New York City, USA - It's no wonder New York is often called the "Crossroads of the World". Nowhere else can you find such a mind-blowing concentration of art, culture, cuisine, and business. If you're a first-timer, go ahead and be as touristy as possible. Visit the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, the Met, Central Park... But if you've got more time, be sure to delve into the neighborhoods because you'll surely find quirky shops, delis and hole-in-the-wall bars. It's an incredibly rewarding experience to go behind the scenes here.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - From the world-famous Carnival to its iconic skyline, Rio de Janeiro is an experience for all five senses. Rio de Janeiro is Brazil's primary tourist attraction and resort. It receives the most visitors per year of any city in South America with 2.82 million international tourists a year. The city sports world-class hotels, approximately 80 kilometres of beaches and the famous Corcovado and Sugarloaf mountains. Here you can find two of the most famous beaches on Earth!
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 (if you are not a Muslim, you are not allowed to enter). The main square in the Medina is Djemaa El-Fna. It is surrounded by endless labyrinths of souks (bazaars) and alleyways covering all of the Medina. Djemma El-Fna is a must as there is always something to see there day and night whether it be snake charmers, acrobats, sooth-sayers, or the musicians and food stalls. At night the square really comes to life as people navigate toward the exotic aromas and the entertaining sights. As the evening darkens, the hustle and bustle rages on. The exotic music appears louder and more hypnotic.
London, England - With its prestigious museums, famous street markets, and bustling financial center, it's no wonder that London is one of the world's most-visited cities. There's no other city quite like London and it should go without saying that you simply must visit once in your lifetime. After visiting all the tourist hot spots, be sure to venture off into the neighbourhoods to completely rediscover the city!
Cairo, Egypt - This constantly pulsating and hypnotizing metropolis will surprise you with the chaos at your arrival, but soon you'll get drawn way too deep. As long as you're not looking for solitude, the City of the Thousand Minarets is the perfect place to explore and experience Egyptian history and culture. You must visit Khan el-Khalili, an ancient bazaar, or marketplace adjacent to the Al-Hussein Mosque.
Varanasi, India - Has been a cultural centre of North India for several thousand years, and is closely associated with the Ganges. Hindus believe that death in the city will bring salvation, making it a major centre for pilgrimage. Varanasi is one of India's holiest cities, is a true experience for the senses. Seeing the sunrise as the ghats on banks the Ganges fill up with holy men, pilgrims, and locals is a sight you'll never forget. Varanasi is unique, and a walk along the ghats or a boat ride on the river will live forever in your memory.
Saint Petersburg, Russia - This is the Russia cultural heart, home to the architectural jewels of the Winter Palace and the Kazan Cathedral, with a side of the world-renowned art of the Hermitage. You've got everything from art and nightlife to fine dining here. The main city square, two times bigger that the Red square in Moscow, is where you will find the General Staff Building, the Winter Palace, and the Guard Corps Building. In the center of the square lies the Alexander Column, installed in the name of Emperor Alexander I to commemorate his victory over Napoleon. During Soviet times, the square was also a focal point, used for mass demonstrations and parades.
Istanbul, Turkey - Partly in Europe and partly in Asia, Istanbul is an exciting blend of cultures where East meets West. There's so much history here it is almost unmissable and should certainly be on your agenda. Istanbul is one of the hottest tourist attractions around nowadays. With its mosques, bazaars, Turkish baths, restaurants, galleries and clubs, it's been dubbed the World's Hippest City. There's plenty to keep you busy during the day, from sightseeing to getting the ultimate Turkish treatment at a spa, but at night there's this joie de vivre sensation throughout when the clubs and restaurants are buzzing with action.
Rome, Italy - Walking through Rome is like exploring the world's largest open-air museum. Simply put, no city on Earth combines fine art, cuisine, tons and tons of ancient history quite like the Eternal City. Ravishing, radiant and remarkable, that's Rome. The city will continue to amaze you every time you see the Colosseum or a breathtaking baroque church. It embraces its historic legacies, fine art and absolutely delicious food.
Lisbon, Portugal - Lisbon truly has it all: sun, sea, and an enchanting and decadent atmosphere like that found amid the sunny, colorful streets of the city's Chiado and Alfama neighborhoods. It's no wonder why it become one of the world's most popular destinations. Indulge in fresh pastries, window shopping, espressos and the warmly lit 1930s-era cafes, or take a walk along the seaside. At Bairro Alto you've got many restaurants with jazz and reggae vibes filling the air and nightclubs scattered all over the town. Lisbon's Gothic cathedrals, monasteries and museums all accentuate this lovely city.
Sydney, Australia - Sydney is renowned around the world for being 'THE' New Years Eve party destination - why? It's the first city to bring in the New Year! Everyone in the Northern Hemisphere wakes up while the Aussies bring in the New Year so it has long been a dream destination for people around the world. Sydney is attractive at any time of day, any time of the year! It's famous for its National Parks, Opera House and its super eventful evenings of undercover bar hunting, sporting events to support, underground bands to check out or a super crazy party to crash. The city's glamorous but oh-so-casual at the same time making it such a relaxed but vibrant environment. Everybody loves to tan at the beautiful golden beaches, enjoy the exciting food scene and explore the very subtle touches of history.
Riga, Latvia - This city is the largest metropolis in the Baltics and it's a compelling mix of Latvian traditions and influences from various other countries. Riga is funky and vibrant, trapping travelers long past their departure date. Riga manages to combine its steeples and turrets with an irresistible nightlife and restaurant scene. Old Town, once dubbed the 'Paris of the East', is filled with lavish glass hotels and business centers. Nowhere is that aesthetic more pronounced than in Centrs, the central part of Riga, which is the city's economic, financial and cultural core, as well as a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site. One will find a breathtaking range of architectural styles in the historical centre - from Baroque to Classicism, from Renaissance to Art Deco, from Romanesque to National Romanticism.
Cusco, Peru - Visit this cosmopolitan Inca capital with its cathedrals, temples, cobblestone streets, and most importantly the awesome llamas and alpacas. This city of the Inca Empire is the archaeological destination of the Americas, as well as the continent's oldest inhabited city. Besides being the main entry point for those looking to explore the Andes and Machu Picchu, the World Heritage city of Cusco is full of historic temples, monasteries, and gorgeous colonial homes.
Zanzibar, Tanzania - The ancient city of Zanzibar is one of Africa's top destinations and famous for its white-sand beaches and mix African, Arab, and Portuguese influences in the historic district of Stone Town. Stone Town is the old city and cultural heart of Zanzibar, little changed in the last 200 years. It is a place of winding alleys, bustling bazaars, mosques and grand Arab houses whose original owners vied with each other over the extravagance of their dwellings. This one-upmanship is particularly reflected in the brass-studded, carved, wooden doors - there are more than 500 different examples of this handiwork. You can spend many hours and days just wandering through the fascinating labyrinth of narrow streets and alleyways.
Havana, Cuba - Exploring the streets of Old Havana is like stepping back in time to a world of majestic pre-revolutionary buildings, classic cars, and the smell of home-cooking mixing with the sea breeze. The Caribbean's largest city with its romantic vibes and contagious energy, 500 years of an exciting history has led to making Havana a culturally unique society. You've got mambo, salsa, Che Guevara, rum and the unconventional beauty it's known for.