Check Out These Offbeat Places In Europe For Your Summer Getaway

This time when planning your summer vacation to Europe, go beyond France, Italy and Greece to these five other hidden gems in the region
Cape Greko of Ayia Napa and Protaras on Cyprus island
Cape Greko of Ayia Napa and Protaras on Cyprus island Vlas Telino studio/

For holidaymakers all over the world, Europe is their first choice to spend a dreamy summer, and often the last. How can it not be? There's nothing quite as seducing as the glittering azure waters of the Mediterranean, and the laid-back life locals enjoy. But despite the many gems it holds within its vast borders, certain destinations get all the attention every year. And while Spain, France, Italy, and Greece are undoubtedly beautiful and a poster child for the summer of a lifetime, you could head to many offbeat destinations this year for a reimagined Europe tour. Wondering where? We've got some ideas for you below!

Paphos, Cyprus

Paphos in Cyprus
Paphos in CyprusShutterstock

Located on the southwest coast of Cyprus, Paphos is straight out of a storybook. While you can enjoy its pristine shores, there's more that has earned it recognition by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. At the Paphos Archaeological Park, you can discover the many ancient Greek and Roman ruins, including the House of Dionysus. For an old-world charm, hit the local shops located in the Old Town. For a fantastic sea view, visit the Paphos Castle at the harbour's edge. Paphos also boasts a lively nightlife, so that you can indulge in some fun in the Kato Paphos area. 

Getting There

There are connecting flights from India to Paphos with a stop in Munich. 

Sibiu, Romania

View from Piata Mica Sibu in Romania
View from Piata Mica Sibu in RomaniaWikimedia Commons

Sibiu, a charming city in Romania, offers a rich blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. Start your visit by wandering through the medieval streets of the Old Town, where you can marvel at the well-preserved architecture, vibrant squares, and colourful buildings. Discover the iconic Brukenthal National Museum, home to an impressive collection of art spanning several centuries, including works by renowned artists. Stroll along the city's defensive walls, providing panoramic views of Sibiu and its surroundings. Don't miss the beautiful Council Tower, offering a bird's-eye view of the cityscape. 

Explore the intricate passages of the Passage of Stairs, lined with small shops, cafes, and art galleries. Indulge in local cuisine at traditional restaurants, savouring delicious Romanian dishes and experience the vibrant cultural scene by attending a performance at the stunning Thalia Hall or catching a show at the Radu Stanca National Theatre. For nature enthusiasts, venture outside the city to the Dumbrava Sibiului Natural Park, where you can enjoy tranquil walks amidst lush forests and picturesque lakes. 

Getting There

Lufthansa operates many flights from India to Sibiu, with a stop in Munich or Frankfurt. 

Graz, Austria

Graz, Austria
Graz, AustriaShutterstock

Austria's second-largest city, Graz, is as summer-friendly as it gets. And even eco-friendly Usually overlooked by tourists, Graz is quite the hidden gem with its beautiful Styrian countryside, enchanting Old Town, and exciting culinary scene that has perfected farm-to-fork dining. First, set off on a walk across the Old Town—wandering past its awestriking buildings with architectural styles birthed during the Italian Renaissance is the perfect way to understand its history. 

For a break from history, you can head to the Kunsthaus Graz, a contemporary art museum featuring futurist works, as well as other museums, such as the Museum of Contemporary Art, Natural History Museum, or the Styrian Armoury, one of the largest historic armouries in the world. Graz also hosts interesting summer festivals like The Styriarte Festival, La Strada Street Theatre Festival, and the Jazz Sommer Graz. Moreover, you can also venture towards South Styria on a wine tour. 

Getting There

There are connecting flights to Graz with stops at Vienna and Zurich. 

Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

The town of Mostar
The town of MostarWikivoyage/Ramirez

If you are in the mood for a romantic summer getaway, Mostar is just the right place, with its quaint corners still steeped in rustic charm. Begin by exploring the historic Old Town, wandering its cobblestone streets and admiring the iconic Stari Most (Old Bridge). Visit the Old Bridge Museum to learn about its significance and witness the traditional diving competition from the bridge. Relax along the banks of the Neretva River, savour traditional Bosnian cuisine like cevapi and burek, and sip on Bosnian coffee. Don't miss climbing the minaret of the Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque for panoramic views. Take a short trip to Blagaj and discover the Blagaj Tekke and Dervish Monastery. Consider a day trip to the Kravice Waterfalls, where you can marvel at the cascading water and swim in the turquoise pools. Finally, check out any summer festivals in Mostar, such as the Mostar Summer Festival, which showcases music, theatre, and cultural performances. 

Getting There

There are connecting flights to Mostar with stops in Frankfurt and Zagreb. 

Vilnius, Lithuania

Vilnius in Lithuania
Vilnius in LithuaniaShutterstock

Lithuania's capital is also a sought-after summer capital, with its diverse activities and attractions dotting the months. It brings together the old and the new, right from its UNESCO-enlisted Old Town, marked with narrow cobblestone streets and historic buildings, to the artistic neighbourhood of Užupis, known for its bohemian atmosphere and street art. 

Here, you can enjoy a bit of city life while also finding spaces where you can catch a break from it, such as Vingis Park or Belmontas Park. For a more enriching experience, visit the Museum of Occupations and Freedom Fights, which documents Lithuania's turbulent past. 

However, there is a lot of action that you can catch at the Republic of Užupis, a self-declared artistic and independent district, and discover its galleries, boutiques, and cosy cafes. Take a break at one of the city's numerous outdoor terraces or beer gardens to enjoy refreshing Lithuanian craft beer. Vilnius also boasts a vibrant cultural scene, with various festivals and events taking place during the summer months, including the Vilnius Jazz Festival and the Christopher Summer Festival, featuring classical music performances.

Getting There

There are many connecting flights to Vilnius with stops at either Munich, Frankfurt, or Istanbul. 

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