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The world’s best cultural destinations you must visit in 2020

Today is the International Day for Tolerance, which teaches us all the importance of global tolerance and co-operation, and simultaneously warns us of the dangers that intolerance can bring. The best way to fight intolerance is to learn about other cultures. Visiting cultural destinations allows you to become fully immersed in a country’s cultures and customs.

Indeed, intolerance can lead to division, mistrust or even hatred between different countries and cultures, and it has been the catalyst for countless conflicts across history. Fortunately, there are ways we can avoid these dangers and instead build unity and tolerance. Increasing your understanding and appreciation of a variety of different cultures can massively improve your tolerance, as building knowledge defeats the negative effects of ignorance and mistrust. If you want to improve your tolerance and cultural understanding, here are some of the best cultural destinations to visit across the world:

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro is famous across the world for its huge, vibrant carnival, which is a must-see event for those interested in immersing themselves in culture and celebration. Of course, Rio de Janeiro is also famous for its Christ The Redeemer statue, which looks over the city from the top of Corcovado mountain, situated next to Sugarloaf mountain. Rio de Janeiro also boasts the iconic Copacabana and Ipanema beaches.

Athens, Greece

Regarded as the birthplace of Western civilisation, Ancient Greece is a fascinating topic to explore, and the preservation of ancient sites means that we are still able today to marvel at these cultural wonders. Democracy and the Olympic Games both began in Greece, and tourists can still visit the Panathenaic Stadium and, of course, the Parthenon—an ancient temple to Athena considered a symbol of democracy and of Ancient Greece itself.

Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo is an amazing mixture of new and old—a technologically advanced, almost futuristic-looking city with towering skyscrapers, which also offers tourists the chance to explore traditional Japanese temples like Zojoji Temple. Tokyo also has more Michelin-starred restaurants than any other city in the world, so this is truly the best place to sample authentic Japanese cuisine. Tourists mustn’t miss the opportunity to view Tokyo during the beautiful cherry blossom season in late March or early April.

Varanasi, India

Varanasi, known as the spiritual capital of India, is a site of holy pilgrimage for Hindus, situated next to the Ganges River. Varanasi, as a place of immense spiritual importance, contains many Hindu temples such as the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, one of the most famous Hindu temples dedicated to the god Shiva. Visitors to India will also not want to miss the chance to view the Taj Mahal in the city of Agra, considered one of the Wonders of the World.

Valley of the Kings, Egypt

The Valley of the Kings is well-known for being one of the best cultural destinations for tourists due to its cultural and historical significance. The Valley is located near Luxor, which surrounds the ruins of the ancient city of Thebes, and contains 63 tombs and chambers of ancient Egyptian pharaohs and other members of the nobility. Perhaps the most famous is the tomb of Tutankhamun, as the discovery of this tomb in 1922 led to the myth of a mummy’s curse. Tourists may also wish to see the Great Pyramids of Giza and the Museum of Antiquities in Cairo.

Machu Picchu, Peru

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Machu Picchu is a 15th century Inca citadel, which only became known to the outside world in 1911. It was abandoned roughly a century after it was built due to the Spanish conquest. Visitors to this fascinating site can undertake a scenic 5-day Inca Trail, where they can travel to the city on foot and enjoy the views of this breathtaking Inca city and the Sacred Valley below. 

Rome, Italy

Those interested in ancient cultures will also love Rome, as they can visit amazing sites such as the Roman Forum, the Trevi Fountain and the iconic Colosseum. Rome is also home to important religious sites as the Vatican City lies within it, containing world-famous buildings such as St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel. Rome, and other Italian cities such as Florence, are also known for their incredible architecture and art collections.

 Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul, known in the time of the Byzantine Empire as Constantinople, is the bridge between Europe and Asia, displaying an intriguing blend of cultures. Istanbul also showcases a blend of the old and the new with its medieval ruins and its modern-day markets and restaurants. Perhaps the most iconic building in Istanbul is the Hagia Sophia, once the largest building in the world at the time of its construction. The Hagia Sophia was originally an Eastern Orthodox cathedral, and became a mosque after the Ottoman Empire conquered the city in 1453. Today, it is a museum and immensely popular tourist site.

Where would you like to go on your next culture trip? Have you been inspired by any of these cultural destinations? Let us know in the comments!

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