20 Underrated And Surprising Travel Destinations That Can Be Considered Hidden Gems
There are many popular travel destinations like Paris, Dubai, Greece, and London, but have you ever traveled to some offbeat location and found it surprisingly stunning? It doesn’t really matter whether a city is famous or not, as long as you get the adventure or peace according to your own needs. After all, every travel spot has something unique to offer.
We have scoured these Reddit threads to compile a list of the best travel destinations that are definitely worth visiting once in a lifetime. Scroll below to know more about those places and get ready to pack your bags!
Bologna, Italy. Arguably the best food city in arguably the best food country. I will never forget the tortellini al brodo, tagliatelle al ragù, and panna cotta I had there. I also loved walking up to the Madonna di San Luca and seeing the amazing view
Bhutan is criminally underrated. The government has a brilliant system in which to travel in the country you need to pay a daily fee. It very easily solves the overtourism problem that plagues countries like Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, and Vietnam. The fee means Bhutan isn’t affordable for backpackers and your average gap year kid. The country is pristine, the vistas are magical, and the people are so nice. I did a 12-night journey and had a guide the whole time, which allowed me to forget about logistics and spend my time in awe. Tigers Nest (probably the most famous tourist attraction in Bhutan) was just spectacular. The whole trip was great for disconnecting, too.
Sri Lanka! Pearl of the indian ocean with natural beauty and history.
Friendly people with tasty and organic spicy foods.
Sandy beaches with coconut palm trees. Wild life with elephants.
Beside Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker it’s not super touristy. There’s everything from the second largest barrier reef in the world to lush rainforests. It’s cheap, people are very friendly, and it’s relatively safe. I lived in Belize for a period of time and loved it.
Poland beyond Krakow. It was never on my radar before I moved to Germany and started traveling there all the time since it’s next door, but WOW. Poland has everything. Cool cities, great food, beautiful castles and countryside, fascinating history. It really doesn’t get the tourism it deserves, although I do like that the major sights aren’t crowded with other tourists.
Tasmania. When people travel to Australia they think of beaches and reefs. Tas has MASSIVE rain forests, beautiful scenic islands, and one of the largest Antarctic ports on the planet in Hobart.
Albania! Greece’s less famous neighbour. Beautiful beaches, tasty and quite cheap food, lots of gems to explore. The downsides: speaking English is kinda not their thing, so maybe brush up on some Italian or here are few useful words I learned :)
Western Sichuan, China. People flock to Tibet every year, they shovel out money for special Tibet Visas and they need to travel there in tour groups. Worst of all, all this money goes towards funding the Government or its supported tourism industry.
Sichuan province borders Tibet, and its western regions are steeped in thousands of years of history. It’s culturally Tibetan, and in the Himalayan foothills. Best of all: no permits, freedom to roam, and your money goes to the support of local people.
Not surprisingly it’s a bit more popular with Europeans, but Malta is practically unheard of among Americans and a fantastic place to visit. Cheap, stunningly beautiful, pretty good weather year round. I was there last month and there were a fair number of tourists around the main sites in Valetta, but literally almost no one once you went even slightly off the beaten path.
Northern Spain. Incredible beauty at a fraction of the cost of many similar places in Europe. You could spend a couple of months exploring the Basque Country, Asturias, Cantabria, and Galicia alone. Driving around the Picos de Europa is a great experience, and you can drive between rural mountain towns to quaint beach towns in less than an hour. Great public transportation to rural places in the Basque Country too.
My wife and I went to Puerto Rico last year on our honeymoon. It was so easy to get there — it felt like cheating. Old San Juan was gorgeous and we also spent time on the islands to the east, Culebra and Vieques. I’d love to go back and spend more time on Culebra. It was very laid back and there was great snorkeling right off the beach.
Image source: doktorinjh
I’m gonna say Alaska, but not via cruise. I stayed in a small town 3 hours from Anchorage and had the time of my life. It’s untouched wilderness. It was mind blowing. Moose would walk along the river bank while we fished and orcas swam next to our boat when we went to Kenai Fjords.
As I’ve said countless times on reddit.
It’s not a party destination but if you like the outdoors it’s got it.
Dune bashing? Check
Miles and miles of untouched coastline? Check
Hidden Oasis’? Check
Hell, they even have lush rain forests.
The people are some of the nicest in the world and the food is good. It’s still an under the radar destination and people are scared to go because it’s in the middle east but it’s completely safe. Omanis don’t buy into that extremist s**t so it hasn’t spread there.
Great f****n place it is.
If you are an outdoorsy person, you’ll find heaven in Baños, Ecuador. There is easy access to biking, whitewater rafting, bridge jumping, canyoning, zip lining, amazing waterfalls, and viewpoints. And there’s even pretty good nightlife. I would also recommend Mindo, located in Ecuador’s cloud forest. Ecuador is on the US dollar and everything is extremely cheap.
Borneo (esp. Kalimantan). Lots of people visit Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, most of Java, and Bali. Not as many people head to Borneo, and of those who visit Borneo, most stay in Malaysia and very few venture into Kalimantan (the Indonesian part of Borneo). Rainforest, orangutans, leopards, and beaches, and it’s way less crowded than Bali!
Go to Lebanon for the amazing food, nice people, the nightlife, and beautiful scenery throughout the country. Also the food! I’ve been to Israel, which was amazing in itself, but I enjoyed Lebanon even more.
Ljubljana, Slovenia. Its beautiful and full of friendly people.
On my first night there I went out to dinner with two guys I met at our hostel and the owner of the restaurant gave us some traditional Slovenian alcohol. It was like really strong cherry brandy only strong enough that we physically struggled to get it down. After finally finishing it he would come over with a huge smile and give is a refill. This happened all night and at the end of our meal we had to leave money on the table and run away before he made us drink more. Thinking back it sounds kind of rude on our part but I think he was laughing at us and it was all in good fun.
I found Ljubljana incredibly romantic — think Paris if Paris was still a small city of 300,000 people so nobody is trying to prey on you as a tourist. There’s also a castle overlooking the city. Its beautiful.
Image source: DunnoeStyll
Riga, Latvia. Great people and culture, lots of cool streets and buildings to explore. You can rent a car and drive out to a Bobsleigh track or get a train to the beach. If you’re in Europe you can get a very cheap Ryanair flight out there. I recommend going during the Baltic beer festival.
I was pleasantly surprised by Busan and South Korea in general. Bizarre juxtaposition of ancient/super modern and chaos/organized. I’m not sure how it functions but it does and seemingly way better than other large cities. The scenery, the food, and the people are fantastic.
Vilnius, Lithuania – Husband was surprised by how hip, cool, and well dressed people in Vilnius were. City was very nice as well – very clean and quaint with great baroque architecture.