21 Cities That Aren’t What you Think

11. Adelaide: Australia’s Avant-Garde Capital

Sub 11 Adelaide

Australia’s coastal city Adelaide deserves more attention than it gets. With a vibrant art scene entrenched in the avant-garde, world-class culinary delights, plus incredible coastal views, Adelaide is the perfect town for couples longing for romance away from the business of major capital cities.

10. Valparaiso: Chile’s Second Home

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Valparaiso is just an hour’s drive from Santiago, yet it remains hidden from international tourists due to its poverty-ridden past. Today, Valparaiso is experiencing a revival in its architectural and culinary scene. After taking a funicular to the top of the city, which rests on a hill, you can walk down the colorful and twisting streets to find boutiques, cafes, and welcoming locals.

9. Meridu: The Real Mexico

Sub 13 merida

Mexico City and Cancun are filled to the brim with tourists, yet the historic and tranquil Meridu remains off the radar. Locally known as The White City due to its architecture, Meridu is full of rich history, decadent meals, and the oldest church in Central America. For those wishing to go off the beaten path, Meridu remains the perfect place to escape Cancun’s manufactured excursions!

8. Pamplona: Sangria and Bulls

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Most travelers only head to Barcelona and Madrid during their visit to Spain, but Pamplona offers enough to warrant a trip any time of the year! While the infamous festival San Fermin (complete with bull-runs) occurs during early July, travelers can experience the fresh tapas and sangria any time of the year. With an impeccable Old Town plus new parks and reservoirs, Pamplona remains a great place to relax, unwind, or party all week. Just watch out for the bulls!

7. Valencia: Art and Paella

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Along with Pamplona, Valencia is another overlooked city that deserves your attention. As the home of paella, the famous rice and fish dish of Spain, Valencia continues to innovate with its eclectic blend of seafood, meat, and delectable desserts. Along with food, Valencia has a lively art scene that can be found on any street corner or along the Mediterranean coast that the city peacefully resides by.

6. Montevideo: Putting Uruguay on the Map

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With over 1.6 million people, Montevideo is a bustling and conflicted city that is full of beauty, ugliness, and adventure at every turn. Walking into Ciudad Vieja, the city’s center, you will be greeted by industrial monstrosities alongside beautifully restored churches. Unique boutiques and hearty cafes are scattered throughout the city, and although it may not be a traveler’s first pick, Montevideo is a great place to explore history and experience life at its fullest.

5. Bologna: Because Who Needs Rome?

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In Rome, you will find ancient architecture but very little in the way of good food. If you want to know why Italy is regarded as the world’s foremost culinary hot-spot, then you owe yourself a trip to Bologna. Since the 13th century, Bologna has delighted visitors with its narrow streets, passageways, and incredible restaurants.

4. Granada: Bursting with Colors, Song, and Dance

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Founded in 1524, Granda is a beautifully energetic city that remains the pride of Nicaragua and Central America. For history buffs, it’s worth visiting because it’s not only the oldest city in Central America but also the most colorful. The yellow and red city halls, churches, and houses are complete with perfectly preserved roof tiles, and on Friday nights, bands march through the streets playing the local’s favorite songs.

3. Dusseldorf: Trees, Shopping, and Pork

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While Munich and Berlin are tourist favorites, Dusseldorf remains one the most tranquil cities in Europe. Take a stroll down the tree-lined shopping districts before heading into Old Town where some of the best restaurants in all of Germany can be found. At night, a leisurely walk along the Rhine River is guaranteed to provide scenic and romantic views.

2. Hangzhou: China’s Hidden City

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Residing on a man-made lake, China’s Hangzhou is a city that’s wonderfully trapped in the past. While Shanghai and Beijing are overrun with smog and traffic, Hangzhou is ripe with lotus blossom forests, peaceful temples, and zig-zagging walkways that stretch for miles.

1. St. Petersburg: Russia’s Jewel

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St. Petersburg has a reputation of being violent and dirty, yet the city has overcome the turbulent 1990’s to rise again as one of Europe’s most outstanding ports. As it stands, St. Petersburg is an absurdly friendly city that has pristine churches, gigantic museums, breathtaking views, and a restaurant scene guaranteed to make any foodie blush.