So you’re a traveler and eager to discover the world. You have visited most of the big cities or just planning to. Why then should you be bothering to “waste” your time on smaller cities, towns or villages while there are other popular places to be? Exactly. That is why. Do something different than a regular tourist! Don’t just go to popular places. Leave your comfort zone. After all, it is just another place, only less touristic and, most probably, cuter. Usually, local people are more friendly there, hospitable and more likely to help you in case you are lost or in need.
Here’s a list of five European touristic spots you most probably have never heard of (which we strongly recommend you to visit):
1. Aveiro (Portugal)
It is also called the Venice of Portugal. And for a reason. Located on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean, in the northwestern part of the country, Aveiro is full of canals and boats similar to the Italian city of Venice. What is typical for the city is the image of contrasting colors, beautifully decorated houses and the blue lagoon with colorful boats (known as moliceiros). Aveiro is also famous for its traditional sweets: Ovos Moles de Aveiro.
2. Olsztyn (Poland)
Located in the northeastern Poland, Olsztyn has a strong presence of Gothic architecture. While walking around the Old Town, you can admire the colorful buildings. Did you know that Copernicus used to live and work in Olsztyn? The statue commemorating the astronomer can be found in front of the castle. If you’re interested in the astronomy then you should definitely visit the Olsztyn Planetarium and Astronomical Observatory!
3. Sainte-Maxime (France)
Sainte-Maxime, located on the French Riviera, is an ideal place to get some rest during summer holidays. While it’s less fashionable than Saint-Tropez (do you remember all those movies with Louis de Funes??), it offers a beautiful view on the colorful facades and picturesque alleyways. Don’t forget to visit morning markets full of French delish.
4. Ghent (Belgium)
Located in the Flemish region of Belgium, it is known today for its port and university. Ghent’s medieval architecture remains well preserved therefore it’s a paradise for photographers. If you like to walk a lot, you will enjoy the traffic-free streets of the city centre. Ghent also offers numerous concerts, events, festivals and exhibitions all year round. Not possible to be bored!
5. Saint-Luc (Switzerland)
On the contrary to the previously mentioned places, Saint-Luc is a true Alpine village between heaven and earth (1,655 m). Indeed, it has a population of 312 (sic!). The place offers various activities, such as hiking, riding a mountain bike, golf, paragliding, skiing, snowboard, sledging etc. What’s exciting about Saint-Luc’s location is the presence of five peaks over 4000 m high!
So what are you waiting for? Start planning your next trip! And if you have your own suggestions, feel free to share them in the comments below.