Carlita, travel blogger at Carlita.me, is sharing her favourite destinations in Central Europe that are often left under the radar of travellers. Check out her recommendations and plan your next trip with her top picks!
From the charm of Cesky Krumlov, an enchanting town in the south of the Czech Republic, to Szentendre, an art commune transformed into a tourist enclave, Europe is full of hidden treasures and under the radar destinations that only few have heard of.
Sandwiched between the Croatian and Italian borders lies a little slice of Slovenian paradise known as Piran. Overlooking the breezy Adriatic coastline, Piran has immaculately maintained its medieval architecture. The city isincorporating a mix of Roman, Venetian and Austro-Hungarian architecture.
The best way to admire the beauty of this medieval municipality is by climbing the Walls of Piran that sit on the outskirts of the city. After admiring the panorama you can spend the next few hours meandering the backstreets and alleys of the city, visit the Church of St George or take a dip in the pristine blue waters in one of the towns two local beaches. Just a 90 minute drive from the capital, Piran is the perfect day trip for those wanting a seaside escape.
On the outskirts of Krakow sits a sleepy township called Wieliczka. But what lies under Wieliczka is what draws hundreds of thousands of tourists to descend here every year. Reaching a depth of 327 metres underground and 287 kilometres in length, the Wieliczka Salt Mine is among one of the oldest salt mines in the world.
The most alluring appeal of this wonder is the statues and chapels carved out by the miners during their time underground. The most acclaimed room in the mine is the underground cathedral, which is completely carved from salt, including the chandeliers and sculptures. It can be booked for functions accomodating up to 400 people.
Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic
Buried in the southern region of the Czech Republic is Cesky Krumlov, a town often described as a miniature version of Prague. Although only a 2 hour ride from the capital, I would suggest you stay here overnight to fully immerse yourself in this medieval sanctuary.
Dated to the 1200s, Cesky Krumlov is now a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, and its not hard to see why with its charming architecture and winding cobblestone streets.
Among its best rated attractions include the Castle perched atop a mountain overlooking the town, the main market square, and hundreds of artisanal shops littered throughout the town selling everything from traditional treats to local products made by the locals.
One of the smallest in Europe, Bratislava is a capital city that compels intrigue from its visitors. While most only visit for the day, there is enough to do for at least an overnight stopover.
Perched on the Danube with a UFO hovering over one side of the city and a majestic white castle on the other, Bratislava evokes a distinct ambience from inside the medieval walls surrounding the city centre.
After roaming the old town and finding hidden treasures in its winding alleyways, it is easy to walk to the city’s other attractions that lie outside the fortified walls. The Blue Church, the museum inside the Bratislava Castle and the viewing deck on top the UFO building are worth a visit.
Just a 40 minute drive from Budapest, Szentendre is a former artist enclave turned tourist attraction. Outside of the main square, there are a number of peculiar museums including the Marzipan Museum, a Ceramic Museum and a Micro Art Museum. Perhaps the most interesting attraction of the town is the Open Air Museum which depicts life in rural Hungary in a life size fashion.
Guest author: Carlita is a travel blogger and photographer based in Australia. She writes travel articles and food guides about the places she has lived and travelled.