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Cities that live up to their history

  • Historical Cities
Article
Published last week

Though some may be seeking the biggest and most modern cities to relocate to, other expats are searching for a different kind of city life — one that allows them to step back in time. If you are looking for a city with an enticing past to discover, archaeological museums, and ancient ruins to wander around, look no further. We have put together some of the most historical cities, where you can experience the past while living in the now.

Athens, Greece

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Ancient Greece is one of the best-known ancient civilisations in Western Europe, and Athens certainly has evidence of Greece's intriguing past at every turn. It is the birthplace of democracy and ancient people in the region influenced the beginning of Western civilisation. While the city itself is certainly very liveable, the remnants of bygone history allow expats to immerse themselves in this formative ancient culture.

Lisbon, Portugal

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The Portuguese capital, Lisbon may not be the first city to spring to mind when thinking of historic cities, however it is the oldest in Western Europe. Its prime location as a port and trading post means civilisations have occupied the city for thousands of years, with recent discoveries continuing to evidence this longstanding history. With its Meditarranean climate and developed economy, it is a prime choice for expats looking for a historical home.

Prague, Czech Republic

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Prague has a historic role as a key central European city that continues to this day. Though now it is the capital of the Czech Republic, it was formerly the capital of Bohemia. The city's centre is rich with history, all overlooked by the Prague castle, whose construction (which began in the 800's) was only completed in the twentieth century. In addition to its engaging past, the city also boasts a developed economy and a growing expat community.

Plovdiv, Bulgaria

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Located in Bulgaria, Plovdiv has evidence of settlements from 6000 BC, and is now second in size only to the country's capital, Sofia. It has seen Byzantine, Roman, Ottoman and Russian occupation, and is home to a wealth of history from its different eras. Although it may not be a popular expat destination just yet, the city is home to an international airport and overall good infrastructure, with several multinational companies operaing in the city.

Beijing, China

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Beijing is the capital of modern day China, though there is evidence the area was inhabited by early humans over 200,000 years ago. The city has been a strategic position for Emperors throughout Chinese history, before becoming the capital of the Ming Dynasty, during which the famous Forbidden City was built. It also has a part of the Great Wall to the north, lining its more mountainous terrain. Expats wanting to be part of one of the world's leading economies in addition to exploring Chinese culture and history should consider Beijing.

Luoyang, China

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Also in China, but not quite so urbanised or popular with expats is the city of Luoyang, which is another of the country's four ancient capitals. A number of Chinese dynasties have established capitals or major cities here, including the country's only Empress. With ancient temples (including the first Buddhist temple in China) and museums documenting the region's history abound, the city is certainly a bit different to the usual expat destinations in China.

Varanasi, India

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The Indian city of Varanasi is located next to the Ganges in the state of Uttar Pradesh, and it is one of the more spiritually historic destinations featured here. It is one of the seven sacred cities of Hinduism and Jainism and nearby Sarnath is reputed to be where Buddha first taught the Buddhist Dharma. There is also the Hindu belief that the city itself was founded by Lord Shiva, with evidence that it was settled around four thousand years ago. Though not as economically developed as other cities in India, it certainly has a lot to offer the soul-searching expat.

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