‘Beautiful’ city in Spain named one of world’s top destinations

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A new study by Premier Inn looked at search data to find the destinations tourists are looking at most. The team excluded capital cities to find the world’s best “alternative capitals”. A gorgeous city in Spain took the top spot.

World’s best alternative capitals

  1. Malaga, Spain
  2. Venice, Italy
  3. San Francisco, USA
  4. Antalya, Turkey
  5. Brighton, UK
  6. Perth, Australia
  7. Hurghada, Egypt
  8. Porto, Portugal
  9. Antwerp, Belgium
  10. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Spain’s Malaga took the top spot on the list with nearly 500,000 annual searches on Google, according to Premier Inn.

The city’s Alcazaba fortress was its top rated attraction on Tripadvisor and is one of the best preserved alcazabas in Spain.

A traveller wrote on Tripadvisor: “The site was beautiful and interesting. Loads to see, and very impressive.

“The architecture was amazing. The views over Malaga were incredible. I loved this place. Well worth a visit.”

Tourists could also visit the city’s Cathedral or admire the art at its Picasso Museum. The famed artist was born in the city.

While Malaga is a top destination on its own, many tourists fly there to travel to one of the nearby Costa del Sol beach resorts.

Marbella is less than an hour’s drive from Malaga while British favourites, Fuengirola and Benalmadena are even closer.

The Costa del Sol coastline is regarded as one of Spain’s most beautiful beach regions and is very popular with Britons.

Venice was the second most searched destination and it’s not hard to see why so many tourists are drawn to the canal city.

This year, the city plans to introduce a new fee for daytrippers who will be charged to visit the Italian hotspot.

Tourists who stay overnight already pay a tourist tax and Venice is trying to combat overtourism.

San Francisco took the third spot and was the most searched for holiday destination in the USA.

Turkey’s Antalya came in fourth place and is a leading beach destination for British tourists in the summer.

Although flights to Turkey usually cost more than to Spain or Portugal, tourists will usually find everyday essentials such as food and drink to be much cheaper.

Brighton took the fifth spot and the highest position in the UK after London. The seaside destination has a lively nightlife scene and some of the country’s best fish and chips.

Hurghada, Perth, Porto, Antwerp and Rio de Janeiro also made the list, providing plenty of holiday inspiration for 2023.

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