If you’re anything like me, you’ve decided to make the most out of your 2018 and get out there and travel more. It’s time to use up our work holidays wisely by ticking off some bucket list locations. And this year it’s not all about sun, sea, and sand. The biggest trend for 2018 is traveling like a local, dropping the tourist mindset and visiting places that enlighten, as well as uplift.
Personally, I’m looking to make my trips a little more cultural and exciting by visiting these cities around the world that promise to be more than just an easy getaway! Some are romantic, some traditional and breathtaking. So, take a look at these top cities to visit and see which one you fancy the most:
1. Enjoy the architecture of Barcelona
Barcelona is one of the hottest cities to visit right now, as the vibrant city attracts a lot of people looking to actually enjoy the culture, food, and architecture of this beautiful city. Of course, the weather is good in the summer, too. But what sets this apart from other cities is the gorgeous architecture, you will be hard-pressed to find anything like this anywhere else.
Where to stay: For a slice of luxury in Barcelona, try El Palauet. We’ve stayed there ourselves and fell in love with the exquisite hotel, you’ll get palatial glamor with a rooftop and spa, and all the extra things you need to feel treated like a princess.
If you want to live like a local, however, you can always book an Airbnb. One of the best neighborhoods to stay in would be El Born, it’s calm and off the beaten track but has all the charm of other neighborhoods, quiet streets, and bustling cafes. Find out more here.
What to do: You will not run out of things to do in Barcelona, from visiting Gaudi’s famous architectural delights, including the Sagrada Familia, to visiting markets like La Boqueria. You can also live like a local by taking lunch in a local cafe, enjoy the food, the sights, the sounds, and visit museums and local hotspots.
2. Be inspired by Florence:
Florence is incredible. We look back on the time we spent there with fondness. Italy is a beautiful place to visit in general, but ask anyone and they will tell you if you’re planning a trip there then Florence is a must stop. If you visit in the summer you won’t be disappointed, the weather is warm, the sights are beautiful, and the food (one of our top priorities) is out of this world.
Where to stay: A luxury option would be Villa Cora. We fell in love with this beautiful villa and its grounds, the rooms are large and the staff is amazing. It’s definitely a bucket list place to stay, and somewhere you could even get married in.
However, for a more down to earth option, you could stay at The Cavalcanti. It used to be the family home of two sisters, but is now transformed into a B&B, it’s the authentic Italian lifestyle, with antique wardrobes and a beautiful breakfast room. You’ll love this.
What to do: You have to make a stop to see the cathedral, Ponte Vecchio, Piazza della Signoria and the Michelangelo statues. Also on your agenda is Dante’s birthplace. But to live like a local, you just need to get out into the town, walk around, live a relaxed life and soak in the atmosphere. It really is the best if you need a rest.
3. Be part of the hustle and bustle of New York:
New York is not one of those cities you get bored of that’s for sure! It’s the city that never sleeps and it truly is one of the best cities in the world. And transatlantic flights are so cheap right now that you’ll be flying there for a steal! Trust me, now’s that time to invest in this city break whilst flights are cheap and demand is low!
Where to stay: Stay away from Times Square if you’re planning on living like a local. It’s very touristy, so great to visit, but better to stay away from the chaos. If you’re looking for an Airbnb, Soho or Chelsea are usually recommended.
For an added spot of luxury, Refinery Hotel is usually recommended, it’s 5-star, convenient, and will give you all the luxuries you need while you stay in this vibrant hub of a city.
What to do: From Central Park to the Statue of Liberty, you have to make time to see all the big tourist spots while you’re there. You can also take a stroll around the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Make time to go to Ground Zero if you can, it’s important to get a sense of what happened in the city and how it changed the world.
4. Visit the Queen in London:
If you love anything British, then London really is the place for you! I couldn’t do a roundup cities and not include the one I love to call home. Embedded with loads of culture, tourist attractions, and shopping makes it a city you’ll have to visit at least once in your lifetime!
Where to stay: If you’re thinking of ‘living like a local’ you can simply look on Airbnb. You can even stay in St Pancras clock tower – how cool is that? Anywhere in North or Central London is recommended for tourists. And the tube system is unbelievably simple. Just use the TFL website to plan your journey, they’ll tell you when to get on and off so you don’t have to get confused with tube maps.
If you’re looking for luxury, we have a huge list of hotels we love. Try The Sanderson Hotel for an exclusive stay you’ll never forget.
What to do: There’s so much we know, it’s almost impossible to recommend things do to. Of course, you can stick with the tourist route and visit St Paul’s Cathedral, Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London, but many Londoner’s have never seen these sights themselves.
Instead, book dinner at a restaurant in The Shard. Visit Sketch on Conduit Street and take a snap of the pink dining room. Go to the Radio Rooftop bar and have wine and cocktails. Visit Brick Lane on a Sunday and go crazy with your vintage shopping. Go out clubbing in Camden Town. We could do an entire article on London, but we’ll spare you.
5. Take a breather in Lucerne:
The first time I went to Switzerland I was so overwhelmed and taken aback by its beauty. I got to experience the country like a real local and I must say that Lucerne was my favorite place to go. It’s a city unlike one I’ve ever seen before. Located on the lake it has breathtaking surroundings and a local vibe that’s warm and friendly!
Where to stay: For a slice of luxury try the Montana ART DECO Hotel, it’s a slice of luxury while you enjoy the clean air and scenic beauty of the place.
If you still want to live like a local, there are plenty of Airbnb’s available in the center of Lucerne. Or even by the beautiful lake. Try staying in the old town if you want an authentic experience, and don’t forget to take deep breaths.
What to do: There’s so much to do and see in Lucerne, that will richen your mind and give you inspiration. You can visit The Rosengart Collection and go to see the incredibly famous Lion of Lucerne. Or even get tickets to a jazz festival to round up your trip. This is a must-visit destination if you need to ‘get back to your roots’ and recharge a little bit.
Where have you been and where would you like to go? Let us know in the comments section below…
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