“I’m in love with cities I’ve never been to and people I’ve never met.”
~ Melody Truong
Whether you long for the “bright lights, big city” and getting lost in translation amidst skyscrapers and street stalls is your vibe, or you prefer to get (far) away from it all, there is still something to be said for experiencing a destination through the energetic pulse of its vibrant city life. Even if just for a few days.
With a trifecta of achingly picturesque, culturally diverse and historically fascinating continents within our travel portfolio (good things really do come in threes), it’s safe to say that our &Beyond travel experts have explored countless urban centres in an effort to uncover their unique hidden gems and local delicacies for our guests.
Which cities top your wanderlist? In need of some inspo? Here are some ideas to help satiate that voracious travel bug within you.
“3 continents 10 vastly different cities. The choice is yours.”
It would be remiss not to include some of the world’s long-standing fan favourites that make regular appearances on every travel Top 10 roundup; however, there are a few other cities here that you may not have considered. Until now.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Spend a sunny afternoon at the vibey Victoria Yards – an innovative inner-city urban regeneration project that upskills local talent – and browse the artisan studios, industrial spaces, innovative art galleries, craft brewery and (on first Sundays) popular farmer’s food market.
Enjoy a champagne breakfast with the inquisitive giraffes at Giraffe Manor, relive your favourite Out of Africa moments at the Karen Blixen Museum, and witness the heroic efforts of the caregivers that are rehabilitating orphaned elephants at the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.
Explore the quirky neighbourhoods with an expert guide, kicking off at the kaleidoscopic Mercado Central, with a quick pitstop for a well-earned terremoto (local ‘earthquake’ drink), then linger over fresh empanadas, quaint book shops, streetside paellas, sultry jazz bars, and a vinyl record market.
Delve into the history, food and culture of this ancient cobblestoned Inca capital, from the dramatic cathedral in the perfect-for-people-watching Plaza de Armas to the colourful chaos of San Pedro Market with its tempting array of local delicacies and authentic Peruvian souvenirs.
Catch a scenic ride on the Teleférico cable car as it ascends the side of a dormant volcano, wander the colourful streets of the historical Old Town (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and — chocoholics, consider yourselves warned — the decadent chocolate tasting is an absolute must.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Start your day in the “Paris of South America” with a leisurely brunch in a chic street café (dinner is traditionally enjoyed late between 21h00 and 23h00), indulge in an empanada and Argentine wine pairing as you cheer on a polo match, then catch a live tango show before dinner.
Head out in the early morning light past scenic rice fields and colourful prayer wheels, across the flag-adorned Mo Chhu River suspension bridge, and up to the intricate Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten where you’ll enjoy private access and a picturesque picnic breakfast.
Lose yourself amidst the colourful chaos of the Pink City’s rustic rickshaws and bustling bazaars, stop for tea in a private residence, then shop for traditional handcrafted Indian artefacts in the stylish art studios, exhibition galleries and textiles vault of Nila House.