The best cities in the world to explore
What’s the best city in the world? Having quizzed thousands of Cities, we have selected for you 115 cities – from Singapore to San Francisco and Melbourne to Madrid – on criteria such as food, drink, culture, friendliness, affordability, happiness and livability. Look at our selection of the most exciting cities in the world to visit.
Captivating culture, breath-taking luxury, exhilarating adventure and the warmth of Arabian hospitality await you in Abu Dhabi.
Dine at an 18 degrees incline in the world’s furthest leaning tower, savour a romantic BBQ at Emirates Palace, one of the world’s most opulent hotels, enjoy 360 degree city views from revolving restaurants or taste the masterful cuisine of Michelin-starred chefs!
Abu Dhabi is an eventful capital with an action-packed calendar, including a Grand Prix, the World Cup of Sailing, a PGA golf championship, international art, music, sport, gourmet, heritage and cultural festivals, high profile business conferences and vibrant trade fairs.
One of India’s most popular tourist destinations, Agra holds an important place in history as it is home to many architectural wonders from the Mughal era. Each famous site has a story of its own that both tour guides and locals love to talk about. To truly experience Agra like a local as well as a tourist, we have put together a guide to eight famous places everyone should consider having on their travel itineraries.
People from all around the world may not have heard of Agra, but everyone knows the beautiful ivory white-marble mausoleum, Taj Mahal, as the icon of love. This wonder of the world is the perfect example of the intricacy and brilliance of Persian and Mughal architecture. It was constructed by Emperor Shah Jahan, in memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Today, the Taj Mahal is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it continues to hold the same magical appeal, attracting approximately eight million tourists a year. Viewing of the Taj Mahal is usually from sunrise to sunset, except Fridays. Night viewing of the Taj Mahal is only allowed on five nights of the month: the night of the full moon and two days before and after.
As Middle Eastern cities go, Amman is a relative youth, being mostly a creation of the 20th century. But though it lacks the storied history and thrilling architectural tapestry of other regional capitals, there’s plenty here to encourage you to linger awhile before making for Petra, the Dead Sea or Wadi Rum. In fact, Amman is one of the easiest cities in which to enjoy the Middle East experience.
Downtown Amman is a must-see. At the bottom of the city’s many hills and overlooked by the magisterial Citadel, it features spectacular Roman ruins, an international-standard museum and the hubbub of mosques, souqs and coffeehouses that are central to Jordanian life.
Elsewhere, urbane western Amman has leafy residential districts, cafes, bars, modern malls and art galleries; and in earthy eastern Amman, it’s easy to sense the more traditional and conservative pulse of the capital.
It’s easy to see Amsterdam as one big village crossed by canals and footbridges, colourful flower markets, and bike paths, but that’s only until you visit its art galleries, see the best of Dutch design, and experience its extravagant nightlife – then you conclude that this is in fact a big world-class city.
While the first images it brings to mind may be the sex and drugs of its famous red light district, this is also the city of elegant Canalside architecture, relaxed cafés, and a live-and-let-live attitude to pretty much anything. Between visiting its art treasures, dedicate most of your time to simply hanging out and absorbing the city’s vibrant, welcoming spirit.
Almost everyone have heard of this tiny country locked between France and Spain, but how much do you really know about Andorra? Around 10 million people visit Andorra each year, so why shouldn’t you?
Being a mountainous country for the most of its part, it’s only natural to expect very well developed skiing tourism in Andorra. The largest ski resort in Andorra is Grandvalira and it boasts 128 slopes of all levels, from those for beginners to steep and challenging slopes for ski experts. Just to give you an impression of how big actually is this area, there are almost 210 kilometres of ski runs in total, three freestyle snowparks (including a night snowpark, the only one in the Pyrenees) and 6 ski school centres with more than 400 instructors. Children will be amazed with themed ski areas – Mont Magic, Bababoom Circus and Circuit Imaginarium. The Vallnord ski area is much smaller than Grandvalira, but it still offers a lot of top-notch ski runs, high-speed ski lifts and it has excellent summer programme with numerous outdoor activities.
The heart of the Turkish Republic, Ankara, is the second largest city of Turkey after Istanbul. The city genuinely lies on the border where east meets west.
The European influences combined with the ones of the Middle East have coloured the architecture, food, wine, nightlife, fashion and arts.
The two cultures have merged to build a city with a unique identity. By dropping anchor in Ankara, as its name suggests, you are crossing the border of history.
Antananarivo, as the capital is universally known, is all about eating, shopping, history and day trips. The town centre itself, with its pollution and dreadful traffic, puts off many travellers from staying, but bypassing the capital altogether would be a mistake: Tana has been the home of Malagasy power for three centuries and there is a huge amount of history and culture to discover, as well as some unexpected wildlife options.
In the city itself, the Haute-Ville, with its beautiful colonial buildings, steep streets and cool climate (average altitude in Tana is 1400m), is a great place to wander about. There are also some excellent markets and shops that stock products and crafts from across the country at very competitive prices. Finally, Tana is the place in Madagascar to treat yourself to a fine meal: some establishments rival Europe’s Michelin-starred restaurants, but without the price tag.
Antwerp is the most fashionable city in Belgium. It is popular with fashionistas, clubbers, art lovers and diamond dealers. It is also one of the largest ports in Europe.
The Gothic cathedral of Notre-Dame still has the highest spire of the Netherlands as well as several beautiful triptychs painted by Rubens. You can visit the beautifully restored Rubens workshop and its tomb which is in the Gothic Church of St. James. If you like Art, go to the Royal Museum of Antwerp.
Athens, of course, are extraordinary monuments, museums with exceptional collections, fruits of a history that skips the millennia.
It is also a bubbling, popular atmosphere, both Mediterranean and European, as singular as it is typical of today’s capitals.
Athens is a city with multiple identities, each neighborhood brings its tone
With gleaming skyscrapers toying with an imbroglio of stilted huts, urban highways suspended above buildings and huge air-conditioned shopping malls that are close to street kitchen trailers, Bangkok is immediately becoming a pluralistic city.
A kaleidoscope of colors and smells, Bangkok, the City of Angels, vibrates with a human tide that sows its gaiety against the backdrop of glittering temples and small shops with shouting neon lights.
In Bangkok, bus-boats sputter their diesel, rusty barges weighed down by merchandise slide slowly on the river, and from time to time bridges, interchanges, the trains of a high-tech skytrain in the shade of which small hands weave freshly cut flowers … It honks, it fizzles, it goes through the nails … Bangkok has no limit …
If dawn marks the hour of recollection and visits to the Buddha at night, it offers the traveler rooftops and neighborhoods not always very wise. During the day, there are canals, markets, shopping, temple visits … and certainly one of the best cuisines in the world at low prices!
Becoming one of the first tourist destinations in Spain, Catalonia has found the recipe to please the greatest number: a history among the oldest in Europe, a capital, Barcelona, ”The City of Prodigies”, and a hinterland full of charm to forget the crowded beaches of the Costa Brava.
The breathtaking array of artistic treasures, ranging from the delightful Romanesque churches to the biggest names in modern art and architecture – Dali, Gaudi, Miró, Picasso – is also important.
Outspoken, adventurous, proud and audacious: Belgrade (‘White City’) is by no means a ‘pretty’ capital, but its gritty exuberance makes it one of Europe’s most happening cities. While it hurtles towards a brighter future, its chaotic past unfolds before your eyes: socialist blocks are squeezed between art-nouveau masterpieces, and remnants of the Habsburg legacy contrast with Ottoman relics and Socialist Modernist monoliths. This is where the Sava and Danube Rivers kiss, an old-world culture that at once evokes time-capsuled communist-era Yugoslavia and new-world, EU-contending cradle of cool.
Grandiose coffee houses and smoky dives pepper Knez Mihailova, a lively pedestrian boulevard flanked by historical buildings all the way to the ancient Belgrade Fortress. The riverside Savamala quarter has gone from ruin to resurrection, and is the city’s creative headquarters (for now). Deeper in Belgrade’s bowels are museums guarding the cultural, religious and military heritage of the country.
We do not go to Berlin for its architectural heritage: the city does not have much to offer in terms of monuments, except the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichtag or Charlottenburg Castle … But the city makes up for it with its many museums: the Pergamon Museum on the Museum Island, Check Point Charlie, the Jewish Museum, etc.
Berlin remains a capital where one stays above all for its atmosphere: art galleries, theaters, concerts and artistic squats are everywhere in the capital and give it a great cultural dimension.
The bars of the capital seem to compete with imagination to offer an original setting and an incomparable spirit of relaxation: the nightlife of Berlin remains one of its great assets, because the Berliners do not pretend to party. We are unleashed in Berlin clubs, usually until the early morning, sometimes even all day!
10 must-haves from Berlin
Since its reunification, Berlin has become a hotspot for culture in Europe. The city alone has more than 180 museums, 300 galleries and 150 theaters. Very dynamic the city hosts every year many exhibitions. For night owls, its eclectic parties will keep you awake until the early morning.
Wandering through the picture-postcard, Unesco World Heritage–listed Old Town, with its provincial, laid-back air, it’s hard to believe that Bern is the capital of Switzerland.
Bern’s flag-festooned, cobbled centre, rebuilt in distinctive grey-green sandstone after a devastating 1405 fire, is an aesthetic delight, with 6km of covered arcades, cellar shops and bars, and fantastical folk figures frolicking on 16th-century fountains. From the surrounding hills, you’re presented with an equally captivating picture of red roofs arrayed on a spit of land within a bend of the Aare River.
In a nutshell, Bern seduces and surprises at every turn. Its museums are excellent, its drinking scene dynamic and its locals happy to switch from their famously lilting dialect to textbook French, High German or English – which all goes to show that there’s more to Bern than bureaucracy.
If you’re looking for the real East-meets-West so talked about in the Middle East, you need look no further than Beirut. Fast-paced, fashion-conscious and overwhelmingly friendly, it’s not a relaxing city to spend time in – it’s too crowded, polluted and chaotic for that – but its energy, soul, diversity and intoxicating atmosphere make it a vital, addictive city.
A couple of excellent museums are the key sights, but exploring the character of the different districts, strolling the waterfront and diving into the city’s wonderful restaurant and nightlife scene are major attractions. As Lebanon is so small, and day trips easy, some travellers base themselves here for their entire visit.
Perched on a high Andean plateau at 2,640 m above sea level, the largest city in Colombia is the third highest capital in the world, after La Paz (Bolivia) and Quito (Ecuador). An important economic and cultural center, a prominent university town, it has an eclectic face where ultramodern buildings sit side by side with colonial vestiges. Its chaotic circulation contrasts with the tranquility of its residential neighborhoods and the luxuriance of its parks and the slopes of its cordillera.The city offers many possibilities for outings: historic districts, museums, architecture, shopping (crafts, shopping centers, flea markets ), restaurants, hotels, spa, thematic city-tours … We invite you to discover this city of contrasts, letting yourself be captivated by the hectic pace of the busetas, the picturesque atmosphere of the market of Paloquemao, or by the bohemian atmosphere of the Candelaria, the colonial district. Among the city’s major museums are the Gold Museum, the Botero Museum and the recent Emerald Museum. Near the city, and still in the department of Cundinamarca, we recommend to stop at the salt mines of Nemocon, and the salt cathedral of Zipaquira. For nature lovers and hikers, we recommend you to go to the Guatavita Lagoon cradle of the legend of El Dorado, the national parks of Chingaza and Chicaque, or the days discovered through lagoons and paramos.
Bordeaux can be an excellent destination for a weekend, but we will always be wise to plan more … the desire will come quickly to discover the surroundings of the city, the famous wine region of Bordeaux. For whoever speaks of Bordeaux inevitably speaks of wine! A pleasure in itself when visiting the city: the cellars are numerous and the possibilities to dig up a good little wine at an unbeatable price multiplied. Bordeaux wine will also be appreciated in restaurants, bistros and tapas bars in the city center, when it accompanies some good Southwestern specialties.
The city is beautiful, from St. Andrew’s Cathedral to St. Catherine Street, through the Place des Quinconces. Monuments, streets and squares testify to the past and present wealth of Bordeaux. A good part of the city is even listed as World Heritage by UNESCO! Do not miss the visit of the Aquitaine Museum or the Museum of Fine Arts, according to taste. The shops, shops and cafe terraces are numerous, giving all its animation in the city center: the days are pleasant!
Located in central Brazil, is unique in the world for its futuristic architecture. It is the largest open-air museum in the world! 112 km² of modern art accessible free to visitors. As a result of urban planning far ahead of its time, sometimes referred to as “futuristic”, Brasilia displays monuments with clean lines, where art blends with architecture. What earned this new city built ex nihilo in three years and ten months to be listed as World Heritage by Unesco in 1987. Many architects have participated in the creation of Brasilia, but we retain especially the names of the town planner Lucio Costa (for the contours of an avant-garde urban plan) and Oscar Niemeyer (for the main monuments), influenced by the French architect Le Corbusier.
That will make your stay in Bratislava a mine of discoveries. Its provincial side distils a certain charm and its nightlife draws the night owls from all over Europe. Its baroque town center, its treasures of Gothic art, its old cafes huddled around its castle overlooking the Danube are an ideal place to walk, as are its large parks.
Exclusive shops, chain store, small markets, you will find everything to satisfy your shopping needs in Bratislava. The most popular market is Mileticova Street; the clothes are very affordable and quality. From Bratislava, you can easily travel to Vienna or Moravia, the opportunity to visit Devin Castle, traditional place for a walk for the inhabitants of the Slovak capital.
Located in the north of Flanders at the crossroads, Bruges became a commercial capital in the 12th century. Its richness made it beautiful and its historic center is today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Churches, civil monuments, houses were built around its numerous canals, which give it its nickname of Venice of the North. Bruges is famous for being the cradle of Flemish painting, for the production of sheets and lace and for the festivities celebrated on Ascension Day with the procession of Saint-San.
Located close to Brussels, Bruges deserves a stop. Although smaller than Brussels, it is also home to canals crisscrossed by river shuttles, parks and bike lanes, bustling markets, avant-garde fashion boutiques, and museums filled with works of art. internationally renowned artists. All these attractions should not forget the beer and chocolate, among the most famous in the world … Can not mention Belgium without talking about gastronomy.
Brussels in its entirety is extensive but has nothing of an urban monster: the historical center for the most part is pedestrian, the city can be visited on foot, unless you take the bus and tram to discover other neighborhoods friendly like the Sablon, the Royal Palace, the Marolles or Ixelles.
To the north, the famous Atomium offers a breathtaking view of the city.
Choosing a hotel on the outskirts of the center is not a problem: you can easily get around Brussels, but with the European institutions it is home to, the capital attracts a lot of people and the hotel rooms can easily be booked by a number of people. ‘case.
If one is not disoriented by the language (but by the Walloon accent, if!), It is by the good ambient mood lavished by the inhabitants: Brussels knows how to be nice and jovial, in the streets around the Big Place, in the many breweries downtown or in its bars, where the beer flows! We always feel well received, provided of course to know how to remain patient after his order: we still know how to take his time in Brussels.
A simple walk is enough to soak up the charm of the Romanian capital: French-style early 20th-century palaces, porches surmounted by shell-shaped marquises, remains of medieval churches, blocks of concrete buildings dating back to the brutal reconstruction begun under the Ceauşescu regime or ultra-modern office complexes, the mix of architectural styles seems strangely abolish time.
Bucharest is home to some of the finest museums in the country, including the Romanian Peasant Museum and the National Museum of Contemporary Art at the Palace of Parliament.
In terms of cuisine, Hungarian cuisine is not reduced to goulash! It is one of the most elaborate in Europe: after a period of eclipse under communism, the chefs from Budapest have been able to return to service. Just like the Hungarian wines, which have long since gained worldwide renown, from robust reds from Villány to honey-colored tokaj, not to mention Somló whites with a pronounced taste of mineral acid.Finally, since ancient times, we come to Budapest to “take the waters”.
There are in fact 123 springs of thermal water and over 400 of mineral water. The Roman baths have succeeded Ottoman baths, Art Nouveau thermal baths or modern spa where relaxation and conviviality disputed it largely to the care that some come there to appease their pains. In any case, here is the best remedy in the world for what the Hungarians call macskajaj (hangover)!
Buenos Aires combines faded European grandeur with Latin passion. Sexy and alive, this beautiful city gets under your skin. BA’s food scene is increasingly dynamic, but for many travelers it’s the city’s carnivorous pleasures that shine. Satisfying a craving for juicy steaks isn’t hard to do in the land that has perfected grilling wonderfully flavorful sides of beef, washed down with a generous glass of malbec or bonarda. Parrillas (steakhouses) sit on practically every corner and will offer up myriad cuts, from bife de chorizo (sirloin) to vacio (flank steak) to ojo de bife (rib eye). But leave room for ice cream, if you can – a late-night cone of dulce de leche (caramel) helado can’t be topped. This city is beautiful. Sure, it might look like a concrete jungle from certain angles, but stroll through the streets, paying attention to the magnificent architecture around you, and you’ll soon be won over. Grand French- and Italian-style palaces grab the limelight, but you’ll see interesting architectural details in the buildings of even low-key, local barrios. These days the beauty of these traditional neighborhoods is further enhanced by colorful murals painted by artists involved in the city’s vibrant street-art scene. For these talented individuals, the city is their canvas. BA’s famous dance is possibly the city’s greatest contribution to the outside world, a steamy strut that’s been described as ‘making love in the vertical position’. Folklore says it began in the bordellos of long-ago Buenos Aires, when men waiting for their ‘ladies’ passed time by dancing among themselves.
Cairo is chaos at its most magnificent, infuriating and beautiful. From above, the distorted roar of the muezzins’ call to prayer echoes out from duelling minarets. Below, car horns bellow tuneless symphonies amid avenues of faded 19th-century grandeur while donkey carts rattle down dusty lanes lined with colossal Fatimid and Mamluk monuments.
This mega-city’s constant buzz and noise is a product of its 22-or-so million inhabitants simultaneously crushing Cairo’s infrastructure under their collective weight and lifting its spirits up with their exceptional humour. Your nerves will jangle, your snot will run black from the smog and touts will hound you at every turn, but it’s a small price to pay to tap into the energy of the place Egyptians call Umm Ad Dunya – the Mother of the World.
Blow your nose, crack a joke and look through the dirt to see the city’s true colours. If you love Cairo, it will definitely love you back.
Sheltered in a bay with large sandy beaches, Cape Town, the parliamentary capital of South Africa, occupies the extreme south-west of Africa, at the foot of Table Mountain. Neighborhoods change and beautify as the city grows, taking advantage of its multicultural footprint to offer a wide variety of activities. With its many outdoor recreation and museums devoted to art and history, Cape Town, a mixed city, will leave you with a powerful memory. The “grachts” – Buitengracht, Heerengracht, Keizersgracht – all sit above what were once freshwater canals, running from the mountain to the sea (gracht is the Dutch word for canal). The early Dutch-era street grid has been overlaid with later Victorian structures, and there are clusters of 20th-century brutal modernist buildings pointing towards the Foreshore (which is built on land reclaimed from the sea). Long Street has an assortment of bars, clubs, backpackers’ lodges, shops and restaurants. Just two blocks up, Bree Street, particularly between Buitensingel and Strand, is a little less frenetic and much more stylish. And there are hundreds of other little spots to be discovered, not just on the trio of Long, Bree and Loop Streets, but in the side alleys in between.
The second city of Sicily strikes by the youth of its inhabitants, especially at the time of the “passeggiata”. The imposing silhouette of Etna is almost forgotten, as is the inexhaustible late Baroque architectural heritage that earned Catania’s World Heritage status. The birthplace of Vincenzo Bellini and Giovanni Verga is one of the most attractive cities in Sicily
Warm, harmonious but tranquil, Copenhagen proves that one can be capital – royal more – while preserving a certain lifestyle. Easy to discover on foot and by bike, rich in museums, castles and palaces, the city of “Little Mermaid” is even more charming on sunny days, when parks and gardens resound with festivals of all kinds, and that a short train ride to the beautiful beaches of the Danish Riviera
Copenhagen is the most cosmopolitan and most accessible of all Scandinavian capitals. An urban haven of peace, culture and conviviality, it is home to interesting museums, art galleries, unique monuments, as well as countless ancient streets and charming neighborhoods where eco-friendly experiences can be found. make it one of the greenest cties in the world!
You can walk through it in the morning, or get around quickly thanks to the excellent metro and bus network. Another option: spend an hour traveling through neighborhoods like Ravnsborggade or Elmegade, or an afternoon meeting locals in a pleasant cafe.
Wander the fabulously atmospheric Souq Waqif, wonder at the sheer beauty of the world-class Museum of Islamic Art and its exhibits or head to Katara to explore Doha’s art culture.
Wherever you look, Doha is threatening to eclipse Dubai has the most dynamic city. 2022 FIFA World Cup on the horizon, and even against the Gulf-Qatar diplomatic crisis, chances are Doha is going to come out on top.
With futuristic buildings emerging from the desert, artificial islands under construction, ever-growing malls, state-of-the-art luxury hotels, and more crazy projects than ever before, Dubai embodies the new Arab dream in its own way. Island of modernity in the heart of the Arabian Peninsula, crossroads between East and West, the second largest emirate of the United Arab Emirates plays the card of excess on the world tourist scene. Formerly a barren desert inhabited by Bedouins and a small fishing port known for its pearls, the Emirate of Dubai, today in full economic and real estate boom, became at the turn of the 21st century one of the most dynamic countries on the planet . Oil money flows here, causing a spectacular development. Dubai is the city of superlatives and a thousand and one follies, where everything seems possible. Architects, decorators and contractors from all over the world are having a blast: a desert ski resort, endless restaurants, the world’s tallest tower, artificial planet-like islands, underwater hotel immersed in the open sea sides… In permanent construction, full of energy, Dubai seems to never stop. The stated goal is to become tomorrow’s Hong Kong Arab with Las Vegas glitz. Sunny all year, located between the desert and the warm sea of the Arabian Gulf, Dubai is appreciated for its sandy beaches, its winter sun and 4×4 trips in the sand dunes.
Catholic and Protestant, Celtic and Classical, Dublin cultivates paradoxes. We do not visit this capital, sparkling like the foam of a Guinness, but we experiment, and with great pleasure.
Take the city by any end and let yourself be guided by the mischievous mood of a city full of contrasts – elegant classicism or exuberant wealth of illuminated manuscripts, Neolithic jewels in gold or simplicity of certain neighborhoods, secular or common traditions Dublin, capital of Ireland, is located on the east coast of Ireland at the mouth of the Liffey River.
Historical landmarks include the 13th-century Dublin Castle and the imposing St. Patrick’s Cathedral, founded in 1191. The city’s green spaces include St Stephen’s Green Landscape Park and the huge Phoenix Park, home to Dublin Zoo. The National Museum of Ireland highlights Irish culture and heritage.
Michelangelo and Machiavelli, Donatello and Dante, the Renaissance and romance are felt in every corner of Florence. A showcase of art and architecture, it’s one of the world’s greatest artistic capitals, with statues, sculptures, historic churches and palaces adorning the streets. But this is not an austere historical city stopped in time. Alongside the art galleries and beautiful piazzas are fine boutiques, designer shops, and lively cafés.
The remarkable heritage and extraordinary art are the mains draws for its visitors, but as one of the most aesthetically-pleasing cities in Europe, it’s the views from its bridges and street life that are likely to stand out in your memory when you leave.
Like the swans that frolic on its eponymous Alpine lake (Europe’s largest), Geneva (Genève) is a rare bird. Constantly perceived as the Swiss capital (it isn’t), Switzerland’s second-largest city is slick and cosmopolitan, and its people chatter in almost every language among streets paved by gold.
The headquarters of the World Trade Organization, World Health Organization, International Committee of the Red Cross, the second-largest branches of the United Nations and World Bank (among some 200-odd international organisations, including not-for-profits) are here, along with the overload of luxury hotels, boutiques, jewellers, restaurants and chocolatiers accompanying them.
Beneath this flawless exterior, lies a fascinating rough-cut diamond, peopled by artists and activists educated in international schools, drifters and denizens. Geneva’s counterculture dwells in Les Grottes, the Quartier des Pâquis and along the post-industrial Rhône where neighbourhood bars hum with attitude and energy. This is the Geneva of the ‘real’ Genevois…or as close as you’ll get to it.
In the old town, bustling with activity in the comings and goings of motorcycles and pedestrians, hawkers wearing conical hats praising their merchandise rub shoulders with city dwellers seated in front of a café or bia hoi (beer).
On the shores of Hoan Kiem Lake, at dawn, there is the age-old ballet of tai chi followers, while venerable age-olds ponder their next chess match.
In Lenin Park, the youth engaged in the Communist Party do military exercises; a few hundred meters away, trendy young people linger in cosmopolitan restaurants or bars.
On first impressions, Havana can seem like a confusing jigsaw puzzle, but work out how to put the pieces together and a beautiful picture emerges. No one could have invented Havana. It’s too audacious, too contradictory, and – despite 50 years of withering neglect – too damned beautiful. How it does it is anyone’s guess. Maybe it’s the swashbuckling history still almost perceptible in atmospheric colonial streets; the survivalist spirit of a populace scarred by two independence wars, a revolution and a US trade embargo; or the indefatigable salsa energy that ricochets off walls and emanates most emphatically from the people. Don’t come here with a long list of questions. Just arrive with an open mind and prepare for a long, slow seduction. It may not be like Paris’ or New York’s quite yet, but the art culture in Havana is currently one of the city’s biggest surprises. The creativity is nothing new. Cuban artists have been quietly challenging cultural elites ever since native-born José Nicolás de la Escalera started painting black slaves in the 18th century. Today the work of Escalera and others is splendidly displayed in the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. Meanwhile, a newer, racier crew congregates for electrifying ‘happenings’ at the Fábrica de Arte Cubano, the vortex of Havana’s contemporary art scene. Havana is going through an interesting stage at present. Private enterprise is showing the first flowerings of a creative spring, while the big-name brands from that well-known ‘frenemy’ in the north have yet to gain a foothold. As a result, the city is rife with experimentation. Here a dandy cafe decked out like a bohemian artist’s lair, there a trancey lounge bar where earnest travelers sit around comparing Che Guevara T-shirts. Maybe it’s something they put in the mojitos, but the face of Cuban cafe culture has never looked so good.
Entwined with the Baltic’s bays, inlets and islands, Helsinki’s boulevards and backstreets overflow with magnificent architecture, intriguing drinking and dining venues and groundbreaking design. Finland is famed for its streamlined, functional, stylish design. In the 20th century, pioneers such as Alvar and Aino Aalto cemented its reputation, and the capital remains the country’s creative hub. Helsinki’s design scene is one of the most electrifying in the world today, and a major influence across the globe. Boutiques, workshops and galleries filled with glassware, lighting, textiles and innovative homewares proliferate in the Design District just south of the centre in Punavuori, which is home to Helsinki’s superb Design Museum, and throughout the city, from its thoroughfares to repurposed industrial spaces. Locally sourced, seasonal, sustainably farmed and foraged ingredients might be red-hot worldwide trends today, but in Finland they have long been a way of life. Wildlife such as reindeer, elk, bear and snow grouse, along with shoals of fish such as salmon and freshwater arctic char, find their way onto plates here, together with forest mushrooms, bushels of berries, including lingonberries and prized cloudberries, herbs and specialities such as tar. Finnish flavours can be found all over Helsinki, from a historic kauppahalli (covered market) to venerable restaurants, creative bistros and Michelin-starred gastronomy labs, in addition to international cuisines.
Once past this wave of sensations, only one solution: in this city of business, opportunities and circles, the best is to swim in the direction of the current.
You will soon learn that “Hong Kong Dynamics” is the measure of who knows how to seize the opportunities head-to-body, taste the incredible, consume the urge.
This destination will also delight travellers willing to visit temples and fortified villages, or to walk the beaches battered by the waves, away from neon lights, crowds and asphalt. Hong Kong is intoxicating, spectacular, exotic but accessible.
Sumptuous monuments and buildings dating back to Byzantine or Ottoman times dot each quarter – the choice of Istanbul as the European Capital of Culture in 2010 was the occasion for well-thought-out and well-deserved restorations.
The contemporary city is no less varied. Your strolls will take you from a traditional Turkish meyhane (tavern) resounding with family reunions to a refined rooftop bar / restaurant, where dynamic young executives enjoy new cuisine, and a cay bahçesi (tea garden). ) where respectable Anatolians shoot at their narghiles at an international brand where customers wearing scarves come to sip their mocha latte (cappuccino).
Experience Guatemala’s mixture of Spanish and Mayan influences . Learn about Mayan history from your knowledgeable guide as you explore the archeological site of Iximché. Then, head to the Spanish colonial city of Antigua to visit some of its most famous sites, including San Francisco Church, Calle del Arco, La Merced Church and Plaza Central.
Upon entering the ruins, you’ll see four ceremonial plazas, which are surrounded by tall temple structures and two ball courts. The plazas were used for things such as housing for residents and special ceremonies, and the ball courts were used to play the Mesoamerican ballgame, a sport that dates back to 1400 BC.
One of the world’s greatest megalopolises, Jakarta is a dynamic and vibrant city. Its chaotic charm and juxtapositions can be found on every street. An organism unto itself, Jakarta is a town in the midst of a very public metamorphosis and, despite the maddening traffic, life here is lived at speed, driven by an industriousness and optimism that’s palpable. With this fast developing pace come challenges. It’s no oil painting, yet beneath the new high-rises, relentless concrete, gridlocked streets, smattering of slums and a persistent blanket of smog, Jakarta has plenty of pleasant surprises, including a world-class food and coffee scene. Its citizens – even the poorest among them – remain good-natured and positive, and compared to many world capitals, crime levels are low. From the steamy, potent streets of Chinatown and Glodok to Kota’s vestiges of a colonial past, the old city is the prequel to Jakarta’s development. The newer Merdeka Square is where Indonesia presents the face it wants the world to see: bold and confident. Further south, luxurious mega-developments are plopped next to humble neighbourhoods, with pockets of emerging art scenes and bohemian coffee shops. Across the city it’s possible to rub shoulders with Indonesia’s future leaders and thinkers in sleek restaurants and roof-top bars. Hedonists can go clubbing and drinking ’till dawn, much to the dismay of the current administration.
Welcome to Jerusalem! Whether called Yerushaláyim (“city of peace” in Hebrew) or al-Quds (“holy” in Arabic), Jerusalem is one of those rare places that holds an exceptional place, because of its power evocative and its multidimensionality. The last home of Christ, place of return of the Messiah for the Jews, third holy city for Islam after Mecca and Medina, the ancestral city constitutes the crossroads of the three monotheistic religions of the world.
Chimes of church bells and muezzin calls for prayer mingle to form one moving rhythm. Pilgrims and tourists flock to the Holy Sepulchre or the Dome of the Rock. In a whirlwind of hats, Hassidic families rush towards the Wailing Wall. Religion is everywhere and difficult to visit the shrine city without theology
The most attractive excursions in the eyes of travelers are trips to mines and ancient cities, which were founded during the gold rush. Sophisticated mines have been re-equipped at the museums, which present collections of equipment, objects and historical documents. Ancient cities form a great museum under the stars, where one can see the dwellings of the miners. The most popular market town is Gold Reef City. It is necessary to mention the city of Sun City, which was designed by qualified architects and is located in the central part of an ancient volcano. This is where lovers of active rest and nighttime entertainment should go. Such a number of water parks, entertainment centers and nightclubs are no longer in any city in South Africa. Next to Sun City is Pilanesberg National Park, home to 6,000 wild animals, including representatives of the so-called “Big Five”: leopards, elephants, rhinos, buffaloes and lions. Another unique natural curiosity is the Sterkfontein Caves, whose depth reaches 40 meters. The city has many interesting architectural monuments. Near the famous Blue Elephant restaurant is the Baan Chinpracha, built in the early 20th century. Beautiful European furniture and works of art, which were particularly delivered from various European countries and from China, were used for its decoration. Now the old manor is accessible to tourists to visit. They can admire the hidden collection of antiquities in its walls.
Squeezed between the Blue Mountains and the world’s seventh-largest natural harbor, Kingston simultaneously impresses you with its setting and overwhelms you with its noise and hustle. This is the island’s cultural and economic heart, and a place named a Creative City of Music by Unesco in 2015. Like a plate of spicy jerk washed down with a cold Red Stripe beer, a visit to Kingston is essential to taste the rich excitement of modern Jamaica.
Kingston is a city of two halves. Downtown is home to historic buildings, the courts, banks, street markets and one of the Caribbean’s greatest art museums. By contrast, Uptown holds the city’s best hotels and restaurants, largely confined to New Kingston, with its cluster of tall buildings around Emancipation Park.
Uptown and Downtown seldom mix, but taken together they form a compelling and sometimes chaotic whole. Kingston is certainly never boring – we encourage you to jump right in.
Beyond the beautiful beaches bordering the Persian Gulf, the rest of Kuwait’s territory consists of a vast desert plain. The country has the geological peculiarity of having no internal water point: no rivers, no lakes and no other natural reserves.
Nine small islands are attached to the Kuwaiti coast. Bubiyan is the largest, connected to the mainland by a bridge, destroyed during the Gulf War and rebuilt. Failaka, with its Greek ruins, is the best known. Particularly exposed during the conflict, the island, even demined, has long remained under control. Reopened to the public, its ruined houses reinvested by a few fishermen, it must become one of the tourist flagship of the country with Kuwait city.
In the beginning there was Kyiv. Long before Ukraine and Russia existed, the city’s inhabitants were already striding up and down the green hills, idling hot afternoons away on the Dnipro River and promenading along Khreshchatyk – then a stream, now the main avenue. From here, East Slavic civilisation spread all the way to Alaska.
Today, history continues to unfold. As revolution has come and gone, and as war in the east smoulders, Ukraine’s capital has rebelled yet again, only this time culturally. A creative wave has swept over the city, embodied by urban art, vintage cafes and 24-hour parties. Seemingly overnight, Kyiv has become hip.
It’s also cheap. You can eat at superb restaurants and drink at hidden cocktail bars for a fraction of what they would cost in the West. Kyiv’s time is clearly now – or until the next revolution rolls around.
A mad carnival of jostling pedestrians, honking, diesel-spewing minivans, street marches, and cavalcades of vendors, La Paz surrounds you: you’ll love it, you’ll hate it, but you can’t ignore it. The city seems to reinvent itself at every turn – a jaw-dropping subway in the sky brings you from the heights of El Alto to the depths of Zona Sur in the blink of an eye. Standing hotels are remodeled at a manic pace, and new boutique hotels are springing up like rows of altiplano corn.
Coming from the Bolivian countryside, you’ll be struck by the gritty city reality. It’s the urban jungle, baby: diesel, dust, and detritus; blinding altiplano sun, cold cavernous corners of Dickensian darkness. Sharp-suited businessmen flank machine-gun-toting bank guards and balaclava-camouflaged shoeshine boys. Lung-busting inclines terminate in peaceful plazas. A maze of contradictions, where cobblestones hit concrete, and Gothic spires vie with glassine hotels, La Paz amazes and appals all who enter.
City or sail for short cruises on the canals of Roubaix and Deûle. But what continues to hit the visitors (you will not escape) remains the smile of the people here! A human warmth that flourishes very easily if you take the time to linger – for an evening or a few days.
The people of Lille have a sense of welcome and … of the party! This conviviality is evident daily in the countless places of exit of Lille and its big neighbours, but also in the popular demonstrations, common to all the Metropolis, of which the Big Market, each year at the beginning of September, remains one of the jewels.
When fog shrouds its colonial facades and high-rises, Lima’s enchantments come across as all too subtle. After Cairo, this sprawling metropolis is the second-driest world capital, rising above a long coastline of crumbling cliffs. To enjoy it, climb on the wave of chaos that spans high-rise condos built alongside pre-Columbian temples and fast Pacific breakers rolling towards noisy traffic snarl-ups. Think one part southern Cali doused with a heavy dose of America Latina.
But Lima is also sophisticated, with a civilization that dates back millennia. Stately museums display sublime pottery; galleries early edgy art; solemn religious processions recall the 18th century and crowded nightclubs dispense tropical beats. No visitor can miss the capital’s culinary genius, part of a gastronomic revolution more than 400 years in the making.
This is Lima. Shrouded in history, gloriously messy and full of aesthetic delights. Do not even think of missing it.
At the same time fluvial and oceanic, Lisbon opens on the estuary of the Tagus. City of exchanges, place of culture brewing, prestigious capital of a modest country, it is today the symbol of the national dynamism and appears, after several decades of works, modern and creative. It also remains the city of Fado, old popular city, disorganized and a little rascally, and irresistibly invites to stroll through a labyrinth of serpentine lanes and quirky staircases.Lisbonne is a captivating city and full of activities and activities. Tourist attractions. She manages to have a welcoming and liberal atmosphere while remaining faithful to its immense cultural and historical heritage. Lisbon is home to a huge variety of tourists of all ages and from all walks of life: you can go there for a cultural holiday as well as to party all night long, relax with your family, be satisfied from a small city break or use it as a base for a holiday on the beach.
Lisbon is located near a sumptuous coastline consisting of beautiful sandy beaches and incredible natural landscapes. Many of the most beautiful beaches in the area are easily accessible by a short train or bus ride.
Discover great days out in London at some of the capital’s most iconic houses and gardens this season. From the inspiring Wellington Arch with its year-round programme of exhibitions to the Art Deco decadence of Eltham Palace, there is plenty to do for all the family.
Everyone wants to come to Hollywood. And Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Venice Beach, Sunset Boulevard… Los Angeles is “the city of angels” but also the city of dreams. Those dreams are more often shattered than realized but nowhere else can they come true in a more fabulous way.
This is the home of the rich and famous, of Rodeo Drive shopping, of the Walk of Fame, of movie industry magic, sandy beaches, and West Hollywood’s hipness… This is a city to see and be seen, of glitz, of the bold, and of the beautiful.
Joining the world-class entertainment and art scene is a growing number of extraordinary restaurants and dazzling architecture.
It is normal for naturism to find a well-deserved place here too. If the Grand Duchy cannot boast of sandy beaches or coconut palms, it offers visitors a ubiquitous nature.
From the north of the country, called “Ösling”, with its hilly landscape ideal for hiking, to the south, the “Good Country”, and regions of the Moselle known for the excellent wine that grows there, this small country has more than one asset to satisfy the most demanding.
Do not forget its capital, Luxembourg City, city more than thousand years old with its museums, its popular districts.
Once you have overcome the first barriers, the relationships are generally strong and lasting. In short, a few days in Lyon will be enough to put down prejudices.
And, whether you’re a foodie, a museum enthusiast, a lover of walks in the historic districts, fond of shows, a night owl, or all that, Lyon offers a world of possibilities that makes you dizzy.
Once we have taken the measure, we can only marvel at it and regret not having more time. So we go back, tirelessly.
With its number of world-class museums, outstanding gastronomy, and a passion for the night, Madrid radiates excitement and vitality.
This boomtown is one of Europe’s major business centres, and competes with its compatriot Barcelona as one of the continent’s most joyful cities.
Its irresistible “live for the moment” attitude.
If you think the Costa del Sol is soulless, you clearly haven’t been to Málaga. Loaded with history and brimming with a youthful vigour that proudly acknowledges its multi-layered past, the city that gave the world Picasso has transformed itself in spectacular fashion, with half a dozen new art galleries, a radically rethought port area and a nascent art district called Soho. Not that Málaga was ever lacking in energy: the Spanish-to-the-core bar scene could put bags under the eyes of an insomniac madrileño, while the food culture encompasses both Michelin stars and tastefully tatty fish shacks.
Come here for tapas washed down with sweet local wine and stay in a creative boutique hotel sandwiched between a Roman amphitheatre, a Moorish fortress and the polychromatic Pompidou Centre, while you reflect on how eloquently Málaga has reinvented itself for the 21st century. Look out, Seville.
Managua is not the easiest place to get your head around. It has no discernible center; its attractions are scattered around its many neighborhoods and the trick is to know when to go where.
Stay a day or two and you will see that big, bad Managua ain’t so bad after all, and that this truly is the heartstring that holds the nation’s culture and commerce together. Skip it altogether, and you miss out on the revolutionary landmarks, vibrant dining and nightlife scenes and a slice of down-to-earth urban life that you’re unlikely to see anywhere else.
Aside from diving into the spirited whirl of sprawling markets, improbable electric trees, remarkable street art and impressive monuments, Managua also gives you easy access to nearby lagoons, the nature reserve of Chocoyero-El Brujo, plus a smattering of fun beaches like Pochomil.
Marbella is a city located not far from the city of Malaga in Andalusia in the Costa del Sol district. Marbella, like Malaga, is a luxury Spanish seaside resort, where aristocrats, the elite of society, celebrities, show business and sports stars live and rest.
The main historical and intellectual center of the city is Los Naranjos Square, where the surprising monuments of architecture are located: the building of the Municipal Council,
Marrakech (also spelled “Marrakesh”) has long been a hip destination for both bohemian and hedonistic travellers. It’s now a glamorous hideaway for those seeking a soulful, exotic destination unlike any other.
Set against the backdrop of the Atlas Mountains, and with the desert outside its red ramparts, this seems like an imagined city. Then there’s Jemaa El Fna Square, known for being one of the greatest human spectacles on the planet, filled with snake charmers and belly dancers.
That’s the frame. The great originality of the city is also due to the multitude of its entangled neighbourhoods (111!), Each holding its rank. This guide invites you to navigate from one to the other, according to their vibrations and their identities.
After having scared the rest of France by its bad reputation, the Phocaean city has been buying up for a few years. Second homes are multiplying, construction sites of all kinds are emerging, real estate prices are climbing.
Medellín is the second largest city in Colombia. For a long time it has become remarkable for travelers who are ready to admire infinitely its beauties. In the city many districts have been guarded, which for the modern man look very picturesque and even strange.
The old districts alternate with the vast squares, among which we can notice Plaza Botero square and Plaza de Toros square. Macarena. In Medellín there are also many architectural curiosities, among which are the beautiful churches La Basílica Metropolitana and La Basílica de la Candelaria. Two municipal museums (Pueblito-Paisa and Museo de Antioche) are always ready to present the history of the city and demonstrate inestimable objects.
In many ways, Melbourne stands out for its independent scene, especially visible in the Central Business District (CBD), St Kilda, Fitzroy, Collingwood, Brunswick and, further north, Northcote. Besides that, in most of these suburbs (Inner Suburbs), the population is trying to make ends meet.
The brown waters of the Yarra River separate the northern suburbs of Fitzroy, Collingwood and Carlton from the southern suburbs, including Prahran, South Yarra and St Kilda. There is also a slight cultural shift, even though the sport knows no boundaries: the Melbournians are very fond of Australian Rules Football (Australian Rules Football or footy for the intimate), horse racing and cricket.
With steaming jungles, snow-capped volcanoes, cactus-strewn deserts and 10,000km of coast strung with sandy beaches and wildlife-rich lagoons, Mexico is an endless adventure for the senses and a place where life is lived largely in the open air.
Harness the pounding waves of the Pacific on a surfboard, strap on a snorkel to explore the beauty beneath the surface of the Caribbean Sea and ride the Whitewater of Mexico’s rivers. Or stay on dry land and hike Oaxaca’s mountain cloud forests, scale the peaks of dormant volcanoes or marvel at millions of migrating Monarch butterflies.
Party animals and jet-setters, the muscled and the silicone, sun-worshipers and bon-vivants flock to Miami’s beaches, trendy restaurants, and hip hotels. Arriving on cruise ships or in limos from the airport, Miami is where you go to party and indulge in sunny or moonlit pleasures.
It’s a city with a strong Latin flair, attractive Art Deco architecture, and legendary nightlife. Blessed with an oceanfront location and mild year-round climate, there aren’t too many other urban destinations as tempting as this one.
Milan may lack a great dose of all of that, it beats them all in shopping. In fact, Milan just may be the world’s greatest shopping city, and that’s mainly what attracts millions of visitors each year to its streets.
Via Montenapoleone together with Via della Spiga and Via Sant’Andrea nearby reunite all the big brands, and if they’re not enough, step into the famous Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. The huge Duomo is right outside, from where you can then walk to another center of design and fashion, or to the opera at La Scala.
Monaco is the capital of the Principality of Monaco located on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea not far from the Italian border at the foot of the French Maritime Alps. From the south this dwarf state bathes by the Mediterranean.
The Principality of Monaco includes merged cities Monaco (an old town), Monte-Carlo (the commercial center here one concentrates theatres, cinemas, casinos and other entertaining centers), the Condamine (the business center and the port) and Fontveille (the industrial region). The Grimaldi family, the oldest of the princely European families, runs this principality.
The question of Quebec sovereignty is probably no longer as hot a subject as it once was. Montreal has a dual francophone and anglophone culture to which is added a fascinating mosaic of communities from around the world. Its eclectic music scene mixes French chanson, jazz and progressive rock, while the visual arts are exhibited first-rate. Cinema is not left out, with art theatres and festivals.
French bistros mix with Jewish caterers, Italian trattorias, steakhouses and Cantonese restaurants. Tables of Thai, Vietnamese, Lebanese and West African specialties, among others, provide an exotic note.
For those who love to frolic in the open air, bike paths crisscross Montreal, a lush park covers much of Mount Royal and the Lachine Canal is suitable for kayaking.
The city also recalls a more recent past, still in our memories. On Red Square, the founder of the Soviet state rests mummified for eternity. A few miles away, his heir, perched on a tank in front of the White House, caused the fall of the same state. Moscow has always been renowned for the diversity of its population and the richness of its culture. Today more than ever, cultural activities abound
Whether it is a Tchaikovsky opera or a Chekhov play, the performing arts are among the best and cheapest in the world. The Tretyakov Gallery and the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts contain world-renowned collections of Russian and Impressionist art. With the emergence of New Russia came new forms of art and entertainment. An underground nightclub or avant-garde exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, this bohemian side offers a glimpse of the country’s future: sometimes intellectual and stimulating, sometimes debauched and depraved, but always fascinating.
If Mumbai is your introduction to India, prepare yourself. The city isn’t a threatening place but its furious energy, limited (but improving) public transport and punishing pollution make it challenging for visitors.
The heart of the city contains some of the grandest colonial-era architecture on the planet, but explore a little more and you’ll uncover unique bazaars, hidden temples, hipster enclaves and India’s premier restaurants and nightlife.
Scenically wedged between mountains and ocean, with old forts and excellent museums, an opera house and flower-filled parks, the gentle city of Muscat is a delight to visit. Its name means ‘safe anchorage’, and the sea plays an important role in city life to this day, sustaining the fishing industry and providing opportunities for visitors to swim from sandy beaches or dive with turtles in nearby lagoons.
The city has a character quite distinct from neighbouring capitals. There are few high-rise blocks, and even functional buildings are required to reflect tradition with a dome or an arabesque window. The result is an attractive, whimsically uniform city that retains the elegance observed by early travellers. The city is quite conservative in nature, asking of visitors decorum in dress and manner, but in return it offers a warm sense of Omani hospitality and an opportunity to connect with the country’s rich heritage.
Steeped in history yet overflowing with modern life, colourful, cacophonous Delhi pulsates with the relentless rhythms of humanity like few other cities on Earth. Whether you make it your base, or just dip into it for shopping sprees or to see the Red Fort, you’ll be hard pushed to ever forget your time in this wonderfully chaotic, and fabulously photogenic corner of the city. You’ll be sharing its hectic streets and alleys with carts and cycle-rickshaws, with cows and monkeys, with shoppers and with beggars, with street-food sellers and market traders, and with cars, vans, scooters and autorickshaws; watch your back – honk-honk-beeeep!
As the capital city of one of the most delicious country’s on Earth, Delhi tantalises your taste buds with its thali-like fusion of flavours from every corner of the subcontinent: Breakfast on South Indian idly; lunch on Punjabi kulchas; then, come evening, dine on rich Mughlai curries. But don’t forget to leave room for some Dilli-ka-Chaat, Delhi’s famously delicious street-food snacks; try sizzling kebabs for starters, then munch on aloo tikki (spiced potato patties) before getting your fingers sticky on jalebi (orange-coloured coils of deep-fried batter dunked in sugar syrup) or savouring some sumptuously creamy cardamon kheer (rice pudding).
The Big Apple, Gotham, “the city that never sleeps,” or however you want to call it, New York is uncontestably the world’s most exciting and vibrant city. It’s the capital of the globalized world, and a microcosm of the planet — a melting pot of cultures, styles, and flavours.
This is the world’s urban epicentre and, in between its skyscrapers, down Broadway’s bright lights, and past its several world-class museums, New York buzzes with activity. Alongside top-notch culture, entertainment, and glamour is a cosmopolitan diversity in the multitude of locals and tourists always rushing somewhere.
Built in a remarkable bay, the capital of the Côte d’Azur stretches along the famous Promenade des Anglais facing the Mediterranean. It is organized around two monumental squares, Masséna and Garibaldi, figures of its double French and Italian identity.
City with many faces, Nice is festive in its old city, bourgeois in its Belle Époque and popular districts at the back of its port. Finally, its museums contain in particular very rich collections of modern and contemporary art
According to legend, Aphrodite, goddess of love, was born from the foam at a point where the sea flows on the rocks of the coast of Paphos. This is why Cyprus was called “the island of love”, a charm that was to last for a long time through legends and throughout history. Then ambitious nations coveted its strategic importance, as well as its rich copper mines and pine and cedar forests.
Land where the sun stays all the year, Cyprus offers a total change of scenery, as much by its rural landscapes, mountainous as marine. But this independent republic, at once Hellenic, Eastern and cosmopolitan, carries a wound: a real Greek tragedy is played on both sides of the green line that divides Nicosia, the capital, transforming it into a Berlin of the Mediterranean.
Traveling from east to west, from Ayia Napa to Polis, staying on the coast, does not mean having seen Cyprus. Stay on the island long enough to enjoy it. Visit ancient castles, monasteries, mountain resorts, forests, admire the wild flowers of spring, see the old farming methods. And above all do not be surprised if a stranger salutes you in the street; it is in the good manners of this country to welcome the stranger with a smile.
If Orlando were a Disney character, it’s fair to say that she’s like Dory (of Nemo fame) and lacks a bit of confidence. It’s so easy to get caught up in Greater Orlando – in the isolated, constructed worlds of Disney or Universal Orlando (for which, let’s face it, you’re probably here) – that you forget all about the downtown city of Orlando itself.
It has a lot to offer: lovely tree-lined neighbourhoods; a rich performing arts and museum scene; several fantastic gardens and nature preserves; fabulous cuisine; and a delightfully slower pace devoid of manic crowds. So, sure, enjoy the theme parks: the sparkles, nostalgia and adrenaline-pumped fantasy, but also take time to ‘Find Orlando.’ Come down off the coasters for one day to explore the quieter, gentler side of the city. You may be surprised to find that you enjoy the theme parks all that much more as a result.
Surrounded by mountains and sea, this compact, cultured and fun city has a palpable sense of reinvention. Come to Oslo to pay homage to Edvard Munch and Henrik Ibsen, the city’s two most famous sons, by all means. But don’t leave without discovering something of its contemporary cultural life too. Explore one of its many museums, get to know its booming contemporary-art scene at one of its commercial galleries or just marvel at the work of its starchitects. You can also walk the neighbourhoods that may already be familiar via the works of Karl Ove Knausgård, whose autobiographical novel series Min Kamp are set here, along with the mean streets of Norwegian-noir crime writers Jo Nesbø and Anne Holt. Once known only for hot dogs and high prices, Oslo’s culinary scene is currently enjoying a Neo Nordic moment in the sun, and has become a culinary destination in its own right. This delicious change takes in everything from the most northern three-Michelin-starred restaurant in the world (Maaemo) to its deservedly hyped neighbourhood coffee scene and fabulous fusion cuisine, to the celebration of traditional favourites such as peel-and-eat shrimp, and, yes, even polse (hot dogs). The city also has a penchant for sushi and pizza, both of which can now compete on the world stage. Has Oslo become Scandinavia’s late-night party hot spot? Wander Møllegata on a Wednesday and you might be convinced it is. Whether it’s working your way through a list of the latest natural wine from Burgenland or Sicily, getting your hands in the air with local DJ acts or an international indie band, drinking a local beer or sipping cocktails made from foraged spruce or Arctic seaweed, you’ll notice that, with a grungier, wilder, realer edge than Copenhagen or Stockholm, this is certainly a city that knows how to have fun.
Ostend is the largest city on the Belgian Coast and its only truly year-round destination. Along its wide white-sand beach is a spacious promenade surveyed by an interesting mix of midrise architecture atop cosy seafront cafes with glassed-in terraces.
Always an important strategic port, Ostend has a rich history of fame, fortune, famine and hardship. It was ravaged by the Spanish between 1600 and 1604, before regrouping and reinventing itself as one of Europe’s most stylish seaside resorts. Though bombing in WWII caused significant destruction to the city, Ostend has a wealth of beautiful belle époque and art deco architecture scattered around its residential streets.
Emerging from a period of economic decline that began when transcontinental ferry services ceased in the late 1990s, Ostend has again found its feet. It’s worth spending a night or two here to explore.
Centuries of dizzying highs and crushing lows have formed a complex metropolis. Here, crumbling staircases lead to gilded ballrooms and guarded locals harbour hearts of gold. Just don’t be fooled.
Despite its noisy streets, Sicily’s largest city is a shy beast, rewarding the inquisitive with citrus-filled cloisters, stucco-laced chapels and vintage stores filled with the threads of faded aristocrats.
Add to this Italy’s biggest opera house and an ever-growing number of vibrant, new-school eateries and bars and you might just find yourself suddenly, unexpectedly in love.
The French mastered the art of living, and their capital showcases it with the utmost sophistication. While the Louvre may be the world’s unparalleled museum and the Eiffel Tower one of the most recognized landmarks, what has made Paris the world’s most visited city is precisely that French art de vivre. The real draw is the city itself, its elegant boulevards, charming cafés and markets, glamorous boutiques, fine dining, the Seine, romantic visions, and of course, the art.
Paris is pure hedonism, which is why becoming a “flaneur” is as important during a visit to the city as seeing any particular sight. Sit at a café or bistro for a café crème and croissant, window-shop, grab a baguette at a market, have an aperitif before dinner, and indulge in haute cuisine.
Paris is in many ways the perfect city,
Taking a flight to Beijing means immersing yourself in a bath of history and culture at every street corner. The famous monuments abound there: that one quotes the Great Wall of China, 6000 kilometres long, and all the glances will light up. Beijing is also full of palaces in the image of the Imperial Palace, better known as the Forbidden City and World Heritage by Unesco: this building was inhabited by 24 emperors of Ming and Qing dynasties and covers no less than 9000 pieces.
The Summer Palace, which is an imperial garden, also dates back to the Qing Dynasty. The Thirteen Ming Tombs, dwellings of the 13 emperors of this dynasty, extend over an area of 40 square kilometers. Beijing is also famous for its places.
Port Louis, the cosmopolitan capital city of Mauritius was founded in 1735 by the French governor and pioneer Bertrand-François Mahé de La Bourdonnais. Located on the Northwest Coast, Port Louis is the administrative and business capital of the island.
Buzzing with activity during the day, the city is full of cultural and historical treasures that should not be missed. Beyond the central market, which is a focal point for those who want to feel close to the soul of Mauritius, are many historic sites including the Champ de Mars – the oldest race course in the southern hemisphere.
Prague is the equal of Paris in terms of beauty. Its history goes back a millennium. And the beer? The best in Europe. The 1989 Velvet Revolution that freed the Czechs from communism bequeathed to Europe a gem of a city to stand beside stalwarts such as Rome, Paris and London. Not surprisingly, visitors from around the world have come in droves, and on a hot summer’s day it can feel like you’re sharing Charles Bridge with half of humanity. But even the crowds can’t take away from the spectacle of a 14th-century stone bridge, a hilltop castle and a lovely, lazy river – the Vltava – that inspired one of the most hauntingly beautiful pieces of 19th-century classical music, Smetana’s Moldau symphony. Prague’s art galleries may not have the allure of the Louvre, but Bohemian art offers much to admire, from the glowing Gothic altarpieces in the Convent of St Agnes, to the luscious art nouveau of Alfons Mucha, and the magnificent collection of 20th-century surrealists, cubists and constructivists in the Veletržní Palác. The weird and witty sculpture of David Černý punctuates Prague’s public spaces, and the city itself offers a smorgasbord of stunning architecture, from the soaring verticals of Gothic and the exuberance of baroque to the sensual elegance of art nouveau and the chiselled cheekbones of cubist facades. Prague’s maze of cobbled lanes and hidden courtyards is a paradise for the aimless wanderer, always beckoning you to explore a little further. Just a few blocks away from the Old Town Square you can stumble across ancient chapels, unexpected gardens, cute cafes and old-fashioned bars with hardly a tourist in sight. One of the great joys of the city is its potential for exploration – neighbourhoods such as Vinohrady and Bubeneč can reward the urban adventurer with countless memorable cameos, from the setting sun glinting off church domes, to the strains of Dvořák wafting from an open window.
Huge territory, Quebec is a world in itself where nature is queen. It is also a world apart where differences are cultivated with passion and poetry. Its turbulent history, of which the Inuit and the Amerindians were the first actors, is constantly exposed.
But, if its francophone population differentiates Quebec from the nine other provinces of Canada, we must not forget the fascinating human mosaic that composes it. Indeed, the Belle Province and its two flagship cities, Montreal and Quebec, still remain today a land of immigration. As for the St. Lawrence River, it is the backbone of a territory where a breath of adventure is constantly blowing.
The historic center is a real jewel. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it boasts monuments from the colonial era and architectural treasures.
Far from forming a sanitized open-air museum, its streets live to the rhythm of everyday life. Travelers, as well as many locals, frequent the district of La Mariscal.
This compact set of guesthouses, restaurants and bars is nicknamed Gringolandia, or “Gringos Land”.
Rio de Janeiro
Rio is too busy at the beach to compete with São Paulo or Buenos Aires as Latin America’s most stylish and dynamic metropolis. And who can blame it? After all, this is the city of tanned beauties living between lush mountains and golden beaches, so beauty and sensuality wins over urban sophistication.
It is also stunningly beautiful when seen from the top of the famous Corcovado statue or of the Sugar Loaf mountain. Its matchless location earned it the name of “the marvellous city” and you’ll agree as you lie in Copacabana or Ipanema beaches gazing at the surrounding hills and mountains — that is, if you’re not too distracted by the flawless bodies sunbathing or playing volleyball.
Is a modern city, which has recently started to receive tourists, but quickly gained their trust and respect. The name of the city can be translated word for word as “the garden”, and after the first walk it will be clear why we chose this name.
In the city there are really a lot of parks and flowers, historic buildings and new buildings are exactly drowned in the thick greenery.
Roma dolce vita with the beautifully-dressed locals sipping espresso, by going on a major shopping spree, or enjoying the latest nightlife hotspot.
Forget Roma’s image as a way-too-relaxed or even lazy city. Its bustling local life is now as big an attraction as its wealth of mesmerizing antiquity. Trastevere, Campo dei Fiore, and Testaccio attract young and hip crowds, and there is a thriving forward-thinking artistic community. Trendy new shops, restaurants, and contemporary cultural attractions such as the MACRO and MAXXI museums remind you that this is a city of the present and future, as much as it is of the past.
Built on an uninhabited marsh, the imperial capital is today a grandiose metropolis whose majesty never ceases to dazzle visitors. Water is everywhere in St. Petersburg. The city has 342 bridges. With its elegant canals and its imposing river, the Neva, whose bridges rise at night to let the boats pass, the city naturally aroused comparisons with Venice.
In addition, Saint Petersburg has priceless artistic and cultural treasures. You can spend days at the Hermitage Museum contemplating Egyptian mummies or paintings by Picasso. As for nightlife, the long summer days when the sun is just below the horizon, the “White Nights” are mythical.
The festivities begin in May, when spring arrives. They peak in mid-June: the night does not fall anymore, the festivals are in full swing in the concert halls and the whole city seems to celebrate this brief, but splendid summer. Follow the guide to visit St. Petersburg.
New York has its cabbie, Chicago its bluesman and Seattle its coffee-drinking boho. San Diego has its surfer dude, with his tousled hair, great tan and gentle enthusiasm; he looks like he’s on a perennial vacation, and when he wishes you welcome, he really means it.
San Diego calls itself ‘America’s Finest City’ and its breezy confidence and sunny countenance filter down to folks you encounter every day on the street. It feels like a collection of villages each with its own personality, but it’s the nation’s eighth-largest city and we’re hard-pressed to think of a more laid-back place.
What’s not to love? San Diego bursts with world-famous attractions for the entire family, including the zoo, Legoland and the museums of Balboa Park, plus a bubbling Downtown, beautiful hikes for all, more than 60 beaches and America’s most perfect weather.
Known for being laid-back and liberal, San Francisco also stands out for being the most scenic of all major American cities. Located by a bay and with one of the world’s best-known icons as a backdrop, this cool, welcoming city is the home of counterculture, cable cars, and a cosmopolitan population spread through a number of panoramic hills.
Victorian houses, old-money mansions, and a few landmark skyscrapers make up its urban landscape, while great restaurants, an eclectic nightlife, and major cultural attractions are part of everyday life
El Salvador suffers horribly from bad press. While gang violence still dominates international headlines – and keeps so many adventurous travelers at bay – the vast majority of this beautiful country remains untouched by ‘the troubles.’
Those visitors who do make the effort are invariably impressed by the warm welcome they receive and by just how much this tiny country has to offer: world-class surfing on empty, dark-sand beaches; coffee plantations clinging to the sides of volcanoes; pretty flower-filled villages with buildings splashed by murals; and sublime national parks. There are few crowds outside the capital, San Salvador, which itself has more swagger than its Central American counterparts. There is only so much encouragement we can give; it’s now up to you. Please inquire within.
Surprising, cosmopolitan, energetic, sophisticated and worldly, Santiago is a city of syncopated cultural currents, madhouse parties, expansive museums and top-flight restaurants. No wonder 40% of Chileans call the leafy capital city home.
It’s a wonderful place for strolling, and each neighbourhood has its unique flavour and tone. Head out for the day to take in the museums, grand architecture and pedestrian malls of the Centro, before an afternoon picnic in one of the gorgeous hillside parks that punctuate the city’s landscape. Nightlife takes off in the sidewalk eateries, cafes and beer halls of Barrios Brasil, Lastarria and Bellavista, while as you head east to well-heeled neighbourhoods like Providencia and Las Condes, you’ll find tony restaurants and world-class hotels.
With a growing economy, renovated arts scene and plenty of eccentricity to spare, Santiago is an old-guard city on the cusp of a modern-day renaissance.
The Dominican Republic shares with Haiti the mythical island of Hispaniola, discovered by Christopher Columbus. The Dominican Republic is the American country where was built the first cathedral, the first hospital, the first university. Santo Domingo has become the first tourist destination in the Caribbean, ahead of Cuba. However, the memories of conquest and colonization are paradoxically less numerous: they left to seek gold, the Spaniards abandoned it quickly to conquer Mexico and Peru. So we do not really come to Santo Domingo for its architectural treasures (rare outside the capital), but for its natural treasures, starting with its hundreds of miles of white sandy beaches lined with coconut trees. Add to that a lot of sun, some fishing villages … and you’ll have all the ingredients for a dream vacation! That said, it is not so much this typical Caribbean cocktail that is the real wealth of Santo Domingo that the amazing kaleidoscope of landscapes and sensations that you will be confronted by starting to discover the entire island. Warm looks, multicolored images, kindness of every moment, not to mention the great sensuality of his little local music (bachata) that permeates you gently, to the point of training the most inhibited of you on the dance floor.
Sao Paulo is a sprawling city, it is the largest agglomeration of Brazil, encompassing nearly 20 million inhabitants … We enter a kind of forest of buildings in the business district, one of the most dynamic world: all sectors are represented and Sao Paulo is therefore the true economic center of the country, even if it is not the political center, located in Brasilia.
This modern architecture has been added to other older neighborhoods, such as downtown Sao Paulo. The contrast is striking between the opulent neighborhoods of the west of the city, with its main shopping streets, and the poor neighborhoods, the wealth gaps among the Brazilian population remain among the largest in the world … a state of fact that generates many social unrest, symbolized by the great delinquency that still rages in Sao Paulo. São Paulo is also probably one of the most underrated cities in terms of tourism, it is often overshadowed by other paradisiacal places in Brazil and by more popular cities like San Diego or Rio de Janeiro. After an extraordinary growth of São Paulo during the 20th century, most buildings of the old city gave way to contemporary architecture. This means that most tourist attractions are concentrated around the historic center, where 17th century churches sit side by side with the skyscrapers.
You can do everything at any time of day or night. The morning visit of a temple can lead to that of a palace before going to drink in a Bukchon tea house and skim the Insa-dong art galleries.
A glass of soju (rice liquor close to vodka) accompanied by snacks in a tented street bar will allow you to regain your strength to shop in the lively Dongdaemun or Namdaemun night markets, party in Hongdae or Itaewon, play online games in a bang PC or watch the latest Korean hit movie in a DVD bang.
Then go sweat, take a bath and take a nap in a jjimjil-bang (sauna and upscale spa). When you look at your watch, dawn will begin to dawn again. An essential passage during your trip
Siena is a medieval town carefully guarding the traditions of antiquity, which is located on three hills, making the impression that the city is divided into three small towns. This is somehow true, since for convenience Siena was divided into three-thirds, which in turn are divided into seventeen autonomous regions – contrades, each of which has kept up to date the weapon and the flag awarded in antiquity. The inhabitants of Siena treat the ancient traditions with a special fanaticism and honor them today, it is with their help that the city has managed to preserve its Gothic aspect of the seniority. The main known place in the city is Piazza Campo, where twice a year competitions between thirty contrades take place. Here ten representatives from each of the third parties meet, and the horse races take place – a very impressive and moving event. In addition to a lively atmosphere of squares and streets the city offers tourists, visitors and locals many cultural events, theatrical performances, cinemas, concerts and a wide range of sports activities. To fully examine the city you have to lose a few days and visit the oldest European university located in Siena, the Cathedral of Siena (the Duomo), the tower of Torre del Mangia, the Santa Maria della Scala Hospital, which houses the Archaeological Museum , as well as the National Museum of Antarctica, the Paleontological Museum, the Siena Botanical Garden and the Museum of Natural History with a large collection of stuffed animals and birds living in Tuscany and throughout Italy.
Upstream, reminiscences of the past still cling to the banks, even if the commercial traffic bumboats (motorized sampans) has now given way to great restaurants, bars and nightclubs frequented by businessmen and tourists weary shopping centers.
The main pleasure of the locals, the cuisine reflects the ethnic diversity of the population – Malay, Chinese, Peranakan and Indian – and manifests itself on every corner …
It is in Sofia, the living and cosmopolitan capital, that most visitors start or end their stay in Bulgaria. High churches with bulbous domes, museums full of treasures, art galleries, green parks and memorials to the memory of the communist era compete for the attention of visitors. They will easily occupy you for a week, especially since the capital also has some of the best Bulgarian restaurants and offers a vibrant nightlife.
Skiing and hiking can be practiced in the immediate surroundings. At the heart of the Bulgarian public transport network, it is also an ideal base for discovering the surrounding countryside.
Bulgaria has experienced rapid growth in recent years, and while fashionable Western boutiques abound with high-end hotels and glitzy casinos, inequalities remain.
You might know that Stockholm is the second most prolific tech and start up hub in the world, second only to Silicon Valley. Stockholm attracts the most innovative people from all corners of the world and what meets them is a capital known for its beauty and closeness to nature. You are likely to see people both riding horses and stand up paddling while you wander the streets of Stockholm.
Stockholm may be liberal and forward-looking when it comes to collective mindset, but it’s rich in history too. When in town, don’t miss out on the maritime Vasa Museum and the world’s first open air museum Skansen, both located on the island of Royal Djurgården.
Stuttgart evokes in many wide avenues where large cars spin between modern buildings that attest to its wealth. Many aspects that often make it unloved by the Germans, who find it arrogant, too clean, without old charm … Yet the capital of Baden-Wuerttemberg has many attractions: its magnificent Castle Square, certainly, but also its sloping neighborhoods or along the Neckar, aired by parks, and even vineyards. This city of 600,000 inhabitants is also multi-cultural, with more than 20% foreigners (mostly Turkish or Balkan) contributing to its dynamism and diversity. It is the first city in Germany led by the Greens which, in a similar way to Grenoble, indicates the strong alliance of industry, progress, modernity, innovation and the sociological importance of a class “bobo”, scientific and related to the middle of the technique. It is also an important cultural center, with its three campuses, the headquarters of the second largest publishing group in Germany, and internationally renowned museums. These would be enough to justify a visit to Stuttgart, but take the opportunity to discover this fascinating metropolis, so modern and proud of its particularities.
The Sydney landscape is majestic. This city of Australia, which is also the oldest and largest, sits on one of the most beautiful ports in the world. It is appreciated for its relaxed lifestyle, for the friendliness of its inhabitants, helpful and always ready to inform the lost passer-by. Life is organized around its sumptuous bay, which is officially called Port Jackson and extends for about 20 kilometers. During your stay in Australia, Sydney, you will enjoy strolling in its downtown area which covers the historic Rocks district, where it is pleasant to stroll along its colonial houses but also that of Central Station. Sydney is a must-see for the tourist as an extremely busy city full of restaurants and shops. Oxford Street in the Paddington area, located east of the city center, is a perfect place to stroll, with its shops, bars, clubs and cafes. Nostalgic guests will also be able to take a detour to the Sydney Olympic Park from the 2000 Sydney Olympic Park before they reach their hotel. If this infrastructure continues to host many sporting events, there are many trails to choose from. including the Games Trail, the Game Trail, which traces the history and milestones of the Olympic Games. The site is also enhanced by bike paths. As for the museums, they are also numerous in this city: it will be recommended to make a detour by that of Powerhouse, the museum of Sciences and Technologies likely to please all or still the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), which covers a number important Australian and world-wide works. If you like surfing, go for the famous beaches of Bondi or Palm. For climbers, the BridgeClimb is an unforgettable experience that takes you to the top of Sydney Harbor Bridge located 134 meters from the harbor. If you love nature or animals, the Royal Botanic Gardens offers over 30 hectares of land visiting a number of themed gardens. Finally, Taronga Zoo and Sydney Wildlife World will provide you with in-depth information on the animal life of the city.
A country of inaccessible mountains where there was still a short time ago, the omerta, the vendetta and the codes of honour. A country where the jackal, the bear, the wolf and the lynx still live. It will be understood, a flight to Tirana can not be improvised on a whim. However, the capital is with the littoral the only country really endowed with tourist infrastructures. Some 45 kilometres from the coast, Tirana, in the middle of the land has not always been the political and economic capital of the country.
But this city founded in 1614, however, has a certain legitimacy and for nearly a hundred years, reigns and shines throughout the country. It attempts to erase gradually the traces of socialist realism that marked its architecture and urban planning during the forty years of Enver Hoxha’s era. The HLM bars are redolent of multi-coloured tones and green spaces are now dotting the capital.
Tokyo is a metropolis of over 30 million people located on the island of Honshu, in the Japanese archipelago, bathed by the Pacific Ocean. Japan’s capital city, Tokyo Metropolitan Area is the largest urban area in the world. It brings together the inhabitants of Japan.
With the wisdom of modernity, zen and speed, the Tokyo capital is an open-air museum that is truly proud of its skyscraper and jealously preserves its temples! Markets, traditional shops and restaurants in Sushi are waiting for you!
But Toulouse is also, and especially, in the heart of the city, a tangle of old narrow streets, a maze delimited by high walls of bare red bricks where the walker is lost, day and night, in privacy and with delight. Not a street corner, not a place that does not have its atypical bar, its restaurant, its café concert, its improbable little shop.
From the Capitol Square lined with select cafés, passing through the Place Saint-Georges or that of the less stilted Carmelites, and up to the Saint-Pierre Square in prey, the weekend, to the festive student feast, it’s is all the effervescence of Toulouse life that expresses itself. The quays on the Garonne, the grandiose religious buildings, such as the Saint-Sernin basilica or the Saint-Étienne cathedral, are relayed, in the eye of the visitor, by more than 70 sumptuous mansions, witnesses of the prosperity of the region. 16th and 17th centuries.
It does indeed penetrate a full-fledged universe into the labyrinthine alleyways of the medina, reputed to be one of the most beautiful in the Arab world. The Great Mosque, the Three Medersas or the sumptuous palaces (dar), the Hammams, the tourbets and of course the souks, one day is hardly enough to touch the riches of the historic center. Another city offers a visit to the “European” neighborhoods from the colonial era, which is discovered from Bab el-Bahr and along the Avenue Habib Bourguiba. It will take further the excursion by taking the TGM towards stations in the Tunisian suburbs: the popular port of La Goulette, the ancient site of Carthage, or the upscale neighborhoods of La Marsa. Without forgetting the inevitable visit of the museum of Bardo, cultural institution of Tunis. Tunis is a quiet but alive capital. The medina and its souks, dominated by the Great Mosque, the central market on its periphery and the huge avenue Habib Bourguiba, which crosses the modern city from the historic district to the port, make up the bustling heart of a city with architectural influences. multiple. Its houses tell the story of the city, as the Bardo museum, rich in an exceptional collection of mosaics, that of the civilizations that populated the country. Tunis has something to seduce.
The history of this elegant and refined city resonates between an austere square and a romantic garden, between a 19th century palazzo and a sumptuous church, between a bicerin and a gianduitto. There reigns a royal atmosphere, to discover with a serious or casual step.
The wealth of its nightlife, its many shopping streets, the agenda of its festivals and the vitality of its multicultural neighbourhoods have conquered many visitors who all have only one desire, to return.
The bustling centre itself is curiously modern, with its mix of tax-free luxury-goods stores and cube-shaped concrete buildings.
There are plenty of older buildings though, making it an intriguing wander, especially in the pedestrianised zone below the castle.
Just a few minutes’ walk brings you to traces of the quaint village that existed around 50 years ago and quiet vineyards where the Alps seem that little bit closer.
Valletta is Malta’s lilliputian capital, built by the Knights of St John on a peninsula that’s only 1km by 600m. Its founder decreed that it should be ‘a city built by gentlemen for gentlemen’, and it retains its 16th-century elegance. It may be small, but it’s packed full of sights; when Unesco named Valletta a World Heritage site, it described it as ‘one of the most concentrated historic areas in the world’.
The Renzo Piano–designed City Gate, Parliament Building and Opera House have changed the cityscape and galvanised it into life. These sights, along with Valletta’s status as European Capital of Culture for 2018, have seen the city reborn, with new museums, restored golden-stone fortresses, and new hotels, bars and restaurants in 16th-century mansions. Valletta’s outskirts are also worth a visit. Take the beautiful ferry trip to the Three Cities or visit the astounding prehistoric Hal Saflieni Hypogeum.
You’ll find cities claiming to be “the Venice of the North,” “the Venice of Africa,” “the Venice of the East”… Any city crossed by canals or with colorful buildings sitting on the water’s edge wants to be associated with the image of the world’s most beautiful city.
But the beauty of Italy’s Venice is unrivalled, and the entire city is one work of art. It’s also one of only a few cities in the world that can be described as truly unique, where main “streets” are canals, there are no cars or traffic jams, and the mixture of Renaissance, Byzantine, Gothic, and Baroque architecture leaves anyone wondering if this magical cityscape is real at all.
Owever, we must not ignore the dynamism of Vienna today, as interesting as it is surprising, with its modern artistic spaces, its lively markets, its chic restaurants or its trendy bars.
Few places in the world offer a quality of life equivalent to that of the Austrian capital, which is why it is frequently at the top of the list of “cities of the world where life is good”. Its excellent sustainability initiatives also provide it with a promising future. Vienna, then, appears not as the city we think we know, but as a vast ensemble of new riches that are just waiting to be explored.
Vilnius will not disappoint you. The old town is full of cafes, restaurants, bars and nightclubs. For classes, go to Gedimino Prospektas street or one of the many shopping centers, such as the Akropolis, which have been relegated to the Soviet attic of history. Buy jewelry or spirits at a very attractive price.
If you spend a weekend in Vilnius, do not hesitate to spend a day visiting Trakai Castle. Given the small size of Lithuania, 65,200 km2, it is easy to see everything from Vilnius. resorts, you will use it better, capture the soul of a country that, more than the other Baltic states, Latvia and Estonia, retain an intact identity.
Warsaw is roughly in the middle of Poland, a bit off to the east. Further north is the Baltic Sea. The city is crossed by the Vistula River, and is located at the nose between the Baltic and Krakow.
If Warsaw is a candidate for cultural capital, it is enough to make many other tourist destinations pale. Indeed, between the sites classified by UNESCO and this culture including gastronomy, music and others, you will not be bored!
As the seasons go by, it’s a different city than you’ll ever see. The continental climate gives cold and snowy winters while the sun shines in the spring and heats a lot in the summer. July is very popular
Washington is a capital, with all that that implies marble, monuments and exceptional museums located in the shadow of the Capitol and the White House. It is also a big city, with gourmet or trendy restaurants, clubs and bars with a high-energy atmosphere and shops that appear and disappear according to the fashions. Under his other profile, Washington is a city where some do not know of the American dream as the difficult tomorrow, a capital where the elite lives in another world, a city whose government sometimes seems to lose interest while living there.
If the inhabitants of the city have the sense of the discussion, they have still more that of the reception. So come and discover an international capital, which has stayed local enough to be loved.
If you want to enjoy the aquatic activities, you can choose between the many beaches of the coast. On Oriental Bay, in the city center, it is possible to take diving lessons, rent a kayak or a sailboat. For sports fans, the paths along the coast allow beautiful mountain bike rides. Thanks to the famous panoramic cable car, you will rise above the bay to enjoy an exceptional panorama.
Here, hikers will take the paths to cross the hills adorned with colourful wooden houses. Nature lovers will visit the impressive 20-hectare botanical garden and the Karori animal sanctuary. The lucky ones will cross there maybe the famous kiwi, this emblematic animal of the country.
A trip to Wellington is also a dive into the culture and history of the country with more than 50 museums and galleries, fascinating historical monuments, professional theatres and a developed film industry.
Afterwards, do not miss the locals and head to a cafe. The cafe culture is here on this city’s vibrant street life, with a year-round swag of events that bring music, pop-up markets and food stalls to the plazas and parks.
Even when there’s nothing on it, the center thrums with youthful energy so it’s no surprise that Croatia’s capital is now bringing in the city-break crowd. Zagreb is the little city that could