What Are The Most Unusual European Travel Destinations?

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Answered by: Oli, An Expert in the Best of Europe Category
Visitors to Europe often follow the same route to the usual cities. But if you're looking to avoid the crowds there are plenty of unusual European travel destinations, often with a fraction of the thronging masses.

These cities are all as captivating as Paris, as packed full of history as Rome and in unique settings like Venice. But, without the crowds...



Marseille, France

With a not entirely unfair reputation as the bad boy of France, Marseille has long been in the shadow of Paris as the main tourist draw. But those willing to give it a go will be pleasantly surprised. The same cafe culture, the same classical buildings and the same multi cultural vibe - by the Mediterranean.

Few things beat sipping as pastis as the sun sets over the vieux port. Or standing next to the Notre Dame Cathedral and gazing across this impressive and ancient city.



Granted, it doesn't have the glut of iconic sites as Paris. But for the 'real' France with a gritty edge you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Granada, Spain

Not so much a 'best kept secret' as a 'not as busy as...' kind of place, Granada is where to come if you like a bit of ancient history and stunning scenery combined.

The undeniably impressive Alhambra Palace sits atop a hill looking across this most captivating of cities, all framed by the snow capped Sierra Nevada mountains. The palace is a must visit with its Arabic architecture and beautiful gardens, booking a ticket in advance is highly recommended.

Wandering the warren of the city's old streets you'll find Moorish influenced 'souks' and cafes serving food that even the Spanish say is some of the best. Yes it's busy, but it isn't busy like Venice or Rome, even in high season.

As a bonus you can be skiing, in season, in less than an hour. Or in summer head to the coast, also around an hour away.

Antwerp, Belgium

Once the world's richest city and busiest port, Antwerp is now a beautiful working city that doesn't attract anywhere near the amount of tourists as Bruges or Amsterdam.

Wide open plazas lined with stunning Gothic architecture, well maintained castles and fortresses and fascinating history and museums. Antwerp has lots to offer the tourist who doesn't want to join the hordes at Bruges or the sleaze in Amsterdam.

Visit the Rubenshuis, former home of and now museum dedicated to Paul Rubens. Or check out the Het Steen, a perfectly maintained medieval fortress on the banks of the river.

Belgium is also home to a staggering amount of excellent beer, so after a hard days sightseeing relaxing with a cold brew is the norm.

Bonifacio, Corsica (France)

The Italian Amalfi coast is undeniably stunning and a great draw for tourists, but that in itself is a bit of a drawback. There have even been calls to limit the number of visitors to these tiny villages clutching the cliff faces.

Before the masses cotton on, head to Bonifacio in the south of the island of Corsica. Easily as stunning and impressive, this town sits on an rocky outcrop which sits several hundred feet above the sea.

This is still a relatively unknown destination meaning you can wander the old citadel and the marina before sitting in the shade with a cool glass of rosé wine. The town itself is a great place locate yourself for exploring the rugged landscape of Corsica. You'll find hidden beaches, sleepy towns and unique cuisine not to mention stunning scenery.

Definitely one of the more unusual European travel destinations, get there soon before everyone else realises!

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