Explore This Map Of The World’s Best Alternative Capital Cities

When planning a vacation, it can be easy to choose the capital as a starting point and, when planning a city break, as the focal point of the entire trip. It is often the capital that offers the largest port or airport and the most convenient and inexpensive way to get there. It’s often the capital that gets the most columns in the travel press and has the best guidebooks.

And while it’s hard to argue that a country’s capital is often the most impressive city it has to offer, that’s certainly not always the case. Indeed, a capital city is often a microcosm that contrasts with the country in which it lives, failing to best showcase the culture and magic of its people and history. That’s why the good folks at Premier Inn did some research in a study that analyzed Google search data to uncover the world’s most popular ‘alternative’ capital cities.

The study looked at about 420 cities in 89 countries to see which sparked the most interest among travelers, and the results are surprising. Topping the list, for example, is Malaga in Spain – a country whose capital, Madrid, is already overshadowed by its more famous coastal neighbor, Barcelona. But Barcelona isn’t second choice, perhaps thanks to its reputation as a crazy tourist hotspot already bursting at the seams with visitors. Instead, Malaga’s beautiful beaches and free attractions like La Alcazaba and Gibralfaro Castle draw people from far and wide. Visit the birthplace of Picasso and home of the Picasso Museum (free on Sundays!) and you’ll soon see why the world’s eyes are on this stunning corner of Andalucia.

Alternative Capitals in Europe

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