5 of my favourite cities around the world
I’ve travelled a lot over the last 10 years. I still think travel is the best thing ever (not sure whether it falls before or after shopping), and I don’t think I will ever tire of it. My grandparents are in their 80s and still travelling. I want to be like them one day. Since I’ve travelled extensively through Asia and Europe, I thought I would do a little post about 5 of my favourite cities around the world. I’ve added memories and ideas of what to do. I’m going to do bigger posts for each of these cities with experiences and places to go!
5 of my favourite cities around the world
1) Auckland, New Zealand.
I don’t know whether this should be on this list, but this is my home town. I love Auckland, it is diverse, beautiful and interesting. Sometimes I wish I could be far away from NZ and living in a different country, but Auckland is, and always will be, my home and my ‘safe place’. There is a good museum here and an art gallery, which doesn’t seem as busy and bustling as, say, London. However, the outdoorsy things to do here are in an abundance! Whether you head out west to some of the most beautiful black sand beaches in the world (wild west coast – I don’t swim there because I’m not a strong enough swimmer), or if you take a ferry over to Rangitoto or Waiheke. There are some lovely islands that are perfect for bird watching (Tiri Tiri), the walk to the top of Rangitoto can be tiring, but worth it in the end.
2) London, England.
I had to put London second on this list – I lived there, so it is like a second home for me. Whenever I travelled in Europe and returned to my London home, I always felt at peace. It’s surprising how much a ‘home away from home’ does actually become your home. I made some life-long friends there, who I miss a lot, and I can’t wait to see them again this year! London is spectacular. The history, the architecture, the busyness of the city. I love the mix of the modern and old buildings in London. In Auckland, they have/had a habit of tearing down a lot of the old, beautiful buildings in the CBD and replacing them with really ugly buildings. But London has done a really good job with keeping up with the times and also keeping their history. London has an amazing array of museums, galleries, parks, shops, palaces etc. One of my favourite walks to do was from the Tower of London to Borough Market, then along the Thames until I got to Westminster.
3) Amsterdam, Netherlands.
A lot of people tell me when I say I love Amsterdam, that I must like it there because of the drugs. My answer back is that there is so much more to Amsterdam, and the Netherlands, than drugs and the Red Light District. I’ve never gone there especially to smoke, and I never will. I love Amsterdam for its history, its buildings, museums, galleries, food. It’s a beautiful city. My hope is that I can one day make it my home, and that is something I’m working on! One of my favourite things to do in Amsterdam is to take a canal boat and see the city from the canals. It sounds a little touristy, but it is actually quite fun sitting in the boat and watching the city go past. I biked through Amsterdam once, which terrified me. I’m not the most coordinated person. One of my friends biked into a pole and then got stuck in a tram line. TBH, I’m surprised it wasn’t me 😀
4) Shanghai, China.
We went, as a family, to Shanghai to visit my brother. He lived in Shanghai for a couple of years. I was so excited to go there and visit him, as I’d heard the architecture at the Bund was magnificent. I love Art Deco, and this was the perfect place for me. The Peace Hotel (I think that’s what it’s called) was really beautiful. There was a jazz band playing there, and they were trying to get all of us in the little bar to dance. The lead singer came up to me and said ‘don’t be shy’, and pulled me up to dance. I was so embarrassed at the time, but now I look back and laugh because it was a really fun moment.
5) Hanoi, Vietnam.
Vietnam was another place that gave me the travel bug. I went there in 2009. It was an amazing place to visit. Hanoi was the first city that really opened my eyes up to different cultures and lifestyles. It made me realise how fortunate I am to come from NZ. Hanoi was an incredible city, and it certainly broadened my horizons. There are not enough words I can use to describe how much I loved Hanoi. I loved how there were so many bikes and that the traffic was crazy, I loved the people and how friendly they were. The streets around where I stayed were really cool – one street sold all silverware, another street sold shoes and clothes etc. Hanoi is a place I would LOVE to visit again.
What are some of your favourite cities? Have you been to any of these places I’ve talked about on this list? Did you enjoy them as much as me?
There are so many other places I could have written about, however, I didn’t want to overwhelm people. My next travel post will be about 5 of my other favourite cities. Tokyo, Yangon, Kyoto and Sydney may get a mention in these posts!
If you enjoyed reading this post, have a read of some of my other travel posts: