These cities might by livable, wealthy or even pretty, but you will find neither thrill of vibrant metropolises, nor the excitement of bustling nightlife within their limits. In the boredom rankings they always occupy the top positions, despite the fact that many of them are the national capitals. What follows is seven of the world’s urban destinations which are, by our measure, pretty dull to travel to.
1. Brussels. Belgium.
[caption align="alignnone" width="616"]Brussels. By WaveCult[/caption]
If it weren’t for beer and chocolate, Brussels could really bore you to death. Labeled as the capital of the European Union, Brussels is a city of red tape and Eurocrats. Home to numerous international institutions and organizations such as the headquarters of the NATO, the European Commission and the European Parliament, Brussels has become an administrative centre of the continent, with more ambassadors, politicians, civil servants, journalists, and office workers than any other city in the world. Fortunately, Brussels’ gastronomic offer is quite impressive, with apparently around 2,000 restaurants and bars to cater for all tastes. So if you happen to be in the city, at least you have plenty to choose from to kill the time.
2. Houston. The USA.
[caption align="alignnone" width="616"]Houston. By telwink[/caption]
You really have to look hard if you want to find something interesting in Houston. This is a city of heat, humidity, shopping malls, highways and traffic-jams. Houston is the fourth largest city in the USA, the largest town in Texas and its climate is hardly bearable. Apparently, there are around 100 days a year when the temperature exceeds 90 °F (32 °C) and the humidity adds extra degrees to the temperature. So, while in the city, you have no choice but to spend most of your time in air-conditioned buildings. Thanks to its huge energy industry, the city has become a playground for national and international giants. How romantic…
3. Zurich. Switzerland.
[caption align="alignnone" width="616"]Stock Exchange in Zurich. By Toni V[/caption]
According to the readers of Trip Advisor, Zurich, Switzerland, comes second (after Brussels) in the race for the dullest city on the European continent. The financial hub of the country and the whole Europe, Zurich is home to corporations, banking giants as well as one of the world’s biggest stock exchange, and it is often called the Singapore of Europe. Despite the fact that this Swiss metropolis has been cited as the city with the best quality of life and the wealthiest city in Europe, it is hardly a fascinating place to visit. Put into apple-pie order, Zurich is simply too sterile and predictable.
[caption align="alignnone" width="616"]Singapore’s cityscape. By williamcho[/caption]
When it comes to Singapore, the opinions are divided. Some people absolutely love the city’s spotlessness, others would say there’s nothing to do there besides shopping and eating. Singapore, an island, a city, and a state in one, is inhabited by 5 million people of which 36% are foreigners. Thanks to its business-friendly economy that attracts millions of expatriates, great shopping opportunities and favorable location (important transportation hub), Singapore receives around 7 million tourists a year. Cleanliness, organized lifestyle and super low crime rates have earned the city-state a funny moniker: the Asia for beginners. Still, if you are searching for the ultimate Asian city adventure, you’d be better off heading for Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo or Bangkok.
5. Bratislava. Slovakia.[caption align="alignnone" width="616"]Bratislava’s panorama. By Eole[/caption]
The tiny capital city of tiny Slovakia, Bratislava has only 400,000 residents, ten square kilometers of the city center and only about 40 hotels to be found in the entire metropolis. In comparison to other Central and Eastern European cities such as vibrant Cracow in Poland, stunning Prague in the Czech Republic or fascinating Budapest in Hungary, from a tourist’s point of view, Bratislava does not have much to offer. As far as architecture goes, the city (except in the very downtown) is nothing but 9-storey apartment blocks, so literally half a day would be enough to stroll around the historic center. The city’s cultural offer and a nightlife scene are also quite limited – thanks God, Vienna is less than 60 km away.
6. Wellington. New Zealand.
[caption align="alignnone" width="616"]Wellington. By greendott[/caption]
Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, known for being the windiest city in the country, is a medium-sized town of about 400,000 inhabitants. Although its natural setting is quite impressive as the city is surrounded by a pretty harbor and lush green hills, its attractiveness as an urban tourist destination is open to doubt. While Wellingtoners could argue all day long for Wellington’s superiority over Auckland and other cities of the region, the truth is that New Zealand’s capital is far from appealing. So, while in New Zealand, you’d better stay focused on nature (which is absolutely stunning, by the way) and for a vibrant city life choose Sydney or Melbourne instead.
7. Oslo. Norway.
[caption align="alignnone" width="616"]Oslo. By Vinje[/caption]
Unless you are an avid cyclist, hiker or museum buff, the boredom may hit your senses quite quickly in Oslo. Inhabited by around 600,000 people, the capital city of Norway might be good for outdoor activists, but travelers looking for an active city life will get disappointed. Moreover, Oslo is one of the most expensive capitals in the world so killing time in the city will be certainly disastrous to your wallet. Scandinavian reserved and cold manner, the country’s geographical isolation from the rest of Europe, rather dull urban architecture, and depressing lack of daylight for fairly six months a year may make you want to leave the town sooner than you expect.