I was recently doing some spring cleaning even in my bookmarks on my laptop and found out that I had created a Trip Advisor page a few years ago and much to my surprise, I added all the cities I have been to and I couldn’t believe how many there are! Pretty grateful and incredible if you ask me.
Now I might have been there at least once but there are certainly a few I would go back over and over again.
I would like to share with you My Top 5 Favorite Cities in the World.
Without further ado, here they are in no particular order!
Seoul, South Korea
View of the Han River in Seoul. Photo credit: Ssalae
Ah Seoul, my soul mate! What can I possibly say about my 3rd home that I have not already said before?
My apologies if I repeat myself or sound like a broken record: I am madly, insanely, absolutely in love & adore Seoul!
The South Korean capital is by far one of the greatest, craziest, busiest, chaotic, most dynamic and fun cosmopolitan cities on the planet!
My love story with the city started when I first lived and worked there as an English as a Second Language Teacher over a decade ago.
Sure it was very difficult at first (and not even mentioning the culture shock) but it got way better (gradually) with time and any expat can confirm this. By the end of the year I seriously did not want to leave but had to as my contract and working visa were about to expire.
Fast forward a few years later. I had the opportunity of going back for Round 2 and I fell even more in love!
Not only with the area where I was but also with my kids (students), the school where I taught, my brand new apartment but most importantly, the people I met and the great friendships that I built which helped me feel welcome, loved, taken care of, respected and more!
Every single week-end I went out to explore different neighborhoods of Seoul (Hong-Ik, Sinchon, Myeong Dong, Gangnam were my go to places) and the rest of the country which of course turned into amazing and unforgettable adventures :) I honestly don’t remember having so much fun in one city!
South Koreans are super friendly, kind, welcoming even if language is a barrier! They are very proud of their culture, country and in spite of all that happened in the past & the obstacles they’ve overcome, you can’t help but cheer them on! They are a great example of determination and strong will. Tae Han Min Guk – Go Korea!
I’d definitely go back to either visit, live or work or both in a second. Well it could happen again, we never know!
Toronto Skyline from Metro Toronto Convention Centre
The Queen City of Canada IS my second home!
I’ve always been fascinated by it since I was very young and think it is just an incredibly diverse, multi-ethnic, fast-paced, energetic cosmopolitan where any dream can come true! Where else in the world would you be listening to people speaking in one of the 140 languages spoken by its residents?
Can I be totally honest with you? I love it way more than my own hometown. Yes, I am a cosmopolitan and big city girl and I’ve absolutely no shame in admitting it.
I simply can’t even begin to count the number of times I’ve visited and loved it so much that I even moved and live there to further advance in my professional career and learn some important lessons!
They say that when a door closes another one opens right? Well they did open alright! And when it rains it pours! A shower of blessings came down.
What was supposed to be a 2 week vacation, to test the waters or try my luck, turned into a 2 year, life-changing, unforgettable and very valuable experience. Some of the best years of my life if you ask me, hands down.
I was very determined, focused and never gave up in my search for better opportunities, so I did everything to the best of my abilities and all that hard work did pay off.
Having a group of people believe in you against all odds means the world to me and showing them with actions, results is the best way to thank them for taking a big risk!
I loved discovering different parts of Toronto and suburbs. Trust me; 2 years were simply not enough to get to know it all but I did see quite a bit and saw it from different angles!
Toronto will always have a special place in my life and I would certainly not hesitate to go back if given the opportunity to work or go for a short stay. It makes me proud to have been a Torontonian.
New York, New York, USA
Central Park, New York City.
The Big Apple, the Capital of the World, the Epicenter of the Universe, whichever name you wish to call it, New York City is one of the most incredible cities on earth!
Each neighborhood is so special, unique and the whole world comes together in one place.
I truly got to live like a New Yorker during a summer there and lived in Queens. I travelled to the city back and forth every day and I must say that my favorite place is definitely Soho/Little Italy.
I also LOVE Central Park. It is such an oasis of calm and serenity right in the middle of the concrete jungle.
There is definitely so much to see and do and once you visit you will fall under its spell, trust me on that one.
I really can’t wait to return to go see a nice Broadway Show and have a nice meal at a great restaurant and also go on a little shopping spree!
Monument to Vittorio Emmanuelle II
They say that all roads lead to Rome and that is certainly true!
I’ve always been fascinated with the Eternal City ever since I can possibly remember.
Images of the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, Ancient ruins, the food & la Dolce Vita especially in Trastevere (my absolute favorite part of the city) immediately come to mind.
My first visit was when I went to Europe by myself and have returned on two more occasions.
What can I tell you about Rome that you have already not heard or read or seen?
As soon as you arrive in the city, there is this air of mystery, incredibly rich history, torturous past, a sense of pride by the locals and ah did I even mention the culture and FOOD? Travelling just for that is a good enough reason ;)
I stayed there for a period of 2 weeks (before going to my school in Le Marche and before returning home) and frankly, it felt as if I was at home!
Strolling along the many streets or vias, piazzas, stunning parks and getting lost on purpose (read the part about Trastevere above) was a daily ritual.
Having a gelato or coffee and watch the world go by while listening to the beautiful & charming language, admiring gorgeous people, smelling the fresh-baked goodies or food…ah it is a true feast for your senses!
I sure dream of the day I return to Roma. By the way, if you spell the city backwards it is Amor which in Spanish means Love and that is certainly what I truly feel for the city and I’m sure you will too :)
Parc Güell. Photo Credit: Futurezone
Barcelona has definitely been one of the best yet unexpected surprises of my life.
It was my last stop on my 2 month European whirlwind tour and I couldn’t have ended it in a better place!
It was my first time on Spanish soil, so you can just imagine how happy and excited I was! I had heard nothing but amazing things about the Catalan city and were they ever true!
It was 100x better than the descriptions or stories I was told ;)
I stayed with some friends of mine I had been speaking to for years and they took me all over town!
From El Tibidabo to the Sagrada Familia, to the Gothic Quarter, Las Ramblas, to Camp Nou all the way to the top of MontJuïc.
Oh I haven’t even mentioned our parties? Catalans sure know how to throw some amazing ones!
Recovering from them was easy thanks to the fabulous food available everywhere but especially at La Boqueria, one of the greatest markets on earth if you ask me.
If I close my eyes right now and transport myself back there, I see myself sitting on the soft, golden sand at la Barceloneta facing the Mediterranean. I feel the light breeze and the warm sun rays on my face. Ah now THAT is what makes my heart skip a beat and really makes me want to go back in a second. I am pretty sure I will in the very near future!
As I mentioned at the beginning, selecting just 5 cities is not enough. So I decided to include some Bonus (and fantastic) Cities that I would like to visit again.
Here they are:
Hong Kong, China
So there you have my Top 5 Favorite Cities Around The World.
Now it’s your turn!
What are your favorite cities in the world?
Which ones do you want to or will visit again?
I’m looking forward to reading your answers and seeing photos, so please include them or any links!
Until next time!
Many happy travels :)
All the best, Tashi Delek.