Forbes suggests six undiscovered destinations in Europe that you must visit in 2024, and Kotor is among them


Of course, no one can remain immune to the allure of London, Barcelona or Paris, but if you're looking for less crowded destinations or a new adventure, Forbes brings you six destinations that might just be to your taste.

Kotor, Montenegro

Photo: Biljana Matijašević 

Kotor is one of the most beautiful fortified cities in Montenegro, and Lonely Planet declared it the best city to visit in the whole world. Unlike popular Croatia, Kotor is not overrun with tourists.

The city, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List, was built between the 12th and 14th centuries, and visitors can lose hours and hours wandering its streets. Climb the 1,300 steps to the fortress of St. Ivana from where there is a spectacular view of the Bay of Kotor and the Old Town.

Then you can go to lunch in the port and enjoy the view of the bay. A good choice is the Galion restaurant, and you can stay at the Astoria boutique hotel, in the very heart of the old town, inside a 13th-century palace.

Montpellier, France 

Photo: Pixabay 

Although the Languedoc-Roussillon coast is not as frequent a destination as, for example, the Cote d'Azur, it has a lot to offer, and the crowds are less even in the peak season. Montpellier, a medieval city founded around 1200, is an excellent base from which to visit the entire area. You can stay at the Hotel Richer de Belleval, a private villa from the 17th century in the heart of the city. For those with a slightly bigger budget, there is the family-run Hotel du Palais with 26 rooms and a terrace.

Montpellier is a gastronomic paradise. Even the simplest cafes offer quality food. Among the best high-end restaurants are Le Petit Jardin with an interior garden and the Purcell brothers' La Canourgue at the Hotel Richer. Chez Canaille has a lovely terrace where you can enjoy a casual meal and La Coquille offers fantastic seafood.

Culture lovers will enjoy the Fabre museum, where they can see European works from the Renaissance to the present day, as well as an entire wing of the museum dedicated to the contemporary artist Pierre Soulage.

If you're planning to go to Montpellier during the summer, the annual Radio France Music Festival brings the best international artists and organizes hundreds of concerts of classical music, opera, jazz or DJ music - mostly free.

Stavanger, Norway 

Photo: Pixabay  

Stavanger has been known as the oil center of Norway since the discovery of the Ekofisk field in the late 60s of the last century. Subsequent discoveries of oil in the North Sea turned Norway from a poor European relative into one of the richest countries in the world. Stavanger has also become one of Norway's top destinations for foodies, boasting as many as two Michelin-starred restaurants. Those who like to eat more will enjoy lunch at Spiseriet, a concert hall with a fantastic view of the fjords and mountains, or at Fisketorget, an excellent fish restaurant in the harbor.

For dinner, a good choice is Matbaren by Renaa, a casual bistro with a creative menu full of local ingredients. If you are interested in a unique Japanese-Norwegian experience, at the Sabi Omakase restaurant, chef Roger Asakil uses Edomae, an ancient method of making sushi that is appreciated all over the world.

Stavanger is a surprisingly artistic city, with the Kunstmuseum contemporary art museum and a vibrant community of artists whose works are often open to the public. The Petroleum Museum is also not to be missed, where through interactive screens you can find out how gas and oil are formed, how resources are found under the seabed and how production and drilling take place.

Vigo, Spain 

Photo: Shutterstock

The fishing port of Vigo in Galicia, northern Spain, boasts ancient Roman remains, neoclassical churches, an old town – and the best octopus you'll ever taste.

You can also stay at the NH Collection Vigo hotel, which overlooks the harbor. The MARCO Museum of Contemporary Art is housed in a former prison and courthouse. It does not have a permanent collection, but it has regular exhibitions.

From Vigo you can take a short day trip by ferry to nearby islands. The beautiful Islas Cies with the beach Playa de Rodas has been described as "the most beautiful beach in the world" with turquoise water and white sand.

Tallinn, Estonia

 Photo: Shutterstock 

Less than half a million people live in Tallinn, but it has the charm of many larger cities. Many museums and galleries, a historic city, a strong gastronomic culture and a long sandy beach are just some of the attractions of Tallinn. You should not miss a walk through the charming cobbled streets of the old town, and just outside the walls is the KGB museum at the Viru Hotel. During the USSR, Viru was the main hotel for foreign visitors, and it was monitored by the KGB, especially the officially non-existent 23rd floor. The rooms have remained frozen in time and as such offer a glimpse into the past, and you can peruse an incredible collection of espionage items.

You must visit the Kai art center in the former Noblessner shipbuilding area, as well as the Tallinn Art Hall in the city center and the internationally renowned

For a truly unique art experience, visit the Flo Kasearu Museum, Flo Kasearu's art project in her house, basement, attic and backyard.

Gaziantep, Turkey

 Photo: Shutterstock

For history buffs, Gaziantep is a real treat: the city's ancient charm consists of cultural, religious and gastronomic treasures that stretch back 6,000 years. Gaziantep is located in the southeast of Turkey, on the historical trade route next to the border with Syria. The city was on the border of several civilizations and is a truly fascinating destination to visit.

You should not miss the Zeugma Museum, which houses one of the world's most important collections of mosaics, mostly discovered at the ancient Roman site of Belkıs-Zeugma.

You can spend the night in the center of the old town, in the family boutique hotel Aynur Hanim Konagi Butik, where you will enjoy a fantastic Turkish breakfast.

Joanne Shurvell, Joanne Shurvell, Forbes contributor


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Monday, 24 June 2024

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