International Cities You Didn’t Know Exist But Should Visit
We all experience wanderlust at some point. The desire to travel comes in quickly, and some of us may stare at our passports daydreaming of that special vacation. Not only can we see beautiful sights and take awe-inspiring pictures, we expand our perspectives and knowledge. Technology has shrunk the size of the world as we see it, but there are many places the globe still offers that we haven’t given full potential to yet.
Most travelers or tourists enjoy the commercial sites of Rome, Italy and Paris, France, but what other cities are out there? We should strive, as future leaders, to experience as much of the world as we can. Gunnar Garfors travelled five continents in only one day, and three cities he visited made this list. Let’s explore the world, just as Garfors did.
Unique International Cities
Nuku’alofa offers many attractions as a city for world travelers, but the Heilala Festival is one event you should not miss. If you are smart enough to book a plane ticket five months in advance, the festival coincides with the King’s birthday in July, a primetime for vacationers. As a weeklong celebration, people enjoy parades, food and sports. The nighttime lighting ceremony, Tupakapakanava, is especially impressive because the participants carry torches of reeds along the coastline.
People all over the world commonly refer to Jaipur as “the Pink City.” The nickname came from the color of the stone that was used to create many of the structures, and residents are required to maintain that specific color in order to uphold tradition. The best part about Jaipur is its numerous fairs and festivals. Although a difficult time to get off from work, the Kite Festival is hosted on Jan. 14, and competitors from around the globe come to show off a spectacular array of colorful kites. Jaipur’s website also lists other attractions the city holds for tourists.
With 100,000 inhabitants, this capital city features many modern attractions for young people to enjoy. Curiously, there are no traffic lights within the city- the only capital in the world that does this. Policemen stand at intersections and direct traffic instead.
Muscat is an ideal location for photographers and sightseers because of its the beautiful views. The beaches, mountains and sand dunes provide some of the most calming sights. As the cleanest Arab city, it is well maintained even due to side-by-side proximity of the houses and structures. You can enjoy the winding roads and have fun exploring this city, settled in the valleys of the mountains.
Located in Eastern Switzerland, Vaduz is the capital of Liechtenstein. Most would consider Vaduz a large town with only about 5,000 people, but it is considered a city to those outside of the country. With a royal family still in residence, Vaduz is home to the beautiful Vaduz Castle, a rare sight to witness in person and a great share on Instagram. Prince Hans-Adam II is the current Monarch and inhabits the castle that sits upon a hilltop overlooking the entire region. With some short side trips, you can also visit the nearby hiking and skiing areas.
With 320 monuments, Valetta is no stranger to culture and history. Created around the late Renaissance period, the city still holds many original features. Home to many of Europe’s great architectures such as the Cathedral Museum, if you’re a history buff, this is the place for you.
Barnaul, Altai Krai
Most people avoid Russia because of the many different customs you have to go through just to get from one place to another. The city of Barnaul combines culture and arts in one place, especially as the “City of Festivals.” One festival, the “Barnaul Springtime” Festival in the beginning of spring, presents many masters of folk art and their works. “Night in the Museum” keeps museums in the area open till three a.m.
For some amazing views of the city, climb Fortress Hill. The name refers to an actual fortress built in the Middle Ages. Located 30 km from Cluj-Napoca is the Salina Turda. The building offers a beautiful spectacle of lights both inside and out, house caverns, mines, and scenery of natural salt rock formations.
Grand Baie, Mauritius
The popularity of the island belongs to the sparkling waters and the safety of its swimming and snorkeling facilities. Be sure to stop at the “underwater waterfall.” If you have enough money for a helicopter, the sight and illusion is unimaginable. The small city of Grand Baie is the best departure point for these excursions as well as trips for boats to the neighboring islands.
In this seemingly peaceful city, you’ll find numerous unique things to do. Visit the Stage of Aspenodos, the oldest theater in all of Africa and Asia. Enjoy the longest coastline in Turkey with white sand and blue water. Also, make sure to stop by the world-famous Manavgat waterfall. The water comes from underground caverns that burst mists and foam to mix with the stream. One of the more magical spots on the list, Antalya entices both the relaxer and the adventurer.
Don’t feel like just sticking to these international cities? The countries on this list feature many other natural wonders as well, some of which can be found on the website, Unusual Places. Breathtaking images of some of the more unusual sightseeing aspects of countries both abroad and in the US can be found here. Airbnb, if you haven’t already heard of it, is also a nice resource to use when travelling. The app, offered on both Android and iOS, gives convenience for travellers because of the quick reservation options. Although it takes time to save for an international trip, the experiences gained from traveling are well worth the investment.
Renee attends Shenandoah University as a Mass Communications and Political Science double major. She is a 5'3" Filipina and constantly searches for new adventures, different perspectives and new pesco-vegetarian friendly recipes.