Don’t Be a Sheep! Visit These Spectacular Countries To Get off the Beaten Path in Europe

Want to explore Europe’s lesser-known destinations? Here are 14 of its most underrated places. Get ready for smaller crowds, cheaper prices, and epic attractions.

Of the hundreds of millions of people who flock to Europe each year, the vast majority gravitate to its most popular places – countries like Italy, France, and Greece. And it makes sense! Destinations like these spoil visitors with world-famous charm and attractions.

Yet their popularity can also be blinding. It’s easy to forget there’s more to Europe than the Colosseum, Eiffel Tower, and Parthenon. Look beyond the typical tourist trail, and you’ll find a long list of other places with equal appeal, cheaper prices, and significantly smaller crowds. Here are 14 of the best.

1. Montenegro

Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Montenegro is a country in the Balkans with extraordinary natural beauty, enchanting medieval cities, and unforgettable attractions like the Njegos Mausoleum and the Ostrog Monastery.

The landscapes are mind-blowing. If you want to climb mountains, swim in glacial lakes, and float down rivers through mighty canyons, Montenegro has you covered.

2. Romania

Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

There’s much more to Romania than vampire stories and its Count Dracula connection. It offers the best bits of the most popular European destinations and wraps everything up in a budget-friendly package.

Expect atmospheric castles, medieval towns with cobblestone streets, amazing mountainous landscapes, and cities bustling with history, culture, and nightlife.

3. Albania

Albanian Riviera, Albania
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Greece’s northern neighbor, Albania, is another Balkan nation that feels markedly less developed but spoils visitors with natural beauty, historic attractions, and affordable prices. Highlights include the Albanian Riviera, the spectacular Accursed Mountains (AKA the Albanian Alps), the ancient city of Berat (the so-called City of a Thousand Windows), and Blue Eye National Park.

4. Lithuania

Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

This country in northeast Europe rarely features on peoples’ bucket lists. But it should. Not only is Lithuania highly affordable compared to places in Western Europe, but it’s also packed with history, unique attractions, and architectural appeal.

Check out the beautiful 61-mile sand spit on the Baltic coast called the Curonian Spit. Explore Vilnius, the capital city, where the old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. And visit the medieval Trakai Island Castle – Eastern Europe’s only castle built on water.

5. Georgia

Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Georgia is a hidden gem on the border of Europe and Asia. Located on the Black Sea, with Russia to the north, Turkey to the southwest, and Armenia and Azerbaijan to the south and southeast, respectively, it’s a real melting pot of cultural influences with a rich history to match.

The country is full of attractions. Highlights include visiting the capital, Tbilisi, where the iconic Narikala fortress overlooks the city, exploring the Vardzia cave monastery, and going hiking in the mountains.

6. Bulgaria

Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Bulgaria has a little bit of everything, which is why it’s so surprising it isn’t on more people’s radars!

A bustling Balkan country on the Black Sea, you’ll find a wealth of fascinating architectural styles, pristine beaches, incredible historic monasteries, mountainous landscapes, cities brimming with amazing restaurants and nightlife, and so much more.

7. Austria

Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Austria is an outdoor paradise all year round. Its stunning Alpine landscapes are ideal for snow sports in winter and unbeatable for hiking in the summer. There are gorgeous towns, too, such as Hallstatt (pictured above), surrounded by breathtaking scenery.

Elsewhere in Austria, you have famous palaces to peruse, major cities like Vienna and Salzburg to explore, and masterpieces of medieval architecture, such as Burg Hochosterwitz, to gawp at.

8. Slovenia

Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Slovenia is the sort of country where you run out of superlatives. The scenery is spectacular. Take Lake Bled – arguably its most famous location. There are mountains everywhere, a centuries-old church sits on an island surrounded by glimmering waters, and a castle perches on a cliff behind it. The place feels like a fairytale.

9. Portugal

Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Incredible weather, beaches, food, wine, cities, and national parks await in Portugal. It’s becoming increasingly popular, but for now, the country remains somewhere tourists often overlook.

Make the most of it. Catch the sunset after surfing all day in the Algarve. Sip local wine while overlooking vineyards in the Duoro Valley. Go on a trip to the Azores. Explore the ancient history of Lagos. Stroll along Lisbon’s cobbled streets…You’ll never run out of things to do in Portugal.

10. Malta

Valletta, Malta
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Malta is a tiny archipelago in the Mediterranean. However, its location is so strategic that the world’s greatest empires have fought over it for millennia.

This turbulent past is on display across each of Malta’s three islands – from the mighty city walls of Valletta to the gargantuan citadel in Gozo, and the watchtowers dotted along the coast. Throw in the ancient temples, built tens of thousands of years ago, and Malta’s a history buff’s dream. The fact it has pristine beaches with emerald waters is the cherry on top.

11. Poland

Wroclaw, Poland
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Poland has a rich history, first-rate food, mountains down south, beaches up north, vibrant modern cities, and unique cultural attractions. It’s also budget friendly when compared to Western Europe.

Highlights include the enormous Malbork Castle, Wawel Cathedral and St. Mary’s Basilica in Krakow, and Tatra National Park.

12. Bosnia and Herzegovina

Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Bosnia and Herzegovina could be Europe’s most underrated destination. While its name may still conjure images of the brutal Yugoslav War for many people, it’s now a safe place to travel with all the charm, history, culture, and beauty you’d expect from a Balkans nation.

Walk the cobbled streets of Sarajevo or Mostar, visit the Kravica Waterfall, enjoy the picturesque town of Jajce, and enjoy the wonders of Tara Canyon.

13. Czech Republic

Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Cheap and exceptionally cheerful, the Czech Republic is an exquisite country in Central Europe with landscapes and cities that beg to be explored. The capital, Prague, is particularly noteworthy.

Among its many attractions, expect medieval streets, Prague Castle, the Charles Bridge, and striking Gothic architecture in a historic center that’s earned UNESCO World Heritage Status.

14. Wales

Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Heading to the United Kingdom? Don’t skip Wales. This stunning country has diverse landscapes, charming coastal towns, outstanding natural beauty, and vibrant cities with centuries of history – and the castles to prove it. Don’t miss the Pembrokeshire Coast, Snowdonia National Park, the majestic Conwy Castle, and the town of Tenby.


Europe’s 15 Most Beautiful Cities to Visit in Your Lifetime

Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

European cities have history, charm, and aesthetic appeal. Here are 15 particularly beautiful examples that everyone should visit at least once!


These 12 Stunning Destinations Are Criminally Underrated

Sri Lanka
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Some of the world’s best travel destinations fly under the radar. Here are 12 such places that deserve more attention from tourists.


Author: Danny Newman

Title: Writer and Content Creator

Expertise: Travel, Digital Nomadry, Outdoors, Blogging

Danny Newman is a writer, content creator, and digital nomad from the UK. He founded the travel and lifestyle blog What’s Danny Doing, a popular resource for people seeking more adventure, self-discovery, and purpose. A nationally syndicated writer, Danny’s work features in dozens of online publications, including and news sites across the US.