There can be no doubting that every city has endearing qualities all of its own, but some seem to stand taller and shout louder to encourage local residents and incoming visitors alike. Here, we look at what makes the seven cities we selected standout from the rest, and attract seemingly endless streams of tourists from all over the world. For the first in this series under this title, our sample selection is internationally based and in alphabetic sequence.
1. Acapulco, Mexico
If you enjoy cruising, few places on Earth can compare with the wonderful reception awaiting your arrival at the picturesque city of Acapulco in South Eastern Mexico. Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Acapulco rose to fame as a Hollywood rich and famous retreat as far back as the early 1950s. Today, this city has capitalized handsomely as a major international tourist destination.
At the same time, it has harnessed its natural beauty to draw visitors from all over the world. Acapulco’s close proximity to the USA and its typical wet/dry tropical climate make it the ideal playground for water sports along stunning beaches, together with world-class accommodation choices. The brave La Quebrada Cliff Divers are one of the main attractions close to the city.
2. Beijing, China
Cultural Beijing is the capital of China and has a massive population headcount of more than 21-million. Much admired for its mix of futuristic and ancient architecture, Beijing has a long and impressive history dating back more than three thousand years. This mega city is constantly on the move with so many attractions like the Forbidden City district, once the preserve of the Ming and Qing dynasties.
Tiananmen Square is synonymous with Beijing’s changing political landscape over the centuries, and houses the impressive National Museum of China. Crispy fried Peking Duck is in high demand in the capital and is something that each visitor should try at least once. Beijing is highly regarded for its colourful open markets and great shopping facilities too.
3. Cape Town, South Africa
When it comes to prominence, the beautiful city of Cape Town has been around since the early Dutch explorers decided to create a permanent supply base for their ships traveling to and from the East. It has position too, since it is located at the extreme South Western tip of the African Continent. Cape Town has magnificent Table Mountain, Devil’s Peak and Lions Head as dramatic backdrops.
Nearby, at the southern tip of the Cape Peninsula is Cape Point and this is the symbolic place where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans merge. No wonder then that one of the many nicknames given to Cape Town is the Tavern of the Seas. The Peninsula, of which Table Mountain forms part, is famous for its diverse flora with more than 2,200 species of plants on the Table Mountain range alone.
4. Dubai, UAE
Dubai, famed for its ultra-modern skyline on the southeast coast of the Persian Gulf, is one of the seven emirates making up the UAE. This desert city is a major international hub thanks to its location in terms of air transportation routes. It is one of the world’s safest places with several national and ethnic groups residing in harmony, to create a wonderful shopper-friendly destination.
While Dubai has its fair share of beautiful waterfront hotels, great entertainment facilities and trendy nightlife venues, keep in mind that it remains traditional at heart, and is not the kind of place to let your hair down. Try to visit the Burj Khalifa – a skyscraper and the world’s tallest manmade structure at 830m – the views are incredible
5. Edinburgh, Scotland
Edinburgh, capital of Scotland is as safe as houses because it straddles seven hills. Castle Rock, Calton Hill, Corstorphine Hill, Craiglockhart Hill, Braid Hill, Blackford Hill and Arthur’s Seat surround this spectacular city. Edinburgh is located on the southern banks of the Firth of Forth. Basalt volcanic plugs, a result of volcanic activity between 350 and 400 million years ago are in evidence right across Edinburgh to this day.
Apart from its feature black volcanic rock Edinburgh is famed for its fantastic live music, theatre and arts scene, but it is during August that ‘festival city’ really comes to life. The Edinburgh International Festival, Fringe Festival, and Military Tattoo all converge at the same time over this period, and provider a vibrant and lively atmosphere that continues day and night.
6. Florence, Italy
Ever wondered what is in store for you when you visit Florence? Picture amazing basilicas, priceless sculptures, sumptuous palaces, fabulous artworks and rich monuments. This is the best the world has to offer.
The list of medieval masters and artists includes names such as Galileo, Michelangelo, Machiavelli and Dante, all of whom have ensured a prosperous city full of splendour and priceless works of art. Imagine the Tuscan capital as the most eminent city of art in Europe; it is as simple as that!
7. Grenoble, France
Awesome Grenoble – an ancient and strategic city surrounded by mountains and steeped in culture and historical significance. Grenoble has always countenanced its mountain spirit with culture, and offers many attractions and natural highlights to the discerning visitor. Magnificent mountains stand guard-like around the city; to the north lies the Chartreuse, to the south and west the Vercors, and to the east the Belledonne range. No surprise then that Grenoble is the capital of the French Alps.
When you visit Grenoble, allow time to enjoy the Bastille. This ancient series of fortifications is perched on the mountainside to the north of the city, and is visible from many points. The Bastille is one of Grenoble’s most visited tourist attractions and is a good vantage point over the town below and the surrounding mountains.
Visit Lifeology Daily to get your copy of the latest travel articles and tips. This is the first in a series of outstanding cities across the globe. Others will follow soon and they will all be equally enticing, as we promote some of the most captivating cities on planet Earth.