Europe’s Hidden Cities

4th April, 2022, in Travel Advice & Guides

There are so many European cities that tourists flock to each year. Paris, Rome, Berlin, Barcelona, the list is almost endless. However, which cities should we visit but have never really considered before?

Today, we will have a look at those hidden gems of Europe. Some you may have heard of, but others you may never have known even existed!

Book your ticket, pack your bags, sort your hire car and let’s go… Oh, and don’t forget your European car hire excess insurance cover either so you can enjoy the trip with no worries!

Coimbra – Portugal

Formerly the capital of Portugal but now steeped in history, Coimbra is full of Roman architecture and medieval fortresses. It is perfect for an off-the-beaten-track break that fuses different periods of history together.

With a typical Mediterranean climate, visitors can enjoy balmy autumns and warm summers, the summer months never really dipping below 80°F.

Aside from the stunning visual history on display, Coimbra also boasts beautiful parks, sandy beaches and scenic boat trips.

With a hire car, you can travel the A1 motorway to enjoy additional trips to Lisbon or Porto, too.

Should this trip be of interest, check out our Portugal car hire directory.

Matera – Italy

There are so many stunning parts of Italy that we all know and love. There are even more we hardly know at all! Take Matera, for instance. Located in the Basilicata, near the heel of Italy, Matera has an almost fantasy allure to it.

Visit The Sassi, or ancient town, to view how the first inhabitants of Italy lived in cave houses. These houses, dug into the rock, were an area of extreme poverty up until 1980, but have since developed into a wonderous destination to view old Italy. Its rapid development now sees many thriving restaurants, hotels and pubs helping to establish the area.

Picture postcard views, complimented by beautiful sunny days, make Matera really something of a marvel.

If you are making an Italy road trip your preference this year, we have loads to suggest so check our must-visit locations in Italy.


Sibiu – Romania

For many years, Romania flitted in and out of tourists’ minds, but is now fast becoming a destination high on many lists. Take Sibiu, for instance. It mixes German, Hungarian, and Romanian culture together to create something spectacular.

Diverse architecture, world class gastronomy and a vivid history, Sibiu was declared the 8th most idyllic place to live by Forbes.

Formerly a Capital of the principality of Transylvania, it is now famous in its own right, with globally praised Christmas markets and its status as a capital of culture.

Freiburg Im Breisgau – Germany

Tucked away in southwest Germany, this spectacular city has got a little something for everyone. Just a short distance from the Black Forest, the vast array of bike trails makes it a cyclist’s dream. The incredibly flat roads mean drivers also get to experience the incredible sights as they travel along the Rhine Valley.

Wine festivals, Christmas markets and quaint mysterious alleys allow you to immerse yourself in German culture. Paying homage to history with stunning architecture and living in the present with the array of shops and restaurants, Freiburg ticks many boxes.

Evening entertainment is never a problem in Freiburg, either. So, when you have wandered and enjoyed the views during the day, relax with jazz, rock or pop in any of the numerous venues.

Bilbao – Spain

Our final entry isn’t particularly a hidden one, perhaps more of an underrated one. Many of us have heard of Bilbao, we just haven’t explored it yet! Take the plunge – it’s stunning.

A unique city located in the Basque region of Spain, Bilbao effortlessly fuses modernity with history. Home to the famous Guggenheim Museum and the Vizcaya Bridge, Bilbao lures visitors with its cuisine, culture and character.

With an old quarter that embraces Baroque, Renaissance and Modernist styles, every corner takes you through another page in history. Just ensure you regularly stop off to enjoy pinxtos, the Bilbao tapas!

Considering a European trip with a difference? Our selection should provide food for thought, and we love them all. Which one will you go for?

Just remember, any trip needs you to be fully organised, so get in touch to ensure you are fully covered. Our car hire excess insurance Europe means that you are always protected against costly fees. Contact our expert team today for a free quote.

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