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7 Strangest Cities in The World One Must Visit

Updated on May 18, 2013

This is another article from my “world's most” series. Every city has something special and has its own charm. But there are certain things that make a particular city “strange”. Here is a list of 7 strangest cities in the world that have something special making them strange.

1. Venice (Italy)

How many cities in the world have you seen where roads are replaced by canals and cars replaced by boats? Probably none apart from Venice. This is what makes the city special and strange. If you are thinking about traveling around Venice, the most common modes of transport are ferries, bridges and boats (apart from your own legs). That is not all which makes this city strange. Apart from being surrounded by canals and slow sinking, what makes it stranger is that the city is known to be one of the most haunted cities in the world. Apparitions and ghostly doges (late Venetian rulers) are known to be emerging from the canals and walls. Eerie sounds and headless ghosts are known to be increasing. What can be more bizarre than this?

2. Iquitos (Peru)

Peru may not be very famous among regular tourists. If you are a person who is a bit more into mysteries and ancient history, then you may know Peru for its Nazca lines. But if you thought that Nazca was the strangest place in Peru, you probably are not aware of Iquitos. Iquitos is a city that cannot be reached by road. The only way to enter this city is either by a plane or a boat. The city is surrounded by thick Amazon jungle and is separated from the rest of the world. You may think that it is just another small village in the midst of the Amazon rainforest. It is a true modern city with a population of 400,000. When you move out of the city limits, you can be pretty sure that you are entering the world of piranhas and anacondas.

3. Nicosia (Cyprus)

If you are new to Nicosia, you probably don't know the specialty of this city. The city looks quite normal with a relatively modern outlook and cool-looking city walls. And then when you reach the middle of the city, you will find the strangest thing you can witness. This is where you see the UN buffer zone between the two halves of the country. You will find a strip of abandoned houses (abandoned back in 1974) and army checkpoints. Once you cross the checkpoints, you enter the Turkish Cypriot zone from the Greek Cypriot zone and you sense an instant change. The modern slick city suddenly changes into a city with bazaars, mosques and buildings that go back to the Ottoman Empire.

4. Vienna (Austria)

Some say that Vienna is dull and for some travelers, Vienna is one of the “must visit” cities. There are multiple tourist attractions such as the Schonbrunn Palace, State Opera House and so on. However, beyond these attractions are places which are quite strange and some, simply disturbing. One of the strangest places is the International Esperanto Museum dedicated to a made-up language that hardly anyone speaks. Then, there is an International Museum of Contraception and Abortion (which pretty much looks like an abortion clinic). On the disturbing side, there is a Criminal Museum which is filled with pictures of murdered corpses. I wonder what can beat that.

5. Dwarf City (China)

Very few children at school may not have heard of Gulliver and the Lilliput. As we grew, we knew that it was a fictional story. Or is it? Well, though the island of Lilliput doesn't exist, there is a certain city in China which is inhabited by dwarfs. In reality, it is a city-sized live-in theme park in Kunming mountains. The founder of this city was a 44-year old Chen Mingjing. He claimed that he created the theme park for the little people in China. The dwarf city has a population of 120. The theme park has created several jobs that didn't exist earlier. The only requirement to gain citizenship here is that you should not be taller than 4'3”.

6. Miyake-Jima (Japan)

Miyake-Jima is one of the strangest cities in the world and is situated in Japan. Japan is a country known for frequent earthquakes and volcanoes. What makes the city strange is that, it is located just a few miles away from one of the densest populations in the world, but at the base of an active volcano. It is an island off the Japanese coast and is untouched by the tourists. The funny thing here is that people are less afraid of the volcanic eruptions and lava, but are more concerned about the sulfur gas which can frequently reach lethal levels. All the citizens need to carry gas masks all the time, since the sirens can be set off anytime on the island indicating fatal gas concentrations.

7. Manshiyat Naser (Egypt)

What better than to find a city that has extremely cheap housing, zero unemployment and extremely happy populace, right? Wait till you see the complete picture (to your right). Are you confused? If you are thinking I am out of my mind, this is the real picture of the city I am talking about. The city always looks like this. The entire society here is based purely around trash. Manshiyat Naser is a city right next to Cairo. It is also the city where Cairo dumps all its garbage. The city has zero running water, zero electricity and zero inherent infrastructure, but it has some permanent apartments, shops and streets. The populace here makes its living by sorting and recovering valuables from the refuse, and seems to be happy leading this life.

So, these are some of the strangest cities in the world, one can witness. Which ones do you think you can add to this list?


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    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      This is so fascinating. I never even heard of some of these places.

    • freecampingaussie profile image

      freecampingaussie 4 years ago from Southern Spain

      Interesting hub. Venice is the only one on your list I have visited & enjoyed exploring last week!

    • karthikkash profile image

      Karthik Kashyap 4 years ago from India

      sleepylog: LOL!! Thanks a lot for pointing that out. Corrected :)

    • sleepylog profile image

      Sleepylog 4 years ago from Australia

      That's 7 cities, hehe :)

    • karthikkash profile image

      Karthik Kashyap 4 years ago from India

      Claudia Tello : That is nice.. You should share your experience :)

    • Claudia Tello profile image

      Claudia Tello 4 years ago from Mexico

      Not too bad! I have been to 2 of the 6 cities you mention: Venice and Vienna. I'd love to visit the 4 remaining.

    • karthikkash profile image

      Karthik Kashyap 5 years ago from India

      thanks freecampingaussie :) did you see any ghosts there? ;)

    • freecampingaussie profile image

      freecampingaussie 5 years ago from Southern Spain

      I found this very interesting . I have only visited Venice out of this list so far & really enjoyed our time there .

    • karthikkash profile image

      Karthik Kashyap 5 years ago from India

      thanks mecheshier :)

    • mecheshier profile image

      mecheshier 5 years ago

      Nice Hub. Unique and inventive. Voted up for interesting. Thank you

    • karthikkash profile image

      Karthik Kashyap 5 years ago from India

      Deep Metaphysical: Colma definitely sounds like an interesting place. Thanks for sharing it :)

    • Deep Metaphysical profile image

      Deep Biswas 5 years ago from India

      I'd definitely like to visit Dwarf city and Manshiyat Naser. I'm also interested in visiting Colma, California. It is a necropolis. Apparently there are 2 million there living underground and only about 2000 people above. More than 70% of the land is cemeteries. Must have a pretty macabre environment at nights huh?! Great list by the way.

    • karthikkash profile image

      Karthik Kashyap 5 years ago from India

      thanks a lot zombiedamage :)

    • zombiedamage profile image

      zombiedamage 5 years ago

      i so love reading stuff like this. anything about the strange or paranormal is awesome. such a great job man i totally voted this up and cicked awesome.