A list of 6 incomparable cities that express their genuine personality through food, art, and culture, creating an unconventional European experience.
There is no “right way” to travel. There are countless ways to experience the world, and each one has its own merits. Every traveler has a personalized set of preferences that guide their travel plans—some love to be surrounded by tourists of all nationalities while museum-hopping in Rome, others like to drink a beer while learning a new language with locals in a hidden dive bar.
Though we appreciate tourist spots, we have grown into curious travelers with a fondness for unique destinations—it can be mysterious and thrilling to navigate a city we know nothing about! Unique destinations give you the chance to step outside of your comfort zone, try something new, and appreciate the authenticity that surrounds you. So, we’ve compiled a list of the European destinations that felt particularly unique to us, yet still had the same flair as the more popular cities. If you are a curious traveler and are looking for something other than the usual Paris, Rome and Barcelona, you will love these cities!
The breathtaking views of Lisboa are unlike any other destination in Europe. This city is covered in antique detail, from the patterned streets to the red porcelain roofs to the signature blue and white tiles called azulejos, which cover many of the buildings in mosaic-style murals. Our hotel gave a glimpse of the history that is strewn throughout the many charming neighborhoods tucked into this city. Even the cuisine in Lisbon is interesting, with its creative balance of innovation and Portuguese tradition.
Belgium is one of Europe’s most underrated countries for reasons we don’t quite understand. Antwerp, Belgium’s second largest city, has undeniably unique personality derived from its blend of old architecture and young, hopping culture—the vibe is unlike any other European city. This beer capital of the world is home to our favorite bar, The Kulminator, as well as unbeatably delicious chocolate and french fries. Belgium has its own kind of style, which we really appreciated in the decoration of our quirky BNB Boulevard Leopold.
Far away from the hoards of tourists, Malta offers a stunning paradise like you’ve never seen before. Gozo isn’t just a beach getaway—it’s an exotic vacation with turquoise water, golden sand, and remarkable culture. The streets are full of picturesque character, with stone washed walls and Christmas lights lighting up buildings all year long. Though it’s so close to Italy, this country has its own specific cuisine and street food, both of which contribute to its unique flavor.
Simply put, Iceland is a magical place full of mythical features and unusual characteristics. You can float around the Blue Lagoon hot springs, surrounded by lava fields, spend the day trekking glaciers, where ice mountains as big as skyscrapers tower over you and of course hunt for the Northern Lights. No matter what you're into, be it relaxing all day in a spa, discovering unique cuisines and dishes or being active, Reykjavik has you covered...plus the city is cool, no pun intended!
The unique architecture and deep history of this old city makes it an ideal destination for travelers that want a more uncommon experience of Europe. There are endless ways to enjoy Budapest, but most of them include simply admiring the buildings and artistic personality of the architecture. We really enjoyed eating our way through the city on a walking food tour, where we got to sample best tastes of Hungary. Staying in Budapest is a historic treat for travelers who appreciate fine details and grandiose culture.
For traveling foodies who want to savor something new, Copenhagen is a destination full of tasty creativity. We were constantly amazed at the innovative cuisine around every corner of this colorful place. The city is home to the oldest amusement park in the world , chic boutique hotels, and pure Scandinavian fun.