Often I’ve been somewhere and thought, “well that was nice, but I wouldn’t go twice.” Over the years there have been those stand out cities that just beckons another trip.
A week ago, a friend asked what were my favorite cities, and as I mulled through the list, all I could think of was…
“I’d get on a plane and go back there right now.”
Here are the cities I’d visit again, and why.
(no particular order)
Give me $100 and pick me up a week later. I’d still have change in my pocket, may or may not have eaten questionable food, but would have the most culturally enriching experience. Afternoon iced coffee on a busy street corner, fresh pho in the morning, and talking with locals about their customs and ritual. I can still feel the energy of the three days I spent there.
Take the world, shake it up, and pour its contents into one place, and you have Melbourne. On one street corner you have incredible Chinese dim sum, and on another you have world class coffee. Diverse neighborhoods, proximity to exotic locations, and a sense of being a part of something bigger make the city energetic.
Prague, Czech Republic
Eastern Europe’s gem that is Prague, rooted in historic streets topped by red bricked rooftops tugs at the romantic in me. The beer is cheap, the food cozy, and endless places to get lost in.
Read next: A quick city guide to Prague.
The quirkiness, the contrast of the old and new, and the French influence seems to melt into a perfect space that is Montreal. Having been twice already, I’d go back a third time for the cuisine, a festival, and cafe hangouts.
Read next: How to spend 48 hours in Montreal.
Mexico City, Mexico
The metropolitan city that has it all — for every top restaurant, there is a food stall to match in taste. Lush and colonial neighborhoods reflect to it’s buzzing centers where business and play intersect beautifully. Days were spent museum hopping in forward-thinking designed spaces.
A coastal gem, marked by hills with viewpoints — it was far too easy to lose track of time. The tiles adorned in aqua blues and pastels, made everything you looked at just mesmerizing. I felt like I was asleep the whole time, a place one could only dream of.
Read next: The first-timers guide to Lisbon.
New York City, U.S.A
When I think of NYC, I think of late nights or early mornings, however you view time. It’s hard not to feel alive, to feel apart of something bigger while walking through the sky-high lined streets. This is where I go whenever I’m in need of a boost of energy, and find myself returning to old habits.
Read next: A typical day in New York City.
This city is completely biased given that I’m French, but I think you’d agree too. How can one not want to return to Paris? It’s romantic, the Seine seems to start and end the day, and eclairs — could you possibly need anything more in life?
Chiang Mai, Thailand
I never knew anything about my first trip to Chiang Mai, and the two nights spent there had me wishing I would of spent a week instead. Artful spaces, rich tradition in the Thai history of temples, and lively streets make for opening the senses.
Read next: Coffee shops not to miss in Chiang Mai.
It’s the kind of beauty you can’t describe. The passion in every aspect of life is felt, and inspiring. When I think about Japan, I think about being 17 years old, learning how to eat solely with chopsticks, experiencing the sentos, and trying every odd food I could get my hands on — the beginning of my passion for travel.
You know that moment when you think to yourself, “oh yeah, I read about that” ? I feel like that was Athens to me, and so much more. Through historic sites and Greek life, the city swallowed me up in just a short 24 hours.
Read next: How to spend 24 hours in Athens.
There’s an appeal about Barcelona, like the charm of a first date. The city has a way of courting you into loving its Gothic quarter, its Catalan cuisine, and its old world charm. I adored the slow afternoons, the energetic evenings, and everything in between.