As an avid traveller, you’ve visited lots of different places in your life. While many of these places are in completely different countries, they could have one thing in common. That’s right, you tend to visit busy cities, where all the other tourists go. There’s nothing wrong with this – and you’ll actually see some advantages in this post – but it’s nice to consider a change every once in a while.
So, as the title plainly points out, today’s post will look at the pros and cons of visiting busy cities abroad. Hopefully, you might take some inspiration from this and use it to visit lesser-known places and uncover hidden gems!
Pro: Instantly surrounded by things to do
One of the reasons we go to busy cities is that they’re packed full of things to do. Look at London as the prime example; you have countless tourist attractions within 30 minutes of one another. The same is true in most major cities – they cater to travellers. If you have certain attractions that you desperately want to see, a big city is the only place to see them.
Con: A less immersive cultural experience
The downside of a big city is that you rarely get to experience the culture of the other country. Yes, it can seem different from what you’re used to at home. However, there are so many tourists in these cities that it’s not an accurate representation of the country. There will be English signs everywhere, you’ll hear people speaking your language, and you’ll see loads of common tourist things dotted around.
Venice is actually such a good example of this – there are Burger Kings and McDonald’s lining the streets! Sure, you get a taste of Italian culture, but it’s not the same. This is actually one of the main advantages of things like nature travel, where you go off and explore different parts of a country. It lets you connect with the culture on a deeper level, meaning you get more from the experience.
Pro: Easier for families
When travelling as a family, going to busy cities is just so much easier. Going back to the example above, it’s a lot easier to find places to eat in more commercialised areas of a country. You can find reliable places that you know your kids will enjoy. Also, the tourist attractions mentioned earlier make it simpler to keep children entertained.
Of course, you also have more accommodation options for families, further enhancing the simplicity of a city. The best way to put it is that it’s a comfortable travel experience for everyone. There’s less to worry about, so your family can feel more relaxed.
Con: More expensive
Naturally, staying in and visiting a busy city will be more expensive. Some cities are cheaper than others, but they’re all more expensive than the lesser-known regions of a country. Plus, the more tourist-friendly a city is, the more expensive it becomes. You could have a budget that lets you spend a weekend in a big city or a week in a quieter place. Which one do you think provides more bang for your buck?
Pro: Generally better transport systems
Big cities generally have better transport systems than small cities and towns. Once more, look at London as an example. You can get the Underground and travel around the city in a matter of minutes with absolute ease. There will be numerous buses as well, along with various other transport options for tourists to enjoy. Easy access to and from multiple airports is also provided, and the same is true for most major tourist cities.
By contrast, smaller places can be harder for you to get to. The transport systems are less reliable, so you often have to deal with the stress of getting there and moving around while you’re there.
Con: Too much of the same
Finally, the last disadvantage of visiting big cities is that you do tend to experience a lot of the same. Most major cities are fairly similar, with the odd difference in tourist attractions here and there. When you visit places outside of cities, you start to realise how diverse and different the world really is. For example, imagine you live in London but travel to Melbourne in Australia. Yes, it’s an entirely different country and city, but you’re used to living in a busy city. Now, imagine you went to the Australian Outback instead. Instantly, your mind is opened to a completely new place and way of life.
As mentioned in the introduction, there’s nothing wrong with travelling to big cities around the world. If that’s what you love doing, there are plenty of benefits to doing it! But, perhaps these arguments have opened your eyes to the possibility of trying something different on your next holiday.