15 Lesser-Known European Destinations to Visit to Beat the Crowds



Packed streets, long lines to enter all the “must-see” sites, and extortionate prices are unfortunately what accompany visits to touristy cities. However, many places in the world are just as beautiful, if not more so, as big names like Venice, London, and Paris. For instance, did you know that Portugal has its very own Venice called Aveiro where you can ride gondolas past colorfully tiled buildings?

1. Aveiro, Portugal

15 Lesser-Known European Destinations to Visit to Beat the Crowds

We all know about the beauty of Venice, but few people have heard of the Venice of Portugal, Aveiro. This stunning canal town is full of colorfully tiled houses that hold a special charm. It’s also located on the coast, by an estuary, which gives it its network of river channels. Like Venice, you can ride on gondolas (or “moliceiros” in Portuguese) around the town, minus the crowds.

This makes Aveiro the perfect summer town for a European vacation, with beaches and lagoons to visit outside of the city center.

2. Pacentro, Italy

15 Lesser-Known European Destinations to Visit to Beat the Crowds

This village is perched on the Italian hilltops in the Abruzzo Region, and it is actually one of the best-preserved medieval towns of Italy. It has been nominated as one of the “Borghi più belli d’Italia” (“The most beautiful villages in Italy”) and it’s easy to understand why, with its winding streets and stone houses, full of character. It truly is a destination for an authentic experience of an Italian town.