Along the Atlantic, the Beira Litoral lures surfers and sunseekers with scores of sandy beaches. Here, the sophisticated university city of Coimbra and the brash casino-party town of Figueira da Foz arm-wrestle for visitors’ attention. Move inland to the Beira Alta highlands and the mood shifts entirely. Stoic stone villages cling to the slopes of Portugal’s highest mountains – the Serra da Estrela – and cast their gaze down at the fertile wine country of the Dão valley.
The Castle District encompasses Castle Hill (Várhegy) – nerve centre of Budapest’s history and packed with many of the capital’s most important museums and other attractions – as well as ground-level Víziváros (Watertown). What the latter lacks in sights it makes up for in excellent restaurants, many of them around Széll Kálmán tér, a major transport hub and the centre of urban Buda.
While it might lack the world-class cultural institutions of Berlin, Belgrade, at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, offers its own distinctive appeal, with storybook historical districts and venerable fortresses and parks. Better still, this center of Slavic cool just got much easier to reach: Direct flights from North America, via New York City, started in June on Air Serbia. Throw in Belgrade’s cafe scene, low prices, talented young designers, emerging former industrial districts, sausage-filled cuisine and unbridled night life — from D.J. bars to party boats to all-hours nightclubs — and the comparison seems even more compelling.
The earliest structures in the colony were built to the bare minimum of standards. Upon his appointment, Governor Lachlan Macquarie set ambitious targets for the architectural design of new construction projects. The city now has a world heritage listed building, several national heritage listed buildings, and dozens of Commonwealth heritage listed buildings as evidence of the survival of Macquarie's ideals.
A trip to Rome is as much about lapping up the dolce vita lifestyle as gorging on art and culture. Idling around picturesque streets, whiling away hours at streetside cafes, people-watching on pretty piazzas – these are all an integral part of the Roman experience. The tempo rises as the heat of the day gives way to the evening cool and the fashionably dressed aperitivo (pre-dinner drinks) crowd descends on the city's bars and cafes.
Tokyo feels limitless in size and scope and often seems more like a collection of cities than one cohesive whole. At the centre is the Imperial Palace. To the east of the palace is the old city, the historic downtown that came to life during the feudal era (when a castle stood where the palace is today). Here, in neighbourhoods like Ueno and Asakusa, the attractions have a more traditional slant: there are museums, shrines and temples, historic restaurants and artisan workshops.