The lists of top 10 beaches are endless, so let’s concentrate on interesting destinations from another angle. Of course, it all depends on your personal preferences, but for cultural holidays you can’t beat these.
1. Athens, Greece
This is an amazing city with its mixture of ancient and modern. A wander around the Acropolis and seeing the Parthenon from so many places in the city has to be top of the list. The museums in this capital city are unique and if you have never been to Greece, then you really should make it the one place to visit on your bucket list.
2. Crete, Greece
The Minoan civilization is one that had the most amazing statues, architecture and running water. In the Palace at Knossos you can see the labyrinth where the Minotaur was supposed to have lived and devoured the maidens and young men sent to Crete every year. The whole island is steeped in myth and history and is just the place for people who want to combine culture with relaxing on pristine beaches.
3. Indus Valley, Pakistan
This area is unknown and unexplored by the West in comparison to Egypt for example. However the Indus Valley civilization was truly ahead of others not only in Asia but also in the world.
While this is not an ancient site in the same way as those mentioned above, it is well worth visiting, especially in springtime when the trees in the streets are in full blossom. There is the architecture to wonder at and the Torture Museum for those with a sense of the macabre.
5. Isfahan, Iran
This was once an important city in the Persian Empire and the artisans of the city still produce items which are exquisitely made and designed. The ornate gate at the entrance of the city is worth seeing and tourists will readily appreciate the beauty of this once splendid city.
London is steeped in history and ancient buildings abound. You can even find the old walls of the capital city if you get bored with the museums, art galleries and historic buildings that are just waiting for you to visit. Wear comfortable shoes!
Paris rivals London and probably has as many interesting museums, art galleries and historic buildings. The Notre Dame Cathedral and the Palace at Versailles are truly magnificent, and if your visit coincides with the Beaujolais Nouveau celebrations, you will have a memorable stay. However it is wise to avoid eating in tourist areas, but try to eat where the locals do, in small bistros which serve hearty traditional dishes.
A visit to Moscow will amaze and delight with its grandeur. The elaborate onion shaped domes on the skyline are very imposing and make a lasting impression. The Hermitage takes days to go around and all culture vultures will love it. The Russians believe that it is much better than the Louvre, but you would have to judge for yourself. The Russians you will encounter are on the whole keen to meet foreigners and learn about their views and lifestyles. Don’t be surprised if you are taken into homes and asked a lot of questions about how you live and what you think of Russians and Russian history.
9. Mexico City
Mexico City is home to what is probably the best Anthropological Museum in the world and again this takes days to view in its entirety. The treasures of the ancient Mayan, Aztec and Olmec civilizations are incredible. Of course you may want to extend the trip and take in Macchu Pichu; this was not included in this top 10 as it cannot sustain the ravages of more tourism. The sad thing about the ancient ruins of the world is that so many tourists clambering around the ancient sites damage them and it would be a shame if future generations could not visit them because of the destruction we have caused.
Rome or the Eternal City has much to offer the cultural tourist, not just the pantheon and the Coliseum, but a whole host of archaeological sites all over the city and the surrounding area. It should probably have come nearer the top of the list, but again, it depends on personal judgment. As you travel into the city you will see people living around ancient ruins, and only then can you truly appreciate how great the ancient city was. You can also visit Pompeii and Herculaneum while in Rome and these sites will really help you to see the splendour of the old Roman Empire.