World’s Best Cities’ to visit (Part 2)

We continue yesterday’s entry on learning about cool places, venues and daily cultural events from the World’s Best Cities to Visit. Please add your comments below, especially on the happening hot spots in each city.

Mexico and Central and South America:
1. Buenos Aires, Argentina – The Paris of the Pampas (plains) reinvents itself with youthful vigor
2. Oaxaca, Mexico – Where ‘bold’ and ‘authentic’ flow through the food, drink, music and architecture
3. San Miguel de Allende, Mexico – A more sophisticated $ blend of authentic local culture
4. Cuzco, Peru – Inca history and daily parades, dancing and colorful celebrations of culture
5. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Lasting reputation for passionate dancing (samba), music all night

Takeaways: It’s the culture, not tourist landmarks, that attract people.

Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific:
1. Sydney, Australia – Some of the finest pub experiences (view, food, people) anywhere in the world
2. Melbourne, Australia – The affordable, bit less sophisticated, more youthful alternative to Sydney
3. Queenstown, New Zealand – One of the best outdoor adventure and recreation towns in the world
4. Christchurch, New Zealand – For a relaxing retreat in an elegant town that takes their food seriously
5. Wellington, New Zealand – The most walkable, the most livable as locals say, base for Lord of the Rings

Takeaways: Great food in compact, walkable urban footprints that showcase the surrounding landscape.

1. Florence, Italy – The art capital of the world?
2. Rome, Italy – Endless vignettes of dining under the stars amid ancient masterpieces
3. Venice, Italy – The city of romance
4. Istanbul, Turkey – Architecturally beautiful, friendly, affordable and increasingly popular
5. Kraków, Poland – European atmosphere at a fraction of the cost
6. Paris, France – Probably no city elicits more awe of beauty with every step
7. Prague, Czech Republic – Known as the hotspot by young European travelers, now a bit too discovered
8. Siena, Italy – I took one of my favorite photos of all time here – quintessential Siena
9. Seville, Spain – The country’s cultural, artistic, romantic capital, a favorite of many
10. Barcelona, Spain – Home of the one and only La Rambla, a mile-long piazza filled with people

Takeaways: Three things – walkable, walkable and walkable.

U.S. and Canada:
1. New York – Urban mecca of the East Coast
2. San Francisco – Urban mecca of the West Coast
3. Chicago – Urban mecca in between the coasts
4. Charleston, SC – Often referred to as the most beautiful city
5. Santa Fe, NM – Often referred to as the most beautiful small city
6. Vancouver, British Columbia – Often referred to as the most livable
7. Quebec City, Quebec (pictured) – One of Canada’s most romantic, walkable, beautiful destinations
8. Victoria, British Columbia – Widely regarded as the most livable city in North America
9. Montreal, Quebec – If you can’t afford Paris…
10. Seattle – Most progressive U.S. city?

Takeaways: The most walkable on the continent (though nowhere near Europe), with an emphasis on historic preservation and heaping doses of contemporary nightlife.

Image: Lower Town, Quebec City, Canada

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