Travel + Leisure Magazine has just come out with its latest “World’s Best” lists — there are lots of those these days — one of which is the World’s Top Ten Best Cities.
Here’s the Top Ten as voted by T+L readers:
10. Jerusalem, Israel 9. Cape Town, South Africa 8.Barcelona, Spain 7.Krakow, Poland 6. Bangkok, Thailand 5. Rome, Italy 4. Florence, Italy 3. Siem Reap, Cambodia 2. Charleston, South Carolina 1. Kyoto, Japan
A loyal reader sent me the link yesterday and asked if I could name my own Top 10. I’m happy to oblige.
First, I will say that the above list is not bad, although I don’t quite understand how Siem Reap, Cambodia, makes the list, because it’s mostly known as the gateway to Angkor Wat — which, while being a world-class icon, doesn’t qualify… Continue reading
I see a lot of Top Ten travel lists of this and that, often filed away and forgettable. But a friend just sent me a particularly interesting compilation of Top Ten travel lists — ranging from the world’s best nightlife destinations to best culture and history to cheapest and most expensive places to visit — as voted on by 7,000 travelers who took part in a recent survey by hostelworld.com.
Now it’s true that most people using hostelworld.com, a site where you can book hostels and inexpensive hotels/inns/guesthouses around the world, are probably much younger than the typical baby boomer demographic. But I was struck by, well, how much I agreed with the findings of the survey – though perhaps for different reasons in some cases.
Whether that means I’m still a 20-year-old backpacker at heart, or… Continue reading
I love river cruising and was itching to get onto the Danube as soon as we reached Budapest, the Hungarian capital that the river neatly divides into two sections called Buda and Pest.
“We” being the international group of journalists I was traveling with, on an Insight Vacations tour of Central European capitals. Budapest was our last stop in a whirlwind tour that was an accelerated version of the regular Insight tours of the region, yet we managed to pack a huge amount of sightseeing into less than a week.
Having just left Vienna a few hours before, we arrived in Budapest in late afternoon in time to change money, change clothes, change languages and change mindsets from schnitzel to paprikash. Fortunately, goulash, sausages and strudel remained much the same.
Our hotel, the Sofitel… Continue reading
On my recent trip to Central Europe with Insight Vacations, I enjoyed Prague immensely, discovered the delightful Medieval town of Cesky Krumlov (also in the Czech Republic), rekindled an old flame in Vienna, but fell totally in love with Budapest.
Maybe it’s because I’m a sucker for river cruises — the evening dinner cruise we took on the Danube was magical — or maybe it was the Hungarian Parliament building, lit up like a centenarian’s birthday cake at night and almost as beautiful inside by day, or maybe it was that lunch consisting solely of the best strudel I’ve ever eaten.
Probably some of all three, but there were also the endearing intangibles:
* Asking a couple of locals shortly after our arrival the name of the bridge in front of our hotel,… Continue reading