Europe might be the cradle of civilization, yet it can never compete with Asia’s mysticism. As the continent where all world religions come from, it offers a myriad of cultures and mixture of traditions that everyone should experience at least once in a life time. We gathered this short list of most impressive Asian cities you must visit, as each of them will offer you a different aspect of Asia’s multicolored past:
Asian Cities you Must Visit – Istanbul, Turkey
Europe and Asia hold equal claim of this ancient city, so it is no wonder it’s called the Bridge between the continents. Founded in the 7th c. BC, as a trading post named Byzantium, lying on the shores of Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea. A millennium later, the Emperor Constantine moved the imperial see to the “New Rome” and named it after himself, Constantinople.
It will be the heart of the Byzantine Empire for almost 12 centuries, till the Turkish conquest. Then, Constantinople becomes Istanbul or Stamboul and the capitol of the Ottoman Empire. This city bears the traces of its Antique, Byzantine and Ottoman past and presents the perfect blend of many cultures. You will see ancient ruins, splendid churches and lavish mosques among the spice and textile bazaars. Make sure to dine in one of its excellent seafood restaurants, but leave some room for a slice of baklava and a cup of strong coffee;
Again, another city where different religions and cultures make the most impressive of visage. Its history dates back to the 4th millennium BC and thus, making it one of the oldest cities in the history of humankind.
This city is the religious epicenter for the three Abrahamic religions- Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. This spiritual span is demonstrated in the city’s architecture, everyday life and tradition. If you are fond of cities rich in multiculturalism and history, make sure to spare some time to visit its mosques, churches, and synagogues;
Today, Delhi is the capital of India and a metropolitan area made of seven cities. In the times past, Delhi served as the capital of several states, kingdoms and sultanates. The earliest signs of settlements date to the 2nd millennium BC.
The city is graced with Hindu temples and Muslim mosques of its Muslim dynastic rulers; the oldest mosque in India is located here. Today, it is a modern city and UNESCO world heritage site, known as the “Garden City” for its dedication to ecology. If there, make sure to visit the Lotus Temple and Red Fort, once an imperial see and now, a house to several museums;
This city, located in the central part of the country, was the old Imperial capital for more than a millennium. Known also as the City of Ten Thousand Shrines, Kyoto is a modern urban center brimming with history and traditions; the old-timey pagoda-like dwellings mix with towering skyscrapers.
Today, Kyoto is a city of knowledge, with its many universities and museums. If visiting the city, make sure to spare some time and enjoy the tranquility of its many temples and shrines or take a stroll among the immaculately kept cherry gardens. Also, do not forget to have a cup of green matcha tea, served in one of the many traditional tea houses by none than geishas in their colorful splendor.