10 Best Cities to Visit in 2017
It is amazing to think how big the world is. A diversity of environments, flavors, and colors shape each country and the uncountable cities on them. It is really difficult to pick a next destination when we have tons of opportunities just waiting to be visited, so here we selected the 10 best cities to visit on your next trip. A variety of places for all kind of travelers, there is history, food, culture and adventure destinations ready to be discovered. So, let’s go?
Canada is in the spotlight in 2017. While the country is celebrating 150 years of independence, the city of Montreal celebrates the 375th anniversary of its founding. This city has something that makes it special, beginning with its language. Even though located in North America, Montreal is the second largest French-speaking city in the world, losing only for Paris. In this bilingual city is common to be greeted by “Bonjour/Hi” to demonstrate it.
Montreal is also a cosmopolitan city. Over 90 festivals will be hosted in Montreal this year, from the famous jazz festival to movies, food and comedy themes. The area of Old Montreal with its preserved colonial architecture is where the stunning Basilique Notre-Dame is located. Mount Royal Park is another must visit offering a beautiful view of Montreal skyline. Add to your itinerary a visit to Marché Jean-Talon to get a glimpse at Montreal blooming cuisine and don’t forget to try the famous poutine, traditional ones are basically French fries with foie gras topping but today it is easily finding different twists. It is true Canada is an amazing country to go and if you have only one town to pick, Montreal is the city to visit this year.
No 2 in the best cities to visit list is Vienna. Visiting Vienna is like stepping into a different century. The capital city of Austria is a land of historic architectural constructions and charming coffee houses. Palaces like Schloss Schonbrunn and Schloss Belvedere are some Viennese gems. Just to give you a hint, Schloss Schonbrunn is a baroque building with 1,441 rooms and considered a UNESCO world cultural heritage site. In both palaces, you can spend a whole day just visiting its buildings and gardens and it is totally worth to do so. Buying tickets in advance is a wise decision due to the popularity of those attractions.
Walking around the city is an attraction itself. Grabenstrasse is one of the most famous streets, even though nowadays is considered a shopping street with famous stores, historic constructions from 17th and 18th century are located there. When in Grabenstrasse take a time to walk around the popular alleys to find hidden places.
The coffee houses are popular in Vienna. The Café Central is a place to visit, this coffee house is located in a historical building dated from 1876 and in the past, was the place where Trotsky used to play chess. Once called home by famous classical music artists like Mozart and Strauss, today it is possible to attend an opera performance at Straatsoper, booking in advance is highly recommended. After a couple of hours in Vienna, you will see that this city is like that, a vivid history place.
San Pedro do Atacama, Chile
Chile was considered the best adventure tourism destination by World Travel Awards. This narrow South American country has so much to offer. From South to North there are attractions for every type of traveler. San Pedro do Atacama is a village located in the North of Chile, 98 kilometers from Calama, and it is the place to stay while visiting the Atacama Desert. The town can be considered an oasis in the middle of the driest desert on earth and from there it is possible to take the tours to Atacama’s attractions like Miscanti and Miñiques Lakes, Death Valley, Geysers El Tatio, Moon Valley and Cejar Lakes.
San Pedro do Atacama is a preserved small village with approximately 5 thousand people. The constructions there are rustics adobe type as done 11 thousand years ago. The main street is Calle Caracoles with restaurants and stores selling artisans products aimed at Atacama Desert visitors. The artisan market located in the main square sell local arts like colorful covers made from lhama wool. In the evenings, a popular spot to eat is Adobe restaurant offering Chilean and international dishes. This tiny village plays the hole to welcome all visitors into this incredible desert and is ready to show its charm.
Lisbon is a city easy to love. It breathes history through its buildings and cuisine. The constructions will show the history through their buildings and artifacts, while the food keeps antique traditions. As a great example are the Portuguese desserts, often made with a lot of egg yolk turned into delicious delicacies like pastel de nata. History tells that in the past nuns used the egg whites to stiffen their habits, and for the yolks to not go unused were turned into desserts. Nowadays it is still possible to try the curious desserts as papos de anjo (angel’s chest) and Barriga de freira (nun’s belly), just to name a few.
The attractions in Lisbon will not disappoint. Belem Tower and Jeronimos Monastery are famous places to visit in Belem area. The monastery’s cloisters are considered among the most beautiful in the world. While walking around the city do not forget to stop in the famous miradouros and see Lisbon from the top of them. Even the rooftops are interesting to take a look.
Alfama is a traditional neighborhood with village atmosphere, where the botanical Garden is located, if you are into music, Fado Museum is also a good place to visit. After walking this amazing city, nothing better than to try a true pastel de nata at Antiga Confeitaria de Belem, located in the same building since its foundation in 1837. There are much more attractions and things to do in this enchanted city, here is just a hint to make you curious to book your next trip there as soon as possible. You will not regret it.
Making its way in at number five on our list of best cities to visit in the world, The city of the Inca empire is the entrance door to Machu Picchu, one of the most famous attractions in South America. Cusco is a true sample of Peruvian history in the Andes where you can find Spanish constructions and fine engineering of Incas people. A great example of this combination is Plaza de Armas, during Inca time was called “Huacaypata”, meaning a place for meeting, but it was also the place Spanish proclaimed conquest of Cusco. Cusco Cathedral is located in the plaza and was erected by Spanish on top of an Inca temple, a common attitude during colonization in most of South America countries.
Cusco cuisine is also an attraction and its typical food presents flavorful soups and stews like Timbo, with beef and vegetables included. Ceviche is widely known already and easily available in the city. Potatoes are also very popular in Peruvian dishes. One of the reasons is due to thousands of different types of the root encountered in the country.
Beyond Cusco is where the Inca temples are preserved. It is true Machu Picchu is the most famous Inca trail and worldwide known destination, especially for its trekking but there are a lot of attractions nearby Cusco. Qenko archaeological complex is a sacred temple where ceremonies in honor of the Sun were performed during Inca era and, Moray archaeological complex with the combination of a visit at Salt Mine of Marays are some samples of what Peru has to show. Planning ahead your trip to Cusco is advised, especially in the case of Machu Picchu. Other attractions can be booked while in Cusco.
Chiang Mai, Thailand
The largest city in northern Thailand has become the next big attraction in the country, tourists are often including Chiang Mai in their itinerary. Part of it is because of the combination of temple’s architecture and good food in a calm place, contrasting directly with similar amazing but crazier capital city Bangkok.
A must do in Thailand is to visit the beautiful temples, and will not be different in Chiang Mai. The mountaintop Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is located 15 kilometers away from the city and worth the trip. The activity of climbing its 306-steps staircase is intended for visitors to earn Buddhist merit. Another famous temple is Wat Phra Sing and the main attraction is the Phra Sing (the lion Buddha). Add to your list a visit to the ruins of Wat Chedi Luang, once considered the largest structure in ancient Chiang Mai.
Thailand is also known for its fragrant cuisine. It is true it will be a totally different experience from your hometown Thai restaurant and will add new flavors to your life. The most famous food in Chiang Mai is kôw soy, a bowl of noodles in a curry broth with pickled greens, lime, and shallots. Some variations will include vegetables, pork, beef or chicken. As food is a serious matter in the country, visiting the night markets in Chiang Mai is a sure thing to do once there. You will encounter flavors, colors, and fragrances only available in this amazing country. With so many things to do, we had to include it in the best cities to visit list.
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
Located 3 hours’ drive from Mexico City, San Miguel de Allende is listed as a UNESCO heritage site. This colonial town in the heart of Mexico is a place to experience a real Mexican lifestyle. San Miguel is a good city for people watch, walk around the historic center and discover a city still yet away from holophotes.
Colorful streets and baroque style show the Spanish influence in the town. The Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel was inspired by Gaudi’s masterpiece Sagrada Familia, in Barcelona. The food is becoming an attraction itself when we think about Mexico and San Miguel de Allende is on the spot. Enrique Olvera, one of the most famous chefs in Mexico has a restaurant at Matilda hotel. If you want to research his work, he was beautifully presented in the documentary Chef’s Table, available on Netflix. Another option is to check the vibrant central market.
Consider taking this trip slowly to enjoy this local vibe, walking around its streets, stopping to admire the constructions, having a long lunch while appreciating the heat of Mexican seasoning. San Miguel de Allende is a city to live, not only sightseeing. It is a place to discover and it is ready to welcome you.
Charleston, South Carolina, USA
Internationally known from its fast foods, the United States of America is definitely more than that. The Southern area of the country is surrounded by delicious cuisine totally different from what we expect. Charleston is blooming with the southern flavors. The localization in the East coast and its proximity to the sea brings the freshness of the seafood. Some famous plates to try when in Charleston are catfish stew, shrimp, and grits, green fried tomatoes and biscuit and gravy, to name a few. Your palate will be surprised by its delicious homemade style food.
Additionally, the city is full of history and keeps important places open to visit. Boone Hall Plantation is one the best-preserved construction from the 17th century, the farm was founded in 1681 with an important place in American history, especially during slavery time. The place pays respect keeping the area open to the public explaining this sad period of time,
but a reality of the past. If you want to learn more about American history, McLeod Plantation historic site is another place to visit. Walking around the Riley Waterfront Park is a pleasant sightseeing during your stay. Charleston is this combination of great food and full of history place ready to be discovered.
Finland celebrates 100 years of independence in 2017 and there is plenty of reasons to discover this country and why Helsinki is amongst the best cities to visit. The capital city Helsinki is a great surprise. A mixture of architectural elements as neoclassic and contemporary are part of Helsinki’s attractions. Check the Temppeliaukio church, built directly into solid rock and, note the contrasts from the Finlandia Hall, constructed by Finnish architect Alvar Aalto.
One-third of the city is covered in green areas and its coastline has more than three hundred islands. Suomenlinna is the most famous because of its fortress. A fifteen minutes’ ferry ride will get you to this UNESCO world heritage site. Back in the city, there is no better attraction to experience the culture as to attend the urban saunas. Design District Helsinki is a famous area for design lovers, being the place to find real Finnish design.
Discover the food culture while enjoying the atmosphere of market halls, indoor markets offering local unique delicacies. This is part of history in Helsinki and has become a tradition. The famous Old Market Hall, for example, is open since 1889 and, Hakaniemi Market Hall has approximately 70 shops divided into two floors, the building is from 1914. This seaside city offers a diverse Nordic environment and it is the place to be on your travel list in 2017.
Melbourne is a place to watch for. For the sixth year in a row, the city was elected as the most livable city by the internationally known magazine The Economist. In another word, it means Melbourne provide the best living conditions for its residents. As the best to live, for sure will surprise its visitors.
Some attractions like Melbourne Royal Botanic Garden and National Gallery of Victoria are for sure places to visit during your time in the city, but Melbourne goes beyond with things to do. Having a great coffee is a simple activity to do but will make you feel like a truly Melburnian, go to Degraves Street to have the full experience. Aussies, as Australians are called, are also serious about cricket and you can watch a match at Melbourne Cricket Ground. If cricket is not your thing, Australia is also known for hosting the tennis tournament Australian Open in January at Melbourne Park.
Once in Melbourne it is highly recommend hit the road and go to the Great Ocean Road, this 243 kilometers’ length road presents amazing viewpoints, especially the widely visited 12 Apostles. If you don’t spot a koala during this road trip when back in the city enjoy your time at Melbourne Zoo and see the beloved Australian favorites animals. This is just a hint what Melbourne can offer, and you will be surprised by this incredible city although not surprised to find its way onto our list of Best Cities To Visit.
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