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5 Atypical Holiday Destinations

By Alexander McCreath on 07-05-2018

The cities in this article may not be the most well-known cities in the world, but they definitely shouldn't be overlooked. As an Irish citizen, you may need a visa to travel to some of the countries on this list, which you can apply for online. The process is easy peasy. 

Are you sick of going to the same kind of places on holiday every year? Why not go somewhere different? Let's check out the 5 atypical holiday destinations that you definitely need to visit.

 

 

1. Saint Petersburg, Russia

Russia during the day

Language: Russian

Currency: Russian Ruble

Locals speak English: 50% chance

Visa required: Yes

Have you ever considered visiting Russia, but thought that it'd be quite an unusual or unsafe place to go on holiday. Well, forget all the negative stuff that you heard. It's an amazing city with a population of 5 million, with a rich expat community and plenty of stunning sites to see. You can find loads of pubs, jazz bars and nightclubs dotted throughout the city centre. Getting around the city is also very easy as the city is served by a large metro system that runs between 5.45 - 00.00, in addition to buses and trams. It is home to the most beautiful eastern orthodox churches in the world, including the Church of the Saviour on Blood (captured above). 

 

 

2. Lapland, Finland

Husky dogs pulling slay

 

Languages: Finnish and Swedish

Currency: Euro

Locals speak English: Yes

Visa required: No

Lapland is a region in north Finland. It borders Norway and Sweden and is home to Santa Clause's Village. During midsummer, the sun doesn't set at all. It is such a vast area with lots of amazing lakes, forests and cottages. If you're planning to go with a group, you should definitely consider renting out a cottage. You will be able to go swimming in the lake, go for a sauna and enjoy long beautiful nights in the sun. You can also go on hiking trips in the many amazing national parks. If you think you'd like to visit in the winter, you can go skiing and snowboarding. But the most amazing thing to do in Lapland is Husky Mushing across the vast stretches of land. Of course, you will have to wait until winter to visit. It's worth it! 

 

3. Budapest, Hungary 

Budapest during the day

Language: Hungarian

Currency: Hungarian Forint

Locals speak English: Yes 

Visa required: No

Budapest is often considered the most beautiful city in Europe. Its churches and cathedrals are jaw-droppingly stunning thanks to its historical heritage as part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. You can go to the Gellért Baths to relax in the spa, go swimming or go for a sauna. Another great place to spend your Saturday evening in Budapest is the Hungarian State Opera House, where you can enjoy the greatest opera and classical music in the world. The cost of visiting Budapest is also relatively cheap. You can stay in great hotels, go to nice bars and clubs that would normally cost a fortune in other EU countries. 

 

4. Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul at night

 

Language: Turkish 

Currency: Turkish Lira 

Locals speak English: Almost always

Visa required: No

You may know a lot of people who have visited Turkey, but most probably they have gone to the very touristy locations (e.g. Marmaris). Istanbul, however, truly is a transfixing location. Once called Constantinople, the heart of the East Roman Empire, you can find beautiful mosques which once were eastern orthodox churches. This city is the gateway to the Middle East from Europe, which is reflected in the culture, cuisine and architecture. Your money in Istanbul also goes a long way as the cost of hotels and food shopping is relatively low. If you're an EU/EEA citizen, you don't need a visa to visit Turkey.  

   

5. Isfahan, Iran

Building in Isfahan

Language: Persian 

Currency: Iranian Rial  

Locals speak English: 70% chance 

Visa required: Yes  

Iranians are amazing people; the cuisine is to die for and the city of Isfahan is filled to the brim with amazing culture: architecture, mosques, museums and cultural sites. Iran has the oldest continuing civilization in the world. It has some of the oldest temples and palaces that date back centuries. The city of Isfahan itself is very affordable. Iran is the place to go if you are interested in history, culture, food and architecture. 

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