5 Underrated, but Must-See Travel Destinations for Your Next Trip!

updated on 08 October 2021

In the mood for a vacation? While we all adore Paris’s Eiffel Tower, and Las Vegas’s world-class entertainment, sometimes we want a relaxed environment away from the crowds and the busy streets. There are so many untapped destinations just waiting for a chance to hit the spotlight! 

There are tons of destinations that we’ve all heard of even though we’ve never been like Bali, Indonesia, Paris, France, Athens, Greece, and more. All these world-famous destinations attract thousands of tourists each year. However, there are so many hidden gems that are often overlooked, but are worth visiting because of their picture-perfect sceneries, stunning architecture, and unforgettable experiences!

Take a look at some of the most underrated but must-see travel destinations, according to our team at MiTravel. We’ve also included a few trip tips for each destination!

1. Bologna, Italy

<i>Photo by Bogdan Dada from Unsplash</i>
Photo by Bogdan Dada from Unsplash

Italy is well-known for its reputation/mark in the world of art, fashion, architecture, and more! While we’re quite familiar with Venice’s breathtaking scenery and Rome’s historical architecture , Bologna is surely a hidden gem with it’s beautiful historical sites, and is well-known  the “Culinary Capital of Italy”. Though his city is often overlooked due to it’s laid-back environment, it’s the dream destination for foodies everywhere - from food tours, to local specialties, Bologna has it all!

Trip Tip: When visiting Bologna, you’ll find many opportunities where you can cook food with a local. Not only are you getting a lesson, and learning more about the city, but you also get to  chat with friendly locals and end up with a delicious dish. Sounds like a win-win situation to me!

3. Gdańsk, Poland

Photo by Dawid Łabno from Unsplash
Photo by Dawid Łabno from Unsplash

Another destination often unconsidered by travellers to Poland, in favour of more popular cities such as Wroclaw and Warsaw, is Gdańsk. 

Gdańsk is a delightful city near the Baltic Sea in Northern Poland. It is an ideal travel destination for a weekend getaway or a short-term 2-3 day trip, because it can be zoomed through in simply a day. Infused with rich history, fascinating museums, austere, yet stunning architecture, and a busy itinerary, Gdańsk is definitely a worthwhile travel location!

Trip Tip 1: For all those history buffs out there, Gdańsk is where World War II started and there is a whole museum dedicated to the war that tourists should check out. It makes for a fun, but educational trip for students and friends. 

Trip Tip 2: After reaching Gdańsk, there are a few transportation options from the airport, including a taxi, bus, or train. Public transportation is cheap and easily accessible throughout the city. However, you can also book a private car with a driver. This is a great way to explore the city and make the most of your trip! 

3. Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

<i>Photo by Chris Leipelt from Unsplash</i>
Photo by Chris Leipelt from Unsplash

Instagram-worthy pictures? Beachy paradise? A laid back and relaxed atmosphere? If this is what you’re searching for then look no further than Carmel-by-the-Sea. We’re all familiar with California’s beautiful beaches such as Malibu, Laguna, and Coronoda. However, these well-known sites are often crowded and filled with tourists. 

Carmel is a city in Monterey County and is known to be a notable secret destination between California locals. It is located near San Francisco as well as Santa Cruz, and is the ideal weekend trip if you were stopping by any of these other locations. Beloved for its authentic cozy-town look, breathtaking white sand beaches, and charming boutiques and galleries, Carmel is a bucket-list destination. Especially for those looking to surround themselves with nature and cozy, small-town vibes. 

Trip Tip 1: Carmel is very dog-friendly and has many outdoor spaces for owners with dogs. Many hotels, restaurants, shops and other sites even allow owners to bring their pets along!

Trip Tip 2: One of their peculiar laws is that high-heels are banned unless you have a permit (this law was created for the safety of the people as there are many cracks in the sidewalk). So just for this one trip I’d leave my stilettos at home!

Trip Tip 3: The best time to visit is in the fall - from around September to November.

4. Hòa Bình, Vietnam

<i>Photo by Elettra Stefani from Unsplash</i>
Photo by Elettra Stefani from Unsplash

Located west of Hanoi, Hòa Bình is a mountainous province in Vietnam’s northwest region. When exploring this part of Vietnam, take a look at the scenic trekking/hiking tours, take a tour through Hòa Bình Dam, and immerse yourself in the city’s natural and cultural traditions.

Mai Chau and Pu Luong National Park are two villages that you must go to when visiting Hòa Bình. When wanting to get away from the busy streets of Hanoi, Mai Chau is your stop! With peaceful bike rides through villages and rice paddies, there is no better opportunity to experience the local culture and embrace the lush views. 

Trip Tip: When in Mai Chau, try the com lam dish - rice in bamboo along with some grilled meat, this dish is a local favorite and is celebrated for its sweet taste and creativity.

5. Ohrid, Macedonia

<i>Photo by Slavcho Malezanov from Unsplash</i>
Photo by Slavcho Malezanov from Unsplash

With streets and medieval architecture taken straight from a storybook, , there’s no wonder why Ohrid is North Macedonia's most nostalgic and exotic cities. This captivating city is located in North Macedonia and is one of the largest cities in the country.  

The city hasn’t yet been crowded with tourists, and is a traveller’s dream destination, with it’s gorgeous beaches, picture-perfect architecture and houses, and delectable food with Turkish and Mediterranean flavours. Ohrid is also well-known for once having 365 churches, that’s like having one church for each day in a year! The best part is, Ohrid has many budget-friendly activities such as bike tours, boat trips, day tours and more! Truly making it the perfect travel spot for students and friends!

Trip Tip: Ohrid is usually visited in the summer months for its annual Summer Festival. However, if you’re looking for a more relaxed, and less touristy atmosphere then be sure to plan your trip some other time of the year!

That’s all for now folks! 

Know any other hidden gems not on the list? Comment below and let us know!

And while you’re here, check out MiTravel: we’re a small team trying to reimagine how group travel planning is done. Check this link to see how we envision the future for group travel and sign-up to join our waitlist. We will be launching the MiTravel Planning Board this summer!

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