If, like me, you want to travel the whole world, you might be thinking ‘how?’ Sacrifice. It’s sometimes best to sacrifice, especially if you’re short on funds or time. What I would suggest is a touring holiday of all the continents, but by picking one city in each to visit on one big tour of the world, but then that would be too difficult as how do you pick just one city in Europe or Asia? So I thought I’d share with you some non-capital cities I’ve travelled too that you should definitely consider.
Kyoto (Capital: Tokyo)
|Photo credit: www.japan-guide.com|
Swap the syllables of Japan’s capital around and you get its second city: Kyoto. Kyoto blends the modernity Japan, as seen in Tokyo, with the classic traditions of its rich and ancient past. Tokyo is exciting and wondrous to be in, but Kyoto is beautiful. It is one of my all-time favourite cities and not far from Tokyo if you’re ever in the area. Seek it out and you will understand why I hold it with such reverence.
Florence (Capital: Rome)
My favourite European non-capital of them all (and that includes the English city I currently live in!). Florence, to me, is enchanting and it has enthralled all who go there, whether they arrived after reading Rushdie’s The Enchantress of Florence or from being an art buff and needing to see UffiziGallery and Palazzo Pitti with their own eyes. The city drips history and culture out of every pore, plus the architecture is so incredibly beautiful that it boggles the mind. You can keep your Venice, Rome, and Naples, as Florence is all I need.
Barcelona (Capital: Madrid)
Barcelona! It was the first time that we met! I first went to Barcelona on a school trip when I was 13 and from the moment I saw the Sagrada Familia (the most striking building ever built, in my opinion) I was captivated by it. This coastal city trumps the capital, Madrid, in terms of beauty and culture. The docks are stunning, the Mercardo de la Boqueria is delicious, and Las Ramblas is breath taking. People sometimes dismiss Spain as a ruin of an ancient empire with its only worthwhile use being a place where young British people go to get drunk and meet member of the opposite sex, but it’s so much more than that. It’s rugged and has charm in abundance – and no city more so than Barcelona.
Canberra (Capital: Canberra)
Okay, I cheated! Canberra is the capital of Australia, but a lot of people don’t know that and ignore it anyway for Sydney or Melbourne (both lovely, by the way). I felt bad for Canberra so I included it on this list as it’s a beautiful city with just as much to offer. It was designated the capital to stop Sydney and Melbourne from arguing about it anymore. The city was designed from the ground up and so is a stunning feat of city planning that really needs to be seen from the airto understand. The city is filled to bursting with museums, monuments, galleries, zoos, festivals, theatres and pretty much anything else you can think of. It’s a treasure trove relatively hidden from the world, despite being the nation’s capital. Yes, Sydney is amazing, but don’t ever dismiss Canberra.