There are many reasons why people travel. Some want to take photographs for the Gram, while others are simply searching for a stress-free holiday where they can forget about all their troubles at home. This might sound like you, but you may also want something more. Travellers who love all things cultural are always searching for the next great city. Sure, you can visit New York, Rome and London. But what about a few lesser-known destinations? Here are five great cities for travellers who love cultural history.
Located in Northern India, Varanasi is famous for being one of the most consistently populated cities throughout history. Here, you can find evidence of settlements that date back as far as 1,100 BC, yet there is much more to this spot than just the age. It is a popular destination for religious pilgrimages for both Hindus and Buddhists, and many believe that Buddha gave his first-ever sermon here, effectively founding Buddhism on the very streets where you will walk.
Stepping foot in Marrakech can feel like you have walked into a new dimension. It is packed full of hustle and bustle that immediately makes you relish the feeling of brewing alive, while the landscape and architecture aren’t so shabby, either. Visitors can spend as long as they like here and are still unlikely to see everything, but if you stay at accommodation like the Riad Botanica Marrakech, you have a wonderful hub to drop in and out of in between your explorations.
The former capital of Japan is awash with shrines and temples that represent the thousand-plus years of history. Besides these traditional spots, you can also check out museums and monuments that make this one of the most cannot-miss places in the world. If you’re ever in Japan and struggle to handle the hectic nature of Tokyo, a trip to Kyoto could be just what you need to cleanse your mind and appreciate this historic nation much more.
Those who have visited Samarkand (Uzbekistan) say that much of it needs to be seen to be believed. The vast mosques and mausoleums make it one of the standout destinations for culture, especially for those enamoured by 14th and 15th-century settlements. The Old Town is undoubtedly one to tick off your bucket list. Since Uzbekistan is not the most common destination for travellers, you don’t need to worry about things being too busy.
Alexandria is considered Egypt’s second capital city, and it’s worth taking some time to familiarise yourself with its history before visiting. You’ve already heard of the famous library, which sets the tone for what you can experience in Alexandria. Although the library (and Alexander himself) are long gone, their influence continues to bubble under the surface, and you feel like you have become part of the iconic stories just by visiting.
As refreshing as a beach holiday can be, sometimes you just want to do something other than lie on sunbeds and soak up the rays. These destinations give you a great mix of fantastic weather and rich cultural history that will give you a brand new appreciation for civilizations that came long before.