10. Singapore City, Singapore
Singapore is a small-but-prosperous island nation, both a city and a country, located just off the southern tip of Peninsular Malaysia in Southeast Asia.
Interesting Facts About Singapore:
- It’s a city of not just one island, but 63; Singapore’s land area includes as many as 62 offshore islands that surround the main island.
- Singapore’s Night Safari(World’s first night Zoo). Opened in 1994, the 35-hectare park features over 1,000 animals in their naturalistic nighttime.
- The first man-made waterfall was built at Jurong Bird Park in 1971. Dropping from a height of 30 metres, it is said to be the tallest waterfall in an aviary to date. Also, the world’s tallest indoor waterfall (35 metres) in Singapore at the Cloud Forest, Gardens by the Bay.
- First F1 night race; Held annually since 2008, Grand Prix Season Singapore features a gamut of concerts, racing and entertainment activities, for Formula One fans and visitors of all ages.
- One of The Greenest Cities; Nearly half of Singapore’s land area (approximately 700 square kilometres) is under green cover.
- There are cultural festivals, major sports, lifestyle and arts events held all year round in the city to keep you entertained.
9. Budapest, Hungary
The capital and the most populous city of Hungary, and the tenth-largest city in the European Union by population is also the home of the third largest Parliament building in the world.
Interesting Facts About Budapest:
- Budapest has more thermal water springs than any other capital city in the world. There are dozens of spas and baths in the Hungarian capital, some of which are in magnificent buildings, like Szechenyi, Gellert, or Kiraly Baths.
- Beneath the city of Budapest lies a hidden subterranean world, a maze of over 200 caverns. The most interesting one of the is the underground labyrinth located right beneath the Castle Hill, in Budapest Old Town.
- No building in the city is taller than 96 meters. The number 96 represents the year when the Magyars settled in the area (896).
- The city was officially created on 17th November 1873 by the merger of the neighboring cities of Pest, Buda and Óbuda.
- Budapest is home to the second largest synagogue in the world, Dohány Street Synagogue can accommodate 3,000 worshipers. The synagogue was built between 1854 and 1859 in Neo-Moorish style.
- There is a cave church in Budapest, under the Gellert Hill, in Budapest Old Town.
- Budapest has a train run by Children between the ages of 10 and 14 after completing a four-month training course to become train conductors, workers and inspectors, on 11 km railway.
8. Rome, Italy
Rome, Eternal City is bursting with history, art, and delicious food. Being in the spotlight for century’s you would think all of Rome’s secrets are revealed to the public eye. But there are lots of lesser-known stories about the city that you may not have heard of.
Interesting Facts About Rome:
- Founded in 753 BC by Romulus and his twin brother called Remus. As babies they were abandoned in the area which later became Rome. A she-wolf found and raised them.
- Rome attracted 12.6 million tourists in 2013 with the Vatican Museums welcoming 5.5 million and the Colosseum 5.1 million visitors.
- By the early fourth century, the Romans had built a road network of 53,000 miles throughout the empire. Hence the proverb “All roads lead to Rome.”
- Concrete was a Roman invention used on many structures such as the Pantheon, the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, which are still standing today. The Romans first began building with concrete over 2,100 years ago.
- Rome built the first-ever shopping mall between 107 and 110 AD! The Trajan’s Market, or Mercati di Traiano in Italian, were on multi levels and sold a wide range of goods and grocery items.
- At about 142 feet in diameter, the dome of the Pantheon in Rome is bigger even than the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica. It’s also completely unreinforced which makes it the single largest unreinforced, concrete dome in the entire world.
7. Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
The bustling city of Rio de Janeiro has been one of Brazil’s most popular and frequented tourist destinations for decades. Its vibrant city centre is bursting with culture and pulsating with a deep sense of history and heritage. Rio gets more than 3 million international tourists every year.
Interesting Facts About Rio de Janeiro:
- The name ‘Rio de Janeiro’ is Portuguese for ‘River of January’ and was given to the city by the captaincy of the Portuguese Empire in 1565, the date the city was established.
- Christ the Redeemer landmark on the top of Corcovada Mountain is one of the most recognized features of Rio and has on several occasions been named one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
- Brazil’s most famous dance – samba – has its origins from the African slaves that worked in the plantations in the State of Rio de Janeiro.
- Rio de Janeiro has the world’s bluest sky
- Rio’s carnival party is the biggest carnival in the world; According to the Guinness Book of Records, in 2004 the city’s most illustrious party attracted a record 400,000 foreign visitors, becoming the biggest carnival party in the world.
- Rio is home to the biggest urban forest in the world.
6. Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul is the largest and most populous city in Turkey. One of the world’s greatest cities known for its magnificent historical monuments and scenic beauty. With an amazing cultural and architectural heritage, Istanbul is a major tourist attraction.
Interesting Facts About Istanbul:
- You will find a mosque in every corner of Istanbul. It has a total of 3,113 mosques, maximum in Turkey.
- Istanbul is the only city in the world that’s half in Asia and half in Europe. The Bosporus strait which divides the two continents passes through Istanbul and is the link between Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea.
- Even though Istanbul is not the capital, it is the largest city in Turkey with more than 13.5 million people living here.
- A church and a mosque; The Hagia Sophia is the second most visited museum in Turkey and attracts over 3 million tourists every year.
- Snowy; Even though Istanbul is surrounded by sea, with the Bosporus passing right through it, snow is pretty common in the city with an annual average of 17 inches.
- Car-free Island; Princes’ Islands, located just off the coast of Istanbul are a chain of nine small islands that run on horses and carts only. You will not find any traffic here as all motorized vehicles are banned on the islands.
- In 2014 Travelers Choice Destination Awards, Istanbul won the World’s top Destination title as voted by millions of holidaymakers.
5. Bruges, Belgium
Bruges is the capital and largest city of the province of West Flanders in the Flemish Region of Belgium, in the northwest of the country. Bruges is naturally bursting at the seams with museums, being one of the best-preserved medieval cities in the world.
- Underground beer; Belgium is well known worldwide for its beer, but a brewery in Bruges has the most unique way of transporting the brown stuff.
- More castles than any other country, about 50 of the 470 castles in the Flanders region are based around Bruges.
- Bruges gets its name from the multiple canals that surround the city centre with more than 80 bridges, making it easy to explore on foot or by bicycle as well as on one of the boat tours.
- Bruges boasts more than 50 chocolate shops, mostly in the main square.
- The city’s not just known for its beer and chocolate, and is also famous for its lace and makes some of the most luxurious in the world. It’s able to produce such large quantities of fabric for the lace due to the vast amounts of Flax flowers that are grown in the Flanders region.
- The City’s layout and ancient architectural designs make it one of the most beautiful cities in the world
4. Florence, Italy
Florence is the Capital city of the region of Tuscany attracts over 10 million visitors per year. The birthplace of the Renaissance, and has been called “the Athens of the Middle Ages”.
Interesting Facts About Florence:
- Nearly a third of the world’s art treasures reside in Florence, according to UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization).
- The Galleria degli Uffizi (Uffizi Gallery) boasts the world’s largest collection of Renaissance art, largely collected by members of the Medici family during the 16th and 17th centuries.
- The statue of David by Michelangelo can be found at The Accademia, it is 14 feet and 3 inches high.
- Leonardo Da Vinci was born in the lower valley of the Arno River in the territory of Florence.
- The piano was invented in Florence by Bartolomeo Cristofor. First known as the pianoforte which evolved from the harpsichord around 1700 to 1720.
- Amerigo Vespucci, the famous explorer and navigator, was born in Florence on March 9th, 1454.
3. Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam was originally founded in the 12th century as a fishing village. The village derived its name from the Amstel River and the dam that was built in 1220 to avoid the floods from the ZuiderZee (South Sea) entering the inlands. Over time Amstellodamus evolved into Amsterdam.
Interesting Facts About Amsterdam:
- There are 165 Amsterdam canals that combine for a length of over 100 kilometers (about 60 miles).
- Dancing Houses; The houses were built for the wealthy bankers and merchants and did double-duty as both houses and work spaces. The soil was so swampy that they had to built on stilts and that caused them to wobble and sink into the river.
- Amsterdam has 1281 bridges; There are 80 bridges within the center of Amsterdam. Magere Brug, also known as the Skinny Bridge, is the most famous bridge in the city.
- 2500 Houseboats; Most of the houseboats you see on Amsterdam’s canals are occupied by residents but some are available for rent to visitors.
- 20 million Tourists and day-trippers who visit Amsterdam in a year.
2. Paris, France
Paris is one of the most beautiful and popular cities among travelers. Known as the “City of Light” or the “City of Love,” the streets of Paris overflow with culture, art, beauty, and history. Paris was founded in the 3rd century BC and was previously called Lutetia. According to some, Lutetia was located in present-day Nanterre. The residents called themselves “Parisii” and therefore gave the name “Paris” to Lutetia.
Interesting Facts About Paris:
- Paris is #1 in the world when it comes to the number of libraries; it has 830 of them in total.
- There are in total 1,803 monuments and 173 museums in Paris.
- Place de la Concorde, the world’s biggest sundial.
- There are more than 400 movie screens in Paris, a hundred of which are operated by France’s government art program, Art et Essai.
- There are on average 10 film or commercial shoots in the streets of Paris each day.
- Shooting in Paris is free except for scenes shot in a garden, museum, or swimming pool. In this case, the film crew has to pay a fee to the city.
- There are dozens of pianos in the train stations of Paris. Initiated by the SNCF, the project “Play me I’m yours”, is in numerous cities across the entire world.
- The statues all around the Place de la Concorde represent eight large cities of France: Lille, Strasbourg, Marseille, Nantes, Lyon, Brest, Bordeaux, and Rouen.
- At 231 meters, the First tower, which is situated in the business quarter of La Défense, is the highest skyscraper in France.
- With 302 stations, the Paris Métro is the 4th largest public transport system in the world.
- In the world of fashion, Paris is the only city to present haute couture shows.
- There are ten Statues of Liberty in France, five of which are in Paris.
1. Venice, Italy
Venice, known also as the “City of Canals,” “The Floating City,” and “Serenissima,” is arguably one of Italy’s most picturesque cities. With its winding canals, striking architecture, and beautiful bridges, Venice is a popular destination for travel.
Interesting Facts About Venice:
- Venice captured the impression of a magical floating city by setting wood pilings on the 118 submerged islands in the Northern end of the Adriatic Sea.
- Calletta (as in “small street”) Varisco is located near Campo San Canciano in Venice and it is one of the narrowest streets in the world. It only measures 53 cm in width!
- There are about 350 gondolas and 400 gondolieri in Venice. On average, gondolas are 11 meters long and weigh around 600 kilos.
- Venice is sinking at the rate of 1-2 millimeters a year.
- San Marco bell tower, or campanile, was built in the 12th century and collapsed in 1902. The tower was rebuilt to be exactly the same as the previous one. It is 98.6 metres tall, making it the fifth tallest bell tower in Italy.
- Venice is known for its bridges. There are 417 bridges in Venice, and 72 of those are private.
- The first woman in the world that graduated was born in Venice in 1646.
- The first public casino in the world was opened in Venice in 1638.