When we discuss travel, the focus usually falls on the big cities worldwide. We tend to overlook the smaller locations, but we could miss out on hidden gems.
A member of a popular online forum recently asked for some recommendations for tiny city breaks, and the response offered some fascinating possibilities.
The original poster was planning a family gap year and looking to travel around the world. Part of their criteria was to stay for three months in Europe over the fall, and many replies suggested Sevilla in Spain. One commenter claimed the city would fit all of the poster’s criteria and be gorgeous in the fall.
The capital city of Slovenia gets a sound endorsement from one respondent. They suggest that Ljubljana ticks every box, as it’s beautiful, green, walkable, and has cute bars and restaurants. The commenter also points out that the city is convenient for trips to Italy, Croatia, or Austria.’
3. Chiang Mai
When discussing Thailand, thoughts will inevitably turn to Bangkok or Phuket, but our original poster looks for overlooked alternatives. One reply suggests the city of Chiang Mai, which they describe as beautiful and affordable.
While Amsterdam is considered to be a must-see (and rightly so), there is so much more to the Netherlands. One respondent recommends the small city of Arnhem and suggests seeing the open air museum which shows how Dutch people lived a century ago.
While there may be some debate about whether some of these suggestions qualify as “tiny cities,” they are not the most apparent locations within their respective countries. That’s the case with Oaxaca, which many feel offers an insight into the authentic Mexico. One forum member recommends all the sights, along with Casa Oaxaca, which they identify as one of their favorite restaurants in the world.
While there are many must see destinations in Australia, Hobart in Tasmania offers something different. The hustle and bustle of Sydney is absent, and it’s recommended on this thread as a hub for Tasmania, which contains some of the most stunning wilderness areas in the world, and fantastic wildlife.
There are recommendations for the Belgian city of Brugge on this thread, while others side with the smaller location of Ghent. The latter is recommended as having a relaxed vibe. I would also add that Ghent can be less expensive than Brugge, which is much busier with tourists.
New Zealand is an incredible country with the most diverse natural landscapes. The small city of Dunedin is recommended as a unique and remote experience, although the poster acknowledges that there may be some issues with public transport.
Those who visit the United Kingdom are more likely to seek out the busy tourist attractions in London. For a more relaxed experience, the Scottish capital of Edinburgh receives many votes on the forum.
Japan is another great tourist location, where many will concentrate on one or two popular destinations. Along with our original poster, we are looking for something less ordinary, with one person noting that Hakodate is an overlooked gem for international visitors.
This small Italian city is a must for lovers of fast cars. The Enzo Ferrari Museum forms part of the historic Motor Valley, and one individual also touts Modena as having lots of lovely restaurants in addition to being a charming old city.
As the fall fades away, the Christmas markets begin to appear, and these are a big attraction around Europe. Among many festive recommendations, Poland’s Krakow gets a big thumbs up, with one person also listing exceptional public transit.
More than one location in South Korea is mentioned, but Busan is the most appealing. As one forum member puts it, Busan has easy access to nature, great food, culture, and the people there are also really friendly. Sounds perfect!
While this German location may be verging into big city territory, Munich doesn’t feel like a busy destination. That’s the view of one respondent who said that they liked its vibe and it didn’t seem like a massive city.
While it’s the biggest location on its island, Funchal squeezes in because Madeira is considered to be a stunning, unspoiled tourist destination. One commenter sums it up better than I can by claiming that Funchal has a great climate, great food, nice people, and is all around a beautiful place.