When making our travel bucket lists, we usually plan to visit the most popular destinations such as New York, Sydney, Rome, Paris, London, or Tokyo. However, there are plenty of wonderful but underrated places tourists should visit more often. When planning my trip to Europe, I was greatly surprised to find out these fantastic countries. While they are not as popular as France or Italy, they boast many picturesque cities and towns, spectacular sights, exquisite cuisines, and nice people. It might take a little more effort to get to these European countries, but they are worthy to be discovered. Here are 8 of those underrated countries in Europe.

1. Serbia

If you prefer a quiet vacation in an awesome mountain resort, Serbia must be on your travel bucket list. Belgrade is the capital city of Serbia that attracts tourists who who hunt the most memorable experiences. You can spend days exploring the city’s rich history, fascinating museums, medieval monasteries, old churches, Kalemegdan Citadel, the Sava and Danube rivers, and many other sights. Serbia is also known for its summer hiking spots and winter ski resorts.

2. Luxembourg

Luxembourg has something to offer for everyone from rich history to picturesque views. There are over 100 castles in Luxembourg, such as Bourscheid Castle, Clemency Castle, Clervaux Castle, Larochette Castle which are open to visitors. One of Luxembourg’s main tourist centers, Vianden, is renowned for the Victor Hugo museum that has original letters and drawings in the house where the famous French author stayed. You can also visit the Upper Sûre National Park to try out some of the best water activities, or pamper yourself with thermal health treatments in the spa town of Mondorf-les-Bains.

3. Liechtenstein

Bordered by Austria and Switzerland, Liechtenstein is doubly landlocked country with prominent culture and long history. Although Liechtenstein isn’t bordered by Germany, people usually speak German here so make sure you know some basic phrases. Liechtenstein is a great country for ski lovers. Not only will you have a wonderful opportunity to enjoy skiing at Malbun or Steg, you can also explore the Ski and Winter Sports Museum where you will see an exclusive collection dedicated to all things for skiing and some other winter sports. There are also the Museum of Fine Arts and the Postage Stamp Museum that are worth visiting as well.

4. Bosnia and Herzegovina

I’ve never heard of this country until my friend told me that she visited Bosnia and Herzegovina. I did a little research and found out lots of interesting facts. The history of the country is a complex blend of religion, culture, and breathtaking beauty. Just imagine, unspoiled nature, lush green landscapes, majestic forests and a great variety of wild animals and birds, it’s a heaven for nature lovers. The capital city of Sarajevo has a lot to offer any traveler. The great news is that Bosnia and Herzegovina is a rather cheap country to visit so you won’t have to watch your budget every hour and spend all your money on your trip. Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country of high quality food since almost everything is organic. I’m going to visit this country in 2015, and you?

5. Belarus

I’m sure many people don’t know about this small country, that’s why I think Belarus is one of the most underrated countries in Europe that travelers should visit more often. I’ve been to Belarus twice and my impressions are unspeakable. The first thing I love about this country is its cleanliness. It’s hard to stay at home when you live in Minsk, for example. You want to go for a walk and enjoy all its old and modern architectural ensembles, green boulevards and beautiful parks. Belarus has a rich cultural heritage and history, a great number of landmarks, high quality food, and the Belarusian people are kind and welcoming.

6. Albania

Albania is well-known for its archaeological sites, spectacular pristine beaches, rich culture and panoramic routes. Moreover, the country boasts majestic mountains, which are perfect for skiing, hiking, and mountain-biking, and ancient castles, including Rozafa Castle and Kruje Castle. When traveling to Albania, be sure to visit the abandoned city of Apollonia, the Ottoman bazaar in Kruja, Skanderbeg square in Tirana and the Roman amphitheatre in Durrësi.

7. Slovakia

Could you name at least one tourist agency that ever offered you to visit Slovakia? Chances are that no. Although Slovakia is not a big country, it’s has an incredibly long history and fascinating cultural heritage. Slovakia boasts medieval castles and towns, 9 national parks (Tatra National Park is the biggest one), hundreds of caves and caverns (15 of them are open to visitors), and numerous rivers and lakes. There are also some of the best spas and ski resorts in the world. Slovakia should definitely be on your list of world’s must-see countries.

8. Latvia

Latvia is not as popular destination as France or Spain, but it has its own treasures. From the dynamic city of Riga to small fishing villages, from old castles, majestic palaces to fascinating parks and hidden rivers, you will have many things to explore. There are a few great beaches for swimming. Since there are few tourists, the water is always clean and it’s a good news for all swimming junkies. Latvia is very popular among nature lovers and bird watchers as well. But probably the most wonderful thing about this country is that you can see amazingly beautiful flowers almost everywhere, because Latvian people loves flowers.

I know that there are many more underrated countries in Europe. These are some of the places I’m going to visit in 2015 and then tell you about the most interesting and surprising things each country boasts. Have you ever visited any of these or other underrated countries in Europe or in the world? Share your travel experiences with us!