The Latvian coast isn’t exactly first to spring to mind when you are looking for somewhere to build sandcastles. But this port city not only has an 8km Blue Flag beach, but also some of the best kite-surfing in Europe. When the sun sets head for the red brick warehouses along the waterfront to find out why Liepaja is becoming the Baltic party capital.
Pixabay / CC0
Solo, or Surakarta as it’s less catchily known, often gets overlooked by visitors to Indonesia because – well, basically because it’s not Bali. But what this historic city lacks in beach real estate it makes up for in grand temples and royal palaces. This is the cradle of Javanese culture, and beyond the big ticket architecture sights you’ll find no better place to try classic regional cuisine like timlo solo (beef noodle soup) from street side hawkers.
7. Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar
Democratic elections and relaxed visa rules have seen visitors flock to Myanmar – just don’t expect to meet any in Nay Pyi Taw. Custom built by the country’s military rulers with purposeful grandiosity, the government moved here in 2005 but few people followed. Today, the mix of lavish villas and vast monuments with half empty streets and car free highways make for an eerie introduction to the former leaders' Stalinist ambitions.
Regional instability hasn’t troubled Jordan but it has troubled visitor numbers. That means you can visit Petra, Wadi Rum and Karak without the usual crowds. Karak has one of the biggest and best preserved Crusader castles in the world. Set across seven levels, you can explore guardhouses and barracks and get a feel for what life was like inside this fortress when Saladin’s siege came knocking on the door outside.
Rotorua finds itself on the list because the statistics only count international visitors and New Zealand is a long way from much of the world. But Kiwis love Rotorua, and why wouldn’t they when there’s the chance to learn how to stomp out a Maori war dance at the Tamaki Maori Village, or a volcanic landscape of bubbling mud pools and spurting geysers to investigate?
Pixabay / CC0
10. Concepción, Chile
This truly is the least visited city in the world. Found at the finish line of a branch of the Pan-American Highway, the isolated location doesn’t help to attract tourists and neither does the concrete sprawl of skyscrapers.
However, look past the carbuncle buildings and Chile’s second city claims a student population famed for throwing salsa shapes until the early hours, as well as stunning black-sand beaches where the Bio Bio River meets the rolling waves of the Pacific.
Image by Keith Ewing on Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)
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