Sure, everyone has heard of the major cities in Europe (Paris, Barcelona, London) but the best part of a vacation is stumbling upon the hidden gems. The following are 5 hidden gem, secret city locations that we figured were definitely worth a mention. All of them have one thing in common: they’re beautiful. However, each of them offer something a bit different in culture, cuisine, and landscape.
1. CESKY KRUMLOV, CZECH REPUBLIC
The undeniably beautiful fairy-tale beauty of Cesky Krumlov is captivating throughout the city. The city has the Vltava River snaking through it, creating the perfect backdrop for photos as different restaurants, shops and bars line the river. The buildings were created during the Renaissance period which helps to explain the culture behind the architectures. A trip to the castle should definitely be on your do to list as should eating some delicious local cuisine.
2. BERGEN, NORWAY
This city is the perfect balance of nature and city life. Bergen, known for its old cottage style houses on the old wharf, incorporates a way of using their space in the city called “allmenning” which is using the space to be open and inviting. Outdoor activities are definitely something to add to your “to-do” list including cycling, hiking, rafting, fishing and kayaking. Other things to do include exploring local traditions, visiting museums and galleries.
3. POSITANO, ITALY
Positano is a cliffside village known for its pebble beaches and narrow roads. Among the things to do includes a dip into the crisp waters of the Amalfi Coast, indulging in the fresh seaside cuisine of fish and oysters, and visiting gardens and local treasures of the city. A quick trip from Naples will get you there in a jiffy making it to be a place on your bucket list!
4. ANNECY, FRANCE
Annecy is known for its old cobbled road, winding canals, and pastel colored houses and it’s picture-perfect background of snow capped mountains. Top of your “to-do” list should be renting a paddle board and make your way around Lake Annecy while taking in all the outstanding views of the mountains. If a leisurely vacation is more your pace then you can make way down the narrow winding roads near the lake and stop into all the shops and try local French cuisine and fresh coffees. The last stop on your to-do list should be Annecy’s Love Bridge, formally known as Pont des Amours, because as old tales say if you kiss someone on the bridge you will stay together forever.
5. BLED, SLOVENIA
Bled is most known for it’s castle, Bled Castle, which is an 11th Century old building that houses a museum, chapel and a printing press. Majority of postcard photos are taken with the Pilgrimage Church upon an inlet which features a steep staircase and a bell tower. Bled draws a diverse crowd of everyone featuring solo travelers, honeymooners and retirees. People come here for the hiking and outdoor experiences but stay for the culture and the elegance of the city. Bled also features Lake Bled and other natural resources such as caves and bridges.