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How to avoid the tourist traps in our fave nations

Don't be 'that' tourist - the 10 best hidden gems in destinations most travelled to by Aussies

It can be hard when you’re travelling to a new city to know where the best places to go are. If you’re looking for a more authentic experience, how do you make sure to avoid the tourist traps? Or just going to the sites listed in every tourist brochure?



To make it easier for travellers, hostel-focused bookig site Hostelworld has created a cheat sheet of the best hidden gems in the top 10 destinations around the world (according to booking data of Aussie travellers from 2018).


In Barcelona, it's as simple as going to a lesser known vantage spot to snap the panoramic views of the city without the crowds at the Parc Guell ruining your ‘gram. But it can be as unique as taking a trip out to a museum in Italy dedicated to the cultural history of Prosciutto (after eating your weight in it, of course!) There are so many things Aussies can see and do to take their trip to the next level while still staying on budget.


1. Italy: Want to turn your Italian experience on its head? Go beyond devouring a prosciutto pizza at a big city restaurant by learning more about the famous Parma ham at Museo del Prosciutto. Your knowledge of the humble cured meat is sure to impress family and friends back home.

Where to stay in Milan: Ostello Bello Grande, Atmos Luxe Navigli


2. Spain: Parc Guell might be your first pick for a killer view in Barcelona, but Bunkers Del Carmen Lookout gives you panoramic views of Barcelona without all the tourists photobombing your pics.

Where to stay in Barcelona: Sant Jordi Alberg, Fabrizzio's Petit



3. Australia: Yes, the Sydney Opera House is a sight to behold but make sure you get a proper taste of Sydney Harbour by travelling to Cockatoo Island. A hidden gem on the water, this UNESCO world-heritage-listed site is one of Australia's most fascinating historical places.

Where to stay in Sydney: Sydney Harbour YHA, Wake Up! Sydney Central


4. England: Don’t just sit there and watch the time pass you by on a big old clock, instead, ‘stop and smell the roses’! Send yourself on a scavenger hunt around the London neighbourhood of Soho and find seven plaster noses peeking out of buildings. Legend has it that tracking them all down will assure you eternal wealth.

Where to stay in London: YHA London Earls Court, Wombats City Hostel London


5. USA: Upgrade your NYC sunset ‘gram by skipping the queues to the top of the Empire State Building and heading to Sunset Park in South Brooklyn to capture the whole Manhattan skyline in all its glory. You’re guaranteed no tourist lines here.

Where to stay in NYC: Freehand New York, The Local NYC


6. Germany: Sinking your teeth into this country's two millennia of history is not just about the Berlin Wall, visiting museums or fairytale castles. Just a day trip out of Berlin, consider basking in the tranquillity of the Rakotzbrücke Devil's Bridge. This 19th-century bridge uses its reflection to form a perfect circle, adding a surreal view in its vibrant foliage surroundings.

Where to stay in Berlin: Wombats City Hostel Berlin, Grand Hostel Berlin Urban



7. Croatia: It’s synonymous for its sweeping beaches and rocky coves, but don't just limit yourself to Dubrovnik and Zagreb. Visit Postira, which is less prone to tourist traffic and offers just as beautiful sandy and pebble coves – and only 1.5 hours by ferry from Split.

Where to stay in Split: Croparadise Green Hostel, Adriatic Hostel


8. Greece: We're not stopping you from island hopping, but why not mix in some gorgeous warm hues from the Volcanic Rocks of Lemnos in between the sweeping white views of Santorini? It's an ‘alien landscape’ worth seeing when travelling within the Northern Aegean islands.

Where to stay in Thessaloniki: Thessaloniki Studios Arabas, Crossroads


9. Portugal: In between glasses of Porto wine, you might want to enjoy classic views from St George's Castle – the most recognised of Lisbon's major attractions overlooking the Portuguese capital. But why not escape to the largest oriental garden in Europe just an hour's drive or bus/train ride away – Bacalhoa Buddha Eden. It’s a hidden oasis waiting to be discovered.

Where to stay in Lisbon: Goodmorning Lisbon Hostel, Inn Possible Lisbon Hostel


10. Japan: While everyone flocks to Mt Fuji, consider escaping the bright lights and kawaii-ness of Tokyo for Mt Mihara instead. A day trip from the country's capital, check out the active volcano for its fantastic lava fountains. Popular culture has also played a hand in popularising the landmark, as from the 1920s, it was possible to leap into the crater.

Where to stay in Tokyo: Space Hostel Tokyo, Hop Step Inn


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Published: 15 March 2019

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