Vienna, Austria

Take a look at this stately facade

What you’ll love:

  • The coffeehouse culture 
  • It’s an architectural haven, and every building tells its own story.
  • If you’re a history buff, the historical landmarks are a-plenty.
Vienna glistens with bright color and culture

Vienna’s location in central Europe makes it a top destination for visitors from all over the world. The Austrian capital is famous for its beautiful blend of imperial traditions, modern architecture, cultural events, and a host of historical attractions. From Art Nouveau to Gothic and Baroque, Vienna serves beauty and history like no other. With over 100 museums, the history buff in you will flutter. One of our favorites is Albertina, showcasing collections and meaningful pieces of art for all guests. The Batliner collection that holds work from Monet to Picasso to the Architectural Collection that shows plans and models from the likes of Otto Wagner and Fischer von Erlach. If you prefer the more theatrical side of life, make your way to the Viennese State Opera. From Mozart to Beethoven To Schubert, you’ll be mesmerized by the classical melodies of these great composers. Despite all the activities, you don’t ever feel like you’re choking in this city. It is peaceful, and there are countless parks and recreational centers where you can enjoy the sweet sound of silence. Try the Volkgarten, in spring 400 species of rose bloom here, and it’s such a beautiful place to enjoy a restful evening.

Where to stay

The Hotel Sacher is a cradle of history and luxury
The Hotel Sacher is a cradle of history and luxury

Going to Vienna means going back in time to revel in history, and you’ll be wanting this experience in full blast. The Hotel Sacher is the ideal place from which to experience this city and has housed guests whose names you most surely would recognize. Its location is excellent for getting around in the city, and the service here is impeccable.

Muscat, Oman

A city set in solitude
A city set in solitude

What you’ll love:

  • The people are the friendliest and most hospitable people you’ll ever meet.
  • Beautiful and undisturbed views over the incredible terrain will take your breath away.
  • Impressive Palatial modern architecture.
The buildings in Muscat will take you back in time
The buildings in Muscat will take you back in time

Muscat is one of the most beautiful cities in Oman and is quickly becoming a popular tourist hot spot. With its rugged mountains that meet the sea, it’s a real slice of old Arabia, the kind of place you head to when you need to get away from everyone and everything and enjoy a relaxing time in solitude. If you’re looking for a holiday out in the sun, there are lots of sights to be seen. Visit the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. In the evenings, the sunset of the golden dome of the mosque is magnificent. If you’re up for a royal treat, head to the Al Alam Palace, one of the six residences of the Sultan. The palace, which has a bar of beautiful gold and blue facade, was rebuilt as a royal residence in 1972. The interior grounds of the Palace are off-limits, but visitors are allowed to stop near the gates to take photographs.

Where to stay

Relax in this tranquil Palace Hotel
Relax in this tranquil Palace Hotel

There is no better location to better appreciate Muscat from. Check into the Al-Bustan Palace, set right between the Al Hajar Mountains and the Gulf of Oman. The hotel’s Six Senses Spa takes relaxation to a new level, relax in the cave-like treatment rooms and let your mind soar into a rejuvenating flight.

Lille, France

Lille's architecture is mind blowing in every way
Lille’s architecture is mind blowing in every way

What you’ll love:

  • The quaint but colorful vibe.
  • The food and drink scene is impressive.
  • You’ll love the art scene.
Sometimes less is more
Sometimes less is more

France is already a bubbling tourist spot and definitely a great destination to get your passport stamped. We know everyone wants pictures by the Eiffel Tower, but Paris is not all that’s special about France. The city is close to the Belgium border and is very colorful and dynamic despite its small number of residents. This is probably why now attracts a lot of curious visitors from around the world. First off, walking around Lille is like going through a brochure filled with beautiful buildings, done in insanely amazing architectural styles. Art Nouveau and Art Deco are a focal point at every turn of the city. Basically, Art is part of everyday life in Lille. If you’re an art buff, a visit to the Musee des Beaux-Arts is a must-do. It’s also a very vibrant place, there’s always a reason for a party all year round, and the local Lillois never say no to a good party.

Where to stay

The Hotel Plaza Athenee has some of the best views over Paris
The Hotel Plaza Athénée has some of the best views over Paris

Lille is a short ride from Paris, and getting to the city is incredibly easy. So it would be a great idea to stay at the Hotel Plaza Athénée. It’s such a fashionable address and staying here puts you in the mood for sightseeing, as the rooms already serve gorgeous views over the city. 

Kyoto, Japan

Cherry Blossoms are a sight to see while in Kyoto
Cherry Blossoms are a sight to see while in Kyoto

What you’ll love:

  • The natural beauty at every turn.
  • The city has the most peaceful and relaxing spots.
  • Breathtaking Temples and Shrines.
The Golden Pavilion
The Golden Pavilion

Japan has many amazing cities that are oozing with history and tradition, but Kyoto offers an effortless blend of past and present. Kyoto is home to 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and was the Imperial City of Japan for more than a thousand years. There are over a thousand Zen, Shinto, Buddhist Temples, and Shrines in Kyoto. The most impressive temples can be found in the Higashiyama district. One of the most famous shrines to visit is Kinkakuji, also known as the Golden Pavillion because the top two floors are fully covered in gold leaf. In Arashimaya, the surreal Sagano Bamboo forest. You’ll definitely find inner peace strolling between the tall stalks of bamboo as they creak gently in the breeze and seem to reveal secrets of long past. Also, there’s no better city to appreciate the beauty of Cherry Blossoms. Head down to the Shirakawa River at Gion district for a relaxing evening and just revel in the peace and quiet of the night. Who knows? Perhaps you could spot a geisha here!

Where to stay

A true Four Seasons experience in the heart of Kyoto
A true Four Seasons experience in the heart of Kyoto

So being in Kyoto, you’re automatically transported into a bubble of nature and culture. The Four Seasons Hotel, Kyoto, keeps up with the city’s ambiance, with its location in an 800-year-old garden. It doesn’t get more zen than this, spending days basking in the Kyoto air, and returning to this sanctuary will make your trip to Kyoto unforgettable.

The Maldives

Let your inner aquaphile soar here
Let your inner aquaphile soar here

What you’ll love:

  • The clear azure waters.
  • Water sports and activities.
  • Powder white sand beaches. 
Azure waters will greet you each day
Azure waters will greet you each day

The Maldives is a dream destination for couples and honeymooners, but it’s also an ideal place for adventure seekers. Here, it’s all about the blue waters, pretty beaches, and island lifestyle. Home to 26 atolls that hose over a thousand beautiful islands, this is one place that you should definitely start planning to see in 2020. While you’re here, there are a host of water adventures to be undertaken. Discover your inner aquaphile with activities like snorkeling, diving, and surfing. Start with snorkeling, you’ll find schools of colorful fish, whale sharks, and even manta rays. Don’t be afraid to get up close and personal with the Maldivian marine life. If you want a more adventurous experience, try shipwreck snorkeling and discover something no one else has.

Where to stay

The One&Only Reethi Rah
The One&Only Reethi Rah

The Maldives is not short of beautiful resorts, and each day it seems like a new one pops up on one of the beautiful islands. We recommend you stay at the One&Only Reethi Rah. The resort is sitting pretty on one of the largest islands on the North Male Atoll. Enjoy astounding meals off the menus in any of the resort’s six world-class restaurants.

Anguilla

Anguilla is a magical place to be
Anguilla is a magical place to be

What you’ll love:

  • The beaches are breathtaking.
  • The food is superb.
  • It feels like there’s music playing everywhere!
Spend days on the beautiful white sand beach
Spend days on the beautiful white sand beach

There is just something unexplainable about Anguilla. It’s such a magical island, and there are so many reasons why you should pack your bags and head there. First of all, this place is not for everyone, and that is the point of it. Naturally, a trip here would revolve around the sea. Relax by the beach, go surfing, go kite surfing, whatever it is you’ll feel great and relaxed. It’s not all about beaches here, so if you like history, you could go see the Heritage Collection Museum. The museum holds well-documented artifacts that showcase Anguilla’s past.

Where to stay

This infinity pool has views like no other
This infinity pool has views like no other

If there’s a Belmond Hotel somewhere, then you can’t stay anywhere else, right? The Belmond Cap Juluca sits on one of the best beaches, and the hotel is as relaxing as it gets. Check-in here if you want to really get away from it all and enjoy a restoring time in Anguilla.

Portofino, Italy

The beautiful bay of Portofino
The beautiful bay of Portofino

What you’ll love:

  • The romantic vibe of the city.
  • Coffee in the Piazzetta.
  • The pretty colorful houses by the port.
Romantic boat rides straight from the Piazzetta
Romantic boat rides straight from the Piazzetta

Portofino may be a small Italian village, but its picturesque location close to beautiful landscapes and artistic heritage makes it an excellent place for a holiday. From hiking through the little streets in the village to sampling local ice creams in Piazzetta, you’ll fall in love with this Italian village the longer you stay here. Visit historical locations like Brown Castle and San Martino Church. Or take time out to unwind on Paraggi beach, at the edge of the green water. If you like scuba diving, then this is the perfect spot for you. No matter what it is, time spent in this quaint but charming Italian village feels simply senza fine.

Where to stay

It's one of the most instagrammable places in the world
It’s one of the most instagrammable places in the world

The Belmond Hotel Splendido really gives you the postcard effect while you’re in Portofino. The hotel’s views are the perfect backdrop for pictures, and there is a feeling of timelessness latched to its walls. You’ll feel and see all the beauty of Portofino from here.


About Nimah Koussa

The best part about being a travel writer is bringing cities and destinations to life: their stories, secret addresses, luxurious gems and unique holiday moments. And I have been one for a little more than 10 years. From the best bars and restaurants in different cities of the world to hotels where you can check-in to get away from it all, this Magazine is all about making every trip just a bit more meaningful.

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