Not only capitals: the best #2 cities in the world

By TravelWiseFeb 29, 2024 08:00 AMNews
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Milan
Milan. Source: Wikipedia

When we plan a trip to a new country, we usually choose the capital city as our starting point. But, in fact, every country has a lot of interesting cities besides the main one.

The Independent has listed the best second-largest cities around the world that are worth paying attention to.

Not only capitals: the best #2 cities in the world
Mumbai. Source: Wikipedia

Hamburg, Germany

Germany's second largest city (and the largest non-capital city in the EU) is much easier to explore than the huge and crowded Berlin, thanks to its easy-to-navigate historic center, which includes the UNESCO-listed Speicherstadt and Kontorhaus districts. And while Berlin is famous for its clubs, Hamburg specializes more in culture, with the Elbe Philharmonic and local museums to check out.

Mumbai, India

Delhi may be the capital of India, but let's be honest - it lacks in looks. Unlike the country's second largest city, Mumbai, which has the second largest (and UNESCO-listed) collection of Art Deco buildings after Miami. It is also home to one of the largest fish markets in the world, a true gourmet's paradise.

Tartu, Estonia

As much as tourists are attracted to Tallinn with its UNESCO-listed old town, there are many reasons why Estonia's second largest city also deserves attention. Tartu will become the European Capital of Culture in 2024, a well-deserved honor for a city that is home to one of the oldest universities in the world and more than 20 museums.

Montreal, Canada

Filled with parks, Montreal surpasses the Canadian capital Ottawa (the capital of Canada) for a number of reasons - for starters, Montreal is home to the famous Cirque du Soleil and is considered the most environmentally sustainable city in North America.

Krakow, Poland

Poland's second largest city was rebuilt twice in the 13th century after devastating Mongol invasions, but survived virtually unscathed during World War II - unlike Warsaw, which had to be rebuilt from scratch, Krakow is full of ancient buildings and monuments, whether it's the 16th-century Wawel Royal Castle or the Underground Market Museum.

Zurich, Switzerland

Bern may be the capital of Switzerland, but it is also one of the smallest cities - with a population of only 133 thousand people compared to Zurich's 1.4 million. And there is definitely something to see there.

Milan, Italy

There's no denying the incredible beauty of Rome, but there's something wonderful about the understated elegance of Milan, which is also much easier to explore. For example, it only takes 20 minutes to get from Milan Linate Airport to the city center by taxi, and a new metro line allows travelers to go straight from the airport to Milan Cathedral.

Swansea, Wales

In recent years, Swansea, rather than Cardiff, has become the capital of coastal cool, not only due to its proximity to the Wales Coast Path, but also thanks to a flurry of new cultural events.

Sydney, Australia

Canberra may be the capital of Australia, but it is far inferior in terms of culture and art. Canberra also lacks beaches, unlike Sydney, which has more than 100.

As TravelWise reported earlier, experts have named the 10 best coastal cities in the world for vacation.

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