Looking for a new kind of European holiday?
Rather than elbowing your way through the crowds to snap the requisite shots of the Eiffel Tower, London Bridge and the Tower of Pisa, why not explore Europe’s unknown treasures?
For an original experience far from the masses, check out the 10 least-visited countries in the European Union in the infographic and map below.
We’ll also tell you some of the best hidden gems to see when you visit. (Don’t forget to check out the visa requirements for ETIAS countries before booking your flight!)
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Check them out on the map! Click on each destination to see a photo.
- Small country that borders France, Belgium and Germany.
- You can drive all the way through the country in 1 to 2 hours.
- The medieval Old Quarter of the capital city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Impressive fairy tale castles, including Vianden Castle and Beaufort Castle.
- Forests, valleys and rock formations for hiking, rock climbing and camping.
- Borders Lithuania, Estonia and the Baltic Sea.
- Beautiful white-sand beaches, pristine lakes and dense forests.
- Amazing Art Nouveau architecture in Riga, the capital city.
- Visit Jurmala, Daugavpils, Cape Kolka, Cesis, Liepaja, Ventspils and Gauja National Park.
- Ventas Rumba waterfall is the widest in Europe.
- Borders Moldova, Ukraine, Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria and the Black Sea.
- Influenced by the Ottomon, Austro-Hungarian, Russian, and Soviet Empires.
- Vibrant cities of Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca and Sibiu.
- Picturesque towns, villages, castles, mountains and rolling hills.
- Transfagarasan Road in Transylvania is one of the world’s most scenic highways.
- Archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea, between Sicily and North Africa.
- Islands include Malta, Gozo, Comino and St Paul’s Island.
- Historically controlled by the Romans, Moors, Normans, Sicilians, Spanish, French and British.
- Ancient sites dating back to 3600 BC.
- Beautiful beaches, scuba diving, snorkeling, hiking, bike riding and rock climbing.
- Borders Latvia, Belarus, Poland, Kaliningrad of Russia and the Baltic Sea.
- Vilnius Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has beautiful Art Nouveau, Neoclassical, Gothic, Baroque, Romanesque and Renaissance architecture.
- Also visit cities of Kaunas, Nida, Klaipeda and Siauliai.
- Stunning national parks for canoeing, biking, hiking and bird-watching, such as Aukstaitija, Dzukija, Trakai and Zemaitija.
- Europe’s highest moving sand dunes, the Curonian Spit, with beaches along the sea.
- Borders Russia, Sweden, Norway and the Baltic Sea.
- Attractions include the Northern Lights, sauna culture, and a ski season lasting over 6 months.
- The capital city of Helsinki offers beautiful architecture, art and design; wild culinary experiences and Scandinavia’s largest shopping mall.
- Known as The Land of a Thousand Lakes, the country is a natural paradise with vast forests, mountains and dozens of pristine national parks.
- Local law states that you can roam the wilderness and camp anywhere as long as you don’t bother nearby people or nature.
- Shares a border with Latvia, Russia and the Baltic Sea.
- Tallinn, the capital, has a beautiful medieval quarter surrounded by city walls. It also boasts postcard-worthy architecture (like onion domes!) from various historical periods and cultural influences.
- Enjoy nature with skiing in Otepää or hiking, biking and kayaking in one of the green national parks.
- Visit the university town of Tartu, the seaside resort and summer capital Pärnu, and Lahemaa National Park.
- The country has over 2000 islands in the Baltic Sea. The most visited are Saaremaa, Hiiumaa, Kihnu, Ruhnu and Vormsi.
- Island nation in the Mediterranean, south of Turkey.
- Amazing beaches and year-round sunny weather are the top attractions.
- Many well preserved ancient monuments show the influences of the Greeks, Assyrians, Egyptians, Persians and Romans.
- Go hiking in rugged mountain landscapes with beautiful local flora and fauna.
- Visit Paphos, Limassol, Platres, Lefkara, Cape Greco, Kakopetria and the Troodos Mountains, along with Nicosia, the largest city and capital.
- Borders Croatia, Italy, Austria, Hungary and the Adriatic Sea.
- Charming capital city of Ljubljana is easy to explore on foot.
- The country’s small size makes it possible to stay in the capital and enjoy day trips to medieval villages, resort towns, underground caves, castles and forests.
- The enormous Skocjan Caves are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Visit natural delights such as the Soca River, Lake Bled, Lake Bohinj, Triglav National Park and the Julian Alps.
- Beautiful sandy beaches along the Black Sea.
- Impressive mountains offer hiking in the summer and skiing in the winter.
- Has architecture from the Thracian, Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman civilisations.
- Visit Nessebar (the Pearl of the Black Sea), Varna, Veliko Tarnovo and Plovdiv.
- The capital Sofia is a favourite for street art, trendy cafes and vibrant culture.
Don’t forget to check what type of visa you’ll need before travelling to these destinations.