Thinking about your next travels? You like exploring the world and have already been to places, seen the magic world. Why not think about revisiting a city you’ve been to?
Many cities offer so much that you can’t see it all on one trip. So return to a city a different time of year, and you’ll find whole new sides of it.
Travel in the winter when there are less tourists, and talk with the locals. You don’t always have to wait for the summer when all others are traveling.
Alfama, Lisbon in early January
I picked up great city destinations that deserve revisiting Fine city destinations from all continents. Maybe you can find one close to you and don’t have to travel that far?
Cities in Europe, North and South America, Asia, Africa, and down under. I’ve been to all these cities, to some of them many times and to others just once, but wishing to return.
Washington DC’s Lincoln Memorial in mid November
Most of the cities I will show you are big but not all. Many cities are interesting without being big.
Here is my selection for you, some of the world’s great cities. We will begin with the eternal city of Rome in Europe.
Great Cities to Visit: Rome
Bella Roma, so beautiful even in November
Rome, Italy, is the mother of all cities. The city is overwhelming with history and a perfect destination to visit any time.
It says Rome was built on seven hills, yet you don’t see the hills, they are outside the city. The city center itself is flatland and perfect to walk through. As Rome’s metro doesn’t cover all city and car traffic gets stocked, walking is the best way to explore the eternal city.
Rome, Italy in photos, most photos taken in March:
Rome, the great capital of Italy
Then, let’s look at the new continent:
Exploring San Francisco by car
Just as Rome, San Francisco was built over seven hills but here the hills exist right in the city center. The hills of San Francisco are Nob Hill, Telegraph Hill, Russian Hill, Rincon Hill, Twin Peaks, Mount Davidson and Mount Sutro, and some more hills beyond them.
The steep hillsides backed by a bay of Pacific Ocean make San Francisco look exceptional. Looking at San Francisco you will see why so many want to move here. California is just amazing and San Francisco definitely belongs to the best parts of it.
They built a red iron bridge to cross the bay, and a cable car to get up and down the steep hills. And they built rows of lace-like Victorian houses to live in. This all still exists as it was, and a lot more, so go ahead and visit San Francisco.
San Francisco in late April:
Great cities to visit: San Francisco, California
Then back to Europe:
In Lisbon trams take you up and down the hills
There’s something magic about the seven hills. My next city, Lisbon, Portugal also has that number of hills, and like in San Francisco the Lisbon hills fill the city so you can’t avoid them.
To get you up and down the hills Lisbon has trams, funiculars, elevators, and long stairs. My first time in Lisbon was early January which is the coldest time of the year, yet the skies were clear and highs around 14 C:
Lisbon, Portugal seen from the Lisbon tram 28.
In Lisbon trams are the best way to see the city. Spend a day exploring Lisbon on tram 28. That particular tram will take you to the best parts of the city.
If you love history and want some palaces, Lisbon, Portugal has a bonus for you. The palaces of Sintra in the Sintra Hills are just a short train ride away.
Great Cities to Visit: Washington DC
The National Mall of Washington DC, United States
Now we finally have a city that only has one hill, yet an important one. The American capital’s only hill is the Capitol Hill from where the whole country is governed.
The huge avenue National Mall starts from the Capitol Hill and leads to the Lincoln Memorial 4 miles west. In between is a wonderful concentration of museums with fine displays on the country’s nature, people and history.
All this makes Washington DC a real treasure trove for all who want to get to know the country, America.
Visiting Washington DC in November
You can spend hours and days strolling through these museums, and to learn even more you just have to return. To plan a visit to this fantastic city find information in my posts National Mall Walking Itinerary, Washington DC and Washington DC: Capitol Hill Walk.
Now something for my African readers, and for us Europeans. The North African city of Marrakech:
Great Cities to Visit: Marrakech
Great cities to visit: Marrakech, Morocco
It’s hard to believe that this kind of cities still exist. The pink desert city of Marrakech stood up in a place where caravans from the north and Central African traders met. Marrakech still is the kind of trading point it was and much of the trading happens in its souks.
The country’s thousand year long traditions are kept alive on the city’s Unesco listed Jemaa el-Fna square and life in the souks goes on as if nothing had changed in the last thousand years. Saharan spices, colored yarn and brass items change owners in a theatrical manner.
Dive in the souks, and enjoy the noise and mess of Marrakech, Morocco!
Great cities to visit: November views of Marrakech, Morocco
What about Asian cities then? There’s a huge number of them and I chose two, Bangkok and Tokyo:
Great cities to visit: Bangkok, Thailand
Bangkok, Thailand is a traffic hub and the gateway to Asia which is part of the reason the city is so busy. The city draws 22 million tourists a year being the second most visited city in the world, right after Hong Kong. There must be some reason why so many people choose to return to Bangkok, over and over again.
Bangkok is a living, noisy, giant city where life happens right in the streets. It’s no difference what time of the year you visit, the air is always is hot and humid. As it’s so hot, the best way to explore Bangkok is by river boat: on the river you will get more fresh air.
Bangkok, Thailand seen from the river
Most of Bangkok’s top sights are by the main river Chao Praya. So jump on a Chao Praya river ferry and explore Bangkok by boat!
Asian Cities to Visit: Tokyo
The Japanese have a love for the old
My second Asian favorite Tokyo is another giant.
Tokyo says to be the world’s biggest metropolis with more than 30 million people living around it. Yet it’s very different from the noisy Bangkok: there is no chaos in Tokyo, far from that. The Japanese are so well organized, they know how to use their trains. They wait in lines and exactly know where the subway door opens.
Tokyo, the Japanese capital in October:
Tokyo is a mix of old and new
The ultra modern country wants to retain its traditions. Tokyo contains many old districts side by side with glassed sky scrapers, and the Japanese love to stroll in their old suburbs and manicured parks.
To learn about the old, historic parts of Tokyo check out my post Four Short Walks in Old Tokyo.
Then I still have two cities, in the southern hemisphere:
Melbourne August winter sun
For many of us the southern hemisphere is so far away but for you that live there, Melbourne, Australia and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Melbourne, Australia is a city of four million that has a glassed CBD including the highest building of the southern hemisphere, the Eureka Tower. Yet the Australian city has a pleasant, relaxed small town feel.
The Greek and Italian quarters where the immigrants from these countries settled still exist. Melbourne also has a big Chinatown, an Immigrant Museum telling about how, why and from where people moved to this country. And Melbourne has good exhibitions of Australian Aboriginal art.
Great cities to visit: Melbourne in photos
To plan your trip to Melbourne, read my posts Sightseeing in Melbourne: Circle Tram and Tourist Bus, Yarra River Walk through Central Melbourne and Melbourne Penguins and Possums Nature Tour.
Rio de Janeiro
Great cities of the world: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The last city on my list is Rio de Janeiro, the colorful Brazilian city of carnivals, joy and samba. And in addition a city of great natural beauty.
Rio de Janeiro’s location is magic. The city lies on a narrow strip between sea and mountains. On one side there is the warm, blue ocean and on the other scattered mountains that all look like sugar loafs. Some of them are smaller and others bigger but they all look the same.
The highest peak has a Christ statue, one of the symbols of the city, built in Paris and brought to Brazil in pieces. Take a tour to the statue and see the panorama from its foot, and visit the large rainforest and Brazilian favelas on the way. Then walk on the famous beaches Copacabana and Ipanema and in the evening dine to samba tones. Rio de Janeiro, the River of January!
We, however, were visiting in February:
The great city of Rio de Janeiro in photos
To prepare for your trip to Rio, check out my Rio de Janeiro travel tips: Sightseeing in Rio de Janeiro
Or to read more about Brazil, find my all Brazil posts here.
Sugar Loaf Mountain, Rio de Janeiro
More City Destinations
So this was my selection of great cities that you want to visit more than once. If this was not enough and you want to read about more cities, check out my City destinations category page. The page lists all my articles that include a city destination.
Which cities in the world are most visited? See CNN Travel, the most visited cities in the world 2019.
More Travel Ideas
If you want more trip ideas, check out my other posts in the Trip ideas category: