Someone once said that travel is the only thing we buy that makes us richer. To travel is indeed to experience, to live, to learn, to understand and to measure yourself. Those who have a thick passport hardly ever have a narrow mind. The world is just out there, ready to be discovered. However, right because there are so many amazing places to visit and so many things to do, it might be hard to choose your next destination. To make your job easier and persuade you to start packing your bags and to buy your flight tickets, here is our top 10 of the must visit cities. Get your passport out and enjoy your next adventure!
When asked to describe Paris, magic is the first thing that comes up to my mind. From the Tour Eiffel to the small cafes to the typical brasseries to the elegant boulevards, you will always have the impression of living in a fairytale. Paris is not just for the romantic souls. Of course, if you are planning to travel with your significant other, Paris would be your top destination. However, Paris is perfect if you are traveling alone or with friends too. It offers a great amount of places to visit, including some of the world’s most famous museums with some of the richest collections, and things to do, like a cable car ride to the top of the Montmartre neighborhood where the famous Basilique du Sacré-Coeur is located. The capital will also offer you the finest sample of French food that you can enjoy in one of the many rooftop bars and restaurants. Shopping is also one of the attractions of the capital: from the typical and elegant boutiques to the world famous Galeries Lafayette, Paris shopping is an experience worth doing.
2. New York City
If you are a metropolis lover, the Big Apple will steal your soul. New York is like a window to the world: you will have the chance to see many different cultures and meet people from all over the world, which, each with their traditions, perfectly mix and mingle in the States’ most populous city. Manhattan is a dream destination for all those fashion lovers who have been dreaming of The City while watching Sex and the City or Gossip Girl. But New York, with all its chaos and rush hours, should be on top of your list whether you are an arts lover, fashion lover, night lover, architecture passionate or simply a curious. The Met and Moma will impress you with their collections while the Empire State Building will leave you breathtaking offering you the view over the world’s most famous skyscrapers. There is plenty of good reasons if so many artists dedicated songs, novels, quotes and poems to the marvelous New York City.
There is no such place like the Italian capital. Roma was simply built to be immortal. If you are tired of skyscrapers and tall buildings, Roma is the place to be. I have been visiting Roma at least once a year for the past 15 years of my life yet every time there is new place to discover and a new neighborhood to admire. Transportation might not be the best and taxis quite expensive, but your patience will be rewarded. As the Italian capital, Roma will offer you some of the best shopping experiences you will ever do in your life just like some of the best food you will ever taste. Roma is famous for its people too: start a conversation with a local and I am sure you will bring that person’s warmth and fondness forever in your heart. It is pointless to suggest what monuments to visit. Just go to Piazza del Popolo and from there get lost in the old, narrow and beautiful city streets: I am sure you will find something worth visiting every step you take.
4. Siem Reap
Located in northwestern Cambodia, Siem Reap is the capital city of the Siem Reap Province. The city will offer you museums, a Cambodian cultural village, fishing villages, traditional Apsara dance performances and a bird sanctuary near the Tonle Sap Lake. The city has colonial and Chinese-style architecture around the Old Market and in the Old French Quarter, however this is not what it is best known for. Siem Reap is a tourist attraction mainly due to its proximity to the Angkor Wat, which is a temple complex and the largest religious monument in the world. It features two basic plans of Khmer temple architecture, that is to say the temple-mountain and the later galleried temple. I won’t add more, I am sure you are already packing your bags, ready to discover the rest by yourself!
Piccadilly Circus and Harrods, Hyde Park and Kensington, Camden Town and Covent Garden. These are just few of the most famous English neighborhoods and some of the London’s coolest spots. Just like New York, London is a mix of everything: of cultures, of lifestyles, of fashion styles, of ideas. A cosmopolitan city, ready to impress you. A trip to Chinatown should be on top of your list just like a visit to Harrods, a store that is not comparable to any others. I suggest a trip to London over the Christmas time, when the city shines like nothing else and the atmosphere is simply magical.
Known for its highly developed arts and traditional and modern dance, Bali is that place that will immediately make you think of paradise. With his genuinely warm people, amazing naturalistic spots and marine biodiversity, Bali will give you the impression of living in a postcard. If you are looking to escape from the busy city life and to recharge your batteries, this Indonesian island is what you were looking for. Allow yourself to get lost in Bali’s amazing stretches of sand and in Bali’s nature. Surfing and diving in this part of the Coral Triangle will be on top of your to-do list. Weather will not be a problem: Bali is a year round destination.
Situated in Peru, near the Urubamba Valley of the Andes mountain range, Cusco is the capital of the Cusco Region and the Cusco Province. It was the capital of the Inca Empire from the 13th century to the 16th until the Spanish invasion. The historic site was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1983. Incan majesty and Andean baroque will impress you just like the crazy summer festivals and precious textiles.
8. Buenos Aires
Opera watching and tango dancing are waiting for you in the colorful Buenos Aires. Despite being a bit unusual, the largest city of Argentina will conquer you with its famous cemetery strolling. Influenced by the European culture, the so-called “Paris of South America”, is also known for its theatre tradition and a visit to the Teatro Colon is definitely something to do. Buenos Aires is also a top destination for all the arts lover: hundreds of exhibition openings, gallery nights and art fairs fascinate people from all over the world.
Recognized as the cultural and historical heart of Turkey, Istanbul is a transcontinental city that will allow you to explore and live both the European and Asian culture. Take some time to go to the city’s romantic attraction, the Basilica Cistern, that gives an insight into the complicated system that used to bring drinking water from Thrace. Aya Sofya, Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque are just some of the must-visit sights. Take a morning off to visit the world famous Istanbul Bazar: a shopping experience that will stay with you forever.
Home to the Western culture, Athens deserves to be on the top 10 for all it represents. The first philosophic movements were born here, where Socrates used to take long walks while talking to his disciples. Athens will enchant you with its Greek architecture and sculpture while the Parthenon will shock you with its beauty. Athens is also home to many temples and historic sites. Once your tour is over, jump on the first ferry to Santorini or any other Greek Island.
Featured Picture Credits: Moyan Brenn on Flickr