The Best Hidden Gems in Europe: 21 Places to Visit in 2023
Want to explore European cities that are not valued and undiscovered gems? Please be prepared for surprise.
Welcome to Europe’s Secret Gem World, these little-known and unknown places, full of charm, culture and personality. They often have unique history, unique national culture, and provide real and in-depth travel opportunities. In these places, you can completely separate from the crowd and interact with the lifestyle of local people.
One attraction for tourists is Europe. Our curiosity and introverted explorers are inspired by their vibrant cities and towns. European historical buildings are highly praised by history lovers, and their diverse landscapes fascinate outdoor enthusiasts. In addition, if you like food, it is also easy to eat in exotic cities and hidden treasures in Europe. You will not be tired of the many food choices offered by these European special tourist destinations, because the local ingredients and delicacies vary from village to village.
Due to the low price of air tickets and the hype of economic media, every square meter of this amazing mainland seems to have been crossed. This raises a question: “Is there any undiscovered treasure in Europe to be excavated?”
I raised this question to some of my cherished travel bloggers and local people who know about Europe. Although it is difficult to find hidden gems in Europe, this list reveals many of them. The following is a list of 21 hidden gemstones that Europe may avoid in 2023.
1. Setenil de las Bodegas in Spain
In the south of Spain, there is a small settlement called Setenil de las Bodegas, which was carved from the cliff. This shows that local people absolutely live underground.
The houses in the town have been completely painted, which forms a huge contrast with the dark cliff looming behind.
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4. Teth National Park, Albania
If you are looking for one of the most unique tourist destinations in Europe, please add Tess National Park to your wish list! This undervalued resort is located in the heart of Albania and is a real paradise for nature lovers and explorers. This undervalued resort is located in the center of Albania. It is a real paradise for nature lovers and explorers.
I was hiking in Seth National Park
What makes Seth National Park so special? First of all, it is the location of the most amazing scenery you have ever seen. The park is located in the Alps of Albania, where there are towering peaks, clear rivers and dense forests. Theth National Park is also home to a variety of wild animals, including rare birds and animals that you can’t find anywhere else in the world.
What makes Seth a unique tourist destination in Europe
But what really makes Seth National Park different is its rich cultural history. There are many traditional Albanian villages handed down from generation to generation in the park. From these villages, you can see the unique lifestyle of Albanian people. You will have the opportunity to interact with local people and understand their culture and traditions.
So, why did you go to Seth National Park? Well, if you are a lover of nature and culture, then this is your perfect destination. Here, you can escape from the crowd and experience real and immersive things. In addition, it is an undervalued destination in Europe, so you will have the opportunity to experience all of these, instead of the congestion and tourism traps in more famous destinations.
I have been to the Alps in Switzerland, Austria and Italy many times. I must say These mountains in Albania can certainly be compared with them. What is the most important? There are few other people there. So, please pack your bags and go to Seth National Park for a lifetime unforgettable adventure!
What can I see and do in this secret treasure land of Europe?
In addition to the charm of the seaside, Varna is also full of historical and cultural attractions. A huge Roman bathhouse and archaeological museum span the city center, and there are many strange restaurants, cafes and bars. As a beautiful beach destination and cultural center, Varna is famous for its nightlife in Bulgaria.
Although Varna has the flavor of an international metropolis, the price here is surprisingly cheap. This will undoubtedly make up for the premium you may have to pay and let you go there!
Given its many cool cultural attractions and vibrant beach life, Varna is one of the best hidden cities in Europe.
Where is it?
The transportation of Varna is not very convenient, but this is also part of the reason why it has long been one of the best hidden gemstones and underestimated cities in Europe.
Varna is located on the coast of the Black Sea in eastern Bulgaria, 275 miles (442 kilometers) east of Sofia. Therefore, it takes about 5 hours’ drive or 2 hours’ flight from the Bulgarian capital.
In addition, Varna is 165 miles (266 kilometers) southeast of Bucharest, the capital of Romania. This is the most convenient and economical way to reach Varna. Along the way, you will pass Transylvania, a mountainous area with a long history. Every traveler should put it on their “hot” list.
Varna is the perfect destination for a weekend trip. Although many Bulgarian tourists come here in summer, there are still several grades compared with the large number of tourists you meet in other coastal cities.
8. San Marino
Desire to explore the winding cobblestone streets and the eternal charm of Europe? Then go to San Marino.
Before the 19th century, the Italian peninsula was politically a fragmented cluster of countries. Since the Roman Empire, this boot-shaped land has not been unified. Until the 19th century, Giuseppe Garibaldi and other famous revolutionaries tried to unify these countries under the Italian kingdom. When the dust settled and the reunification was basically achieved, only a few countries escaped the reunification. San Marino is one of them.
Recently, San Marino has also avoided the huge tourism industry in most parts of Italy. Here is why you should visit San Marino, one of the best hidden gemstones in Europe.
San Marino is definitely an unwelcome place. It is one of the best secrets and undervalued places in Europe.
What to see and do
San Marino is a tiny country located on the top of the mountain, with a panoramic view of Italy below. From here, you can catch a glimpse of the gently undulating hills and vineyards, extending into your sight. It has the same magical attraction as Tuscany, but there is no crowd, making it one of the best hidden resorts in Europe.
The historical center of San Marino is considered as the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage. Here, you will find a labyrinth of narrow streets, flanked by quaint cafes and shops. When you look up, you will see three towering towers standing on Mount Tatano.
The three towers of San Marino, built in the 13th to 15th centuries, are known as Cesta, Guaita and Montale. These are the best hiding places in Europe.
Around the town, you will also find a large number of piazzas (squares) and palazzos (palaces). Since the Middle Ages, time in these places has been static. When you walk on the charming streets, it is easy to understand why it has been the site of many royal palaces and castles for centuries. San Marino is considered by many to be the oldest existing republic in the world. It is shocking to think that it has been a hidden treasure for so long.
Where is it?
San Marino is located in the northeast of Italy, just inland of the Adriatic coast. It takes 2 hours to arrive from Bologna by train and 3 hours to the east from Florence.
9. Ohrid, Northern Macedonia
If Macedonia (now known as Northern Macedonia since 2019) is not mentioned, the list of Europe’s best secret gemstones will not be complete. Ohrid, located in the west of the country, is an undervalued destination and deserves a place on your travel list. That’s why.
Nestled on the shores of Lake Ohrid, this city offers a dose of history, culture, and sublime beauty. Ohrid is a UNECO World Heritage Site that’s considered the “Jerusalem of the Balkans,” filled with old world charm including historic streets, churches, and a medieval castle. They also call Ohrid the “Pearl of North Macedonia.” Take a stroll through the cobbled streets with views of the lake and surrounding landscapes, and you’ll wonder how Ohrid has remained off the beaten path for so long.
What to see and do in Ohrid, one of Europe’s best hidden gems
In the same day, you can explore the city’s historic landmarks and go swimming in the lake. One of the best views you’ll find is from St. John the Theologian, an old church with sweeping vistas of the lake and surrounding mountains. It was built during pre-Ottoman times in the 13th century, and boasts some beautiful frescoes and Byzantine-style architecture.
Other must-see sights include Saint Sophia, Church of Saint Clement and Panteleimon, Holy Mary Perybleptos, and Plaoshnik, all of which are ancient churches and archeological sites. In between, don’t miss Samoil’s Fortress, an 11th-century fortress that straddles the old town. The historic architecture is very unique, and unlike any of the structures you’ll find in Western and Central Europe. As such, it’s easy to see why Ohrid is among the best hidden gems in Eastern Europe.
Aside from sightseeing, Ohrid is a city where you should relax, unwind, and soak in the alfresco scene. There are lots of lakeside restaurants and cafés, where you can spend hours on end and never grow tired of the lively ambiance. And the best part of all? Ohrid is a budget-friendly city where you can pay as little as $10 per night on accommodation. Winning!
Wolfgang Lake is a popular holiday destination for Austrians. The public has not found this gem hidden in the center of Central Europe.
St. Gilgan is a famous place in Europe. You can visit it at any time of the year
Just before Christmas, it is another magical time to visit St. Gilgan. The town will glow with vitality in the well-designed “Christkindmarket” or Christmas market. The charming atmosphere makes you feel that you are walking in this Austrian village and returning to the past. The food and gifts on display are also very attractive. Does anyone want to drink smouldering wine?
Where is it?
St. Gilgan is 17 miles (28 kilometers) east of Salzburg, and it only takes 30 minutes by bus. If you just want to stay for a short time, I suggest you visit the whole area under the guidance of your guide.
As an avid fan of The Sound of Music, I naturally feel that I have to make a trip to The Sound of Music. Generally speaking, I don’t like bus travel very much. I prefer to explore by myself, but this is a very special thing.
First of all, it can give you a good overview of the region and its top attractions. We drove through Salzburg, shuttle back and forth on the green mountains, and drive around the nearby villages and towns (including St. Gilgan). The bus often stops. Let’s take pictures. For me, this trip is an impact on the past. During the whole journey, the loudspeaker on the bus has been playing the popular songs in the movie. Indeed, I sang with other diehard fans of the Voice of Music. This is really great. I will definitely do it again (including the bus trip to St. Gilgan).
11. English rye
Want to live in one of the most unique places in Europe? Rye is your dream place!
16. Kazimiz-Dorny, Poland
When most international travelers think of Poland, they may first think of Warsaw and Krakow. However, there is a small town between these cities, which is equally lovely, but does not attract the same crowd. Kazimierz Dolny has a population of only 3500, and is unknown for most of the time in the European tourism industry. It is undoubtedly one of the best unknown places in Europe.
What to see and do in one of Europe’s top hidden gem resorts
The walled city of Medina is a place that every history and architecture enthusiast should go. St. Paul’s Cathedral, built in the 12th century, is probably the most magnificent building in the city. Most of the structures we see today are baroque, dating back to the end of the 16th century.
If you are a fan of “Game of Power”, you will definitely want to add Medina to your travel list. The Madinamen and the fortress were used as shooting sites for Junlin City and Red Fort.
I was also amazed by the quiet, narrow streets and the eternal charm lingering in the air of Medina. In the evening, the streets of Medina become bright and quiet, so it is called the “City of Silence”.
This is undoubtedly in line with the reputation of Medina as a hidden gem in Europe.
What to see and do
Zermatt filled the hall with many outstanding roles in the year. From January to March, Zermatt is a winter wonderland with a lively ski resort. Since April, it has become a summer resort, although in August you can still see a lot of snow covering the iconic Matte Peak (altitude: 14692 feet/4478 meters). If you are a chocolate connoisseur (like me), be prepared to be shocked: Matterhorn is the mountain on the Tobrini chocolate bar. Interesting facts!
Although Zermatt is a popular destination for hikers and skiers, it is definitely covered up by Interlaken. It is also much smaller than other Alpine towns farther north, and the traffic is inconvenient.
Stay in hotels, hotels or Airbnb where you can see these snow mountains, and you will understand why it is one of the best hidden gems in Central Europe.
19. French Fireque is the top secret gem in Europe
Fizek is one of the most underrated and well-preserved medieval towns in Europe. The town’s Wikipedia page contains less than 50 words about it, which proves its secrecy.
Fizek is quiet and simple, which may be the best description of life in the Middle Ages. It is also one of the best unknown places in Europe.
20. Tregrave National Park, Slovenia
Most of these hidden treasures in Europe are centered around unknown cities and towns, so there is a top natural resort here.
Trigraf National Park is the only national park and the largest protected area in Slovenia. It is located in the eastern part of the Julian Alps and is the location of the country’s highest mountain, Tregrave (9395 feet/2863.65 meters). This is why it is one of the best hidden gemstones in Europe.
A: There are many awesome reasons to visit Europe’s hidden treasures! These destinations are the perfect retreat from the clamor of more tourist destinations. These destinations are the perfect retreat from noisy tourist destinations. You can enjoy the slower pace of life and take time to really explore and appreciate the local culture. In addition, hidden treasures are often more suitable for budget than more well-known destinations. So you can stretch your travel budget further.
Q: What is the most undervalued place in Europe?
Well, this is a difficult decision, but I have to say that the most undervalued place in Europe may be Moldova. As a small landlocked country in Eastern Europe, it is often ignored by tourists and chooses more famous destinations such as France and Italy. But believe me, Moldova has a lot to offer! There are beautiful forests, rolling hills and rich cultural heritage. In addition, the wine here is also first-class — in other parts of the world, you can’t find a more cost-effective wine than a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon! Therefore, if you want to experience the wine of Moldova, you can choose to buy it here. Therefore, if you want to experience the best things in Europe without crowded crowds and tourist traps, Moldova may be the place you want to go. Just make sure you bring your spirit of adventure — if you plan to taste local wine, you should also bring a designated driver!
Do you like to read about these unique tourist attractions in Europe?