Advertising
Advertising

Travellers Voted For The 10 Best Cities In The World

Travellers Voted For The 10 Best Cities In The World

The influential Travel + Leisure website has announced their list of the 10 best cities to visit in 2015, and there are a few surprises. London is lovely, Paris is peachy, New York is neat, but it’s a big world out there. The site compiled the list as a result of their reader’s votes, and so while it was a fairly democratic process, there’s also a fair amount of subjectivity. All ten cities are remarkable destinations in ways that are obvious, and can also feel intangible – the place just gives you a magical feeling.

10. Jerusalem, Israel

10-jerusalem

    While both Israelis and Palestinians lay claim to the holy city of Jerusalem, it’s the official capital city of Israel. This is a relatively recent development in an ancient city that dates back almost 6,000 years. Contemporary Jerusalem is a bustling modern city that has a skyline of tall gleaming office buildings right next to sites of profound holy significance. Religion is intertwined with day to day life in the city, and this is evident when you visit the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo, which showcases species featured in the Hebrew Bible. The Israel Museum is also worth a visit to take in their most popular attraction, the Dead Sea Scrolls. If your time in the city is short, spend as much time as possible walking the streets of the Old City. It’s here that you’ll find the Western Wall and the Dome of the Rock. Regardless of your religious beliefs, you’ll find the experience to be profoundly moving.

    9. Cape Town, South Africa

    Advertising

    9-cape-town-south-africa

      Cape Town, and indeed all of South Africa, received a significant smartening up for the 2010 Fifa World Cup. Naturally, stadiums across the country were upgraded, but the lingering effect that is of most benefit to visitors is the improvement in public transportation. Cape Town is the most popular destination for visitors in South Africa, and it’s easy to see why. Start your Cape Town day with a visit to the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, which is the city’s primary harbourfront attraction. It’s a shopping complex that has both established retail outlets and temporary market stalls. The food is astounding, and much of it comes from the fishing boats that dock here. You also need to take a leisurely stroll along Long Street, where the cool kids come to spend their days in the bars and book stores.

      8. Barcelona, Spain

      8-barcelona-spain

        It doesn’t matter what time of year you visit, you’re going to have to share Barcelona with a lot of other travellers. Start with a walk along the Ramblas – a long and rambling pedestrian mall that stretches from the central city to the harbour, which is always teeming with people. Much of the Ramblas is geared towards tourists, with street performers and caricature artists earning a living. Climb up Montjuïc, which is a small hill that overlooks the city and is the home of the 1992 Olympic stadium. The views are worth the minor effort, and you can also catch a cable car that will take you out over the harbour itself. You also have to see Sagrada Família, the (as-of-yet unfinished) cathedral designed by Antoni Gaudí. You have to pay to go inside, but it’s enough to admire its exterior. It looks like a mammoth sandcastle.

        7. Krakow, Poland

        Advertising

        7-krakw-poland

          Poland’s second largest city is often visited by backpackers on their way to or from Italy or the Czech Republic. It deserves to be the focal point of any European trip, although even when it comes to Poland, Krakow is often overlooked in favour of Warsaw. It’s a major city, and yet almost feels like a hidden treasure. It has the biggest medieval square in all of Europe (known as Rynek Glowny) and it’s remarkable to think that traders have been hawking their wares there for centuries. The square is the gateway to Krakow’s Old Town, which is remarkably well preserved. Look for the entrance to the Rynek Underground Museum, which is located beneath Rynek Glowny. It shows you more than a thousand years of the city’s history, much of which was only discovered when excavating the ancient parts of Krakow.

          6. Bangkok, Thailand

          6-bangkok

            Every now and then, Thailand will receive some negative publicity when its government is overthrown by the military. This has happened 12 times since 1932, with another 7 unsuccessful coups. The country is used to it, and quickly stabilises. Bangkok can blow your mind unlike any other city and you will find yourself staring out the window as you drive from the airport to the city. Traditional buddhist temples stand next to ramshackle apartment buildings that look barely inhabitable and yet are all lit up. Further into the central city, there’s some obvious wealth and opulence, particularly when you visit the Siam Paragon shopping mall which has a Ferrari dealership on its upper levels. Traditional life meets capitalism at the Chatuchak Weekend Market, where you can buy a live chicken to take home for slaughter, or a pair of fake Levi’s. It’s probably not a good idea to buy a snake to take home, though.

            5. Rome, Italy

            Advertising

            5-rome

              While Rome attracts fewer visitors than other European cities, it really is the Eternal City. There’s a magic to the city, particularly during the warmer months when an extended dusk bathes the city in an achingly beautiful soft light. Of course you need to see such landmarks as the Colosseum, and you should arrive early if you don’t want to be waiting for hours to get inside. Ignore the men dressed as Roman Centurions who look like they’ve just come from an Asterix costume party. They will annoy you into having your photo taken with them… for a fee, naturally. Rome attracts so many people that many restaurants and stores can feel a little “touristy” with prices to match. Head for Via del Governo Vecchio – a shopping street that is less upmarket but infinitely more lively and authentic.

              4. Florence, Italy

              4-florence-italy

                You can look out across Florence and see a city that doesn’t seem to have changed much in centuries. Modern intrusions are rare, and it’s possible to imagine the city as it used to be. It’s easy to do this by climbing to the top of the Duomo for a 360 degree view of Florence. Linger in Piazza della Signoria – a square with so many statues that you’ll feel like you wandered into an open air gallery (not that there’s a shortage of galleries and museums here). One of the most curious things about Florence is how the city survived, despite the fact that much of it was built in medieval times. It’s not as though the loveliness was destroyed in the vague name of progress, so that a wide highway or something similar could be built to accommodate modern life. The ancient city simply exists, and modern conveniences were added if it was possible. This is obvious when you take a stroll along Costa San Giorgio, a street where many houses date back to the 1600’s.

                3. Siem Reap, Cambodia

                Advertising

                3-siem-reap-cambodia

                  You’ll probably arrive in Cambodia via a flight to Phnom Penh, and this city is a true gem. Siem Reap is where you will want to spend most of your time in the country, and you can even catch a boat here from Phnom Penh. Siem Reap is where ancient history meets modern comfort, and is the gateway to the ancient cities and temples of Angkor. Due to the number of visitors who come here, there are a huge number of accommodation options from backpacker hostels to 5 star luxury. Siem Reap combines traditional Cambodian architecture with French colonialism, which is a throwback to when the region was part of French Indochina. Spend an afternoon browsing in the Psah Chas market where the price of produce will be a pleasant surprise (and will make you wish you had a kitchen to use). You should also visit one of the floating villages on the Siem Reap River, where entire communities live and work on a succession of boats and barges, all roped together.

                  2. Charleston, USA

                  2-charleston-south-carolina

                    Charleston in South Carolina is not often spoken about in the same terms of other global cities, and yet it made the number two spot on Travel + Leisure’s best cities of 2015, with good reason. There is something alluring about the southern states of the US, and it’s easy to imagine sitting on a porch, sipping a mint julep while watching the wind rustle through the magnolia trees. I imagine you could do this in Charleston, but there are better ways to spend your time. To sip that mint julep, you should get up high to enjoy the views. There’s a rooftop bar at the Market Pavilion Hotel, and you can look left towards Mount Pleasant, right towards James Island or Morris Island, or out across the harbour to the Atlantic. You should also line your stomach, so go to Shem Creek. This is where the shrimping boats dock, and many of the local restaurants serve seafood that was nonchalantly swimming through the water just a few hours before.

                    1. Kyoto, Japan

                    1-kyoto-japan

                      To see the birthplace of Kyoto, and perhaps even the birthplace of Japanese society, you will need to visit the Shimogamo Shrine. It’s the first Shinto shrine in Japan and dates back to the 6th century. It’s possible to have feelings of romanticism in Kyoto, and think of a clichéd Japan where Samurai warriors roamed the hills. These thoughts are reinforced if you walk the streets of Sannen-zaka and Ninen-zaka, where you might wonder if you’ve been transported back in time. Kyoto was Japan’s capital city from 794 until 1868, because this is where the Emperor lived. There are still some royal palaces that can be visited, namely the Kyoto Imperial Palace. When the sun goes down, it’s time to see Pontocho. This alleyway used to be where gentlemen would find a geisha companion for the evening, but is now where ladies and gentlemen find a cool bar for the evening.

                      Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via download.unsplash.com

                      More by this author

                      Man Shaving With Cut Throat In Forest 10 Quick and Healthy Shaving Tips For Busy People Travellers Voted For The 10 Best Cities In The World 20 Common Website Mistakes To Avoid

                      Trending in Leisure

                      1 10 Benefits of Reading: Why You Should Read Every Day 2 How to Enjoy Life In a Way Most People Don’t 3 25 Best Self Improvement Books to Read No Matter How Old You Are 4 30 Fun Things to Do at Home 5 10 Things Only Those Who Travel With Friends Understand

                      Read Next

                      Advertising
                      Advertising
                      Advertising

                      Last Updated on May 21, 2020

                      The Top Fad Diets That Are Actually Worth the Hype

                      The Top Fad Diets That Are Actually Worth the Hype

                      You have probably seen enough fad diets to last a lifetime. Many have become popular overnight and left just as quickly.

                      Some fad diets, though, have actually passed the test of time and are making some headway in the nutritional world.

                      Outlined below are four fad diets that are actually beneficial for your health and wellness. Read on to find out why you should consider adopting one (or more) of these healthy eating styles today.

                      An important concept you should keep in mind is to disregard the term “diet” as it is typically used. The word diet implies the idea of restriction and removal. Instead, think of the word diet in this context as a healthy eating lifestyle.

                      Let’s take a look at some of these healthy eating lifestyles that have been categorized, by no fault of their own, as fad diets.

                      1. The Paleo Diet

                      The paleo diet, or ancestral eating, is simply eating the way your paleolithic ancestors would have up to 10,000 years ago, or when the agriculture age began.

                      The advantage now is you don’t have to do this in a loin cloth, unless you want to… The focus of this diet is proteins, vegetables, some fruits, nuts and seeds and some healthy fats.

                      In the paleo diet, there aren’t any grains, starchy carbohydrates, sugars, or dairy.

                      Advertising

                      How Your Health Can Change With Paleo

                      The paleo diet is a good way to keep your blood sugar under control. It can also have a positive effect on type 2 diabetes, and can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.

                      With this healthy eating lifestyle, people have also achieved good weight loss results and boast improved energy levels. [1]

                      It’s not just what’s in the paleo diet that’s important, it’s what’s NOT in it. There aren’t any processed and manufactured foods, junk foods, artificial ingredients or chemical additives.

                      Paleo is a way of eating that gets you more in tune with your body and, therefore, can provide a lot of benefits.

                      2. Whole30

                      The Whole30 diet is relatively new and owes its popularity to social media and the #Whole30 Instagram hashtag that allowed people to share and broadcast their success with the diet.

                      With Whole30 you are taking 30 days and focusing on nutritious whole foods such as meats, nuts and seeds, seafood, eggs, vegetables, and fruits.

                      During the month you are eliminating:

                      Advertising

                      • sugar
                      • alcohol
                      • legumes
                      • grains
                      • dairy
                      • soy

                      Whole30 is similar to paleo, but it goes a bit further eliminating sweeteners such as honey or maple syrup.

                      At the end of the 30 days, you strategically reintroduce those eliminated foods back into your diet to discover any possibility of health consequences from them or even potential food allergies.

                      Finding Out How Food Impacts You

                      Most people eat the same things so often and may not realize that certain foods are causing health consequences, as they’ve become accustomed to feeling lethargic and run down.

                      With Whole30 you get the chance to see how these foods may have a negative impact on your body. You’ll also reset your taste buds, which may have become desensitized from processed and artificial “foods” and excess salt.

                      This diet will help you regain your love of food… in a healthy way!

                      3. The Mediterranean Diet

                      The Mediterranean diet has been at the top of the list as a very effective diet for some time now.

                      For people in countries like Italy or Greece, this has simply been a normal way of life–along with higher activity levels, sunlight exposure, proximity to water, and lower stress.

                      Advertising

                      With the Mediterranean diet, the focus is on heart-healthy foods. It looks like this:

                      • Fruits & vegetables
                      • Whole grains
                      • Legumes & nuts
                      • Replacing butter with olive oil
                      • Using herbs and spices instead of salt
                      • Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week
                      • Moderate amounts of red wine

                      Help Your Heart & Overall Health With A Mediterranean Diet

                      Information from the Mayo Clinic shows that this diet reduces heart disease and lowers your “bad” LDL cholesterol. Studies involving 1.5 million people demonstrated that the Mediterranean diet was associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular mortality, along with overall mortality. [2]

                      With all these benefits, this is definitely a “fad diet” that’s worth the hype.

                      4. The Alkaline Diet

                      The alkaline diet is about changing the foods you eat so that you put your body into an alkaline state and out of an acidic state. When your body is too far on the acidic side it can result in a condition called acidosis. This can lead to issues in your body such as upset stomach, breathing difficulties, headaches, weakness and, fatigue. In extreme cases, it can result in shock, coma, or death.

                      The goal is to get your body in a more alkaline state, which results in overall better health. The focus is on including alkaline boosting foods such as fruits, nuts, vegetables, and legumes. You’re also wanting to reduce acidic foods such as low quality beef and poultry, dairy, eggs, grains, and alcohol.

                      Pros & Cons With The Alkaline Diet

                      The benefits that come from this way of eating is that reduction in inferior quality foods, processed items and alcohol. You may feel improved energy levels, mental clarity and even better joint health.

                      Advertising

                      People also report weight loss but again this may come from the reduction in calories from junk and processed foods but this is not a bad thing at all.

                      One con with this diet is that the pH value of the food you eat might not have an impact on blood pH, as your body is able to balance this pretty well on a day-to-day basis.

                      Follow These Fads for Better Health and Wellness

                      There can be a danger in categorizing things as a fad diet because fads come and go. People are always looking for the next big thing or a quick fix.

                      The four examples above buck that status quo. These diets, though mainstream, actually can give you benefits and aren’t going to go away anytime soon because they work.

                      What makes these diets special is that they boast real whole foods and the eliminate processed and manufactured junk.

                      The Big Takeaway:

                      Whatever way you choose to eat, the focus needs to be on whole unprocessed foods. Look for the cleanest, local and most natural things you can find for the benefit of your overall health and wellness. Your body and mind will thank you.

                      Featured photo credit: Dan Gold via unsplash.com

                      Reference

                      Read Next