With July 30 marking International Friendship Day, we thought it apt to add another edition to our ten cities to visit with your best friend series.
1. Zagreb, Croatia
Zagreb is often overlooked by the more popular Croatian cities of Dubrovnik and Split; however, we can certainly vouch for it as a city to visit with your best friend. With less tourists, there is more space for you to roam to your heart’s content. There is a thriving coffee culture, a colourful rooftop of its prized church, St Mark’s, the quirky Museum of Broken Relationships and locally brewed craft beers. Croatia’s famous Plitvice Lakes is also an easy day trip away from Zagreb if you have the time.
2. Hanoi, Vietnam
Hanoi is worth its weight in gold as the cultural capital city of Vietnam. Spreading out from the central Hoan Kiem Lake, you’ll find important sites such as the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the French Quarter, a plethora of museums (a must-visit is the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology), the Hanoi Opera House and of course, you can’t forget its diverse street food cuisine. Make sure you try cà phê trứng (egg coffee), and a bowl of bún chả at Bún Chả Hương Liên where Anthony Bourdain and Barack Obama once ate and filmed for an episode of Bourdain’s ‘Parts Unknown’.
3. Vancouver, Canada
Best suited if you and your best friend love to get out and about in nature, there is so much to see and do in Vancouver. You’ll find it a piece of cake to go from city to nature, no matter the season. If visiting in winter, the nearby Cypress Mountain will certainly be a goer for skiing or snowboarding – one of the locations of the 2010 Winter Olympics; while summer means checking out Kitsilano Beach for a refreshing dip or heading out to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park to walk amongst the trees.
4. Bath, England
With a storied Roman history, Bath is one of England’s most-loved gems. The entire city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so you know you and your best friend are in for a real treat. From the well-preserved Roman Bath ruins and its beautiful Georgian architecture to a lovely promenade along the Avon and the original home of the Sally Lunn bun, Bath can be explored either on a day trip from London or during a longer stay.
5. Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu is truly awe-inspiring. The historic site was built to be earthquake-proof by way of ashlar (a technique whereby the Incas cut the stones so precisely to layer perfectly on top of each other), bracing blocks, walls that slope inwards and trapezoidal-shaped windows and doors. This is an incredible feat given the day and age it was constructed! The journey in and out is arduous, but one for the memory books with your best friend.
6. Lyon, France
If the pair of you are always on the hunt for the latest foodie adventure, put Lyon on your hit list. As the gastronomic capital of France, you will never go hungry in Lyon! Embark on a foodie crawl together, ticking off Lyonnais specialties like a sweet praline brioche, moreish cervelle de canut (a cheese dip), anything off a bouchon menu and booking in a meal at a Michelin-starred or Bib Gourmand restaurant. Don’t miss our list of seven incredible things you must eat in Lyon.
7. New Orleans, USA
American, French and African cultures intertwine to become the vibrant melting pot that is known as New Orleans. The influence that these cultures have had on the city’s cuisine, architecture, traditions and music scene are second to none, making New Orleans a trip to remember with your best friend. If you both love a live music gig, New Orleans is regarded as the birthplace of American jazz so settle in and relax with a drink in hand to some soulful tunes.
8. Queenstown, New Zealand
If you and your best friend are after an adventurous holiday, look no further than Queenstown, New Zealand! Get your adrenaline going with bungy jumping, white water rafting, sky diving, helicopter rides, skiing, mountain biking and more. You can then round off your days with some of Queenstown’s finest dining – try the degustation menu at Amisfield for the ultimate ‘treat yourself’ vibe or indulge in the iconic Fergburger for a cheaper option.
9. Kyoto, Japan
For a city of almost 1.5 million people, Kyoto offers a unique juxtaposition of popular sights and serene temples and gardens. Kyoto has an inordinate number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites – in fact, it has one of the largest in the world! This includes twelve Buddhist temples, three Shinto shrines and one castle for you and your best friend to explore. We would highly recommend Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine with its thousands of brightly coloured torii gates leading to the summit of Mount Inari.
10. Toronto, Canada
Ontario’s capital is a bustling city to visit with your best friend. Dominated by the iconic CN Tower, Toronto’s concrete jungle skyline is best seen on a harbour cruise. Time this for sunset to capture the best photos together with a beautiful sky to boot. If you and your best friend are shopaholics, then you must scope out some time at PATH. This is the world’s largest underground shopping area that connects over 70 buildings with some-1,200 stores, perfect to satisfy your retail therapy needs.
So, what are you waiting for? These ten cities to visit with your best friend are calling and it’s time to make those plans together. Take a look at an Avalon Waterways river cruise, and coach tours with Globus or Cosmos.