4 Amazing Cities That Are A Must See For Those With A Case of Wanderlust

The world is a huge place, and there are so many fantastic places to go and see. The places we can visit completely vary and offer us different unique and incredible experiences. So I am just sharing with you today, a few of those different and varied cities that are across the world. You might have been to some; you might have some on your bucket list. Either way, they are all fantastic places that are a must visit at some time in your life.

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London

Where do I start with London? It is a city like no other. You might think that it is quite a bland English place to visit, but you would be most incorrect! It is a bustling and diverse city, full of variety. There are the grand historical sites to see, including things like the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, and Big Ben. There are also much more modern sites and attractions to see, including things like the Tate Modern and Millenium Bridge. The food is varied; the shopping is fantastic. There really is something for everyone!

Perth

There are only a select few cities that have dream beaches to go with them, alongside the bustling city scene. Perth in the western area of Australia is certainly one of them! The beaches are beautiful; some of the best in the world. You could enjoy a picnic and a swim and then check out some of the best tourist attractions in Perth. There is a great food and music scene in the city too.

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New York

If you are looking for a city that never sleeps, then look no further than New York City. One of the great things is that there are so many shows and movies that have been filmed there. So you can visit a lot of the different spots that have been in movies. The weather is varied there, going from snow in winter to hot sunshine in summer. So you can choose ice skating or sunbathe in Central Park, depending on the time of year that you visit. The shopping is fantastic, as well as lots of things to do like visiting a comedy club or Broadway. The street food vendors are a must when visiting the city too.

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Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a vibrant city that is full of life. There are parks and skate parks, as well as plenty of museums and tourist attractions. It is a big center for culture with an art institute and the shipyard area. You can take a boat ride down the canal, or cycle around taking it all in.

Paris

What would a list of cities to visit be, without a mention of the city of lights? Paris is just as glam as it might seem in the movies. With plenty of parks to stroll around, you can enjoy the great cuisine and atmosphere. A walk down the Champs De Elysee is a must, as well as the Eiffel Tower. With good transport links, you can see other areas of France easily from Paris too.

A day in Lille, France

LILLE, FRANCE: Lille is a buzzing city which is waiting to be discovered by tourists yet. It makes a nice day trip if you are visiting Brussels or Brugges in Belgium. Lille is one of the largest cities in France with lots of Flemish influences, may be for being a bordering city with Belgium. Old town of this city is where local crowds gather to hang out and enjoy the atmosphere.

Closest parking we found here was right at Place de General-de-Gaulle. You just walk up and voila, you are right in the middle of the main square.

TIME of TRAVEL: My older sister and her family were visiting Europe in May 2013. It was their first time in this continent. We picked Lille because it’s only little more than an hour drive from our little town in Belgium and could easily make a day-trip and come back home before the kids were tired. They were going to go to Paris anyways the following week, just wanted to show them a smaller French town nearby. The weather was great and many festivals were going on every street of Lille that day.

EATING and SHOPPING: Restaurant or cafes are everywhere in the city center, especially in Place du Theatre. This is where we had lunch in front of the Bourse or the Chamber of Commerce building. You can see many quick and fast food type places while walking towards Vieux Lille. Do try some French bakeries and pastries. For shopping, Rue de la Monnaie had many options from small local stores to big brand names.

PLACES WE’VE VISITED: The main city center is very compact and can be covered on foot. We spent only few hours here and just walked around the old part and visited some old churches and main landmarks.

1) PLACE de GENERAL-de-GAULLE: The square is also known as Grand Place. This is the main square of the town with a big fountain in the middle with a statue known as Column of the Goddess from 1843. Many beautiful historic buildings are lined up on all sides of the square. One of the important buildings is a Flemish-style which is the headquarters of local newspaper La Voix du Nord.

Place du General-de-Gaulle, the main square of Lille, France
Place du General-de-Gaulle, the main square of Lille, France
             

2) PLACE du THEATRE: This is a lively place with to stop and take a breath. Located beside Place de General-de-Gaulle, the square houses two beautiful and historic buildings: The Opera and the Chamber of Commerce. Both of the buildings are from 1920s. These buildings are supposed to look very nice at night when all the lights are on, but too bad we didn’t stay that long!

Opera house in Place du Theatre in Lille, France
Opera house in Place du Theatre in Lille, France
              

3) VIEUX LILLE: This is the old quarter of the city and nice place to take a stroll. Loved walking on the cobble-stone street of Rue de la Monnaie while enjoying the view of old houses and designer stores. Some museums are also located on Rue de la Monnaie.

Vieux Lille - an old district of Lille
Vieux Lille – an old district of Lille
         

4) CATHEDRALE NOTRE DAME de la TREILLE: This is an old cathedral and went through many renovations and changes over the years. Outside it has that old and wise look but inside it is rather a very modern cathedral. Very grand but contemporary altar and some big colorful windows are worth looking. There was an art exhibition going on behind its main altar and a live band of youngsters was singing outside in front of the cathedral during our visit. It’s free to enter and is situated in Viuex Lille.

Main altar of Cathedral Notre Dame de la Treille in Lille
Main altar of Cathedral Notre Dame de la Treille in Lille
             

Companille or the Bell Tower of this cathedral is very old compared to the cathedral itself. There was a big fair or festival going on when we were there. Live music, food stalls, kids play area, and many other things were going on around the cathedral that day.

5) EGLISE SAINT MAURICE: Not sure when it was built, but it looked like a very old Gothic church not too far from city center. It was a big church with some beautiful stained-glass windows and really large old religious paintings.

6) HOTEL d’VILLE: We walked about 15 minutes from Place du Theatre to go see Hotel d’Ville or the city hall of Lille. It’s a big orange building with a clock tower at one side and is something worth a look. Walk few step across the street and Porte de Paris is there with a nice small garden surrounding this old gate from 1692.

Porte de Paris from 1692 near Hotel d'Ville in Lille, France
Porte de Paris from 1692 near Hotel d’Ville in Lille, France
            

Finally visiting Moulin Rouge in Paris

I’ve been to Paris few times now…taking guests to places. Most of the time we end up going to the same usual spots that they want to see or we think they should see in Paris, like Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, Louvre,….and more places depending on allowed time. Last visit to Paris was with my aunt from Baltimore, Maryland. It was her first visit to Europe and we decided to take her to Paris for a brief trip in a weekend. Although I am not a great fan of big cities, but Paris never fails to surprise me with its atmosphere and surroundings. But this time I was determined to go somewhere in that Romantic city where we never put our feet before. It was Moulin Rouge…the classic cabaret which was the birthplace of modern can-can dance.

Mouline Rouge, located in the Red-Light District, is not only a cabaret club, but also a popular tourist attraction in Paris. It was founded in 1889 and with its signature red wind-mill on the roof, soon the place became a hot spot for entertainment in whole Europe and then in the whole world. I was checking some tickets online for the shows in Moulin Rouge…they are usually more than 100 euros per person…not my cup of tea. But I did enjoy going there and finally get the chance to see this glittery place (although during the day-time…but oh well). So here is a picture of Moulin Rouge that I took during our visit…may be someday I will get to go inside and enjoy its true beauty and talented artists in a dim-lit room with hundreds of audiences. But for now, I guess I will be happy watching Nicole Kidman’s “Moulin Rouge” in my DVD player 😉

Moulin Rouge in Paris

Moulin Rouge in Paris

A day in the palace – Versailles, France

We went to Versailles in September of 2011. The trip was just for a weekend. We have been to Paris before but never went on top of Eiffel Tower. So, Saturday evening we went up to Eiffel Tower and Sunday we spent the whole day wandering around Versailles Palace inside and out. Versailles is not too far from Paris, may be an hour drive depending on the traffic. But it is worth spending a day looking few centuries back and feeling the luxurious lifestyle the kings and queens enjoyed once.

Just to give you a brief history on Versailles Palace, this was the center of political power in France from 1682 (when King Louis XIV moved here from Paris) to 1789 (when the royal family was forced to return to the capital). This palace is a symbol of absolute monarchy of Old Regime of France. This has been listed as an UNESCO World Heritage site for being one of the most beautiful achievements of 18th century French art.

Hope you will enjoy the pictures:

Statue near the main entrance of Versailles Palace

The palace contains more than 7500 paintings and drawings, and 5210 pieces of furniture

King’s Bedroom, which was created by Louis XIV and he lived here until his death in 1715

Queen Marie Antoinette’s Bedroom

Queen’s Guards Room

The staircase of Versailles Palace in France

Statues on the hall before entering King’s daughter’s apartment

Rome, Italy

We just got back from Oslo, Norway about a week ago, please check the page for info on Oslo here. It was very different than any other cities that we have visited in Europe.
Now we are getting ready to visit Rome, Italy and Vatican City beginning of November. Still need to book a hotel and list all the places we want to visit. But I have already checked one thing, that is what to buy from Rome…obviously, Italian leather is very famous for purse, boots, jackets and etc. Plus olive oil, vinegar are also some of the items that tourists like to bring back home from Rome.
Anyways, speaking of hotel, I think Rome is more like Paris, meaning everything is very spread out and you can’t go to every place by walking, you have to take public transportation within the city for hopping. So we are still not sure where to get hotel… any suggestions?
Will let you know how the olive oil from Rome tastes 🙂 yummmm, can’t wait

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