My Top 5 Cities

Marcus and I recently went to explore Toronto together. We live right by the Peace Bridge to Canada but had never crossed it, so over Easter weekend we decided it was high time! We booked ourselves a cheap, sketchy hotel, made reservations at a restaurant in Little Portugal with live jazz and Latin music, and took recommendations from friends on where to eat brunch at the next morning (Dineen Coffee, in case you’re curious. Sandwiches on fresh baguette bread = so gooooodd). Going to Toronto got me thinking about my love of new places. Some of my favorite memories across my 23 years of existence are of seeing new cities or new natural wonders. SO I decided to try my hand at travel blogging and do a post on my 5 favorite cities that I’ve been to. Naturally, this has to come with a disclaimer. I haven’t been to some of the iconic cities in the world: New Orleans, Prague, Venice, Rome, etc. But I’ve explored a fair number of places in the US, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Indonesia, and Singapore, and below are the five cities that left me with a warm, fuzzy feeling and why: 1) BARCELONA Over winter break of my senior year in college, I went on a whirlwind trip of Spain, Portugal, and Morocco. Barcelona is the city that sticks out in my mind and tickles my fancy every so often to take another trip there. It has stunning architecture, a beautiful port area, and a walk-able layout. The churches are magnificent and seeing the Olympic grounds there was a treat. I could’ve visited the parks and churches there morning after morning, napped on the docks of the port each afternoon, and then eaten paella and drank sangria for days on end in Barcelona! barcelona parque guell, gaudi barcelona sagrada familia barcelona port 2) OAXACA It’s probably not a coincidence that my top two cities are in Spanish-speaking countries. I love the sound of the Spanish language, and the vibrant, welcoming cultures. Anyway, Oaxaca is a smaller city in the southeastern part of Mexico. It has a lovely, antique, “blast from the past” feel to it, and is surrounded by amazing ruins and beaches. I had so much fun with my sister and study abroad friends there, going to the local market, traipsing about the World Heritage ruins, and the beaches are gorgeous and secluded. And we went in December, and everything was pleasantly uncrowded! oaxac a street oaxaca ruins oaxaca market (squash flowers, local cheese) oaxaca beach 3) WASHINGTON, DC I’m not the USA’s most fervent patriot by any means and I have my fair share of cynicism about political processes, but there is something beautiful and inspiring about Washington, DC. The memorials to the great thinkers of the past (Lincoln, MLK Jr, etc.), the amazing museums, the classic buildings. I have fond memories of showing it all to our Ukrainian exchange student, and I would quickly go to DC again to explore! I don’t have many pictures of DC because my last trip there was as a junior in high school, before I started taking literally hundreds of photos of every trip I take, but here’s one of us looking excited and cold as we explored. DC memorial 4) SINGAPORE The friends I know that have visited Singapore all say the same thing: it is an amazingly clean city! The cities I’ve mentioned previously are beautiful, but Singapore was astounding in the fact that there literally didn’t seem to be a spec of grime anywhere. Wherever I went everything looked sparkly and clean, with elegant white and silver buildings and an occasional colorful display or artistic landscaping to top it all off. I also loved the ornate styling in people’s clothing, bangle shops full of hundreds of colors of bangles, and the fact that everything was translated into 4 languages! singapore 4 languages singapore bangle shop singapore traditional clothing singapore clean city 5) VANCOUVER I end my top five cities list with Vancouver. My sister lived there and my nephew was born there, and I am glad that the city treated them so well! When we visited I liked that nature wasn’t too far away at every turn, the beautiful waterfront views, and the energetic, multi-cultural feel of the city. Again, this was pre-Esther’siPhone, so my pictures are limited 🙂 vancouver lounging in the park vancouver waterfront Honorable Mentions: Some of my honorable mention cities include San Francisco, Seattle, & Montreal. I visited each very briefly, so maybe I just didn’t get enough time to soak in their beauty and add them to the list! I notice that most of my favorite cities are right on the water! I do love the contrast between a peaceful waterway and the hustle and bustle of the city on it. What makes a good city for you? And what cities should I visit that might change my top 5? 😉 Happy traveling & reminiscing, Esther

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7 thoughts on “My Top 5 Cities

  1. Well I can name some cities you should see that could be added 🙂 I would definitely recommend going to New Orleans. Some cities that I’ve enjoyed on my travels that might shake up your top 5 are Minneapolis, Boston, Prague, Nuremburg, York, Salzburg, Bern, Lucerne, Vienna, Bergen, and Paris.

  2. I am glad you put Vancouver on the list! It was a great place to live – which is why it is so expensive to live there!! I don’t know what my city list would be, because most of my travel hasn’t been to cities but to remote random places where there are mines (which is more my style anyway, I guess). I like to play the ‘if I gave you a plane ticket right now, where would you go, game’ and my top pick for the past few years would have to be Argentina, because I have never been and I think I’d like everything about it. I do love Spanish speaking locations as well, I wish my Spanish was as good as yours! I love travelling to Mexico (I’ve been three times), and Chile was incredible as well. However, the climate of Spanish speaking countries is too tropical for Bradley 🙂

  3. Good one! I liked Barcelona too. The architecture there is so distinctive. It makes the city feel so artsy. I have not traveled enough to make a real list, but I’d have to say London and Paris would be close to the top. Vancouver was great too. I love being in a city and seeing mountains in between skyscrapers! 🙂

  4. I think NYC is probably on my list. I guess I’m not a big city fan? I would love to go to London some day, and Barcelona, and some other cities in Europe like Florence. Maybe we should do a favorite mountains post sometime. That would be easier for me. Ooh, or favorite beaches.

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