Some cities are always present in dream itineraries: Rome, Paris, and New York City are just some of the inescapable classics. However, there are thousands of cities all over the world that provide a condensed, and sometimes better, version of the country you’re traveling to. These cities may be overshadowed by capital cities and tourist favorites. They may also be haunted by a past stereotype that’s no longer true. These cities are hidden in plain view, yet they are guaranteed to provide you with an unforgettably positive experience. Here’s 21 of the best hidden and overshadowed cities!
Bogota is marred by its violent and turbulent past. But in the last 10 years, Bogota has transformed into one of South America’s major hubs, and it can now proudly call itself an international city. Boasting some of the finest restaurants in South America, and possibly the best coffee in the world, Bogota is guaranteed to delight foodies and anyone else wishing to experience a blossoming megapolis.
Budapest is often overlooked, but once visited it will leave an unforgettable impression. Visitors can enjoy affordable luxury at one of the many historical bath-houses, local beers at quirky clubs, and food from some of Europe’s top chefs. While the city has a history of oppression, locals are finally expressing themselves with a passion, vitality, and creativity that is truly out of this world. Between ancient Hungarian fortresses, gigantic Soviet castles, and intimate underground pubs, there is something for everyone in this emerging European gem.
Moscow has a harsh reputation as being a dark, cold, and unfriendly city. In reality, Moscow is a lively city full of colorful architecture, a rich history, and some of the most interesting people you’ll find. With hundreds of breathtaking museums, outstanding metro lines, and more parks than any other city in the world, Moscow remains one of the top destinations that defies its stereotypes.
While South Africa is certainly marred with troubles, Johannesburg remains a beautiful city blossoming with nightlife, creativity, and delectable dishes. With incredible wildlife and a truly cosmopolitan city, Johannesburg is a must-see destination for anyone willing to stray from European capitals.
Santiago, Chile, is a wild city dwarfed by the surrounding Andes mountains. Spend a day trekking the mountains, and at night you can explore the city’s incredible nightlife. With new pubs every week, unbelievably fresh seafood, and the heartwarming hospitality of locals, Santiago is one of the greatest overlooked destinations around.
Bratislava remains Slovakia’s most magical city. As a relatively small and tranquil city, Bratislava resembles a fairy tale with it bright colors, castles, and scenic gardens. Since the city has been revitalized in recent years, you can find incredible meals and local brews at a reasonable price along the streets of Old Town. While Prague gets all of the attention, Bratislava is an overlooked gem full of rich history and breathtaking architecture.
Taipei is the gem of Taiwan and Asia. The main attraction is the incredibly delicious and outrageously priced food which is likely to be under $10 for a high-end meal. Along with food, Taipei has gorgeous recreational parks, forests, and bike paths for active tourists.
Tucson, Arizona, is often overlooked as a vacation hot-stop. This is unfortunate since the city is home to quirky pubs, cafes, and a weekly street fair. With bustling arts and a scenic mountain view, Tucson is a great place to spend a leisurely weekend.
Glasgow is one of Europe’s hottest musical destinations, but the word still hasn’t gotten out yet. Traveling down the ancient streets, you are guaranteed to find a pub with live music and incredible local beer. For fans of rugged architecture and an all-encompassing music scene, Glasgow is a must-see destination that won’t break the bank.
Nara is the former capital of Japan, and it remains a tranquil reminder of the nation’s triumphant history. Without the horde of tourists found in Tokyo, you can enjoy the peaceful shrines, forests, and temples alongside the serene locals. Plus, Nara gave birth to sake, and you are guaranteed to find high-end sake at a reasonable price in any of the local taverns.