Top 10 Hidden Gems to explore in Europe!

10. Tirana, Albania
What was once a not-so-vibrant city is now a rainbow of pastel-colored buildings, thanks to a former mayor who is now Albania’s prime minister. Tirana branches out from Skanderbeg Square and boasts ample green space, designer boutiques, and inventive bars. Go for a ride on the cable car up to Mount Dajti for the best views of the city.
Tirana is also conveniently located between the Adriatic Cost and the Albanian Alps, making it the perfect jumping off point for further travel.
 9. Vipava Valley, Slovenia
Just an hour’s drive from Slovenia’s capital, Ljubljana, the Vipava Valley is bursting with vineyards and boutique wineries. The valley shares a western border with Italy and looks surprisingly similar to Tuscany — but without the price tag.
 8. Vilnius, Lithuania
Despite being Lithuania’s capital, Vilnius doesn’t make it onto too many traveler’s lists — although it should. This year is an especially good time to visit, considering Lithuania is celebrating 100 years of independence, which means there will be plenty of celebrations and festivals.
Wander through the city’s Baroque Old Town, and enjoy a craft beer or two while you savor the cuisine at a number of impressive Nordic-leaning restaurants.
 7. Small Cyclades, Greece
The Small Cyclades, a cluster of islands in the Aegean Sea, remains relatively untouched by the hordes of tourists that plague better-known Greek islands like Santorini and Mykonos. Irkalia, Schinousa, and Donousa are all ideal options for quiet, pristine beaches and winding, cobblestone streets.
Koufonisia is another must-see, but make sure to go soon — the island is quickly becoming a hot spot thanks to high-speed ferries upping their service.
 6. Dundee, Scotland
This September, Dundee will see the opening of Scotland’s first design museum when the V&A opens with galleries that will display around 300 exhibits showcasing Scottish design throughout the years. Museum-goers will be able to explore everything from architecture to video games to fashion.
The museum building is a piece of art itself: Designed by Kengo Kuma and looking out onto Craig Harbour, the V&A is part of a 30-year regeneration project that was inspired by the UNESCO City of Design award Dundee’ received in 2014.
 5. Provence, France
There’s perhaps no region of France as stunning as Provence— a bold claim, considering the country is home to gems like Normandie and Occitanie. But this southern part of the country is filled with lavender fields, olive groves, and bright turquoise waters bordering rocky beaches.
Aix-en-Provence and Marseille are best for those looking for more of a city vibe (think trendy bars and restaurants and a thriving contemporary art scene), but if you’re looking to seclude yourself, a journey to Gordes, a postcard-worthy hilltop village rising out of the Luberon Valley.
 4. Kosovo
Although Kosovo has only had its independence for 10 years, the small nation is slowly starting to attract travelers. According to Lonely Planet, Kosovo is home to the continent’s youngest median population.
Nestled in Balkans, in the midst of two mountain ranges, Kosovo offers the Via Dinarica hiking trail for outdoorsy types. Movie buffs will like the city of Prizren, which dates back to the Ottoman era and hosts Dokufest, a documentary, and short film festival.
 3. Friesland, The Netherlands
The northern province of Friesland holds much of the same allure that Amsterdam does — pretty canals, cute coffee houses, and picturesque brick buildings — but without the crowds. Friesland’s capital, Leeuwarden, was named one of two European Capitals of Culture for 2018, which means the city will have plenty of festivals, installations, and exhibits for visitors to explore.
Art lovers should take some time to see the Sense of Place exhibit, 25 works of art and pieces of landscape architecture installed all along the beautiful Wadden Sea Coast.
 2. Cantabria, Spain
The topography of Cantabria, a region located on Spain’s northern coast, is one that boasts a little something for everyone.
Part of the Cantabrian Mountains forms Picos de Europa, the oldest national park in the country, which also happens to be celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.
If you’re not a hiker, chances are you’ll enjoy the region’s beaches, prehistoric cave art, and quaint port villages like Santillana del Mar and Comillas. Plus, ferries from Ireland now offer direct service to Cantabria’s capital, Santander.
 1. Emilia-Romagna, Italy
If you’re traveling to Italy for the food — and who isn’t — then the northern region of Emilia-Romagna should top your list. Encompassing the cities of Bologna, Parma, and Modena, the region is the birthplace of many Italian staples, like ragù, prosciutto di Parma, balsamic vinegar, and parmesan cheese.
Foodies also won’t want to miss Eataly World, a massive Italian food theme park that opened in Bologna last year.


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