8 Hidden Gems around Europe

8 Hidden Gems around Europe

Europe’s capitals are all charming, lively cities that offer many things to do. However, when you are lucky enough to enjoy an extended stay in the same destination, you might want to discover what else the country has to offer too. 

That is where day trips come into action. Taking a day to explore somewhere beyond your primary destination feels like a getaway in the middle of the trip, and it gives you the chance to escape the buzz of a big city. There is no better plan than visiting hidden places only the locals know for an authentic experience with fewer tourists. 

To help you discover some of these hidden gems around Europe we have chosen eight places that are close to a popular destination and make for a perfect day trip. Read this guide and add them to your bucket list! 


1. Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

This charming little city is known for the Stari Most (Old Bridge), a reconstructed arched bridge that crosses the Neretva river. Apart from enjoying the views from the bridge and taking the mandatory photo, you should also take some time to explore the city. Cobblestone streets and local stores provide the perfect backdrop to a short getaway. 


Day trip from Sarajevo


2. Girona, Spain

If you are looking for a lively place with remnants of Medieval times, then Girona is for you. Visiting this city, located less than two hours from Barcelona, feels like taking a trip to the past. Here you can see the impressive Gothic and Romanesque cathedral that appeared on Game of Thrones. The labyrinthic cobbled streets in the old town and the Arab baths also appeared in the hit series. If you want to admire the city from a different point of view, you should walk through the Carolingian walls that span the eastern border of the old town. It is undoubtedly one of the best things to do near Barcelona!


3. Hohenzollern Castle, Germany

This hilltop castle covers almost all of Mount Hohenzollern's summit. The current building was finished in the 19th century, and is still privately owned by the House of Hohenzollern. It is a structure composed of four primary parts: military architecture, the palatial buildings, chapels, and the gardens. Thanks to its privileged position it offers incredible views along with the experience of discovering an authentic royal residence.

Day trip from Munich

4. Lake Bled, Slovenia

Planning a trip to Slovenia? Ljubljana is a fascinating European city which is still considered an off-the-beaten-path destination. This means there are less tourist traps, less queues and it is easier to grasp the authenticity of the country when traveling there. Besides exploring its streets and learning about the mix of different cultural traditions, you should consider visiting Lake Bled. This Alpine lake, located less than an hour away from the capital by car, impresses visitors thanks to its natural beauty and the small island in the very center. If you are feeling adventurous, you can take a hike or rent a rowboat and paddle out to the island!


5. Plitvice Lakes, Croatia

Croatia has become really popular in recent years thanks to the medieval charm of its cities, fascinating architecture and breathtaking coastline. However, few people know about the lush Plitvice Lakes National Park. Located halfway between Zagreb and Zadar, this area attracts nature lovers from all over the country, and it is not difficult to see why. A chain of 16 terraced lakes, countless waterfalls and blue, crystal clear waters make this park an idyllic place for taking hikes and sightseeing. An excellent day trip from Zagreb! Who can say no to paradise?

Day trip from Zagreb

6. Karlstejn Castle, Czech Republic

This Gothic castle dates back to the 14th century, and is the perfect day trip from Prague. King Charles IV ordered the construction of the building to use it as his private residence and a place for the safekeeping of royal treasures. Nowadays, visitors can walk around what used to be his private rooms and admire artworks such as a replica of the royal Crown of Bohemia or the elaborate wall decorations.


7. Thun, Switzerland

Small, fairytale-like towns have an undeniable appeal when you are looking for some peace. Thun is exactly the oasis you need on a trip to Switzerland. Just a 30-minute ride from Bern, this Swiss town will lure you to its captivating streets where you can meet friendly locals while enjoying a cup of coffee. Of course, no fairytale town is complete without a castle: Thun castle, standing on a hill above the old town, offers incredible views of the Alps and is considered a heritage site of national significance. 

Day trip from Bern

8. Nuuksio National Park, Finland

Less than an hour away from Helsinki you can find miles and miles of unspoilt forests and lakes waiting to be explored. Nuuksio National Park, with its unique beauty, captivates nature lovers who come here to enjoy the pristine sights. There are eight marked trails for hiking, but there is a lot more to do: camping, horse riding and even berry picking are allowed in the area. Put on your most comfortable shoes and hop off to adventure!

Day trip from Helsinki (2)


Hidden gems are always a nice addition to a journey, so make sure you check the best day trips from the city you are visiting to make the most of your getaway!

If you are planning a trip and not using your own car, the reliable partner Discovercar.com will take care of your comfort and provide you with a car of any taste and budget for the duration you need.
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