Special Report

25 Tiny Cities Around the World

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11. Hamilton, Bermuda
> Population: 854 (2016)
> Area: 0.27 square miles

Founded in 1793, Hamilton was named Bermuda’s capital in 1815, and despite its modest size, it was officially designated a city in 1897. A popular cruise ship destination, which accounts in part for the many shops that line its streets, Hamilton is also the restaurant and nightlife (such as it is) hub of Bermuda. Several small parks and museums are added attractions.

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12. Kastoriá, Greece
> Population: 13,387 (2011)
> Area: 22.12 square miles

Located in far northern Greece, in the region of West Macedonia, Kastoriá has been a center of the fur garment industry since the Byzantine Era. The fur trade in the city is waning now, though, as demand for the furs from Kastoriá’s best customer, Russia, has declined. The city, which curves around tranquil Lake Orestiada, is home to more than 60 Byzantine and post-Byzantine churches and other structures.

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13. Kuressaare, Estonia
> Population: 13,276 (2018)
> Area: 5.98 square miles

Formerly called Arensburg, and known during the Soviet era as Kingissepa, Kuressaare became a city in 1563 when it was under Danish rule. A spa resort was established there in 1840, and others followed. Kuressaare remains known for its therapeutic mud baths and its mineral water, and it was named a Healthy City by the World Health Organization in 1998. The city is also near numerous national parks and nature preserves.

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14. Miranda do Douro, Portugal
> Population: 2,085 (2011)
> Area: 1.35 square miles

A fortified city overlooking Portugal’s great wine river, the Douro, Miranda was given outsized importance in 1545 when Catholic authorities created a diocese there. The cathedral, which was begun seven years later and finished in the early 17th century, is one of the city’s main attractions, and views of the river and the surrounding landscape from the city walls are spectacular.

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15. Montpelier (Vermont), U.S.A.
> Population: 7,662 (2016)
> Area: 10.27 square miles

The smallest state capital in the U.S. (Vermont’s largest city, Burlington, is more than five times its size), Montpelier was chosen as capital in 1805 for its central location and road access. It grew quickly after the railroad came to town in the mid-19th century, but growth slowed subsequently. Its 450-building Historic District demonstrates a variety of architectural styles from the 1800s, and the more modern downtown is full of shops and places to eat and drink.