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5 CITIES TO VISIT BEFORE YOU DIE

Posted on 29 June, 2017

WORDS BY GS STAFF WRITER

"Before you die." Strong words. But then again the world's a big place and this journey we call life has got to stop one day.

Plus, it's summer and everyone likes to get away. 

For this list we picked cities based on three things:

How beautiful they are;

How fun they are and;

How much they have to offer tourists in the way of attractions.

5. BERLIN, GERMANY

Once a divided city because of that bloody wall, Berlin is now filled to the brim with culture, architecture and attractions for visitors to soak up. Long before that little shit Hitler got his hands on the place, Berlin was known as the hub for artists - cabaret flowed through the city's veins. These days, Berlin remains one of the most culturally and artistically vibrant locations in the world with many musicians, architects and artists inhabiting the city. It's hauntingly beautiful but more importantly, Berlin’s bars - of which there are many - serve their beer until the last person leaves, as there are no real closing times.

4. MEXICO CITY, MEXICO

"You're going to die!" are usually the first words somebody says when you tell them you're going to Mexico City. Often done in a terrible Mexican accent. But so long as you take the same precautions you would in any large city, the answer is no. Mexico’s capital and economic powerhouse can be a fun and safe destination. An undeniably gritty cool pervades in the streets, and new wave mezcalerías, art galleries, vintage boutiques and cafés continue to transform neighbourhoods like bohemian La Roma and design-minded Condesa. Tequila’s lesser known sister spirit, mezcal, is all the rage in Mexico City with the fashionable set flocking to the many mezcalerias that have been springing up all over town. 

3. AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND 

The city of Auckland is often ranked in the top ten happiest cities on earth. Where do you think your hometown would come? The happiest in the UK is Harrogate in North Yorkshire. And it's no surprise Auckland dwellers are so happy. It's bloody beautiful. The place is centred around two large harbours meaning it's a haven for all those that love watersports. It's also a definite must-visit for adrenaline junkies. The Sky Tower and the Harbour Bridge are among the favourite places for bungee jumpers, while the west coast is a great place for hiking and canyoning. There's even a park built around extinct volcano Mount Eden (see picture.) 

2. SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA 

If you haven’t visited Asia’s mighty hub of pop culture, it’s high time you did. Beyond the billboard teenyboppers and glass towers of Gangnam, Seoul has a vibrant underbelly of ultra-cool that much of the world is just beginning to discover. Far more than just chic cafés and Korean craft brews, the city is home to graffiti-covered basement bars and hidden restaurants serving both traditional and fusion cuisines. With the 2018 Winter Olympics looming, now is the time to experience Korea’s capital before the crowds take over. The best way to see the glittering city is from above, with a drink. Thankfully, Seoul’s bar scene takes drinking next level. High end options are all attached to hotels. Splash out on champagne at the garden terrace at the Four Seasons. Or reserve a table at the ever-popular Le Style Restaurant & Bar.

1. KYOTO, JAPAN 

Kyoto is the ancient capital of Japan which, now, of course, is Toyko. It's located on the island of Honshu which is filled with ancient Buddhist temples, shrines, beautiful gardens and traditional Japanese wooden houses. The city still practices some very old customs such as Kaiseki - an elaborate multi-course meal. There are also geisha women working in the historic Gion district. For those that don't know, Geishas are traditional Japanese female entertainers that act as hostesses. Teahouses crowd the narrow streets and at dusk geisha and maiko (apprentice geishas) can occasionally be seen hurrying between appointments. Remember though; they're not prostitutes. 

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