City-breaks are among the most popular types of holiday. Staying for a few days in the centre of one of the most popular places in any given country is perhaps one of the best ways to experience living in the area and to get a true feel of its culture, provided you don’t get caught in the inevitable tourist traps in the process.
Are you planning a trip to the city? Take a look at this list of 5 of the most popular cities in the world for inspiration.
Since it hosted the Olympics, Barcelona’s popularity is second only to the capital, Madrid, Barcelona offers a lot more than just its iconic football team. Visiting Gaudi’s still-incomplete Sagrada Familia is surely a sight to behold and his famous Park Guell with its stunning mosaic sculptures is a perfect day-out if you want to take a break from the heat and the busy city centre streets.
Another great thing about Barcelona is that if you prefer a sunbathing holiday you don’t have to leave the city. Not only does Barcelona have the shopping, restaurants, sights and bars of a bustling city
The universally recognisable Eiffel Tower marks the centre of Paris, France’s most popular destination for both tourists and locals. Not only does this city attract around 40 million visitors each year the city is also home to over 18% of the country’s population. Walking down the Champ-Elysees, a straight mile long avenue of luxury restaurants, cafés and shops that leads you to the Arc de Triomphe will not disappoint.
For a ‘magical’ family experience (or even just for big kids like us), Disneyland Paris is just outside the French capital, and easily accessible via the train or coach service. You might want to book ahead, but with a ton of rollercoasters and attractions, it’s a great place to take children.
London is, without a doubt, a place that many dream of visiting. The city’s multicultural heritage and welcoming nature, with over 300 languages spoken, makes it an unmissable tourist destination. Walking is a great way to explore the city, as well as the iconic sights you should also try and visit other areas such as ‘hipster central’ Shoreditch and Camden Market.
If you want to see London from above, why not take a trip on the London Eye or visit the observation deck in the Shard or the ‘Walkie Talkie’ building’s roof garden.
Although if you are visiting London you should also try and see other cities in the UK. Despite London being an undeniable draw, there are other cities in the country that are starting to compete. These are increasingly becoming popular with businesses and young professionals who in the past would head to London.
Cities such as Liverpool and Manchester, thanks in part to the growing ‘Northern powerhouse’ plan to bolster the north in the UK are enjoying thriving creative hubs. They also have lower house prices and lower overall living costs than London. Property investment companies such as RW Invest offer investment opportunities in these expanding areas to keep up with the increasing demand.
For a different experience altogether, Tokyo is one of the most advanced, efficient, and culturally rich cities to visit in the world. From the neon-lit nightlife and ‘electric town’ in Akihabara to the breath-taking ancient temples that have been protected and built around, It’s an experience unlike any other city in the world.
Much like London’s famous underground ‘tube’ system, Tokyo holds host to one of the most impressive subway systems in the world, as a way of getting around the city. Tokyo subway attracts 8 million passengers each day, dwarfing London’s already monumental 5 million.
Dubai has become the most popular spot in the United Arab Emirates for holidays. The old port city on the edge of the desert has become the modern high-rise city of today and is home to the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. The Burj Khalifa includes a high-speed elevator (if you were worried about the number of stairs you’d need to climb!) and once at the top, you get a superb 360-degree view of the surrounding area.
If heights aren’t your thing, you can stick to the surrounding Dubai Mall at the foot of the tower. It has state-of-the-art designer shops, cinemas, and even an ice-skating rink. Alternatively, you can visit Bastakia, old Dubai, to experience the city’s history.