Gone are the days where city break means you go to a nearby city to have fun; nowadays, technology means you can flock to another city and within hours you can be in the heart of its cultures, be getting to know its people, and chowing down some of the best local delicacies. If you prefer to spend a couple of days exploring a new city over lying on a beach, below are some of the best weekend getaways and city breaks around the world you should put on your list next:
One of the most sought after cities in the east, Tokyo is a must-visit city unlike anything else. The incredibly clean and modern city is one of the best locations for families and single travelers alike because it is one of the safest cities in the world. However, you have to prepare yourself as Tokyo has a fast-paced lifestyle. Expect to see traffic, busy pedestrians, and various neon lights at night, giving the city a futuristic feel.
Be sure to check out the Tokyo Sky Tree during your visit and go to their observation tower to see a bird’s eye view of the city. On the other hand, if you are into art you have to put the Tokyo National Museum on your list of places to go.
Apart from their landmarks, another thing that you have to accomplish is trying out Japanese dishes like ramen, yakitori and of course, sushi. A Japan trip cannot be complete without trying out at least one Japanese meal!
This city might not be as popular as Tokyo and Rome, but you will fall in love with its beautiful structures, gothic cathedral, and cobbled walkways. If you love dancing, you have to know that Seville is famous because of Flamenco. Calle Feria is one of the places that travelers should visit; it is a flea market where you can buy locally made clothes and souvenirs for you and your family when you get back home.
Right across the street is the Feria Food Market where you can try their stunning Spanish delicacies, dishes like chorizo and goat’s cheese that is made in Seville. Some visitors love the fact that Spanish people are very friendly, and they seem to be always open to a conversation, especially to visitors.
Most people speak some English but always appreciate people attempting the language. You won’t get bored during a trip to Saville and it won’t set you back as much as some of the other cities on the list either.
Smaller than Scotland’s largest city Glasgow, but by no means quiet, Edinburgh is a vibrant city, so expect to walk through crowds, especially down the main streets.
If you want to go to restaurants, it is advisable to book in advance to avoid the hassle, especially in August, during the Edinburgh Festival, the city becomes one big theatrical melting pot. It is also recommended to visit Edinburgh during May where accommodations are cheaper at the same time the weather is dryer, so you will get to stroll around the city and check out the castles comfortably.
Locals would recommend you to explore the city on foot because the streets are cobbled and steep, exploring some of the interesting nooks and crannies will be missed traveling by car. Additionally, a Scotch Whisky Tour is a must when you visit Edinburgh, if you’ve never seen a man wearing a kilt, holding bagpipes you will be able to tick this one off after this visit.
4. Hong Kong
When you hear “Hong Kong”, some of you will automatically think about Hong Kong Disneyland. It is a popular destination for southeast Asians who find it expensive to go to the United States to visit the original Disneyland. There is so much stuff to see (and buy), so it is best to save up before going here because you will purchase a lot of things aside from tasting their authentic Dim Sum and exploring the famous Hong Kong Island.
Because the city is diverse and has many different nationalities living and working there, you can get along with people by using English as a means to communicate. You can watch ships along the Victoria Harbor, and it is an experience having a ride in their “ding dings” to go around the streets.
Flea markets are also one of the reasons why people go to Hong Kong. Products that are available here can be super cheap, saving you a lot of money than buying in boutiques.
5. New York
One of the most popular and visited cities in the world is New York City. Its depiction in movies brings people here and walking the streets is like being in one.
You can’t visit this place and not check out the Statue of Liberty, a very prominent historical structure, a present from France, great for a picture opportunity and learning some history about the city. You can also stroll along Central Park and be amazed at how bustling this city is and marvel at the greatness of the Empire State Building, one of the best views of New York.
And because this city has always been a must-visit place, it also offers some of the best, varied, and reasonable restaurants that you can think of. From fancy diners to quirky food stalls, New York will certainly satisfy your food cravings. It’s true that New York City never sleeps and food can be acquired, pretty much anywhere, 24/7.
When in London, the largest city in the UK by some distance, you have to make sure you do all of the touristy things, like check out the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, and the Tower of London.
London is drenched in history, dating back to Roman times. The inner city is diverse and architecturally impressive, great vantage points to see the big apple’s inspiring cityscape are The London Eye, The OXO Tower, Tower Bridge, and The Shard, where you can enjoy a nice glass of bubbly while looking out over one of the busiest cities in the world.
If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the center, London contains some fantastic green spaces like Hyde Park and Hampton Court Palace, which holds one of many mazes London has to offer.
When it comes to eating out, you’ll never run out of options, London has everything, there is something for everyone. That said, it’s worth checking out China Town if you’re a fan of Southeast Asian food. It’s not Hong Kong but it has a varied and authentic selection.
If you love a curry, heading to Brick Lane is advisable. If you’re looking for something more traditional, it’s worth wandering through Covent Garden or Camden as there will be plenty on offer to choose from, it’s recommended to check out the pubs and order an English classic like Bangers & Mash, Fish & Chips or Pie & Peas.
A wonderful medieval Polish city known for its Jewish quarters, Krakow, should also be added to your list. If you’re a history buff, you can learn a lot of things here especially about the Holocaust and the horrors of Auschwitz. You can even visit Oskar Schindler’s former factory, a very inspiring remnant of the past that we should acknowledge.
If you love to visit old churches and medieval structures, you’re sure to fall for the St Francis’ Basilica, Wawel Castle, Kosciuszko Mound, and St. Joseph’s Church. And if you still can’t get enough of the charming vibe of this city, you can stop over at Krakow’s Old Town.
Rome is another city to choose from if you want to be in a classy place surrounded everywhere you go by extremely well-kept Roman history. This is a romantic city, ideal for couples or food enthusiasts to visit their many pizzeria’s and restaurants serving delicious fresh pasta dishes, don’t think for one minute that you can travel to Rome and avoid the carbs.
Home of Catholicism, Rome is an endpoint of many, for religious reasons. The city uniquely holds the Vatican City within it, classed as a state, independent of Rome and Italy. It means you can visit the Coliseum, the Trevi Fountain and the Roman Forum and then see where the Pope resides in one go, however it is recommended to take a guided tour of the Vatican to make the most of it, as there is plenty to see and know.
Starting the day with a freshly ground Italian espresso and finishing it with the best gelato in the world will never get old.
If you’re a fan of the Ottoman Empire or the Byzantium period, Istanbul is where you should be. An excellent city where the old meets the new, this is where travelers should go when they want to experience a rich and exotic culture.
For your first stop, don’t miss the Hagia Sophia, once a mosque and a church and now a museum. It’s deemed to be one of the most beautiful buildings in the world. And once you’re done marveling at the grandness of the museum, you can walk down the Grand Bazaar where you can find almost any shop you can conceive, making shopping very exciting. Apart from these, go on a mosque expedition and fill your soul with Istanbul’s awe-inspiring religious structures.
The last city on our list is the modern and sustainable European city of Amsterdam. Eco-friendly as well as being just extremely friendly, the city could be known of the city of bikes, if not for the barges riding down the merchant canals, the foundations on which the city was built on.
If you want to immerse yourself in Dutch culture, this is an eventful city where festivals, fairs, exhibitions, local markets, and museums are open to the public consistently. One of the traditional events that you can join is Amsterdam’s Kings Day where the Dutch celebrate their King’s birthday.
If you’re not too fond of open places, you can always visit one of Amsterdam’s many museums. The Dutch are open people and never shy away from telling it straight. If you’re into your history, a strong recommendation is the Anna Frank museum. Just make sure you head there early as people will be queuing from the morning onwards.
One of the more controversial locations to visit is Amsterdam’s famous Red Light District which we can no longer recommend you to visit. Overcrowded and detrimental, this city has lots of neighborhoods to explore. All in all, Amsterdam is a very relaxed city, with a little something for everyone. Just be careful when ordering a brownie in a coffee shop, that it only contains chocolate and not anything naughty.
These locations are just a few of the many cities that you can opt to put on your list the next time you decide to go for a city trip. Whether you’re planning your upcoming weekend getaways or need a longer recuperation break, there are plenty of choices here to kick start your perfect city escape.