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From Sapporo to Taroudant: Here are 11 underrated cities that should be on your bucket list

origin 1Kotor, Montenegro is just one of the underrated destinations on this list. © Pexels

David Attenborough said that “the world is full of wonders” – and he’s not wrong.

There are so many incredible cities to visit, sites to see, and delicacies to try. But with what seems like limitless options, it’s easy to miss some key points your wish list.

As travel begins to return to normal, we think your list of destinations needs to be revived as well.

So here are 11 cities that may have slipped under your radar.

11. For Snow Lovers: Sapporo, Japan

Surrounded by ski resorts that put Europe to shame, Sapporo is an often overlooked city of Japan north island, Hokkaido.

Beautiful all year round, Sapporo has the bustle and modernity of Tokyo and the traditional feel of Kyoto.

The best time to visit is during the Snow Festival in February – winter sports lovers should travel to Teine, Niseko and Kokusai.

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For sightseeing, take a trip to Hokkaido Historic Village, the Sapporo Brewery, and the nearby towns of Otaru and Jozankai (home of the Onsen).

Back in town, dinner of King Crab from Nijo Crab Market or Raman from any Traditional Ramen House; believe me, they are all of excellent quality.

At night, get to know Japan’s LGBTIQ+ community and head to Susukino, Sapporo’s version of London’s Soho borough.

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10. For a picturesque road trip: Istria, Croatia

Technically a county, Istria is located on the Adriatic coast and away from the often overcrowded Dubrovnik. This area of Croatia it’s perfect for road trip enthusiasts and those who appreciate ancient architecture.

Rovinj and Pula are two of the largest coastal cities where many visitors prefer to stay. Further north, the villages of Motovun and Grožnjan offer peaceful escapes and unrivaled views.

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Dine on fresh fish in the beautiful Villa Stefanija’s, Stefanija’s Kitchen or taste the truffle delicacies at the Zigante restaurant in Livade.

For those in love with Croatia, living there has become even more attractive.

9. For the best beaches in the UK: Cornwall, England

The UK isn’t synonymous with beautiful beaches and wonderful weather, but this corner of the country has a lot to offer. Again, a county not a city, Cornwall is one of the most treasured places in the UK.

While visiting, swap the standard hotel room for unique and extravagant rentals and glamping options: there are many available on Airbnb.

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Newquay is perfect for families, while St Ives is quieter and slower paced.

Oh, and don’t forget to take a day trip to the Minack Theater, an open-air theater perched on the cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

8. For culture and beautiful landscapes: Kotor, Montenegro

Travel to Montenegro has increased in recent years and it is clear why.

The whole country has something to offer. But the top of everyone’s wish list should be Kotor. This coastal city is nestled between limestone mountains and is a labyrinth of medieval streets, museums and palaces.

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The cobbled squares are filled with cafes, bars and live music making it the ideal place for all ages and interests.

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7. For markets and groceries: Taroudant, Morocco

Labeled the “grandmother of Marrakesh,” Taroudant is a more intimate walled city in southeast Morocco.

For those who have visited Marrakesh, Taroudant offers the same atmosphere but with a more authentic touch. The souks they are just as inattentive and the tagine just as tasty – maybe even more so!

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It’s a must for anyone who likes to travel ‘off the beaten track’. Locals are friendly and helpful, and there is less harassment for female travelers.

6. For restaurants and independent shops: Vancouver, Canada

Vancouver is a truly underrated city with incredible music, art and food scenes.

Neighborhoods like Gastown and Main Street are full of independent boutiques, restaurants and bars that you wish were international chains.

For those who love Asian foodVancouver’s Chinatown is the third largest in North America, and dim sum is believed to be the most authentic outside of Asia.

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For anyone looking for a fun week, Vancouver is definitely worth the trip.

5. For an effortless look: Seoul, South Korea

Seoul it’s a city that has something about it. It’s easygoing and strangely welcoming.

Signs, announcements, and public transportation are in Korean and English, making the city easy to navigate. The subway system is simple and convenient.

For shopping, explore Gangnam’s underground markets and stock up on skincare products from SkinFood.

For traditional sightseeing, head to Gyeongbokgung Palace and Insa-dong area.

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For something more unique, book a trip to the Korea Demilitarized Zone, a strip of land between the North and South Korean border.

Before you leave, be sure to stock up on kkul-tarae, a sweet made from braided honey. You can stuff any filling you like — I recommend peanut butter — and it’s freezable.

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4. For Breathtaking Beaches: Perth, Australia

When thinking about a trip to Australia, the most common options are Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. But on the southwest coast, Perth holds its own.

The city is much smaller than the other more popular options, but has just as much to offer.

The beaches they are just as breathtaking as those on the Gold Coast, especially Cottesloe, Mettams and Leighton.

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The café scene rivals Melbourne’s, and there’s just as much to do as in Sydney. Plus, it’s less expensive and less crowded.

3. For European culture: Utrecht, the Netherlands

The city of Utrecht is located 35 kilometers south of Amsterdam and never ceases to amaze.

Utrecht is as beautiful as Amsterdam and much more authentic. It embodies the European culture of roof terraces and cafés and is a true indication of Dutch everyday life.

Despite being a city, it feels more like a village and was once voted fourth happiest place in the world by BBC Travel.

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For the best view of the city, head to the La Place café at the top of the V&D department store.

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2. For castles and culture: Ghent, Belgium

For such a small country, Belgium has a lot to offer. Between Antwerp, Brussels and Bruges, Ghent is often left out.

But as Belgium’s oldest city in the country, Ghent was once the most important port in Europe. It is a city full of history, architecture and frites with mayonnaise.

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Explore the Castle dei Conti and the Cathedral of San Bavone. And on Fridays, take a stroll around the Vrijdagmarkt, a market for food, drink and goods that has been held every Friday since the 12th century.

1. For the wine and its history: Ronda, Andalusia Spain

The whole region of Andalucia is something to behold, but Ronda is the centerpiece.

As the largest of the white cities, Ronda is built atop the El Tajo Gorge. It is famous for its “New Bridge”, winemakingbullfighting and rich history.

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This being in Spain, tapas is still the popular choice, but expect seafood you didn’t know existed and lots of game meat. For photographersRonda is the perfect subject: it seems that the golden hour was created especially for her.