There are certain destinations like London, Paris, and Tokyo that draw in huge flocks of tourists...and for good reason. But there are also plenty of under-the-radar destinations that are full of culture, adventure, amazing food, and life-changing experiences. We all have our familiar favourite when it comes to holiday destinations Tokyo’s cherry blossoms, street food in Bangkok, night markets in Taipei. So, whether it's discovering hidden cultural treasures or trying out delicious local cuisine, let travel apps be your guide to a safe and fulfilling journey.
1. Osaka, Japan
Japan’s second city makes Tokyo look low-key. As its rival to the east became more dominant politically in the Shogun period between the 12th and 19th centuries, the port city of Osaka decided to become brasher and louder, with dirtier jokes and spicier pancakes. It came equal tenth in a 2022 survey of liveable cities in The Economist. Tokyo isn’t there, which doubtless makes Osaka people laugh a lot. There is a fine castle and Tsutenkaku, a tower built to rival the Eiffel. It just turned out a bit more like Blackpool. Very Osaka.
2. Bolivia's capital, La Paz
Bolivia's de facto capital, La Paz, is the world's highest capital city. This unusual city, nestled amid stunning snow-capped mountains, combines features of both contemporary and traditional communities. Women dressed in formal Bolivian attire walked alongside stylish entrepreneurs through the cobblestoned walkways; all existed in harmony in this bustling downtown.
3. Rotterdam, Netherlands
Rotterdam lacks Amsterdam's long history and cosy, canal-side atmosphere but makes up for it with contemporary style, great shopping and a harbor-front location. Old-town remnants linger, but post-WWII reconstruction bequeaths the city impressive architecture. Museum park is an attractive green space adjacent to excellent Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum, a showcase of centuries of Western art. Rotterdam has several other world-class museums and loves its summer festivals.
4. Chennai, India
Chennai (formerly Madras) is a booming high-tech centre yet has eclectic sights from British-era monuments such as Fort St George and the ornate High Court to Portuguese churches, Hindu temples and vibrant visual-arts and classical-dance scenes. It's also renowned for spicy southern Indian cuisine. The city is flanked by Marina Beach, which runs for twelve kilometers and is a colorful parade of families, cricketers and street vendors.
5. Panama: This Overlooked Country’s Got Stunning Beaches, Active Volcanoes, and Cute Sloths
a. In Bouquet, Finca Elida is home to what was once the world’s most expensive coffee, and Hacienda Mamoncillo, where you’ll find coffee tasting, mountain biking, rappelling, and trekking to five waterfalls and 300-year-old trees.
b. With tranquilo Caribbean vibes on one side and monstrous Pacific swells on the other, Panama’s beaches easily rival those of nearby Costa Rica and Nicaragua. On the Caribbean side, take a morning drive from Panama City (as well as a quick speedboat) to island hop across the 400+ world-class shores that make up the San Blas Archipelago.
The landlocked Asian country of Laos is often overlooked in favor of tropical beach destinations like Thailand or Malaysia. But it’s easily one of my favorite countries in the region home to great cuisine, unspoiled rainforests, ancient Khmer temples, and many sleepy rural villages.
Don’t miss the Gibbon Experience, an ecotourism project home to dizzyingly tall tree huts in the middle of jungles of Nam Kan National Park. You can not only stay the night in the tree huts, but also zip around between tree huts using a combined 15 kilometers (9 miles) of zip lines.
7. Lake Bohinj, Slovenia
While Lake Bled may have the name recognition, another body of water in the Julian Alps should also be on your radar. More remote and just as breathtaking, Lake Bohinj is a nature lover's paradise. Visitors can explore the gorgeous environs by hiking, biking, and kayaking. "In Bohinj, we're a day or two behind the rest of the world," Grega Silc, a tour guide with Hike & Bike Slovenia, told BBC Travel.
1. Less people and crowds: Destinations less visited or outside the list of “the usual destinations” generally imply a smaller number of visitors, therefore, a lower risk of contagion for all. By maintaining sanitary measures, a destination can be better enjoyed when services are less saturated.
2. You can find options for different budgets: Less popular destinations can offer a greater alternative, being able to find excellent services at fair prices. Look to consume in local businesses, restaurants, bars and places frequented by locals, they generally offer affordable prices with great experiences.
In conclusion, while popular destinations like London, Paris, and Tokyo have their own charm, there are plenty of underrated cities that offer unique experiences and are worth exploring. These cities, such as Osaka, La Paz, Rotterdam, Chennai, Panama, Laos, and Lake Bohinj in Slovenia, offer a range of cultural, adventure, and gastronomic experiences that are not as crowded as the popular destinations. By visiting underrated cities, travelers can enjoy a more peaceful and authentic experience, support local businesses, and find options for different budgets. Moreover, with the ongoing pandemic, visiting less-crowded destinations is a safer option for travelers to enjoy their holidays.