The European continent caters to all types of travelers, including budget backpackers, families, couples, and tourists looking for luxuries. For this reason and more, Europe has become oversaturated with tourism, especially within the past few decades. 

It’s extremely common for a newlywed couple to honeymoon in Europe, just as it’s common for a recent college grad to spend a gap year here. The high tourism rates of cities like Paris, Amsterdam, and Berlin is a major turnoff for some travelers. Why visit a foreign country, just to be surrounded by the Americans, Canadians, or Australians you would normally spend time with at home? 

Luckily, there are plenty of destinations throughout Europe that still remain somewhat under the radar. For an authentic experience getting to know the local culture, forget about Rome and Paris. Instead, add these European destinations to your travel bucket list. 

Hvar, Croatia

The tourism rates experienced by Croatia have been on the rise for a while now, but not so much that the integrity of the country has been affected. Croatia is known for its stunning backdrop; it is located on the Adriatic Sea and is considered to be the ultimate diving destination in all of Europe. Out of the entire country, the must-see spot is the island of Hvar.

Part of the charm of visiting Hvar is the fact that it’s fairly easy to get to. Travelers can take book a Split to Hvar ferry for less than $20 USD per person. It’s by far the best place to lay on some beautiful European beaches, experience classic 13th century architecture, and eat fresh seafood. 

Genoa, Italy

If avoiding areas with lots of tourists is your main objective, maybe you have steered away from the idea of visiting Italy. However, you need to keep in mind that not all of the country can be compared to the likes of Rome and Milan. There are quite a few places in Italy that remain somewhat under the radar, such as Genoa.

Genoa is often described as a “humble” destination; it is not flashy like the other major cities of Italy. Instead of fashion and flash, Genoa has food and culture. You’ll find tons of charming little eateries that will be filled with locals instead of tourists. All of Italy is revered for its food, but Genoa is on an entirely different level. It is the birthplace of focaccia, pesto, and of course, the famous Genoa salami.

Lucerne, Switzerland

Lucerne is certainly not the cheapest city in the world, but it is one of the most beautiful. It is known for its crisp clean air and stunning hiking trails. In fact, it’s difficult to describe Lucerne as a city since it is home to some of the most breathtaking hikes in the entire world. Zurich, a much larger city of Switzerland, is a quick 45-minute drive. 

To make the trip to Lucerne an easy one, simply fly into the Zurich airport and rent a car. You won’t be disappointed with the views you see along the way. Unfortunately, budget travelers might not be able to stay in Lucerne for long, but even those traveling on a budget should at least experience the city for a day or two. 

Bucharest, Romania

The entire country of Romania is considered to be somewhat under the radar, but it is especially true for the city of Bucharest. Bucharest offers the ultimate combination of architecture and history, a major reason why so many history-loving travelers rave about this destination. A major part of the country’s history can be seen by merely observing the architecture. 

You’ll quickly learn that Bucharest is home to the heaviest Parliament building in the world. You’ll also learn that Bucharest is nearby to the famous castle of Dracula. Even though it may seem a bit cliche to engage in vampire-related tourism in Romania, it is recommended that you make the short drive from Bucharest to the castle. 

Salzburg, Austria

Austria is a must-see Eastern European country that many travelers fail to include in their itineraries. Avoid Vienna if crowds aren’t your thing, and instead make your way to lesser-known Salzburg. Salzburg is often referred to as the “art” capital of Austria even though the official capital is Vienna. This nickname came about as a result of the impressive music, food, and artwork scene of the area. 

You could spend your entire time in Salzburg eating delicious Austrian cuisine and drinking decadent wines. By simply meandering the streets of the city, travelers can eat, drink, and be merry while taking in the unique culture and architecture of Austria.