Amazing cities around the world…. Starting with G
Take an adventure with Travelling King through this series, showing you all the wonderful cities of the world from A to Z. We have joined up with countless amazing Travel Bloggers throughout this series to come up with some great experiences about these cities. We will tell you why we love these cities, what we love doing and suggest a few places to stay. Lets continue on with cities around the world starting with G.
See the previous Amazing cities around the world.
Elizabeth from Temporary Provisions tells us about Granada in Nicaragua.
One of the most visited places in Nicaragua, Granada is a beautiful town that offers the best of both city and nature. It’s filled with colonial architecture displaying one of the most beautiful urban color palettes in the world – buildings line the streets of the city painted in pastel pinks, blues, yellows, and purples with cream-colored columns, signs in retro fonts, and lush green courtyards with sunlight spilling onto shaded hammocks. Walking through Granada is a true pleasure.
It’s littered with lively parks and squares, incredible old cathedrals, each one unique, distinctive from the more famous European cathedrals, and most offer the opportunity to climb up to the bell towers and rooftops for a one-of-a-kind view of the city and beyond.
Do this at sunset for an unforgettable experience. Various streets around the city, like the tourist favorite La Caldaza, are lined with restaurants and bars with outdoor seating where people from around the world pass the time smoking a Nicaraguan cigar (just as good as Cubans!), drinking a Toña or Flor de Caña (the national rum, award-winning and so affordable), and watching the live entertainment throughout the streets, which are pedestrian-only.
Juxtaposed against city-life are the images of rows upon rows of vibrant green palm trees, a series of red and brown volcanoes, and the deep blue of the massive Lake Nicaragua. The landscape of Nicaragua is without a doubt one of the world’s most incredible. Within a short distance of the city there are infinite possibilities for exploring nature.
Just along the city shores of Lake Nicaragua there are 365 isletas (little islands) that were created from a volcanic explosion ages ago, and you can explore the various islands by boat, kayak, or even stand-up paddle boarding, stopping for drinks and food at one of the several restaurants on various islands, watching out for monkeys and a huge variety of birds, and taking in the view of the mansions on some of the privately-owned islands.
There are a number of nearby volcanoes that offer hikes (one even offers the chance to board back down the volcano!) and even views inside volcanic craters. Spend a day relaxing in a volcanic crater lake, horseback riding, or ziplining through the jungle – the options are endless.
Sam Williamson from Aims Media Design Glasgow tells us about Glasgow
Glasgow is the biggest city in Scotland and one of the largest in the UK. But despite it’s size, Glasgow feels like a tight-knit community. The city might not be associated with the same kind of glamor and beauty as the capital Edinburgh is, but there’s a popular saying here in Scotland: ‘Edinburgh may have got the looks, but Glasgow got the personality’.
– In 2014, Glasgow was voted the friendliest place in the UK. We’ve also won curry capital of the UK three times in our history, which reflects our diversity!
Read more on Glasgow:
Ken from Dodgy knees tells us about Gondar
Many still think of Ethiopia as the old stereotype of famine and despair. The current reality is that it is an amazing country with a rich history and a proud people.
The ancient hand hewn stone churches of Lalibela are one of the human created wonders of the world. Add to that a calendar and daily clock like no other; unique foods; the African Camelot – Gondar; a friendly and welcoming people and very few tourists, you’ve got a recipe for a fantastic trip.
A visit to Ethiopia is very much about the culture and the history behind it.
If you have 10 days to two weeks a worthwhile circuit to do is start in Addis Ababa, the capital, travel to Lalibela the home of the amazing stone churches, then to Axum, the home of the Queen of Sheba, next to Gondar, the medieval capital of Ethiopia, and finish in Bahir Dar with a number of impressive monasteries on islands in Lake Tana (where you’ll also find Africa’s highest hippos).
Gondar was the capital of the empire controlled by Emperor Fasiladas from 1636 for over one hundred years, before it’s eventual decline. Today you can visit well preserved castles, palaces, gardens and much more. Gondar is a fascinating city which most people have never heard of.
Oliver from PropertyAsia.ph tells us about Guimaras
A visit to Iloilo City in the Western Visayas region in the Philippines is not complete without visiting the nearby Guimaras Island. Get lost in its sparkly white sand beaches and jaw-dropping waterfalls. Most importantly, take a bite of the world-famous Guimaras mango—one of the sweetest mangoes in the world.
The Guimaras mango, which is best enjoyed fresh—some prefer its dried variety—is grown in mango plantations that cover a vast area of almost 8,000 hectares. So imagine a sprawling, verdant landscape more than your eyes can see.
The island’s most popular destinations include the Trappist Monastery, where monks of the Cistercian Order live and are known for their strict rule of silence; the mysterious Guisi Lighthouse, which is considered the second oldest lighthouse in the Philippines, and the Alubijod Beach, the central hub for all other island hopping destinations from Guimaras.
Weird Facts and Laws about Guimaras
– The Trappist Monastery is the only men’s monastery in the Philippines.
– The origin of the Guisi Lighthouse is unknown.
– The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) allows the entry of the Guimaras mangoes to the U.S.
– The Republic Act No. 7586 proclaims the marine turtle sanctuary in Barangay Lawi, Jordan in Guimaras a protected area.
How to travel to Girona. Marina and Andre, nomadic foodies, entrepreneurs and owners of Barcelona Eat Local Food Tours, share their insights about a world hidden gem close to the Mediterranean Sea and the Pyrenes mountains: Girona.
This ancient city boasts stunning medieval architecture in its center with a laid back atmosphere that the traveler enjoy in contrast to Barcelona bustling center. An early morning lonely walk through cobbled streets might make you feel like being in medieval days, that’s awesome. Moreover, Girona has a food and night scene that is worth the visit.
Home to famous Michelin-starred restaurants such as El Celler de Can Roca (among the The World’s 50 Best Restaurants) and La Massana, Girona has an amazing foodie scene where also mid-range restaurants and tapas bars play a terrific role.
Just try Vintages or El Cau del Llop which base their cuisine on seasonal products, and do not miss Rocambolesc, the ice cream parlor by one of the Roca brothers. Worth to mention that top class wines are also produced in the nearby Emporda region.
As for the night scene, Girona is the place for the locals with a varied offer of bars and top music clubs where party-goers dance all night long from Monday to Saturday. We like to have a glimpse of the scene at Lola Café located at the Jewish Quarter with its 80s music, and Yeah for live Indie Music till veteran Nou Platea to wait for the sunrise.
Weird Facts and Laws about Girona
– Every local who wants to return safe and healthy from a trip is obliged to kiss the female lion bum, as well as the visitors who would like to return
Galapagos Islands and Guayaquil (Ecuador)
Cori from Conference Designed tells us about Galapagos Islands and Guayaquil
In March of this year, my step-father and I went to the Galapagos Islands and Guayaquil, Ecuador. My stepfather is on a new mission with his bucket list, and the Galapagos Islands were number one on the short list. And,lucky for me, my mother did not want to go, so I went along with him.
The first day in Guayaquil we enjoyed the luxury of laziness, taking a few naps and resting from the prior day’s travel. We were planning to go out on a walking excursion, but it was raining, heavily at times, so we were forced by nature to take up residence in the concierge lounge (which was well-worth the fee for a night to camp-out, and have access to snacks, bottled waters and juices (and rich South American coffee) all day.
The second day, we ventured into the heart of the city and walked a few miles on the Male con 2000, a fantastic riverside park with museums, restaurants, playgrounds, tall ships, a magnificent Moorish clock tower (yes, in the heart of Ecuador, resides a Moorish tower).
The highlight of the walk was seeing the large and magnificent Catholic cathedral, highlighted by Iguana park. Hundreds of critters, varying sizes and colors roamed freely in the park, at home with the locals, tourists,and turtles.
Pre-dawn, the following morning, we flew to the Galapagos Islands, about 500 miles west of mainland Ecuador, where we boarded the national Geographic Endeavor for our week long sail. Not your typical cruise, the Endeavor is rustic but classic appointed.
The food was very good (we thought that the buffet breakfasts and lunches were exceptionally good and the plated dinners were a bit more boring and not as good (in quality) as we had hoped. However, one does not travel to far West Ecuador on a small ship for the food. The highlight, of course, was the animals, in their natural habitat. Beautiful birds – three types of boobies,frigates, and many more), sea lions, extensive marine wildlife and of course,iguanas.
I did not even like lizards or ever gave them much thought prior to going to the Galapagos. I now have a secret crush on those Galapagos iguanas. They won my heart. Who knew?
Each day we had activity choices – hiking, beach, kayaking, snorkeling, and swimming. There was not a dull moment – I did not even get though my second magazine, with all the activity, and by the time your head hit the bed each night, exhaustion took over and sleep came quickly. As did the 6:00am alarm.
Most memorable – Definitely the animals – swimming with sharks, giant sea turtles, and a plethora of delightful and colorful fish – almost made me turn from being a long-time pescatarian to a full-time vegetarian.
Weird Facts and Laws about Galapagos Islands and Guayaquil
– Not a law, buta strange superstition in Ecuador – rub an egg over a person’s face and body to keep away evil spirits.
Nicola from Spain Holiday tells us about Granada
The cultural city of Granada is situated in the eastern region of Andalucia, in southern Spain. Its characterised by it scenic diversity, architectural beauty and a rich and distinguished history.
Granada was the last Moorish stronghold to fall to the Christians and still retains many vestiges of its Arab heritage, in particular its royal palace, La Alhambra.
The Alhambra Palace
The jewel in the crown of Granada is the architecturally magnificent Alhambra Palace. It is the most visited tourist attraction in Spain, one of the most revered examples of Islamic architecture in the world and is also a UNESCO world heritage site.
The Alhambra consists of a series of palaces and gardens, which were built in the 14th century for the Moorish dynasty. From the entrance of the Puertas de Granadas, to the Generalife summer palace, Court of the Lions, the Sala de los Abencerrajes, and the later Spanish renaissance Palace of Charles V, the architecture is stunning and well worth a visit.
The Albaicin neighbourhood stands on a hill facing the Alhambra. The neighbourhood is a wonderful maze of narrow streets and alleys, with its whitewashed houses and hidden inner gardens and courts. Reaching the top of the Albaicin, you come to the Plaza de San Nicolas, where you can enjoy a magnificent view to the Alhambra Palace.
Towards the north of the city, is the neighbourhood of Sacromonte Hill, which is famous for its cave dwellings, which are still inhabited
Local gastronomy has a strong Moorish influence. Also, there is a great variety of tapas to try with most tapas bars giving a free tapa with every drink.
Weird fact and outlandish Laws
– Granada’s city symbol is the pomegranate which is fitting considering that “granada” in Spanish means ‘pomegranate.’
– Granada is a chosen location for Hollywood films with over 212 films made in the past century.
– There are hidden gardens throughout the city.
Read more on Granada:
Adrienne from Bucket Half Full tells us about Grasse
I’m Borja from coleccionandopostales.es tells us about Ghent Ghent is a medieval city in the north of Belgium. I love this city for its splendor and beauty. It has 3 medieval towers that can be photographed in a single photo.
Also the center of the city is surrounded by canals, through which you can take a cruise. It has a castle surrounded by canals and a moat, with numerous defense towers, from these towers there are wonderful panoramic views of the city center.
At Christmas streets are filled with color and lights, Christmas markets where Christmas balls, food, and handmade decorations are sold. There are also attractions such as Ferris wheels or skating rinks. The typical food of this area of Belgium are chips, chocolates and beers, in Ghent you will find many stalls on the street.Weird facts and laws about Ghent.
– Ghent University is in the top 100, with 30,000 students.– The most photographed site in Ghent is the street with the three medieval towers. – In Ghent there is a street for graffiti artists. – It has three official languages. They are German, French and Dutch. – The largest outdoor culture festival, called Gentse Feesten, is held in Ghent.
Read more on Ghent:
- Ultimate Travel Guide to Ghent
- Where to stay in Ghent
- 17 Things to do in Ghent – That People Actually Do!
Mellina from CoffeeCracked.com to tell us about Goa.
Goa is one of my favorite cities to visit in India for its beautiful beaches and laid-back lifestyle. It’s a popular vacation destination for Indians and tourists alike. In fact, a large proportion of the people I saw were actually tourists. One thing I love to do in Goa is to visit Anjuna Beach, which is a beautiful and serene beach. The stunning white sand and turquoise waters are a delight for the eyes!
If you are into seafood like I am, then you’ll definitely enjoy the seafood restaurants there that serve up delicious local specialties. It also has a vibrant nightlife scene with several clubs, bars, and live music venues. Water sports such as snorkeling and scuba diving are also popular activities in Goa. Safe to say you will have plenty of things to do if (and when) you visit Goa!
If you’re looking for a place to stay, I recommend The St. Regis Goa Resort, which is a luxurious hotel located right on the beach and has a great location and top-notch amenities. The hotel is also located near many of the top attractions in Goa, making it a convenient base for exploring the region.
Weird Facts about Goa
– It’s illegal to carry more than 1.5 liters of alcohol into the state
– It is also illegal to wear footwear in certain temples.
– Goa is home to many historic landmarks and cultural attractions, such as the Basilica of Bom Jesus, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the Goa State Museum, which is home to a collection of art and artifacts from the region.
Read more on Genva:
Thirumal from Visa Traveler tells us about Guanajuato, Mexico
Guanajuato is a beautiful and historic city located in central Mexico. Once an important center for silver mining, Guanajuato is known for its vibrant colonial-style architecture, narrow streets, and colorful houses. One of the things I love most about Guanajuato is its rich cultural history.
One of the most popular attractions in Guanajuato is the Callejón del Beso, or Alley of the Kiss. This narrow alleyway is named after a legend about two lovers who lived in houses on opposite sides of the alley. They were only able to see each other through a small window, and they would kiss through the window every day. The alley has since become a popular spot for tourists to take photos.
There is no shortage of things to do in Guanajuato. The city is known for its music and art scene, and there are often live performances and exhibitions happening throughout the year. There are also several beautiful parks and gardens in the city, as well as outdoor markets where you can buy local crafts and souvenirs.
As for weird facts and laws, one interesting fact is that the city is home to a tunnel system that was built in the 19th century to prevent flooding. The tunnels are still in use today and are mostly used to help alleviate traffic. These tunnels can be accessed by both vehicles and pedestrians. Another weird thing about Guanajuato is the Mummy Museum. This museum houses a collection of naturally mummified bodies from the 19th century.
If you’re planning a trip to Guanajuato, I highly recommend staying in the historic center of the city. There are several charming hotels and bed and breakfasts in this area. My favorite is Hotel Plaza Baratillo (previously called Casa Baratillo), a beautiful colonial-style building with an amazing view.
Gangtok (Sikkim, India)
– You’re not allowed to bring plastic water bottles into Gangtok!
There’s a great variety of accommodation available in the city. I stayed at the Elgin Nor-Khill and it was gorgeous.
Robyn from Two Empty Passports tells us about Guilin
My husband and I lived in China for a year, and our trip to Guilin was amazing! But honestly, it’s not so much the city of Guilin, but the incredible dramatic landscapes surrounding the city that make it one of the most beautiful regions in all of China.
The main reason to visit Guilin is to experience its stunning landscape of karst mountains along the Li River. The best way to do that, is to take a scenic river cruise. There are plenty of options to choose from, from boat size to the length of the journey. Thankfully, this adventure won’t break the budget either. To fully appreciate Guilin’s natural beauty, we recommend a multi-day river cruise!
Next up, would be a visit to the Longji Rice Terraces, or Dragon Rice Terraces, which resemble the backbone of a dragon. We visited during the month of October, the terraces were a vibrant, golden color and we were able to visit several tiny villages sprinkled along the tiered landscape. Our experience was truly unforgettable.
Lastly,a trip to Guilin would not be complete without visiting a traditional ethnic village. We enjoyed our tour of Huangluo Yao Village, home to the “long haired”women. We appreciated the opportunity to witness some ancient traditions and way of living that we couldn’t find in the more populated cities.
We recommend staying at the Holiday Inn Express Guilin for its central location. Or, consider the Secret Courtyard Resort, a more expensive riverside hotel with stunning views just outside of town.
Weird Facts & Outlandish Laws in Guilin:
– Traditional long-haired women grow their hair up to 1.8 m in length.
– Local artwork in the area is some of the best in China.
– Guilin has the most high-speed railway stations in China.
– It is forbidden for a vehicle to stop at a pedestrian crosswalk in China.
Wesley from Worldwideyed Wes tells us about Guadalajara
George Town, Penang (Malaysia)
Tania from SlowerTravels to tell us about George Town
George Town is the capital of the Malaysian state of Penang. The state is partially on the mainland but also includes the island of Penang, which is where George Town is located.
To get there, you can fly into the airport on the island or if you arrive overland there is a cheap ferry that you can take across. There are also several bridges connecting to the mainland. George Town itself is a UNESCO World Heritage site and you can see why when you begin strolling down the lane ways of the old city. The narrow streets tell the history through street art, decades-old shop signage and ancient buildings.
The city has been home to many cultures over time so there are Muslim mosques, Christian churches, Hindu temples and Buddhist temples everywhere. You’ll often see religious offerings outside people’s houses, hear the call to prayer or stumble across religious festival activities throughout the city. Definitely visit the Kek Lok Si Temple to experience the largest Buddhist temple in Malaysia. There are several different buildings to explore on the multi-level grounds.
Head up Penang Hill on the funicular to get an incredible view of the island and beyond. You can wander the trails, eat at one of the restaurants or enjoy the activities at the top of the hill. Just avoid trying to head up on the weekend. The wait for the funicular can be several hours if you haven’t pre-booked!
Weird Facts about George Town
- World famous shoe designer was born in George Town and you’ll see references to him in the lane ways.
- Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, now a hotel, was used in the film Crazy Rich Asians.
Alex from Nomad Nature Travelto tell us about Gjirokaster
Gjirokaster is great for both the setting and the history. It’s an incredible UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the best-preserved Ottoman villages in the world, built into the side of a mountain.
You get these sweeping views of the southern Albanian countryside and are surrounded by an eclectic and gorgeous mix of ancient streets, mosques, churches, bazaars and fortresses. It is also one of the largest Greek communities in Albania–the city has been under Greek control at various points throughout its history–so the Greek food is great pretty much anywhere you go.
I would recommend grabbing a Greek salad and a glass of wine and then wandering through the old Bazaar. Definitely visit the old castle as well. If you have a car or a motorbike, the Blue Eye, which is not technically Gjirokaster, but very close–a gorgeous, crystal clear spring-fed river–is close by and worth the effort.
Stay at the Kerculla Resort. The views are spectacular, and the breakfast is delicious.
Gatineau, Quebec, Canada
Emily from The Female Abroad to tell us about Gatineau
Known for it having a variety of popular attractions and selling beer in Costco, this town is just across the bridge from Canada’s capital – Ottawa. Due to this proximity and since Ottawa is quite small, most Canadian’s in the area will head over to Gatineau to visit places especially in the winter when the canal freezes over and everyone goes ice skating. You could easily stay in Ottawa (again, I like the Fairmont) and then drive over or you could stay in Gatineau but there are not a ton of options just a couple Hilton properties really.
Weird Facts And laws about Gatineau
- While most of Canada speaks English, since Gatineau is in Quebec you may run into people who only speak Quebecois which is a version of French. France does not consider people from Quebec French so while the government considers it French, Canadians usually call it Quebecois (Kay-beck-kwa).
- It is home to the most visited museum of Canada – Canadian Museum of History – with 1.2 million visitors each year.
- Due to the languages act, when you are in Quebec the French words on signs have to be two times bigger than any English words. The French words must also be above the English words
- In case you were wondering, it is illegal to kill a sick person by scaring them.
Bryn Culbert from Wanderu to tell us about Gettysburg
Marc from Surf’s Up Magazine tells us about Gaborone
Gaborone is a vibrant and expanding city, named after Kgosi Gaborone – leader of the Batlokwa people who migrated from their ancestral home in the Magaliesberg Mountains to Tlokweng in 1881. ‘Gaborone’ translates as ‘it does not fit badly’ or even ‘it is not unbecoming’, which accurately describes this ever-growing metropolis!
Gaborone is a culturally diverse destination, comprised of thousands of unique minds and ideas. The city has many hotels to choose from, along with cinemas, casinos, restaurants and bars that showcase talented local musicians. For those looking for an unforgettable night on the town or just some relaxation surrounded by intriguing people and places – Gaborone is sure to deliver!
Established near the Historic City centre, the National Museum is a trove for Southern African artistry and antiquity. From cultural artifacts to traditional crafts – this illustrious museum showcases it all!
Gaborone may appear similar to many other cities, adorned with the all too common western trimmings of modern life. However, step away from the city and main roads and you’ll enter an entirely different realm; one where your breath is taken away by its tranquil beauty – a rural African paradise just minutes from civilization.
Interesting facts about Gaborone:
– Boasting an enviable position as the city with one of the world’s most affordable cost of living for expats, according to Mercer’s report, Gaborone serves as a capital for Botswana and is ready to welcome newcomers.
– Gaborone’s legacy as one of the fastest-growing cities in the world has long been compounded by its housing and illegal settlement crises.
Jessie from Pocket Wanderings to tell us about Genoa
One of the most wonderful things about Genoa is that it’s not as visited as the ever-popular Italian cities of Rome, Venice and Florence. While it’s not exactly a hidden gem, Genoa does benefit from being noticeably quieter than other destinations in Italy. Genoa is a port city located in the Liguria region of northwestern Italy. The city is renowned for its spectacular architecture, centuries-old charm, and various art galleries and museums. From the Palazzo Ducale, a 13th-century palace, to the world-renowned Piazza De Ferrari, this port city of grandeur has an abundance of sites and attractions to explore. For those interested in art and architecture, I’d really recommend the National Gallery of Palazzo Spinola and the Musei di Strada Nuova. I also love exploring the artisan shops and trying the local delicacies. As you wander the city, you’ll encounter delicious scents of freshly-baked focaccia or pesto-drenched pasta emanating from the many restaurants. With its ornate architecture and narrow cobbled streets, you’re sure to get lost amongst its charms and cultures as if lost in time. For a touch of luxury, stay at the stunning Grand Hotel Savoia. Weird fact about Genoa: – The world’s first public bank was established in Genoa. It was founded in order to consolidate public debt after the republic went bankrupt following its war with Venice between 1378-1381. So be sure to pay a visit to Casa di San Giorgio (Bank of Saint George).
Kiva from The Mindful Word tells us about Gubbio
If you love anything medieval, you’ll love Gubbio. Transport yourself back a millennium to the days of King Arthur as you wander through this well-preserved hill town in Umbria, Italy.
Walking about the town, taking in their buildings in general is a delight, but if zeroing in on the top sites, their main square, Piazza Grande, offers a grand view indeed. This large square is situated at a high enough elevation to offer a clear view of the surrounding countryside. It’s capped by two palazzos on either side to add even more eye candy to gaze at as you roam around or while sitting down and sipping your cappuccino.
Gubbio is built on the back of Monte Igino. You can choose to either ride a thrilling bird-cage-like cable car to the top or walk up. Once there you can visit the inspirational 16th century Basilica di Sant’Ubaldo, which contains the body of the town’s patron saint Ubaldo.
Two ideal times to visit Gubbio are May and December. On May 15th La Corsa dei Ceri happens. In this colorful procession three teams, each representing a different saint, carry 900 pound stands that hold a statue of their respective saint through the town. They then sprint up the mountain to the basilica where the statues remain on display until the following May.
During a December visit to Gubbio you’ll be treated to a sight of the world’s largest “Christmas tree,” which is a series of lights in a Christmas tree pattern that reach all the way up Monte Igino.
Weird fact about Gubbio :You can actually become a certified madman in Gubbio!
A ritual developed in Gubbio where people would baptize themselves in the Fontana dei Matti fountain (translated to Fountain of the madmen), which earns them a “matto di Gubbio” (madman of Gubbio) licence. To do this ritual you have to walk three times around the fountain. But you have enlist the help of a local in order to do it.
Afterwards you can purchase a certificate declaring your lunacy. Researchers have found that the rock formations surrounding Gubbio are contaminated by iridium, a highly toxic substance, which could explain this peculiar tradition.
Like many other towns in Umbria, Gubbio has a lot to offer, but it also has some special traditions that you can’t find anywhere else. It’s a particularly enjoyable place for medieval history enthusiasts.
If you’d like to truly experience the magic of the Umbrian way of life while enjoying its natural beauty, I’d recommend staying in an agriturismo, such as Agriturismo Borgo di Carpiano. Or if you’d like to stay right in Gubbio check out the Bosone Palace, where you can enjoy staying in a palace with frescoed ceilings and other beautiful artwork, at a reasonably low price.
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