Make next year your year of exploring – as travel restrictions ease it’s a good time to consider going to all those places you should have done before now! There are hundreds of exciting and unusual destinations around the world, but where do you begin? For those who love to sightsee and those who love to try the local delicacies, below are five fabulous cities to get you started on your perfect globe-trotting adventure:

Milan, Italy:

This city is not only one for the fashionistas. With an eccentric mix of gothic architecture and a modern metropolis vibe, Milan is sure to seduce any traveller, whether they’re after high-end boutiques or the authentic Italian experience. Make time in your schedule to explore the breath-taking Duomo, the beautiful cathedral created from pink Canolgia marble and completed over an impressive 600 years. It’s adorned with 3,400 carved statues and 135 striking spires, and is topped with a copper statue of the Little Madonna (Madonnina), the traditional protector of Milan.

If world-famous art is more what you’re after, Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper is hidden away on a wall of a refectory. However, it’s vital to book in advance to see this iconic image. Talking of supper, I cannot emphasise enough to try local cuisine – the risotto is to DIE for – it’s always made from proper Arborio rice – similar to what you’d find here

San Francisco, USA:

Surrounded by San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean, San Francisco is known for the iconic Golden Gate Bridge and cable cars that’ll have you feeling like you’re in the 1920’s. The hilly city located in California is also well-known for its year-round fog. A visit to ‘San Fran’ wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the world-famous island prison, Alcatraz. Closed in 1963, it was home to some of America’s most notorious criminals and is accessed by a boat ride across the bay.

Dubrovnik, Croatia:

With the stunning ancient architecture, it’s no wonder why this gem was handpicked as a location for the fantasy television drama, Game of Thrones. Nestled next to the Adriatic Sea, the city is famed for its walls and forts that kept residents safe throughout the centuries. You can now take part in an exclusive Game of Thrones tour and discover King’s Landing, the fictional city located in Dubrovnik’s Old Town.

Buenos Aires, Argentina:

The city where Latin fire meets European grandeur! Take a wander down Buenos Aires streets, and you’ll find French-inspired palaces, alongside traditional neighbourhoods. The Buenos Aires food scene is one of the most dynamic in the world and is perfect for aficionados of steak and wine, and ice-cream enthusiasts – but the restaurants don’t start to liven up until past 9pm!   

Oslo, Norway:

2018 marks 50 years of marriage between Norway’s king and queen, so expect the capital city of Norway to pull out all the stops for the celebrations! Renowned for their cultural events, this vibrant city has something for everyone, from art installations to concerts and inspiring performances. The contemporary architecture is one to be admired, starting with the striking opera house created from white granite, glass and aluminium. Minutes away from the centre of Oslo are the intriguing Oslofjord’s islands and waterways, along with the stunning forests of Nordmarka and ski slopes, for those who want a spot of sport on their holiday!

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