It may be only a tenth the size of Dublin, but Ireland’s second-largest city offers such a wealth of arts, education, history, recreation and commerce that proponents score Cork City with a “perfect 10.” Situated on an “island” embraced by two channels of the River Lee, the city which originated on marshland (hence its Irish name, Coraigh, from corcach, meaning swamp) has transformed itself into a major metropolitan center.
The city took its name from Athena, goddess of wisdom, strategy and war, and protector of the city. The financial, political and administrative center of the country and an all-powerful city-state in antiquity, Athens is a major center of culture. A visit to the first-ever museum dedicated to Byzantium, a stroll around the National Garden and a trip to the Olympeion archaeological site will take you back through time.
By all appearances, Kuala Lumpur still is an affluent colonial crossroads on the trade routes between India and China. Its cultural diversity shows in every aspect of life here, from the Chinese and Indian cuisine that dominates the restaurant scene to the mix of Moorish, Tudor and Spanish building styles. The king of this largely Islamic country is a sultan; you still see the same selection of spices, textiles and tropical produce displayed here in the 7th century.