Dreaming of an overseas escape? According to a recent index of the world’s best travel destinations, London is the place to be this year.
The MasterCard index ranked cities according to the amount of money international visitors spend during their visit, using this factor to determine a city’s appeal and importance. The top five destinations have a buzz and style all their own. To celebrate the Mandarina Duck luggage sale on now at OzSale.com.au, we take a quick tour of the best five cities – and pack a bag to match!
With a royal wedding fresh in our minds and the Olympics just around the corner, it’s little wonder London took out top honours. This ancient city is also refreshingly modern, and days wandering its streets reveal a vibrant mix of classic London icons and chic shops, restaurants and bars. Catch the Tube, marvel at Big Ben and give loved ones back home a quick call from one of the many iconic red phone boxes. Don’t miss: Seeing the city from above on the London Eye.
The City of Lights is also the city of love. Few places are as romantic-looking as Paris – and few experiences match the first time you see the Eiffel Tower come into view. After dark, this beloved building sparkles with more than 20,000 lights and the city’s restaurants and bars hum. During the day, take your fashion cues from the people who live here and keep it simple in beige, black and classic Breton stripes. Don’t miss: The whirl of feathers and fantasy at the Lido cabaret on the Champs-Elysées.
Skip the seedier parts of Thailand’s capital and you’ll discover a dynamic and welcoming Asian city with plenty to see, eat and do. The city’s gilded temples are a must-visit, as are the air-conditioned shopping malls where you’ll find everything from the best designer brands to cheap and cheerful souvenirs. Visiting on the weekend? Head to the crowded Chatuchak Markets where over 8,000 local stall holders hold court. Don’t miss: In the evening, rise above it all and enjoy cocktails at one of Bangkok’s sensational rooftop bars.
A vision of colonial architecture, modern skyscrapers and manicured gardens, Singapore is a great stop-over city or destination in its own right. The tropical climate ensures it warm all-year round and the Riverside and Marina Bay precincts make the most of the weather with outdoor restaurants and bars aplenty. Head to Orchard Road for shopping and Chinatown and Little India for delicious cheap eats. Don’t miss: High tea at the grand old colonial Raffles Hotel.
Awash with beautiful historical buildings, museums, galleries and buzzing local markets, Istanbul has become one of Europe’s must-visit destinations. Time in Turkey’s largest city should include a tour of its four most impressive historical sights – the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia Museum, Topkapi Palace and the Grand Bazaar, a covered marketplace with more than 4,000 stalls. Shop here for jewellery, homewares and carpets. Don’t miss: A cruise along the Bosphorus Straight, which feeds into the Black Sea.
Dreaming of another destination? Tell us your top five holiday destinations!
Main image: London-GB