Central Europe has become an increasingly popular destination to visit in recent years, with several well-known cities that are known and loved among tourists from all over the world such as Munich, Prague, Berlin, Krakow, Bratislava, Budapest, and Vienna.
They are brilliant cities to visit and it’s often much easier to navigate using capital cities when you are organizing a trip thanks to the excellent transport links and well-known attractions.
However, getting away from the capitals from time to time is often the best way to get a more authentic experience of Central Europe and to really get to know the people of the region. Here, we’ve gathered some of the best alternative, off-the-beaten-track places to visit in Central Europe.
You can plan a trip to Europe and include Dresden rather than Munich on your itinerary. Located conveniently in-between Prague and Berlin, Dresden is just as lovely as Munich but mostly lacks its high prices or the tourist crowds.
As a city that was almost totally destroyed during the Second World War, it is often overlooked as a tourist destination. But lovely Dresden is surprisingly beautiful and vibrant, with a huge amount of historical attractions to explore.
Warsaw and Krakow are often the two top Polish destinations on travelers’ itineraries, but many will agree that Wroclaw is a better option. There’s not actually a huge amount of things to do in Warsaw, compared to Wroclaw, which is a charming city with squares made up of multi-colored houses and red-brick churches.
There are many stunning waterways and canals with several gorgeous parks where you can spend time relaxing in the city that has been nicknamed ‘the Venice of Poland’. Wroclaw is a popular student city, with a vibrant nightlife making it an ideal choice for younger travelers.
There are pubs, clubs, bars, microbreweries, and everything in between, everyone can find something to suit his interests.
Lake Bled, Slovenia:
Ljubljana has become a popular spot for tourists in recent years, but if you’re looking for a more off-the-beaten-path option for a Slovenia visit, Lake Bled could be the ideal option for you.
This destination is within two hours of the capital and is a popular spot for the locals, who mostly love the outdoors. It’s filled with stunning natural attractions and plenty of budget hotels and hostels to choose from.
Zell am See, Austria:
Hard to argue the fact that Vienna and Salzburg are tough cities to top when it comes to alternative destinations, but if you want to see mountains and stunning scenery when you land in Austria, Zell am See is the perfect option. This city is very in touch with nature, making it the perfect destination for anybody who wants to explore the beautiful countryside.
There are plenty of outdoor sports to enjoy including hiking in the mountains, watersports on the lake, and skiing during the winter. Getting from Zell am See to Vienna by train is about a five-hour journey, where you can get the Vienna to Budapest train to continue your Eastern European adventures.
Capital cities might be the first place you think of when putting together an itinerary for a travel adventure, but it’s definitely worth giving these lesser-known destinations a chance.