beautiful town in Liguria, north Italy. It is the second smallest town in Cinque Terre with a population of 354. Though this place is small it is very lively, charming and frequently visited by tourists.

The place is built on a rock which is 70 meters above the sea level. Though it lacks the real beach, the natural pools are ideal for swimming. Here the houses are multi-coloured and facing the sea creates a pleasing view. The most convenient transport to reach here is by train. Take a train from Rome to La Spezia. From there take another local train that goes to Manarola. It nearly 4 hours journey. After reaching there, a tunnel to reach the centre of the village.

The best time to visit is from 8th December till the end of January. Spend your Christmas grandly here. During this period they celebrate the biggest lighted nativity in the world. You can also go in August when they perform the San Lorenzo Feast.

Sciacchetra, the local sweet wine is famous here. Do surely taste it. Never miss seeing the Church of San Lorenzo and the bell tower which is at the top of Manarola. It was built in 1338 based on Gothic Ligurian Style. It acts as a religious and community interaction venue.. The pyramid peak of the church’s bell tower, provide a signal to the pirates. To have an overview of the whole village make a way to Punta Bonfiglio. You can take your children to Parco Giochi which is a few steps up from this point. It’s a beautiful playground and the children will have real fun. The park is similar to Nandan Pahar in Deoghar.

Make sure to taste some seafood from Trattoria dal Billy. There are guesthouses to stay. Amanarola, San Giorgio, Luxury sea view apartment, Arpaiu are few well-rated guesthouses. Also, take a visit to Riomaggiore which is connected via lover’s lane. This path is carved in rock and also a hiking trail and it takes nearly 5 hours.

Triglav National Park, Slovenia | Unique Places to Visit in Europe

Heather Cole from Conversant Traveller

Unique places in Europe - Triglav National Park Slovenia
Triglav National Park, Slovenia

The Triglav National Park is one of the most beautiful parts of the Julian Alps in Slovenia, yet compared to its mountainous counterparts elsewhere in Europe, these peaks and passes are little visited and well off the beaten tourist trail. Triglav is the only national park in Slovenia and boasts spectacular views at every turn. Most visitors will enter the park from Bled, stopping beside the emerald waters of Lake Jasna for a picnic and a photo opportunity with the monument to a legendary golden-horned chamois who once reigned over this region.

One of the highlights of Triglav National Park is driving up Vršič Pass which, with its steep hairpin bends, offers tremendous alpine views on all sides. About half-way up is a small wooden chapel with intricate decoration, constructed by Russian prisoners during the First World War as a memorial to their fallen comrades. Whilst it’s possible to visit Triglav in a day trip from Bled, where there is an incredible choice of hotel accommodation and restaurants serving local and international cuisine, most visitors like to spend a few nights inside the park, either in Bovec or Kobarid, which gives easy access to most areas of the park, including the stunning Soča Valley which is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts.

Here the vibrantly coloured waters of the river plunge through wild ravines and past traditional villages, making it a great place for water sports such as canoeing and kayaking. The area has an abundance of hiking trails too, including up to Kozjak waterfall which is considered to be the most beautiful cascade in the country, as well as up to the source of the Soča River itself.

During winter the snow-covered mountain slopes are perfect for plunging through the powder without the crowds at the world-class Kranjska Gora ski centre, on the border with Italy and Austria. Finally, before returning to Bled, the pristine Lake Bohinj is another peaceful and picturesque place to explore and is the largest permanent lake in Slovenia. Here, livestock grazes in summer pastures whilst visitors ascend the peaks by cable car to admire the 360-degree panoramas. It really is one of the most beautiful yet relatively undiscovered parts of Europe and one of the unique places to visit in Europe.

Dinant, Belgium | Unique Places to Visit in Europe

Stéphanie from Bey Of Travel

Unique places to visit in Europe - Dinant
Dinant, Belgium

Dinant is, without doubt, one of Belgium’s most hidden gems. One of the most enchanting places to visit in Western Europe. Historically speaking, its strategic location on the water and along the trade routes Cologne – Paris and Brussels – Luxembourg, supported the development of this charming town. Dinant is located in the French-speaking municipality of Namur and is known for its colourful scenery. Enthusiasts for culture, adventure, and or nature come here to enjoy an unforgettable city trip.

Top things to in Dinant

The citadel is literally and figuratively speaking the highlight of Dinant. A cable car takes you up from the Meuse dock but it is actually more fun to take the old stairs. You are in for a treat once conquered the 408 pieces in total. Because, as soon as you are at a height of a hundred meters above the city, the citadel provides you with a breathtaking view out over the surroundings and the river. Fun fact, the fortress has been besieged seventeen times over the last centuries!

Antoine Joseph Sax, better known as Adolphe Sax or the inventor of the saxophone was born in 1814 in the centre of the small town. On the bridge over the Meuse, artistic saxophones remind the visitors of Dinant’s relationship with this musical instrument. La Maison de Monsieur Sax, the home of Mr Sax, is now located where his former birthplace was. Here the visitor is taken on a journey through the life and work of the famous inventor.

Of course, you will want to take a boat trip on the Meuse during your visit to Dinant. In the vicinity of Dinant, the Meuse valley is probably at its best with its fortresses, castles, and many steep cliffs, which are loved by rock climbers from all around the country. Back in the town, you will top off the day with a glass of Leffe – the beer of the city. Beer lovers should definitely visit La Maison de Leffe. This museum can be found in an old monastery and you can walk in without a reservation. The museum tells the story of 8 centuries of beer history and the entrance fee for an adult is 7 euros, which includes the visit to La Maison de Leffe, a tasting and a small gift.

The castle of Vêves is located on an enormous rock and is one of the most beautiful castles in Belgium. Therefore, a visit to this beautiful castle cannot be left out on your to-do list.

Sports fanatics will not be bored for a second in Dinant neither. You can go kayaking on the Lesse. You have the choice between a trip of 12 or 21 km. Your route is graced by untouched forests, castles, impressive rocks, and cheerful stone beaches. And let us not forget the two waterfalls. You will definitely have a splendid day!

Spend the night in Dinant at hotel La Merveilleuse, a unique cloister, stylishly refurbished near the city centre. In addition to regular hotel rooms, they also have apartments for the whole family. The hotel has its own spa and restaurant and is happy to help you book your day trips.

Mons, Belgium | Unique Places to Visit in Europe

Bhushavali from My Travelogue by Bhushavali

Unique Places To Visit In Europe - Mons
Mons, Belgium

Mons is one of the under-rated destinations in Belgium. It is located in the Wallonia region of Belgium and it won the title of Cultural Capital of Europe in 2015. It is totally worth its title, with 4 of the 13 UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Belgium, with 2 events that are recognized by UNESCO – it is indeed a heritage hub.

To begin with, within the city is the Belfry. This looks very unique and perhaps the only belfry built with Baroque architecture. So much that a poet described it as an onion-shaped tower! The town also has the Mundaneum which is called ‘Paper Google’! It was the predecessor of the concept of Google – a search engine for books!

In the outskirts of Mons, is Spiennes which has Neolithic Flint mines. As the name says, these were the mines excavated by prehistoric humans in new stone-age for flints. It’s an underground labyrinth and today it is possible to go down into these caves with a ladder and see it for ourselves!

Historically, Belgium was an important coal-mining centre and today 4 of the many coal mines here are listed under UNESCO. 2 of those 4 are very close to Mons – Grand Hornu and Bois du Luc. Grand Hornu is known for its Industrial Paternalism where the chief of the industry is more like a father-figure for the employees. Bois du Luc is known more for its community living where the employees live together, making a village, as a community!

Yet another UNESCO site here is a series of 4 boat lifts on Canal du Centre. While these are still functional, today they are replaced by Strepy Thieu, which is currently Europe’s biggest boat-lift. Boating is available to go on the canal through the 4 boat-lifts and see the Strepy Thieu as well.

Mons city itself has quite a bit of places to see including a town-hall, an underground street, a hidden garden, a lot of murals, and more. Mons is located about 1hr away from Brussels by trains. Being a city, there are several hotels to suit all budgets.

Ruin Bars, Budapest, Hungary | Unique Places to Visit in Europe

Charlotte Ashby from Simply Charlotte

Unique Places To Visit In Europe - Ruin bars Budapest
Ruin Bars, Budapest, Hungary

There are many reasons why you should visit Budapest, which is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Eastern Europe. However, it is very famous for its ‘ruin bars’ which are open all day and night for both food and drinks. The ruin bars are built in the Old Jewish Quarter in the ruins of abandoned buildings. These are extremely unique and are a must-see when passing through Budapest.

The most famous ruin bar in Budapest is Szimpla Kert which opened in 2002. Visiting in the evening would be recommended as there are live music and an excellent atmosphere. The ruin bar is across two floors which are split into themed sections. There are wine bars, shisha bars, and general bars amongst these sections. Some sections are outside and some are inside. The raw brick walls are covered in artistic graffiti. There are bikes, fairy lights, street signs, disco balls, and many other ‘random’ things hanging from the ceiling. It is different and is full of character. It is also very cheap! Even if you are not going for a drink, it is worth going to have a look around. It has the same feel on a weeknight and a weekend. That is why it is so special!

The Old Jewish Quarter is where most of the nightlife takes place, so staying here or nearby would be ideal. There are also lots of restaurants and cafes within the Jewish Quarter which is convenient before an evening out. The different restaurants offer local cuisines as well as British/American alternatives such as a burger and chips. The service is always good and normally quite quick in these restaurants as they tend to be fairly small.

Some other ruin bars include Instant & Fogas Haz and Mazel Tov. Mazel Tov is more upscale and maybe more enjoyable than most ruin bars for those that are slightly older or wanting a more sophisticated atmosphere. Again, these are both located in District 7 as is Szimpla Kert. Before visiting a ruin bar, be sure to have some cash handy. You will find that some bars do not accept cards or that it is quicker to pay with cash. There are many ATMs nearby.

You must see the ruin bars when passing through Budapest as that is one of the reasons it is so famous, making it one of the unique places to visit in Europe.

Sighisoara Romania | Unique Places to Visit in Europe

Arnav Mathur from Eat | Travel | Live | Repeat 

Unique Places To Visit In Europe - Sighisoara
Sighisoara Romania

If there’s one place I would highly recommend anyone to have on their bucket list when visiting Romania, is Sighisoara, which not only is one a World Heritage Site declared by UNESCO but is also Europe’s most well preserved and beautiful medieval towns.

Dating back to the 1100s, Sighisoara, a fairy tale colourful town in the Transylvania region of Romania, is the birthplace of Vlad Tepes or Vlad The Impaler, popularly referred to as Count Dracula.

While the popular sights of attractions include the Clock Tower, the Scholars Stairs, the Citadel Towers, the famous Sighisoara Citadel and the Citadel square, and not to forget, the house which was the birthplace of Vlad Tepes, which has now been renovated into a restaurant and a museum, that you can visit, the best thing one can do in Sighisoara is wander through the cobblestone streets, which are lined with pastel-coloured buildings.

Not only will you find that a lot of these colourful buildings have been renovated into AirBnB’s and homestays, however, if you happen to visit in the summers, you will also find flowers in full bloom everywhere.

A highly recommended experience will be to stay for the night in one of the many boutique BnB’s such as Crama La Teo Sighisoara, which also happens to have an inhouse cellar and distillery. Not only will this give you plenty of time to capture the different shades of Sighisoara through your lens, but also the chance to enjoy trying out the locally produced palinka, in a carefree manner. Because it will never be just one shot of Palinka!

Hel, Poland | Unique Places to Visit in Europe

Anna from Liquid Traveling

 Unique Places To Visit In Europe - Hel Poland
Hel, Poland

Hel is a peninsula in the North of Poland. It’s actually a thin stripe of land edging into the Baltic Sea with Pucka Bay on one side and the open sea on the other. Though it should not be confused with Hell (a bit cold for that anyway), there is a bus line number 666 here.

This place has a really rich history and culture. It is located in the Kashubia region that has its own language (very different from Polish).

Previously mostly home to fishermen and seal hunters, Hel started to attract tourists in the early 1900s but the two world wars impeded it drastically. It’s strategic military importance meant that it was fiercely defended by the Polish marines at the beginning of the 2nd WW in 1939 (the Battle of Hel) and it was also one of the last German strongholds to capitulate in 19545.

Nowadays, Hel is thriving in the summer attracting lots of people seeking both relaxation on the beach or more active ways of spending their holidays. The peninsula is a perfect spot for watersport lovers. On a windy day, you’ll find the bay full of colourful sails and kites. There are many schools where you can learn how to surf, kitesurf and windsurf. If you like long stroll on the beach, you can walk for miles and explore white sandy beaches surrounded by dunes and forest. There is also a long bicycle trail from one end of the peninsula to the other. Some other activities that you can do there include visiting the Seal Sanctuary, going on a fishing trip, and mushroom picking in the forest.

Every year in August you can also see and participate in live history reenactments from the 2nd World War depicting events from all over Europe including the D-Day in Normandy.

When you’re in Hel, you should eat fish, especially fresh cod and herring. There are several restaurants where you can eat the typical fried fish but the one that is definitely worth visiting is Śledź i Pasta in Jastarnia. If you’re a fan of beer, try local craft beers – some of them have really cool names like Fisherman, Surfer, etc

Peja, Kosovo | Unique Places to Visit in Europe

Cassie Bailey from Cassie The Hag

Unique Places To Visit In Europe - Peja
Peja, Kosovo

Peja, a small city in Kosovo, is close to the borders of Montenegro and Kosovo, making it a brilliant spot for anyone on a Balkans road trip. In the heart of the mountains, Peja has stunning views and incredibly warm hospitality. It may not have the modern buildings and amenities as some of its Western European counterparts, but the locals here are second to none. The area is also safe and suitable for solo travellers or families.

Peja is best known as a gateway for hiking the Accursed Mountains or visiting the nearby Rugova Canyon. While it’s easiest to get around by car, stunning treks including the beautiful Lake Liqenat hike are also accessible by tour or local bus. This particular half-day hike has stunning views over two glacial lakes as well as gorgeous alpine scenery. Other more strenuous hikes in the area include trekking to Hasan Peak or Halja Peak. It’s also possible to join multi-day Balkans hikes from Peja too. Local guides are happy to help visitors explore the region.

Most travellers come to Peja to see the Rugova Canyon which stretches for 25km and reaches 1000m in depth. Adventurous backpackers can take the ‘Via Ferrata’ rock climbing course or zoom across the canyon in under a minute due to the 700m zipline. For those seeking a more relaxing holiday, it is also possible to view the canyon by car, local tour, or walk.

In Peja itself, it is definitely worth visiting the 13th-century Patriarchate of Peć, which is now declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This working monastery is an important monument in Kosovo and it’s worth paying a small fee to one of the nuns for a tour of the interior. Visoki Decani Monastery is another beautiful historical site nearby. These are some of the reasons that make Peja one of the unique places to visit in Europe.

This city is incredibly cheap, with accommodation options as cheap as 2.5 euros a night (for hostels) and hearty meals at around 4 euros. Alongside many pizza restaurants, it’s a great place to try local Kosovan food, such as Flija (a dish made with batter and cream), Burek (stuffed pastries), or Hajvar for the vegetarians (a dip made of peppers).

Ria Formosa Natural Park, Portugal | Unique Places to Visit in Europe

Deb Pati from The Visa Project

Unique Places To Visit In Europe-Ria Formosa Nationnal Park
Ria Formosa Natural Park, Portugal

While Europe is full of unique places to visit, Ria Formosa Natural Park is probably matchless. Extending along the Algarve coastline, it’s known to be one of Portugal’s seven wonders for all the right reasons.

What makes Ria Formosa so special is actually a combination of many things. It’s an estuary of islands, wetlands, marshes, saltwater, and freshwater lagoons that’s home to a diverse ecosystem of migratory as well as endangered birds, alligators, fiddler crabs, dolphins, and a lot more. Wildlife is probably why it’s most known for.

Add to that the scenic beaches, wetlands, fishermen villages, and a kind of peacefulness that comes with not being overrun by tourists all the time. All this makes it one of the unique places to visit in Europe.

With over five miles of beach, Ilha de Armona is probably the most popular stop in the park. Ilha de Armona also has a lot of bars and shops, as well as a camping site if you wish to stay overnight. There are a few holiday homes as well.

On Ilha de Culatra, you can explore the fishermen villages and learn about the traditional way of life. There is a busy little harbour where you can see fishermen sorting the fish, while seagulls try their luck. There are quite a few bars and small restaurants on this island.

If you are into bird-watching, Ilha da Barreta is the place to be. Pink clouds of flamingos are a regular scene out there. You can also see birds like herons, spoonbills, storks, and plenty of water birds. Being the least developed of all the islands, it has got many secluded beaches as well. The Ria Formosa Natural Park with its natural treasures is truly one of the unique places to visit in Europe.

On Ilha do Farol, you will come by massive lighthouses and pristine beaches of golden sands.

Faro is the nearest airport to Ria Formosa Natural Park, where only a few airlines fly every day. From there you can reach the islands by ferry. Olhão, a town east of Faro, has also frequent ferries running to the islands that take about 30 minutes. Olhão also has a range of hotels and hostels where you can stay.

The fees to enter the park are a mere £2.80, which covers entrance and parking. There are also boat and catamaran tours from Faro to the islands.

In case you are planning to visit Europe and need a visa, here is how to get a Schengen visa.

Meteora, Greece | Unique Places to Visit in Europe

Chrysoula Manika from Athens & Beyond

Unique Places To Visit In Europe-Meteora
Meteora, Greece

The Greek site of Meteora is a bucket-list-worthy destination in that it is quite unlike anywhere else you will visit in the world. While there are a number of destinations with magnificent karst limestone peaks, and others with impressive old monasteries, it is only at Meteora that you will find both combined to make such a magical attraction.

Meteora in Greece is a UNESCO World Heritage Site comprised of six (of an original 24) monasteries that were built on the top of towering rocks of limestone that have been worn away to create majestic natural pillars rising from the land. The Greek Orthodox churches and monasteries were built atop these peaks in order to allow monks and nuns to focus on nature and their relationship with the Divine, and also to symbolize the connection and closeness to God. It’s, therefore, no surprise that Meteora (translating as ‘lofty’ and ‘suspended in the air’) is a breathtakingly beautiful destination.

The site of Meteora is one of many places of importance in the Eastern Orthodox religion but is second only to Mount Athos in the significance it holds. Meteora is, therefore, a place of pilgrimage as well as being a popular tourist attraction, one of the truly unique places to visit in Europe.

Many travelers choose to visit Meteora as part of a tour, which usually allows you to discover 1-3 of the monasteries as well as photographing the site as a whole. However, you may wish to travel independently, perhaps as part of a road trip, to really make the most of your visit. Five out of six of the monasteries are only accessible by climbing the 150-300 steps to reach the remote locations, so you’ll need to have a relatively good level of fitness and a full-day available if you want to explore all sites.

Located between 4 and 5 hours from the capital Meteora is a popular day trip from Athens but it is recommended to stay at least one night so that you can enjoy and explore the site in greater depth. If you do choose to stay overnight, you’ll want to find somewhere in Kalambaka or Kastraki to stay, such as the aptly named Meteora Hotel or the Elena Guesthouse; eating at Paramithi or Panellinion for traditional Greek cuisine.

St. Gallen, Switzerland | Unique Places to Visit in Europe

Indrani Ghose from i Share

St Gallen's Cathedral Switzerland - facade
St. Gallen, Switzerland

St. Gallen or St Gall is a quiet town 86km east of Zurich in Switzerland. For all UNESCO heritage site lovers, this quaint town is a must-visit. It got inscribed to this prestigious list in 1983 for The Abbey precinct with St Gallen Cathedral and Abbey Library. The Cathedral and the library are the striking features of this magnificent architectural complex, a canvas that reflects 12 centuries of continuous activities. The interior is stunning!

But before you visit the cathedral do the following:

Old Town of St Gallen

Take a walking tour in the old town of St Gallen. Vehicles are not allowed in these streets which makes the stroll most enjoyable. The architectural history of the buildings of this Old Town is rich; the details on doors and windows which have names to identify them can leave you stunned.

City Lounge 

Contrasting this is the Red Square City Lounge. Very modern and designed in a unique style; the whole area of City Lounge is covered with a bright red coloured rubberized tennis court coating. There is a living room setting with huge tables, and just by the side of it, a car! This place is a mega-hit with the kids. The whole project is the local municipality’s idea to encourage people to loiter around and chat with each other.

Textile Museum 

St. Gallen is famous for Swiss Textile Industries. Monks of the 15th century were involved in making intricate embroidery and it was a major trade centre. Sadly the World Wars had a devastating effect on the businesses and trade here. The textile museum, which started in 1878, is worth spending an hour. They have a wonderful collection of old textiles, contributions from private collections, and old designs bound in thick fat books.

Where to Stay 

You can cover most of the activities here in a day trip from Zurich. Alternately you can choose to halt here for a day. There is a good range of hotels from one star to five-star ranges. Radisson Blu Hotel St Gallen, a 4-star hotel, is a popular choice.

Where to Eat 

Klosterhof, a Spanish restaurant is a good place with good quality food and another place you catch a bite would be at National, a Swiss Restaurant.

There is a restaurant named Indian Palace which offers quality Indian food.

Segovia, Spain | Unique Places to Visit in Europe

Paula & Andrea from Viajar y Otras Pasiones

Unique Places To Visit In Europe-Segovia
Segovia, Spain

Looking for a day trip from Madrid? Look no further, Segovia has it all! This beautiful town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site from the eighties, is just 96 kilometres away from the Spanish capital city. It is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Southern Europe.

Segovia is full of history and you can see that on its breathtaking monuments. The most famous one is the Roman aqueduct, around 2000 years old and 28 meters tall at his highest point.

If you take a 10 minutes stroll in the Calle Real, the main street in Segovia, you will soon see La Judería, the old Jewish quarter, which is small but cute. Just next to this area, there is the main square (Plaza Mayor) where you can find the town hall, the local theatre, and the Segovia Cathedral, built in gothic style and one of the most impressive temples in Spain.

Another place you can’t miss in Segovia is the Alcázar, a medieval fortress that is said to have inspired even Walt Disney! making Segovia one of the unique places to visit in Europe.

In Segovia, as well, you can taste the traditional Castilian food, simple but filling and very, very tasty. The most traditional dishes there are Judiones (white beans stew), roast lamb and, of course, the big star in any Segovian restaurant: Cochinillo Segoviano, which is crispy on the outside and tender inside.

Segovia is a small town, so it is possible to visit the main sights in only one day. However, if you want to stay there during the night, try to find a hotel in the city centre so you will be able to go everywhere on foot.

If you need more reasons to visit Segovia during your Spanish trip, just note that you can get there very easily from Madrid: there are direct buses that only take an hour, while the high-speed train (AVE), that is a bit more expensive, will bring you there in less than 30 minutes!

Just don’t forget your camera, comfy shoes (you will find some light hills) and, if you visit Segovia during the winter, warm clothes.

Sveti Stefan, Montenegro | Unique Places to Visit in Europe

Hadas Aharon from The Fashion Matters

Unique Places To Visit In Europe-Montenegro
Sveti Stefan, Montenegro

Sveti Stefan is a small islet which has been converted to an upscale luxury hotel, located on the coast of the Adriatic Sea in Montenegro. Sveti Stefan is Montenegro’s most popular tourist attraction due to its unique landscape; A fortified island with old structures and red roofs. A narrow path is connecting the islet to the mainland and the beautiful beach, allowing walking access to the hotel’s visitors. The islet also has a rich history; In the 15th century it has been a fishing village and in 1960 it became an old town with narrow streets. Even though the islet is now a luxury resort, the old town has remained untouched.

Nowadays, wealthy visitors are attracted to the resort’s idyllic beaches and the scenery, which is one of a kind in the Mediterranean. The luxury resort, called Aman Sveti Stefan, is composed of the fortified islet on one side and of Villa Minocer on the mainland. Access to the islet is reserved for hotel guests or restaurant diners only. However, even if you are not staying at the resort Sveti Stefan is still worth a visit because the best view of the islet is enjoyed from afar. Indeed, on the way to the islet, it is recommended to stop at the viewpoint to take pictures of Sveti Stefan from above before continuing to the islet.

Sveti Stefan is best accessible with a car although it is also possible to access it via a bus. If you’re wondering about accommodation but can’t afford the high price tag of the resort on the islet, it is recommended to seek accommodation in Budva which is not too far away. Tourists should also come prepared to enjoy the beautiful beach that overlooks Sveti Stefan. If budget is not an issue, Aman Sveti Stefan offers several gourmet dining options. It is a great solution for those who want to enter the islet without staying at the hotel. Alternatively, there are several restaurants located at the beach on the mainland which are more affordable.

The unique Sveti Stefan is where luxury meets history in an unusual landscape. It is one of the unique places to visit in Europe. The exclusive resort provides the perfect environment to experience the fortified historic islet with luxury and comfort. However, it can equally be appreciated from the mainland. The breathtaking views combined with the sea, the forest, and the historic stunning architecture make it worth a visit.

Uvac Canyon, Serbia | Unique Places to Visit in Europe

Mark Anderson from Techiezer

Unique Places To Visit In Europe-Uvac Canal
Uvac Canyon, Serbia

The river Uvac flows in the central part of Serbia between the mountains Zlatar and Zlatibor. It is recognizable by its beautiful canyon and the winding riverbed, which is a trademark of Serbia. The total length is 120 kilometres and on its course, there are 3 dams as well as three artificial beautiful lakes “Zlatarsko”, “Sjenicko” and “Radoinjsko” lakes.

The area around Uvac is a Special nature reserve of the first category, which contains some rare plants and animals. It is the habitat of the “Griffon Vulture”, a famous bird of prey.

The area is surrounded by beautiful mountains such as Zlatibor, Zlatar, and Tara. For that reason, it offers visitors the possibility of numerous adventures such as hiking, camping, hunting, and fishing.

While you are visiting Uvac and if you want luxury and comfort, our recommendation is to stay at the “Hotel Mona” on Zlatibor. If you are eager for adventure, we advise you to rent one of the mountain huts.

You can find many caves on Uvac, so be sure to visit some of them. For all lovers of speleological activities, a tour of “Ušačka”, “Ledena” and “Bezdan” caves is indispensable. The caves on the territory of the Special Nature Reserve “Uvac” is characterized by a wealth of cave jewelry deposited from dripping waters in the form of stalactites, stalagmites, pillars, draperies, glass needles, etc.

Tourists can also tour the Uvac canyon by cruising. You go on a cruise with boats and catamarans that depart from the dam on “Rastoke”. The tour consists of a river ride, a visit to an ice cave as well as the most famous lookout point “Molitva”. When cruising on board, food and drinks in the form of Serbian specialties are available to you.

In the vicinity of the Uvac canyon, you can find several restaurants serving various types of Middle Eastern and Eastern European specialties. One of them is the restaurant “Čaršija”, which will delight you with its beautiful ambience. I advise you to try kebabs, which are the most famous and most delicious dishes in this part of Serbia. All in all it is a unique experience visiting one of the unique places to visit in Europe.

El Caminito Del Rey, Spain | Unique Places to Visit in Europe

Kerrie & Woody from Just Go Travelling

Unique Places To Visit In Europe-El Caminito Del Rey
El Caminito Del Rey, Spain

‘El Caminito del Rey’ translated to English means ‘The King’s Path’ and what a path it is.
Situated in the province of Malaga, in Spain, El Caminito del Rey sits within a steep gorge in El Chorro. It was once one of the scariest paths in the world to walk. This was due to, unfortunately, some people dying from the old path and walkways not being safe and in need of restoration. Thankfully, the whole walkway has been revamped and it is safe to walk the 8km path again.

Caminito del Rey is built on the side of a gorge, Desfiladero de los Gaitanes, with a 700m drop below. Some of the old worn-out paths can be seen from above too. If you are not afraid of heights, it is a truly beautiful experience. The views are amazing as you take in the vast and interesting landscape consisting of valleys, mountains, and reservoirs. Wildlife can also be seen with animals such as the Egyptian vulture, golden eagle, and foxes. It is indeed one of the unique places to visit in Europe.

Book your Caminito del Rey tickets online in advance as tickets sell out fast.

El Caminito del Rey is easily accessed by train from Malaga but we would advise booking in advance to avoid disappointment, as spaces are limited. The Caminito del Rey can be reached from the train station by shuttle bus and would take approximately 25 min.

Malaga would also be the most ideal place to stay.

One thing of importance to note is that the route is not circular but linear, as of 2015. This means the walk is considerably shorter but we would advise you to give yourself at least 2 hours to complete it. With the walk being linear this means you will have to arrange transport back to the starting point. The easiest and most convenient way is to take the shuttle bus back to the beginning of the trail.

The most ideal time to visit would be in late spring as the weather is more pleasant with a slight breeze. There is hardly any shade on the trail so visiting in the morning is also advised as the weather is cooler compared to midday and late afternoon.

Cologne, Germany | Unique Places to Visit in Europe

Sonakshi and Mainak from Places in Pixel

Cologne Cathedral
Cologne, Germany

Have you ever thought from where does the perfume “Eau de Cologne 4711” get its name? Well, it’s from the beautiful city of Cologne in Germany  – where it was invented.

Situated on River Rhine, Cologne (German: Köln) is a cultural capital of Germany and is enriched with more than 2,000 years of history. One of those things that makes Cologne really unique and interesting is the mix of history and modernity. On the one hand, you will find historic sites like the famous Cologne Cathedral, Cologne Old Town, Great St. Martin Church, and on the other hand are the Ludwig Museum (modern art), Cologne Triangle and the Schokoladenmuseum (showcasing the modern chocolate making process).

Cologne offers its travellers a plethora of places to see and things to do. Here is a quick list:

  • Visit the Cologne Cathedral – any trip to Cologne is incomplete with going to the famous Cologne Cathedral. It is Germany’s most visited landmark (avg. 20,000 people/day) and at 157 m it is also the tallest twin-spired church in the world
  • Ludwig Museum and Romano-Germanic Museum
  • Spend some time around the pastel-coloured houses of Cologne’s Old Town
  • Walk across the Hohenzollern Bridge and take some cool photos of the city, especially at night
  • Take a tour of the chocolate-making process and its evolution overtime at the Schokoladenmuseum
  • Try a bottle of Kölsch (beer) and a Halve Hahn (rye bread and gouda cheese

Another interesting thing about Cologne is the Kölner Karneval (Cologne Carnival) – a festival that takes place every year. The “fifth season” (carnival season) is declared open at 11 minutes past 11 on the 11th day of the 11th month (11th Nov, 11:11 am).

Burano, Italy | Unique Places to Visit in Europe

Ivan from Mind The Travel

Burano Italy
Burano, Italy

Situated in the northern end of the Venetian lagoon, Burano in Italy is a picturesque island boasting its cheerful and brightly coloured houses. In fact, it’s considered one of the most charming islands in Europe. Brightly coloured houses line the harbour and come in every shade imaginable making it one of the unique places to visit in Europe.

According to legend, the island’s fishermen as a part of tradition painted their houses in vibrant colours so that they would be clearly visible to them while fishing in the lagoon. Today, the exterior colours of the houses range from red to violet and represent nearly every colour of the rainbow. Travelers meander down the canals, marveling at the picture-postcard views in every direction.

A former fisherman village also attracts travelers from all over the world with its intricate lace patterns. Burano’s renowned lace-making tradition dates back to the early 16th century and definitely a reason to visit the island. There are numerous lace workshops and shops selling authentic souvenirs to take back home.

Pay the lace museum a visit. Situated at the historic palace of Podestà of Torcello, the museum has its exhibition chronologically organized and spread across four rooms related to the following periods: the 16th century, 17th – 18th century, 19th – 20th century, lace-making school (1872-1970).

To get to the island, you will need to hop on the Vaporetto boat from Fondamenta Nove. The cost is €7.50 for a one-way ticket which will take about 45 minutes. Alternatively, you may take a boat ride to Murano and join a glass factory tour. Then, walk along the main street to the lighthouse and board the boat to Burano.

When it comes to dining options, there are several good restaurants specializing in fresh seafood. Visit Trattoria al Gatto Nero for their handmade pasta, and homey atmosphere. Trattoria da Primo e Paolo, right on the main square, is famous for their Risotto alla Buranella and Spaghetti ai Frutti di Mare.

El Rocío, Huelva Province, Andalucia , Spain | Unique Places to Visit in Europe

Rachel from Children of Wanderlust

El Rocio

Nestled up against the Doñana National Park, in the southwest corner of Spain, is the peculiar town of El Rocío. Resembling something close to a movie set, it is Spain’s very own taste of an imagined Wild West. Horses plod through the sandy streets of the town centre, more at home on this surface than cars, while their riders call at local cafes, consuming their drinks while remaining on their horses. For Europe, it is pretty unique.

The architecture is also in some ways reminiscent of America’s Wild West, making the dusty streets fun to spend a few hours exploring. There is a choice of restaurants in town, with Mesón “La Madre” serving up tasty local tapas dishes.

The town centres around the Hermitage Church of El Rocío, which is home to the Virgin of El Rocío; a much revered carved wooden statue of the Virgin Mary that likely dates back as far as the 14th century. There has been a Hermitage on the site for the same length of time, although it has been reconstructed many times over the years.

The Hermitage attracts close to a million pilgrims each year, on a pilgrimage that arrives on the second day of Pentecost and creates an unrivalled festival atmosphere in town. This makes it a great time to visit. However, consistent year-round sunshine ensures that you won’t be disappointed at any time. In the run-up to Christmas, the streets of the town are illuminated by decorative lights. For an Andalusian winter holiday with a difference, consider combining a visit with spending Christmas in Nerja.

If visiting a town full of horses prompts you to want a ride yourself, several operators offer riding experiences through the neighbouring Doñana National Park; a large, sandy woodland, famous for its population of wild deer. Rutas Doñana offers guided horseback tours, as well as carriage rides for those not wanting to get into the saddle. An alternative way to see the National Park and its diverse wildlife is to take a 4×4 tour with Discovering Donana.

The town is perfect for a day trip but, if wanting to stay for longer, Hotel La Malvasia is a great option, with beautiful rooms and a nice location close to the adjacent seasonal wetlands. At times, these can be alive with wading birds (including, if you’re lucky, flamingoes). If wanting a taste of the sea, the long, sandy beach at Matalascañas is also an easy, short drive away.

Has this Europe bucket list destinations inspired you to explore some of these unique places in Europe?

Here are a few travel essentials for planning your trip to some of the most beautiful places in Europe.

Flights
: You can book a flight through TripAdvisor or Agoda or CheapAir or Cleartrip or Makemytrip or Priceline.

Hotels: You can book in advance your stay right here through TripAdvisor or Cleartrip or Agoda or Makemytrip or Priceline and save huge.

Tours: You can book in advance various tours in Europe through GetYourGuide.

We hope you liked our quick travel guide about the unique places to visit in Europe. The Europe travel blog post covers some of the hidden places to visit in Europe and gives a glimpse into the treasures strewn around the continent. Do let us know which is one of your favourite offbeat places in Europe. We look forward to your thoughts on what according to you is your list of unique places to visit in Europe.

 

PinitUnique Places to Visit in Europe - Europe Bucket List Destinations

Europe Bucket List Destinations

Europe Bucket List
Unique Places to Visit in Europe

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30 thoughts on “Unique Places to Visit in Europe – Europe Bucket List Destinations”

  1. I haven’t been anywhere in Europe yet, but I would LOVE to visit any one of these places. There is nothing like a visit to an off-the-beaten-path destination to truly experience the culture of the region. Even though I am terrified of heights, I would definitely love to pay a visit to El Caminito del Rey. Hopefully one day I’ll get there.

  2. Europe has so many gorgeous locations. I visited Spain last year and Costa de Brava was stunning. Murcia was calm and beautiful! You must also add Gstaad in Switzerland to your wishlist. I also have Santorini on my list!

  3. Europe is what I want to explore. I would love too visit Europe soon. This post is really very helpful.

  4. Of the 5 places on this list that I’ve been to, I’d most recommend Burano. Venice can get so crowded, and many tourists visit Murano, where they make the famous Murano glass. I was surprised and delighted, after I visited Murano, to arrive in Burano and see only a scattering of other tourists. It’s just as pretty as Murano but MUCH less crowded!

  5. OMG ! What an Epic Travel Bucket List this is !
    Europe has a ton of hidden gems, that are unique in their own sense, and completely different from the other. Am lucky to have visited one such gem – Sighisoara, and thank you for including that in this beautifully curated list.
    This list is sure going to be my bucket list.

  6. This is a great collection of unique places in Europe. Especially now that I’ll have to travel within Europe for a while, I read it with great interest and will certainly bookmark it since there are a couple of places I’d like to visit over the next weeks.

  7. I’m always on the hunt for beautiful places to visit in Europe, these are fantastic suggestions! Isle of Skye is one of the most uniquely beautiful places in Scotland, and I love to see it on this incredible list. The Ruin Bars in Budapest are such a unique visit, and a must see for Budapest, in my book. Loved seeing Dinant too, such a gorgeous place in Belgium that is often overlooked for larger cities.

  8. Thank you for this post :). It is always great to dream a few minutes by discovering new destination. Among all those European cities what is your top 3? I agree with stunning landscape in the Isle Of Skye, Scotland but it is a really remote location and hence the price of the accommodations are really expensive. My favourite one is Burano that we visited last year – the colourful houses are just incredible. I recommend to stop there even if you are in Venice only for 48hours :).

  9. This is great, there are so many places on your Europe Bucket List that I’d actually never heard of. I love to explore other towns besides the big touristy hotspots. Triglav National Park in Slovenia sounds absolutely incredible. I hope to make it to at least some of these places someday.

  10. I love those parts of the country or continent where the nature is at its best and you have mentioned most of those places in this bucket list. Thank you for sharing this list.

  11. Shreemayee Chattopadhyay

    What a nice compilation of gorgeous Europe. I am going to bookmark them. Will be helpful for our future trips.

  12. It would literally take a lifetime to visit all the amazing places there are to see in Europe.Europe. Europe is the perfect place for travellers of any kind. Great thoughts.

  13. Europe is on my bucket list and would love to visit it some day. This is a very helpful and detailed post about all the places. Great pictures too.

  14. Indeed Europe is a dream travel destination with so many places to explore. This list help a lot in planning a trip to various places in Europe. Switzerland, Spain and Italy has always been on my bucket list.

  15. Awesome ideas for when I can travel to Europe again! It’s fun to see a few places that I have been to on here as well. Thanks for compiling this great list!

  16. And there was me thinking I was quite well travelled. I’ve only been to Cologne and Burano on this list. But saving this post, because there are some fabulous suggestions here – thanks for the inspiration:)

  17. There is simply never enough time to explore Europe! We also have spent majority of our time there in Paris and the highlight areas of Italy. We really hope to return to focus on Portugal and Spain next time, but it is difficult with so many of these dreamy recommendations! A great compilation to consider!

  18. What a great list. There are so many places in this post that I hadn’t heard of before. Seeing more of Eastern Europe is on my radar so I’ll keep Hel, Uvac Canyon, Sighisoara and Peja in mind. Beautiful pictures too 🙂

  19. This is such a great list!! Uvac Canyon is definitely high on my list of one of the places I want to visit. I went to Serbia last year with my husband, but it was winter so we weren’t able to go. Can’t wait till next time so we can! 🙂

  20. Damn, this is a great list of unique places to visit in Europe! I feel absolutely dumb cause I only knew of about 1/3rd of them and have only been to 3 places: Koln (Cologne) Germany, Kunta Hora, & sort of Budapest! I mean we went to Budapest but I wish I had read this cause I had never even heard of the Ruins Bars & that is definitely a bucket list idea for ME! Man, I love how all these “unknown” & unique places in Europe still have such an awesome history & vibrant culture!

  21. Every year I used to spend at least 3 months in Europe except for 2020. I had some super interesting trips lined up for this summer too. Been to most of the places mentioned in your list. Very helpful tips and quite true as well. One country that I found overrated was Czech Republic. Especially Kutna Hora. Prefer Slovakia over Czech Republic any day. And, Uvac Canyon, what should I say about it. Such a great great place to be. Missing it so badly.

  22. I have only been to 6 places on this list! Even though I have been to all those countries except 4. I love finding hidden gems, but there are A LOT of them. One of the attractions is not to be surrounded by other tourists and have the destination all to yourself. Great list!

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