Top 10 Inner Cities 2019 | The amount of historic inner cities still being fully in tact is low. Most city councils sacrifice their old architecture in order to to keep pace with the economic needs of their region. Still, against all odds some cities successfully resist this desire to destroy history for the sake of money. Here comes our top 10 list of historic inner cities worth a visit in 2019: Carcassone, Dubrovnik, Brugge, Manhattan, Angkor Wat, Forbidden City, Zhouzhuang, Ghent, New Orleans, Innsbruck.
Top 10 Inner Cities 2019
No. 1: Carcassone (France). Of course Carcassone is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Only 230 people remain living in its historic inner city. The first time we heard about Carcassone was during our French language classes at university. The book we used to learn French (Passepartout) dedicated an entire lesson to this pearl. This one lesson really captured our imagination. Still it took us 20 more years to finally get there.
No. 2: Dubrovnik (Croatia). Another UNESCO World Heritage Site. We did walk the entire city wall. It gave us breath taking views. Unfortunately due to millions and millions of Games of Thrones fans on pilgrimage to Dubrovnik nowadays, there is not much space for you left. You can’t enjoy the historic inner city anymore. Too many people.
No. 3: Bruges/Brugge (Belgium). Its channels can compete with Amsterdam. After checking in for the first time in 2013, we now paid Bruges a second visit. The city didn’t loose any of it’s charm. Side note: If you like mussels, take your lunch at a small restaurant called “Gruuthus Hof” at Mariastraat. But go early. The place is well-known for it’s excellent cuisine.
No. 4: Gent (Belgium). Comparable with its nearby rival Bruges, Gent also offers many channels and historic sites. The city looks like a medieval Disneyland. Every single historic building is fully intact and in good shape. The historic city center is keep free of cars – a very smart move by the Burgermeister!
Manhattan, United States
No. 5: Manhattan (United States). Thanks to steel, the influence of Jewish wealth and Art Deco zeitgeist, Manhattan will always be something special. Once in your life you should pay her a visit. But once is enough. Tick it off your bucket list and head towards some place more peaceful.
No. 6: Beijing (China). Brutally smoggy and massively overrun by tourists the Forbidden City in the heart of Beijing patiently deals with these unfortunate circumstances day by day. We spent one week in Beijing in 2014. It was a very interesting experience we only need to make once in our lives.
New Orleans, United States
No. 7: New Orleans (United States). Although 85,000 people work in the tourist industry of New Orleans, the city cannot live up to his ambitions. But Bourbon Street is quite nice. Yes, New Orleans is worth a visit.
No. 8: Innsbruck. For Germans, Austria is a very common place to spend their vacations – no matter if summer of winter. Logically Innsbruck in the heart of the Alp mountains will get your attention sooner or later.
Angkor Wat, Thailand
No. 9: Angkor Wat (Cambodia). The Reconstruction of this unique historic site started about 100 years ago. And speed is catching up now. In 1993 only 7650 tourists checked in here. 20 years later the statistics show 1 million visitors – each paying US$40 entrance fee per person. Today you can witness French, German, Indian, Chinese and US-american redevelopment projects taking place throughout the area. If you want to avoid the masses we recommend to visit a more hidden place such as “Ta Prohm” (= Angelina Jolie’s Tomb Raider temple) in the morning. Then stroll thru the main sites of Angkor Wat after 10am, but avoid Angkor Wat in the morning hours and during sunset.
No. 10: Zhouzhuang (China). It is one of the most famous water townships in China: Zhouzhuang. The so-called “Venice of the East” can be reached by car in about 1.5 hours from Shanghai. Zhouzhuang is divided by lakes and rivers. Hundreds of bridges cross the small channels, showing distinctive views of this idyllic water-town. The Double Bridges (Shide Bridge and Yongan Bridge), are the most famous and considered the symbol of Zhouzhuang.