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Top 10 European destinations off the beaten track

Have a unique adventure in Europe!

Looking to travel Europe by train? Make it extra special by skipping the common destinations and heading off the beaten track in Europe. Explore the Romanian mountains, cruise the Montenegrin coastline and find natural wonders in Norway - adventure is out there waiting for you!

1. Ronda, Spain

Top 10 European destinations off the beaten track | Ronda, Spain

Why go?

This historic city in Spain dates back to the 9th century and is beautifully located on an inland plateau. Stand on the Puente Nuevo to stare into the deep chasm below and look out over the surrounding mountains.

 

How to get there

From Madrid, a direct train will take you to Ronda in just under 4 hours. From Malaga or Cordóba, the journey by train is less than 2 hours.

2. Meteora, Greece

Top 10 European destinations off the beaten track | Meteora, Greece

Why go?

Watch the six ancient monasteries of Meteora, built on sandstone pillars, rise high above the city of Kalambaka. Climb the staircases in the rocks for a fantastic view of this mountainous area in Greece.

 

How to get there

From Athens to the south, a train will take you to Kalambaka in under 5 hours. From Thessaloniki to the north, the journey takes less than 3 hours.

3. Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina

The old fountain at Sarajevo's bazaar in summer

Why go?

Sarajevo will surprise and delight you with its friendly people, great diversity and history around every corner. Walk the Bascarsija bazaar to see the lasting Ottoman influences in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

 

How to get there

From Mostar, the train will take you up to Sarajevo in under 3 hours. From Zagreb (Croatia), the trip will take you around 9.5 hours.

 

4. Kotor, Montenegro

Top 10 European destinations off the beaten track | Kotor, Montenegro

Why go?

Enjoy sunbathing in the gorgeous Bay of Kotor, and look out over it from the top of the Venetian fortress. Travelling on a budget? Montenegro is a great place off the beaten track to go for cheap hostels and cheaper drinks.

 

How to get there

The nearest train station is located in nearby Bar. A bus or taxi will take you to Kotor in less than 1 hour. From Dubrovnik (Croatia), the trip takes 3 hours by bus.

 

5. Olomouc, Czech Republic

Top 10 European destinations off the beaten track | Olomouc, Czech Republic

Why go?

Perhaps the most beautiful city in the Czech Republic, Olomouc can match Prague's historic sights and vibrant nightlife. Largely undiscovered by tourists, this is the perfect place to go to on a backpacker's budget.

 

How to get there

From Prague, a direct train takes you to Olomouc in 2 hours and 15 minutes. From Vienna, you can get there in under 3 hours.

 

6. Lofoten Islands, Norway

Lofoten islands in summer

Why go?

See Norway's nature at its very best, with deep fjords and high mountains. Go hiking or cycling, and set out to sea to spot killer whales. Summer is the best time to visit for great weather, endless sunshine and outdoor activities.

 

How to get there

Take a ferry from Bodo, Norway's northernmost train station.

 

7. Sighisoara, Romania

Top 10 European destinations off the beaten track | Sighisoara, Romania

Why go?

Colourful Sighisoara has a charming medieval atmosphere, and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This Romanian city is also the birthplace of Vlad Dracul, who inspired the legendary tale of Count Dracula.

 

How to get there

From Bucharest, the train takes you to Sighisoara in 5 hours and 20 minutes. From Budapest, take a night train to Sibiu and travel from there to Sighisoara in 3 hours.

8. Utrecht, Netherlands

Top 10 European destinations off the beaten track | Utrecht, Netherlands

Why go?

The canals of Utrecht offer something unique: wharfs at water level, where terraces line up in summer. Float down the Old Canal in a canoe or water bike, and enjoy the true vibe of the Netherlands in this lively student city.

 

How to get there

From Amsterdam, it's only a 30-minute train ride to Utrecht. From either Brussels or Cologne, the train will take you there in under 2.5 hours.

 

9. Lake Bled, Slovenia

Lake Bled in summer

Why go?

There is something magical about Lake Bled, the tiny island with the church, and the castle on the cliffs. It's one of the most popular destinations in this list and in Slovenia!

 

How to get there

Lake Bled is only a 1-hour train ride away from Ljubljana. It can easily be reached from neighbouring countries Italy, Austria, Croatia and Hungary.

10. Monschau, Germany

Top 10 European destinations off the beaten track | Monschau, Germany

Why go?

Little has changed in the historic town of Monschau, Germany, over the past 300 years. Visit the old center to find cobblestoned streets, half-timbered houses and a charming hilltop castle.

 

How to get there

The nearest train station is located in Aachen, less than 1 hour away from Cologne. From Aachen, a bus will take you to Monschau in 1 hour and 15 minutes.