The 4 Coolest Cities You Haven't Considered for your Next Holiday
Tokyo? Rome? Paris? You’ve been to all those places! If you’re still looking for a cool city to visit that’s off the beaten path, take a look at these unique cities in our travel guide.
Yogyakarta is a colourful and Javanese city, and is also known more simply as Jogja. Yogyakarta is popular because of Javanese historical sites, unique hotels and short Dutch colonial-era buildings.
Visit the largest Buddhist archaeology sites in Indonesia, Borobudur and Prambanan, world-famous UNESCO World Heritage Sites. These temples are mysterious, holy and filled with wonderful Javanese sculptures. Carry a Venturesafe 15L day pack when you’re exploring the temples to keep your electronics and wallet safe. It comes with discreet security hooks, a wallet ring and Carrysafe® slashguards straps to help prevent bag slashers and pickpockets from stealing your things.
Unique boutique, cheap hotels are also easily found in Yogyakarta. If you’re a fan of all things green and soothing, head to the Greenhost Boutique Hotel Prawirotaman. Or you could live like a king in the Grand Palace hotel Yogyakarta, a majestic hotel with spacious rooms and excellent service. Should you want to go all out, head to the Phoenix Hotel Yogyakarta. This luxurious hotel located in the Malioboro district, and is close to major attractions – the Borobudur and Prambanan.
Before you leave Yogyakarta, make sure you try out the local dish, Gudeg. It’s a sweet traditional Jackfruit dish and is normally served with cow skin, eggs, tofu, tempeh and chicken. Wijilan or Barek are the two best places for Gudeg.
Japan is always a good choice to visit when you’re looking for fun things to see or do. Themed restaurants, easily recognisable buildings and their local festivals makes Osaka a cool and interesting choice for travellers.
Osaka is known for its weird and wonderful themed restaurants and cafes. You won’t have to visit Disneyland to dine with Alice because there’s an Alice in the Wonderland themed restaurant called Alice’s Fantasy Restaurant. And even if you’ve heard of cat cafes, you probably haven’t heard of owl cafes! There’s a cafe known as Owl Family in Osaka that lets small adorable owls to grip on your hand as you sip your drinks.
There’s also plenty of buildings in Osaka that will make you go “Wow! Take a photo of this!”. Take a long walk near the Osaka Castle or the busy streets of Dotonbori, Shinsaibashi or Shinsekai which are easily reached through the modern subway system.
You can also time your visit with one of the Japanese festivals, called matsuri, which often end with beautiful firework displays! Keep an eye out for the Tenjin Matsuri, the biggest festival in Kansai which lasts 2 days, on 24th and 25th of July. Most of the bigger festivities happen on the second day, where people donning red hats drum their way to the streets of Osaka from the Tenmangu Shrine. While traveling in crowded places, make sure to keep your valuables secure by bringing an Instasafe Z200. It’s compact, light, and protected from pickpockets and bag slashers with the eXomesh® slashguards, making it a great choice for travellers to carry.
Madrid is a busy cultural hub in Southern Europe, and is definitely the coolest city for artistic people. The culture, architecture, nightlife and exhilarating live flamenco performances are some of the experiences you won’t find anywhere else.
There are many attractions in Madrid that artists and architects have to see. Visit Plaza de la Villa, which is a town hall that showcases 17th-century Madrid baroque architecture. The Reina Sofia National Museum houses famous works of Spanish contemporary artists such as Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali. Study beautiful religious tapestries at the Basílica de San Francisco El Grande, the oldest church in Madrid.
If you like drinking, you can tour Madrid via pub crawls. Most hotels in Madrid provide pub crawl tours, but if you’re looking for one that’s not provided by your hotel, try SANDEMANs or the Mad City Pub Crawl. You’ll be able to enjoy excellent tapas bars, serving rich and fragrant wines accompanied with side dishes of cheese, cured meat or olives.
Exciting Flamenco performances in Madrid such as the Corral de la Moreria, Cardamomo and Torres Bermejas are very famous in Spain. A ticket to Corral de la Moreria could cost a pretty penny, but it’s definitely worth seeing as it’s listed in “1000 Places to See Before you Die”.
Take extra care in this city as pickpockets love to target tourists. Bring along your Slingsafe LX300 bag, the best bag for touring the city. The smart zipper security can help in preventing pickpockets from stealing your items and eXomesh® slashguards protects your items should a bag slasher try to steal your valuables.
Famous for its healthy lifestyle and friendly people, Vancouver is the coolest place to indulge in shopping, interesting city tours and delicious meals.
Take a captivating Forbidden Tour through the city that will enchant you with stories from the past. At a time when alcohol was prohibited, bootlegging was rife and murder cases would go unsolved. The tour guide, Will, dresses up as an undercover newspaper reporter and leads you through the gritty downtown streets in Vancouver.
Vancouver is also an awesome place to shop. There are plenty of colourful commercial districts, such as Robson Street, Commercial Drive and Gastown. Robson Street boasts many luxurious and boutique fashion brands. Commercial Drive and Gastown have a downtown vibe, and are great hipster places to have craft beer or browse the local goods at the farmer’s market.
And when you’re tired of looking at tall buildings, you can always escape to the parks. The VanDusen Botanical Garden in Vancouver is a serene, beautiful place to rest and breathe in fresh air. Around mid-May, the flowers will be in full bloom, making it the best time for a visit. There’s plenty of events hosted at VanDusen Botanical Garden, such as drawing nature sessions and bird-watching tours. A Slingsafe LX250 tote would be perfect for a day at the garden. It’s casual and comes with subtle security features – its strap is actually reinforced with high-tensile stainless steel wire and it also has smart zipper security that makes it hard for pickpockets to sneak their hands into your tote.
If you have a cool city or travel tip to share with us, send us a mail or leave a comment and we might feature it in our next travel guide!