A list of the world’s most underrated cities…
Over-hyped or under-valued? These cities fly under the radar. Some are already known but deserve to be more so. Our top travelers reveal the world’s most underrated cities you should probably check out.
It’s gritty, and occasionally dangerous, but Naples has heart, and the pizzerias will be reward enough for those who take a chance on it. Of course, there’s also the world’s finest collection of Pompeiian frescos in the Museo Archeologico Nazionale, a host of Renaissance masterpieces in various palaces, and a charming old town. But did we mention the pizza? Next time you’re making a travel list, be sure to note down Naples for a drop by.
It’s one of Poland’s oldest cities, with a medieval core, royal castle, Jewish quarter and cobbled old town. Spend your days exploring the various neighborhoods and nights hopping from basement bars to rooftop restaurants. Further afield the Wieliczka salt mines are not to be missed.
Once gritty, grey and industrial, Newcastle has blossomed over the past decade into a modern, vibrant cultural centre thanks to world-class venues such as Sage Gateshead and the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art. This transformation culminated in the city hosting Britain’s biggest event during 2018: The Great Exhibition of the North – an 80-day festival celebrating the north’s pioneering spirit and achievements in art, design and innovation.
In the 1980s and ’90s, this city of 3 million was choked in smog. Today, Taipei is one of Asia’s most pleasant capitals, with acres of green space and an easy-to-use public transport system. And there’s plenty to do for outdoor enthusiasts: Yangmingshan National Park, a hot springs in Beitou, hiking trails throughout the surrounding mountains, and riverside bike paths. But the biggest draw is the cuisine. Taipei has some of the best Chinese food in the world, from humble holes-in-the-wall to culinary temples. Don’t fret if you can’t speak or read the lingo—friendly locals are eager to help visitors.
London and Manchester might dispute this claim, but Glasgow has the best music scene in Britain. Acts like Belle and Sebastian and Franz Ferdinand got their start in clubs like King Tut’s and the Barrowland Ballroom. And there’s much more to experience in Scotland’s largest city. Take your pick of innovative restaurants such as the mod-Scottish Cail Bruich or the seafood-centric Crabshakk. Architecture buffs shouldn’t miss the Glasgow School of Art, an Art Nouveau gem designed by native son Charles Rennie Mackintosh. A new Zaha Hadid–designed transport museum opening this spring seals the city’s reputation for forward-looking design.
Nicknamed “the city of churches,” this picturesque coastal city has long shed its stuffy reputation thanks to its multiethnic mix, lively café culture, and avant-garde art scene. Every February sees the Adelaide Fringe Festival, while the biennial Adelaide Festival of the Arts takes place in March. (The next one is in 2012.) During the rest of the year, get your art fix at cutting-edge galleries such as Greenaway Art Gallery and the aboriginal art–focused Tandanya. Bustling Central Market provides a window into the culinary scene. Adelaide is also blessed with a mild climate, so you can enjoy its fine beaches and the 125-acre Adelaide Botanic Garden all year round.
The List goes on, however, hopefully, you’ll find new places of excitement on our list.