Traveling enables you to witness foreign sights, meet people from dissimilar backgrounds, and understand the world more. Although it comes with some downfalls such as waiting in long lines or being overwhelmed by crowds. If work is starting to feel more like your travels, then today we’ve got the perfect post for you! Europe contains many small countries that are hidden gems just waiting to be discovered. These places have fewer crowds than their popular counterparts but maintain the same stunning views, fascinating histories and delicious food. To see some of our recommendations for lesser-visited countries in Europe, read on below!
The advantages of vacationing in countries that aren’t tourist traps
- By visiting during the offseason, you’ll find fewer tourists and shorter wait times for activities, restaurants, and other places of interest.
- “Over-tourism” is a real problem in countries that are more popular tourist destinations. By traveling to lesser-visited countries, you can help ease the pressure on these areas.
- Having no expectations can occasionally be the best way to approach a trip. If you’re not familiar with your destination, sometimes it’s better that way because then you’ll be delighted by all the new sights, sounds, and tastes.
- Visiting a country that none of your friends have been to or even heard of means you can brag about how awesome it is when you come back!
Europe’s most underrated destinations
- Number of visitors per year: 78,000 (in 2017)
San Marino, a microstate nestled within northern Italy, is one of the world’s oldest republics and home to much original historic architecture. As the fifth-smallest country in the world, San Marino boasts many undiscovered gems and wonderful secrets. Take a cable car ride over the main city (also called San Marino), stroll through small mountain towns, and visit UNESCO World Heritage-listed historic centre of this mighty country.
- Number of visitors per year: 46,234 (in 2018)
For visitors wanting to experience something different and go somewhere off the beaten path, Moldova may be the best choice. The country is becoming a destination for wine tours, beautiful countryside scenery, green parks, and ancient churches. Although Moldova’s past has been difficult— witnessing civil war in 1990 and not gain true independence until 1991— but things are looking up for this lesser-visited country.
- Number of visitors per year: 51,599 (in 2017)
The Republic of North Macedonia, successor state to the former Yugoslavia, has a complex and interesting history that is only now being discovered by tourists. In Skopje, the capital city, visitors can explore the Old Bazaar–a remnant of the Ottoman Empire–or take a refreshing dip in Lake Ohrid, which reaches depths of 300 meterss. For those looking for something more spiritual, there are serene monasteries scattered throughout the country waiting to be explored. No matter what your interests are, you’re sure to find something memorable in Macedonia.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Number of visitors per year: 1,307,319 (in 2017)
Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is landlocked except for 20 kilometers of coastline on the Adriatic Sea, was first inhabited by Slavic people in the 6th century. Over time, it has become a culturally diverse country that would be perfect for travelers looking to explore something new. Despite being ravaged by civil war in the 1990s, Bosnia and Herzegovina has since been rebuilt and now attracts tourists from all over the world. Many countries are becoming increasingly commercialized, but there are still some authentic places left in the world. Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of those rare destinations that offer visitors a chance to experience its unspoiled natural beauty and rich culture. So if you’re looking for an adventuring trip off the beaten path, this is the place for you. Hurry though – the country is predicted to have record-breaking tourism growth in the next few years.
- Number of visitors per year: 80,900 (in 2017)
The small country of Liechtenstein is full of culture and recorded history, being founded around 5300 BCE. With a size only spanning 160 square kilometers, the majority of the principality consisting of cliff-side castles, charming villages, and untouched nature – it’s no wonder this destination between Switzerland and Austria has been becoming increasingly popular among tourists for its medieval charm and stunning views if the Swiss Alps. Not only does the country have an incredibly low crime rate, but it is also very quiet. You can find peace and tranquility here. In fact, there are even rules against holding noisy events during Liechtenstein’s lunch break from 12pm to 1:30pm.
In conclusion, if you are looking for an authentic travel experience and want to avoid the tourist traps, these European countries are perfect for you. There is something for everyone, whether you’re interested in exploring history, culture, nature, or just wanting to relax. So pack your bags and get ready for an adventure!