16 Cities we could visit time and again

In Featured, Mini Breaks, Our Journeys, Trip-Types by JanisLeave a Comment

So, why is once not enough? 

Of course, there could be various reasons why you’d want to return to a destination. Whether time spent there wasn’t long enough, you were on a business trip and couldn’t escape, or you just love the city so much, you can’t get enough of it.

The bar of Casa Placido, Seville, Spain

The bar of Casa Placido, Seville, Spain - Where the idea for this blog started

We wanted to share with you the locations that we have grown to love, why once wasn’t enough for us and why we have a desire to return.

I haven’t listed them in any specific order; however, Seville I think will always be one of our favourites. If anyone asks us where we would recommend as a mini break, Seville usually rises to the top.

1

Seville, Spain

Well other than the heat in the height of the summer, I struggle to come up with any negatives for Seville. The architecture is incredible, I love all the Moorish influences, and the Alcázar is a must to see.

There are so many places to visit in Seville and so many hidden squares waiting to be discovered.

That’s before I even get on to the delicious tapas and sherry.

Inside the Real Alcazar - Seville - Spain

Moorish design inside the Real Alcazar , Seville

Head to the lanes of Santa Cruz and listen out for the flamenco guitars, take a stroll around the rooftop of a mushroom, and wander across the river to the Mercado in Triana.

The fountain in the Plaza de España, Seville, Andalusia, Spain

The fountain in the Plaza de España, Seville

Although my favourite place in Seville is Plaza de España, a beautiful place morning and evening and it’s free to wander around.

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2

St. Petersburg, Russia

St. Petersburg was a city I had been wanting to visit for years, its architecture is breath-taking. The incredibly colourful palaces, the winding canals through the city and the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood is magnificent.

Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood - St Petersburg - Russia

Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, St Petersburg, Russia

Gary and I spent a long weekend in St. Petersburg a few years ago, and we walked, and we walked. However, I still think we only scratched the surface, there were so many museums & galleries that we didn’t get a chance to visit.

The Hermitage Museum (Winter Palace), St Petersburg, Russia.

The Hermitage Museum (Winter Palace), St Petersburg.

It was a bit of hassle sorting out the visa, although, I would certainly do it all again to visit the beautiful city.  

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3

Paris, France

Paris is another city that Gary and I love, and we’re lucky it’s only a Eurostar journey away. There is no way I could get tired of the view along the River Seine, strolling by Notre Dame and soaking up the Parisian atmosphere.

Notre Dame alongside the Seine, Paris, France

Notre Dame alongside the Seine, Paris, France

Some people can take it or leave it; however, it is always high on my list, an evening stroll along the Champs-Élysées and through the beautiful parks takes some beating.

Oh, and the little cafés where you can sit outside and enjoy a glass of wine while watching the world go by.

A Parisien Cafe, Paris, France

A Parisien Cafe, Paris, France

Montmartre, Paris, France

Montmartre, Paris, France

We’ve started already to create a list of more things we want to see and do, for when we return.

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4

Munich, Germany

Oh, we love Bavaria and what could be better than discovering its capital. To be honest, we visited Munich during the Christmas celebrations, so it was gluhwein everywhere. I’m certainly not complaining about that; however, it can sometimes distract you from a towns highlights. 

The view to Marienplatz, Munich, Germany

The view to Marienplatz, Munich, Germany

So, when we next return to Munich, we’ll discover more of its wonderful architecture, its history and beautiful parks.

The band on the Hofbrauhaus, Munich, Germany

The band on the Hofbrauhaus, Munich, Germany

Of course, a trip to Munich isn’t complete without embracing all of its cultures, hence we had to pop into Hofbräuhaus (research purposes only, you understand).

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5

Zadar, Croatia

Perhaps not such an obvious city to choose, but, for us it had everything. So much history from the Romans and Venetians views to die for along the Dalmatian coast and some fantastic food.

Refecting by the Sea, Zadar, Croatia

Refecting by the Sea, Zadar, Croatia

We have said if, and when we return to this part of Croatia, we will stay at Zadar again. It’s an ideal location to base yourself and discover more of the region beyond. Hop on a ferry and visit the islands or head inland to the national parks. 

Towards the Sea Gate, Zadar, Croatia

Towards the Sea Gate, Zadar, Croatia

An Ice Cream treat, Zadar, Croatia

An Ice Cream treat, Zadar, Croatia

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6

London, United Kingdom

Yes, it had to be on the list. London is where Gary and I were born and where we used to commute to every weekday. But, we have never got tired of it, the list of places to visit is truly endless.

Tower Bridge at night, London, England, UK

Tower Bridge at night

Every time we head back to London, we start with a plan of action, but it is so easy to just wander off down a side road and discover something you least expected. 

Apple Market, Covent Garden, London, England, UK

Apple Market, Covent Garden, London

The history, architecture and the atmosphere of London are overwhelming, I may be biased; however, I just love all the little enclaves within each district. Covent Garden, the West End, the East End, South Bank, Westminster, the City of London, Camden and Mayfair. I could go on and on, but I don’t want to bore you.

Actually, London is on par with Seville, when it comes to favourites.

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7

San Francisco, USA

We visited San Francisco way back in 2002 and loved it. It was our first destination on our West Coast road trip, and as usual, tried to cram too much in.

The streets of San Francisco, USA

The streets of San Francisco

A must for us was a visit to Alcatraz, which was incredible, discovered all around Fisherman’s Wharf. Walked the streets (loved Chinatown), jumped on the cable cars and drove over the Golden Gate Bridge. 

Pier 39 - San Francisco, USA

Pier 39 - San Francisco

Plus, more but my memory is failing a bit, but, I still feel there was a lot more for us to discover. So, when we return to the West coast, and I’m sure we will, San Francisco requires more of our time.

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8

Lyon, France

Our visit to Lyon was all too fleeting, and the weather wasn’t great either, so we didn’t max out. 

Lyon is a renowned culinary city in France, and it didn’t hold back on its number of restaurants and cafés. We tried some delicious dishes while we were there and also one I’m happy to forget. I thought I would try a local speciality; however, I ordered it not knowing exactly what it was, ‘Tablier de sapeur’ if you don’t know is breaded tripe. Not one of my finest choices.    

Lyon in the autumn, France

Lyon in the autumn

I would love to return one day, and as I enjoy France so much, it’s a shame to leave a place feeling that you hadn’t entirely given it your all.  

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9

Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon was our first experience of mainland Portugal, and it was amazing, it still feels undiscovered in places. 

There is so much to see here, I can’t recommend it enough.

The wonderful squares, the winding streets around the Alfama district with its rooftop views.

Tram 28, Lisbon, Portugal

Tram 28, Lisbon

We were in Lisbon for four days and saw so much, but, I know it still had loads more to offer. 

Belém is a must to see the Tower, Jerónimos Monastery and the Monument to the Discoveries. 

Don’t pass up the opportunity to have a Patel de Nata (egg tart) at Pastéis de Belém.

Pastéis de Belém, Lisbon, Portugal

Pastéis de Belém, Lisbon

After a long day visiting the sites and climbing the seven hills head to Bairro Alto to soak up the whole Fado experience.  

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10

New York, USA

New York is often high on peoples list to visit, and it so culturally diverse in places, it’s easy to see why. Gary and I have visited NYC three times together at different seasons through the year and separately on business trips.

The Empire State Building from the Rockefeller Centre, Manhattan, New York, USA

The Empire State Building, New York

Image

The Statue of Liberty, New York

And with even with that many trips there is always more to discover. We obviously wanted to see the big hitters like the Empire State Building, Central Park, Ellis Island, Time Square to name but a few.

Inside the Empire State Building, Manhattan, New York, USA

Inside the Empire State Building, New York

Image

Waldorf Astoria - Park Ave, Manhattan

But, we also just love walking the streets to find the quieter spots and perhaps the less touristy areas. But hey this is New York it’s going to be busy, embrace it.

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11

Valencia, Spain

We visited Valencia in springtime, and it was such a treat. It has a fantastic mix of old and new architecture, great Mercados, incredible street art and it is the spiritual home of Paella (say no more, I’m sold again).

Hemisferic, Valencia, Spain

Hemisferic, at the City of Arts and Sciences. Valencia, Spain

Like its bigger sister, much further up the coastline, it has a lovely beach, so when you’re tired of exploring the city, you can catch some rays on La Malvarrosa beach.

The Plaza de la Virgen, Valencia, Spain

The Plaza de la Virgen, Valencia, Spain

However, there is so much to see in the city, Plaza de la Virgen, the Holy Grail (yes, the one and only), the eye-catching City of Arts and Sciences. And you must try the local dish of horchata & fartons, at Horchateria de Santa Catalina, its sweet, but you’ll love it.

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Did you know?

Turia Gardens in Valencia was former riverbed of the river Turia. The river was rerouted due to a disastrous flood in 1957 and has now been redeveloped into a picturesque sunken park.

12

Montreal, Canada

Montreal was the last stop on our eastern Canadian road trip, and it was a great way to finish.

The Big O, Montréal Olympic park, Montréal, Canada

The Big O, Montréal Olympic park, Montréal, Canada

We strolled through the friendly streets, discovering all the little regions. Soaked up the nautical atmosphere in the harbour. Headed out of town to the Olympic Park and it goes without saying, walked a lap of the Formula 1 Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

You can’t visit Montreal without trying Poutine mmm num-num-num   

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13

Porto, Portugal

After visiting Portugal for the first time in 2017, we decided that a road trip around the country was on the cards. And after visiting Lisbon, we had heard so much about Porto that it was a must for us to see.

The Luís I Bridge - Ponte Luís I, Porto, Portugal

The Ponte Luís I, Porto, Portugal

The first thing that shouts out to you is its namesake ‘Port’ and the stunning River Douro carving its way through the city. You have to take a stroll across the bridge, as the view back across Porto Old Town is incredible.

Inside the Sandeman Cellar, Porto, Portugal

Inside the Sandeman Cellar, Porto, Portugal

Although head back through the streets and the architecture is amazing, you feel like you have stepped back in time. Wrought iron balconies, tiny lanes, washing hanging above you and local ladies passing the time of day with each other. 

Although what I loved most about Porto and Portugal are the people.

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Good to know

A speciality dish in Porto is the Francesinha, this is certainly not a dish to choose if you just want a light snack or you’re a vegetarian.

It’s fundamentally a sandwich, however, inside is ham, smoked sausage, regular sausage, steak, cheese then a tomato & beer sauce. 

14

Rome, Italy

Well, I’ve read so many comments about Rome, that it’s just so touristy and too overcrowded. I suppose at times they are right; however, I believe the timing is key.

Arco di Costantino & the Colossuem, Rome, Italy

Arco di Costantino & the Colossuem, Rome

We have visited Rome twice, once in August (1999) and once late March (2015). I would say that although the weather is a bit unpredictable in March, it was definitely the better experience for us. 

The Pantheon at night, Rome, Italy

The Pantheon at night, Rome

Rome is just so incredible to wander around, tiny little lanes, lead you out into beautiful plazas and courtyards. The Pantheon is unbelievable, and a must see, and that’s before I even mention the Colosseum, Forum Spanish Steps and the Sistine Chapel.

Piazza Navona, Rome, Italy - II

Piazza Navona, Rome

It goes without saying, Rome has to be seen to be believed, ignore the negative comments and just go and see for yourself and enjoy the pasta.

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Our Tip

The queues to buy tickets for the Colosseum can be long. I suggest you visit the Forum first and you can buy a joint ticket, this allows you to bypass the Colosseum queues.

15

Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is where our love of Spain began in 2013. We had visited quite a few European countries over the years, however, due to us wanting to avoid “the Brits abroad” reputation in Spain, we’d avoided it. How wrong were we.

As soon as we were leaving Barcelona, Gary said we need to come back, and soon. 

We haven’t been back to Barcelona yet. However, after a couple of full on Spanish road trips and a few city breaks, we’ve seen some amazing regions of this beautiful country. 

We visited Barcelona in springtime, which was a pleasant time to visit, as it wasn’t too busy. But, surely, it’s about time we gave Gaudi some more love and I definitely want to spend more time strolling around Mercado de la Boqueria.

View over Porters Lodge, Park Güell, Barcelona, Spain

View over Porters Lodge, Park Güell, Barcelona

The marina in the old harbour (Port Vell), Barcelona, Spain

The marina in the old harbour (Port Vell), Barcelona

Ohh, and we’ve got some great memories of sitting in the sunshine at the harbour eating paella. 

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16

Venice, Italy

Now, I must say from the outset, Gary and I loved Venice. I think it gets a bad rap from some folks, and I can see why. However, unfortunately that’s our fault ‘The Tourist.’.

The view from the Rialto Bridge, Venice, Italy

The view from the Rialto Bridge, Venice

Gary and I found that yes, some places are busy, but that’s not to say you shouldn’t visit them, they are busy because they are stunning. But, we found it quite easy by just strolling back a few streets, you were often with only a handful of other people.

Parked gondolas, Venice, Italy

Parked gondolas, Venice

We were there for a long weekend in March and managed to see quite a lot of Venice and we walked for miles. We also visited the islands of Burano and Murano, they are delightful and a must if you have the time (see our tip below for the Vaporetto). 

So brightly coloured, Burano, Venice, Italy

Brightly coloured homes on Burano

However, we reluctantly left feeling there was so much more of Venice to discover. The architecture, the colourful piazza’s and the weaving canals are sight to be seen.

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Our Tip

Burano and Murano are accessed by Vaporetto (water bus) which can get very busy on your return journey to Venice. If so, from Burano catch the Vaporetto onto Torcello (the next stop), stay on the boat, and it will turn around and complete the journey in reverse. This should cut down on your queuing.

Well, that’s it for now, but you can never say never, there’s always more to be added.

Inspired to visit these cities?

Why not visit one or more of these fantastic locations around the world.

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16 Cities we could visit time and again

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About the Author

Janis

Janis, the co-founder of Our World for You, was born in London and raised in Kent and the Isle of Wight.Along with Gary her partner, they have been travelling part time since 1995. In 2016, they decided that enough was enough with the 9 to 5, so armed with the knowledge and experience that they had gained on their adventures, that they wanted to inspire others to travel the world near and far.

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16 Cities we could visit time and again was last modified: November 9th, 2018 by Janis