Whether you’re just passing through or making a weekend of it, we give you the 48-hour lowdown on cities across the globe. What to see, what to do, what not to miss...
Los Angeles North America, USA
Over the Atlantic to Los Angeles, California’s star-studded city, where dreams are made and crushed in Hollywood studios and every restaurant worker acts on the side. Blonde beaches and hills with cinematic views lend themselves to open-air pursuits, while the neighbourhoods on the outskirts of town are home to indie galleries and cafés that are perfect for mooching.
Los Angeles is huge. If the county was a state, it would be the seventh-largest in the US, so it’s no surprise that there are many different sides to this city. For beaches, head to Santa Monica, where it’s still 23C in November, while those looking for culture should head downtown. Autumn means…
Bruges Europe, Belgium
Next we head to Bruges, the best-preserved medieval city in Europe. Cobbled streets expand into squares framed by timbered houses, delicate footbridges arch over green canals and candlelit bars beckon from every corner. Historic art peers out of the shadows of gothic churches and there’s also plenty of edible art, as the world’s best chocolatiers vie for your attention.
Follow the sound of calypso music and the smell of sizzling flying fish to Bridgetown, where locals are celebrating 50 years of independence from Britain. The people are as colourful as their pink and lemon-hued homes, from the fishermen who haul exotic seafood from the shimmering waters to the women who peddle it at the street markets. A whole host of cultural events and festivals are guaranteed to get you up off your sunbed.
Verona Europe, Italy
Try ‘fair Verona’, the Italian city that captured Shakespeare’s imagination and is sure to have a similar effect on yours. It’s a feast of Renaissance architecture and the food scene is spectacular. Expect risotto with Monte Veronese cheese, washed down with lashings of full-bodied Amarone.
Hanoi Asia, Vietnam
Hanoi, the northern Vietnamese city exploding with energy after years of restrictive regimes. Expect a buzzing café culture, glamorous champagne bars on West Lake and some of the most tantalising street food in Asia. The old quarter is a colourful tumble of alleys that lure you in with tailoring and trinkets, and keep you coming back for encounters with local characters and cool spots where you can sip pomegranate juice and watch this metropolis’s many stories unfold.
Buenos Aires South America, Argentina
Get the party started in Buenos Aires, Argentina’s fiery capital, where the weather’s hot, the tango’s steamy and the steak so tender it can be sliced with a spoon. Tree-lined boulevards and neo-classical architecture may look surprisingly European but the sensual undercurrent is Latin American all the way. Be swept away by the city’s beat in a dance class or rub shoulders with passionate Porteños (locals) at a polo match.
Gothenburg Europe, Sweden
Sweden’s second city is like the cooler, laid-back kid sister of more established Stockholm. Small wonder it’s known as Little London, says Imogen Lepere
Rio de Janeiro South America, Brazil
Cities rarely get more lively and colourful than this distinctive metropolis where musical heritage and nightlife collide with beaches and tropical climes, says James Williams
St Ives Europe, United Kingdom
This bustling Cornish village is home to a thriving artistic community, idyllic beaches and superior produce that’s guaranteed to sate the appetite, says Imogen Lepere
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