It seems most major cities would regard themselves as the very best, especially when they’re trying to attract the tourist dollar. In truth, several of them could claim to be the finest in any given category, but there’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to claiming to be top of the tree overall. Here are a few ideas for individual aspects that affect the happiness of visitors.
The Best Museum
There are some impressive museums in many of the world’s great cities, but none of them can match the sheer majesty of the Louvre in Paris. Located close to the River Seine and right next door to the Jardin des Tuileries, any visitor who is planning to check out the many thousands of exhibits will need to set aside a substantial amount of time to even just skim the surface.
The Best View
Whether you like your cities old and historic or new and contemporary, you can’t beat a great view. Some people will say panoramic vistas from tall vantage points are always best, but I think the view along the Grand Canal from the crown of Venice’s Rialto Bridge is the finest of them all. This wonderful sight has attracted poets and painters for centuries, and it continues to delight, surprise and fascinate in equal measure.
The Best Landmark
Everyone has their own idea about what makes the perfect landmark, citing factors such as history, importance, beauty and location, and many will point at examples such as the Empire State Building, Sydney Opera House, Buckingham Palace and the Eiffel Tower. All fine places, of course, but for me the best of them all is in Rome. The Colosseum dates back more than 2,000 years and remains a focal point of the nation and the city itself.
The Best Bridge
While people in New York, San Francisco, Venice and Sydney may disagree, most travellers would agree that Tower Bridge in London is the daddy of them all. Completed in 1894, it’s located next to the Tower of London, and its distinctive bascule and suspension design has helped to make it the most instantly recognisable bridge in the world. These days, no visit to the capital of the United Kingdom is complete without taking a wander across it.
The Best Atmosphere
While Paris is beautifully elegant and London is supremely distinguished, there is something about New York’s hustle and bustle that gives it the edge. The teeming streets, the hubbub of the traffic and the way the tall buildings seem to oversee everything the visitor says and does all combine to give the Big Apple a unique atmosphere. The city that never sleeps rarely even slows down.