The real secret? Colorado is a hidden gem on its own. Denver is a bumping transplant town getting busier by the day, but you’d be surprised how many people never get out of the city! Check out these 8 hiking trails, all perfectly hidden gems in Colorado that will make your Colorado trip one for the books. These trails are perfect for visitors and locals looking to beat the bustle and experience Colorado’s beauty.

Colorado is full of history and nature. Don’t forget to Leave No Trace so we can continue enjoying these hidden gems. 

Hidden Gems Hiking Trails in Colorado for Day Adventurers

Centennial Cone “Travois” Trail

  • Distance: 13.0 miles
  • Elevation: 2,020
Travois Trail

Travois Trail

Start your morning with an incredible sunset view from Centennial Cone. You may see a few runners in the morning, but this is a great hidden gem if you’re looking for quiet hiking.

The Travois Trail is closed from February to June for Elk mating season, so be sure to look up open trails and dates before arriving. This 13-mile hike is dog friendly, but there aren’t many creeks, so come prepared with plenty of water for you and your four-legged friends.

View Trail Information

Blue Lake Trail near Telluride

  • Distance: 10.3 miles
  • Elevation: 1,794
The serene Blue Lakes Trail - a hidden gem in Colorado

The serene Blue Lakes Trail

You’ll want to get to this one early – only a few parking spots are available at the trailhead!

This hidden gem in Colorado is great for hikers, campers, and cross country skiers! It’s a longer hike, but the incline is gradual and not too strenuous. You’ll enter the Rawah Wilderness and five miles in, you’ll find yourself with incredible views of Blue Lake. Bonus: it’s a great hike for dogs and if you catch it at the right time of summer, the wildflowers flourish.

Don’t forget: Longer hikes require planning around weather, water, food, and directions! Make sure you’re prepared for Blue Lake Trail.

St Mary’s Glacier Trailhead

  • Distance: 2.4
  • Elevation: 1,030 
St Mary's Glacier Photo by Paul Arterburn on Unsplash

St Mary’s Glacier
Photo by Paul Arterburn on Unsplash

Located in Idaho Springs,  this trail is great for a day trip about an hour from Denver, Boulder, and Breckenridge! St Mary’s Glacier is a popular winter hike; you might find skiers or ice fishermen enjoying the mountain along the way. Throughout the journey, the views are incredible. You won’t be disappointed when you make it to the glacier!  

Be prepared for wind and temperature changes; microspikes, poles, and warm clothes are recommended as the snow sticks around for quite a while.

Parking at the trailhead is $5 cash. View the Forest Service website for closures and restrictions.

Hidden Gems in Colorado for a Weekend Getaway

Ouray, Colorado

Discover Ouray - known as the Little Switzerland of America, one of the best hidden gems in Colorado

Discover Ouray – known as the Little Switzerland of America

Ouray is commonly known as the “Little Switzerland of America”, so you can imagine why it’d make the list for hidden gems. 

Summer is the best time to plan a weekend getaway to this town full of gems. Ouray offers incredibly scenic views along the Million Dollar Highway, Fish Creek Falls, and Red Mountain Pass Summit. Ouray is also home to No Sulfer Hot Springs – filled with geothermal water, packed with minerals straight from Ouray Box Canyon Waterfall.

The downside? It’s over 6 hours from the Denver Airport. There’s no doubt it’s worth the trip though! There are two smaller airports outside of Ouray, but you might have a harder time finding trips in. I would recommend checking Skyscanner to find the best option.

Imogene Pass

  • Distance: 17.5 mi
  • Elevation: 4734

Imogene Pass is a more strenuous hike, but you also have the option of driving! It’s well known for offroading – so well known you can actually rent a jeep in town to try it out yourself.

If you enjoy crazy things, like racing your way up a giant mountain, Imogene Pass hosts an annual, 17-mile run! 

The trailhead is just 30 minutes from Telluride, a quaint mountain town filled with waterfalls, hikes, and festivals in the summer!

Strawberry Park Hot Springs, Steamboat, CO

Strawberry Park Hot Springs - one of the best hidden gems in Colorado

Strawberry Park Hot Springs – one of the best hidden gems in Colorado

Sometimes, you just need a weekend of pampering! Strawberry Park Hot Springs is the perfect getaway during cold months. The park has maintained nature’s beauty around these Hot Springs while allowing you to lodge and soak in 104-degree mineral water. Nearby, Routt National Forest has trails for hiking, snowshoeing, and biking.

The “Train Caboose” and “Covered Wagon” are just two of the park’s unique lodging for guests. They also have camping availability or, you can head to Downtown Steamboat Springs and enjoy the local dining and shopping. There is an onsight shuttle to take you to Routt and Steamboat Springs.

Hot tip: After hours, the springs are 18+ and clothing is…optional. No alcohol is allowed or available.

Strawberry Park currently requires reservations for all pools. You can reserve your spot directly on their website

Grand Mesa Lakes

For a snow-filled state, Colorado can get hot. To get through the hottest summer days, Grand Mesa Lakes are the perfect place to cool off. Grand Mesa holds 300 lakes and reservoirs where you can fish, hike, camp, boat, and more. It’s known as the “World’s Largest Flat Top Mountain” with a 10,000-foot elevation.

You’ll find the drive into Grand Mesa National Forest tranquil and beautiful. The forest is home to a diverse group of wildlife like moose, black bears, and is well known for its trout fishing.

If you’re not much of a hiker and need a place to stay, check out nearby hotels on booking.com.

Hidden Gem Hiking Trail in Colorado for Beginners

Glacier Gorge Trail

  • Distance: 3.3 mi
  • Elevation: 646

Glacier Gorge Trail is located in Rocky Mountain National Park, which can be a heavily trafficked area. I’d suggest beating the crowd and enjoying this trail at sunrise. However, Glacier Gorge Trail is not the most popular in the park but you still get spectacular views of the mountains and the lake without the crowds and strenuous hiking.

This loop is just over three miles, making it perfect for a quick trip to see the park and give you the rest of the day to explore. There is currently a fee to get into Rocky Mountain National Park so don’t forget to look up entry requirements before going.

Hidden Gems in Colorado Wrap-Up

I hope you got some great ideas for your next flight. This state offers endless amounts of nature and adventures, it would take a lifetime to experience it all. Now that you have these 8 hidden gems in Colorado, it’s time to start planning your trip! Hope to see you here soon!

London is one of the most vibrant, exciting cities in the world, with so many incredible things to see and do. However, there are plenty of other fantastic places in the south of England that are also definitely worth visiting. Many of these make easy day trips from London by train. Here are some of the very best.

Oxford (or Cambridge)

Historic Oxford, accessible by train from London

Historic Oxford, accessible by train from London

Home to a world-famous 1,000-year-old university, beautiful medieval buildings, cozy cafes, atmospheric pubs, and more Harry Potter filming locations than you can shake a wand at, Oxford is a wonderful place to spend a day.

The centre of town is fairly compact and walkable. Highlights include the Radcliffe Camera, the Bodleian Library, Christ Church College,

Turf Tavern, the Pitt Rivers and Ashmolean museums, as well as the Sheldonian Theatre, Botanic Gardens, and Magdalen College.

For the best view in the city, and to see why Oxford is known as the “City of Dreaming Spires”, climb the tower of the Church of St Mary The Virgin.

Alternatively, why not visit the other equally-famous university town, Cambridge. (Or “the Other Place”, as Oxonians like to call it.

Cambridge is smaller than Oxford, with slightly fewer “sights”, but an equally captifying atmosphere. Famous places to visit in Cambridge include the Fitzwilliam Museum, the Bridge of Sighs (named after the bridge in Venice), the Mathematical Bridge, King’s College Chapel, and “the Backs” – an iconic and beautiful area that separates some of the university’s colleges with the river Cam (hire a punt for the best views).

The South Downs

Head to South Downs National Park to experience English countryside just outside of London

Head to South Downs National Park to experience the beautiful English countryside

There are many excellent walks in and around London. However, if you’d prefer to spend a day hiking in the English countryside, head for the South Downs National Park. This range of hills passes through the counties of East Sussex, West Sussex and Hampshire, and has some of the finest scenery in southern England.

It’s a beautiful place, with gently rolling hills, picture-postcard green fields, ancient woodland, and meadows of wildflowers. From many viewpoints, you can see all the way to the coast and out to sea.

There are many excellent walking trails passing through the South Downs. Two of the best known are the South Downs Way and the Monarch’s Way. These are both long-distance hiking routes, but several sections make excellent day walks that are easily doable on a day trip from London by train.

A classic route is from Hassocks to Lewes, via Ditchling Beacon. Both Hassocks and Lewes have a station with direct trains to/from London.

Another great option is the walk from Seaford to Eastbourne, via the famous “Seven Sisters” cliffs.

Brighton

Take a day trip from London by train and head to the coastal town of Brighton

Escape London and head to the coastal town of Brighton

Brighton is a popular seaside town on the south coast of England.

Famous for its long pebbly beach and party atmosphere, Brighton is a great place to visit throughout the year. In the summertime, the long, mild evenings draw crowds of locals and visitors alike to the seafront. Here you can enjoy friendly festival-like vibes and a drink or two as you watch the sunset over the English Channel.

Other places to visit in Brighton include the iconic Royal Pavilion and Brighton pier, complete with a traditional amusement arcade and mini-theme park. Wander through the narrow alleyways of the Lanes, an area close to the seafront that’s full of pubs, bars, restaurants, vintage shops, and independent boutiques.

Brighton is known for being a very progressive, open-minded place. Brighton Pride is arguably the UK’s most popular international Pride Festival, and the city has a large LGBTQ+ community.

There’s also a vibrant creative scene here, with a range of music, theatre, art, film, and literature festivals throughout the year.

Brighton is particularly easy to explore as a day trip from London by train. There are usually at least 2-3 direct services per hour to/from several London stations, and the journey only takes 60-70 minutes.

Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle, just outside of London

Windsor Castle, just outside of London

Located just outside London, Windsor Castle is one of the Queen’s three official residences. It’s also the largest and oldest continually-inhabited castle in the world.

The castle is located on top of a hill and can be seen for miles throughout the surrounding area. It has many imposing towers and battlements, immaculately manicured courtyards, and more than 5,000 acres of grounds.

One of the most striking things about Windsor Castle is its size. It’s truly massive, with over 1,000 rooms. You can visit many of these, including the richly furnished state apartments (full of priceless artwork by painters such as Rembrandt), and the Royal Family’s luxurious private apartments.

The castle’s gothic St George’s Chapel has a beautiful vaulted ceiling and contains the tombs of many former British monarchs, including Charles I and Henry VIII. (For anyone interested, this is also where Harry and Meghan were married.)

If you can time your visit to coincide with the Changing of the Guard (at 11 am), this is worth seeing. A colourful and symbolic daily ceremony marks the formal changing of the castle’s guards. It’s full of pomp and tradition, complete with a marching band.

Don’t miss a walk through the extensive grounds too. The best – and most iconic – view of Windsor Castle can be seen from the Long Walk, a 2.6-mile tree-lined avenue that leads up to the castle.

Margate & Whitstable

Walk along the seafront in Whitsable - A day trip from London by train

Walk along the seafront in Whitstable

The Victorian seaside town of Margate has recently become popular again with a wave of regeneration and gentrification.

Today, the town is full of hipster coffee shops, vintage shops, trendy bars selling craft beer and natural wine, and inventive restaurants and galleries. The Turner Contemporary gallery is well worth a visit, as is Crate, an artists studio and creative space housed in a former printing factory.

Also worth checking out, the alternative-themed amusement park Dreamland has several fun rides and also hosts a range of live music.

A few miles along the Kent coast, Whitstable has a totally different feel to Margate. More upmarket, here you’ll find several smart restaurants and many fancy holiday rental properties.

Take a walk along the Whitstable seafront, past the rainbow-coloured beach houses, maybe stopping to chat with one of the vendors selling freshly caught oysters, mackerel, and other local produce. If you have time, pop in for a drink at the Old Neptune pub, a local institution located right on the beach.

It’s easy to visit both Margate and Whitstable as a day trip from London by train. Both towns have good rail connections with the capital, and the train only takes 20 minutes between the two.

Bath

With Roman origins and stunning architecture, Bath is well-worth a day trip from London

With Roman origins and stunning architecture, Bath is well worth a day trip from London

Home to an incredible ancient Roman bathhouse, the city of Bath has some of the most beautiful architecture in Britain.

The famous Roman baths were built 2,000 years ago on top of a natural hot spring. Mineral-rich water rising from the ground was channelled through an impressive system of pipes and chambers to create a spa complex with several heated rooms and thermal pools.

It’s one of the best-preserved ancient bathhouses in the world, and definitely worth a visit.

Sadly, you can’t take a dip in the Roman baths in Bath. However, the same natural hot spring water flows into the modern Thermae Bath Spa, where you can enjoy a luxurious pampering experience complete with a stunning rooftop pool.

Other sites not to miss in Bath include the Royal Crescent (a gorgeous curving street lined with butter-coloured Georgian houses), Pulteney Bridge (an 18th-century bridge lined with shops), and Bath Abbey (a beautiful medieval church).

For a great view over the city, try hiking the Bath Skyline, a 6-mile circular trail passing through ancient woodland and meadows.

Bristol

Bristol is known for its vibrant arts scene and quirky alternative culture

Bristol is known for its vibrant arts scene and quirky alternative culture

Arty, edgy, and wonderfully unconventional, Bristol is one of the most liveable cities in the UK. At only 1.5 hours away from central London by train, it makes a perfect day trip.

Bristol is known for its attractive harbour, vibrant arts scene, rich history, quirky alternative culture, and the friendliness of its locals. It’s also the proud birthplace of the famous street artist Banksy, whose works are found throughout the city.

Clifton, a smart residential area of the city, is definitely worth a visit. Here you’ll find beautiful large Victorian and Georgian houses, green parks, boutiquey shops, and independent cafés and wine bars. From the famous Clifton suspension bridge, there are wonderful views across the Avon Gorge.

For a grittier take on the city, take a walk around the Stokes Croft area, home to a range of excellent pubs, artists’ studios, and fantastic international eateries.

Planning Your Day Trip by Train

The price of your ticket can vary wildly depending on the time, and how far in advance you book. For the cheapest fares, it’s best to book as far in advance as possible. If you’re travelling between Monday and Friday, try to book “off peak” trains (i.e. departing between 9:30 am and returning after 7 pm), if possible.

It’s quick and easy to compare and book tickets online using thetrainline.com.

Living La Vida Loca? Sorry, Ricky Martin, it’s all about the Pura Vida (“Pure Life”) in Costa Rica. And the best way to experience this is by visiting the multitude of national parks — 28 in total. And, because the country’s so small, it’s easy to visit many of them in a short trip. So, let’s dive into the best hikes in Costa Rica for your next visit.

The Catarata del Toro Waterfall Hike

 

Catarata del Toro Waterfall cascading into a volcanic crater - hiking in costa rica

Catarata del Toro Waterfall cascades into a volcanic crater

About two hours outside San Jose is a towering waterfall you won’t want to miss.

As you hike, tropical rainforests engulf you like a pig-in-a-blanket. There are a few viewpoints you’ll pass before arriving at the waterfall. Snap some pictures along the way before you descend to the waterfall itself. 

If you were thinking this was an ordinary waterfall, you’d be wrong. This waterfall is an astounding 270 feet high, and it sits inside the crater of a now-extinct volcano. The impressive waterfall alone makes this one of the best hikes in Costa Rica.

Because this waterfall isn’t as visited as other sights, you’ll experience wildlife living undisturbed by civilization. Hummingbirds, butterflies, and more zip from tree to tree as you wander the trail.

So, take your time and enjoy the experience; it’s sure to be good.

Hike Details

Length: 1 mile

Difficulty: Easy

Getting to the trail: The start of the hike is located between San Jose and La Fortuna. Two hours driving from San Jose, this trail is easily accessed for anyone staying in the capital. The closest town is Bajas del Toro, which is a good starting point. You can find the start of the trail on Google Maps here.

Rio Celeste Hike

The other-worldly colors of the Rio Celeste - one of the best hikes in Costa Rica

The other-worldly colors of the Rio Celeste – one of the best hikes in Costa Rica

Timing is essential to this hike. It’s straightforward, and signs are posted to help you stay on the trail. But, to experience the magic of what makes this one of the best hikes in Costa Rica, you’ll want to visit during the dry season — from December to April.

Why go during this time?

When it rains, mud mixes into the water and turns it a dark brown. But, when it’s a clear day, the water turns to Cool Blue Gatorade, and it’s beautiful.

Whether you get to catch the blue waters or not, the hike itself is full of flora and fauna for you to observe. Snakes, birds, and rare plants litter this hike, so keep your eyes peeled for any animals or plants who may be hiding just out of view.

Hike Details

Length: 4 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Getting to the trail: Rio Celeste is located inside Tenorio Volcano National Park. The closest town is Bijagua de Upala. However, trips can be arranged from La Fortuna, a more popular option for visitors to Costa Rica. La Fortuna is 29 miles from the national park.

You can find the start of the trail on Google Maps here.

La Leona Madrigal Trail

Parque Nacional Corcovado - one of the best hikes in Costa Rica to experience wildlife

Parque Nacional Corcovado – one of the best hikes in Costa Rica to experience wildlife

National Geographic labeled Corcovado National Park as the most biologically intense place on the planet. And it contains a plethora of hiking options. 

So, you’re sure to have a close-up experience with various wildlife, making this one of the best places to go hiking in Costa Rica.

What type of wildlife exactly? Tapirs, monkeys, jaguars, and eagles are some animals you’re sure to see on your hike.

I recommend the La Leona Madrigal Trail if you’re looking for a hike that will give you a dose of all that this park has to offer.

This out-and-back trail will take you along the coast, where you can enjoy the stunning beaches of Costa Rica. But that’s not all. It also takes you inland to the jungles, so you can live out your inner Indiana Jones.

You can book overnight stays in the park, which will give you an immersive experience in the wild. Or, you can stay in one of the nearby towns for easy access. The closest towns are Puerto Jimenez and Drake Bay.

Hike Details

Length: 6 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Getting to the trail: The trail begins between Carate Mixeo Wildlife Refuge and Playa Madrigal, located on the southern end of Corcovado National Park. You can follow National Route 245 to easily access the area.

You can find the trail start on Google Maps here.

Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges

One of the many hanging bridges on the trail in Arenal

One of the many hanging bridges on the trail in Arenal

The area around Arenal is known for it’s many hiking options. A shorter hike near the Arenal Volcano offers a more accessible way to experience the cloud forest. But that doesn’t mean it’s not still full of novelty and intrigue.

The Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges hike consists of 15 total bridges, six of which are hanging. As you navigate the forest, you’ll get fantastic views of the volcano and the occasional visit from monkeys, birds, and other wildlife.

This hike would be excellent to pair with another hike near the Arenal Volcano — which are plentiful.

I’d recommend the Los Tucanes hike, a 2.5-mile hike across hanging bridges and lava fields. Wildlife fills Arenal National Park, so you’ll encounter unique animals on this hike.

Hike Details

Length: 2 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Getting to the trail: Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park is located on the northern side of Arenal Volcano. From La Fortuna, it’s about a 30-minute drive via Route 142. The park contains a large parking lot, so renting a car is an excellent option.

You can find the start on Google Maps here.

Cerro Chirripo

View of San Gerardo de Rivas and Cerro Chirripó National Park in the background

View of San Gerardo de Rivas and Cerro Chirripó National Park in the background

Up for a more significant challenge? How about climbing to the top of the tallest mountain when hiking in Costa Rica?

This one isn’t for the faint-hearted, as it’s over 12 miles one way. That doesn’t sound bad until you add over 7,000 feet of elevation gain. Yeah, this one is going to challenge you.

But, you don’t have to do it all in one day. Most people choose to do a two or three-day option. Three miles away from the summit, most hikers will stay at the Crestones Base Camp lodge.

Once you reach the top, though, you’re greeted with views out over Costa Rica — from the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific Ocean on each side. It is easy to see what makes this one of the best hikes in Costa Rica – especially for experienced backpackers who are looking to get off the beaten path.

Hike Details

Length: 24 miles (round trip)

Difficulty: Difficult

Getting to the trail: To get to the beginning of the trail, you will start in the nearby town of San Gerardo de Rivas. Booking a stay in this small town is an excellent option so you can have easy access at the beginning and end of your hike. From there, it’s a short drive to the park entrance.

You can find the start on Google Maps here.

Best Hikes in Costa Rica – Final Thoughts

Costa Rica doesn’t see almost two million tourists a year because it lacks options. In fact, around 80% of its visitors come to experience the staggering amount of ecology on offer.

And there’s no better way to experience that ecological beauty than hitting the trails and leaving civilization behind.

You’re equipped to do exactly that on your next visit with this guide to the best hikes in Costa Rica. Now go get a taste of that Pura Vida!

When planning a trip to Munich, there are the obvious famous spots, like the Hofbräuhaus Beer Hall, Marienplatz, or the vast English Garden. But if you’re looking for something more off the beaten path, there are plenty of hidden gems in Munich!

I have lived in Munich for four years, and have grown to love it. The city checks a lot of boxes: lots of nature, charming neighborhoods, and a selection of cultural events around the year. Discover what makes Munich so great with this list of my favorite places in Munich off the beaten path.

The Seehaus Biergarten

The Seehaus Biergarten in the Englischer Garten

The Seehaus Biergarten, my favorite Biergarten hidden gem in Munich!

Munich is well known for its Biergarten culture, and you’ll find them scattered throughout the city. But my favorite Biergarten is in the middle of the English Garden next to the Seehaus. From the Biergarten tables, you have a beautiful view over a small lake and into the dense green that makes the English Garden an oasis in the middle of the city. 

Not only is the scenery unbeatable, but they serve a variety of classic Biergarten food, including Hax’n and Steckerlfisch. And of course, you can pick up a fresh beer right from the tap. Then again, if you’ve had your fill of beer, they have an area where you can enjoy cocktails and wine under the Linden trees.

Gärtnerplatz

Hang out at Gärtnerplatz while exploring Munich off the beaten path in the alternative Glockenbachviertel

Hang out at Gärtnerplatz while exploring Munich off the beaten path in the alternative Glockenbachviertel

Nestled between the Viktualienmarkt and the Isar River is the neighborhood known as Glockenbachviertel. While Munich has a reputation for being conservative, Glockenbach is a welcoming and lively neighborhood full of hidden gems in Munich.

Here you can find swanky cocktail bars, grungy dive bars, and hip boutiques. The center of Glockenbachviertel is the circular Gärtnerplatz – grab a drink at a nearby kiosk and hang out with the locals.

Gans Woanders

Even from the funky exterior, it’s clear that Gans Woanders is one of the best hidden gems in Munich. Its name is a play on words from the phrase ‘Ganz woanders’ (somewhere else) but with a twist of using the German word ‘Gans’ which means goose.

A whimsical building houses a unique space that serves as a café during the day and a bar at night. It’s a great place if you’re looking to get off the beaten path in Munich and are looking for something different from the typical beer halls and Bavarian food.

Rosengarten

Just a small fraction of the many roses you'll see at the stunning Rose Garden

Just a small fraction of the many roses you’ll see at the stunning Rose Garden

I lived in this city for 3 years before discovering the beautiful rose garden. In fact, my first visit there prompted me to write this article about the best hidden gems in Munich!

Located near the Isar river, this manicured garden offers a great place to take a stroll around and relax. There are plenty of lounge chairs and hundreds of blooming plants. After enjoying the Rosengarten, you can walk along the banks of the river, where the locals love to take a dip in summer.

Neues Schloss Schleissheim

Venture to the north of Munich to explore Neues Schloss Schleissheim

Venture to the north of Munich to explore Neues Schloss Schleissheim

Inspired by Versailles, and serving as a summer residence to the Wittelsbacher royals, the Neues Schloss Schleissheim castle is well worth a visit! The castle features Baroque architecture at its finest and is surrounded by spectacular gardens. I’m surprised this place isn’t more famous – it took 3 years of living here before I even heard about it! 

View of the Glockenspiel from Galeria Kaufhof

While Marienplatz and the Glockenspiel is arguably the #1 tourist attraction of Munich, there is a viewpoint over the famous square that is a true hidden gem. The café in Galeria Kaufhof overlooks the square and gives you a perfect view of the famous Glockenspiel.

Grab a front-row seat to Munich’s most famous attraction without dealing with the crowds. Side note – if you happen to be in Munich during a heatwave, the Galeria Kaufhof is one of the few places in the city that has coveted air conditioning!

Alte Utting

The Alte Utting boat sits atop a bridge and functions as a restaurant and bar

The Alte Utting boat sits atop a bridge and functions as a restaurant and bar

A scene that looks like it belongs in the more edgy Berlin, Alte Utting is one of the best hidden gems in Munich and my favorite place to take out-of-town guests. It’s an old ship that has been elevated onto an old set of railway tracks, a cool place to grab a drink with friends.

The Lost Weekend

The Lost Weekend is a café and event space in the middle of the student district. It serves great coffee, and snacks, and will occasionally have a book reading or poetry slam. Check the schedule of events to see if something sparks your interest.

The Jaded Monkey

With a prominent beer culture, it’s no wonder that great cocktail bars in Munich are few and far between. But there are some great hidden gems, like the Jaded Monkey. Serving up inventive cocktails in a swanky setting reminiscent of a New York bar, you’ll love getting a little more off the beaten path while visiting Munich.

Café im Vorhoelzer Forum

Munich's favorite student hang out

Café im Vorhoelzer Forum – Munich’s best rooftop hang out

As a university town, Munich is full of great restaurants and bars that cater to the student crowd. This rooftop bar is a true hidden gem in Munich because it’s hard to find!

Located atop one of the University buildings, you’ll need to find your way to the right back elevator. Once you emerge from the top floor, you’ll find one of the best views in Munich. On a clear day, you’ll even catch a view of the Alps!

Note: Café in Vorhoelzer Forum closed during the pandemic and re-opening is TBD. In the meantime, you can still access the rooftop and BYOB to enjoy a drink with one of the best views in Munich.

What do you think of when you think of Thailand? Is it the incredible beaches, the lush green jungles, and fascinating culture? This is what comes to mind for most visitors. Yet, hidden beneath all that is a landscape eager for company. So, consider skipping the tourist hotspots and  hitting the trails to do one of the best hikes when you’re in Thailand next. But, finding trails while traveling can be difficult. Luckily, I’ve done all the dirty work for you already. Enjoy.

Tiger Cave Temple Trail

One of the best hikes in Thailand near the Tiger Cave Tample

One of the best hikes in Thailand near the Tiger Cave Tample

Incredible views and one of the most sacred temples in Thailand? Can I count you in?

Less of a hike and more of a climb, this is one of Thailand’s top spots to visit. To make it easier for yourself, find accommodation in Krabi Town.

At the bottom of the mountain, you can explore the Tiger Cave temple, which has an intriguing story. After that, begin climbing the 1,260 steps to the top.

But all this hard work is worth it when you arrive at the top.

The tropical forest extends in all directions. The tree-covered mountains jut up and down like they’re playing an eternal game of whack-a-mole. 

In the distance, you see the azure waters of the Andaman Sea meet the mainland, and tiny islands dot its waters.

If you’re looking for the best time to go, aim for the late afternoon. Foreigners and locals alike rave about the sunsets from the summit of Tiger Cave Temple Mountain.

There are many mesmerizing sunsets in Thailand, but this one ranks up there with its best.

Hike Details

Length: .5 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Getting to the trail

From Krabi Town, you can take a bus or rent a motorbike. It’s around a 15-minute drive from the center of town to Wat Tham Seua (Tiger Cave Temple).

You can find the start on Google Maps here.

Ton Kloi Waterfall Hike

For this hike, you’ll head to Khao Sok National Park. An interesting fact about this park is the oldest evergreen forest in the world covers it.

And wildlife and plant life thrive in this environment.

This hike is an out-and-back hike that takes you along the Sok River. Along the trail, monkeys hide in trees, birds fly from branch to branch, and greenery erupts from the ground.

At the end, you can dive into the chilly waters at the base of the Ton Kloi waterfall to reward yourself for a job well done.

The trail has a few hills that are easy to handle initially. But, about halfway through the hike, the path becomes more difficult. There are guides you can book to navigate you through this section.

If you’re unsure of your navigational skills, I recommend a guide for this section.

Hike Details

Length: 8 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Getting to the trail

Accommodation is plentiful near Khao Sok National Park, and it’s easiest to book a stay at a place nearby to fully explore the park. From there, you can enter Khao Sok National Park at the main entrance ($9 entrance fee). 

From there, follow the road down to the Khao Sok Park HQ. There’s a bridge where you cross the Sok River (it has a sign that says Ton Kloi Waterfall Nature Trail) until you arrive at the trailhead.

You can find the start on Google Maps here.

Doi Suthep Monk’s Trail

Markers along the Monk's Trail

Orange flags mark the path along the Monk’s Trail

Doi Suthep is located right next to Chiang Mai. In fact, it towers over the city like a behemoth, keeping watch for any intruders. But, trails make this behemoth a trekker’s playground.

Tropical forests surround you like a wet blanket, blocking out any sunlight trying to find its way to the forest floor. 

Yet, throughout all this, you will find a well-maintained trail system.

The Monk’s Trail is one of the most popular hikes in Chiang Mai. The hike is well-marked with orange flags and takes you to Wat Pha Lat, a temple built in the 14th century.

After the temple, you’ll head to a viewpoint that provides you with a vista you won’t forget. After this, it’s back to the starting point to finish the hike.

Tip: The hike itself isn’t strenuous, but you’ll be traversing over rocks and roots. So, bring proper footwear and avoid sneakers. And get plenty of water; the Thai heat will add to the difficulty.

Hike Details

Length: 4 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Getting to the trail

To find the trail, follow Suthep Road to the end, which is near Chiang Mai University. Keep going forward and turn right at the following intersection. It will head toward the rear entry of the Chiang Mai Zoo.

From here, keep your eye out for a large tower (painted red and white). Here’s the start of The Monk’s Trail.

You can find the start on Google Maps here.

Doi Luang Chiang Dao

Incredible vistas on the Doi Chiang Dao hike in Thailand

Incredible vistas on the Doi Chiang Dao hike in Thailand

We arrive at the only hike that requires a guide — the Doi Luang Chiang Dao trail. Being the third-tallest peak in Thailand, this hike is for experienced hikers. Hence why a guide is necessary.

You can’t book a guide on the day of the hike, so you should book in advance (at least one day if it’s not high season). Also, there’s a daily visitor limit of 150 people, so it’s best to secure your spot as soon as possible.

And that spot will be worth it as you reach the summit. Mountains extend in all directions, rolling up and down like ocean waves. But they truly shine at sunset/sunrise. Colors fill the valleys, providing a borderline religious experience.

The best place to stay is in Chiang Dao itself or Chiang Mai, about an hour and a half from the mountain.

If you’re looking for one of the best hikes in Thailand, Doi Luang Chiang Dao is with the best of them.

Hike Details

Length: 7.5 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Getting to the trail

If you’re staying in Chiang Dao, you simply have to drive to the entrance of the Chiang Dao Wildlife Reserve. From here, meet your guide and enjoy the trek!

If you’re staying in Chiang Mai, you can rent a car/motorbike to drive to the Chiang Dao Wildlife Reserve entrance. Rental motorbikes run from $3-15 per day depending on the size. Car rentals range from $10-$30. 

Otherwise, you can get a taxi to drive you to the entrance (around $25-$35).

You can find the start on Google Maps here.

Phuket’s Manik Mining Trail

This is a hike you’re not going to find on other blogs — I can promise you that. I didn’t discover this trail, but I’ve run/hiked it so many times I could do it with my eyes closed. 

And the Manik Mining Trail is one of the best hikes in Phuket.

This hike starts near Manik Dam in Phuket — you can find the dam in the north-central part of the island. It’s an out-and-back that takes you up above the dam, where you get an incredible view over the island’s northern and southern parts.

You can even see Radar Hill and Big Buddha on a clear day!

Most people don’t think of hiking when they visit Phuket. Instead, visitors choose Phuket’s world-famous beaches and sky-blue waters. But, you miss out on the side of Thailand that most tourists don’t see.

Don’t be one of those tourists.

Hike Details

Length: 7.5 miles (a little over 3.5 miles one-way)

Difficulty: Moderate

Getting to the trail

Finding this trail will be easy. Head to Manik Dam (one of three dams on the island). Once you arrive, you can park in the dam’s parking lot. Head east on Sawatdirak Road until the road starts to go uphill. Here you will see a dirt road that veers off on the left side. 

Follow that trail until it comes to a three-way split — one going left, one going straight, and one going right. Follow the trail that goes right (and slightly uphill). This is the start of the hike.

You can find the start on Google Maps here.

Best Hikes in Thailand – Final Thoughts

While Thailand is a well-known backpacking destination, it’s less known for hiking, but that’s the beauty of it. As you hike, you’ll have the trails to yourself. So, take it slow, and enjoy the sights and sounds surrounding you. But you should get there quick. You won’t have them to yourself for much longer.