Most Underrated Travel Destinations by

20 Underrated Travel Destinations You Need To See

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Traveling to underrated travel destinations reinvigorates our desire to discover. Instead of following guidebooks down the well-trodden tourist trail, we tap into our adventurous ambitions and use local tips to find hidden gems.

Sure, there may not always be iconic sights at off-the-beaten-path locales, but there are fewer crowds and likely a deeper sense of discovery. All at a lower cost, and not just monetarily. While residents in some cities (like Dubrovnik and Barcelona) understandably bemoan the massive influx of tourists, locals in less-popular towns happily welcome visitors. Some are even outright bewildered why anyone would choose to visit their hometown!

While it’s difficult to argue with the merits of visiting the world’s most popular cities (like London, San Francisco, Paris, NYC and Sydney), taking a trip to underrated destinations can be equally – if not more – fulfilling!


How To Define Underrated Travel Destinations

While certainly everyone will have their own definition of underrated, our list of less popular locations to visit are unique travel destinations. Places that are not the first to come to mind when it’s time to take that next trip. 

Our list includes a wide range of places – from the most underrated European cities to visit to top underrated US road trip destinations – that will appeal to a broad spectrum of travelers.

We feature under-the-radar cities, small towns nestled in nature and places with difficult histories and vibrant cultures.


20 Best Underrated Travel Destinations

Yes, you can get a suntan at Lake McDonald Beach, Glacier National Park, Montana Road Trip

We believe our list features some of the most underrated places to travel in the world. So get ready to make some travel plans and pack your bags – and get excited for an amazing trip to one of the world’s best underrated vacation spots!

Save, Pin or Bookmark our Underrated Travel Destination Guide to plan your next trip!



View from Cerro Campanario in Bariloche, Argentina

While popular regionally, Bariloche, Argentina is one of the top underrated holiday destinations for North American travelers. In fact, visiting Bariloche in the shoulder seasons of spring and autumn, you could find yourself discovering the area in near complete solitude.

Dotted with tree-covered mountains and glassy lakes, the natural beauty of the Bariloche landscape is simply stunning. The town sits on the shore of a breathtaking lake and is surrounded by the Nahuel Huapi National Park in Northern Patagonia. With numerous hiking trails, Bariloche is an ideal retreat for trekkers, nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Read 10 Things To Do in Bariloche, Argentina



Roman Theater in Lecce, Italy

When people think of a vacation to Italy, they likely have visons of Rome, Milan, Venice and Florence. Lecce, however, is one of the best underrated places to visit in Europe!

Situated in the Puglia region (the heel of Italy’s boot), Lecce has a long history and distinct (and delectable) cuisine. Once a walled city, the historic old town features unearthed Roman ruins, ornate Baroque architecture and a maze of cozy cobblestone lanes. Find the Best Things To Do in Lecce, Italy



View over the harbour of Wellington New Zealand

One of the most underrated tourist destinations in the Southern Hemisphere, Wellington, New Zealand is often overlooked in favor of Auckland or Queenstown. We, however, fell head over heels in love with Welly!

Wellington is a Goldilocks city; not too big, not too small, but just right – and yet it remains one of the most underrated holiday destinations. The Capital of New Zealand has a bit of history, plenty of nature and loads of great NZ Craft Beer. Although New Zealand, in general, is an expensive destination, Wellington offers a variety of affordable things to do, too! Read the Top Things To Do in Wellington, NZ



Winter View in Dresden, Germany

Dresden stands out for us as one of the top underrated European destinations. Often skipped over in favor of other popular German cities (such as Munich, Berlin and Frankfurt), Dresden is actually an incredibly fascinating and beautiful place to visit. The old town (completely rebuilt after World War II) is overflowing with charm, while the trendy Neustadt neighborhood offers a hip and edgy vibe. Plan your Dresden Itinerary



St. John the Baptist Church at Lake Bohinj, Slovenia

Slovenia is an extremely underrated travel destination, which is such a shame because it is one of the most picturesque countries in the world! Often confused with Slovakia, we think the most beautiful place in Slovenia is Lake Bohinj. Featuring crystal clear blue water and surrounded by towering mountain peaks, Lake Bohinj is blissfully picture-perfect. If you are looking for the most underrated places to visit in Europe for nature, put Lake Bohinj, Slovenia on your list! Read our 3-Day Lake Bohinj Itinerary



Warsaw Old Town Buildings, Poland

We think Poland in general is one of Europe’s most underrated travel destinations – and travelers who venture to the country typically pass over Warsaw for Krakow or Gdansk instead.

To be honest, we were not expecting much when we first visited Warsaw…but the city took us by surprise – which is why we think it is one of the top underrated European travel destinations! The colorful old town (which is one of Poland’s many UNESCO World Heritage Sites), opulent architecture and royal past enchanted us. Even more powerful, however, is the Warsaw story; one of resiliency, uprising and rebuilding – which is detailed in Warsaw’s state-of-the-art museums. Plan your Warsaw Itinerary



Swinging on swings over cliff at Ceningan Cliffs Restaurant on Nusa Ceningan, Bali, Indonesia

Bali, Indonesia has long been a much-touted tourist destination, but just off the southeastern shore is a trio of islands that are considerably less trafficked. Collectively called the Nusa Islands – they don’t get nearly enough praise or the thick crowds of mainland Bali. Of the three Nusa Islands, Ceningan is the smallest and a very underrated beach vacation destination.

Nusa Ceningan is reachable only by a small boat or narrow footbridge from neighboring Lembongan Island. Dirt paths follow the coastline, leading up to scenic overlooks and down to hidden coves. A handful of Nusa Ceningan beach bars offer fine views, cold drinks – and even a chance for cliff jumping or chair swinging.

Visitors looking for a little solitude and relaxation in a province that caters to mass tourism can agree that Ceningan is still one of the most underrated places to visit in the world. Read our Complete Nusa Islands, Bali Guide



View of Old Town and parks from the Town Hall Clock Tower platform in Lviv, Ukraine

Lviv, Ukraine is one of our favorite underrated destinations in Europe – we miss it very much and can’ wait to return someday.

Quaint and quirky, Lviv is a city we loved straight away. Complimented with a beautiful historic old town, passionate citizens and a slew of interesting attractions – Lviv offers a lot for the curious traveler. Lviv’s history is detailed in interesting museums and the amazing Ukrainian Cuisine and lively Lviv Bars were other highlights of our visit. Check out the Top Things To Do in Lviv, Ukraine



Washington Water Power, Spokane, WA

We sort of stumbled onto Spokane during our road trip from Montana to Oregon, but quickly realized it is one of the top Underrated Cities in the US.

Surrounded in lush nature and exuding a small-town vibe, Spokane offers visitors a long list of things to do – from scenic strolls in gorgeous parks, to touring historic neighborhoods, along with tasting local wine and craft beer. Read all the Best Things To Do in Spokane, Washington



Famous Latin Bridge in Sarajevo, BIH

One of the top underrated places to travel to for vacation in Europe, Sarajevo is a truly fascinating city. It also happens to be one of the top affordable travel destinations in Europe!

Sarajevo has a lengthy and infamous history that stretches back centuries – most recently being under siege for four long years in the 1990’s. Today it is a city of intriguing sights, indulgent cuisine and kind people – all of which make it one of the best underrated places to travel! Read all about Touring Sarajevo



Red tourist boat and Haarlem Windmill in Haarlem, Netherlands

If you are seeking underrated vacation destinations near top tourist cities, then Haarlem, Netherlands fits the bill! Just a short bus ride from bustling Amsterdam, Haarlem is a true gem.

Similar to Amsterdam – with gabled houses and canals – Haarlem is much smaller and exudes a community feel. That said, Haarlem top sights, like the Molen De Adriaan Windmill, the Corrie ten Boom House and the Grote of St. Bavokerk on the main square are impressive in their own right! Learn more about the Top Things To Do in Haarlem, Netherlands



Big Square, Piata Mare, Sibiu, Romania

Romania was our first “new” country in a very, very long time and the city of Sibiu absolutely charmed us! Even though it is one of the lesser known Europe travel destinations, there are many reasons to visit. Nestled in the Transylvania region, Sibiu features lovely architecture, amazing cuisine and beautiful parks.

The two main squares in Sibiu buzz with pedestrian activity both day and night, and the soaring town towers lure visitors up rickety stairs for impressive views. Read about the Best Things To Do in Sibiu, Romania



National Library of Kosovo and Church of Christ the Savior in Prishtina, Kosovo

Perhaps one of the most underrated countries to visit, Kosovo doesn’t see many tourists. In our opinion, however, Pristina, Kosovo ranks as one of the most intriguing places we have ever visited.

Only becoming a capital city in 2008, Pristina is still very much in transition – and its apparent growing pains are obvious throughout town. Still, we marveled at the sights, learned about the history and were smitten by the locals. For travelers looking to get off the beaten path and travel to somewhere nearly devoid of tourists, Pristina is one of the best underrated destinations. Read our Pristina, Kosovo Travel Guide



The White Temple, Wat Rong Khun, in Chiang Rai, Thailand

One of the most underrated vacation spots in Thailand, Chiang Rai is a feast for the senses! Not to be confused with Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai is a busy city in Northern Thailand which is more often toured on a day trip than an stand alone destination. We feel that would be a mistake.

The city’s most famous attraction is the White Temple, which is a highlight – but there are so many more reasons why Chiang Rai is one of the most underrated travel destinations! Visitors can also seek out waterfalls, many other temples, markets and try deliciously spicy North Thai cuisine. See all the Fun Things To Do in Chiang Rai, Thailand



View of Riga, Latvia from Latvian Academy of Sciences building

Hen and Stag parties aside, Riga, Latvia is still one of the best underrated European cities! In Riga, church steeples soar above the quaint and historic old town, while skyscrapers complete the modern skyline beyond the city center.

Riga emanates a youthful atmosphere, largely due to the many fun Riga Bars! However, visitors can also travel a short distance on easy Riga Day Trips to lovely Jurmala Beach or into the enchanting forest-covered hills of Sigulda. Read about more Things To Do in Riga, Latvia



View of Old Town Osijek, Croatia

The long, stunningly beautiful coastline of Croatia can hardly be named one of the underrated vacation spots – but the inland region of Slavonia and the city of Osijek certainly are!

We visited Osijek in the wintertime when the vast Kopacki Rit Nature Park was covered in frost and the city’s tight-knit community celebrated Christmas. The highlight of Osijek for us, however, is the outstanding regional cuisine and local wine – making it one of the best underrated places to travel to for foodies! Read about the Several Super Reasons to Visit Osijek, Croatia



Exterior of the Belfast City Hall, Northern Ireland

Belfast has depth, intrigue and a sadly sordid past that is still quite discernible. Despite this, Belfast has certainly evolved into a spectacular and safe place to visit. Delicately calm now, Belfast appeals to a wide range of travelers for a variety of reasons, but it remains one of the most underrated travel destinations Europe.

Belfast offers visitors a lively nightlife, an incredible museum dedicated to a very infamous ship and access to beautiful and unique coastline formations. Read our guide to the Best Belfast Things To Do



Most amazing Lake McDonald View, Glacier National Park, Montana

Montana. Just the name conjures up images of soaring mountains, stunning valleys, crystal-clear lakes and miles and miles of miles and miles. All of which is perfect for feeling far away from it all under bright blue skies in the middle of wide open spaces.

From quaint Montana towns like Whitefish, Kalispell and Missoula to incredible natural landscapes and hiking in Glacier National Park, a visit to Montana is rugged and wild. Admittedly, all of these reasons are quickly pushing Montana out of the underrated travel category. You might want to quietly get there sooner rather than later or go in winter! Get all our tips for a Montana Road Trip



Where to find the Best Naxos Beaches, Greece

Greece is a bucket list destination for travelers around the world – especially the Greek Islands. Naxos Island, however, is often bypassed as visitors rush to the islands of Santorini, Mykonos and Crete

In our opinion, Naxos is one of the top hidden gem travel destinations in Europe. The island hosts relics from the ancient past, boasts long stretches of beautiful sand beaches and commands an utterly superb culinary scene. Read our guide of the Best Things To Do in Naxos, Greece!



View of George Square, Glasgow, Scotland, UK

Glasgow may lurk in the shadows of its very famous neighbor to the east, Edinburgh, but we wouldn’t recommended mentioning that to any Glaswegians!

Truth is, Glasgow was once one of the richest cities in the world. However, those years of industrialization, followed by decades of decline, never earned Glasgow much popularity on the international travel scene.

Well, now you have a chance to get in on the ground floor of a underrated travel city – one that offers incredible museums, a robust food and drink culture and gregarious residents that are always up for a chat. Glasgow may be gritty and a little goofy, but it’s absolutely not boring! Find all the Great Glasgow Things To Do.

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Unique Ways to Travel to Any Destination

Looking for more intriguing travel escapades? Get inspired to plan that next vacation with our detailed and completely free travel guides! You will find full itineraries, city walking tours and lists of prime things to do in amazing locations worldwide. Yes, we feature the popular places as well, but we’ll show you a different way to experience them!


How To Plan Your Next Trip

As you prepare for your trip to that Underrated Destination, keeping track of the details is more essential than ever. Off-the-beaten-path locations tend to not be as developed for tourism, so getting a solid plan together is key. Stay organized with our simple Printable Travel Planner. It contains 26 pages of trip organization! 

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We Want To Know: What are your favorite underrated places in the world? Which cities would you add to our list of Underrated Travel Destinations? Give us your advice in the comments below! 


Start planning your next trip! Search for the lowest airfares, the best accommodations and fun things to do…then start packing!  Want more travel advice? Head over to our Travel Planning Page for more tips on traveling – and for country-specific information, take a look at our Travel Guides Page!


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Underrated Travel Destinations Around the World