5 unexpected must-see destinations in Europe
It is impossible to have ‘done’ Europe. Its varied landscapes, cultures and monuments provide endless opportunities to explore and find your own hidden gems beyond the ‘lions’ that visitors flock to see.
Some of these you’ll have to search for, going far beyond the beaten path; others you’ll find hiding in plain sight. Whatever experience you’re looking for, you can uncover even more of Europe’s wonder aboard a private jet charter. Simply book and take flight in exclusive style. Here are five must-see destinations to get you started on your journey.
To fully embrace the beauty of Eastern Europe, travel to Ljubljana, Slovenia, and spend a few days exploring the sights and sounds of this wonderful city. With so many events and festivals going on all year round, you’re sure to find something interesting and exciting to see.
To fit some culture into your holiday, stop by one of Ljubljana’s many awe-inspiring museums. Learn more about the historical significance of the city at the City Museum of Ljubljana or go off the beaten path and wander through the new Museum of Puppetry, located in Ljubljana Castle itself.
If you’re looking to get away between the months of March and October, plan your trip to Ljubljana and experience what is known as Open Kitchen. Every Friday night during these months, the Ljubljana Central Market welcomes visitors to a street food market where there’s something for everyone. Experience truly Slovenian cuisine right from Slovenian chefs and spend the evening chatting with locals and other visitors.
The capital of Belgium, Brussels is often overlooked by tourists. Even though it’s the host city of many of the operations of the European Union, and its architecture is breathtaking, many people skip over Belgium and opt for visiting France, Germany and the Netherlands instead. Don’t make this mistake.
Chocolate and beer lovers flock to Brussels, and for good reason. If you’re looking for an awesome culinary experience, then Brussels is the place for you. Pop by Café Belga and blend with the locals and the expatriates who come to socialise. Come for breakfast, brunch, lunch, coffee or tea in the afternoon, an aperitif before dinner or a drink after dinner. It’s a must-see for anyone who wants to experience Brussels like a local.
If you want to sample Belgium’s best beers, head to Moeder Lambic, a popular bar with a great selection of beers. If you’re not sure what to try, ask your server. They’re great for making recommendations.
If you run out of things to see in Brussels, take a day trip to Bruges, also a UNESCO World Heritage city that maintains its Gothic architecture. Stroll along the streets and sit outside at a cafe and watch the people go by. The city was originally a medieval settlement, and it’s maintained much of its original beauty. If you have the time, Bruges is just a short train ride from Brussels and well worth the time.
Monasterio de Piedra Park, Spain
Considered a hidden gem of nearby Zaragoza, Spain, Monasterio de Piedra Park is the perfect park to explore for those who want to visit tourist spots such as Madrid and Barcelona (in fact, the park is practically in the middle of the two).
The monastery was first founded in 1194 by Alfonso II of Aragon, and today, it welcomes visitors from all over the world. Before you reach the monastery, hike around the park and take in the natural beauty and wonder. Skip rocks across Mirror Lake and see if you can spot a divided waterfall within the park.
When you’re ready, head to the monastery and take a guided tour. You’ll learn about hundreds of years worth of European history, from the time when the Moors first used the land as a defensive fort to the time of Alfonso II’s conquering of it. You’ll see how the monastery played an important role in Spain’s history and see why these beautiful structures still stand tall today.
Considered an up-and-coming tourist destination in Sweden, Gothenburg is not to be overshadowed by Stockholm. It is home to world-class restaurants and scenery which is practically unmatched by anywhere else in Europe. The city sits on the west coast of Sweden that stretches up to Norway, perfect for exploring the jagged rocks and tiny islands that dot the coastline with a kayak.
In the city itself rest hundreds of delicious restaurants that you won’t want to miss. Of course, this is one of the best European cities for seafood so don’t forget to sample a few different dishes during your stay.
If you want to venture outside of Gothenburg, head to Marstrand and do a little celebrity watching. These quaint summer resorts may look quiet, but it’s also a favourite spot for celebrities and royalty alike. Window shop through the tiny streets or go sun bathing and see who else you’re sharing the beach with.
Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
A UNESCO World Heritage site, Plitvice Lakes National Park is one of the most naturally beautiful locations in Europe. Away from the bustling crowds of Rome, Berlin and Venice, this gorgeous location is perfect for any nature lover.
For thousands of years, water has been flowing over chalk and limestone, creating natural dams. Lakes, waterfalls and caves have formed around these locations, filled with crystal-clear water and plenty of lush, green plants around. Wolves and bears inhabit the area along with many rare species of birds.
Explore the 20 different lakes that are surrounded by a dense forest, and keep an eye out for the many great species of wildlife. You never know what you might catch a glimpse of among the trees.
Charter your private jet to experience Europe in a whole new way.