The Most Underrated Attraction in Every European Country
With 44 countries officially recognized by the United Nations, Europe is a wonderful mix of languages, cultures and cuisines cramped together into an area that's slightly larger than Canada.
But next time you go to Europe, you might want to skip the long lines at the Eiffel Tower or the Uffizi Gallery and, instead, spend your precious vacation days in places that haven't been overtaken by the masses.
Don't know where to start? We have the most underrated attraction in every European country, and they're so incredible, they might be worth visiting a specific country or city just to see them.
Albania: Lake Komani
Where to find it: Accused Mountains
Price: $7/person for a ferry ride
Bottom line: This wide slivering lake is set amongst forested hills and is one of Albania's most astonishing landscapes. Intrepid travelers can hike the Accused Mountains to earn a view of the lake from the top, but you can also cruise along and take in the landscape on the Komani Lake Ferry.
Andorra: Salvador Dali Sculpture
Location: Andorra la Vella
Where to find it: Plaça de la Rotonda
Bottom line: Nestled within the Pyrenees Mountains at the border of France and Spain, Andorra is an often-ignored country. But even visitors to the tiny nation's capital, Andorra la Vella, sometimes miss the chance to see a genuine Salvador Dali sculpture on public display.
Titled "La noblesse du temps" or "The Nobility of Time," the sculpture displays one of Dali's signature melting clocks, which stands on a barren tree trunk.
Austria: Starkenberger Beer Pools
Where to find it: Starkenberger Brewery
Price: $298/pool (Drinkable beer not included)
Bottom line: We all know Austrians like their spas, but why go to a boring old spa pool filled with water when you can soak in hot beer?
Starkenberger Brewery — which is located in a 700-year-old castle — had the genius idea of letting people relax and soothe their muscles in vitamin- and calcium-rich beer. Of course, you shouldn't drink the beer in the pools, but you are certainly encouraged to order tap beer while you soak your worries away.
Belarus: National Library of Belarus
Where to find it: Praspiekt Niezaliežnasci 116
Bottom line: The landlocked country of Belarus is usually foregone in favor of its more famous neighbors, Russia and Ukraine. However, if you like going where most people don't and end up in the capital city, make sure you visit the country's national library.
Built in 2006, it is the largest library in the country and has gained worldwide attention for its rhombicuboctahedron, a shape with eight triangular faces and 18 square faces. The library holds more than 8.6 million items.
Belgium: Caves of Remouchamps
Where to find it: Rue de Louveigné 3
Bottom line: Brussels and Bruges get all the attention, but if you want to move away from towns and see some of Belgium's natural wonders, go deep inside the Caves of Remouchamps. The caves boast having the longest subterranean river in the world.
To visit, you'll get on a small boat that will take you deep into the belly of the cave, which is so big that tours usually take about two hours. You'll get to see stalagmites and stalactites as well as bats.
Bosnia and Herzegovina: Kravice Waterfalls
Where to find it: Trebizat River
Bottom line: Though not unknown, the Kravice Waterfalls definitely deserve much more time in the spotlight than they currently get. Surrounded by forest and coming down forcefully from imposing cliffs that are up to 83-feet tall, these falls are proof that Europe's nature is just as impressive as its Medieval towns.
Spring and summer are the best times to visit, as the falls keep a cool temperature even when it's hot. You can swim on the lake at the base of the falls or swing into it from a rope.
Bulgaria: The Ancient City of Perperikon
Where to find it: Gorna Krepost
Bottom line: This ancient city is the largest megalithic site in the Balkans whose excavations have provided many interesting findings. The most famous is the corpse of a man who had an iron stake driven through his heart. The finding has been taken by some as proof of the existence of vampires in the region and by others as proof of the existence of vampire hysteria.
Whichever side you choose, Perperikon is a must-visit for anyone interested in ancient history and archaeology.
Croatia: Korcula Old Town
Where to find it: City center
Bottom line: The entire old town of this small Croatian island is an attraction, and we think more people should know about it. Though Dubrovnik gets all the attention — especially after its "Game of Thrones" cameos — Korcula has as much beauty and much fewer crowds. It is also believed to be the birth town of the famed explorer Marco Polo.
Czechia: Pravcice Gate
Where to find it: Ceske Svycarsko National Park
Bottom line: This impressive arch is the largest natural bridge in all of Europe. Given this, we don't really understand how it's not on more people's radars!
As if this geological wonder wasn't enough, there is also a late 19th-century castle built right next to it. The hotel is now a restaurant and a museum that people can visit to learn more about the Pravcice Gate.
Denmark: The Cisterns Art Gallery
Where to find it: Bag Sondermarken, 2000
Bottom line: Once a subterranean well that gave drinking water to the entire city of Copenhagen, this is now one of Denmark's coolest and most unique contemporary art galleries.
The damp, dark space is definitely not what you expect from a place that displays art, but that's exactly what makes it so alluring. Artists who are commissioned to make pieces for the Cisterns use the space's unique features to push the boundaries of their art.
Estonia: Pahni Megaphones
Location: Varstu Parish
Where to find it: Pahni Nature Centre
Bottom line: What started as a student exhibition is now an attraction that you should plan on catching on your next trip to Estonia. These gigantic wooden megaphones are a simple way to amplify the sounds of the forest — a refreshing experience for anyone who has had to deal with years of city noise pollution!
Finland: Orinoron Gorge
Where to find it: Mustinmaentie 83
Bottom line: We're not saying you should skip the Laplands and all the other incredible natural landscapes in Finland. We're just saying that you'd be missing out if you don't include the Orinoro Gorge in your itinerary.
Tucked within the beautiful Savo region, this gorge was formed during the last Ice Age and is famous for the large rocks covered in moss that rise from each side of the path. The hiking trail is made by wooden planks, so it's as good for outdoors newbies and children as it is for experts.
France: La Dune du Pilat
Location: Arcachon Bay
Where to find it: La Teste-de-Buch
Bottom line: Look, we get it. There are simply too many amazing places to see in France to see them all. But given that the Dune of Pilat is the tallest sand dune in the entire European continent, it really deserves better.
The massive sand dune is impressive on its own, but its position in between a large evergreen pine forest and the blue Atlantic Ocean makes it truly a sight to behold.
Germany: Kunsthofpassage Singing Drain Pipes
Where to find it: Alaunstraà e 70/ Görlitzer Straà e 20-5
Bottom line: Students strike again to bring whimsical and wondrous attractions to their cities. Though you should definitely take time to visit Dresden's reconstructed center, which was entirely obliterated during World War II, don't miss out on this awesome outdoor instrument.
If it starts to rain during your visit, rejoice! You won't just get to see the instrument but also hear how the rain makes the pipes sing.
Greece: Nisyros Island Volcano
Where to find it: Aegean Sea
Price: ~$50 for the ferry from Kos
Bottom line: There are many, many, many islands in Greece, and you'd have trouble finding one that isn't worth visiting. However, we think you should really consider Nisyros as your alternative to crowded islands like Mykonos and Santorini.
Here, you won't just find the quintessential white buildings built on top of each other but also get the chance to basically stay in a volcano. That's right, this island is actually an active volcano, whose crater you can go visit when you're not sunbathing or stuffing yourself with Greek food.
Holy See: Vatican Necropolis
Location: Vatican City
Where to find it: Saint Peter's Basilica
Bottom line: As one of the most visited places in the world, it's hard to think the Vatican could have an attraction most people miss.
To be fair to tourists, the Vatican Necropolis, which is located underneath Saint Peter's Basilica, only allows 250 visitors per day in groups of 12. You must write far in advance to ask for permission to visit and pray that it is granted.
If you are one of the lucky few who are able to enter, you will be able to visit three levels, which include a first-century Pagan burial, stone mausolea and the alleged bones of Saint Peter.
Hungary: Lake Heviz
Where to find it: Csokonai u. 3
Bottom line: As the largest thermal lake in the continent and the second largest in the world, Lake Heviz should definitely be more famous than it is. For those wanting to experience Hungarian baths and pamper themselves into happiness and good health, visiting the lake and spending a day in its adjoining spa is a perfect vacation idea.
Iceland: Kerid Crater Lake
Location: Golden Circle
Where to find it: Grímsnes
Bottom line: Iceland is consistently ranked as one of the best outdoor and nature destinations in the world, yet this colorful lake continues to be passed over by tourists.
Red volcanic rock surrounds this deep crater, which is filled with bright blue water. The result? An absolute feast for your eyes.
Italy: Sassi di Matera
Where to find it: 75100 Matera
Bottom line: Is there even such a thing as an underrated attraction in Italy? As one of the most visited, most written about and most drooled-over destinations, it seems like there are few stones left unturned in Italy.
And Matera's Sassi dwellings aren't necessarily news, but they also aren't part of travelers' whispers as much as they should be. These ancient cave dwellings have been inhabited since the Paleolithic period and are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Ireland: Ring Gaeltacht
Location: Southeast Coast
Where to find it: Gaeltacht
Bottom line: It's surprising how little attention the idyllic Irish region of Gaeltacht gets, considering it is one of the few remaining strongholds of Gaelic culture. The community is very intentional about not losing its language and traditions, which in our opinion makes it one of the most interesting places you can visit in the country.
Latvia: Mazirbe Boat Cemetery
Where to find it: At the seaside forest that surrounds the village
Bottom line: What do you do with an old wooden boat once you no longer need it? If you are in Mazirbe, you place it in the forest and leave it there for decades until nature takes it back.
Luckily for us, the Mazirbe forest still has several boats that were left here in the 1960s and ’70s, which make for incredible pictures.
Liechtenstein: Old World Gutenberg Castle
Where to find it: Burgweg 5
Bottom line: Liechtenstein suffers from a case of being tiny and being surrounded by Austria on one side and Switzerland on the other. This means that it has been left largely ignored by visitors.
If you do come to this landlocked country, make sure you go to the 12th-century Gutenberg Castle, which is perched on top of a hill. You'll get to see its beautiful interiors as well as magnificent views of the town of Balzers.
Lithuania: Kaunas Museum for the Blind
Where to find it: St. Michael the Archangel's Church
Bottom line: St. Michael the Archangel Church is a beautiful white church with blue-domed roofs. But what really makes it a worthwhile attraction is the museum that is built in the catacombs, which was designed specifically for people who have a vision impairment.
The museum has Braille signs and includes items and exhibits that are tactile, aural and olfactory rather than visual. It's also pitch black, so even if you are sighted, you will have to rely on your other senses for this experience.
Luxemburg: Schiessentumpel Waterfall
Location: Mullerthal Region
Where to find it: Beidweiler
Bottom line: Luxembourgers love coming to this beautiful waterfall and sitting on the simple wooden bridge that stands above it. Sadly, the rest of the world continues to ignore its existence.
Splitting into three streams on finger-like boulders, the waterfall is surrounded by woods and moss-covered rocks. To get here, you'll have to do a pretty relaxed hike through the forest, which doesn't sound bad to us at all.
Malta: St. John’s Co-Cathedral
Where to find it: 35a St Zachary St, Old Town
Bottom line: This Valletan cathedral is so opulent it almost hurts the eye. The gilded walls and brightly colored frescoes practically sparkle, leaving visitors open-mouthed.
When you're not looking up at the frescoes, make sure you look down at the marble floor, which is decorated with skeletons to mark the graves of 400 Maltese knights.
Moldova: Milestii Mici Winery
Where to find it: 137 V. Alexandri St.
Price: $37 weekdays, $45 weekends
Bottom line: A wine cellar so large that you need cars to traverse it? Count us in!
This Moldovan cellar isn't just large, it's the largest in the entire world! Explore 150 miles of bottle after bottle, and definitely don't shy away from buying some wine to take home.
Monaco: Oceanographic Museum
Where to find it: Avenue Saint-Martin
Bottom line: Monaco may seem like a soulless Disneyland for the filthy rich and famous, but it's not all casinos and yachts. One of the best things to do in this small nation is to visit the Oceanographic Museum, home to 6,000 sea creatures and an interesting collection of items tied to the exploration of the deep blue ocean.
Montenegro: Tara Canyon
Where to find it: Durmitor National Park
Bottom line: Nestled within the impressive Durmitor National Park, Tara Canyon is a paradise for outdoorsy travelers. Massive cliffs tower from each side of the turquoise water of the Tara River.
If you're not content simply taking in the views, you can also go on a thrilling white-water rafting adventure.
Netherlands: Van Gogh Bicycle Path
Where to find it: 5641 AS
Bottom line: Sure, Amsterdam is great, and you should definitely see the Van Gogh Museum. But if you visit the city of Eindhoven, you can also walk or bike inside a Van Gogh painting.
Artist Daan Roosegaarde came up with this incredible sustainable bike path, which has stones that collect sunlight in order to glow at night and illuminate the way for bikers. The path is made in swirls inspired by Van Gogh's famous "Starry Night" painting and was made in celebration of the 125th anniversary of the artist's death.
North Macedonia: Kokino Observatory
Location: Staro Nagorichane
Where to find it: Kokino Village
Bottom line: This incredible Archaeo-astronomical site was discovered in 2001 and is a UNESCO Heritage Site.
Dating back about 3,800 years, the stones around it have been purposefully arranged to be a giant lunar calendar and to mark the movement of the sun. The site is the fourth oldest observatory on the planet and is considered a true treasure of archaeology.
Norway: Urnes Stave Church
Where to find it: Ornes
Bottom line: One of the more expensive attractions on our list, this wonderful church is worth it, considering that it is 900 years old.
Made in the Urnes style that uses animal figures and traditional Viking carvings, the church is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Given its location next to Lustrafjord, it is an absolute thing of beauty.
Poland: The Crooked Forest
Location: Nowe Czarnowo
Where to find it: Przemyslowa
Bottom line: Many people have seen pictures of this otherworldly forest where the trees bend and curve, but much fewer people have actually been here.
The forest is a pleasure to walk around, as there really is nothing that compares to seeing this wonder with your own eyes. There is also an air of mystery to it since nobody really knows how or why these pines got their curves.
Portugal: Carmo Convent Ruins
Where to find it: Largo do Carmo 92
Bottom line: Cities normally reconstruct themselves after a natural disaster, and that's certainly what Lisbon did after the magnitude 9 earthquake of 1755. The earthquake caused a tsunami and fires that lasted for days, resulting in almost the entire city being left in ruins.
Although Lisbon quickly got to work rebuilding itself, the city decided to leave this convent — which was built in 1389 — in ruins to commemorate the tragedy. The ruins are now one of the most visually impressive sites in Lisbon.
Romania: Bigar Waterfall
Where to find it: Anina Mountains
Bottom line: Considered one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world, the Bigar Waterfall is unique in that it falls through a giant boulder completely covered by moss and hanging from a cliff. Its thin streams still fall with force and create a sort of bluish-white curtain over the cliff.
Russia: The Polish Garden
Location: Saint Petersburg
Where to find it: Derzhavinsky Lane
Bottom line: As a former Imperial city, Saint Petersburg has no shortage of amazing attractions. But once you've done all the palace tours, we recommend you head to this quiet garden that is mostly unknown to foreigners. You can walk around, sit on a bench or have lunch at a chic cafe that is housed within a greenhouse.
San Marino: Guaita Tower
Location: San Marino
Where to find it: Salita Alla Rocca, 61
Bottom line: San Marino is one of the smallest countries in the world, and it is surrounded by Italy on all sides.
But despite its size, it is definitely worth visiting and climbing up its Guaita Tower, which overlooks the city of San Marino (yes, the capital city is also named so). The tower dates back to the 11th century and is the tallest of three sister towers in the area.
Serbia: Krupaj Spring
Where to find it: 216, Milanovac
Bottom line: As if straight out of a fairytale, this hidden spring has clear water and a deep, dark cave. Its fantastical setting has given rise to many local legends and folkloric stories, which only deepen the air of mystery that surrounds the place.
But even if you don't believe that spirits lurk within the cave, this is a place that you should definitely visit on a trip to Serbia since you absolutely have to see it with your own eyes.
Slovakia: Chmarossky Viaduct
Where to find it: 976 73 Telgart
Bottom line: This nine-arched bridge is over 370-feet long in its entirety and reaches a height of 60 feet.
The bridge was built in the 1930s and continues to be used but is famous simply for being a pleasure to gawk at.
Slovenia: Vipava Valley
Where to find it: Vipava
Bottom line: Slovenia is sadly and unjustly not known for its wine, despite having a large wine region that is consistently acknowledged as one of the most sustainable in Europe.
The Vipava Valley is also absolutely gorgeous, with vineyards set against hills and old stone structures. Hopefully, the region will join Napa, Bordeaux and Mendoza in world recognition soon.
Spain: Hanging Houses of Cuenca
Where to find it: Around town
Bottom line: To be fair, the hanging houses of Cuenca are fairly well-known. The problem is that they are often overshadowed by other Spanish attractions like the museum in Madrid, the Alhambra and Sevilla's Plaza de Espana.
This picturesque town is one of the few in Spain that has kept its so-called hanging houses, which are perched on top of imposing hills.
Sweden: Fjallbacka Harbor
Where to find it: Salviksvagen 2
Bottom line: Fjallbacka is the small town Swedes hope to keep a secret. For generations, this fishing village has been the quiet respite of people from all over Sweden, who come here to eat fresh oysters, take in fjord views and see seals play along the shore.
The town itself only has 100 people, so we also hope it doesn't get overtaken by tourists. Still, it would be nice if a couple of foreigners get to experience the magic for themselves.
Switzerland: Habsburg Castle
Where to find it: 5245 Habsburg
Bottom line: The House of Habsburg was so incredibly powerful that an entire empire was named after it. And it all originated in this Swiss castle in the town of, you guessed it, Habsburg.
Most history enthusiasts go to Austria to see Habsburg palaces, but true enthusiasts come to see this 11th-century castle. Enjoying the breathtaking views that come with it is just part of the research.
Ukraine: Golden Gate of Kyiv
Where to find it: Volodymyrska Street 40
Bottom line: This imposing and impressive gate was originally built in 1037. As you might guess, it has been transformed countless times throughout history and even fell into disrepair for a long time until it was restored in 1982.
The gate was unveiled to celebrate Kyiv's 1,500-year anniversary and is an attraction that should definitely get more attention.
United Kingdom: The Ruins of St. Dunstan-in-the-East
Where to find it: St. Dunstan's Hill
Bottom line: Many structures in London were obliterated during the horrible Blitz of 1941, including this 900-year old church. As with Lisbon's Carmo Convent, the city decided that it would not be rebuilt and eventually turned it into a public garden.
The garden is well-maintained but also displays wild nature that grows and devours part of the ruins.
* Now that you've seen Europe's underrated attractions, learn more about every European country and how each ranks.