3 romantic hidden Gems of Europe

by Alejandra Flores
Stripes Europe

Florence, Venice, Paris, Vienna and Amsterdam. These cities always seem to find their way on some type of list for the top European cities with their picturesque streets, cute side cafes, vintage boutiques and overwhelmingly amazing history. Unfortunately, these renowned cities receive thousands to millions of tourists a year, making it extremely difficult to find a quiet, romantic space for you and your loved one to enjoy.  

If you’re looking for a quaint, charming and not as crowded spot, here are three exceptionally beguiling cities in Europe.  

Colmar, France 

A fairytale city, Colmar is so picturesque it’s unreal. Walk through the city, and you will quickly understand why. The cobblestone streets lined on one side by canals with exquisite flower arrangements overflowing on either side, houses with an array of colors hug the streets giving this city a traditional French country feel. While walking through the scenic streets, make sure to stop at one of the many cafes in the area including either 1924 - Un Monde de Cafe or La Libellule. After coffee, you can visit many of the historic sites such as the Adolph house, one of the oldest houses in town dating back to its construction in 1350, the two historic cathedrals, or the Untelinden Museum holding the famous Insheim Altarpiece by Matthais Grunweld. If you’re looking for something a little more active, make sure to rent bikes and take the scenic bike ride along the wine road of Alsatian to the smaller towns of the area experiencing good food and good wine.  

 

 

Rovinj, Croatia 

If you think Rovinj can’t rival with Cinque Terre, think again!  Lying on the west of the Istrian Peninsula, this port town has much to offer. You can begin your trip in the Old Town of Rovinj and experience the charming streets that are surrounded by Italian-styled houses giving it the same feel as an Italian city. Walking along the water you will find many quaint restaurants and bars that seem to touch the ocean including the Meditteraneo Bar. Continuing your walk, you will be able to stop and explore the ocean via ladders that descend into the crystal-clear blue water from the rocks encompassing this port city. After a swim, continue climbing up the streets to the St. Euphemia church where the Bell Tower awaits your ascent. Even though 192 steps does not sound like summer fun, it’s worth it when you’re rewarded with a breathtaking view of the entire city. If you’re tired of the city, you can take a break and visit Lim Fjord and Punta Corrente—a nature park—where you can hike and enjoy a totally different landscape of scenic mountains and clear water.  

Hallstatt, Austria  

Nestled on the edge of Lake Hallstatt, this city gives new meaning to the word romantic. The town itself sits on the base of the mountain where it touches the lake creating an interesting landscape of a mountainous village with a portside view. When visiting, make sure to stroll along Hallstat’s main street that parallels the lake and enjoy the view. Enjoy fine dining at Steegwirt, where you can dine right on the edge of the lake and enjoy their special of freshwater fish. For all those nature lovers, you and your loved one can hike the many Alp trails beginning right in Hallstatt! The Salt Brine Trail begins right in Hallstatt and takes you on a scenic route on the mountain overlooking the lake. Uncover natural beauties like the Walderbuchtrub Waterfall, or Lake Gosau. Explore hidden wonders with a trip down the salt mines with Saltz Welten where you begin your descent into the caves by wooden slide! (Fair warning tickets are pricy!) You can end your day with a leisurely walk through the old town market place or for something a little more romantic, take a ferry on the lake.  

Looking for something new and not as crowded? Definitely try one or even all of these cities. They all have a unique niche that will have you and your loved one remembering the trip for years to come! 

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