Top 20 Most Beautiful Non-Touristy Places To Visit In The World

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Lofoten Islands, Norway in winter with the Northern Lights

You know there are beautiful places in the world where travelers usually visit such as Bangkok, Tokyo, Paris or New York. But there are amazing destinations as well which are off-the-radar but striking, laid back and out-of-the box ones. After all traveling is not only pursuing target places from your bucket list but a chance to explore other impressive corners of the globe.

Going to places less traveled is an excellent way to become a more seasoned tourist, to lose oneself in the local culture, gain an understanding of the country and how its people live. Nothing is more fulfilling than being one of the first few people to arrive and traverse a destination where others have not yet seen. From disregarded second cities like Bergen, Norway to a historic village in the Japanese Alps, here are some beautiful places to visit that I’ve looked into which are non-touristy but extraordinary and deserving to your curiosity.

Shirakawa-go Village, Gifu Prefecture, Japan

Shirakawa-Go Old Village, Gifu Pref., Japan

A historical village and a beautiful place to visit in the Japanese Alps well-known for its “gassho zukuri” (sloping and look like hands clasp together in prayer) architectural style thatched roof houses. Shirakawa-go Village is listed as a World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO and is worth the trip while discovering the unique life and culture in the area.

Castilla y Leon, Spain

The fortified region of Castilla y Leon in Central Spain.

One of the most beautiful places to visit in Europe, Castilla y Leon is an area in Central Spain well known for its cathedrals, monasteries, castles and fortified towns that are preserved in their perfect condition. The whole region is entirely surrounded by magnificent walls built in the 12th century as a protection from marauders. It is home to eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites and the birthplace of St. Teresa of Avila.

Bergen, Norway

Bryggen, iconic waterfront of Bergen, Norway.

The “City of Seven Hills” and Norway’s second biggest city well known for its Bryggen district. A UNESCO World Heritage Site at the waterfront and one of the beautiful places around the world, it consist of old wooden buildings and a wharf used by German Hanseatic League of merchants during the Middle Ages that lived in Bergen for 400 years. Although Bryggen has been gutted by fire for many times particularly in 1702, it has been rebuilt on the same foundation as that in the 12th century thus the area has not been changed despite thousands of years have passed.

Southern Bucovina, Romania

Varonet Monastery in Southern Bucovina, Romania, the blue paint on its facade has miraculously never faded.

Renowned for its stunning landscape and one of the places less traveled, Southern Bucovina is Romania’s fairy tale region because of its numerous UNESCO World Heritage painted monasteries particularly the Voronet Monastery. The interior and exterior frescoes (wall paintings) feature strong palette of blue color called “voronet blue” of which the monastery got its name. Said color didn’t fade despite the passing of centuries, it still intense and a mystery up to the present time thus earning the moniker as the “Sistine Chapel of Eastern Europe.”

Ladakh, India

Ladakh, India

Sometimes called “Little Tibet”, Ladakh is situated at the Himalayan ranges in the northern tip of India and one of the underrated places in the world. It is renowned for its cold desert climate, magnificent blue lakes, charming valleys, run-of-the-mill Tibetan Buddhist culture and peaceful way of life. The moment you arrive in this astonishing mountain town, you will be drawn to its charm right away.

Lecce, Puglia, Italy

Basilica di Santa Croce, Lecce, Italy

Nicknamed “Florence of the South (of Italy)”, Lecce is a 2,000-year-old destination in the Puglia region found at the southern part by the “heel” of Italy’s boot (the shape of the country’s map). It takes pride of its incredible Baroque-style architecture like the Basilica di Santa Croce. Everywhere you look this city is packed with art-filled and intricately-designed white-limestone built structures which give the area a sense of euphoria.

Giethoorn, The Netherlands

The village of Giethoorn, The Netherlands.

Sometimes noted as “Venice of The Netherlands”, Giethoorn (pronounced as yietho’rn) is a village in the province of Overijssel where there are no roads but only water canals and to get around the area you have to ride a boat. One of the beautiful places around the world to visit, this village is full of Medieval themed-roof cottages and old wooden bridges. However. Giethoorn is not a village-museum but an actual community of least 2,000 residents and that their houses and gardens are privately owned so respect the area.

Chiang Rai, Thailand

White Temple in Chiang Rai, Thailand.

Located in Northern Thailand, Chiang Rai, one of the best non-touristy places to visit is an hour’s drive from the Golden Triangle, (Thailand-Laos-Myanmar border). The area is famous for its White Temple (Wat Rung Khun) and the Blue Temple (Rung Suen Ten) which are truly works of art.

The Blue Temple in Chiang Rai, Thailand.

Son Doong Cave, Vietnam

The incredible Son Doong Cave in Vietnam.

Located in Quang Binh Province, Vietnam, Son Doong Cave is a destination and only cave in the world that has its own forest, river and a climate condition that produces different ecosystems.

Kas, Turkey

The beautiful seaside town of Kas, Turkey.

Turkey is one of the underrated places in the world, a land of extensive scenic beauty and heterogeneous culture. All its towns and exquisite villages are mystifying like the fishing village of Kas, once a Lycian kingdom which is noted for being the prettiest in the country. It is an area of white-washed houses, cobblestone streets, an Ancient Greek theater and intricately-designed rock tombs placed on hill sides.

Intricately designed ancient tombs in Kas, Turkey.

Salar de Uyuni, Potosi, Bolivia

Salar de Uyuni salt flats in Potosi, Boliovia.

This is the world’s biggest salt flat situated high up at the Andes mountain ranges in Bolivia. A most beautiful place to visit with its polygonal and hexagonal formations of salt. The area is surrounded by islands and lakes such as Lake Titicaca and when it rains and they overflow, it forge an amazing mirror effect.

Mirror effect at Salar de Uyuni on rainy days.

Hotel de Glace, Quebec City, Canada

Ice Hotel (Hotel de Glace) in Quebec City, Canada.

It is North America’s only ice hotel, the Hotel de Glace where it offers tourists a very unique experience of a lifetime. One of the best non-touristy places to visit, it offers a winter wonderland experience to its guests with ice sculptors and carvings, ice beds, an ice bar and an ice chapel.

Las Lajas Sanctuary, Ipiales, Colombia

Las Lajas Sanctuary in Ipiales, Columbia

The most beautiful house of prayer in the world, Las Lajas Sanctuary(Basilica Santuario Nacional de la Nuestra Senora de la Lajas) is located inside a deep ravine of Guitara River in Ipiales, Colombia. Referred to as “a miracle of God in the chasm”, this charming Gothic-revival style church was built on the very spot where an American woman had seen an apparition of the Virgin Mary in 1754.

Church of St. John, Lake Ohrid, New Macedonia

Church of St. John overlooking Lake Ohrid in New Macedonia.

Constructed in the shape of a cruciform (like that of a cross) and settled on a cliff overlooking Lake Ohrid in New Macedonia, the Church of St. John is a 14th century Orthodox Church dedicated to John of Patmos, writer of the Book of Revelation. A true gem in Lake Ohrid and one of the most beautiful places in Europe, this is the most instagramable spot in New Macedonia due to its astounding architecture plus the breathtaking scenery of the area.

Echmiadzin Monastery Cathedral, Armenia

The Echmiadzin Monasterry Cathedral in Armenia, oldest cathedral in the world that is still in use at present time.

A World Heritage-listed cathedral built in 303 C.E. (Common Era) in Armenia, Echmiadzin Monastery is presumably to be the oldest Christian cathedral in the world going back to the time of the Apostles which is still in use up to the present time. It also holds the Longino Spear that pierced the side of Christ and Echmiadzin is situated near Mt. Ararat where Noah’s Ark is supposed to have landed after the flood.

Alberobello, Italy

The unique cone-shaped houses of Alberobello, Italy.

Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Sit in 1996 and one of the most beautiful places in Europe, Alberobello is a quaint town in Italy where homes are trulli, made from limestone and in cone-shaped appearance. These homes are very unique and they offer an extraordinary chance for visitors with a remarkable kind of adventure, it is like being taken to a fairy tale place.

Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina

Stari Most Bridge in Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Nicknamed the “City of Sunshine” and one of the most beautiful places around the world to visit, Mostar in Bosnia is an eclectic mix of Catholic Croats, Muslim Bosnians and Orthodox Serbs. It is most famous for its Turkish homes and Stari Most Bridge, an extraordinary hump-backed style 16th century stone bridge and UNESCO-listed structure which is built without foundations but just metal pins and egg whites.

The Wave, Arizona, U.S.A.

The Wave, sandstone rock formation in Arizona, USA.

It’s one of the most famous facet and underrated places in the world, The Wave is a sandstone rock formation in Northern Arizona near its border with Utah. Situated on the slopes of Coyote Buttes, to reach this area requires a difficult hike but an out-of-this world beauty awaits at the end of the trek. The unique landscape has been carved by erosion to resemble an ocean wave hence the name, and it is grazed in colors of red, orange and tan.

Wai-o-Tapu Thyermal Lake, Rotorua, New Zealand

Wai-o-tapu Thermal Lake in Rotorua, New Zealand

This is New Zealand’s most colorful geothermal attraction and one of the places less traveled, Wai-o-tapu is a heated lake in Rotorua, North Island with pools of colored waters, impressive geyser and other distinct geothermal activity and formations. It has been named one of the most surreal places in the world because its unique features.

The world indeed is full of underrated places waiting to be discovered, off the beaten paths that offer stimulating and remarkable experiences. After the last two “pandemic” years and travel is back on track, isn’t it great to have a new kind of adventure as well? Going to off-the-radar destinations revitalizes our thirst to discover new attractions.


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