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World's 10 most underrated cities

Last updated on: May 21, 2012 08:32 IST

World's 10 most underrated cities

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These cities have a unique charm complete with beautiful locales, history and culture. Yet, they tend to be overlooked by many travellers or are just considered as stopovers.

The reason could be that these cities are often overshadowed by their more glitzy and glamorous neighbourhoods. But, if you look deeper, they are more than a sleepy town.

According to CNN Go these secondary cities are definitely worth a visit.

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Photographs: Christian Hartmann/Reuters
Tags: CNN

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Queens, New York City, US

It is officially part of New York, but this city is so big in terms of its population that it can easily be qualified as city by itself.

What Queens lacks in terms of glamour, it makes it up in terms of culture and diversity. Here, over 170 languages and dialects are spoken. You will also find a wide variety in food and shopping.

Other attractions include Rockaway, a surfing beach, and Flushing Meadows Corona, with a zoo, lake, theatre and Shea Stadium for the baseball fans.

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Image: Jackson Heights, Queens
Photographs: Courtesy, Wikimedia Commons

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Bergen, Norway

Bergen spells nothing but beauty. Located on the west coast, Begen is an ideal getaway for all you nature lovers.

It is the second largest city in Norway and the most popular gateway to the fjords of West Norway. The city is renowned for its beautiful nature and offers excellent hiking opportunities in its immediate surroundings.

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Image: The Markens and Mathismarkens Buekorps at Bergen
Photographs: Courtesy, Wikimedia Commons.

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San Juan, Puerto Rico

San Juan features numerous hotels, museums, historical buildings, restaurants, beaches and shopping centres.

Then there is the El Morro Fortress, high above the sea, charming streets of Old San Juan, Ocean Park, Isla Verde and Condado.

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Image: A family flies a kite in front of the Fort San Felipe del Morro
Photographs: Juan Carlos Ulate/Reuters

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Darwin, Australia

Darwin is a tropical city and has a nice laid-back attitude. You can sign up for easy walking tours and get acquainted with culture, local people.

While you are at it, learn some amazing facts about the aboriginal history and culture.

Besides this, you can indulge in some interesting activities an underwater crocodile viewing cage at Crocosaurus Cove.

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Image: A tourist dives in a cage partially immersed in a crocodile pen in Crocosaurus Cove in Darwin
Photographs: Wade Huffman/Reuters
Tags: , Darwin , Australia

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Isfahan, Iran

Isfahan is breathtakingly elegant. Situated at the foot of the Zagros mountains, Isfahan is one of Iran's great treasures.

If you like being part of something spectacular, then you must visit see the Naghsh-e Jahan Square in Isfahan – it is one of the largest city squares in the world and an outstanding example of Iranian and Islamic architecture. It has been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

The other attractions are the covered bazaar, teahouses and of course, the Zayandeh River and its beautiful arched Khaju Bridge.

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Image: A general view of Naqsh-e Jahan square in the city of Isfahan
Photographs: Morteza Nikoubazl/Reuters

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Lisbon, Portugal

The capital of Portugal, Lisbon has experienced a renaissance in recent years, with a contemporary culture that is alive and thriving and making its mark in today's Europe.

Located at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, Lisbon is one of the rare Western European cities that face the ocean.

Lisbon is known to enchant its travellers with its white bleached limestone buildings, intimate alleyways, and an easy going charm that makes it a popular year round destination.

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Image: Main square of Lisbon Terreiro do Paco in Portugal
Photographs: Jose Manuel Ribeiro/Reuters

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Glasgow, Scotland

Glasgow is known as a music lovers' paradise. It has the best music scene with scores of clubs and concert halls, including the much talked-about Barrowland.

The city is situated on the River Clyde in the country's west central lowlands. Glasgow grew from a hamlet on the River Clyde to become one of the largest seaports in Britain.

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Image: Glasgow City Chambers and War Memorial
Photographs: Courtesy, Wikimedia Commons

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Hoi An, Vietnam

Hoi An is a beautiful city in Vietnam, just south of Da Nang. The Old Town of Hoi An is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Technically not a city, but this seaside heritage spot on Vietnam's Central Coast is such an enchanting contrast to hectic tourist magnet Hanoi.

The former trading port is known for its historic architecture, a mix of Vietnamese, Japanese, Chinese and European styles.

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Image: A lantern shop is pictured in the city of Hoi An
Photographs: Kham/Reuters

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Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Calgary is a city in the province of Alberta, Canada. It is located in the south of the province, in an area of foothills and prairie.

What's special about this place is that, it has a rick cowboy heritage!

Calgary's also home to the Glenbow Museum, Canada's largest, housing a vast horde of art and artefacts documenting the history and culture of Western Canada.

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Image: The Pengrowth Saddledome stands as one of the icons of the Calgary, Alberta skyline
Photographs: Todd Korol/Reuters

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Durban, South Africa

Durban is the largest city in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal and the third largest city in South Africa.

Its biggest attractions are the surf-friendly beaches, temples and mosques. It has also has one of the largest aquariums in the world - uShaka Marine World and for all the cricket fans, you can visit Sahara Stadium Kingsmead, which is a major test match and one-day cricket venue.


Image: Durban City Hall
Photographs: Courtesy, Wikimedia Commons

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