10 must-visit cities
You cannot decide where to go on your next trip? To spin a globe and point a finger at a random spot is of course a pretty good way to decide. But our top-10 must-see destinations that are based on the 2015 MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index can become a way better advisor.
The Albion Capital is still in the dreams of those, who haven't had the luck to visit it, and it becomes part of a journey again and again of those, who were once fascinated by it. It is a city of ancient estates and glass & concrete "giants", Sherlock Holmes and the best rock bands, good manners and tea at 5 p.m., the immortal works of Shakespeare and the magical world of Harry Potter.
Must do: to ride on the famous double-decker bus, to participate in the afternoon tea tradition, to go to a performance at the Globe theatre, to look at the Changing the Guard ceremony and parliament debates (the galleries are open to the public every Thursday).
Must see: London Eye, Tower of London, the Thames waterside (if you prefer walking, you will have a chance to see several attractions at once), the National Gallery and a real London pub.
Must buy: tea in a gift box (at Harrods for example), vinyl records at a flea market or in a music store, mint chocolate, a Hogwarts scarf, souvenir bells or antiques (Portobello market), bear-guards toys in the souvenir shops.
Thailand has the magical ability to make tourists fall in love with it at first sight! The City of Angels (that is what the name of the city means) primarily impresses guests with its scale and contrast. Here you can find ancient temples and some of the highest buildings in the world, traditional markets and fashionable boutiques, fabulous bars on roofs and colourful street cafes.
Must do: to have a dinner in the famous Skybar, the highest bar with an open platform in the world; to pamper yourself with a real Thai massage.
Must see: the unique Talat Rod Fai Night Market, one of the original Thai museums (for example, the Corrections Museum), the local Chinatown, Wat Pho.
Must buy: delicious Singha beer, famous brands clothes that are produced in Thailand and, therefore, cost less, jewellery (it is better to buy it in good retail stores), Thai silk.
A famous ageless adage says that if you have seen Paris once, you don't mind even dying. We, in turn, suggest you to see Paris and live with the memories and incredible emotions that you will get from such a journey. You can walk through Parisian streets with noisy company, with your partner or alone, enjoying its everlasting beauty.
Must do: to have a tour on the Seine, to eat a croissant with a cup of coffee for breakfast, to have fun at the most popular disco of the city – The Rex Club, to taste French wines.
Must see: The Musée d'Orsay, one of the most popular museums in the world where you can see works of Manet, Toulouse-Lautrec and Cezanne (it can easily compete with the Louvre), Notre Dame Cathedral, Disneyland.
Must buy: candies in the Patrick Roger chocolate boutique, real French mustard from the Boutique Maille Paris, a bottle of wine, an unusual hat or a very long scarf.
The fast-growing and fast-developing Dubai courageously tries to capture the first position in the lists of the most visited and most popular cities. Local authorities are trying to turn the city into a pioneer and number one in almost all spheres of life. Here you can see the most eco-friendly buildings, the most advanced technologies, the largest shopping centres. Dubai became a place where new models of supercars and yachts, as well as fashion collections are presented to the public.
Must do: to sunbathe on the Jumeirah Open Beach, to find the time and book a ticket to the highest observation deck of Burj Khalifa, to smoke a shisha, to learn how to play golf on one of the many golf courses.
Must see: The Dubai Fountain, Dubai Mall, Jumeirah Mosque, Wild Wadi Waterpark, indoor Dubai ski resort.
Must buy: spices bought in the Spice Souk, something from the Dubai Outlet Mall that is famous for its huge discounts.
Undoubtedly, Istanbul is one of the best travel destinations. Constantinople is a city that combines historical heritage with economical importance. Nowadays, it is the world's fourth-most-popular tourist city in the world. No surprise that many travel guides say that it is a true Turkish pearl. You can easily call Istanbul the place where the different cultures of East and West meet and intertwine.
Must do: to walk along the Kabatas port seafront and on the rainbow steps, to ride a bike on the Kennedy Street, to try a Turkish bath.
Must see: Topkapi Palace, Sultanahmet Mosque, the Museum of Innocence, Dolmabahce Palace.
Must buy: Turkish carpet (Arasta Bazaar), an antique map (Cukurcuma quarter), dried fruits from the Egyptian market.
New York can be seen as a small parallel universe that has its own life. It is very easy to be yourself in The Big Apple because there are so many people that there is no shame in being different. Or you can easily turn your life around by 180 degrees. Finding entertainment or a place for the soul is certainly not a problem because this city has literally everything.
Must do: to repeat the famous scene from "Breakfast at Tiffany's", passing by the legendary shop's showcase, to watch a musical on Broadway, to have a picnic in Central Park.
Must see: Brooklyn Bridge, Staten Island, Soho, Carnegie Deli, one of the New Yorkers’ most favourite restaurants.
Must buy: Tiffany & Co souvenirs, iPhone, jeans from one of the most famous brands, Timberland or Ugg.
Singapore is often called the Asian version of New York. You are very likely to find everything here (or almost everything) that you can see in The Big Apple. Remember, this city is so big that in two days you won't be able to see even "the tip of the iceberg". That is why you will need at least one week in order to investigate the city properly.
Must do: to ride along the canal at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, as well as at the rooftop pool, to join the evening show on the Sentosa Island.
Must see: Gardens by the Bay, Singapore Zoo, Botanical Garden, The Fountain of Wealth, Trick Eye Museum.
Must buy: inexpensive white goods, orchids, singing vases, concentrated pre-mixed Singapore Sling cocktail.
It is the city that shines with all the lights and at the same time influences all overseas trends and tendencies. If we do not consider the busy white collar workers (who amount to more than a lot), it is hard to meet two people dressed similarly. Teenage girls and representatives of different subcultures are perhaps the main attraction of Tokyo, as well as the extremely polite and friendly older generation.
Must do: to find new friends in the Fukuro Sabo Owl Cafe, to visit a youth party in Dzingubasi, to have dinner in the Robot Restaurant.
Must see: Tokyo Ice Cream City, Takagi Bonsai Museum, Akihabara 'electric town'.
Must buy: cosmetics (for example Shiseido), pearls and jewellery with pearls, clothing from Japanese fashion houses (Kenzo, Yamamoto).
Barcelona, the majestic kingdom of Gaudi, has already been mentioned in our lists for travellers. It became the home of many brilliant works of art, but also of the immortal creators’ spirit. Nowadays, Barcelona still amazes and inspires its guests.
Must do: to go for shopping in one of the best outlets in Europe – La Roca Village, to have a night walk around the city, to eat at one of the tapas bars.
Must see: Park Guell, the Sagrada Familia, the Gothic Quarter, Barcelona's Montjuïc, Guell Palace.
Must buy: jamon, leather shoes, olive oil, books about art.
Amsterdam exudes a bit of debauchery and ruffianism in its reputation. That's what those who visited it or who are just dreaming of visiting it can say about this city. And yet it is not necessary to believe that Amsterdam can offer you only cake with cannabis, ladies from the Red Light District and rude cyclists.
Must do: to rent a bike, to dare to try THAT muffin or lollipop, have a beer in the Heineken brewery, to take pictures at the famous IAMSTERDAM letters.
Must see: Van Gogh Museum, one of the flower markets, Amsterdam Canal Cruises, the Anne Frank House, Amsterdam Heineken Experience museum, the Royal Palace.
Must buy: Dutch tulips, cookies in tin boxes, collectible Amsterdam Miniature Houses.