Summer is quickly approaching, and that means that it’s time to start making those summer travel plans.
For many travelers, that includes a trip to Europe, and while certain destinations are, of course, more popular than others, there are some underrated places that deserve some travel consideration.
A recent survey has polled over half a million travelers hailing from 178 countries to ask them about the best European destinations, and some of the mentions are a bit surprising.
While classic mainstays such as London and Vienna make the list, there are many lesser-known locations that make the grade as well.
So, if you are looking for a unique European town to visit this year, consider some of these places that will offer you stunning views and likely fewer crowds.
Here are 6 Underrated Places To Visit In Europe This Year:
Although not as popular with travelers as its neighbors or Italy and Croatia, there are many reasons to visit the small and charming country of Slovenia this year.
With affordable prices, a lovely capital city, and nature everywhere you look, Slovenia has a lot to offer those who make the trip. One place that gets mentioned as a favorite with travelers is the northeastern city of Maribor.
A favorite among culinary and history lovers, the historic city center is one that rivals any other beautiful old town in Europe. Awarded the title of Europe’s best culinary destination, one source of pride here is the Guinness Book of World Record Awarded ‘oldest grapevine in the world’.
This laid-back city is one where you can spend your days strolling among the cafes.
While there are many reasons to add the country of Hungary to your European itinerary this year, travelers should remember to check out more than the popular Budapest.
The city of Veszprem is a favorite with travelers for many reasons and has been named the best destination to visit in Hungary in 2023, as well as the European Capital of Culture this year.
Veszprém is often referred to as the ‘City of Queens’ and is one of the oldest towns in Hungary. The city is also a UNESCO City Of Music.
Fans of live music will love the many performances that take place around town all year, and the ample cafes and bars make sitting and listening to the artists perform enjoyable for all.
What was once an unknown group of islands in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean has now become a popular tourist destination for travelers in the know.
The Azores are in the perfect location for U.S. travelers who are heading to mainland Europe, and some airlines even operate this route with a stopover option now as well.
Greener than Iceland, with a climate that’s moderate, warm, and a bit rainy, these islands are becoming an ideal spot for eco-conscious travelers, as well as those looking for some hiking, wine tasting, and general stunning landscapes.
Faial, in particular, rates highly with travelers and makes this list for its unique landscapes, unparalleled bird watching, and blue sea waves crashing into the statuesque rock formations around the coast.
Grenoble Alps, France
As the capital of the Alps, Grenoble is a city that appeals to travelers that love both nature and a city vibe.
Despite its location in some pretty epic mountain ranges such as Chartreuse, Belledonne, and Vercors, Grenoble is actually the flattest city in France and is easily explored by walking, biking, and hiking.
Famous for its street art, the city is a cultural hub and becoming an increasingly popular choice for visitors to France.
It’s considered one of the best tourist destinations in the country, and if you have a trip to France booked in the near future and are looking to stay away from Paris, this city might be a good option for you.
As if you needed another reason to visit Switzerland this year, here is an underrated city to add to your list. Situated on the Swiss side of the picturesque Lake Maggiore, this part of Switzerland is actually very Italian.
Most speak Italian here, and the architecture, cuisine, and way of life are all very Italian in every sense of the word.
While the lake is famous more for its Italian towns, the Swiss side is equally as stunning and much less visited by tourists from abroad.
Come here to swim, eat, drink wine, and gaze at the postcard-perfect sights. While only about a quarter of Lake Maggiore belongs to Switzerland, they make the most of it here.
If you are lucky enough to find yourself on the Spanish island of Mallorca this year, a visit to the cozy village of Sóller is a must-do.
Sit at one of the many street-side cafes and people watch, or take the tram that runs right through town and head to the promenade and stunning beach.
Many have said that this might be one of the most beautiful towns in Spain, an accolade that is not easy to gain, with so many vying for the title.
If you get sick of the beach, hiking in the Tramuntana mountains is another option here, The Serra de Tramuntana range has UNESCO World Heritage status and offers some epic hikes and viewpoints.
Porto-Santo, Madeira Islands
While the larger island of Madeira has been getting a lot of attention for travelers recently, the little sister island of Porto Santo makes the list of favorite places to visit in Europe this year. With nine kilometers of soft sandy beaches, the island goes by the nickname of the ‘golden island’.
Offering breathtaking sunsets and fantastic weather almost year-round, this southern location is still only about a ninety-minute flight from mainland Portugal.
Whether you come by plane or ferry, and no matter if you are seeing nature, golfing, water sports, relaxation, wellness, or wine and dining, Porto Santo can tick those boxes for you.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com