A while ago, I published a post about ten cities I would have no problems visiting over and over again. It wasn’t a comprehensive list of course and I received lots of feedback from readers about their favorite cities to visit. Inspired by their ideas, I decided to add another ten of my favorite cities to my first list. Here they are:
One of the grandest capital cities in Europe, Vienna boasts not only stunning historic palaces and impressive museums but a distinct urban vibe that never fails to excite. Admire the Hofburg, the adjacent Spanish Riding School and the Schönbrunn Palace, visit the beautiful Belvedere and Albertina museums, indulge in aromatic Viennese coffee and the world-famous Sachertorte (cake), and chill along the banks of the Danube Canal.
Bologna is one of my favourite cities in Europe. There’s just something about this city that keeps drawing me back! The city’s biggest attractions are its imposing historic monuments such as its towers and its incredible food scene but stroll around the city in the shade of its gorgeous porticoes, visit the Sunday antique market or join the locals at one of the many terraces and you’ll soon discover why I love Bologna!
Rio de Janeiro
The home of the Christ Statue, Sugarloaf Mountain and Ipanema and Copacabana beaches, Rio de Janeiro is a city of big contrasts, immense beauty and warm, engaging people. The Rio Olympics in 2016 added several new attractions to the city, including a refurbishment of its downtown waterfront district. There’s so much to see and do in this fascinating city – I’ve been there five times now and I still have the feeling that I’ve only scratched the surface!
With its awe-inspiring skyline, cosmopolitan buzz and wondrous mix of Oriental and Western influences, Hong Kong is definitely one of my favourites in Asia. Gleaming skyscrapers and dazzling malls stand alongside serene temples and bustling street markets. For a change of scenery, head for the outer islands and discover sleepy fishing villages and quiet beaches.
A favourite for many visitors from around the world! What’s not to love about Barcelona? The city of Gaudí, Miró, top-notch cuisine, a buzzing nightlife and the blue waters of the Mediterranean lapping its sandy shores, Barcelona never fails to excite!
Madrid, the capital and largest city of Spain is another of my perennial favourites. With its grand architecture, majestic palaces, stunning museums and broad tree-lined avenues, it ranks right up amongst Europe’s great capitals like London and Vienna, at least in my book. What distinguishes Madrid from the other European capitals is its unique flair. Stroll around the compact city centre, indulge yourself at the Mercado de San Miguel (one of my favourite markets in the world!) and sit at one of the many plazas, and you’ll quickly get a feel of this unique flair!
The second-largest city in Austria is often overlooked, which is a pity, because Graz offers visitors a plethora of historic, cultural and foodie experiences. What I love most about this city is how laid-back it is. Combined with UNESCO World Heritage listed Italian Renaissance architecture in its old town, the atmosphere is almost Mediterranean-like! In Graz, you’ll find gorgeous buildings and leafy parks, terrific restaurants, countless alfresco cafés, a vibrant coffee culture and local design shops. Not far from the city, you’ll also find the South Styria wine country – think fabulous wines and food!
Definitely one of my favourite cities in North America! Vancouver is blessed with a spectacular natural setting, hemmed in between a large harbour and imposing mountains. Indulge yourself in the city’s famous seafood (the sushi and sashimi are some of the best I’ve had), stroll around the compact city centre between towering skyscrapers or in leafy neighbourhoods, discover the city’s craft beer scene, get a panoramic view of the city from Grouse Mountain or shop at the popular Granville Island Market.
Another Spanish city I absolutely adore. Though Barcelona and Madrid steal much of the limelight, Valencia has a lot to offer visitors. The historic city centre is a maze of atmospheric alleys and squares but a stone’s throw away, another amazing sight awaits: the City of Arts and Sciences, a wondrous architectural marvel which houses theatres, museums and the aquarium. A short tram-ride brings visitors to the city’s broad, sandy beaches, where locals spend their weekends.
Budapest, the capital of Hungary is another of my Euro favourites. The Buda district, with its iconic castle, is a big attraction but head to the Pest district with its eclectic architecture, broad avenues, bustling markets and vibrant night life. Go for a Danube river cruise to see the city’s historic riverside monuments, have a coffee at Café New York (often touted as one of the world’s most beautiful cafés) or soak in one of the city’s famous thermal baths! You’ll soon see why I always enjoy a visit to this city! Read more about things to do in Budapest. Search for hotels in Budapest.