“Once you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all.” I’ve heard this said of most cities coming from worldly travelers. However, the statement certainly doesn’t hold for the following places where each one has its own unique characteristics just waiting for passersby to behold and appreciate.
1. Venice, Italy
Known for being the “city of water,” you can hitch a ride on one of Venice’s iconic wooden gondolas that takes you afloat down canals and under bridges for an in-depth look at the exquisite Gothic architecture.
2. Kyoto, Japan
There’s a peaceful quiet in Kyoto that only a first-hand experience can attain. Home to more than 1600 Buddhist temples and 400 Shinto shrines, you can easily immerse yourself in Japan’s colorful culture. The delight of frequenting old stores and teahouses also transports you to Japan’s older days.
3. Sydney, Australia
Nicknamed “the Emerald City,” there are sites to amaze visitors from all walks of life. From the distinctive curves of the Opera House to the clean lines of the Harbour Bridge, Sydney’s busy scene sets the stage for exciting adventures that only this city can offer. Beachgoers can also bask in the sun on the shores of Bondi Beach, another popular tourist spot.
4. St. Petersburg, Russia
Being its own UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1991, the city houses numerous monuments and museums that showcase an eclectic fusion of significant architectural influences, which include Baroque and neoclassical elements. The most famous museum in St. Petersburg is undoubtedly the Hermitage.
5. Beijing, China
Where east meets west at one of the oldest cities in the world, Beijing’s broad array of historical sites, like the Great Wall and the Forbidden City, allow visitors to learn about China’s rich history. For those with an adventurous taste palette, the Peking duck and steamed soup dumplings are a couple of noteworthy dishes worth trying.
6. Chiang Mai, Thailand
Once the historical capital city of the Lanna Kingdom, people flock to Chiang Mai for the awe-inspiring temples, handcrafted goods, and picturesque escape into Thailand’s flourishing jungles with scenic hiking trails that all adventurers can relish. Chiang Mai’s many treasures include Wat Umong, the “Tunnel Temple,” nestled within the mountains.
7. Florence, Italy
Steeped in Renaissance art and architecture, Florence is a religious center and cultural haven – perfect for those who love romantic strolls through the city or checking out museums like the Uffizi Gallery and the Palazzo Vecchio.
8. Hong Kong
Being both an administrative region and a financial supercenter, Hong Kong’s backdrop of twinkling lights and tall skyrises will have visitors in awe of the city’s busy streets and local life. From the delicious food of Lei Yue Mun’s Seafood Bazaar to the Tian Tan Buddha on Lantau Island, there are more than enough experiences for the avid culture buff.
9. Cape Town, South Africa
Voted as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Cape Town, or “the Fairest Cape,” is Europe’s first settlement in South Africa. The clashing of vast farmlands, majestic mountains, gorgeous beaches, and vibrant cityscape make this place a fun vacation destination for people with myriads of interests.
10. Chefchaouen, Morocco
Have you ever heard of a blue city before? Well, now you have. Nicknamed “The Blue Pearl” for its painted houses, this northern Moroccan city is a hidden gem within the Rif Mountains where people can commute without a taxi and enjoy small shops and cafes for a more relaxing experience.
11. Copenhagen, Denmark
The capital of Denmark is the perfect setting for its bright-colored buildings, fine dining, and beautiful coastline. People can fancy a chicken tartlet while wandering the grounds of Tivoli Gardens or Rosenborg Castle. You can also tour the city from the water by boating along its charming canals.
12. Havana, Cuba
Just off the coast of Florida, Cuba is a fantastic location for food, drink, and wild nightlife. The exciting atmosphere of vintage cars, lively music, and tasty daiquiris will have visitors dancing in the street with reckless abandon in no time. As for Cuban cuisine, nothing beats a plate of ropa vieja with a side of yuca con mojo to hit the gastronomical spot.
13. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
We all recognize Christ the Redeemer, a prominently featured statue, but there’s more to this “Marvelous City” than its landmarks and balneario beaches; it’s also one of the most popular tourist destinations of South America with loads of festive flare where visitors become active participants during their yearly Carnival celebration.
14. Santorini, Greece
With buildings painted white and blue as a sign of patriotism, this crescent moon-shaped paradise is surrounded by volcanic landscapes and clear Aegean waters. Sampling some wine with a traditional dish of fava or an afternoon boating around the caldera are perfect ways to revel in local Santorini life.
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