New York, London, Paris, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Bangkok...repeat. No, you’re not the only one who seems to be travelling to the same places over and over again.
While we’ll never tire of returning to these great cities, we don’t exactly have all our lives to explore the world. So why not make it a point this year to go off the beaten track? Check the calendar for a suitable long weekend and plan a trip to one of these lesser-known destinations recommended by Kayak.sg.
1. Zagreb, Croatia
Zagreb has a rich history, culture and enough museums, theatres and charming cafés to make it as good a city destination as any other. Its allure lies in its Austro-Hungarian architecture that’s a little rough around the edges. The Ban Jelacic Square, Zagreb Cathedral and the Dolac food market are all places to put on the must-visit list.
2. Vientiane, Laos
Much of Vientiane’s beauty comes from it being still relatively undeveloped, and the landscape here is an unusual mix of French colonial architecture and Buddhist temples. Pha That Luang (above) is a national symbol and the monument to see if you only have time for one. In terms of food, you’ll find a delightful mix of French and local cuisines in this city.
3. Ottawa, Canada
A city with many sides that offers thrill-seekers whitewater rafting and bungee jumping, and fans of the arts an impressive line-up of performances at The National Arts Centre. Not to be missed is the historic ByWard Market Square — one of the largest farmers’ markets in Canada where you’ll find fresh produce and even designer items.
4. Tbilisi, Georgia
First off, here’s how to pronounce the name of this city. Set on a hillside, this ancient crossroads between Europe and Asia is filled with old, balconied homes and charming churches. Not to be missed is Abanotubani, where you’ll find Tbilisi’s famed public subterranean sulphur bathhouses. You’ll recognise them by their brick-dome structure and elaborately tiled entrances.