Add these Second Cities to your Travel List – and learn what second cities are

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It’s common sense that what’s truly local is probably far from the usual touristic spots. And maybe – like us – you’re looking for that amazing authentic gem. Or perhaps you’re just looking to avoid the crowds because – let’s face it -they just make it that much harder to take a good picture.

In any case, if you’re trying to escape the daily grind and also looking to avoid the street of crowded tourist hotspots, you should consider traveling to a Second City.

What are Second Cities?

Second cities are lesser-known destinations that offer unique experiences and often fewer crowds. They offer a chance to see a different side of a country or region and are perfect for travelers who are looking for a more authentic, less commercialized experience.

From hidden gems in well-trodden countries to up-and-coming destinations that are just starting to get noticed, there’s something for everyone.

One of the best things about second destinations is that they’re often much more affordable than the more popular tourist hotspots. This means that you can stretch your travel budget further, allowing you to see and experience more.

In addition, because these destinations are less well-known, you’re less likely to be surrounded by hordes of tourists, giving you the chance to immerse yourself in local culture and truly experience the destination.

A starter list of Second Cities for your Travel Bucket List

‘Second city’ vibes in Nuremberg city, Germany

So, what are some of the best second cities to visit? Can’t really fit our whole list here, but we promise many blog posts about them. For now, here are a few to consider:

  • Slovenia: This small country is often overlooked in favor of its more famous neighbors, but it offers some of the most breathtaking natural scenery in Europe, including the Julian Alps, the Karst region, and the Soča Valley.
  • Mexico: While many people flock to Mexico for its beaches, there are so many other amazing destinations in the country that are often overlooked. For example, Mexico City is one of the largest and most vibrant cities in the world, offering a wealth of cultural experiences, while the colonial city of Guanajuato is a hidden gem that is just starting to get noticed.
  • Sri Lanka: This small island nation in South Asia is often overlooked in favor of its more famous neighbor, India, but it offers a rich cultural heritage, stunning beaches, and a diverse landscape that includes tea plantations, ancient ruins, and rolling hills.
  • Portugal: While most people flock to Spain or Italy when traveling to Europe, Portugal is a hidden gem that offers a rich cultural heritage, a stunning coastline, and some of the best seafood in the world.

While you get to experience a much more authentic trip when traveling to a second destination, you also contribute to a hyperlocal economy and deeply emerge in the culture. According to World Urban Forum, there are more than 10,000 cities in the world as of 2022. Pretty much any one of them could be your next second destination, we like those odds!

Never too early to start planning, let’s start it now? It only takes a simple signup at our Trip Planner to add the first dreamy second city to your upcoming trips!


– Your friends at Citycatt 😽

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