Three million residents make up Osaka, Japan’s third largest city and definitely one of its most colorful. Visitors are treated to a bustling landscape of action, bright flashing lights, and surprises around most corners. Famous as an electronics center, Osaka also blends in traditional sites and values, making it one of the country’s more pleasing metropolises to visit. Here are a few spots you’ll want to be sure to include on your trip (in alphabetical order):
Originally a Roman city, Florence captivates the imaginations of visitors as few European cities do. It is the capital of Italy’s Tuscany region and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Florence is known as the ‘cradle of the Renaissance’ due to the staggering number of churches, monuments and works of cultural significance that are seemingly around each and every corner.
Roughly 1,500,000 people call greater metropolitan Florence home, 400,000 of them live in the city itself. But that’s nothing compared to the tourist population. Visitors outnumber locals from April to October. During this time, spotting a local is a feat in and of itself. But with plazas and squares in abundance, and tasty, locally made Chianti wine available for purchase, there’s good reason to simply sit back and observe the city’s diverse crowds. So grab your beverage of choice, find a seat at one of our favorite spots for people watching, and then watch the people go by.
The heart-and-soul of Indonesia, Jogja, as it’s known to locals, boasts a thriving art scene, wonderful architecture, nearby beaches and a heady shopping scene, all in the shadow of the sultan’s palace. It’s a mash-up of old and new, from ancient temples to brand-new shopping malls. If you’re preparing to visit this vibrant city, plan on spending some time in the following neighborhoods:
Jalan Malioboro is the Main Street of Yogyakarta, and it approaches, though doesn’t quite arrive at, the sultan’s palace. This is one-stop-shopping at its finest, and the sidewalks are lined with merchant stalls hawking souvenirs, batik and silver. A lot of tourists are keen to skip Malioboro and purchase handicrafts from the artisan workshops on the outskirts of town. By all means, buy from the source, but that doesn’t mean you can’t browse the wares on Malioboro first. If you do decide to purchase gifts from a street stall, be prepared to bargain. It’s part of the experience, after all.
Getting around is a pleasure in Paris—especially if you’re into cycling or cruising the River Seine. But in even more practical terms, this is a city that knows how to organize public transport. Between the metro, light rail, tram and bus lines, you’re able to get anywhere in the city center on relatively short notice. And in all honesty, even walking is a pleasure in a city that’s as chock full of attractions as this.
For transport purposes, the city is divided into six different zones (though you’ll probably be spending most of your time in Zones 1 and 2). Metro tickets can purchased from vending machines in the stations and also provide access to buses and trams. Save money by buying them in bundles of ten (called a carnet), or you can even pick up daily or weekly passes. The Paris Visite pass is intended especially for tourists.
Without further ado, here’s a breakdown of Paris’ public transit options:
Bursting with Bavarian charm, Munich exemplifies Germany’s beer-drinking, sausage-eating, Lederhosen-wearing reputation, and while the rest of the country may resent this image, Munich proudly embraces its unique, vibrant heritage.
Although Munich is one of the most expensive cities in Germany, visitors need not turn their money purses inside out to have a good time; there are plenty of free activities to fill up your trip and give you a taste of the history and culture of the Bavarian capital.
Relax in the English garden
Munich’s Englischer Garten is one of the biggest and best urban parks in the world, and is easily accessible from the city center. The park provides the perfect retreat from the city, and locals flock here in the summer to get away and relax in the sun. But don’t worry: it’s easy to escape the crowds in this vast oasis of greenery which covers an area of 2.3 square miles.
It’s safe to say that almost every Korean meal you will ever eat will include kimchi. Kimchi is a fermented dish that can be prepared with a choice of vegetables such as radish, cucumber, or cabbage. The vegetable is cured with salt and loaded with dry chili flakes, then left to sit for a few days until mild fermentation begins to occur, the level of bitterness being determined by how long the fermentation process is. When you eat a Korean meal, kimchi is served as what’s known as a banchan, or a small side dish. Despite being considered only a condiment to complement a main course, kimchi is often considered to be the national food of South Korea.
Founded by the Romans more than two thousand years ago, few cities are as rich in history, culture, and character as London. Home to revolutionary innovation, famous writers and musicians, leveled by war, and rebuilt into one of the world's leading financial centers, London truly is a city fit for a king (or queen). Start your exploration of the UK's capital at ten of our favorite spots.
Kyoto is a Japanese city unlike any other. Modern office towers and a city center sit next to one of the highest concentrations of UNESCO World Heritage Sites on earth, somehow in perfect harmony. Business people do their thing while monks tend to their temples and visitors marvel at it all. Perhaps this shouldn't be a surprise as most of the stunning temples that dot the city's landscape are all about peace and tranquility at their heart.
The city is also home to real geishas who manage to live highly traditional lives, going to and from in their kimonos as they have for thousands of years, seemingly unaware of the modern world around them. This is a place where different worlds literally intersect, collide, and work well together, creating a fantastically rich social canvas to watch go by. Kyoto is a fascinating city, but also a wonderful spot to slow down, take a seat, and watch its people live their lives. Here are three of our favorite spots to get a sense of the social fabric of this most traditional of Japanese cities and watch its people live their lives.
Sydney is a world-class city with a variety of public transport options you’ll need in motion. The offerings are a little bit underwhelming (though entirely adequate), with no dedicated underground service and LRT routes that keep opening, closing and opening again along new arteries. While you may hear locals complaining about the rising specter of traffic or a confounding shortage of taxis, the truth is that visitors don’t really feel the pinch when it comes to Sydney’s public transit woes. By all rights, the city has you covered via road, rail and sea.
If you're planning a go-wherever-you-feel-like tour of Sydney vs. a more regimented itinerary, you’ll almost certainly save money with the MyMulti Day Pass. Pay a flat rate and enjoy 24 hours’ access to all of the following: