Rome was the first foreign city I ever went to, and within a day or two, I was completely smitten. I spent 10 days in the eternal city before moving on to Florence and Venice, and I honestly felt bad for the other cities since they couldn’t hold a candle to Rome.
Rome is lively and beautiful, at once history and the present. I remember being fascinated with the amount of history that I could reach out and touch with my hands. I felt the holy presence of the Vatican city, and ate endless gelato. I tried new foods (okay, mostly pizza) and learned to love wandering the streets of a foreign city. I got lost on the bus and learned that I am smart and strong enough to get myself un-lost in a foreign city, with only a paper bus map.
Rome was where I came to love travel, and it stole my heart. Today, 9 more travel bloggers shared with me the cities that stole their hearts. Read on and let me know in the comments which one you’re inspired to visit next.
Melbourne stole my heart. It happened instantaneously. You know when you just click with a person? Well, it felt the same way, but with an entire city. I fell in love with my lifestyle in Melbourne. Waking up in my little studio apartment in St Kilda, jogging by the beach in the morning. Taking a much needed after work swim, watching an awe inspiring sunset every night. Spending my evenings in some alternative bar drinking beer, making new friends unexpectedly. I love the little things in Melbourne. How you can discover something new you hadn’t noticed before, a new piece of street art, a new coffee shop, new food you’ve never heard of. There’s always something going on. So, I have to mention the coffee culture, coffee is the essence of Melbourne. Coffee is a way of life, which fits perfectly into my heart. Melbourne stole my heart because when I had to leave, I was sad, I missed Melbourne. Like how you miss a new best friend you meet on your travels. When I returned, I felt like I was coming home, I slotted right back in, like I had never left. Melbourne will undoubtedly always have my heart.
From Becca of Bee Wanderlust. Read more: The Things I Love About Melbourne And You Will Too
It is not hard to fall head over heels in love with Seville in southern Spain. It can be the wide lanes aligned with fruit baring orange trees or the impressive architecture of the Giralda Bell Tower, the Setas of Seville or the Real Alcázar of Seville. But what made me fall in love with Seville instantly, is the food culture. No matter the time of day but there is always something to eat. Be it a delicious breakfast or sickling sweet snack in the afternoon. Endless nights of sharing tapas with friend or hopping from bar to bar, trying the different drinks like Vermouth, Sherry or Wines.
Seville is a city to experience. Yes, the city is great for sightseeing and ticking things off your bucket list. The impressive Plaza d’España might be the prettiest thing I’ve ever seen. But what makes Seville so unique is the vibe and the people. Sevillian people know how to enjoy life and do so gracefully. I enjoyed my time in Seville, just wandering around the streets or sitting in a tapas bar and observe the locals. No hurry, all friendly smiles and hordes of family and friends enjoying the city together. I loved Seville so much, I will go back soon. I feel there is so much more to enjoy in Seville.
From Naomi of Probe Around the Globe. Read more: Sensational Setas of Seville Spain
As soon as I got to Stockholm, Sweden, I knew I’d fallen in love. In July, the weather was perfect and I had the time of my life simply walking around the city. Aside from the rich history of the city, the amazing museums and exhibits, and amazing international food options, the people of Stockholm were equally as international and inspiring. I came with no expectations, and left with a new favorite city!
From Gabrielle of Packs Light. Read more: How Stockholm, Sweden Surprised Me
I fell in love with Prague in the summer of 2014. It may have been the little cobbled streets or the beautiful buildings, each one a different colour to its next door neighbour. It could have been the rich history, from visiting a nuclear bunker whilst learning about communism to an alchemy laboratory belonging to Rudolf II in the 16th century. Maybe it was the miniature museum, where I saw the Last Supper etched onto a grain of rice, or the Stredoveka Krcma (Medieval Tavern) where I left the busy streets and headed downstairs to be transported somewhere entirely different to the sounds of bagpipes and drums. Or, perhaps it was the refreshing pints of Czech beer.
I am a massive city break fan and I have been to a good number of European capitals, Prague is my favourite by a country mile. It is picturesque, vibrant yet peaceful and there is tons to do – from walking and segway tours to a boat ride up the Danube. There is lots of public art, notably David Černý’s ‘Hanging Out’, ‘Giant Babies’ and the babies crawling up the Zizkov TV Tower and the crudely named ‘Piss’. You can have dinner in the TV Tower and look over the city at night in egg chairs. Add Prague to your bucket list and be sure to try the local cuisine and ales.
From Emma of Where’s That To?
It didn’t take long for Hong Kong to steal my heart. I had never been to this chaotic city before I packed up my life in Australia and moved there almost two years ago. I was head over heals before I knew it! I spend my days gawking at skyscrapers from Victoria Peak or the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront, eating hand-made dumplings fresh from the dim sum steamer trolleys, catching up with friends at a boozy weekend brunch or getting back to nature and hiking on the outlying islands. It is this crazy city of east meets west, old and new. The contrasts hit you everywhere you turn. There are glossy modern skyscrapers that have been planned with ancient feng shui principles. The holidays where one day you are celebrating Easter and the next week it is Buddha’s birthday. There is always something new to discover. Maybe a new noodle joint or a taoist shrine hidden in a back alley. Hong Kong truly is a fascinating city, and one that I fall more in love with every day!
From Jessica of Expat Getaways. Read more: 48 Hours in Hong Kong
I fell in love with Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Driving into the city was like driving into a postcard. Every building had that Medieval vibe with cute flower boxes, stucco, and fancy gilded signs. The city was quite bustling during the day with tourists on day trips from Munich, but at night there was a new special appeal. The streets were more empty, and it was so safe to stroll around. Shops lining the Marketplace try and maintain a sense of what the town was like in its Heyday. Rothenburg is home to the famous Schneeball, an epic Christmas store, a medieval torture museum, a creepy doll museum, and a hilarious legend of how a drunk mayor saved the city.
Rothenburg is equal parts beautiful (nestled in the Tauber River Valley) and historical (saved twice from disaster!). It’s remarkably preserved and boasts one of the few medieval walls still left in tact.I can’t recommend it enough. Go fall in love with it too.
I fell in love with Edinburgh at first sight. Well, to be honest, I could hardly see anything on my first day there. I arrived in Edinburgh on a cold morning in April, and the city was shrouded in thick fog, known as haar. It felt like I had just stepped into the pages of a Victorian ghost story.
Edinburgh can be a very eerie place, but it is also one of the liveliest cities in Europe, especially in summer. I have been on several ghost tours in Edinburgh’s secret underground city, which is believed to be one of the most haunted places in Britain, and attended some of the city’s most popular festivals, like the Beltane Fire Festival and the world-famous Hogmanay Street Party. I have visited Edinburgh three times since 2011, and I’ll be going back this year. There is so much to do and experience in this amazing city – I would happily live there for the rest of my life.
From Daniela of Grumpy Camel. Read more: 12 Awesome Things to do in Edinburgh
Bangkok stole my heart the moment I stepped foot in the chaotic city of 17 million. Bangkok is a city you either love it or hate it there is no middle. Bangkok was the first stop on my Thailand honeymoon. We spent 3 days in Bangkok discovering new foods and realizing the Bangkok has some of the best street food ever. I love grabbing a Thai iced coffee for $0.60 and exploring the city as vendors as just setting up early in the morning, visiting the temples, indulging in $7 an hour massages, watching the sunset from sky bars, people watching on Khao San Road, and cooling off in the massive shopping malls. I have since been back to Bangkok 10 times and it’s still my favorite city in the world. I love Thailand so much that on my last visit to Thailand I decided to get a Sak Yant tattoo which is done by a monk in a temple.
From Hannah of Getting Stamped. Read more: 3 Days in Bangkok
I fell in love with Dakar, the capital city of Senegal, when I spent a year there as a study abroad student. It was the first time I’d lived abroad and the first time I’d ever been in a developing country, and Dakar was as challenging as it was fascinating. While the city is hot, dirty, and chaotic, it stole my heart with its welcoming people, vibrant culture, and endless corners to explore. Some of my favorite memories of Dakar are of everyday activities – riding local buses, walking along the beach, having drinks at informal bars, and picking up snacks from street vendors. I also loved that being in Dakar meant learning new things every day, about foreign languages, different religions, new cultures, and how to navigate a place where it’s hard to go even a single day without doing or seeing things that would never happen at home in the U.S. Living in Dakar also revealed the many universal values and shared human experiences that can be found even in the most disparate of cultures.
From Jen of Passions and Places.
Tell me in the comments: Which of these cities are you hoping to visit next?