Top Ten lists are a dime a dozen on the web and one that crops up more often than most is travel-related lists with outlandish titles such as Top 10 Places You Must See Before You Die and other such morbid titles. This list is similar however we don't see the necessity to insert the Before You Die bit, although it would be useful to visit these cities before you shuffle off this mortal coil.
When it came to choosing the appropriate criteria for selecting these cities, many statistics and facts were taken into account, before being readily dismissed in favour of the most crucial method of consideration of all ... my humble opinion. So forgive me if your own favourite city is not included. I know how you feel as despite my best efforts to sneak one of my own personal favourite cities Dublin into this list logic dictated that a Top 10 list would look a bit weird if it had 11 cities.
Now the next hurdle to overcome was to decide whether to categorise the cities on a graded basis from 10 down to 1 or take the lazy way and just sort them alphabetically, suffice to say, the lazy way was the landslide winner.
Bangkok is a massive sprawling city that offers charms galore. Bangkok is dotted with historical palaces and temples that offer a glimpse into the city's ancient history, yet Bangkok offers much more than beautiful temples and glorious palaces. It comfortably nestles at the forefront of Asia's most visited cities attracting millions of tourists each year. Majestic sites such as The Temple of the Dawn and The Marble Temple should not be missed. Lumphinee Park offers a diversion from Bangkok's bustling city streets. Bangkok is a modern city that encompasses a bustling nightlife, supreme shopping experiences, delicious aromas that fill up the senses from the many gorgeous restaurants and marketplaces. Bangkok's wonderful architecture and soothing climate solidifies its deserved place in this list and indeed why it so frequently crops up on similar lists.
Well it had to be didn't it? Surely no list of this nature could be complete without Sin City itself, Vegas. Vegas falls into the category of love it or hate it for most people and with visitor numbers increasing each year it seems most people love it. The Entertainment Capital of the World does not disappoint. Where else can you go for a gondola cruise in the morning, see the Grand Canyon in the afternoon and be back in time to see shows such as Siegfried & Roy, Cirque du Soleil and similar headline acts in the afternoon? Ok it's not everyone's cup of tea but it is a city that has to be seen to be believed. Oh, and did I mention you can also gamble there apparently.
Ok the weather is not ideal, and the food can be mediocre but no list of this ilk would be complete without including London. It has attractions and sights for people of all ages and is a cosmopolitan city on a grand scale. Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, London Eye, Tower of London is just a few of the majestic attractions in England's capital city. If it's good enough for The Queen well it's good enough for me, just don't forget your brolly.
New York City
So good they named it twice as the saying goes and there few cities in the world that offer the amount of iconic landmarks and attractions that New York can. Even leaving aside world famous attractions and sights such as The Empire State Building, The Statue of Liberty, and Times Square, New York is such a vibrant pulsating city that it has more than enough to tempt visitors going back time after time. It is one of the world's great shopping cities, has a nightlife second to none and has often been referred to as one of the world's great cities. You won't find an argument here.
I would like to say it was the romantic side in me that welcomes Paris to this list, but it is not, it is because it deservedly nestles here as it as a European heartbeat of culture, beauty and indeed romance and offers some of the most beautiful and majestic sights on the planet. The Eiffel Tower one of the most famous landmarks in the world proudly stands tall in this city that also is graced by Champs Elysees, Notre Dame and The Louvre. The Louvre is home to The Mona Lisa whose ageless beauty bewilders generation after generation. Paris should not be missed.
This historic city, known as The Eternal City, has some of the most historical sights in the world such as The Pantheon, The Coliseum and The Roman Forum. St Peter's Basilica is just one of the many glorious churches in Rome, and is an essential visit while in the city. Trevi Fountain is yet another treat in this majestic city. And no it wasn't built in a day.
The Bay area of California is home to one of America's most popular destination retreats San Francisco as well as being one of the country's most liberal cities. The hilly streets are as familiar as perhaps the city's most famous landmark, The Golden Gate Bridge. The Bay itself sparkles under the warm sun whilst San Francisco is also renowned for its famous cable cars. The twisty streets in Lombard Street are another essential visit whilst harbor tours often include a trip to Alcatraz, the famous, though now inactive, prison. San Fran is a warm wonderful city with a new treasure each time you come, and no, you don't need to wear flowers in your hair.
Beautiful beaches, breathtaking sights and the famous Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge entwined with the beautiful weather and cosmopolitan cuisine make Sydney an unmissable city. The city is a hotbed of activity and one of the friendliest on the planet. Darling Harbour offers enthralling sights and attractions including museums, stunning hotels and shopping whilst The Rocks provides charm in abundance. Sydney Opera House is one of the most recognisable buildings of modern times and is an essential visit. Sydney has it all culture, arts, scenery, climate, and often tops Most liveable city polls. It's not hard to see why.
A metropolis city on a grand scale Tokyo is a vibrant almost futuristic city that engulfs one's senses from the start. Tokyo revels in shrines, museums, temples and the city's Imperial Palace. Sensoji Temple reigns amongst Tokyo's enduring sights along with The Meiji Shrine and The Imperial Palace itself. Museums align the streets competing with restaurants and shops of all descriptions. Those seeking a more modern approach have options like Tokyo Tower, Tokyo Dome City and Tokyo Disneyland. There's truly something for everyone in this great city.
Many cities claim to be unique, and indeed many are but few can compare to Venice's quirky charm and decidedly unique canals that transcend across the city. Romantic gondola rides alone do not capture the entire beauty of this marvelous city. St Marks Basilica is a glorious church that often has long lines to visit. It nestles in St Marks Square a wonderful open square with charming coffee shops and is a hive of activity as it is one of the most photographed parts of Venice. Doges Palace, The Bridge of Sighs, and The Rialto Bridge are further landmarks of this extraordinary city.
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To read more about these and other cities, including great tourist sites, shopping destinations and accurate street maps, visit Go Street Maps at: http://www.gostreetmaps.com/.
David Doran, is a Director and Co-Founder of www.GoStreetMaps.com