9 underrated European destinations to add to your bucket list

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Europe is full of well-known destinations like Paris, London, and Rome, but many less known cities and towns are just as deserving of a visit. If you haven’t visited them yet, you’re missing out on many interesting things. In VooyAI, one of our main goals is to surprise you with new ideas that make up for a fantastic trip, both with artificial intelligence and through more detailed articles such as this one. Get ready to add some fantastic travel destinations to your list! This article will give you a brief explanation of what else you can explore in Europe besides the obvious. So pack your bags, and let’s get started.

Places for your next travel ‘bucket list’

Europe holds some underrated gems you should visit for a whole view of European culture and history. Beat the crowd, forget Paris and Amsterdam, and instead fall in love with these 9 less known travel destinations free from hoards of tourists, still just as dreamy.

Maastricht, Netherlands

The Netherlands receives millions of visitors each year, but many of them only explore Amsterdam. Maastricht, a quintessential European town, is often overlooked. The city boasts an abundance of architectural and historical sites, such as the Basilica of Saint Cervants and the Fort St. Peter. The Musa River’s picturesque views and lively atmosphere make it the perfect alternative to Amsterdam’s elaborate canals. Maastricht is a university city, offering a vibrant and modern culture, including trendy bars, progressive values, and an international culinary scene.


Lille, France

France is one of Europe’s most consistently popular destinations. Many travelers have gone to Paris fueled by fantasies of romance and a quintessential Parisian lifestyle, only to have their hopes dashed by a pervasive feeling of being unwelcome. But can you blame the locals? They receive tens of millions of tourists each year, so why not buck the trend and move beyond the country’s oversaturated capital?

Lille is a hidden gem that offers a unique travel experience. Beyond the Eiffel Tower and the Champs-Élysées, Lille showcases a vibrant cultural scene, world-class cuisine, and a youthful atmosphere that attracts students and young travelers. Art lovers will enjoy exploring the Palais des Beaux-Arts, the second-largest art museum in France, while history buffs can learn about the city’s past at the Citadel of Lille or the Hospice Comtesse Museum. The town’s architecture is a mix of old-world charm and modern design, creating a picturesque landscape for travelers to enjoy.


Porto, Portugal

Located in northern Portugal, Porto is a charming city that often gets overlooked in favor of Lisbon. However, Porto has its own unique character and is well worth a visit. One of Porto’s main draws is the Douro River, which flows through the heart of the city and provides beautiful views. There are also several bridges that span the river, including the iconic Dom Luis I Bridge, which was designed by a student of Gustave Eiffel. Another highlight of Porto is its historic center, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The narrow streets are lined with colorful buildings, and there are many hidden plazas and alleyways to discover. Visitors can also sample the city’s famous port wine, which is produced in the nearby Douro Valley.

Porto is also known for its food scene, with many delicious local specialties to try. Some popular dishes include francesinha, a sandwich made with several types of meat and covered in cheese and tomato sauce, and bacalhau, a type of salted cod that is a staple of Portuguese cuisine. With its mix of history, culture, and stunning scenery, Porto is a city that is not to be missed.


Ghent, Belgium

When we say Belgium, your mind will immediately go to the two B’s: Bruges and Brussels. That is why you and everyone else who’s considering taking a trip to Belgium in the spirit of underrated, overlooked, and underappreciated European destinations should instead be recommended a trip offering a similar fairytale atmosphere than Bruges, with a fraction of the tourists: Ghent.

Ghent offers a unique blend of medieval architecture, contemporary design, and a vibrant cultural scene that makes it a must-visit destination for travelers. The city’s historic center is home to a collection of stunning Gothic buildings, such as the Saint Bavo Cathedral and the Belfry of Ghent, that showcase the city’s rich history. Additionally, Ghent is known for its lively arts scene, with numerous art galleries, theaters, and music venues scattered throughout the city.

Ghent’s cuisine is also worth mentioning, with a diverse range of restaurants, cafes, and bars serving up traditional Belgian dishes alongside innovative modern cuisine. Foodies will enjoy exploring the city’s local markets and trying some of the famous Belgian specialties, such as chocolate, waffles, and beer. In the summer months, Ghent comes alive with numerous festivals and events, including the Ghent Jazz Festival and the Gentse Feesten, a massive street festival that takes over the city for ten days.


Ljubljana, Slovenia

Often overshadowed by its more famous neighbors, Austria and Italy, Slovenia is a hidden gem in Europe. The country’s capital, Ljubljana, is a beautiful city with a vibrant cultural scene. The city’s main attraction is the Ljubljanica River, which flows through the center of town and is lined with outdoor cafes and restaurants. Visitors can take a boat tour of the river or simply relax and enjoy the view. Another must-see attraction is Ljubljana Castle, which sits atop a hill overlooking the city. The castle dates back to the 11th century and offers panoramic views of Ljubljana and the surrounding countryside.

Ljubljana is also home to several museums and art galleries, including the National Museum of Slovenia and the Museum of Modern Art. The city’s Old Town is a charming area with many pedestrian-only streets and historic buildings. Visitors can also enjoy the city’s vibrant nightlife, with many bars and clubs that stay open late.


Basel, Switzerland

Nestled on the banks of the Rhine, Basel is a hidden gem in the heart of Switzerland. While it may not be as well-known as some of its neighboring cities, it boasts a rich cultural scene that is unrivaled in Europe. With more museums per capita than any other city on the continent, art and history enthusiasts will find themselves spoilt for choice. From the Kunstmuseum Basel, which houses one of the most significant collections of modern and contemporary art in the world, to the Fondation Beyeler, an architectural masterpiece set in idyllic parkland, there is something for everyone.

Beyond its cultural offerings, Basel is a multicultural melting pot that fuses together influences from across Europe. The architecture is a testament to this, with historic buildings sitting alongside cutting-edge designs. Visitors will be enchanted by the vibrant and diverse atmosphere of the city, with world-class dining and shopping experiences to be had at every turn.


Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh, Scotland’s historic capital, is a city steeped in culture and heritage. From the imposing Edinburgh Castle that overlooks the city to the charming cobbled streets of the Old Town, there is a sense of history that permeates every corner. Visitors can experience the best of both worlds by immersing themselves in the city’s rich history and exploring its contemporary offerings.

A trip to Edinburgh wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Edinburgh Zoo, home to a diverse array of wildlife, including giant pandas. But even beyond its most famous attractions, Edinburgh offers an incredible array of experiences, from its world-class dining scene to its bustling shopping districts. Stroll through the picturesque Princes Street Gardens, marvel at the breathtaking views from Arthur’s Seat, or simply lose yourself in the winding alleyways of the city’s atmospheric Old Town.


Innsbruck, Austria

Nestled in the heart of the Austrian Alps, Innsbruck is a picture-perfect city that looks like it’s been plucked straight from the pages of a fairy tale. The city’s colorful waterfront buildings are a feast for the eyes, with the snow-capped mountains providing an awe-inspiring backdrop. Innsbruck is a city that is rich in history and culture, with a wealth of museums, galleries, and historic buildings waiting to be explored. Visitors can also take advantage of the city’s location to explore the stunning natural surroundings, from skiing and snowboarding to hiking and mountain biking.

The city is rich in historic architecture and Austrian culture, and it is also an ideal launchpad for outdoor activities in the surrounding landscape. Having twice hosted the Winter Olympic games, Innsbruck is truly no stranger to large crowds.


Belgrade, Serbia

In 2023, the Serbian capital of Belgrade may just become one of your new favorite destinations. It might lack the carefully manicured architecture of many other cities. Still, Belgrade is a city with a rich and complex history that is evident in its eclectic mix of architectural styles. From the towering spires of the Cathedral of Saint Sava to the sprawling fortress that dominates the city skyline, visitors will be mesmerized by the sheer scale and grandeur of the city’s landmarks. But Belgrade isn’t just a city frozen in time; it’s also a vibrant and dynamic metropolis that is buzzing with life.


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