Travelers who explore lesser-known tourist spots to discover hidden gems can create lasting memories without over tourism blighting popular tourist spots. Plus, they may become more sustainable travelers by discovering work exchange and volunteering opportunities in these lesser known destinations.
Latvia’s Riga is no longer hidden, with Google searches reaching 365,000 monthly and up to 132 travel journalists mentioning Riga in articles written about Latvia.
1. Kulikalon Valley in Tajikstan
The Kulikalon Valley Hike, a three-day route through Tajikistan’s Fann Mountains, is one of the country’s most beloved treks for good reason: with stunning mountain lakes, river valleys, and snow-covered peaks that make this hike truly beautiful.
Beginning from Artuch Trailhead Alpine Hut, visitors can camp by its small lake before continuing up a back path towards Chukurak Pass at 3180m with views of stunning mountain lakes and Alaudin Pass beyond. Artuch Travel provides further details for planning this excursion or contact Dushanbe-based Javohir Travel for comprehensive itineraries throughout Tajikistan.
2. Adishi in Georgia
New York City is one of the world’s greatest cities, packed with hidden gems that offer more authentic experiences than tourist spots.
Fortified towers and churches of this village stand against a 9 km-long glacier. Furthermore, its church is famous for the Adishi Gospels copied at Shatberdi Monastery dating back to 897 – making them the oldest-dated Georgian gospel ever created!
To fully experience these hidden gems, it’s advisable to visit them over multiple days and each destination offers its own distinct experience.
3. Riga in Latvia
Riga, Latvia’s vibrant Baltic Sea-side capital city, offers plenty to discover. Famous for its Art Nouveau architecture–upwards of one third of buildings downtown are constructed using this style–Riga is perfect for slow, self-guided walking tours.
Freedom Monument (Brvibas Piemineklis), Riga’s most notable landmark, symbolizes its people’s longing for freedom through architectural monumentality and can be found near Riga Central Market. Fans of art may want to visit National Opera and Ballet to catch one of their performances.
Riga offers visitors an exquisite culinary journey, featuring half-sour pickles and smoked eel as some of its signature local specialties.
4. Zagreb in Croatia
Croatia’s capital may not be well known outside its region, but this city offers much to visitors from both historic and modern perspectives. A variety of historic and modern attractions make it well worth a visit!
Upper Town features the Gothic Zagreb Cathedral with twin spires and St Mark’s Church with its colorfully tiled roof; in Lower Town Tkalieva Street is pedestrian-friendly with cafes and shops along its route.
Ban Jelacic Square is home to a statue of a famous king as well as an extensive flower garden frequented by locals during evening strolls. Also nearby, Dolac Market provides opportunities for haggling over fresh summer flowers or browsing food stalls.
5. Pamiri in Tajikistan
Skyscanner has identified some of the best hidden gems to visit in 2023 to give travellers an authentic travel experience. Cities like Barcelona and Paris will remain popular tourist spots; however, travellers increasingly look for destinations offering more intimate encounters. To help travelers plan their trips better.
New York City: Beneath the bright lights and tourist crowds lies an abundance of culture, history and hidden gems waiting to be discovered. From museums to tranquil green spaces – these treasures show New York’s character and charm!
Jaffna, Sri Lanka: Tucked away in the northwestern corner of Sri Lanka lies Jaffna – fast becoming an in-demand travel destination known for its ancient temples and vibrant local culture.
6. Valley of Fire in Utah
Located just an hour outside Las Vegas, the Valley of Fire offers stunning rock formations, prehistoric petroglyphs, canyons and stunning Aztec sandstone glow that lends itself to giving this park its name. At sunset it truly becomes magical.
Trek the White Domes Trail for an incredible 1-mile loop experience through this park’s richly varied scenery, including white sandstone formations, desert vistas, slot canyons and (depending on the season) wildflowers.
Atlatl Rock is another must-see, where prehistoric Native Americans carved symbols of their atlatls (spears) into the sandstone. Also, don’t miss Mouse’s Tank, an impressive natural rock basin in the canyon where rainwater collects.