Looking for something different? From weird towns to unusual cities, we’ve got a unique travel bucket list just for you!
Planning your next overseas trip? Don’t just settle for the tried and true; there are plenty of extraordinary places off the beat and path that are sure to excite your imagination and lead to unforgettable experiences.
These places are not your typical tourist spots, but rather offer a unique and sometimes bizarre experience that will make your trip unforgettable. Whether it’s a town full of cats, a village built on stilts, or a city that celebrates Christmas year-round, there’s something for everyone – especially those who love eccentric travel. So, to help bring some novelty to your travel plans, we’ve found the most unusual and quirkiest towns around the world that you should add to your bucket list!
Coober Pedy, Australia
For some of the most unique towns in your world, you have to dig a little deeper to find out what makes them special. Grab your torches and explore Coober Pedy in Australia, a quirky underground town in the heart of the desert. Due to the scorching daytime heat, many of the inhabitants have taken underground, burrowing a labyrinth of underground houses, hotels and even shops. And for those after a little diamond in the rough, Coober Pedy has quickly become the opal capital of the world, with stunning opals of every shape and size being mined in these very caves. So take a journey to this iconic outback town at Coober Pedy for an unforgettable experience!
Photographed by retirementbonus. Image via Shutterstock.
On the Japanese island of Shikoku you can find a real-life valley of the dolls. When Japanese artist Tsukimi Ayano returned to her and found the once bustling town had been left almost abandoned, she decided to populate the town once again with life-size dolls of former residence. While less than 40 people currently live on the island town, there are 10 times as many dolls filling the streets, houses and shops. So while the town might be hanging by a thread, the puppet inhabitants have made Shikoku a town forever remembered.
Guten tag, Australia! If you’ve been aching to travel to Germany this year but can’t, don’t fret: this small town in Adelaide Hills is a mirror image of a storybook Germany we’re all craving. Settled by German Lutheran immigrants in 1838, Hahndorf boasts spectacular German architecture, along with traditional foods to tantalize any tastebuds. Only about 20 kilometres from Adelaide and a 20-hour flight from Berlin, this quirky town in South Australia is the perfect weekend getaway, with plenty of activities to enjoy for all ages!
Photographed by Bill Chizek. Image via Shutterstock.
Arguably one of the most famous towns in the world, the small desert town of Roswell has become a mecca for all things extraterrestrial. After the Roswell UFO incident in 1947, this rinky dink town became the centre of the universe, metaphorically speaking. Housing the International UGO Museum and Research Centre, the Roswell UFO Spacewalk, and even a UFO shaped McDonalds, Roswell has transformed itself into one of the best themed towns in the world. And with plenty of warm hospitality, you won’t feel like an alien at Roswell.
Photographed by Weiming Xie. Image via Shutterstock.
Thames Town, China
If imitation is the greatest form of flattery, then London should be blushing at Thames Town. A model replica of London, this quirky town in China captures the feel from where their name comes from, complete with cobbled streets, Edwardian town houses and, of course, red telephone boxes. Only 40 minutes from downtown Shanghai, this Little Britain may be a ‘ghost town’, but that shouldn’t stop you from marvelling at this Chinese copycat city in Thames Town!
Photographed by Sido Kagawa. Image via Shutterstock.
Calling all cat lovers, Aoshima is the ‘purr-fect’ way to experience a truly unique part of the world. Right off the coast of Hiroshima lies Aoshima, colloquially known as cat island. With only five residents currently living on this former fishing village, the town has become the sanctuary for hundreds of cats to meow, purr, and cause mischief for locals and tourists alike. Whether you want to see some cute kitties waltzing around or see a land trapped in time, make sure to ferry on over to Aoshima in Japan!
Photographed by Nagel Photography. Image via Shutterstock.
Slab City, USA
Walk on the wild side with a trip to Slab City in California. Like the state that calls this home, Slab City is a counter culture oasis of street art, artists, anarchists, and plenty of eccentrics who call this town home. What makes this town unique is the unconventional architecture and sculptures that dot this desert paradise: in particular is the Salvation Mountain, a hillside slab of street art, discarded tires and parts, and a truck load of adobe bricks that give it a trippy shape and colour. For a truly freeing trip, look no further than Slab City, one of the most unusual towns in the world.
Photographed by Vixit. Image via Shutterstock.
In northwest of Morocco sits the ‘blue’ jewel of the African nation. Commonly referred to as ‘Blue City’, Chefchaouen is famed for the various shades of blue that cover almost every town, wall, and hallway in this ancient city. While there are plenty of theories, even in Chefchaouen, there’s no denying that this is one of the most beautiful cities in the world that you won’t find anywhere else in the world. Bring a splash of colour to your travel with the Blue City in Morocco!
Photographed by fox_lei. Image via Shutterstock.
Dubbed the ‘Danish Capital of America’, Solvang is one of the most unusual and weirdest towns around the world. Located in America, here you’ll find windmills, folk era architecture, and even horse drawn carriages that make Solvang a true Danish treat right in the steamy heat of Southern California. And with yearly Danish cultural festivals, make a trip to Solvang for a unique blend of Denmark and Americana you have to visit ASAP.
If you’re looking for the most unusual cities in the world to avoid, then check out The Most Illegal and Forbidden Places to Visit in the World. Or book a night of luxury in the snow with The World’s 10 Most Beautiful and Luxurious Ski Chalets and Lodges.