Friday, May 24, 2013

Top 25 destinations in the world (TripAdvisor's Travelers' Choice Awards 2013)

1. Paris, France
Top 25 destinations in the world: Paris, France
Top 25 destinations in the world: Paris, France
Everyone who visits Paris for the first time probably has the same punchlist of major attractions to hit: The Louvre, Notre Dame, The Eiffel Tower, etc. Just make sure you leave some time to wander the city’s grand boulevards and eat in as many cafes, bistros and brasseries as possible. And don’t forget the shopping—whether your tastes run to Louis Vuitton or Les Puces (the flea market), you can find it here.

2. New York City, New York, USA
Top 25 destinations in the world: New York City, New York, USA
Top 25 destinations in the world: New York City, New York, USA
Conquering New York in one visit is impossible. Instead, hit the must-sees – the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, the Metropolitan Museum of Art – and then explore off the beaten path with visits to The Cloisters or one of the city’s libraries. Indulge in the bohemian shops of the West Village or the fine dining of the Upper West Side. The bustling marketplace inside of Grand Central Station gives you a literal taste of the best the city has to offer.

3. London, United Kingdom
Top 25 destinations in the world: London, United Kingdom
Top 25 destinations in the world: London, United Kingdom
The crown jewels, Buckingham Palace, Camden Market… In London, history collides with art, fashion, food, and good British ale. A perfect day is different for everyone: culture hounds should hit the Tate Modern and the Royal Opera House. Clotheshorses will drool over Oxford Street shops. For foodies, cream tea at Harrod’s or crispy fish from a proper chippy offers classic London flavor. Music and book buffs will freak out over Abbey Road and the Sherlock Holmes Museum (at 221B Baker Street, natch).

4. Rome, Italy
Top 25 destinations in the world: Rome, Italy
Top 25 destinations in the world: Rome, Italy
Rome can’t be toured in a day, either. The city feels like the exhibit halls of a giant outdoor museum, a real-life collage of piazzas, open-air markets, and mind-boggling historic sites. Toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain, drop your jaw at the Colosseum and the Pantheon, and fuel up on cappuccino for an afternoon of shopping at the Campo de’Fiori or Via Veneto. Dig into a plate of fresh pasta, some succulent fried artichokes, or a tender oxtail stew for one of the best meals of your life.

5. Barcelona, Spain
Top 25 destinations in the world: Barcelona, Spain
Top 25 destinations in the world: Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona feels a bit surreal – appropriate, since Salvador Dali spent time here and Spanish Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí designed several of the city’s buildings. Stepping into Gaudí’s Church of the Sacred Family is a bit like falling through the looking glass - a journey that you can continue with a visit to Park Güell. Sip sangria at a sidewalk café in Las Ramblas while watching flamboyant street performers, then create your own moveable feast by floating from tapas bar to tapas bar.

6. Venice, Italy
Top 25 destinations in the world: Venice, Italy
Top 25 destinations in the world: Venice, Italy
With its gondolas, canals, amazing restaurants, and unforgettable romantic ambiance, Venice is definitely a city for one's bucket list. Waterfront palazzos, palaces, and churches make drifting down the Grand Canal feel like cruising through a painting. To really experience Venice you must go to the opera or to a classical music performance, nibble fresh pasta and pastries, and linger in the exhibit halls of an art gallery. Label lovers will drool over the high-end shopping in Piazza San Marco.

7. San Francisco, California, USA
Top 25 destinations in the world: San Francisco, California, USA
Top 25 destinations in the world: San Francisco, California, USA
Every neighborhood in San Francisco has its own personality, from the hippie chic of the Upper Haight to the hipster grit of the Mission. The Marina district boasts trendy bistros and postcard-perfect views of the Golden Gate Bridge, while Noe Valley offers quaint and quiet boutiques. Wave hello to the sea lions at Pier 39, and sample local cheese and charcuterie at the Ferry Building. Sit in on a yoga session in Dolores Park or marvel at the Dutch Windmill across from Ocean Beach.

8. Florence, Italy
Top 25 destinations in the world: Florence, Italy
Top 25 destinations in the world: Florence, Italy
Florence is an art historian’s dream. The Galleria dell'Accademia bursts with works by Michelangelo, who is entombed within the frescoed walls of the Basilica di Santa Croce. Budding photographers can snap pics of the Ponte Vecchio bridge, and serious shoppers can spend a blissful afternoon wandering the shops of Piazza Santo Spirito. Tuscan cuisine pays homage to the region’s bounty. Swipe a hunk of crusty bread across a pool of local olive oil and you’ll be instantly transported to your happiest place.

9. Prague, Czech Republic
Top 25 destinations in the world: Prague, Czech Republic
Top 25 destinations in the world: Prague, Czech Republic
The bohemian allure and fairytale features of Prague make it a perfect destination for beach-weary vacationers who want to immerse themselves in culture. You could devote an entire day to exploring Prazsky hrad (Prague Castle), then refueling over a hearty dinner at a classic Czech tavern. Spend some time wandering the Old Town Square before heading over to gape at The Old Town Hall and Astronomical Clock. Prague’s best bars are found in cellars, where historic pubs set the scene for a night of traditional tippling.

10. Sydney, Australia
Top 25 destinations in the world: Sydney, Australia
Top 25 destinations in the world: Sydney, Australia
Sydney offers plenty of historical and contemporary Australian flavor. The marvelous Sydney Opera House looks like a great origami sailboat, floating peacefully in a harbor. Wander the narrow cobblestone streets of The Rocks and then take in a street performance on the Circular Quay before heading into the Museum of Contemporary Art. The views from the Sydney Tower Eye observatory are epic – use this chance to get to know the layout of the city from high above.

11. Berlin, Germany
Top 25 destinations in the world: Berlin, Germany
Top 25 destinations in the world: Berlin, Germany
Berlin is an edgy city, from its fashion to its architecture to its charged political history. The Berlin Wall is a sobering reminder of the hyper-charged postwar atmosphere, and yet the graffiti art that now covers its remnants has become symbolic of social progress. Check out the Weltzeituhr (world time) Clock, topped by a model of the solar system, then turn back time by dining at the historic Zur Letzten Instanz, a 16th century restaurant that was frequented by Napoleon and Beethoven.

12. Istanbul, Turkey
Top 25 destinations in the world: Istanbul, Turkey
Top 25 destinations in the world: Istanbul, Turkey
The mosques, bazaars, and Turkish baths of Istanbul could keep you happily occupied for your entire trip: an eyeful of breathtaking architecture here, a good-natured haggle over a carpet there. Kick your trip off at the awe-inspiring Sultan Ahmet Camii (Blue Mosque), which is visible from many points of the city. Stroll the Galata Bridge and stop by the Miniaturk Park to see its tiny artifacts. The Grand Bazaar has thousands of shops to browse, while the Egyptian Bazaar is a fragrant trove of spices and fruits.

13. Bangkok, Thailand
Top 25 destinations in the world: Bangkok, Thailand
Top 25 destinations in the world: Bangkok, Thailand
Bangkok is full of exquisitely decorated Buddhist temples—as you go from one to the next you’ll be continually blown away by the craftsmanship and elaborate details. But if you’d rather seek enlightenment in a gourmet meal, or dance the night away, you’ll also enjoy Bangkok—the restaurant and nightclub scenes here are among the best in the world.

14. Chicago, Illinois, USA
Top 25 destinations in the world: Chicago, Illinois, USA
Top 25 destinations in the world: Chicago, Illinois, USA
The windy city is a cornucopia of modern art, fine dining, cutting edge comedy, and die-hard sports fans. Snap a photo of your reflection in the silver Cloud Gate sculpture at Millennium Park before heading to Grant Park to get hit with the refreshing spray of Buckingham Fountain. There are dozens of museums and theater companies in Chicago, so a cultural experience is never hard to find. You’re sure to laugh your head off at the Second City Theater, the professional launch pad of many famous comedians.

15. Tokyo, Japan
Top 25 destinations in the world: Tokyo, Japan
Top 25 destinations in the world: Tokyo, Japan
Tradition collides with pop culture in Tokyo, where you can reverently wander ancient temples before rocking out at a karaoke bar. Wake up before the sun to catch the lively fish auction at the Tsukiji Market, then refresh with a walk beneath the cherry blossom trees that line the Sumida River. Spend some time in the beautiful East Gardens of the Imperial Palace, then brush up on your Japanese history at the Edo-Tokyo Museum. Don’t forget to eat as much sushi, udon noodles, and wagashi (Japanese sweets) as your belly can handle.

16. Cape Town Central, South Africa
Top 25 destinations in the world: Cape Town Central, South Africa
Top 25 destinations in the world: Cape Town Central, South Africa
Cape Town glistens at the southern toe of the African continent. Tourist brochure-views at Blaauwberg Beach and Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens are within easy driving distance of "The Mother City." The Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve provides sweeping sea vistas, hiking trails and wildlife encounters. On a more somber note, travelers can visit Robben Island, the prison where Nelson Mandela was held for 27 years.

17. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Top 25 destinations in the world: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Top 25 destinations in the world: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
When Rio de Janeiro is thrust into the international spotlight during the 2016 Olympic Games, it’s likely that the entire world will fall in love with the jewel of Brazil. While it's been over 50 years since the famous song came out, Ipanema Beach is still the place to see and be seen. As the largest Art Deco statue in the world, Christ the Redeemer beckons visitors to Corcovado Mountain. Rio’s Carnaval parties are bacchanalian extravaganzas of feasting, music, dance, and costumed revelry.

18. Buenos Aires, Argentina
Top 25 destinations in the world: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Top 25 destinations in the world: Buenos Aires, Argentina
The birthplace of the tango is, like the dance itself, captivating, seductive and bustling with excited energy. Atmospheric old neighborhoods are rife with romantic restaurants and thumping nightlife, and Buenos Aires' European heritage is evident in its architecture, boulevards and parks. Cafe Tortoni, the city's oldest bar, will transport you back to 1858, and the spectacular Teatro Colon impresses just as it did in 1908. Latin America's shopping capital offers the promise of premium retail therapy along its grand, wide boulevards.

19. Marrakech, Morocco
Top 25 destinations in the world: Marrakech, Morocco
Top 25 destinations in the world: Marrakech, Morocco
The “Red City” of Marrakesh is a magical place, brimming with markets, gardens, palaces, and mosques. Exploring the intimate courtyards and snaking alleyways of the historic Medina can easily eat up a day. Find inner peace at the serene Jardin Majorelle or take in the beauty of one of the city’s historic mosques (taking note that, unless you are Muslim, you are not allowed to enter).

20. St. Petersburg, Russia
Top 25 destinations in the world: St. Petersburg, Russia
Top 25 destinations in the world: St. Petersburg, Russia
The second largest city in Russia, St. Petersburg is the country’s cultural heart. View splendid architectural gems like the Winter Palace and the Kazan Cathedral, and give yourself plenty of time to browse the world-renowned art collection of the Hermitage. Sprawling across the Neva River delta, St. Petersburg offers enough art, nightlife, fine dining and cultural destinations for many repeat visits.

21. Beijing, China
Top 25 destinations in the world: Beijing, China
Top 25 destinations in the world: Beijing, China
Move over, Haussmann and l'Enfant. Beijing's urban planner beat you by a couple of centuries. His name is Kublai Khan. Here, you'll find a wealth of history, both ancient (the Hall of Preserving Harmony, Summer Palace, Forbidden City) and more recent (Chairman Mao Memorial Hall, Tiananmen Square). For the best market experience, choose the Dirt Market over the touristy Silk Market.

22. Shanghai, China
Top 25 destinations in the world: Shanghai, China
Top 25 destinations in the world: Shanghai, China
The largest city in China is also its most cosmopolitan, offering visitors a chance to experience the past, present, and future all at once. The Huangpu River splits Shanghai into two districts: Pudong and Puxi. The Pudong skyline looks like it was ripped from the Jetsons, with the bulbous Oriental Pearl TV and Radio Tower looking a bit like a two headed lollipop. On the Puxi side, you can walk the Bund riverside district to get a taste of old Shanghai.

23. Siem Reap, Cambodia
Top 25 destinations in the world: Siem Reap, Cambodia
Top 25 destinations in the world: Siem Reap, Cambodia
When the morning light washes over the overgrown temples and ruins of Angkor Wat, a simple Siem Reap sunrise becomes a profound event. The ancient structures are contained within one of the largest religious complexes in the world. The complex and the 12th century Angkor Thom royal city are considered the main reasons to visit Siem Reap. Get a lesson in national history at the Cambodian Cultural Village, and a lesson in bargaining at the Angkor Night Market, a bonanza of shopping stalls, food vendors, and bars.

24. Chiang Mai, Thailand
Top 25 destinations in the world: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Top 25 destinations in the world: Chiang Mai, Thailand
You could spend your whole Chiang Mai vacation exploring the famous Night Bazaar. Once you’ve exhausted the art of the cheerful haggle, however, there’s plenty more to explore. The National Museum and Botanic Garden are great places to soak up some local culture and to breathe in the delicate fragrance of Thai orchids. In the city’s center, the remains of ancient walls embrace over 30 temples. Limber travelers can climb 300 stairs to Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, an ornate Buddhist temple in the hills.

25. Queenstown, New Zealand
Top 25 destinations in the world: Queenstown, New Zealand
Top 25 destinations in the world: Queenstown, New Zealand
Staggering beauty and heart-pumping thrills await in the resort town of Queenstown, which is also known for its Hobbits—much of the Lord of the Rings trilogy was filmed in the area. Outdoor enthusiasts flock to Queenstown for the kayaking, bungee jumping, jetboating, white-water rafting, hiking and skiing. More mild-mannered adventurers can take a quiet cruise through nearby Milford Sound, part of the Fjordland National Park World Heritage area, or sample South Island pinot noir from one of the region's 75 wineries.

[Source]


0 comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

 
Pin It button on image hover