The Most Overlooked Sights in Europe

By NH | 18:35

Last year, Europe was the world’s most-visited continent by tourists. Fan favourites of France, Spain, Italy, Germany, and the UK continue to please travellers year after year. Although these destinations are truly worthy of their popularity, many tourists wishing to avoid the crowds, get off the beaten path, or simply experience something new may find these lesser known sights more to their liking.

Ghent, Belgium

most overlooked sights europe-ghent-belgium

Ghent, the fourth largest city in Belgium, and is located in the country’s Flemish region. It is a beautiful port city, resting at the intersection of the Scheldt and Lys rivers. During the Middle Ages, Ghent’s location was a pivotal factor (along with its abundance of sheep) in its prosperous wool industry and merchant trade.  

In Ghent, you can experience “typical” Belgian culture with its bicycles and famous Belgian chocolate. You’ll also discover the city’s three famous towers (of St. Nicholas Church, the Belfort, and St. Bavo’s Cathedral) that are always peeking at you, no matter where you go. A must-do in Ghent is the Gravenstreen castle, which features a partial mote and medieval torture museum.

most overlooked sights europe-ghent-belfort tower

most overlooked sights europe-ghent-castle

 

Poznan, Poland

most overlooked sights europe-poznan-poland

Poznan is one of Poland’s oldest, most historical cities, serving as a key trade route between neighbouring countries in medieval times. Although much of the city was destroyed during World War II, it has undergone intense reconstruction, especially in its old town. One of Poznan’s most iconic spots is Stary Rynek, its immense main square that is encircled by pastel-coloured homes.

The former Polish capital features Poland’s oldest cathedral, the Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul, which has been reconstructed over the centuries in the Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque, and Neo-Classical styles. The city also attracts a large student population (due to its many universities) as well as business travellers (due to its renowned International Trade Fairs).

most overlooked sights europe-poznan-basilica

most overlooked sights europe-poznan-university

 

Oporto, Portugal

most overlooked sigths europe-oporto

Portugal is quite well-known among tourists for the stunning beaches in the Algarve region and its bohemian capital, Lisbon. Fewer people venture north to Oporto, Portugal’s second-biggest city, making it the perfect place to escape large crowds. Oporto is a former industrial port, whose growth rested on its trade of Port wine and other goods with Britain.

These days, it is ideal for a romantic getaway. Tourists can tackle the city’s hills in one of its antique trams or relax with a gondola ride down the Douro river. You’ll also want to soak in Oporto’s history by attending a Port distillery tour and tasting. In the evening, there is nothing better than to stroll past the intricate tiled buildings along the riverfront and dine on fresh fish and, of course, more Port wine.

most overlooked sights europe-oporto buildings

most overlooked sights europe-oporto-gondola

 

Andorra

most overlooked sights europe-andorra

Andorra is a tiny country between France and Spain, with a total population of less than 100,000. It’s strategic location high in the Pyrenees mountains is what has protected it from war for nearly 1,000 years! Although it’s not part of the EU, they do use the Euro as currency, which makes travelling there on your holiday much easier is if it’s a stop off during a Euro tour.

Andorra’s mountain location provides tourists with some of the best skiing, hiking, and mountain-climbing opportunities in existence! But if you’re looking for beaches, you won’t find them in Andorra…Put this country on your list if you enjoy quaint villages, tiny churches, snowy peaks, astounding vistas, and nature of all kinds.  

most overlooked sights europe-andorra-skiing

 

Bucharest, Romania

most overlooked sights europe-bucharest

To foreigners, Romania is mainly known as the land of castles and vampires. But it’s capital city, Bucharest, actually used to be known as “Little Paris”, due to its Parisian-style buildings and cosmopolitan feel. Bucharest is a charming Eastern European city, and surprisingly has one of the largest populations (within city limits) in Europe.

Tourists here will be amazed at the city’s wide boulevards, sprawling parks, and strange mix of utilitarian, art nouveau, and modern architecture. Budapest’s oldest, most iconic street, called Victory Way, ends at their very own Arc de Triomphe (like in Paris!) And the city features the world’s largest Parliament building, constructed under their Communist ruler in the 1980s.

most overlooked sights europe-bucharest arch of triumph

most overlooked sights europe-bucharest parliament

It’s obvious that there is so much more to see in Europe besides London and Paris! If you’re seeking a spot with less tourists, majestic monuments, and tons of culture, try some of the sights we’ve suggested above. And luckily, one of our outstanding NH Hotels will be able to accommodate you in each of these wonderful cities. It’s never too early to start planning your next city break with NH!

 

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