Travelling is a great opportunity to discover the unknown – whether it be a new country, city, or culture, there are endless opportunities to explore.
Some destinations are more popular than others, attracting tourists in their droves, whilst other, underrated and under-visited places can earn the affectionate moniker of being a ‘hidden gem’.
But the term ‘hidden gem’ isn’t just exclusive to a less-frequented country or city, as attractions and landmarks can also be considered severely underrated.
In fact, some of Europe’s highest-rated ‘hidden gems’ are actually located in traditionally popular holiday destinations.
Low-cost airline Wizz Air have compiled a list of Europe’s best hidden gems, based on Tripadvisor data – performing ‘hidden gem’ keyword searches for ‘Things To Do’ in each city, with the attraction with the highest number of mentions of ‘hidden gems’ in their reviews being selected and ranked on their overall rating out of five.
1. Wallace Collection, London
The Wallace Collection in London is considered to be Europe’s best ‘hidden gem’. With an extensive display of paintings, sculptures, furniture, arms and armour, and porcelain, the Wallace Collection is home to Frans Hals’ iconic painting ‘The Laughing Cavalier.
Entrance to the permanent collection is free, whilst an admission fee is required to visit specific exhibitions and displays.
2. Sainte-Chapelle, Paris
Paris’s dazzling Sainte-Chapelle is the second-best hidden gem in Europe. Although Paris is such a popular city break destination, the multitude of things to do means that some amazing landmarks and activities don’t get the love they deserve.
Home to an awe-inspiring 1,113 stained glass windows, the Sainte-Chapelle is truly mesmerising. Entrance to the chapel is 13€ (£11.12).
3. Our Lord in the Attic Museum, Amsterdam
Another very popular destination for British tourists, Amsterdam is full of memorable things to do and see, and the Our Lord in the Attic Museum is considered the third best ‘hidden gem’ in Europe.
Inconspicuously hidden away in a canal house in central Amsterdam, Our Lord in the Attic Museum is a preserved 17th-century ‘schuilkerk’ (clandestine church) where people would go to worship as they were unable to do so in public. An adult ticket to the museum is 16.50€ (£14.11).
4. Gothic Quarter (Barri Gothic), Barcelona
Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter (Barri Gothic) is the fourth-best ‘hidden gem’ in Europe. Showcasing the city’s mediaeval past through a number of staggering palaces, houses, and Gothic churches the area is also a great place to relax and enjoy some local bars and Catalan restaurants.
5. Basilica Cistern, Istanbul
Istanbul’s Basilica Cistern is the fifth highest-rated ‘hidden gem’ in Europe. Lying beneath the Turkish city, the atmospheric cistern was built in the 6th century during the reign of the Byzantine Empire. Entrance to the Basilica Cistern is 600 Turkish Lira (£15.56).
Elsewhere, the Palazzo Doria Pamphili in Rome occupies sixth place, whilst the Hospital in the Rock Nuclear Bunker Museum in Budapest is in seventh place.
Munich’s Asamkirche is in eighth place, and the Vrtba Garden in Prague occupies ninth place. Peterskirche in Vienna completes Europe’s top 10 hidden gems.