These cities often don’t get the kudos that maybe their more glamorous counterparts do, but it doesn’t make them any less fabulous. The best travel destinations shouldn’t be based on popularity, nor the tourist traffic they drive, instead they should be celebrated for their unique differences. So rather than booking your next holiday to Paris followed by Rome and then Barcelona, try out some new cities. Trust us, you’re gonna wonder why you never thought about travelling there before.
Quebec City, Canada
Jump out of your comfort zone and travel to the non-English speaking part of Canada. Go beyond the safety of Toronto and go to the city where poutine originates. With some of the most spectacular architecture in the Northern Hemisphere, Quebec City is like a living breathing museum. If you ain’t keen on the winter, be sure to head to the provincial capital in the summer.
Not for the faint-hearted or culture-sensitive, Istanbul is a melting pot of controlled chaos. With Turkey set right on the border of Europe and Asia, Istanbul is the focal point of the country. Yeah there was a military coup not long ago, but the city has rejuvenated to become a Euro favourite. There ain’t many road rules, and the locals will spot out a tourist from a mile away, but it’s cheap, diverse and eye-opening. It’s not necessarily what you think off when you hear Europe, but the huge cafe culture, Turkish coffee on it’s own and intense dose of local vibrancy is infectious.
Colombo, Sri Lanka
It has emerged as the must see stop in Sri Lanka, and although it won’t reclaim it’s title of ‘Garden of the East’ the city still has plenty to offer. Escape the hustle and bustle of the Colombo and catch a train to Mount Lavinia for some seaside fun. In saying this, be sure not to overlook the colonial architecture mixed with impressive high rises.
It’s considered an underrated destination as Santiago is the fly in, fly out point of South America. But what many travellers miss is the rich history, culture and amazing food that Santiago has to offer. With a stunning backdrop of the Andes mountains and the Pacific coastline just an hour away, you won’t be able to put your camera down. With a booming wine district and an up and coming arts and cultural scene, Santiago is the city to drink and dance the night away.
Go above and beyond the sites of LA and New York, and venture to a new part of the United States. Laying on the shores of the Puget Sound with Mount Rainier towering in the background, the underrated destination has the best of both worlds. Hosting an incredible skyline and stunning landscape views. If you’re a lover of rock and roll this is the city to be. The birthplace of Jimi Hendrix, Pearl Jam and Kurt Cobain. Not to mention the emerging hip-hop scene.
Home of course to the nearby Machu Picchu, sadly that icon detracts from what is a fabulous city tucked away in this South American gem of a country. From the cobblestone pathways, to the llamas literally being escorted down streets, Cusco is peak Peru. A visit to the street markets on every corner is an experience in itself, as the locals try and sell you their overpriced travel bracelets. Head to the top of the city for a stunningly quiet and chill view of the surrounds, and go dancing at all of the bars and clubs that only kick off at about 2am.
This underrated destination has a thriving café culture, great food and lively nightlife. And it all comes at great prices too. What more do you want from a European city? Forget the capital cities of the West and head to Belgrade for a wallet friendly adventure you won’t forget. See the tower blocks and charming cityscape by day, heading to the underground clubs in the evening.