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10 Underrated Destinations

"Can we just skip to the part of my life where I travel the world?"

Would you enjoy traveling to a lesser-known location on the map? Why go to places overrun with tourists when you can explore places your friends have never been? These aren't entirely remote, just not the most popular trips to take. To me travel is all about learning about other cultures, seeing different landscapes and experiencing new tastes, sights and sounds. Each part of the world has different textures, unique people and even various smells. Let's journey to some lesser-known places!


1) Bratislava, Slovakia

Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia and is located on the border of Austria and Hungary. It is a mosaic of illustrious history: a medieval and Gothic old town with baroque palaces commissioned by Hungarian nobles, and the crowning castle, rebuilt to Renaissance finery. Slicing through the city are stark-angled, communist-era blocks and a futuristic bridge.

Best time to visit: Spring/Fall

Where to Stay:

AC Hotel by Marriott

3-Star Hotel

Combine staying in a modern design hotel with perfect location directly in the historical center when choosing AC Hotel by Marriott Bratislava Old Town. Offices, embassies and main tourist attractions like Bratislava Castle, medieval Michael's gate or river Danube waterfront are just few steps away. Recharge in the morning with the best continental-style breakfast underlined with freshly sliced air-cured hams. Enjoy dynamic atmosphere of AC Lounge in our lobby with a menu inspired by Spanish tapas, a glass of wine or great cocktails. Unwind after a long day in your elegant spacious room that offers tranquility, broadband WiFi, state of the art technologies and thoughtfully selected amenities. A 24-hours fitness center is complemented by a terrace with Old Town views.


Grand Hotel River Park

5-Star Hotel

Situated in downtown on the banks of the Danube, the Grand Hotel River Park can be reached by many means of transportation: Bratislava and Vienna international airports, a rooftop heliport, a private river pier and the Danube cycle path. Zion Spa Luxury offers 1500 square meters of indulgent wellness and fitness area, including a swimming pool, two jacuzzies and three saunas. Both Riverbak Restaurant and the Lobby Lounge include outdoor dining experience on the terrace with river promenade view. High standards of design and comfort permeate all 231 guest rooms and suites. Spanning 35 square meters or more, each room features wireless high-speed Internet, a mini-bar and individually controlled air conditioning.



What to do in Bratislava:

  • Wander the Old Town

  • Walk Kapitulska Street

  • See Bratislava Castle

  • Visit St. Martin's Cathedral

  • See Michael's Gate

  • Climb the tower at Old Town Hall

  • See the statues of Bratislava

  • Go to the top of the UFO Tower

  • Shop at Eurovea shopping center

  • Enjoy the most popular Slovakian dish: Bryndzové halušky: potato dumplings with sheep cheese and roasted bacon


Day Trip Idea: Vienna, Austria



2) Ljubljana, Slovenia

Ljubljana is the capital city of Slovenia, known for its charming old town, green spaces, and vibrant cultural scene. Experience the vibrant and creative nightlife, which offers a variety of bars, clubs, pubs, and live music venues. You can check out the Metelkova Mesto, a former military barracks turned into a cultural and artistic center, or the Šiška Cultural Quarter, a trendy neighborhood with a rich cultural scene.

Best time to visit: Spring

Where to stay:

Vander Urbani

4-Stars

Vander Urbani Resort is a member of Design Hotels. Situated centrally on the riverbank of Ljubljana - the capital of Slovenia - the surrounding area combines creativity and culture. Right outside the door you can stroll through the lively medieval streets, seek urban hot spots, relax in lush parks and admire the river from romantic bridges. While the facade maintains its historical appearance, the interiors offer something fresh and new. The 16 rooms feature high-end materials, one-of-a-kind design pieces, and plush amenities that all add to the homey comfort. Continuous forms such as patterned stone and curved walls and doors create a feeling of openness between the different levels that appear to flow seamlessly from one story to the next. Intimate spaces to reflect and rest abound from the wine cellar in the basement to the restaurant lounge bar and rooftop terrace where guests can take a sunset swim or enjoy the glassed-in yoga studio with views over the city.

Intercontinental Ljubljana

5-Star Hotel

A soaring glass façade sets the scene for a memorable stay at InterContinental® Ljubljana hotel. The lavish rooms and suites have stunning views and marble bathrooms. Ljubljana train station and the Old Town are nearby and the concierge can arrange custom city tours. Enjoy a drink in the chic Bloom Lounge or the exclusive Club InterContinental. After rejuvenating at the spa, you can dine-in style at the rooftop B-restaurant.

What to do in Ljubljana:

  • Try the Kranska klobasa (Carniolan sausage), the most famous Slovenian food

  • Visit Ljubljana Castle

  • Stroll the Plečnik’s Ljubljana

  • See the Dragon Bridge

  • Eat your way through the Central Market

  • Tour the Franciscan Church

  • Explore the City Museum

  • Visit the Church of St. Nicholas

  • Picnic in Tivoli Park


Best Day Trip Idea: Portoroz


3) Zagreb, Croatia

Zagreb is the capital and the largest city of Croatia, with a rich history and culture that dates back to the Roman times. Zagreb is a vibrant and modern city that offers a variety of attractions, activities, and experiences for visitors of all ages and interests. It is also one of the cheapest cities in Europe.

Best time to visit: Late Spring/Early Fall

Where to stay:

Canopy by Hilton

4-Star Hotel

Right in the heart of Croatia's capital with shops, restaurants, culture, and nightlife in every direction. Grab a Canopy Bike and follow the brown tourism signs throughout downtown toward the Croatian National Theatre, historic Upper Town museums, and the stunning Zagreb Cathedral. Accommodations are filled with local textiles and artwork and the signature canopy is inspired by Croatia's national emblem. Settle into a Just-Right Room with free WiFi, a 49-inch TV, refrigerator Nespresso machine, and bed designed exclusively for Canopy. Suites offer more space and privacy plus comfy extras like robes and Canopy Socks. Start the day with an inclusive artisanal breakfast in Canopy Central or have a Canopy Break Fast Bag delivered to your door. The cafe is abuzz all day with Zagreb-roasted coffees and choices like quiche salads pastries and small plates. Or enjoy favorite local wines beers or spirits at the bar.


Esplanade Zagreb

5-Stars

Opened in 1925 as a refuge for passengers from the Orient Express, the über-stylish Esplanade Zagreb Hotel is an architectural gem. Located within easy reach of key attractions, the city’s most iconic hotel combines art deco glamour with every contemporary convenience. Long-established as a haven for A-List movie stars, politicians, singers and artists, the hotel’s fairytale exterior and gracious guest accommodation make it easily the most prestigious hotel in Zagreb.


What to do in Zagreb:

  • Enjoy the Roasted Turkey (purica sa mlincima) - a classic, traditional Croatian cuisine

  • Stroll around Old Town

  • Walk Mirogoj Cemetery

  • Tour The Museum of Broken Relationships

  • See St. Mark’s Church

  • Tour Zagreb Cathedral

  • Relax at Maksimir Park

  • Eat your way through Dolac Market


Day Trip Idea: Plitvice Lakes



4) Sofia, Bulgaria

Sofia is a beautiful and fascinating city that has a lot to offer to travelers who are interested in history, culture, art, and nature. Sofia is one of the oldest cities in Europe, with a history that spans over 2,000 years. You can see the traces of different civilizations and cultures that have left their mark on the city, such as the Romans, the Byzantines, the Ottomans, and the Communists. It is also home to some of the most impressive and iconic landmarks in Bulgaria. These buildings showcase the diverse architectural styles and artistic expressions of the city, from ancient to modern. The city is also a cultural hub that hosts many museums, galleries, theaters, and festivals.

Best time to visit: Summer

Where to stay:

Hyatt Regency Sofia

5-Star Hotel

Located in the heart of Sofia on Vasil Levski Square, Hyatt Regency Sofia features 183 luxurious guestrooms including 46 rooms with courtyard view and balconies, 22 suites, and a stylish Presidential Suite. Gourmets can indulge in modern Italian cuisine at The Revolutionary, while cocktail enthusiasts will be impressed by the rich selection and stunning views at The Scene Rooftop Bar.

Maison Sofia

5-Star Hotel

Located in Lozenetz district just 3.5km from the city center, Maison Sofia MGallery is a cozy five-star hotel within 10 minutes walking distance to Paradise Mall. Maison Sofia MGallery offers 99 rooms with a view of the garden. Restaurant Maison offers international cuisine with a natural daylight and outdoor space in the garden. Guests have access to Sport and Relax Zone - gym, indoor pool with sauna, steam room and massages. Nice walking and cycling tracks are located in near proximity to the hotel amidst the nature of a large city park.


What to do in Sofia:

  • Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

  • Saint George Rotunda

  • Boyana Church

  • National Palace of Culture123

  • Shop Vitosha Boulevard

  • Take Simeonovo gondola up to Vitosha Mountain

  • National Institute of Archaeology

  • Ivan Vazov National Theatre

  • Park Vrana

  • Try the Gyuvech, a beef stew with vegetables and spices


Best Day Trip Idea: Plovdiv


5) Tbilisi, Georgia

Tbilisi, the capital and largest city of Georgia, is a vibrant city with a rich history and a captivating blend of architectural styles. Whether you’re exploring ancient churches or savoring Georgian cuisine, Tbilisi promises an unforgettable experience.

Best time to visit: Spring

Where to stay:

The House Hotel

4-Star Hotel

The House Hotel Old Tbilisi sits in the very heart of Tbilisi, right next to the medieval churches and atmospheric traditional homes with decorative balconies for which the city is famous.

Located in a historical building of the capital’s Old Town, its 17 boutique rooms are designed uniquely to preserve the cultural heritage and are adorned by custom-made art murals, hand-painted by a local artist Musya Qeburia. Blue Fox Restaurant and Bar serves delicious breakfast, lunch and dinner in a charming courtyard in the heart of Tbilisi’s Old Town, where tradition and food are merged with a lively atmosphere.

Stamba Hotel

5-Star Hotel

Stamba Hotel is a member of Design Hotels. Nestled within the storied atriums, passages and courtyards of what was once Georgias most prominent publishing house in Tblisi, the design of Stamba was conceived to highlight the industrial splendor of the 20th-century publishing house in which it is situated. The Brutalist framework is shot through with nostalgic references to the roaring 1920s and glamorous 1930s, while touches of exoticism lend the hotel a distinctly contemporary edge. Opening out from the lobby is a grand brasserie -which offers an avant-garde take on the country's classic dishes and flavors -making it a major player in the evolving foodie scene surfacing across Tbilisi.

Things to do in Tbilisi:

  • See the Leaning Clock Tower

  • Take a cable car to Narikala Fortress

  • Walk around Fabrika

  • Try the Georgian dish Khachapuri

  • See the Holy Trinity Cathedral

  • Visit Gallery 27

  • Explore the Meidan Bazar

  • Enjoy the sulfur baths

  • See Gardenia Shevardnadze

Day trip Idea: Ancient Monastery of Davit Gareja



6) Verona, Italy

Verona, a UNESCO World Heritage city, is steeped in history, culture, music, architecture, and high society. It’s not just the setting for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, but a vibrant Italian gem waiting to be explored. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an art lover, or simply seeking a glass of fine wine, Verona has something to offer for everyone.

Best time to visit: Autumn

Where to stay:

Relais A Ponte Pietra

This lovely building dates back to the 1200s, is elegantly renovated with different types of rooms with private bathroom and many comforts. Its location makes it convenient to reach all the historical-tourist sites of the city of Verona.

Vista Palazzo

5-Star Hotel

Immerse yourself in Italian luxury at Vista Palazzo Verona- a boutique hotel hidden away in the heart of fair Verona. Just minutes from the infamous Balcony of Juliet- and overlooking the medieval rooftops of the city- the hotel puts you in the center of the action. But step inside and feel utterly relaxed as you enjoy elegant suites, a wellness center and indulgent dining. Luxurious details abound in the bedrooms and suites of Vista Palazzo Verona, including exquisite marble bathrooms, freestanding baths, walk-in wooden closets and plenty of room for entertaining. Throughout the hotel, there are plenty of opulent spots to curl up and hide out with a glass of wine or cappuccino or you may want to head straight up to the rooftop terrace to take in the 360-degree cityscape views. There, you can enjoy Italian dishes made with high quality local produce and given an experimental twist, alongside a carefully curated menu of some of the finest bottles of Valpolicella from the region. Work it all off in the well-equipped gym or relax in the immaculate wellness center. A sumptuous swimming pool, Turkish bath- sauna and hydrotherapy pool are some of the highlights, with an exclusive private Spa Suite for ultimate serenity.


Things to do in Verona:

  • Wander around the Verona Arena

  • Stroll Piazza Bra

  • People watch in the Piazza delle Erbe

  • Take in the views from Torre dei Lamberti

  • Visit Verona Cathedral

  • See the Scaliger Tombs

  • Take in the views from Castel san Pietro

  • Wander through the Historical Center

  • View Juliet's balcony

  • Try the Potato Gnocchi at one of the cafes/restaurants


Day trip Idea: Padua


7) Montreux, Switzerland

Montreux, Switzerland is a charming city nestled along the shores of Lake Geneva, renowned for its picturesque landscapes, cultural richness, and vibrant atmosphere. You'll be captivated by the stunning views of Lake Geneva and the snow-capped peaks of the Swiss Alps in the distance. There is plenty to do in this stunning locale, notable for its annual Jazz festival, the Chateau de Chillon and its Belle Epoque palaces lining the shores of Lake Geneva.

Best time to visit: May to October

Where to stay:

Grand Hotel Suisse Majestic

4-Star Hotel

Grand Hotel Suisse Majestic is located on the shores of the Geneva Lake. The hotel is in every way representative of the Belle Epoque, a period which has marked a certain way of living. The Grand Hotel Suisse Majestic has 155 modern and colorful rooms. The main floor of the hotel contains an elegant lobby, a modern restaurant and bar overlooking the Alps and the Lake. On the ninth floor there is a small gym with sauna and hamman facilities.

Fairmont Le Montreux

5-Star Hotel

Fairmont Le Montreux Palace, situated amidst the majestic Alps and along the shores of Lake Geneva, boasts a century-long tradition of exceptional hospitality with its iconic Belle Époque architecture since its establishment in 1906. The hotel's prime location provides access to Montreux's finest attractions, including the renowned Montreux Jazz Festival and the charming Montreux Christmas Market. 236 thoughtfully designed rooms and suites cater to your every desire. Whether it's breathtaking lake and Alpine views, lavish amenities, or a dash of Belle Époque charm, this hotel can offer the perfect accommodation. The hotel also offers delectable dining options and the Fairmont Spa.

Things to do in Montreux:

  • Visit Chillon Castle

  • Experience the Montreux Jazz Festival (early July only)

  • See the "Queen Studio Experience"

  • Take a cable car up Glacier 3000

  • Go to the statue of Freddie Mercury

  • Take a boat ride on Lake Geneva

  • Walk around Old Town

  • Climb the Rochers-de-Naye

  • Stroll the Montreux lakeside

  • Indulge in the Cheese Fondue at one of the cafes/restaurants


Day trip idea: Vevey



8) Fez, Morocco

As you step into the ancient medina of Fez, you'll be transported back in time, wandering through narrow alleyways lined with intricately decorated riads (traditional Moroccan houses) and bustling market stalls. The medina is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the largest car-free urban areas in the world, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in its timeless charm.

Best time to visit: Spring or Fall

Where to stay:

Riad Le Calife

This upscale boutique riad located in Fes El Bali offers free full breakfast, a rooftop terrace, and a garden. Free in-room WiFi is available to all guests, along with a library and dry cleaning/laundry services. All guestrooms are individually decorated, and boast comforts such as premium bedding and air conditioning, in addition to thoughtful touches like free WiFi and safes. You can also enjoy the cozy bar and restaurant in the hotel.


Karawan Riad

5-Star Hotel

A gorgeous riad in the heart of the Fez medina. Riad Laaroussa offers you a haven of peace and a team whose care and attention will make your stay unique. A beautiful spa, a dynamic fine dining restaurant, and personal service are available for your every need.

Things to do in Fez:

  • Tour Old Medina

  • See Al-Attarine Madrasa

  • Watch the coppersmiths and tanners at work

  • Dine on Moroccan cuisines

  • Visit the market (or souk)

  • Explore the Jewish Quarter

  • Stroll the museums

  • Try the Harira soup at one of the many restaurants

Day trip Idea : Meknes



9) San Sebastian, Spain

San Sebastián offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, culinary delights, and cultural richness, making it an ideal destination for travelers seeking an authentic Spanish experience. It is known for its stunning beaches, delicious cuisine and Basque culture, festivals and events.

Best time to visit: Spring and Summer

Where to stay:

Mercure Igueldo

4-Star Hotel

The Mercure San Sebastián Monte Igueldo hotel is ideally located on Mount Igueldo, offering panoramic views over the sea and the Bay of La Concha. It is connected to the city by a century-old funicular railway, one of the main tourist attractions in the area. The hotel has an outdoor swimming pool, open during the summer months, meeting rooms for business meetings or events, and the El Torreón restaurant where guests can discover Basque cuisine, which is one of the best in the world.


Nobu San Sebastian

5-Star Hotel

Where culture and gastronomy meet sleek design Nobu Hotel San Sebastian is a luxurious lifestyle destination located in the heart of the one of the gastronomic capitals of Europe. Overlooking the stunning La Concha Bay amid an area famed for its cultural diversity and culinary excellence. The iconic Nobu restaurant offers views over the city's main beach La Concha that are unsurpassed. Situated within walking distance of all the city's attractions.


Things to do in San Sebastian:

  • Watch the surfers at Zurriola Beach

  • Walk La Concha Beach promenade

  • Dine at a Michelin-starred restaurant

  • Wander through Old Town

  • Visit a local cider house (sagardotegi)

  • Hike up Monte Urgull and visit the Castillo de la Mota

  • Visit the San Telmo Museum

  • Go during one of the various festivals

  • Attend a performance at the Kursaal Congress Centre and Auditorium

  • Indulge in the Gilda (an iconic San Sebastian dish)


Day Trip Idea: Getaria



10) Porto, Portugal

Welcome to Porto, a city where medieval alleyways, colorful houses, and historic landmarks blend seamlessly with a vibrant modern culture. This captivating Portuguese destination is renowned for its port wine, stunning architecture, and welcoming atmosphere.

Best time to visit: Spring or Fall

Where to stay:

1872 River House

4-Star Hotel

The small scale and social atmosphere suggest a traditional B&B, but contemporary updates make the place feel something like a boutique hotel. Indeed, River House is a cross between the two. While certain design elements are standard throughout the property — rustic stone walls and old-fashioned wooden floors, restored colonial Portuguese furniture, wide windows with brightly painted shutters letting in ample sunshine — each of the guest rooms is decorated individually. In-room amenities include heated bathroom floors and large walk-in showers, flat-screen TVs and complimentary wi-fi. Breakfast is served in a living room overlooking the Douro River — better known as the Ribeira to locals — the waterway that forms the backbone of the ancient Alto Douro wine region, one of Portugal’s most important UNESCO World Heritage sites. It goes without saying this is the perfect room to sip port, the sweet wine that the place is famous for, and watch the sun set over the water, located just a short walk away from the hotel.

Torel Palace Porto

5-Star Hotel

This elegant palace, in the heart of Porto, is housed in a stunning mansion, which has been transformed into a charming, five-star hotel, with 24 rooms and suites, a restaurant, a pastry shop and a swimming pool. Some of the rooms have balconies/views of the pool or the city.

Things to do in Porto:

  • Stroll the Ribeira District:

  • Sample the Port Wine

  • Visit Sé Cathedral

  • Explore Livraria Lello - one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world

  • Admire the São Bento Railway Station

  • Indulge in Gastronomic Delights at a charming cafe

  • Take a Douro River Cruise

  • Try the famous sandwich - the francesinha


Day trip idea: Duoro Valley



What's next on your bucket list?


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