My Top Ten Favourite Cities

One of the questions we frequently get asked is what is the best city we have ever visited. We’re never quite sure how to answer that as ‘best‘ indicates an official ranking so we always reply ‘do you mean our favourite city?

A very different question but one that we can easily answer. Well I can. Not sure about Jo as she deliberates a little longer but this is a list of my top ten cities, in reverse order of course. They aren’t the best cities, and they aren’t in order of where I would like to live, they are just my favourites for a variety of reasons that I will try to explain.

10. Sydney

Australia –
Sydney Australia

When I say Sydney, what I really mean is Sydney Harbour too as it really seems to give the city its character. The obvious tourist sites were great but Manly and the beaches really make Sydney an incredible place. Loads to see and do if you’re a night owl. For me it just edges Brisbane as my favourite Aussie city.

” The Emerald City “

Sydney Australia

9. Lisbon

Portugal –
Lisbon Portugal

Lisbon was such a surprise, it completely blew us away as we had no expectations whatsoever. Small and compact with narrow windy streets and crazy fast trams we absolutely loved it. Felt like a bit of a secret place too as no-one else we knew had ever visited. And of course the regular Ginja stops made it even better!

” City of Seven Hills “

Lisbon Portugal

8. Chicago

U S A
Chicago USA

Talking of surprises, Chicago really took the JWalking biscuit! What a place. I loved the way the city lined the edge of Lake Michigan, skyscrapers flush with the beach. Dynamic and impressive but with a whole lot of early 20th century history and more moveable bridges than any other city in the world. Amazing place.

” The Windy City “

Chicago USA

7. Rome

Italy
Rome Italy

If it’s history you want then is there anywhere else in the world like Rome? A church for every day of the year and so many sights to visit. We have spent weeks exploring Rome’s streets but haven’t scratched the surface even though our first trip back in 1985 saw the first snowfall in a hundred years. Dripping with character featuring impressive buildings and squares around every corner. The Pantheon, Colosseum, Castel Sant’Angelo, Vatican City, it goes on and on. You can never ever have enough of Rome. Oh, and it feels quite romantic too (apparently).

” The Eternal City “

Rome Italy

6. Auckland

New Zealand –
Auckland New Zealand

This could be a real surprise to many people. You all know how much we love New Zealand, and if you don’t then you need to read our blog a bit more, but many visitors might not rate Auckland. It may be huge with around a third of the entire NZ population living there but we loved it. Cornwall Park, Mount Eden, The Domain, Auckland Waterfront, Mission Bay. Fabulous.

” City of Sails “

Auckland New Zealand

5. Berlin

Germany –
Berlin Germany

If it’s modern history that floats your boat then there is nowhere like Berlin. No other city displays the 20th century more than the capital of Germany. With the Brandenburg Gate, Treptower Park, the Olympic Stadium, Tiergarten, Checkpoint Charlie, Potsdamer Platz, and too many museums to mention it’s a fascinating place to go. With incredible memories of our cold-war trip to divided Berlin in the mid 80s up to recent 21st century trips with wonderful gardens and of course great bars. It feels like a city that everyone should visit at least once in their lives.

Just ” Berlin “

Berlin Germany
Berlin Germany

4. San Francisco

USA –
San Francisco USA

For us San Francisco is the standout US city by a country mile. We walked our socks off for a week and still didn’t get to see everything. It felt safe and friendly and the crazy hills and steep roads like Lombard Street make it so different to other American cities. Particularly loved Alcatraz Island of course, plus Pier 39, the Golden Gate Bridge, Cable Car Museum, Fishermans Wharf, and the iconic cable cars. How many times did we ride them??

” The Golden City “

San Francisco USA

3. Wellington

New Zealand –
Wellington New Zealand

Another city in New Zealand? Of course. You’re probably surprised that the top five isn’t all Kiwi towns. This may be a massive shock to a lot of people but I loved Wellington. A small city perched at the foot of a mountain and tucked on the western shore of the natural harbour, it has a reputation for being unbelievably windy but it’s just unique. From Mount Victoria and Oriental Bay to the Botanical Gardens to the incredible Te Papa museum, it has everything.

” Windy Wellington “

Wellington New Zealand

2. London

England –
London England

Love London. Yes it’s our home city and Yes we have visited it hundreds and hundreds of times but the beauty of Old London Town is it’s history and the fact that you will never ever see it all. It has over a thousand years worth of mysteries and delights to uncover and we never get tired of exploring and walking the many and varied streets of London.

” The Smoke “

London England

1. Munich

Germany –
Munich Germany
Munich Germany
Munich Germany
Munich Germany

It was never really in doubt. I’ve been to Munich, or Munchen as it really is, so many times for holidays and Christmas markets and long weekends, and of course the Oktoberfest. First visit was back in 1984. Everything about this city ticks my boxes. Great history, wonderful parks, brilliant beer gardens, character and fabulously friendly Bavarians. Almost certainly the only city I could possibly be tempted to live in.

” Munchen “

Munich Germany

So there it is, my top ten cities. Very difficult to whittle it down to just ten and even trickier to get them in the right order. So many great places just missed out such as Dubrovnik, Boston, Edinburgh, Quebec, Valletta and many many more. Some others would feature in my worst cities but probably best not to mention those.

Munich has always been Number One though. No competition. So if you haven’t been then shame on you, sort it out ……

01/01 – 15/01/2022



top ten favourite cities

32 comments

  1. Fine selection of cities there! But I’d put Dubrovnik and Edinburgh ahead of Auckland any day lol! Dubrovnik is probably my favourite city to date.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I have to say, Munchen was a surprise, and no, I’ve never been. Nor have I been to New Zealand or Oz so I’m not qualified to judge those. And, oh dear- haven’t been to Rome, or Berlin either! Call myself a traveler? Must be saving the planet, Jonno. But I would love to go to Chicago.

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  3. An interesting list Jonno. There’s just two in the list I haven’t yet visited -Munich and Wellington. I liked the other eight but was a tad disappointed in Auckland, it somehow didn’t live up to my expectations but it was quite a long time since I visited so maybe it’s different now.

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    • Auckland is quite modern and very big but seemed to have loads to see and some great green spaces. Plus it has access to one of our favourite places, Waiheke Island.

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  4. Yes! We enjoyed Munich so much. We spent a week there and still didn’t see everything. We would go back again in a heartbeat. I also agree with you about San Francisco and Sydney. It’s so lovely down along the water in both cities. Brisbane is gorgeous – we live 90 minutes from Brisbane and one of our daughters lives there so we go often. It’s beautiful at Southbank.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Fantastic top 10 Jon. A few of my favs in there as well. I couldn’t agree more with you about Wellington. It’s my top NZ city, I loved it there. Sydney would probably top my list. Just for the two cricket grounds alone 🏏 😀 The harbour though is fabulous. A buzz of activity. Enjoyed this post.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow, Munich! What a surprise Ringo!!!!!!!!!!!! I’ve been too (as you know) and would gladly go again. Lisbon was a huge surprise to us too. Didn’t think that much of ginja but pasteis de nata were a different story.

    Really surprised not to see Hamburg in there. Now that is a fun place to visit.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a fantastic list! I do love London (would add it to any top list of mine!) and agree that San Francisco is pretty nice, although I really really enjoyed New York when I went years ago. As far as Portugal goes, I’ll take Porto over Lisbon 🙂 Fantastic that two cities in New Zealand made it to your top ten…makes it even more appealing to go and visit there!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Such a great post to read and your reasons why you chose each one Jonno. I haven’t been to all of those on your list, but will say Budapest would be in my top 10 list. It was unexpected, full of history and just amazing. It probably helped that we were there with our Rotary Youth Exchange student, who’d lived in our town with us for a year, and her mother, so they were keen to show us their city. It was magical especially just coming into Christmas time. London is always a favorite too.

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    • Everyone’s choices are so different arent they, thats what makes it all so interesting. We actually didn’t like New York but I know most people love it.

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  9. I’d love to see Lisbon and hope to one day. I think we didn’t do the right things in San Francisco and have no desire to go back. We are currently in the UK and exploring London all over again
    I agree with you about Sydney though one of my favourite cities 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’ve been to 5/10 of your choices. I would put Berlin above Munich, but my only visit to the latter was about 30 years ago so I really need to check it out again. I know it’s strange, but I don’t really like either London or Rome. The other one I’ve been to is Sydney and I don’t have strong feelings about it either way. Of those on your list that I haven’t seen, Chicago would be my choice of where to go next. And any list of mine would include New York and Amsterdam. Plus it goes without saying that Glasgow is my very favourite city in the whole world. Good job we’re all different, eh?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I enjoyed reading your list of favourite cities! I’ve been everywhere on your list except for Lisbon and San Francisco, but I’ve definitely been meaning to go to San Fran for years, just haven’t made it out that way yet. I’d definitely agree with putting London, Berlin, and Wellington (I love New Zealand in general) in my top ten, though I personally prefer Melbourne to Sydney. I like Chicago, but for me it’s just like a bigger nicer version of Cleveland, so I think my hometown would have to edge it out even though I can’t deny that there’s way more to do in Chicago!

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