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Need some movement motivation? Can't choose where to go? Maybe one of the world's most wonderful urban communities? In case you're searching for a goal with urban joys with regular and man-influenced magnificence, consider one of the urban areas underneath. They offer a mix of sublime design and amazing vistas, workmanship, and nature in immaculate agreement. On the off chance that you need a rundown of the best places to see before you bite the dust, begin with these excellent urban areas.
1. Ankara City
Positioned in the heart of Turkey and Central Anatolia, upon a steep and rocky hill, Ankara is the amazing capital of Turkey and the second largest city after Istanbul. With approximately a population of four million inhabitants, Ankara also serves as the capital of the Province of Ankara.
Ankara has had many names through the history, starting with Ankuwash, given by the Hittites before 1200 BC, and later, the Romans called it Ancyra. In the Byzantine period, it was known as Ánkyra, and under 1930, it bared the name of Angora. The history of the whole region reaches back to the Bronze Age and thanks to its many and diverse inhabitants through the ages, the area enjoys a rich cultural heritage. Ankara has become the capital of the new Republic of Turkey on 13th of October 1923, after the War of Independence was won, replacing Istanbul (known as Constantinople).
Ankara is an important commercial and industrial city, being the center of the Turkish Government and housing all foreign embassies. It also operates as the marketing center for the neighboring regions. The city has become renowned for its long-haired Angora goat and its high-quality wool (mohair), white rabbits and their valued wool, as well as for a unique breed of cat (Angora cat), pears, honey, and the region's Muscat grapes.
Thanks to the country's diverse topography and latitude, the climate tends to vary from place to place. Ankara is most probably one of the driest places in the country, enjoying a dry continental climate, meaning that summers are truly hot while winters are snowy and cold. If you are looking for the perfect time of year to visit this beautiful city, pick a month between May and October and then you can hardly expect any rain, but you will surely have plenty of sunshine. Keep in mind that the level of humidity is usually pretty high, which makes a hot summer day feel even hotter!
As the only official language is Turkish, a tiny dictionary or knowing a few useful phrases might come in handy. Even if you do not know a sole Turkish word, you have nothing to worry about as many people worked abroad, so in most places, you will bump into people who speak German, or Dutch, or even French. Also among young people, English is becoming more popular day by day and they will be more than happy to help out tourists. People are generally friendly and welcoming, so for sure, you will have a wonderful time in Ankara.
2. Hamburg City
Germany’s second largest city, Hamburg, positioned in northern Germany on the banks of the Elbe River. It is one of the most international cities one can find in Europe. With approximately 1.7 million inhabitants in the city and around 4 million in Greater Hamburg Metropolitan Region, Hamburg is not only one of the 16 German Bundesländer (states), but also one of the most touristic cities in Germany.
The city plays a major role in international trade as well as in the political life of the country itself and Europe. Hamburg has rightfully earned the name of " Free city" as it managed to stay the most independent city in the whole of Germany.
Hamburg City Guide: the importance.
Known to be the wealthiest metropolitan area in the European Union, and due to the fact that Hamburg is the second most important harbor in Europe and the sixth or seventh in the world, the city is also referred to as "The Gate to the World." Apart from the fact that the harbor constitutes the heart of the city, Hamburg also operates as one of the most significant media hubs in Germany. Furthermore, increasing the importance and fame of the city, we need to mention that Hamburg is also a key site of the world’s aerospace industry, following the USA and France.
Thanks to its rich history in trading, the city has quite an interesting architecture, which makes it a bit different from other cities in Germany. The city, though it suffered a great deal in World War II, still holds on to its open and discreet atmosphere. Local people, who are known as "Hamburgers," tend to be a bit reserved and distant and first, but as soon as they get to know you better, you will find out they are quite welcoming and friendly. As regarding the language, everybody will understand German, of course, as this is the official language. But you will get along just fine if you speak English and in some parts, even with Spanish and French, especially if you are addressing the younger generation.
The same as every major city in the world, Hamburg is also home to many pickpockets. In order to keep out of trouble, use your common sense, stay out of street demonstrations, and keep your eyes on your belongings, especially in crowded places.
3. Porto City
The capital of the Northern region and the second largest city in the country, Porto is one of the busiest industrial and commercial centers in Portugal.
Due to its matchless resistance against Napoleonic troops, during the Peninsular War, Porto has come to be known as "Cidade Invicta" (the invincible city). Porto has always been a commercial city, and this is reflected in its varied architecture, ranging from medieval to modern, to be seen especially in the center, which is granite and monumental, unlike other Portuguese cities. Inhabitants of Porto are known as Tripeiros (tripe eaters) supposedly because the city had to survive without meat for a long time in 1415, during the conquest of Ceuta in North Africa, people had to keep on living on tripe soup, still a specialty of the city.
The official language is Portuguese, however, if you speak Spanish, most people will understand you and they will be willing to help you. English is also understood, but mainly among the younger generation. A phrase book, or a mini dictionary, and a few basic phrases in Portuguese will come in handy, not to mention that locals will highly appreciate it. Porto is not a dangerous city, but it is good to keep your eyes on your valuables, especially in crowded places, and when using public transport. Just use your common sense and stay out of dark areas and deserted alleys, as these are not safe for a solitary walk!
Porto enjoys a semi-Mediterranean climate, being heavily influenced by the Atlantic Ocean, which makes it bit fresher than other Mediterranean cities. Summers are sunny and warm, with temperatures rising up to 30 C, while during heat waves they even reach 40 C, especially in August. Winters can be characterized as meek and moist, with temperatures ranging between 6°C and 14°C, and on some occasions, it can drop below zero C. As for spring and autumn months, they are somewhere in between the neighboring season, with mild but rainy weather, especially October!
Porto is an amazingly beautiful and vibrant city that has a lot to offer when it comes to culture, history, art, and fun, so that whenever you may plan your trip, make sure you have enough time to fully enjoy this remarkable place.
4. Venice City
One of the most romantic places in the world is the amazing city of Venice. Divided into different parts, built on 118 islands formed by 150 canals connected by nearly 400 bridges, the city has climbed up to the top of the list when it comes to favorite tourist destinations.
Venice, a beautiful place on the lagoon has hardly changed over the five hundred years and this makes it even more special adding something extra to its fascinating character. Venice, world famous for its canals, located in the marshy Venetian Lagoon on the side of the Adriatic Sea has become one of the most visited places in Italy. In high season, do not be surprised to see more tourists than locals (Venice has approximately 60,000 inhabitants), yet still, the city has managed to keep its romantic charm.
Venice reflects the glory days of the Renaissance; it is the place where one can find the most stunning monuments echoing the old Italian culture. Venice Lido, known as the island of tranquility, is a beach district just 10 minutes by boat from San Marco, where you can relax and enjoy the sun; it is also the place where the Venice movie festival is held.
Venice can be different in every season. The city has more than one face to reveal, for instance, if you want to have Venice all to yourself, quiet and mysterious, then plan your trip between November and January, it will be quite a memorable experience. If you plan on going in the highest season, summer, be prepared for hot weather, flies, and tons of tourists. Probably the best time, in terms of weather and crowd is a visit in spring, when the temperatures are moderate! Whenever you may visit Venice, you will surely not regret one single minute of it, even in summer. Remember that no cars are allowed in the city, so there is no smog, and you can walk freely!
Especially in the colder months, the lagoon water level rises, flooding the streets and plazas, so it is good to be prepared! One advice to remember is to get yourself and Aqua Alta (high water) map, available at any tourist office, which will show you the dry routes during the flood. Also, it is not such a bad idea to have a map of the city, as sometimes it is very easy to get lost thanks to all the canals and little bridges!
5. Berlin City
After the Berlin wall fell, when West and East Germany were merged officially together in 1999, Berlin became the capital of the unified country. Due to many immigrants from Turkey and Vietnam, as well as from other communist countries, and Soviet soldiers who refused to go back home after the II World War, the foundation of Berlin is very multicultural.
The capital of Germany is best known for its diverse architecture, fascinating palaces, and numerous museums, as well as for its active nightlife, cafes, bars, and clubs. The largest city in Germany with a population of 4.3 million within its metropolitan area and 3.4 million within the city limits has been severely damaged in the II World War. However, Berlin managed to “pull itself together” in a very short time, making it possible for a tourist to enjoy today buildings from different historical periods, from the medieval times until the ultramodern glass and steel structures.
The city of Berlin is divided into 12 districts, called Bezirke, composed of Kiezes (“neighborhoods”). They all represent a different style, becoming of great interest to the tourist, of course, some more than others. Some of the most visited districts, especially to get a glimpse of the new East Berlin, are Mitte, the historical center, Prenzlauer Berg, and Friedrichshain. As the youth-oriented city, Berlin has become a center for art, design, multimedia, music, and fashion among other things.
Though most young people speak quite fluently English, a few key German words and phrases might be very useful, especially in nontouristic places. Also, French and Russian have partly spoken thanks to the fact that they were taught in schools. Of course, the best way of getting around is to know the country's language, but keep in mind that some words differ from the regular German, especially in the former East Berlin, where the language kept a certain level of dialect.