After you’ve been traveling for a while and gotten a number of great destinations under your belt, it’s always nice to look back and reflect on which of the places you really enjoyed and why. Whether it’s the people, the weather, the food, or the activities in a locale, there are so many reasons you can really enjoy your travel destination, and often these vary from person to person. Cities, in particular, can be a subjective experience based on what you get up to, who you meet and where you stay, and since no two cities are ever the same, they are a great way to explore an area and get the most out of what you want from your travel experience since there are usually a lot to do. Whether you choose to pack your schedule with sightseeing or simply enjoy the cafes, indulge in local food or enjoy surrounding green space, enjoying city life is a great way to meet the locals and put your finger on the pulse of the region you’re traveling.
On this episode, we reflect back on our top ten favourite cities across North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia/New Zealand, and the reasons we loved those destinations. From everything from awesome friends to incredible food, great weather to beautiful surrounding trails, there are so many urban centres around the world that we love and would love to go back to one day!
What we talk about in this episode:
- Our lists of each of our favourite 10 cities, and why they are our favourites (in no particular order)
- How some of our favourites seem to be traveller favourites, and others are our favourites based on our individual experiences, weather, location or how they measured up to our expectations going in
- Here are the cities that made our lists:
- Tokyo, Japan: Despite having the population of the entire country of Canada, we were blown away by how clean and orderly the city was, as well as how safe and comfortable it felt. That combined with how helpful the people were, the great food, and the number of cool things we discovered (like maid cafes, monster bars, automatic sushi, and robots!), it’s no wonder the city made our list!
- Seoul, South Korea: Similar to Tokyo in that it’s a big city with lots to see, we felt that it was very modern in comparison to the other cities we visited in Southeast Asia. Add in the good food, great weather which allowed us to see a lot, and nice hiking trails close to the city, Seoul is definitely one of our favourite city destinations!
- Chiang Mai, Thailand: We found it to be a great hub for people living the Digital Nomad lifestyle, which allowed us to setup a great routine. There was also a great balance between the comforts of home like malls and great food, but it was easy to get out of the town into surrounding areas and back into adventure mode.
- Ubud, Bali: Between our great coworking space, the fantastic affordable healthy food, and the proximity of our place with everything close by, we loved the time we spent living in this great city
- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: The city exceeded our expectations going in, and we found a great AirBnb during our time there. The mix of Malay, Chinese and Indian cultures, the street food and the affordability of a nicer quality of life, actually caused us to go back to the city when we had some additional time.
- London, England: Between the cultural diversity, the great food, how much there is to see and do, and getting to see sights and landmarks you’ve seen in movies/TV, London has been one of Amanda’s favourites since she was 18!
- Bern, Switzerland: We visited in the summer and the weather was beautifully fresh and crisp, and between jumping in the freshwater river with water coming from the mountains, and being able to bike everywhere (although Switzerland is a little more expensive for a backpacker budget), Bern really stuck out as a unique destination for us
- Lubiana, Slovenia: A smaller city, the uglier buildings leading into the city can initially throw you off a bit, but if you take the time to make it downtown, you’ll find a beautiful castle and a bunch of cute cafes waiting for you. It’s also surrounded by great hiking trails, and because it’s a smaller site with not much to do, it’s a fantastic place to just relax!
- Medellin, Colombia: The Metro makes it is easy to move around the city, and the El Poblado neighbourhood was very cool to explore. There is also a lot of interesting diversity within the city ranging from its position as the wealth generation capital of the country to its place in the history of the Colombian drug trade. It also had some of the warmest weather and people we came across in South America!
- Buenos Aires, Argentina: We felt super energized by the livelihood of the city, had a great time enjoying the deliciously affordable food and wine, getting to know some friendly locals, and learning Spanish, tango, and how to drink mate.
- Cuzco, Peru: Machu Picchu’s popularity means that the city boasts a great tourist infrastructure, the food is fantastic, and you can enjoy a great balance of all things ancient and modern. There are also so many great ruins and outings to take in close to the city.
- Atlanta (Georgia), USA: We loved Atlanta as a place to live during the time we spent there. The weather is gorgeous (especially as a place to escape to during the winter months of northern North America), the city is thriving and calls itself home to a variety of industrially diverse companies. There are always more and more things to see and do, and it’ll be exciting to see how the city grows over the next few years.
- Canmore (Alberta), Canada: A super clean, nature lover’s paradise, Canmore has all the perks of a small town without making you feel like you’re isolated due to it’s strong tourist infrastructure and proximity to Calgary and Banff. A great place to enjoy mountains and stargazing, Canmore is one of the places we feel we can call home
- Mexico City, Mexico: Cool neighbourhoods, affordable and great accommodation, cheap and amazing food (especially the avocados!), and chockful of constantly new and awesome stuff to do! There’s a fantastic energy and so much to do due to the huge population and the city’s position as a Central American hub, and everyone is super friendly.
- Queenstown, New Zealand: A small, mountain town with lots of outdoor stuff to do and a beautiful lake to enjoy, it’s got a great atmosphere and is a nice place to unwind (and eat lots of Fergburgers!)
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