International travelers vote with their feet, as the saying goes. If you expect to see famous names like New York City and Paris on a list of top-three cities for international travel, think again. Due to recent crime surges, sanitation problems, political unrest, and air pollution, two of the world’s most famous towns no longer hold sway with globe-trotting tourists. But there are plenty of other destinations that still resonate with the jet set, or with anyone who wants to plan a unique excursion to a top locale. Three nations have earned the proud distinction of being home to travelers’ preferred landing spots. Russia, Japan, and Sri Lanka are home to the top three. Here’s more about each destination.
St. Petersburg, Russia
Steeped in history, beauty, art, and extremely welcoming locals, and many other things Russia is famous for, St. Petersburg has slowly climbed into the upper realms of major tourist destinations over the past decade. Avoid visiting during the winter months but be ready for gorgeous summers and lots of water-based sports, boating, and swimming if you visit when the temperatures are pleasant. If you visit, don’t miss the Winter Palace, the Hermitage Museum, the amazing shopping and sightseeing on the Nevsky Prospekt, as well as a walk down the Liteyny Parkway from the bridge to the Nevsky. Whether you like late-night social action or simply wish to wander through some of the world’s top museums all day long, S.P. is the place to be.
Admittedly, any trip to Tokyo is a pricey proposition. That’s why so many travel enthusiasts apply for personal loans to cover the cost of this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Private lenders currently offer the best, most competitive deals on personal loans, and you can complete online in a matter of minutes. Why is Tokyo at the top of so many bucket lists? In addition to the incredible food and super-friendly people, the metropolis is home to Asia’s top museums. In fact, Japan’s own National History Museum is regularly ranked as one of the best in the world. Stroll through the financial district, taste yaki-tori (fried chicken on a stick) from local vendors, visit natural hot springs for a soothing evening after a long day, and don’t miss one of the many festivals that take place about three times per month.
Colombo, Sri Lanka
The city that time forgot, as some used to call it, Colombo is the capital of the nation that was formerly known as Ceylon, a name that has become synonymous with fine tea, all locally grown. Located just off the southeast coast of India, Sri Lanka’s capital city offers a wealth of historic buildings and neighborhoods, as well as being the home to more Buddhist monasteries than any other place on earth. The food is unforgettable, and full of must-try dishes that are spicy, and filling, so don’t worry about having to adapt your taste buds. Virtually everything sold by street vendors or in Colombo restaurants is delicious and nutritious. Because most of the locals are practicing Buddhists, there’s not much of a late-night scene, but if you want to spend a few days in a meditation retreat, this is the place where you’ll have plenty of opportunities.