From museums to natural landmarks, historic architecture and the weird and wonderful, Europe is a hub of interesting destinations and a magnet for travellers from around the world.
And when it comes to interesting attractions, the choice is not less varied – the most popular spots offer the opportunity to learn about everything from science to mythology, history and everything in between.
If you’re looking for a holiday experience that’s a little out of the ordinary, why not plan your journey around some of Europe’s most interesting and unusual attractions – they offer the chance for a once-in-a-lifetime experience and have the power to peak your interest and spark your imagination as you explore somewhere new.
Finding the most unusual attractions around Europe
With no less than 50 countries in Europe, the choice is nearly endless. No matter what region you decide to travel through, you can find things to see and do that you wouldn’t get back home. In the big cities you can find entertaining excursions, museums and unique architecture, while in rural communities you have the chance to visit historic sites that have inspired legends and tempted travellers from around the world.
For inspiration, guides like the Lonely Planet offer a great overview of more popular destinations off the beaten track, and are a good place to start as you research unusual attractions to find on Holiday. The Huffington Post has also made it easy to browse what’s out there and worth a visit with its list of Europe’s 10 strangest tourist attractions.
Europe’s most popular
Hundreds of years of history and architecture make Europe a hub of unusual attractions, some more popular and well known than others.
- Ice Hotel – 200km north of the Arctic Circle, the Ice Hotel in Jukkasjarvi, Sweden was the first of its kind and offers a unique sleeping and eating experience during the cold winter months. It’s part attraction part art exhibition, and while you can sleep wrapped in fur on a bed made of ice, the hotel also offers warm chalets where you can spend a few nights exploring the area and taking part in winter activities.
- Edinburgh Vaults – Rumoured as the most haunted place in Europe, the underground vaults in Edinburgh’s historic Old Town have been used for everything from homes to taverns. You can explore them on a Vaults Tour and learn more about the fascinating history of this underground lair.
- Crooked Forest – Visit the unusual forest in Nowe Czarnowo, West Pomerania, Poland, features some 400 pine trees all curving 90 degrees northward at the base of their trunks. They’re surrounded by a larger pine forest – all growing straight – and the official cause is unknown, though theories suggest they may have been deliberately shaped shortly after being planted in the 1930s to create Compass Timbers for shipbuilding. Another theory suggests they could have been damaged by tanks moving through the area during WWII, causing them to grow in a strange direction.
- Mont Saint-Michel – Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979, the stunning island commune of Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy, France towers above the local skyline surrounded by water more than a kilometre off the coast. It’s been a strategic fortification since ancient times, as well as a monastery since the 8th century. Today, visitors can stop by the Abbey, as well as a number of museums to learn more of the history of this unusual place. On the small island there are also several shops and restaurants, plus accommodation, open to visitors.
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