5 Travel Destinations with a Perfect Balance of History, Culture, and Leisure

Editor’s Note: We’d like to thank our guest blogger, Vincent Stokes, for writing this insightful contribution about international travel. We want to visit all these places RIGHT NOW!

Almost everyone takes yearly getaways, but certain individuals look for a bit more than the traditional tourist attractions found in popular locations. Vacationers searching for the perfect balance of history, culture, and leisure activities should consider these places for their next adventure.

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This New Zealand city is still sometimes referred to as the Land of the Gods due to its intriguing and unusual history. A consistent winner of tourism and travel awards, Auckland has an impressive number of historical landmarks, cultural attractions, and leisure activities to suit every lifestyle and budget. This “country of clouds,” a name given to New Zealand by local travel writers, is regarded by numerous vacationers as the ultimate getaway destination.

The visitor’s center in the city of Auckland offers first-time guests an introduction to the country, as well as maps, theater schedules, and shop and restaurant information. The area is also well loved for its extraordinary landscapes and scenic views. Despite the often cloudy weather, it is one of Earth’s greenest regions, as residents are committed to maintaining the beauty of their city. For this reason, visitors are intrigued by the area’s lovely, unspoiled scenery while still enjoying all the features and benefits of a modern, cosmopolitan city.

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When planning a vacation, travelers should certainly not overlook Paris, France. The city offers cultural and historical attractions with which few areas of the world can compete. The Palace of Versailles, Eiffel Tower, The Louvre Palace Museum, and the spectacular Seine River are just a few of the impressive landmarks one can visit when enjoying a sojourn in the City of Lights.

Vacationers interested in history should place the Arc of Triumph on their must-see list. The Arc was designed as a memorial to the French soldiers who lost their lives during the second World War. Paris is also renowned for its highly diversified environment. Famous for memorable fashion shows, great shopping districts, night clubs, cultural and historic events and activities, and sumptuous cuisine and live shows, the city has something for everyone.

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Greece is a beautiful and interesting vacation destination that provides diversified activities and experiences for travelers of all ages. Boasting some of the world’s most picturesque landscapes, the country continuously captures the hearts of travelers from throughout the world. Visitors can relax in the sun on one of the limitless number of beaches found in Greece. At sunset, guests can head to Mykonos, where many thriving nightclubs come to life after dark. Those with an interest in architecture and history should stop at the Parthenon in Athens, which majestically rises over the hazy sprawl of the city, or enjoy a day of exploring the mysterious ancient ruins of Delos.

With its fascinating and sometimes turbulent history, this European country is one of the world’s most multicultural societies, and therefore a top choice for anyone who wants to enjoy a vibrant and diversified environment.

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Badajoz is the largest of Spain’s provinces, with a population of over 650,000. Once a fortress city during the reign of the Roman Empire, the region still features a large moat, outworks, and strong walls that give it a powerful, striking appearance. After being occupied by various countries and governments through the years, Badajoz is now a frontier province that features an inviting and friendly atmosphere where visitors can experience a memorable vacation.

Among the many places of interest in Badajoz is the spectacular Palace of the Duques de Feria, built in the 15th century. Other outstanding attractions include the San Juan Cathedral and the Arab castle of Alcazaba, the latter of which is surrounded by a gorgeous ornate wall. Medieval themes can be seen in many of the city’s palaces, convents, and buildings, making the Province a fantastic place for those who are interested in architecture.

In Badajoz’s historical quarter, the La Plaza Alta and other majestic structures can be toured by visitors throughout the year. Another popular sight is the Puente de las Palmas Bridge. The structure boasts 32 massive arches as it transverses the Guadiana River. In the evening, the region comes alive, as numerous dance clubs, lounges, restaurants, and cafes open their doors to welcome tourists. Shopping opportunities abound in Badajoz, and many tax free items are offered to visitors.

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Compelling, exotic, and breathtakingly lovely, Vietnam is a country travelers should consider when making vacation plans. The natural beauty of the country as well as its unique heritage make it an ideal choice for anyone who wants to experience a different culture while enjoying spectacular scenery and unusual landmarks.

Opportunities to create memorable experiences abound in this part of the world, and a tour through Vietnam is a great way to ensure no attraction is missed. From the seascape of limestone islands to earth’s most spectacular cave systems, visitors can indulge in endless days of sightseeing and never grow bored. The Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, in which the aforementioned caves are located, has been described as a country within a country.

When taking a Vietnam tour, visitors will not want to miss a few stops at local restaurants to enjoy the delicious cuisine for which the country is famous. Complex techniques and myriad herbs and spices result in rich and delicious soups, pork dishes, and vegetarian creations. Vietnam also boasts marble temples, outstanding spas, and panoramic picnic areas that offer the ideal backdrop for multiple photo opportunities.

Want to read more about Vincent’s adventures around the globe? Follow him on Twitter @TravelingGlobal to see where he goes next!

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