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TOP 11 less-tourist places in Europe for a weekend (2024)

Updated: Mar 28

Europe-the place known as the «old-continent» is filled with an abundance of historical landmarks, natural landscapes and picturesque cities.


With this in mind, in catalogs of the most visited countries in the world, we see a plethora of European destinations.


However, there are so many places that are yet to be swarmed by mass tourism. These destinations combine the charms of history and the quiet atmosphere that non-touristy places have to offer. In this guide, we will take you on a journey to discover the top 11 less-tourist places in Europe for a weekend trip.


From the medieval charm of Brasov, Romania, to the coastal beauty of Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France, these hidden gems promise unique and unforgettable adventures.


Let's explore these off-the-beaten-path destinations in Europe or you to visit!


 map of less-tourist places in Europe for a weekend trip

Overview

1. Brasov, Romania 2. Edessa, Greece 3. Roquebrune cap martin, France 4. Riga, Latvia 5. Vilnius, Lithuania 6. Matera, Basilicata in Italy 7. Haarlem, Netherlands 8. Ljubljana, Slovenia 9. Saint Albans, England 10. Gjirokaster, Albania

11. Poysdorf, Austria Last Thoughts


1. Brasov, Romania: Medieval Magic


Brasov is a picturesque town in the heart of Romania. It offers a wonderful medieval old town with cobblestone streets, colorful buildings and cute little shops.


 Brasov, Romania, less-tourist places in Europe for a weekend trip

While there, you can wander through the city’s alleys, visit the Black Church (the largest Gothic church in Romania!), explore the renowned “Dracula’s castle”, take a walk along the city's defensive walls and, of course try "mămăligă" (cornmeal porridge) at an eatery in the council square.


Brasov,Romania, less-tourist places in Europe for a weekend trip

All of the above can easily be completed in a weekend, making Brasov an ideal destination for a quiet two-day trip in Europe.


Info: Under dracula’s castle there is a market with magnificent local creations, such as cups, plates and vases in a unique traditional style


How do I get to Brasov from Romania’s main airport in Otopeni?


You can visit Brasov by:


· Train (4 hours and 23 minutes for 6 to 21 euros)

· Taxi (2 hours and 21 minutes for 90 to 110 euros)

· Bus ( 3 hours and 11 minutes for 19 to 23 euros)

· Rent a car or a motorbike (around 2 and a half hours)



2. Edessa, Greece: Waterfall Wonderland


Edessa, located in Greece, is a town known for its enchanting waterfalls. The Waterfalls Park is a serene place where lush greenery surrounds cascading waterfalls, offering a picturesque setting for quiet and relaxing walks.


Edessa,Greece, less-tourist places in Europe for a weekend trip

Edessa is also notable for its charming bridges, historic churches, and a bustling central square, where you can enjoy authentic Greek cuisine and enjoy a cup of coffee.


Edessa,Greece, less-tourist places in Europe for a weekend trip

While there, you can also explore the folklore museum of Edessa, as well as its enchanting Archaeological Site of Longos.


How do I visit Edessa?


From Thessaloniki’s airport (the second largest town in Greece)

· Take a shuttle and then a bus (3 hours and 23 minutes for 11 euros)

· Taxi (1 hour and 33 minutes for around 120 euros)

· Rent a car or a motorbike (around 1 and a half hours)


Tip: Prefer taxi apps over taxies waiting outside of airports



3. Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France: Coastal Serenity


Roquebrune-Cap-Martin is a hidden gem on the French Riviera. Unlike the bustling nearby cities, it offers tranquility and breathtaking views of the Mediterranean.


Roquebrune Cap Martin, less-tourist places in Europe for a weekend trip

While there, you can explore the medieval village, the wonderful “Serre de la Madone” garden, the Grimaldi castle with outstanding views over the azure sea, as well as relax on secluded beaches and enjoy the local cuisine.


Roquebrune-Cap-Martin in France is a quiet and less-tourist place in Europe that offers wonderful opportunies for relaxing,exploring and enjoying the nature and the local architecture.


How do I visit Roquebrune-Cap-Martin?


From Nice Airport you can:

· Take a bus (1 hour and 7 minutes)

· Take a train (1 hour and 13 minutes for 6 to 14 euros)

· Take a taxi (32 minutes for 85-110 euros)

· Rent a car or motorbike (around 32 minutes)



4. Riga, Latvia: Baltic Beauty


Riga is the capital of Latvia and a city with a rich history and stunning architecture.

Riga,Latvia, less-tourist places in Europe for a weekend trip

This wonderful city offers a medieval Old Town that belongs to UNESCO’s World Heritage list. It is filled with narrow cobblestone streets, gothic spires and colorful buildings in an art-nouveau style.


In Riga you will have the opportunity to visit the central market and taste a variety of local products, you will be able to explore the city’s charming alleys and river, the local churches and the interesting museums.


Being a capital itself Riga is a charming place to travel to in Europe, since it's not only a less-tourist place but it offers a variety of experiences too!


How do Ivisit Riga City from the Riga Airport?


· Take a Bus (17 minutes for 3 to 5 euros)

· Take a Taxi (12 minutes for 26 to 50 euros)

· Rent a car or motorbike (around 12 minutes)



5. Vilnius, Lithuania: Baroque Elegance


Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, is a Baltic treasure filled with historical, as well as modern architecture, stunning green parks and a renowned old town protected by UNESCO.


Vilnius,Lintuania, less-tourist places in Europe for a weekend trip

The old town boasts wonderful neoclassical buildings, gothic cathedrals and charming squares, all of them being connected by winding streets. There is also the magnificent Vilnius Cathedral that stands proudly at the heart of the city and a bohemian neighborhood of “Užupis”, often likened to Montmartre in Paris.


Vilnius,Lithuania, less-tourist places in Europe for a weekend trip

While there, do not miss the chance of trying Traditional Lithuanian dishes like “cepelinai” and “šaltibarščiai” in local eateries.


In general, Vilnius is a city in Europe that seamlessly blends history and contemporary culture, making it a fascinating destination for a short trip. Especially a quiet one!


How do I visit the Vilnius City from Vilnius international Airport?


· Take the Train (8 minutes for 1 to 6 euros)

· Take a FlixBus (15 minutes for 3 to 5 euros)

· Take a Taxi (8 minutes for 35 to 50 euros)

· Rent a car or a motorbike (around 8 minutes)



6. Haarlem, Netherlands: Dutch Delights


Haarlem, a city in the Netherlands, is a place of Dutch charm and cultural richness.

Its historic center offers picturesque canals, beautiful architecture, and a lively market square.


Haarlem,Netherlands, less-tourist places in Europe for a weekend trip

In Haarlem you can explore the impressive St. Bavo's Cathedral, known for its grand organ and artistic heritage. You can also enjoy boat rides on Haarlem’s canals, explore the city’s streets and alleys, and enjoy tasteful local food too.


Haarlem,Netherlands, less-tourist places in Europe for a weekend trip

Haarlem is often considered a quieter and more relaxed alternative to nearby Amsterdam, making it a perfect destination for those seeking an authentic Dutch experience.


How do I visit Haarlem?


From Amsterdam you can:


· Take the train (18 minutes for 6 to 17 euros)

· Take the bus (27 minutes for 3 to 5 euros)

· Take a taxi (21 minutes for 50 to 65 euros)

· Rent a car or a motorbike (around 21 minutes)


From Amsterdam’s international airport you can:


· Take the train (29 minutes for 12 to 31 euros)

· Take the bus (33 minutes for 5 to 7 euros)

· Take a taxi (17 minutes for 50 to 70 euros)

· Rent a car or a motorbike (around 17 minutes)



7. Matera, Italy: Cave City


Matera, located in the Basilicata region of Italy, is a city like no other. It's famous for its ancient cave dwellings, known as “Sassi di Matera”, which are now a UNESCO World Heritage site.


Matera,Italy, less-tourist places in Europe for a weekend trip

Matera's breathtaking rock-carved architecture has been restored and transformed into boutique hotels, restaurants, and museums. Exploring this city feels like stepping back in time.


Matera's wonders extend beyond its remarkable dwellings; it's also a place where you can enjoy authentic Italian cuisine in cave restaurants, adding a touch of magic to every meal.


Matera,Italy, less-tourist places in Europe for a weekend trip

Matera is an exceptional European destination for those seeking a truly unforgettable Italian experience, ideal for a relaxing weekend’s trip.


How do I visit Matera in Italy?


Luckily, Italy has a lot of airports! As a matter of fact, there are several airports close to Matera. In this article we will be covering the direction from the Bari airport. From there you can:


· Take the bus (1 hour and 15 minutes)

· Take a taxi (54 minutes for 95 to 120 euros)

· Rent a car or a motorbike (around 54 minutes)



8. Ljubljana, Slovenia: Fairytale Capital


Ljubljana, the charming capital of Slovenia, is often described as a fairytale city. Being located at the banks of the Ljubljanica River, the city offers a delightful blend of historic architecture, green spaces, and a vibrant cultural scene.


Ljubljana,Slovenia, less-tourist places in Europe for a weekend trip

The city's symbol, the Ljubljana Castle, stands atop a hill, providing panoramic views of the city. Ljubljana's numerous bridges, including the iconic Triple Bridge, enhance its enchanting atmosphere.


With its outdoor cafes, open-air markets, and a picturesque old town, Ljubljana is an ideal destination for a relaxing weekend’s trip in Europe.


How do I visit Ljubljana city from Ljubljana Airport?


· Take the bus (50 minutes for 2 to 4 euros)

· Take a shuttle (21 minutes for 15 to 40 euros)

· Take a taxi (22 minutes for 40 to 50 minutes)

· Rent a car or a motorbike (around 22 minutes)



9. Saint Albans, England: Roman Heritage


Saint Albans, a historic city in Hertfordshire, England, is known for its rich Roman heritage.


Saint Albans,England, less-tourist places in Europe for a weekend trip

Interestingly, Saint Albans offers the well-preserved remains of the Roman town of Verulamium, that was built around 50 AD. In addition to this, there is the Verulamium Park that provides a tranquil escape with lush greenery and ancient ruins.


Saint Albans,England, less-tourist places in Europe for a weekend trip

The city is also home to the stunning St Albans Cathedral, an architectural masterpiece with a rich history dating back over a thousand years. Not only this but Saint Albans offers traditional tea rooms, providing visitors with an authentic English experience.


Saint Albans seamlessly combines its historical treasures with modern-day allure, creating a memorable and relaxing destination for a weekend’s trip.


How do I visit Saint Albans, England?


From London you can:


· Take the train (19 minutes for 11 to 25 euros)

· Rent a car or a motorbike (19 minutes)


From London’s Heathrow airport you can:


· Take the bus (1 hour and 7 minutes for 3 euros)

· Take the train (1 hour and 7 minutes for 18 to 39 euros)

· Take a taxi (31 minutes for 74 to 95 euros)

· Rent a car or motorbike (around 22 minutes)



10. Gjirokaster, Albania: Ottoman Legacy


Gjirokaster, Albania, often overlooked by tourists, is a charming town that offers a rich history and stunning natural beauty. Known as the "City of Stone," it showcases well-preserved Ottoman architecture, blending seamlessly with Albanian style.


Gjirokaster,Albania, less-tourist places in Europe for a weekend trip

The imposing Gjirokaster Castle overlooks the town and offers breathtaking views. In addition, Natural wonders like the Blue Eye Spring and the Drino Valley surround the city.


While there, visitors can savor traditional Albanian cuisine, explore the lively bazaar and wander through the citie's medieval streets.


Gjirokaster,Albania, less-tourist places in Europe for a weekend trip

This hidden gem promises a captivating journey into the heart of the Balkans, where history, culture, and nature coexist harmoniously, making it perfect destination for a few day's trip.


How do I visit Gjirokaster in Albania?


From Tirana’s airport the fastest way to reach the city is by car (or a motorbike), since all of other options take longer than 9 hours.

You can also get to Gjirokaster from Ioannina,Greece. From Ioannina’s airport you can:


· First take a taxi (9 minutes for 10 to 15 euros), reach the city of Ioannina and then take the bus (2 bours and 45 minutes for around 8 euros)

· Rent a car or a motorbike (around 1 and a half hour)



11. Poysdorf, Austria: A vineyard paradise


Poysdorf, Austria, is a delightful town nestled in the heart of Lower Austria's wine country. Known for its centuries-old winemaking tradition, Poysdorf offers visitors the opportunity to explore lush vineyards, sample exquisite Austrian wines, and immerse themselves in a tranquil and historic atmosphere.


Poysdrof,Austria, less-tourist places in Europe for a weekend trip

The town's charming historic center offers well-preserved architecture, cobblestone streets and beautiful vineyards. Highlights include the impressive St. James' Church, dating back to the 14th century, and the Poysdorf Museum, providing insights into the town's rich cultural heritage.


 Poysdorf,Austria,less-tourist places in Europe for a weekend trip

With its vineyard-covered hills, historic charm, and culinary delights, Poysdorf invites visitors to discover the tranquil allure of its viticultural heritage. And all of this can be achieved in only a weekend!


How do I visit Poysdorf in Austria?


From Vienna Airport you can:


· Take the train to Viena and then a bus to Poysdorf (2 hours and 42 minutes for 15 to 20 euros)

· Take a taxi (52 minutes for 55 to 70 euros)

· Rent a car or motorbike (around 52 minutes)



Last thoughts for the top 11 less-tourist places in Europe for a weekend trip


In a continent known for its famous landmarks and bustling cities, these 11 hidden gems offer a different kind of European experience. They provide a glimpse into the quieter side of Europe, where history, culture, and natural beauty take center stage.


Whether you're wandering through Brasov's medieval streets or savoring Greek cuisine in Edessa, these non-touristy destinations promise a weekend getaway you'll treasure forever.


So, why not step off the beaten path and discover the enchanting secrets of Europe? Your next adventure awaits in these hidden gems.


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