When you’re planning a holiday, it’s all too easy to fall into the common traps—choosing the first restaurant you come to just to give your feet a rest, not bothering to search out the cheapest flights, focusing on capital cities in lieu of hidden gems…. The soaring popularity of all-inclusive holidays is proof that people booking holidays are simply after ease, but by spending just a little time researching, you can take your European getaway from good to great—and fortunately, half the work’s been done for you! Here are five destinations where you can beat the crowd and go home with bragging rights that you’ve visited some of the continent’s most underrated destinations.
1.Lido De Venezia
Venice is one of the most elegant and romantic cities in the world—but it comes at a price. You can pay hundreds of euros a night to stay in a hotel located in the maze of canals that makes up the city center, or you can opt to save and stay on the mainland for much cheaper, but you’ll always feel a little out of the action. However, for the perfect middle ground, just hop on a water bus and stay on the Venice Lido! You can practically see the edge of the famed St Mark’s Square, and be there in as little as 10 minutes, but you’ll be staying somewhere cheaper, more accessible, and just as beautiful—not to mention that you’re a stone’s throw from miles of beaches.
2. Gdansk, Poland
When you think party holiday, Eastern Europe might not spring straight to mind. But with one trip to Gdansk, that will change for sure. The alcohol is cheap; there are plentiful pubs, clubs, and bars; and everyone there knows they’ve stumbled upon an absolute find. Forget Ibiza, forget Greece, waking up with a hangover is much easier when you’re not in 90-degree heat anyway! And for the daytime, Poland is a country of underrated beauty as well.
3. De Pijp, Amsterdam
As we’ve seen in Venice, staying away from the city center wherever you are can save you from breaking the bank. And you certainly don’t have to worry about being away from the action staying in this district in South Amsterdam, because while it’s within easy walking distance of the center, it’s a hub all of its own. Packed with hip shops, diverse food, and of course, effortlessly cool Dutch people, chances are you might not even want to leave it!
4. Budapest, Hungary
Once upon a time, Budapest was Europe’s best-kept secret. Its affordability, beauty, and vibe brought in travelers from all over, but let’s not try and pretend it’s still underrated or secret at all—the reason it’s made this list is because if you haven’t been, book your trip there ASAP! It’s getting more popular by the minute, and it won’t stay the cheap getaway for the coolest of the cool for long.
5. Bulgarian Riviera
Does Bulgaria spring to mind when you think: hot, sun, sea, beach, partying? Not necessarily—but it should. It’s right next to Greece and Turkey, and its Black Sea coast boasts some of the best resorts in Europe, both for price and quality. A favorite with young travelers, it offers 24/7 fun, whether you want to lie on a beach or drink till the early hours of the morning, and you’ll certainly miss the crowds heading to more obvious destinations for the same thing.