Paris, Barcelona, Bruges – if the same old city break destinations don’t tickle your thirst for adventure, it may be time to explore some of the more off-beat city locations the world has to offer. There’s more to life than Milan and Sydney, after all – there’s a whole wide world out there – and often the more undiscovered corners of it are cheaper, less touristy, more authentic and much more exciting than those on the beaten track. To help fuel your wanderlust, we’ve chosen five unusual city breaks which will open your eyes and seriously surprise you…


1. Ljubljana, Slovenia1. LjbThe capital of Slovenia really does have it all: rich history, picturesque cityscapes, a castle and virtually instant access to awesome outdoor activities, whether you want to visit nearby rivers and lakes for water sports, or ski in the mountains. Incredibly affordable, welcoming and still relatively undiscovered, Ljubljana is a city with real charm that’s waiting to be soaked up – and plenty of adventurous activities to enjoy after you’ve steeped in the capital’s atmosphere.


2. Kyoto Japan2. KyotoForget expensive, hectic Tokyo, Kyoto is a “must go” city break for anyone visiting Japan, especially if you prefer a slower pace of holiday. Rich in spirituality, with 1650 Buddhist temples, Kyoto lies at the heart of Japan’s history and culture, home to the world famous geisha district and some of the most sublime Japanese food you’ll find in the country. Don’t forget to pay a visit to the city’s 60ft Buddha.


3. Novgorod, Russia3.NovMoscow and St Petersburg may be at the top of most people’s list of cities to check out in Russia, but for travellers who like history, architecture, authenticity and something a little out of the ordinary, Novgorod should not be passed up. Chock full of traditional banya (saunas) and amazing historic buildings, this city looks like a fairytale and will give you a very different taste of Russian life.


4. Krakow, Poland4 KrakowIf you like cities which look like they’ve fallen out of the medieval period, Krakow needs to be on your bucket list. With a medieval town centre which is widely considered to be one of the best preserved in the world, a saunter through the cobbled byways of Krakow feels like stepping back in time. Stroll from café to café enjoying the atmosphere and Gothic architecture and don’t forget to tuck into plenty of (very) hearty, (very) affordable Polish food too.


5. Salta, Argentinia5. SaltaKeen to explore a city outside of Europe? The Argentinian city of Salta is a worthy, further flung unusual city break destination for foodies, wine-lovers and vibrant culture vultures. Located amidst the Andes, a stone’s throw from Argentina’s wine-growing region, this is an exotic destination where you will discover amazing music, plus the local gaucho (cowboy) culture, all while you eat and drink like a prince (especially if you love a good steak).