This content is not available in your region

7 popular city destinations that are absolutely worth the hype

Berlin may be popular, but it absolutely deserves the love it gets.
Berlin may be popular, but it absolutely deserves the love it gets.   -   Copyright  Raja Sen
By Hayley Ashworth

When searching for your next holiday, it can often be unnerving to see the same destinations on every list.

You can’t help but wonder if they are genuinely incredible places to visit or if they have paid for the title.

There is also a certain FOMO that comes with travel and the desire to visit a place because all your friends have. But there is also nothing worse than getting to your destination just to be incredibly underwhelmed.

The destinations in this list are widely promoted and labelled as ‘must-see’. But they are also the destinations that are worth the trip. There is no sense of disappointment or regret, just joy and an uncontrollable need to explore.

Singapore

Starting strong, Singapore is somewhere that absolutely meets expectations.

The city is rich in culture, yet wonderfully modern. It appeals to foodies, fashionistas, and architecture lovers. It’s appropriate for all ages, and there is never a shortage of things to do.

Julien de Salaber
The beautiful Marina Bay Sands.Julien de Salaber

Notable places to visit:

  • The ArtScience Museum – a museum shaped like a flower that has immersive exhibitions. It’s also incredibly Instagrammable.
  • Gardens by the Bay – a beautiful garden behind the Marina Bay Sands with unique flower displays and a sky path.
  • Sentosa – a fun day trip for all the family with a beach, Universal Studios, and Din Tai Fung.
  • Raffles Hotel - a hotel made famous by literature’s favourite writers and the inventor of the Singapore Sling.

Why you might not like it:

  • The weather – it can be quite hot and humid, but the storms are epic.
  • Is it too clean?
  • Chewing gum is illegal.

Osaka, Japan

Osaka has everything you want from a Japanese adventure, and it doesn’t try as hard as Tokyo does.

It's a busy modern city, while the suburbs and outer regions are still more traditional.

Redd/Unsplash
The stunning centre of Osaka, Japan.Redd/Unsplash

Notable things to do:

  • Feed the deer at Nara park.
  • Explore traditional Japanese culture in Kyoto.
  • Shop like a local – Tennoji has everything from antique to contemporary shops, overground stalls and underground markets.
  • Eat all the food in Dōtonbori – Gyoza, Okonomiyaki, Takoyaki, Yakisoba, Yakitori, and Kakigori are all essentials. But be careful with the takoyaki, the filing can be really quite hot.

Why you might not like it:

  • The food - Japan has such varied and exciting cuisine that might not be for everyone. A safe option is always a curry Omurice.

London, UK

Konstantina Zag
The stunning, secret corner of Neal's Yard in London.Konstantina Zag

People who say they don't like London do so because they feel like it's 'uncool' to like it. But what’s not love?

Yes, odds are high that it will be raining, but the city has so much to offer.

There is always something happening. There are so many different boroughs to explore, and the nightlife one of the best.

Notable things to do:

Why you might not like it:

  • The weather.

That’s it, in my opinion!

Maldives

The Maldives is as opulent and tranquil as you imagine it to be. But it is definitely somewhere you have to visit at least once.

Most go for a honeymoon, but it will also make an excellent girls' getaway.

Pedro Bariak
The bluest waters and the whitest sands, the Maldives is worth the reputation it has on Instagram.Pedro Bariak

Notable things to do:

  • Stay in a luxury hotel like Lux*.
  • Swim with sharks.
  • Relax.

Why you might not like it:

  • If you don't enjoy beach holidays.
  • It can feel like very high-end luxury, which not everyone enjoys.

San Francisco, US

Not all places in the US were created equal. San Francisco is one place that lives up to its reputation.

The city has something for everyone and is a great place for those who enjoy a good wander – not all US cities are walker-friendly.

Maarten van den Heuvel
This view is iconic for a reason.Maarten van den Heuvel

Notable things to do:

  • Take a tour of Alcatraz.
  • Get clam chowder from The Waterfront at Fisherman’s Warf.
  • Ride one of the famous cable cars.
  • Cycle down Lombard Street.
  • Spend the afternoon at the Japanese Gardens.
  • Explore the vintage shops in Haight-Ashbury.
  • Head over to Napa Valley for the day.

Why you might not like it:

  • If you're not keen on holidaying in America.
  • The prices.

Berlin, Germany

It has been almost 32 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the city is still rebuilding. During its rediscovery, it has become the European capital of cool with a controversial nightlife, flourishing art scene, and laid-back culture.

Everyone needs to visit Berlin once in their life, even if it just out of curiosity.

Nick Fewings
The wall is truly a must-visit.Nick Fewings

Notable things to do:

  • Admire the street art on what remains on the Berlin Wall.
  • Join a free walking tour for a unique perspective on the city.
  • Take a photo at Checkpoint Charlie.
  • Embrace the nightlife.
  • Explore the Story of Berlin Museum.
  • Pay respects at the Holocaust Memorial.

Why you might not like it:

It's known for being a very progressive, liberal place which some may not enjoy.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires lives up to the hype. The city is vibrant and full of energy.

It is renowned for colourful neighbourhoods like La Boca and Palermo, excellent Malbec, dulce de leche, and tango.

The city has lots of points of interest and is easy to travel around using their subway system.

There are plenty of parks, and the renovated Puerto Madero is full of top-rated restaurants, museums, and galleries.

There are plenty of lovely hotels in Buenos Aires, but it is definitely a city for Airbnb apartments.

Barbara Zandoval
The colourful streets of Buenos Aires absolutely live up to the hype.Barbara Zandoval

Notable things to do:

  • Eat all the empanadas.
  • Try all the wine.
  • Take your time exploring San Telmo.
  • Visit the mausoleums in Recoleta Cemetery.
  • Spend the day shopping for Argentine crafts in Tigre.
  • Dance the tango.
  • Embrace its history in Plaza de Mayo.

Why you might not like it:

  • Some areas are more dangerous than others

So, where will you book for your first post-pandemic, back-to-normal holiday?