Grumpy Camel


25 Crowd-Free Cities in Europe You Must Visit

Looking for cities in Europe without many tourists?

Whether you want to avoid the crowds on your next European holiday, or you just enjoy exploring offbeat and quirky cities, you’ve come to the right place.

Here are 25 crowd-free European cities you must visit, according to travel bloggers.

Tip: For train travel and bus trips in Europe, check out omio for great deals on transport fares in main European destinations.

Le Havre, France | Cities in Europe without many tourists
Le Havre, France. Photo via ZigZag On Earth.

1. Le Havre, France

Le Havre in Normandy, is an atypical French destination, ideal to enjoy over a weekend. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the city surprises visitors with impressive architecture and modern works of art that blend into the landscape.

Despite the UNESCO status, it remains a quiet seaside city with few tourists (compared to other large French cities). Make sure to check out the buildings ingeniously constructed by Auguste Perret with prefabricated blocks and the immense concrete tower of the Church of Saint Joseph with all its stained-glass windows.

Another must-see is la Catène: arches of coloured containers imagined by Vincent Ganivet which connect to the port.

You can also go for a crowd-free stroll along the waterfront that has inspired many generations of artists, from impressionists to street artists.

Two days are enough to explore Le Havre, which is only a 2-hour train ride from Paris. But you can make it a longer holiday to enjoy the region and explore some amazing attractions close to the city, such as the impressive cliffs of Etretat or the old charm of Honfleur.”

Claire from ZigZag On Earth

Cagliari, Italy | Cities in Europe Without Many Tourists
Cagliari, Italy. Photo via Strictly Sardinia.

2. Cagliari, Italy

“Cagliari, the capital of Sardinia, is really beautiful city – yet compared to many other places in Italy, it remains truly undiscovered. This means that if you ever plan to visit, you will hardly find it crowded with tourists and all those people you will see out and about during the day and crowding the streets and squares of the movida are actually locals.

Cagliari is well connected to mainland Italy and to the rest of Europe via main as well as budget flights. What you will love most about the city is the views. Since it is perched on the hills facing the Mediterranean Sea, you can enjoy a plethora of views, all of them offering great panoramas. 

There is no shortage of things to do in Cagliari. History lovers must make sure to visit the Roman Amphitheater, located in the center of town and just one of the archaeological sites scattered across the city. The four main historical quarters of Cagliari are Villanova, Stampace, Marina and Castello. The latter has the highest concentration of places to visit, which include the well curated Museum of Archaeology, two watchtowers, the Cathedral and several terraces offer stunning views. Make sure to go to the terrace on Via Santa Croce to watch the sunset.

If you need some respite from the city jungle, head to Poetto Beach for a walk or a day in the sun. The beach is lined with bars, kiosks and ice-cream shops. There is also a cycling and running lane which is where locals go to exercise. From there you can also access Molentargius Nature Park, a lagoon that is a nesting place for pink flamingos. 

Finally, make sure to head to Calamosca Beach, an easy bus ride from the center of town. From there, you can get on a trail that within an half hour will take you on top of Sella del Diavolo, the promontory that surmounts Poetto Beach and from where you can enjoy more magnificent views.”

Claudia from Strictly Sardinia

Belgrade, Serbia | Cities in Europe Without Many Tourists
Belgrade, Serbia. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

3. Belgrade, Serbia

“Belgrade, the capital city of Serbia, sits at the meeting of the Danube and Sava Rivers. This city promises a unique culture, affordable prices, delicious food and warm people – without all of the crowds. Spending one day in Belgrade is enough to see the city highlights.

Belgrade is moderately continental with warm summers and cold winters; most visitors come to Belgrade in the summer, yet it’s still not so crowded during the peak season. 

While in Belgrade, make sure to visit Saint Sava Church, one of the largest Orthodox churches in the Balkans.  Shop and eat on the popular, high-end Knez Mihailova Street, or, enjoy the more laid-back, boho vibe of  Skadarlija Street. Sample some traditional foods like punjena paprika, musaka, Ćevapi, or pljeskavica.

When the sun begins to set, head to Belgrade Fortress. This ancient site overlooks Belgrade’s rivers and serves as a reminder of the city’s tumultuous history.

After sunset, head to the splavs, or splavoni, which are riverboats that are a combination of bars/restaurants/clubs lined along the river. Make sure to make a reservation – Serbians love to party and the splavs usually fill up. Don’t leave Belgrade without trying rakia, a fruit brandy with a 40% alcohol content (or higher).”

Kelly from Snap Travel Magic

Tip: Planning a trip to Serbia on a budget? Check out these free things to do in Belgrade.

Chisinau, Moldova | Cities in Europe Without Many Tourists
Chisinau, Moldova. Photo via Backpack Adventures.

4. Chisinau, Moldova

Chisinau is one of Europe’s least visited capitals and therefore it is a great city to visit if you prefer to get away from the crowds.

Visitors are rewarded with interesting Soviet architecture, beautiful churches, green parks and delicious food. Furthermore, there are several nice day trips you can take from Chisinau. Moldova’s famous wineries are just around the corner as well as ancient monasteries with beautiful frescoes inside. This way you could easily spend 2 to 3 days in this pleasant city.

The best time to visit Chisinau is either in spring or in autumn when temperatures are pleasant and the parks particularly beautiful with either flowers or autumn colors. The most scenic park is around the Valea Morilor lake and the Stefan el Mare Park at Chisinau’s central square.

Moldova used to be famous within the Soviet Union for its wine, which is indeed of great quality. When going out for dinner in Chisinau’s restaurants, definitely try some local wine.”

Ellis from Backpack Adventures

Ancient Corinth TripAnthropologist
Corinth, Greece. Photo via Trip Anthropologist.

5. Corinth, Greece

“Corinth (Korinthos) is a city on the Isthmus of Corinth, a narrow neck of land that joins the Peloponnese to the rest of Greece. This beautiful city is located in a beautiful part of southwest Greece, surrounded by the sea and mountains.

Corinth is just over a two-hour drive from the mega-city of Athens, but it can feel like a world away. Many tourists combine Corinth with other cities in day trips from Athens, but an overnight stay in the beach zones allows you to explore the incredible ruins of this ancient city-state as well as the nearby Corinth Canal. Loutraki is full of resorts and cheap four and five star apart-hotels with great pools right on the beach.

Located a few miles from the center of Corinth, Ancient Corinth boasts an array of ruins. The Temple of Apollo is the most amazing remaining structure.

Ancient Corinth is an open air museum. It is well signposted in English, so you can wander through the city yourself. Towering above Ancient Corinth is the Acrocorinth, the largest acropolis in Greece that has the remains of a great fortress that overlooks the isthmus and out to sea.”

Monique from Trip Anthropologist

viking longboat reginalds tower waterford travel around ireland
Waterford, Ireland. Photo via Travel Around Ireland.

6. Waterford, Ireland

“One of the best cities to visit in Europe to avoid the crowds is Waterford. Located 2 hours south of the capital Dublin, Waterford was Ireland’s first city, established by the Vikings. Often overlooked in favour of the capital, Waterford is a great city to visit if you want to avoid crowds but still get a taste of Ireland.

Waterford is not a very big city and most of the great things to do are located in the heart of the city. There are an abundance of cafes, pubs and restaurants to grab a coffee, pint or a bite to eat. Try an Irish stew or a warming bowl of soup served with Irish soda bread and butter.

Waterford can be enjoyed at any time of the year, but autumn can be great thanks to both the Harvest Festival at the beginning of September and the Imagine Arts Festival in October taking place across the city. Autumn would allow you to venture into neighbouring Wexford to visit the John F Kennedy Arboretum for some fall colours.

But you don’t have to leave the city if you don’t want to. A great way to see the city is to take the tourist train which brings you on a short (less than one hour) tour of the city. Then hop off and visit Reginald’s Tower and the Viking Museum within.  And of course, no trip to the city would be complete without a visit to the headquarters of Waterford Crystal.”

Cath from Travel Around Ireland

Cadiz, Spain | Cities in Europe Without Many Tourists
Cadiz, Spain. Photo via Andalucia in my Pocket.

7. Cadiz, Spain

“Cadiz is probably one of the most surprising cities I have visited in Andalucia. This old town is not very popular among foreign tourists, which means it maintains its local atmosphere and prices.

Cadiz is an ancient port city with a fantastically well-preserved old town, which is dominated by the towers of the Cadiz Cathedral. Inside the old town you will find narrow streets populated by tiny cafes at which the locals love to gather for lunch and dinner.

Cadiz has a little bit of everything: beautiful beaches, green areas, forts and castles, delicious gastronomy and local wines, traditional flamenco bars and interesting museums. To get a taste of Cadiz, I suggest spending at least three days in this beautiful Mediterranean city.

One of the best things to do in Cadiz is lunch in the fish market. Locals gather here daily to share plates of freshly prepared fish and cheap “jarras” of beer. It is the best place to observe the local life of Cadiz.

Visiting the Cathedral is another fantastic thing to do in Cadiz, if you want to learn more about the history of the city. The Cathedral was built over a period of 116 years, with the money coming from the trade between Spain and America.

Walking along the promenade of Cadiz is another great thing to do in the city. As Cadiz is built on a peninsula, accessible by bridges only, the promenade circles it, providing different vistas at each corner: the Cathedral, the new city, the beach of La Caleta, the San Sebastian Castle or the Genoves Park.”

Joanna from Andalucia In My Pocket

Mantua, Italy | Cities in Europe Without Many Tourists
Mantua, Italy. Photo via It’s Not About the Miles.

8. Mantua, Italy

“If you are looking for a relatively crowd-free city to visit in Europe, consider Mantua in Italy. Located in the northern part of the country in Lombardy, Mantua is convenient to visit by train from other major cities such as Milan, Venice, Verona, and Bologna.

We visited Mantua just for the day, but you can easily spend 2-3 days exploring the city at leisure. The Palazzo Ducale, the ornate palace complex of the Gonzaga family that ruled Mantua in medieval times, is the top attraction in the city. You will see room after room with stunning ceilings and beautiful art work.

Also worth visiting is the gorgeous Basilica di Sant’Andrea, with its richly decorated interior, and the Palazzo Te, the pleasure palace of the Gonzegas a little walk from the city center. You can also do a boat trip on the canals of Mantua!

Mantua’s cuisine is amazing: try the ravioli stuffed with pumpkin, which is very rich but very delicious, or bigoli pasta tossed with sardines and olive oil.

You wont find crowds in Mantua even in the peak of summer. Days are fairly warm, but if you visit in early or late summer, you will have the benefit of long days without facing the heat of high summer.”

Dhara from It’s Not About the Miles

Toulouse, France. Photo via BeeLoved City.

9. Toulouse, France

“France is a very popular tourist destination however some cities are more popular than others. Everyone wants to visit Paris, Bordeaux or Nice for example.

Toulouse is often overlooked by visitors but is a great destination if you want to discover authentic French culture. It’s also a great place to visit if you wish to stay away from the crowds.

Toulouse city centre is pretty small and easily navigable. If you love shopping, head to Saint-Georges. You will find plenty of small boutiques in this commercial area.

You can then head to Rue du Taur for lunch. Toulouse is a paradise for foodies! The cuisine in southwest France is particularly authentic. If you want to give it a go, order a cassoulet or confit de canard.

In the afternoon, head to La Daurade and walk along the river Garonne. It offers some of the most beautiful views in the city. It’s also a great picnic spot!

In the evening, if you fancy a drink and a bit of fun, St Pierre and Esquirol will be perfect! You will find plenty of bars and restaurants in these very lively neighbourhoods.

There are many things to do in Toulouse and it’s worth staying at least a couple of days. It’s also a great starting point to explore more of southwest France.”

Pauline from BeeLoved City

reok palace szeged
Szeged, Hungary. Photo via A Life Without Borders.

10. Szeged, Hungary

“Mention Hungary and the stunning city of Budapest will probably jump to mind. But a short jaunt from the Hungarian capital leads to the vibrant city of Szeged, an underrated and crowd-free destination.

Szeged, the third largest city in Hungary, is a popular weekend destination for Hungarians, but is generally overlooked by other travellers. The regional centre of the Southern Great Plain, Szeged is located in the south of Hungary, bordering Serbia and Romania.

Home to opulent architecture, fabulous local cuisine and a fun-loving student atmosphere (it’s a university town after all), Szeged provides the perfect crowd-free weekend alternative or day trip from Budapest.

Set on the banks of the pretty Tisza River, Szeged is famous for its open air cultural festivals, many universities and art nouveau architecture. Visit the impressive twin-spired Votive Church and neighbouring historic Dömötör tower, before heading to Klauzal Square, the heart of Szeged’s café scene.

Stroll through the city centre to discover several grand buildings and former palaces in the secessionist style. Stand-outs are the pastel Reok Palace with its water-lily design and the onion-domed Ungar-Mayer Palace.

Relax in one of Szeged’s many public squares and gardens, lined by beautiful shady trees, or head riverside to sample the famed spicy fish soup (halaszle).”

Marie from A Life Without Borders

Bilbao DaydreamBeliever 3
Bilbao, Spain. Photo via Daydream Believer.

11. Bilbao, Spain

“If you’re looking to escape the crowds in Spain, look no further than Bilbao. Tucked away in the Northern region of Basque Country, Bilbao is a vibrant city for those seeking culture, good food and unique sights.

You will want to spend at least two or three days exploring this riverside city. Take a wander through Casco Viejo (the old town) to get a feel for the place. The locals are very proud of their Basque culture and this is evident everywhere in Bilbao – you will even notice the locals speaking a language called Euskara, which is distinctive to the region and very different from Spanish.

Speaking of locals, follow their lead and grab a bite to eat in Plaza Nueva. Here you will find small bars filled with delicious pintxos – these local dishes are similar to tapas, and are perfect accompanied by a drink or two.

You can’t miss a visit to the Guggenheim in Bilbao. The museum which
opened in 1997 sparked a revitalisation for the city and upon visiting you can definitely see why – the architecture of the building alone is a must-see!

Finally, you can’t leave Bilbao before having an ice cream at the historic Tostadero Nossi-Be. Some of the flavours are certainly unique, but it’s all part of the fun!”

Emma from Daydream Believer

Depositphotos 30498693 xl 2015
Hanover, Germany. Photo via Sweet Vida Home.

12. Hanover, Germany

“Hanover is definitely one of the most underrated cities in Germany. The state capital of Lower Saxony is not a huge city, but it has all the more to offer.

The most famous sight in the city is the Herrenhausen Gardens. These beautiful green spaces are divided into different gardens, which you shouldn’t miss when visiting Hanover. The Big Garden is the largest of the gardens and one of the most important baroque gardens in Europe.

The architecture of the city center also has a lot to offer. The New Town Hall, in particular, stands out with its unique architecture. One might think it was actually a castle.

Talking about castles, Hanover also offers one of the most beautiful castles in Germany: Marienburg Castle. As you stroll through the palace complex, you almost feel like you’re in a Disney fairy tale.

Moreover, Hanover is a popular destination for excursions from many surrounding cities and communities for shopping. The city’s pedestrian zone, which is located directly at the main train station, offers countless shops of all kinds.”

Vicki from SweetVidaHome

ancient roaman theatre plovdiv bulgaria
Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Photo via Bulgarian on the Go.

13. Plovdiv, Bulgaria

“Plovdiv is the second largest city in Bulgaria and it is also considered the oldest continuously inhabited city in all of Europe. It can easily be reached from the capital city of Sofia within about 1.5 – 2 hours by car, bus or train. 

Bulgaria is still quite “under the radar” as a tourist destination, which means that even the most popular attractions are nowhere near as crowded as other popular places around the world. It is best to spend around 2 days in Plovdiv in order to see everything without having to rush, as the city has quite a lot to offer. 

One of the major attractions of Plovdiv is the well preserved ancient Roman Theatre, which is still being used nowadays for different concerts and performances. The Roman Theatre is located in the Old Town – a neighbourhood that most definitely must be visited while you’re here. The Old Town is famous for the numerous old and traditional houses from the Bulgarian Revival Period – between the years 1770 and 1900. 

Another highlight in Plovdiv is the creative and most lively district of the city – Kapana. Its literal translation means “The Trap” and that’s quite accurate – you can easily get lost in these colorful streets, which are not only full of interesting shops and handmade goods, but also trendy bars and restaurants. This is the place where people like to come together in the evenings for a drink or two – and you should as well!”

Lyubomira from Bulgarian on the Go

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Lecce, Italy. Photo via Image by milito10 from Pixabay.

14. Lecce, Italy

“If you’re looking for a culture-rich Italian city to visit off the beaten track in Europe, Lecce is the perfect choice. It is situated in the region of Puglia in southern Italy. The city is known for its baroque buildings and stunning architecture.

Lecce is well connected by flight, train and bus routes to the other Italian and European cities. The city has an international airport with incoming flights from many European countries around. Once in Lecce, you can use the well-connected local transportation to get to the beautiful beaches in the area.

The city center of Lecce is filled with baroque style architecture and beautiful churches. The main square in the city houses a beautiful baroque style Cathedral which is stunning with its double façade and bell tower. If you’re a history buff, the ancient Roman amphitheater is a must. It is believed to have been built in the second century AD and had a capacity of 25,000.

The other places you must visit from Lecce include the Grotta della Poesia and the Bauxite Caves. For a beautiful beach day from the city, head to Roca Vecchia, Torre Del Orso, Gallipoli or Polignano a Mare.”

Merryl from Merryl’s Travel and Tricks

Olomouc Czech Republic Veronika TravelGeekery
Olomouc, Czech Republic. Photo via TravelGeekery.

15. Olomouc, Czech Republic

Olomouc is the 6th largest city in the Czech Republic and it is located in the east of the country. Unless there are no concerts or markets in the city center, it’s always empty! In summer a few beer gardens open up on the streets, but other than that – nobody. It’s a wonderful contrast to Prague, which gets flooded by tourists in summer.

Olomouc has a wonderful historical city center and even its own astronomical clock. The center consists of two squares – the Upper one and the Lower one. The Upper Square is where the beautiful city hall with the astronomical clock is located. What’s more, a UNESCO-listed gem stands right near – the Holy Trinity Column. Built in the early 18th century, the Baroque masterpiece is one of the largest plague columns in the world.

Strolling through the city center is highly recommended, especially to enjoy the wonderful and spacious parks around the Old Town. There are also numerous cafés.

Also make sure to try the local Olomoucké tvarůžky – a local version of a soft ripened cheese. Its smell is quite strong but when you have it incorporated in a meal, it’s lovely.”

Veronika from Travel Geekery

Cathedral Jerez Brainy Backpackers
Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. Photo via Brainy Backpackers.

16. Jerez de la Frontera, Spain

“Jerez de la Frontera is a truly underrated city in Spain, especially considering it’s the sherry capital of Andalusia, producing the world’s finest sherry! This is the perfect city for sherry and tapas tours, whether you choose to do an organized tour or just want to get lost in the streets, stopping by the different bodegas and bars you meet on your way.

But beyond sherry tasting, there are a lot of things to do in Jerez. The Alcazar and the Cathedral are must-visits! There are a lot more churches worth seeing in the city too, like Iglesia de Santiago and Iglesia de San Juan de Los Caballeros. Not to mention the Monasterio de la Cartuja de Santa Maria, which is one of the buildings in Cadiz province with the most artistic value.

I highly suggest you spend at least a long weekend in Jerez de la Frontera. There are also many great day trips you can do from the city, like El Puerto de Santa Maria and Cadiz to mention a couple if you have more time.”

Linn from Brainy Backpackers

Minsk Independence Square
Minsk, Belarus. Photo via The Nomadic Vegan.

17. Minsk, Belarus

“Minsk hasn’t made it onto the radar of many tourists, so it’s definitely a great place to escape the crowds. Perhaps would-be visitors have been scared away by Belarus’ nickname, “the Last Dictatorship in Europe”. And a visit here does feel a bit like stepping back in time to the Soviet Union, but that’s part of its appeal. Independence Square is one example, with its huge statue of Lenin and its imposing national parliament building.

But there’s also a more modern and more colorful side to Minsk. Stroll around Vulica Kastryčnickaja, and you’ll find some incredible street art and some of the best restaurants in Minsk serving up a variety of cuisines. The most interesting photo opportunities in the city are when these Soviet and modern influences sit side by side, like the KFC that has a giant Communist monument on top of it.

The best season to go is summer, when the weather finally warms up and the city springs to life with outdoor concerts and other events.”

Wendy from The Nomadic Vegan

Best Cities to Visit in Europe to Avoid Crowds Tirana One Trip at a Time 1
Tirana, Albania. Photo via One Trip at a Time.

18. Tirana, Albania

“Although Albania’s capital, Tirana, has almost 500,000 people it doesn’t feel crowded – perhaps because it doesn’t have many tourists (yet!). Some call it Europe’s “quirkiest capital city”, and while it’s a bit grittier than other cities, it is lively and colourful, and you could easily spend a couple of days exploring Tirana.

To understand the country’s history and culture, a visit to the National History Museum is essential, which takes you chronologically from ancient Illyrian times to the post-communist era. Just outside the museum is Skanderbeg Square, named after Albania’s national hero and the Et’hem Bey Mosque (c. 1796 – 1821) with its beautiful décor by some of Albania’s masters. Next to this is the Clock Tower which was the tallest structure in Tirana until recent history at 35 metres!

Finally, visit the Bllok area that was off-limits to Albanians until only 20 years ago but was transformed after the revolution. Here you can try any of Albania’s flavourful dishes, have a coffee and then stroll to the Post Blloku Memorial to see one of Albania’s infamous bunkers and a piece of the Berlin Wall.

What a great city Tirana is as it moves into the future yet preserving its past and history!”

Lee and Stacey from One Trip at a Time

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Lausanne, Switzerland. Photo via And There She Goes Again.

19. Lausanne, Switzerland

“Lausanne is a young and chic city on the banks of Lake Geneva in Switzerland.

I highly recommend visiting the grand medieval Cathedral in Lausanne.  This gothic marvel will impress you with its stained glass windows and impressive organ. Another wonderful thing to do in Lausanne is to have a walk along the promenade at Ouchy, and taking a ferry, either to neighboring cities in Switzerland or along the lake to France.

For a chilled out afternoon, have a nice picnic at Pac de Monbenon like the locals and enjoy the spectacular views of the city, the lake, the Alps, and a stunning sunset.

Spending two days in Lausanne would be ideal to see most of the tourist attractions. I also recommend trying cheese fondue and raclette and devour it with the best local wines from the region when in Lausanne.

While Lausanne is an amazing place to visit all ear around, I recommend visiting from late May to end of August.”

Nisha from Nerdy Footsteps

Zadar, Croatia. Photo via Travels in Poland.

20. Zadar, Croatia

“The crowds in Zadar seem almost non-existent.  As a city on the coast of Croatia, it would seem that Zadar would be a magnet similar to sister cities Dubrovnik and Split to the south.  However, Zadar’s small city charm and narrow streets have not attracted the large crowds of the south quite yet.

The beauty of the city can be seen in its marbled alleyways, the Romanesque churches and stones scattered near the coast as well as in some of the beautiful attractions Zadar has to offer.

One of the best things to see in Zadar is the sea organ, a carved out organ along the seashore that has chambers where water flows in and the ech creates a melodic sound similar to that of an organ.  Visitors can sit on top of the stone organ and listen to the natural sounds. 

Further along the coast is the Monument to the Sun, which are glass plates inlaid into the walkway powered by the sun during the day.  At night, there is a light show that transforms the pavement into a magnificent light display.”

Diana from Travels in Poland

Ile de Nantes
Nantes, France. Photo via France Bucket List.

21. Nantes, France

“Looking for an interesting city in France without crowds? Then visit Nantes for sightseeing, fun and good food.

Nantes is located in western France, at only 2 hours from Paris by TGV train. For many centuries, Nantes was the former capital of the Dukes of Brittany, and the medieval castle where they lived is today one of the city’s main attractions.

The city is crossed by the Loire River and its banks are a great place for a stroll on a sunny day or some drinks in the summer.

The isle in the middle of the Loire hosted in the past Nantes’ shipyards. Today, the Ile de Nantes is home to Les Machines de l’Ile, a group of unusual and quirky machines designed by a company of artists and machinists. Amongst the company’s projects, there is a giant elephant who likes to wander around the isle and loves to spray kids with his trunk. There’s also beautiful carousel populated by fantastic sea creatures.

Finally, don’t miss Nantes’ delicious crêpes and galettes: after all, this was Brittany! Also, Nantes is famous for some traditional cakes like “le gateau nantais” or the Kouign amann.”

Elisa from France Bucket List

Tulcea Harbor
Tulcea, Romania. Photo via The Spicy Travel Girl.

22. Tulcea, Romania

“If you want to visit a unique and 100% crowd-free European city, then Tulcea is for you! The southeast Romanian city is located near the Ukrainian border, which explains the extraordinarily diverse ethnic composition of the local population.

Explore the unique mix of Romanian, Ukrainian, and other local ethnic groups’ cultures in the Folk Art & Ethnographic Museum as well as local churches. For local cheese, sausages, and sweets, checking out the weekly market in Tulcea is a must. At the market, I tasted some of the most delicious baklava ever, with flavors such as cacao or cherry.

The true highlight in Tulcea, however, is nature. In fact, the city is known as the ‘Gateway to the Danube Delta’. To truly experience the beauty and diversity of this region, take a boat tour to the remotest villages of the river delta out of Tulcea’s port. You’ll be rewarded not only with wonderful views but also with the most delicious river fish you could imagine.”

Arabela from The Spicy Travel Girl

vilnius cathedral square
Vilnius, Lithuania. Photo via Helen On Her Holidays.

23. Vilnius, Lithuania

“Vilnius is a fantastic city to visit but gets far fewer tourists than it deserves. It has so much to offer; history, beauty and an awful lot of character.

Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania, today a small country on the Baltic Sea but back in the 1400s it was a major force in Europe. In the enormous Cathedral Square you can see a statue to Gedimas, one of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania. Gedimas is credited with building Vilnius and expanding Lithuania’s borders and influence. Also in Cathedral Square you can see Vilnius’s unusual, bright-white cathedral. The bell tower is completely separate and used to be part of the city’s fortifications.

A weekend is the perfect length of time to see Vilnius. The city is very walkable and all the main sights are very close to each other. On a trip to Vilnius don’t miss the many quirky sights – you can visit an independent republic, Užupis, which even has its own constitution. There’s a street with tiny artworks commemorating writers with links to Lithuania, and a spot where if you stand on a certain paving stone and spin around three times, all your dreams will come true.”

Helen from Helen On Her Holidays

things to do in santander Spain beaches
Santander, Spain. Photo via Robe-Trotting.

24. Santander, Spain

“Spain is one of the most visited countries in Europe, but in this well-known country you can still find hidden gems that are relatively undiscovered by the mass-tourism market. One such destination is in the Cantabria region of Spain’s Basque country – Santander.

Since it’s situated on Spain’s north coast, one of the best things to do in Santander is visit the pristine beaches. The water here is often cooler than Spain’s Mediterranean beaches. This makes September the ideal time to visit because it’s often less humid with warmer waters. Sardinero Beach is the perfect stretch of coast to enjoy the sunshine and even take a surfing lesson in the stronger waves of the ocean waters.

Santander is such a beautiful place that the royal family built a home there. You can visit Magdalena Palace to see their gorgeous abode. You can schedule a visit three to six times per day.

On the strip of land where the palace is located, known as Magdalena peninsula, you’ll also have incredible views of the lighthouse on Mouro Island and the grounds are ideal for a picnic.

In Santander, you’ll find many tasty spots for pinchos and as a coastal city many dishes feature seafood like sardines or calamares.”

Derek from Robe-Trotting

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Uzice, Serbia. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

25. Uzice, Serbia

“Uzice is a small city in western Serbia, located on the banks of the river Detinja. Serbia is one of the most underrated countries in Europe, and Serbian cities like Uzice don’t get many tourists. In fact, during my 3-week stay in Uzice, I barely came across any other tourists in the city – even though it was July!

Uzice is the gateway to some of the most beautiful places in Serbia, including the mountain resort of Zlatibor, Tara National Park and the Dinaric Alps. This city is also home to some very interesting attractions, including Stari Grad, a fort built in the 1300s, and one of the oldest hydroelectric power plants in the world, which was designed according to Nikola Tesla’s principles.

While you’re in Uzice, make sure to visit Zlakusa, an ethno park and community known for old pottery making techniques, and take a guided tour of Potpecka Pecina Cave, which was formed by the waters of subterranean rivers, some of which are still active. In the evening, go for a nice walk along the river promenade.”

Daniela from Grumpy Camel

Cities in Europe without many tourists
Cities in Europe without many tourists

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2 Responses

  1. Great selection. There are still many cities without the crowds in Europe, luckily 🙂 As much as I would love to revisit Paris and Venice, I prefer to either go in the lowest season possible or go to off-the-beaten-path places. I remember when I lived in Rome and had to go to school every morning, how I couldn’t stand the huge, slowly-moving and always-in-the-way tourist groups. Overtourism makes the life of locals more difficult. So it’s definitely a good idea to visit less-known cities that also deserve attention and tourism money. They are usually unique hidden gems, too 🙂

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