Why do you travel? Is to relax? To party? Or to just learn something new and exciting?
Do you ever step off a plane and just feel like "Yes, I belong here"? That is how a vacation should be.
Destinations to explore are as numerous as the people who travel to them. And while you can have a good time anywhere, some cities are better suited for certain kinds of tourists than others. Here are some of the best cities to check out, whatever kind of traveler you are:
Choose your travel style:
For Beach Bums
For the Modern Metropolitan
For the Party Animal
For the History Buffs
For the Shopaholic
For the Cultural Explorer
For the Beach Bums
Sun, sand, waves, and a piña colada at hand: What better way is there to recharge your batteries?
While most travellers wouldn't consider the United States of America to be a tropical paradise, Miami is right on par with the stereotypical Caribbean destinations; soft white sand, clear blue water, and palm trees lining the streets. With the perfect balance of Western and Latin influence, this southern Florida city has good food, good music, and good fun to spare.
San Juan is the ultimate resort town mixed with the comfort of urban amenities. The water feels like a warm bath, and the many beachside hotels offer free lounge chairs and drinks, perfect to recharge those batteries while it's snowing back home. For the more adventurous, kite-sailing and sea-doos are available for rent, and historical Old San Juan has the most adorable colourful shops and cafes to explore.
Rio was one of the first jet set vacation locations for celebrities and the elite, and for good reason; it's cheap, it's gorgeous, and it's hot in more ways than one. Even more than the stunning mountain views, the historic museums, and the constant pumping nightlife, what attracts tourists to Rio is its claim to having the most beautiful people in the world. Whether this is true or not you'll have to decide for yourself.
If you are energized by the hustle and bustle of non-stop city life, relaxing on a beach all day won't cut it. See it all and do it all in these urban havens.
Despite being the ultimate fast-paced technological cityscape, Tokyo is organized, efficient and clean; everything that a modern city should be.The Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is globally famous for its cherry trees, but if it's a calm green space you're after, there are sprawling parks and garden to spare. Tokyo is also praised for having the best public transit system in the world, so it's incredibly easy to get around and explore.
The first thing that people will think of when they hear about Hong Kong is: the people! Hong Kong is a multicultural hub of Cantonese, Mandarin and British cultures, with minorities from southeast Asia, the Americas, Japan, India, Pakistan and more. This mishmash and sharing of cultures is what makes Hong Kong the cuisine capital of Asia - for the adventurous foodie, this is not a stop to miss.
There is a reason that New York is called one of the greatest cities in the world again and again. It is a huge, sprawling metropolis of extremely diverse neighborhoods, with Manhattan as the iconic financial and economic centre of the United States, and in many instances, the globe. Although it is steadily losing it's colorful cultural roots and becoming a bubble for billionaires, the city that never sleeps is still worth visiting at least once in your lifetime.
Night owls rejoice: The drinks are flowing, the music is pumping, and the people are dancing away already in these favorite party spots.
Pattaya is most well-known for it's pumping bars and clubs that are open until dawn. This city is it's quietest at 8 AM; when most other cities are waking up, Pattaya is finally collapsing into bed. Beach side resorts are fairly cheap, service is excellent, and gourmet food and drink will make travelers from all walks of life feel like a superstar. If nightlife isn't your thing, there are plenty of sights to explore on the many islands surrounding the city, which you can get to by ferry or by private speedboat.
Cancun is the go-to destination for American spring-breakers and families getting away from the ice and snow of the north. This city is postcard-perfect; white sand, crystal blue waters, and the widest menu of drinks, food, and entertainment all day and night. If you want a real treat, check out the dazzling Coco Bongo or Dady'O shows in the evening. Just make sure to pre-drink at your hotel or small-time pub, as the price of cocktails in the entertainment center will set you back more than the cost of show tickets.
No list of party cities would be complete without "Sin City", the gambling and party center of America, maybe even the world. Vegas is all about being big; big lights, big shows, and of course, big hotels and casinos. The Bellagio, the Venetian, the MGM Grand...even if you don't stay in these world-famous destinations, wandering around the lit-up luxury at any hour of the day or night is worth it. Plus, Vegas has loads of family-friendly fun, too; golf, aquariums, museums, and more.
The past is fascinating, and the best way to learn about it is to see it firsthand. If monuments, museums, and historical sites are your jam, you'll love visiting these places.
There's a reason why Rome is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From the fountains to the cobblestones to the piazzas and churches, the entire city is a bustling, beautiful, historical artefact that goes back nearly 3000 years. Not to mention the famous tourist sites such as the Colosseum, St. Peter's Basilica, the Pantheon, the Sistine Chapel, and more. History lovers, get your cameras ready.
For the perfect combination of art and history, Amsterdam is the place to be. Van Gogh, Rembrandt, and Bosch all have museums and famous exhibits here. Take a cruise to view the luxurious old canal houses, or wander in and out of the old colorful shops and cafes to really take in the 17th and 18th century architecture. Even the famous Red Light District, Amsterdam's nightlife center, is steeped in historic roots.
Istanbul is like Rome's bigger, wealthier, and more influential cousin; this city was the capital of the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman empires, and the entire city is scattered with the historic remnants of these legacies, including Hagia Sophia, Tokapi Palace, and the Basilica Cistern, to name a few. Historically, Istanbul was the city where east meets west, and this still very much holds true today as residents balance their Islamic faith and traditions with a modernized Western world.
Travelling is the perfect opportunity to expand your wardrobe, cash in on some new gadgets, and try something different. Whether you're into boutiques or department stores, these are the places for you.
One of icons of the fashion world, Milan balances classical with new and modern styles. It is home to the oldest and most wonderful shopping center in the world, the Vittorrio Emanuele II, recently restored to glory by big name fashion houses and Italian natives, Prada and Gucci. Check out the trendy canal district, Navigli, to see local fashion designers and vintage shops for unique, authentic items.
The great thing about Paris is that every neighborhood has it's own distinct style, and fashion fiends of all types can find something that suits them in the City of Love. France's signature haute couture can be found in the tourist-centric Champs-Élysées and Golden Triangle, flea markets and vintage finds have a home in northern Paris, and small shops and unique boutiques can be found on every corner.
Everything in Dubai is new, shiny, and in-your-face; this steel and glass luxury metropolis is a city unlike any other. This is a city of exorbitant wealth and self-indulgence; the experience of window shopping here is unlike any other. Plus, you can always find a good deal the Gold Souk or some of the other outdoor markets.
Travelling from behind a bus tour window or from the comfort of a walled resort is not the same as seeing the world (it's just like home! Except more expensive and warmer!) if you really want to dive in headfirst to experience a different culture, check out these cities.
You really haven't eaten until you've wandered into a Bangkok soi and tasted salty, spicy noodles mixed with car exhaust and your own sweat. Bangkok is one of the most culturally fascinating cities in the world. You can find everything here; contemporary megamalls, tiny village huts, shining Buddhist temples, floating markets, zooming sky trains, and throughout it all, the fun-loving, kind-hearted Thai people. A universal language is spoken in Bangkok.
If Moscow is the heart of Russia, Saint Petersburg is the soul. Home to hundreds of museums, palaces, cathedrals, historical monuments, art galleries,and theaters, Saint Petersburg is a beautiful, bustling testament to the past and present Russian people. The entire city is set on series of islands and rivers, interspersed with beautiful arched drawbridges. This is why Saint Petersburg is called "the Venice of the North".
Kyoto is the spiritual centre of Japan; you can't walk more than few steps without tripping over a temple, shrine, or an inn that is centuries old. Wooden restaurants look over intimate blooming gardens, seasonally decorated geisha serve tea, and the shrines shine on the mountainside, like a moment stopped in time. The traditional Japanese spirit is balanced with the modern life of a university town.
Check out all of the destinations that you can explore!
Your Adventure Awaits
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