European Destinations That Actually Live Up to Their Hype
Have you ever turned up at a world-renowned destination after getting massively hyped just to be a bit underwhelmed?
Sometimes places look incredible on Instagram yet when you see them in person they’re either crawling with tourists, low-key ruining the magic, or they’ve been talked up so much that it’s impossible to match any expectations. To ensure your European holiday is packed with awe-inspiring destinations and remarkable landscapes that you can marvel at in wonder, here are six epic destinations that actually live up to their hype!
Prague is one of those real-life fairytale locales where you can stroll through the city and feel transported back in time, making it totally worth the hype. With its grandiose architecture and whimsical castles, there isn’t anywhere else like it in the world.
Hitler actually saved parts of Prague from Nazi destruction in an effort to make it something of a museum to the lost Jewish race. That didn’t quite go to plan but we’re very glad this enchanting city wasn’t lost to the wars.
An essential European destination, you can’t beat people-watching in Old Town Square, exploring Prague’s historic churches, or wandering through the romantic Letna Park— with sweeping views of the city, it’s guaranteed Instagram gold.
Listed as a stop on multiple Wild Kiwi tours, it’s no wonder Cinque Terre is one of the most breathtaking places in Italy, and some might even say the world.
Directly translated as “Five Lands,” these five little villages off the coast of northeastern Italy are often photographed for their remote, simplistic charm and stunning locale. With the waves of the Mediterranean sea lapping at the classic cliffside landscape, these adorable beachside towns somehow make window shutters and laundry lines look impossibly beautiful. With vehicles also being strictly limited, this charming region remains well-preserved and feel as though you’ve stumbled into an old Italian fantasy. We think Cinque Terre is easily one of Europe’s top destinations!
Budapest is a travellers dream and one of the best European cities to visit. Stunning architecture, pop-up bars, and a mild obsession with paprika make this eastern European destination an urban hipster playground with a strong dose of opulence.
Budapest is a vibrant city with heaps to do. Take a walk along the gorgeous Danube river and catch one of the most awe-inspiring parliaments in the world with its intricate neo-gothic design. After the sun goes down check out the nightlife and hit one of Budapest’s many “ruin bars,” makeshift speakeasy’s in the ruins of old apartments, shops and rooftops. Snag yourself one of their cheap drinks, pursue art installations, and dance with the locals until the sun comes up. The next day you can wash away all the toxins in one of Budapest’s famous mineral hot baths, so don’t forget your swimmers!
Lake Bled, Slovenia
Tucked away between holiday heavy-hitters like Italy and Croatia lies the peaceful country of Slovenia and the gorgeous hidden gem that is Lake Bled. Off the beaten path from the common tourist route, the stunning waters and landscape of Lake Bled are often overlooked for the heavily trafficked Paris and London. Sapphire in colour with an epic mountainous backdrop and island castle make this spot feel like a page right out of a storybook.
Despite this remote location, Lake Bled offers plenty to boast about. From its quaint shoreside cafes to the rowboats used to explore the lake, it’s impossible not to skip home bragging about this picture-perfect treasure.
One of the world’s best-preserved cities and a top European destination, the centre of the Dutch capital has barely changed since the era of Rembrandt lending to its cosmopolitan magic. But don’t be fooled, this old-world city is anything but behind the times. Colourful and quirky with historic charm, it’s international scene delivers a modern flare. Contemporary bars, shopping, and cafes are nestled between Amsterdam’s famously picturesque canals, 17th-century buildings, and streets buzzing with bicycles. The city is simultaneously old yet new, sophisticated but humble.
You can go to the Van Gogh museum and brush up on your art history, check out the infamous red-light district, and legally eat a weed brownie while cruising down a canal in the same afternoon. Amsterdam knows how to live. Balancing intellect with indulgence, you won’t leave this city without a tale to tell.
Go there: Eastern Voyager, Western Voyager, Western Navigator, Eastern Navigator, European Experience, European Explorer, European Navigator, European Discovery, Absolute Europe, European Adventure, European Journey
This is the kind of place travel blogger dreams are made of and should be on the top of any traveller’s bucket list. When visiting Croatia it’s easy to default to its stunning beaches and ancient greek architecture, but make sure that you see this country’s real crown jewel, Plitvice Lakes.
A top European destination, this UNESCO World Heritage site is so pretty it looks photoshopped, but is indeed a real-life wonder. Discover a sparkling cascade of waterfalls joining lakes so brilliantly blue your eyes will ah-ooo-gah out of their sockets. You can wander around the weaving wooden walkways thoughtfully built to help travellers navigate the lush terrain, and soak up Croatia’s brightest natural spectacle.
If you’re keen to experience all of these magical spots and soak up all life has to offer on a trip across Europe, make sure to check out Wild Kiwi’s epic Europe itineraries and get your Eurotrip underway!