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My 5 Favorite Cities in the World and 5 Things To Do in Each

Tokyo, Japan

I love everything about Japan. The food, the people, the cleanliness, the history, the style, and the countless, unique opportunities to experience Japanese culture. 

Tokyo is the Japanese city I have spent the most time in and quickly became one of my favorite cities in the world after my first visit in 2017.

A major source of my infatuation is inspired by memories with family friends who are born and raised in the city. 

  1. Hire a Rickshaw Tour: As someone who loves to stay active, riding on a rickshaw through Tokyo is one of my favorite things to do and ways to experience the city.  

  2. Eat at a Convenience Store: I dream of the onigiri rice balls from 7/11 in Japan. This is one of the most authentic, definitely the most affordable, and delicious ways to experience Japanese food culture.  

  3. Attend a Baseball Game: Attending a Tokyo Giants game is a must. The vibrant energy of the crowd, coupled with the iconic cheers and rhythmic drumming, creates an unforgettable atmosphere. It's a unique blend of traditional baseball passion and distinct Japanese culture.  

  4. Sip in Golden Gai: Nestled in the heart of Tokyo, is a captivating warren of tiny, eclectic bars. Each one offers a unique, intimate experience, ranging from retro to modern styles.  

  5. Vintage Shop Shimokitazawa: This was recently recommended to me and blew me away. Tokyo is renowned for some of the best shopping in the world and this neighborhood is a gem. 


Copenhagen, Denmark

After hearing my friends and family rave about Copenhagen, I arrived with high expectations. They were quickly exceeded. 

Copenhagen is naturally and architecturally stunning with a super unique and edgy style. For many reasons, this is my dream city.

  1. Reffen: When I dream of Copenhagen, I think of Reffen. Reffen is an outdoor market with over 80 street food vendors of international cuisines, multiple bars, fire pits, loungers, and music. Plus, beautiful views of the Copenhagen harbor. It’s only open from March through October.  

  2. Nyhavn Canal Tour: When you think of Copenhagen, you probably think of Nyhavn. It’s an infamous, waterfront neighborhood with colorful houses. It’s beautiful on land but even better on the water. This is an absolute must.  

  3. Explore the City on Two Wheels: Riding bikes in Copenhagen is an essential experience, embodying the city’s eco-friendly spirit. The well-mapped, safe bike lanes make it easy to explore the charming canals, and vibrant streets at your own pace.  

  4. Join the Practice of Hygge: Hygge is the practice of celebrating ordinary moments and creating extraordinary ones. The Danes find hygge in beautiful spaces and food, indulging in treats and cozy drinks, being present, sharing and getting along with others, and expressing gratitude. With the art of hygge mastered, it’s no surprise that the Danish are amongst the happiest people in the world.  

  5. Vintage Shop: The vintage shopping in Copenhagen is so good, I always leave saying “next time, I come to Copenhagen, I’ll pack an empty suitcase.” The detailed lists of vintage shops is in my Copenhagen travel guide. 


Paris, France

Paris was the very first city I visited in Europe, when I was 10 years old and I instantly fell in love with the contagious energy, architectural beauty, and creative spirit. I have returned to Paris multiple times since my first visit, and each time, I discover new places and experiences that make this city so special. 

  1. Motorcycle Tour: Exploring the charming streets of Paris on a luxury motorcycle tour, offering a unique perspective of the iconic landmarks and hidden gems, is the best way to experience this city.

  2. Montmartre: Montmartre is a historic and artistic neighborhood known for its bohemian atmosphere, stunning Basilica of the Sacré-Cœur, and panoramic views of Paris.  The perfect place to enjoy a nice lunch, drinks, and excellent shopping.

  3. Vintage Shopping: Dive into Paris's vintage scene and discover rare finds and unique treasures in the city's eclectic stores and markets. One of my favorite pairs of cowboy boots comes from here.

  4. Nightcap at Hotel Costes: Hotel Costes is an iconic Parisian hotel known for its luxurious ambiance, chic decor, and expertly crafted cocktails. This is a must for an elegant nightcap.

  5. Shopping: For world-class retail and design inspiration, visit Paris's renowned boutiques and department stores, from the high-end fashion houses on Avenue Montaigne to the trendy shops in Le Marais.

  6. Speakeasy: Experience the allure of Paris's speakeasy bars where you will find cozy atmospheres, cool music, and creative cocktails.


Cape Town, South Africa

Within hours of landing in South Africa, I fell in love with Cape Town. From Cape Town’s infamous mountains to wineries, beautiful beaches, tidal pools, and more, each experience feels like being in a different country. With a turbulent past and robust culture, South Africa is one of the most intellectually stimulating places I’ve ever been.

I am in absolute awe of the beauty and diversity here. Here are a few of my favorites from my visit.

  1. Lion’s Head: Offering a moderate challenge and incredible views, this hike was my favorite experience in Cape Town. The two most important tips I gained are 1. Don’t go alone and 2. Go at sunrise or sunset if you can.

  2. Wine Tasting: It’s not a trip to South Africa without a wine tasting experience. The wine farms are stunning and extremely affordable if you’re traveling on the dollar or euro.

  3. Tidal Pools: “Swimming” in South Africa feels a lot more like cold plunging. But the tidal pools are an amazing way to enjoy the water and experience the healthy lifestyle of locals in Cape Town.

  4. Boulder’s Beach: Despite being one of the more touristy destinations in Cape Town, hanging out with the penguins on Boulders Beach is a unique and special experience.

  5. Weekend Markets: Another major highlight, Cape Town's markets are a vibrant showcase of the city's diverse culture, offering handmade goods, from jewelry and unique souvenirs to organic produce and gourmet street food. 


Budapest, Hungary 

I am probably a little bit biased from studying abroad here but Budapest ranks near the top of my favorite European destinations. The city is stunning, rich in history and culture, very affordable, and full of charm. Plus, the restaurant scene is amazing and the night clubs are world-class! 

  1. Eat Hungarian Food: What’s goulash? Don't worry. Just try it. It’s not common  to “travel to Hungary for the food.” But after spending 5 months in Budapest, Hungarian food became a favorite of mine. There are so many local specialties to try. My favorite is chicken paprikash.  

  1. Explore the Buda Castle: Budapest is split into two cities, separated by the Danube River. Pest is hip and vibrant, while Buda is classic and historic. Buda Castle is one of the most beautiful sights on this side of the city.

  2. River Cruise: Don't miss out on a memorable cruise along the Danube River, offering amazing views of the city, including the Hungarian Parliament Building and the Chain Bridge. This is especially beautiful at night when the city lights up.

  3. Explore Pest: Dive into the vibrant life of Pest, the eastern side of Budapest, known for its rich history, stunning architecture like the Parliament building, bustling squares, and some of the city’s best restaurants, museums, cafes, and shops.

  4. PartyBudapest is famous for its lively nightlife, from ruin bars set in dilapidated pre-war buildings, to trendy clubs and outdoor spaces, the city offers a diverse party scene with no shortage of fun to be had. 

For more travel tips and destination ideas, explore my travel guides. Don’t hesitate to send me a message if you have any questions! 

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