They might not have all the flashy bells and whistles of the world’s top tourist destinations, but these ‘boring’ cities actually make for excellent travel destinations.

1. Geneva, Switzerland

Switzerland regularly tops polls for the best country to live in or the happiest country in the world. Yet for many travellers, the fact that it’s a great place to live doesn’t seem to translate into a great place to visit. Sure, a city that’s known for making watches and housing the UN doesn’t sound like it would be much fun, but we think it’s definitely worth a visit. First of all it’s beautiful, strung gently around the shores of Europe’s largest alpine lake. A multicultural population makes for friendly people and good dining, and the high-end shopping is among the best in the world (even if you can only afford the window variety).

2. Adelaide, South Australia

Poor Adelaide, always the butt of Australian jokes. People claim that it’s woefully backward, has no culture and is full of bogans. The mayor of Melbourne even said it has so little going for it that it should be shut down. We disagree. Adelaide is an elegant colonial capital surrounded by acres of lush parkland and gorgeous beaches, and it’s home to an emerging small bar scene to rival any other Australian city. Then you’ve got the incredible wineries of the Adelaide hills, which are reason enough to put this South Australian gem on your list.

3. Brussels, Belgium

A TripAdvisor survey found Brussels to be the most boring city in Europe and it’s a sentiment that most experts agree with. As the ‘capital of Europe’ and the seat of the EU, most people regard Brussels as a centre for boring political types and not travellers. Look beyond that though and you’ll find a fascinating city filled with hidden architectural marvels, a buzzing café scene and a contented population living a very good life. And then there’s all the delicious chocolate, waffles and beer you can eat. What’s not to love?

4. Toronto, Canada

Toronto has always been happy to accept its boringness and leave the flashy, good-time fame to cities like Vancouver or Montreal. Not anymore. The city has undergone enormous growth in recent years and has emerged as a prosperous, stylish, well-adjusted destination that that is emblematic of the ‘new Canada’.  Toronto is one of the country’s most multicultural cities, so you can eat and drink your way around the world, and the shopping is equally good. It’s Canada’s largest city, but still manages to be arguably the safest city in North America.

Image credit: Shutterstock

This article first appeared on Over60.