Bright lights, skyscraping buildings and an endless flow of energy: big cities can be some of the best travel destinations. I used to be a city girl – dazed by the glitzy lights of New York and charmed by the classic English squares in London. These days, I’m more of an outdoors traveler but it’s still hard to resist the seduction of these vibrant, energetic metropolis. Here’s a list of the world’s greatest cities – from their quintessential attractions to their hedonistic nightlife.
The Big Apple is America’s pride and joy – a massive metropolis chocked full of ethnic districts, charming restaurants and attractions. New York is perhaps the most photographed and filmed city in the world, with its sprawling skyline appearing in thousands of movies and series. Even hotels in New York – like the Plaza – are world famous. When in New York, the first thing that most tourists do is climb to the top of the Empire State Building for a 360degree view; then wander through the nightlights of Times Square and mourning the loss of lives at Ground Zero.
London – Europe’s culture capital – is a melting pot of cultures and a modern-day testimony to European history. Packed with traditional English pubs, outdoor markets and green gardens, London is rich in character and old-world charm. Whether you are visiting the world-famous museums, or shopping along the Portobello Road Market or just drinking in the city view from your hotel, you’ll find yourself quickly falling for London.
Sexy, romantic and aloof: Paris is dubbed the most romantic city in the world. Stroll through the city’s artery of Les Champs Elysees, get lost for hours in the prominent Musee de Louvre or climb up the Eiffel Tower and steal a kiss or two with your loved one. There are endless choices of things to do in Paris – but remember to bring your partner along!
One of the oldest cities in the world, Rome is studded with priceless monuments and valuable testimonies to history. Every street corner opens up to a majestic Roman ruin – be it the Foro Romano (Roman forum/marketplace), Fontana de Trevi or the Vatican San Pietro Basilica. There are no other cities like Rome and it’s easy to see that once you’re here. Over tens of thousands of Roman sites to visit and rows upon rows of charming restaurants to unwind in, Rome makes for a perfect city getaway.
The economic hub of Southeast Asia is not just sky-soaring buildings and hectic commercial districts – Singapore is also filled with bouts of ethnic culture and tradition. Outside of the futuristic city center, you’ll find traditional Buddhist temples, Hindu temples, Muslim mosques and Catholic churches. In a multi-racial society like this, food is diverse and rich: sample colorful and flavorful Singaporean dishes like chilli crabs or fried oysters.
There are few cities in the world as futuristic, energetic and modern as Tokyo. At the busy traffic-junction of Shinjuku, over thousands of people cross each day. Neon lights fill the night skies in the technological district of Akihabara, while the crowded shopping district Shibuya is littered with cute, little boutiques. Don’t forget it’s also one of the most expensive cities in the world, so watch your pocket!
Middle East’s cosmopolitan hub, Dubai, is not just any other metropolis. With the world’s only 6-star hotel, Burj Al Arab, rising through its sea, Dubai has a wealthy economy that is progressing so rapidly that few other cities can catch up with. But besides the sophisticated high-rises, there are plenty of traditional sights to see – like the Jumeirah Mosque and Gold Souk. A little outside of the city is the golden desert, book yourself on a camel safari and within an hour you’ll be right in the heart of the desert.
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