7 Hidden European Gems Away From The Port

July 25, 2016

When going on a cruise you’ll probably have tonnes of information thrust upon you about what you can do close to the port, and there’s definitely no shortage of sights within a ten-minute walking distance. But what can you see off the beaten path, away from the busy cruise ship? If you’ve been to a port several times before, what else is there to see?

Some of the best and most unusual locations are a bit out of the way, but trust us… these locations are worth it!


Quartiere Coppede
Distance from Civitavecchia port: 1 hr 20 mins
Feel like a fairy-tale prince or princess and pay Rome’s fantasy district a visit! Tucked out of the way between piazza Buenos Aires and via Tagliamento, lies the smallest district in the area. It’s so well hidden that you won’t know where it is if you don’t know where to look! Built by architect Gino Coppede between 1913 – 1927 the quarter has a variety of building styles, including Art Nouveaux, medieval, baroque and ancient Greek!


Torre Argentina
Distance from Civitavecchia port: 1 hour 20 mins
Are you a cat lover? Then we definitely recommend paying Torre Argentina a visit. The cat sanctuary is built where Caesar was murdered. Who says cats don’t have a sixth sense?! The site was excavated in 1929, due to Mussolini’s rebuilding efforts and Rome’s feral cats moved in straight away, and have remained ever since. The organisation has grown over the years and is now home to around 200 cats! Visitors are allowed to come and watch the cats bathing in the sun, or can even adopt one to continue aiding the sanctuary!



Victoria’s Way
Distance from Dublin port: 1 hour
Located in the town of Wicklow lies a park like no other. Victoria’s Way is an Indian sculpture park capturing the spiritual visions of a local man. The collection of 14 sculptures took around 20 years to complete and was created by Indian craftsmen. Around the park you’ll find everything from Hindu deities, a man ripping himself in two, a zombie like creature in the lake, and many other creepy creations! Eek! Now that’s not a park we’d fancy stumbling upon late at night!



Distance from Bruges port: 30 mins
Chocolate lovers will find their haven in Bruges own chocolate museum. Opened by Eddy Van Belle and his son Cedric, who are owners of the prestigious Belcolade chocolate company. You’ll be able to watch the chocolate being made and sample the finest pralines! You’ll also get to discover the history of chocolate consumption and production, right back to Aztec times. Fancy learning how your favorite snack was discovered? Then there’s a library that contains the history, and experts on hand for you to talk to. You may even get to take home one of those iconic Belgian chocolate recipes. Now that sounds good to us!



Cala de Sa Forcanera
Distance from Barcelona port: 1 hour
For those wanting to escape the hustle and bustle of the cruise ship, then a deserted hidden beach may sound like the perfect option. The beach is usually empty due to it only being accessible by the sea. The only access via the shore is through private land, so we suggest kayaking from Blane’s beach to avoid getting arrested for trespassing!


Church of Sant Miquel Del Fai
Distance from Barcelona port: 1 hour
Carved out of a cliff face around 997 AD is the idyllic Roman monastery of Sant Miquel Del Fai. Boasting one of the best views in Spain and surrounded by the glorious Tenes’s river waterfall, this place looks like it’s fresh out of the Lord of the Ring’s Rivendell! Visitors can hike up the mountain whilst walking underneath the waterfall, and pay a visit to the quaint cave church.



Monster Kabinett
Distance from Warnemunde port: 2 hours
Part art gallery, part haunted house, this is a place that is worth the journey to visit. Featuring a steampunk-esque robotic art display with creepy spider like robots, and convincing actors that appear fresh out of your nightmares, this museum is not for the faint of heart! The gallery is the brain child of art collective, the Dead Pigeon Collective. They host showings each Thursday and Friday, and whilst you wait for your show to begin, there’s creepy bar for you to get your liquid courage! Find the gallery down a dark alley off a busy street, head down a narrow stair case and enter the basement for the fun to begin.



So there you have it! That’s our top 7 locations off the beaten path away from the port. Do any of these places interest you? Would you make the journey away from the port? Let us know in the comments below!