If you’re seeking to broaden your international horizons, you may want to visit the major tourist destinations, like Paris, Florence, Rome or London. Yes, there is a reason everyone goes there—they’re amazing places. But cities on the well-traveled path have tourist economies to match, and come with a host of qualities that detract from a truly foreign experience. As well, it’s all too easy to accept the tourists’ trail downfall of higher costs in exchange for convenience and familiarity.
Of course, most people know about Machu Picchu, but the city of Cuzco is both cosmopolitan and a haven for the artistic spirit. An urban oasis of culture, education, and art, the city is situated in southeastern Peru, at an elevation of more than 11,000 feet, and boasts a population of approximately 400,000.
When most people think of Provence in the south of France, they imagine the beaches of Nice or the crowded, sun-struck street café and tourist-inundated vacation spots popular with many Europeans and Americans. However, in the north of this region, nestled comfortably on a plain overlooking Arc, is the jewel of Aix—a place to shop, dine, and stroll.
Once called Constantinople—before that it was Roman Byzantium—this city is the gateway between Asia and Europe. It offers visitors a breathtaking array of history, architecture, food, culture, and atmosphere.
Cape Town, South Africa
A beautiful and thriving town on the very edge of a continent—held between Table Mountain and the sea, no world traveler should miss a visit to this truly unique metropolis. Known for it’s contributions to the music and artistic realms, it also brings a reality to other, less proud history, as well as humanity’s many triumphs.
This Second City of Australia is a rich blend of culinary innovation, delicious drinks, history, art, and education. It welcomes every visitor with its vibrant energy, its beautiful climate, and its friendly population.
Most Americans envision anywhere in Iran as being a war zone, largely due to politics and the press. But this capital city is one of the loveliest cities in the region, with a unique climate, architecture that folds into the hills, and tree-lined streets. It offers visitors delicious food, beautiful sights, and unique culture.
While technically a park and UNESCO World Heritage Site, the place also known as a “Fairyland Paradise” is a place most people only ever see on a PBS special. That’s because it isn’t easy to get to, geographically. It is, however, worth seeing, and possesses some of the most breathtaking natural scenery in Asia, a continent brimming with beauty and variety.
Wakkani, Hokkaido Japan
One of many cities on the Northernmost island of Japan, Wakkani offers visitors easy access to many of the areas most scenic points, including the Northernmost point in the archipelago. Natural parks and other points of interest are also easily reached from this town.
A landscape of dramatic headlands, endless beaches, and wild uplands, Connemara is one of the most scenic destinations in Ireland. Pubs and local cultural venues abound in this Irish center.
Two cities, one on either side of the Danube, Budapest is a treasure trove of exquisite art, architecture, beer and food venues, and cultural events. Often skipped by many mainstream tourists, this city is an unforgettable
If you’re ready to experience the world in the first person, these ten cities are an excellent way to start living an extraordinary life. You’ll acquire memories both rare and beautiful, have stories to tell your friends, find what’s funny, serious, or sad from another cultural perspective.