It is very difficult for me to name a favorite country. I do not have children, but I imagine it feels a bit like having to choose one of those. However, even though I struggle to name a favorite country, I do not struggle to name a favorite city. I fell in love with Edinburgh, Scotland, on my very first visit and even after many years of traveling to equally delightful cities, Edinburgh remains my first love. I thought I would share some (this list is not all inclusive) of my other favorite cities to visit in the event you are planning a trip and looking for inspiration.
Boston is my favorite East Coast city. The history, the architecture, the accents, the clam chowder. It is a delightful place to explore and learn. They even make it really easy to see the sights by painting a walking path for you to follow. There are more tourists here than there used to be and that is unfortunate. However, it is still worth visiting. Check out what to do in Boston depending on your length of stay.
Raglan, New Zealand
My New Zealand road trip took me to fun and beautiful places all over the north and south islands. But it was a little beach-side town named Raglan that I remember the most fondly. This sleepy town has a laid-back vibe and black-sand beaches just waiting to be explored. You can also get some really cool, handmade shoes from Soul Shoes. Mine are holding up great!
Yes, Athens is a big, noisy, tourist-filled city. But the history and views will make all of the annoyances worth the time you spend exploring it. Find yourself a cafe with a view of the Parthenon, then sit back and relax. Wander small, windy streets until you get lost (it won’t be hard). Visit the National Archaeological Museum. Athens is a fascinating city that I hope to visit again sometime soon.
Granted, I have only been to Savannah, Georgia, once (a travesty, really). I want to go back because I loved everything about it including the history, the Southern charm, the food, the houses and more. It is a wonderful little slice of the U.S.A., so different from where I grew up and now live.
I wrote a post about the delightful 24 hours we spent in Riga, Latvia. It was not nearly enough. If you are looking for a medieval city chock full of charm and short on tourists, head to Riga. You may find yourself entertained by various stag parties if you happen to visit on a Saturday night. But the rest of the time should be quiet and calm.
If you can get past the humidity (which is really hard for me to do), Ubud is an exotic and unique city to spend some time in. The shopping is great (if you like really cool, handmade stuff) and the food is tasty. Our time there also included a memorable yoga class and an all-day spa day extravaganza. You can really pamper yourself in Ubud and it is really affordable. Just keep that humidity in mind. And if anyone tries to tell you that you do not need air conditioning because Ubud is in the mountains, they are lying.
I find it difficult to explain how I felt visiting Kotor, Montenegro. The place feels a little like you are in a fairytale…almost as if you are visiting somewhere that Disney created (it is that adorable). Everything around you seems unreal, but it is not. Old Town is just that spectacular. Trust me on this and make sure you stop by if you are in the area.
Tallinn, Estonia, is a wonderful medieval city (particularly the Old Town). There is a lot to see and explore. But it is always equally delightful to sit back and relax. Our time in Tallinn was made extra special by staying in an Airbnb that was a converted chapel…and it had a sauna in the basement! But really, it was the location that made it so awesome. We could step out the door and explore Old Town to our hearts’ content. Or we could sit back and enjoy a mid-vacation respite. (Read more about what Estonia has to offer.)
Under no stretch of the imagination is Stanley, Idaho, considered a city. But this place has my heart and if I won the lottery tomorrow, my first order of business would be to buy a place in Stanley. Now before you jump on that bandwagon, let me tell you that the winters in Stanley are brutal and long. This place is not for the faint of heart. But it is breathtaking and a wonderful place to explore (assuming you like mountains).
If you are not in love with bunting flags, you will be after you visit Plovdiv. This Bulgarian city may not be the most well-known, but it is a sleeper and will steal your heart. I love it for the shopping alone. The streets are adorable and full of artisans selling amazing wares (R and I spent a lot of money in this town). You should see the handmade red sandals I picked up here. There was also dinner with a view, ancient ruins and an empty old town, all perfect for the ‘gram.
Mansfield, Australia, is a small town located in Victoria. I loved it. As a big, big man of the movie, “The Man from Snowy River,” I couldn’t resist a visit to the area to ride some horses. This is where I would probably move to if I lived in Australia.
If you are not a die-hard Jim Craig fan like myself, may I suggest Hobart, Australia? It is the capital of Tasmania, and an adorable city located right on the water.
I don’t know what Bruges looks like the rest of the year, but during Christmas time, it is a winter wonderland. The Christmas markets, lights, decorated chocolate shops are all almost too much. But I imagine it would be wonderful anytime of the year. After all, the canals and chocolate shops are there to stay. I suggest you explore both thoroughly.
We stayed in the most adorable bed and breakfast in Woodstock, Vermont. That may have me biased about this town. However, I do think the historic buildings, central square, covered bridge and town crier all make it worth visiting….even with the almost unbearably cold temperatures we experienced).
After exploring the very hot desert and sweating it out in Marrakesh, the coast of Morocco was a breath of fresh air. It was lovely to walk around. And the blue boats of Essaouira, Morocco, did not disappoint. I appreciated Essaouira because the markets were not as intimidating or overwhelming as those in Marrakesh. And the sunsets were spectacular.
There are so many wonderful places in this world to visit. Even someone who is not a lover of cities (like me), can find and enjoy beautiful cities all over the world. If you have got a few favorite cities to visit, let me know. I am always looking to add to my list.