5 Underrated ruins worth visiting

Whitby Abbey Ruins | Photo by Roman Babakin
Whitby Abbey Ruins | Photo by Roman Babakin

5 Underrated ruins worth visiting

by Emma Bareihs
Stripes Europe

When creating travel itineraries, it is common to want to see the best of the best, especially when you only have a short time frame. In between the museums and guided tours of grand palaces, exploring ruins can sound boring. However, if you’re looking for a more relaxed experience on your own time, ancient ruin sites are a good option. While these aren’t the Roman Colosseum, Stonehenge or the Parthenon, check out these five underrated ruins worth visiting with the whole family.

1. Whitby Abbey, England

A couple of hours east of Leeds sits the gothic ruins of Whitby Abbey on the East Cliff of Whitby in the U.K. Roam the ruins to discover gothic architecture that has outstood war and weather. After grabbing fish and chips from the seaside town, walk up the 199 steps to the abbey. Bring picnic blankets for family fun in the countryside overlooking the water. 

Hohenbaden Castle | Photo by Jrgen Wackenhut

2. Hohenbaden Castle, Germany

The Hohenbaden Castle, built in the 12th century, overlooks the town of Baden-Baden, the Rhine Valley and the Black Forest. Free of charge and worth the view, the cliffside castle is an easy walk-through of steps and dungeons with a panoramic view.    

Delphi Ruins | Photo by Tomas Marek 

3. Delphi, Greece 

Considered the ‘center of the world’ in Ancient Greece, the ruins of Delphi honor the Greek gods and goddesses. Walk through temples dedicated to Athena, the Temple of Apollo, past the sacred Castalian spring and among the many bronze and silver monuments. Check out this settlement and the cemetery remains from the Roman and Classical period. 

Ruins inside Herculaneum | Photo by Stefano Armaroli

4. Herculaneum, Italy

The settlement of Herculaneum was buried under volcanic ash, similar to Pompeii (also worth a visit) but better preserved. Explore the Roman city of undamaged housing, temples, statues and more. Herculaneum’s walls and floors are still covered in colors and mosaics for the eye to see.

Roman Amphitheater in Mérida | Photo by tynrud

5. Mérida, Spain

The ruins of Mérida were also constructed in Roman times. Visit the amphitheater that once seated around 16,000 people, where popular shows of gladiators and animals took place in the arena. Columns and statues still stand around the theaters and gardens today. 

Family-friendly sites with scenic views can’t get much better than these! If you’re looking for downtime, while still honoring the history of your travel destination, strolling through ruin grounds can be a nice getaway for your imagination. Experience these ruins on your next family trip.






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