It’s not often that I return to a city as a tourist more than once. Nothing to do with the destinations, it’s just that when I travel I usually want to see new places and experience different activities. There are a few cities though I’ve gone back to more than once, either because I just really love them or through random acts of fate. Not all cities are made the same though and while some are great on a 2nd, 3rd or even 4th visit, others pale in comparison. Out of all the places I have had the fortune to visit more than one time though, these are my favorites and in most cases are cities where I could go back a thousand times and still not get bored. (In no particular order)
One of my favorite cities in the world just after a few hours of being there – some places you just fall in love with right away and for me that was Melbourne. Still, I felt like I owed it to myself to go back and confirm whether or not this love was for real, or just a one-night stand. On my last trip to Australia I rearranged the schedule and frankly went out of my way just to have a couple of nights in beautiful Melbourne and you know what? It was totally worth it. I don’t know if it’s the convenient downtown core or just the surprising beauty of the city, but it all clicks for me and it’s not only a place I could visit again and again, but I know I could also happily live there. I’m not alone either, Melbourne frequently makes the top list of most livable cities in the world owing to this unique combination of beautiful neighborhoods, diverse activities and just overall charm.
This is an odd place for Vienna to be honestly because the first time I visited about ten years ago, I was mostly ambivalent towards it. It was fine, but I wasn’t wowed. But on a recent river cruise I had a second chance to see the city and this time I left really enjoying myself. I’m not sure if the city changed or if it was me, but I had a great time walking around the old historic areas of Vienna, eating some great meals and just soaking up the atmosphere. Vienna can be a little gritty at times, but on the whole I loved living life as a local and getting to know it on a much more personal level.
Zadar I also fell in love with almost immediately and I thought I owed it to myself, like Melbourne, to see if it was a fleeting romance or something that could withstand the test of time. I’m thrilled to say that my second trip to this coastal city in Croatia was just as much fun as my first. The beautiful streets of the downtown, great views along the waterfront and fantastic restaurants and cafes make this a city where I could spend a whole lot more time. There’s just an easy, laid back atmosphere augmented by great weather and friendly people that makes Zadar hard to beat.
4. New Orleans
My first visit to New Orleans was way back in 1999. I was young, stupid and inexperienced and the city had its way with me. It was a hazy time and I hadn’t been back since. It was curiosity more than anything else that brought me back to the Crescent City just a few months ago and wow, am I glad I did. The city has changed so much since Katrina, but not in all ways. The same spirit that has always defined New Orleans is still there and it’s that spirit that has allowed the people who call it home to rebuild the city into something even better than before. Sure, you can walk down Bourbon Street and find a party at all hours of the day, but what’s even better is to explore some of the neighborhoods like the Faubourg Marigny or the Garden District and be sure to try some of the new and exciting restaurants that have opened recently. Triple the number of restaurants have emerged since Katrina, creating a foodie revolution in a city that was already well known for its love of anything that can be stabbed with a fork.
My first true travel love, there’s never any doubt if I’ll enjoy being back in the magnificent City of Lights. It’s one of those very few cities in the world where I will never get tired of being and like Melbourne, I could easily see myself living there. I don’t know what it is, whether it’s my own nostalgia of my youth or something inexplicable about Paris itself, but it keeps calling me back, again and again to see more of it and to get to know it just a little bit better. That doesn’t mean I don’t still enjoy the touristy activities there, I definitely do and walking through the Champ de Mars and eating a crepe is always one of the first things I do when I find myself in my favorite city in the world.
Where are some places that were just as good or even better for you on a repeat visit?