City trips are my second favourite travel destination after an indulgent island destination and sipping cocktails by the pool or on a beach. Lets explore some of the top destinations around the world in this instalment of “Destination:”
Nearly all city trips are best done during the summer, bar a few of those destinations that are truly magical in winter or those that are just too hot in summer. Summertime seems to lift everyone’s moods – especially the locals, it’s sunny outside, the grass is green and flowers are blooming. And most of all, no clouds or rain to dampen your experience.
Sure, some destinations lend themselves perfectly for not so perfect weather if you’re into museums and indoor activities, but if you really want to explore a place stick to spring or summer.
Each of these cities represent some of the best their continent has to offer and although there are plenty more great cities to explore, lets start with these.
Amsterdam, the Venice of the North, lives up to its historic nickname with over 60 miles (100km) of canals and 1,680 bridges connecting about 90 islands that make up the city of Amsterdam. Fun fact: that’s more canals than Venice and more bridges than Paris.
Book a hotel or Airbnb somewhere in the city and plan ahead, because there is so much to see and do. Public transport is great with trams, metro and busses taking you anywhere you want to go.
Don’t miss out on the nation’s capitol sights like the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, Anne Frank House, stroll through Vondelpark and of course the obligatory walk through the red light district followed by a visit to a cannabis coffee shop.
If you’re a fan of shopping you’ve come to the right place to. Check out the Negen Straatjes, Albert Cuyp Market or if you want to splurge a stroll through Kalverstraat should empty your creditcard.
For more information on Amsterdam, visit their website here.
Sydney, The Emerald City – should definitely be on your list of city trips. Why? I’ll tell you why. First of all, summer in Sydney is amazing. Great weather, tanned bodies, awesome beaches (Bondi Beach), terrific food and drinks venues.
Of course, these things can also be found in other cities. Sure, but those cities don’t have the Sydney Opera House or the Sydney Harbour Bridge or Bondi Beach. Nor do they have that sexy Aussie accent.
Explore the city in the morning and jump on a 30min ferry ride to Manly Beach for a few hours in the sun. If you’re lucky you might be there for a surf life saving rowing competition.
Sydneysiders love their food as well as a drink or two so you’ll be spoiled for choice with any type of food from around the world and venues dedicated to gin, whiskey and cocktails.
Check out our full destination guide to Sydney here.
Sure complain away. “Why do people always take New York as their city destination in North America? There are plenty more cities there!” Yeah, I know, but nobody really wants to go there aside from San Francisco maybe.
First of all, it has a little bit in common with another city in this list, Amsterdam. On what is now known as the island of Manhattan, the Dutch settled New Amsterdam on the southern tip of the island and until 1664 it was known by that name. And the remnants of the Dutch can still be found all around the city with places and roads like Harlem, Wall Street, Brooklyn and Broadway all derived from Dutch cities and road names.
These days New York is most famous for Central Park, the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, 5th Avenue, Times Square, Broadway and it theatres, One World Trade Center, and dozens of museums and sporting venues.
There’s a hotel for every budget and so is the way you can spend your money whether you’re into vintage clothing or high street fashion, New York has it for you. The same goes for food and drinks. You can easily spend a few weeks here and never eat or drink the same thing.
Interested in New York. Check it out more info here.
The city-state of Singapore is a must see destination if you plan on visiting South East Asia. The Lion City is located on the southern tip of peninsular Malaysia and offers the best of both Western and Asian cultures, all packaged up in a beautiful city.
Singapore boasts some of the worlds best hotels, such as the Mandarin Oriental, Raffles and Marina Bay Sands. Worth exploring are the 101 hectares of the Gardens by the Bay and no visit is complete without having dipped your toe into the swimming pool on top of the Marina Bay Sands.
Singapore is famous for its food culture and it should definitely be at the top of your list of places to visit if you’re into food and often the first thing you get asked when meeting a local person is “Have you eaten?”.
For more information on traveling to Singapore visit their website here.
Cape Town or Kaapstad is another remnant of Dutch influence (those damn Dutch were everywhere!) dating back to around 1650. These days its known for its harbour area, the Cape Floristic Region and Table Mountain.
Of course, we shouldn’t forget the beautiful beaches, wineries to examine to your hearts’ content, plenty of shopping opportunities and the relative proximity to duck out of the city for a few days to see some wildlife during a safari.
To find out more about your trip to Cape Town, go here.
Rio de Janeiro
Last, but definitely not least, the gem of Brasil – Rio de Janeiro. The stage of the most recent Olympic Games has captured the attention of the world and doesn’t intend to let go of that anytime soon.
Don’t forget to pack your sungas, Havaianas, grab your beach towel to go down to Ipanema, Copacabana or Leblon and get amongst the locals enjoying sun, sea and sand. Your nightlife options are plenty, but stick to the well-known places. Rio is beautiful, but it has its faults, unfortunately.
Aside from the beaches, don’t miss out on taking the cable cart up to see the statue of Christ the Redeemer and get a sweeping view of the city below you. A great time of year to visit is during Carnival (February) as well as for the NYE celebrations. Make sure you book well ahead for those!
Interested in Rio de Janeiro. Check it out here.
Plan, Book & Explore
I like to be prepared when I go somewhere which means I plan ahead for things I’d like to see and do. It avoids a lot of disappointed along the way as well. That way I don’t miss out on a show, exhibition or entry into something that I had to pre-book.
Most of all, it gives me piece of mind to explore once I’ve ticket the things I want to do off my list.
I always make sure I have my travel essentials with me for a city trip whether its a 3 day trip or if I go for 2 weeks.
What cities do you recommend? Let us know in the comments below.
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