It is the start of the year and the perfect time for a list. So, here is a list of the top 10 destinations for 2014:
1. Shanghai: As with our list of party cities we start with Shanghai. This is the city that seems to be driving the country. Culture, international trade, science and technology, it’s all there in Shanghai. Called the Oriental Paris, did you know that the two Chinese characters in the city’s name – shang and hai – together mean “Upon-the-Sea”?
2. Chicago: Art and architecture are great in the Windy City but 2014 has another reason to visit Chicago: Wrigley Field, the home of the Chicago Cubs, celebrates its 100th year. Watching and being a part of a baseball game here is quite an experience. Of course, if baseball isn’t your game you could head over to The Second City, a premier comedy club/theatre and school of improvisation to catch a show. The summer also sees some music fests.
3. Riga: Latvia, they say, is best enjoyed slowly and where to start off but in Riga! The city has traditionally served as a crossroads for trade and business between east and west. Thanks to the collection of art nouveau buildings that is one of the largest in the world Riga is today, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and waiting to be discovered. Do stop by at this cosmopolitan cornerstone of the Baltic in 2014.
4. Auckland: As you might imagine, New Zealand’s biggest and most cosmopolitan city give you a lot to do. You must take in a view of Auckland from the Sky Tower. Not only can you experience 360° spectacular views for up to 80 kilometres from the tallest man-made structure in New Zealand, you can walk around the pergola at SkyWalk or take a controlled fre-fall to ground level at SkyJump. You have a range of water and land based activities, art and culture, shopping, wildlife… As we said. there’s a lot to do in Auckland!
5. Adelaide: Across the ditch is Australia and Adelaide. While Sydney and Melbourne are always in the spotlight, it’s time you considered this South Australia city. Adelaide loves to party – especially during Mad March which is right in the middle of event season and when the weather in Adelaide is at its best. The city also hosts some of the most popular sporting and arts events including the Adelaide Festival, Adelaide Fringe Festival and WOMADelaide, just to name a few. Sports fans will love the award-winning Santos Tour Down Under and Clipsal 500 V8 car race. Adelaide is also Australia’s wine capital, with numerous regions on our doorstep. You’ll be spoilt for choice.
6. Zürich: As a lifestyle capital on the water, Zürich offers aunique mix of discovery, pleasure, nature and culture. The finest culinary highlights, unlimited shopping pleasure, over 50 museums and more than 100 galleries, Switzerland’s liveliest nightlife, numerous events and countless green oases in the centre of the city tempt you to linger and enjoy. Do focus on gastronomy since the range of restaurants in Zürich is as diverse as the city on the River Limmat itself. It includes everything from gourmet eateries and traditional Zürich classics to trendy hotspots, outdoor temples of pleasure, and gastronomy inside converted factory walls.
7. Cape Town: Cape Town is the quintessential melting pot: it is a city alive with creativity, colour, sounds and tastes. This year the city gets even better as it takes on the title of World Design Capital for the entire year. Drop in at Tjing Tjing Bar, a top-rated bar that holds up to international competition. Get up close with penguins at Boulders Beach without having to go all the way to the Antarctic! Catch a game of cricket at Newlands listed by Cricketer magazine as the second best cricket stadium in the world.
8. Trinidad: This Trinidad is in Cuba with some of the finest Spanish colonial mansions, plazas and churches harking back to the 19th-century sugar and slave trade. To the north lie the Escambray mountains beckoning the adventurous traveller. To the south are the sun loungers lined up on the baking white sands of the Caribbean. If you want to learn salsa then then do it in Trinidad. Take a steam train trip to the Valley of the Sugar Mills. Or, plunge into Trinidad’s new dining scene at the private paladares (restaurants) that are opening up.
9. Paris: How can any destination list do without this evergreen city? There are hidden nooks and crannies unknown to the majority of tourists that sum up the magic of Paris. The charm of little pockets of countryside in the Butte-aux-Cailles behind the Place d’Italie, or the green pathways around the Parc Montsouris. A vineyard perched incongruously on the slopes of Montmartre, scene of an annual harvest. Goosebumps at 20 m below ground in the historical catacombs. Hidden treasures in a scattering of covered arcades, wonderful places for a stroll. Discover a different Paris in 2014.
10. Vancouver: So much to do, so little time. From city pursuits like cooking classes, museums, galleries and more, to outdoor thrills like whale watching, white water rafting, deep sea fishing, zip-trekking and more, there’s never a shortage of activity in and around Vancouver. The sky’s the limit, and even then, where there’s a will there’s a way (and a helicopter to take you up). One of Vancouver’s greatest strengths is its diversity, and whether you’re visiting for a day or a month, there is plenty to explore.
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