Are you looking where to spend your next city break? Then you’ve come to the right place. Check out my top 12 amazing cities to visit (by month) right here.
My favorite moments are those when you get that crazy idea to plan your next trip. You think about it and you just feel that you have to do it. Does that sound recognizable to anyone out here? The first thing I do is, I take my calender and start looking for those extended weekends, holidays and vacation periods. Depending on how much time I have to travel, I choose my destination. But which travel destinations do most justice during those available vactions periods?
That’s why I made a mini bucket list with my top 12 cities all over the world that you have to visit at least once. You won’t only discover 12 amazing cities to visit but also in which month you’d best visit them. So I killed 2 birds in one stone there. Do you like to travel close or far? Plenty of options for everyone.
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TOP 12 amazing cities to visit
January: Cape town in South-Africa
If you want to escape the winter and enjoy a wonderful combination between city and beach, then Cape Town in South Africa is the ideal destination for you. Cape Town has so much to offer. Besides the vibrant city centre with various nice neighborhoods, you can also enjoy the beautiful beaches such as Camps Bay, Hout Bay and Muizenberg beach.
But Cape Town is also a perfect travel destination for adventurous travelers. Climb Table Mountain or Lion’s head and enjoy the most beautiful views of Cape Town. Don’t forget to drive along Chapmans peak or make an unforgettable day trip to the Cape of Good Hope while visiting the penguins on Bolders Beach.
Yes, you can already guess where I’m going with this! Cape Town is the ‘place to be’ in January. At that time it’s summer vacation in South Africa, so keep in mind that it can get pretty busy there. If you prefer to squeeze in some peace and quiet, combine Cape Town with a stay on a vineyard in the famous wine region of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. Not enough of South Africa, then definitely consider a road trip along the Garden Route. This route is phenomenal! A city trip to Cape Town is therefore highly recommended for the month of January.
Tips to stay in Cape Town:
February: Rovaniemi in Finland
During the winter months, many people travel to the North to admire the Northern Lights. This phenomenon has also been on my bucket list for a long time. Unfortunately, I have never had the chance to see it.
Rovaniemi is the capital of Lapland and probably one of the smallest places on my list of amazing cities to visit. It’s a great place where you have the chance to spot the famous northern lights, especially between the months of September and March. The name of this town may sound familiar to you? This is the hometown of Santa Claus. Even though the Christmas period in February is long gone, here you can enjoy the cozy Christmas atmosphere for a little longer without feeling guilty.
Besides spotting the northern lights (if you are lucky), and visiting Santa Claus, you can still experience a lot in Rovaniemi. Make an unforgettable husky safari, go racing with a snowmobile, explore the picturesque town centre, … In short, a great city trip idea for February. If you would rather escape the cold winter weather, then you should definitely check out these amzing, sunny winter destinations in Europe.
Tips to stay in in Rovaniemi:
March: Copenhagen in Denmark
We’ll stay in the North for a little longer to recommend a visit to Copenhagen in March. It’s still a bit cold then, but pleasant to visit the city with the necessary warm clothing. Copenhagen surprised me several times. On the one hand because of the architecture where historic architectural styles go hand in hand with contemporary minimalist design. And on the other hand because of the excellent cuisine, better known as Nordic cuisine.
Copenhagen is a city full of culture, ranging from the most impressive buildings, historic castles and palaces, fascinating museums, cozy neighborhoods, wonderful shops and so much more. Discover the city on foot or by bike and stop regularly to heat up with a coffee or delicious cup of hot chocolate in a local bar. There is something to experience everywhere in Copenhagen. So there is no possibility to get bored.
Tips om te stay in Copenhagen in Denmark
April: Valletta in Malta
April is a wonderful time to travel to Malta and start the spring on the right foot. Valletta, the capital of Malta, is the perfect city trip destination or base for exploring Malta further. This small, cozy and picturesque city not only has beautiful views of the Mediterranean Sea, but is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its impressive historical Baroque-style buildings. It’s therefore no surprise that Valletta was chosen as the European Capital of Culture last year. One more reason to visit Valletta.
Experiencing Easter in Malta is quite an event. From Good Friday to Easter there is an exuberant celebration in different towns. Starting with a Good Friday Procession where we see how Jesus is crucified to end with an Easter Procession where we see Jesus resurrected. This traditional celebration is specific for Malta and it is definitely worth celebrating with the locals. Moreover, the local inhabitants also welcome you with open arms.
Tips to stay in Valletta in Malta:
May: New Orleans in the United States
Of course New Orleans couldn’t be missing from my list of amazing cities to visit. This city is known worldwide for jazz music and its vibrant nightlife in Bourbon Street. But of course this is only a fraction of what NOLA has to offer. The melting pot of cultures that you not only find in the architecture, but also in the local cuisine was the main reason for me to visit this city, and I must say it met all my expectations.
This city has been on my bucket list for a while. When I could finaly check it off in July, I was certainly not disappointed. But because of Hurricane Barry who had just struck, the atmosphere was not as vibrant as usual. That is why I would also recommend traveling here in the spring when you still have pleasant temperatures, but no chance of hurricanes.
Going back and forth to New Orleans for us Belgians or Europeans, is maybe a bit far. But this city can easily be integrated into a longer vacation such as a Deep South Roadtrip. If you are in New Orleans, don’t forget to explore the surrounding countryside. This is certainly worth it!
Tips where to stay in New Orleans in de United States:
- Hotel indigo New Orleans Garden District
- Maison De La Luz
- Cambria Hotel New Orleans Downtown Warehouse District
June: Florence in Italy
Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance, and also one of my favorite cities in Italy. I have visited this city a few times and it keeps surprising me time after time. Every time I visit Florence, I discover something new.
The best way to discover Florence (according to me): definitely don’t rush to see everything. Discovering everything in a few days is just not possible. Allow yourself to be immersed in the splendor of this mesmerising city, stroll through the streets and admire the beautiful architecture. Take a break once in a while with a tasty aperitivo and antipasta or a delicious Italian gelato. In June the weather is perfect for ice cream.
Would you like to extend your city trip and discover more of Italy? A city trip to Florence can easily be combined with a visit to the city of Pisa or explore the 5 beautiful towns of Cinque Terre. From Florence there is a good train connection to these cities.
Tips to stay in Florence Italy:
July: Ghent in Belgium
Surprise surprise, in July I advise you to visit my hometown: Ghent. Not only the temperature is pleasant, but the ‘Gente feesten’ take place in July every year. The ‘Gentse feesten’ are a 10-day city festival. On every square there are various performances, in the streets there are stalls with different kinds of food, drinks and products and every night you can party till the early hours. There’ s a wide and varied range of activities both during the day and in the evening. This city festival attracts around 1 million visitors annually. If you prefer to avoid the hustle and bustle of the ‘Gentse feesten’, be sure to book a stay in July. The date of the festival varies from year to year, but always takes place around July 21st.
Of course Ghent has much more to offer than just the ‘Gentse feesten’. Discover this beautiful medieval city and architecture on foot or by boat from the various canals. Visit the Gravensteen and learn everything about medieval torture practices. Go urban and admire street art from young artists in the city. Enjoy the local delicacies and often treat yourself to a fresh Belgian beer.
Tips to stay in Ghent Belgium:
August: Ljubljana in Slovenia
A city that I certainly want to visit again is Ljubljana in Slovenia. I barely had 1 full day to explore Ljubljana and this was way too short. But also just long enough to fall in love. This beautiful, well kept, cozy city exudes a super relaxed atmosphere.
In the evening we accidentally ended up at a food market on the central market square of Ljubljana. This food market takes place every Friday evening from mid-March till the end of October. Here you can taste local, but also exotic dishes. The atmosphere and hospitality of the locals was just amazing.
In August it’s summer vacation and you may be able to spend a little more time than just a few days for a city trip. Beautiful places in Slovenia to combine with a trip to Ljubljana are Lake Bled, Lake Bohinj, Jamnik, Bela Krajina, …
Or go crazy and go on a road trip through some of the Balkan countries. Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro are definitely recommended!
Tips to stay in Ljubljana Slovenia:
September: Leiden in The Netherlands
One of the biggest surprises to make it on my list of amzing cities to visit is definitely Leiden in the Netherlands. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but this city has definitely stole my heart. This student town that is also named little Amsterdam because its many canals, has a lot of charm. Besides to the cozy streets, beautiful canal houses and wonderful restaurants, there is a huge variety of culture in various museums in Leiden.
We visited Leiden in November but would recommend September as the perfect time for a citytrip. With mild temperatures, Leiden’s charm will be fully appreciated even more.
Stay a day longer and head to Noordwijk on the coast. It is barely half an hour away by car and I promise you, you won’t regret it. This is the perfect place to end a successful city trip in a relaxing way.
Of course there are so much more destinations to explore in The Netherlands. Check out this 7-day Netherlands itinarary if you’re interested in making a more extensive trip.
Tips to stay in Leiden in The Netherlands:
October: Miltenberg in Germany
In the middle of Rhineland in Germany you can find the uber romantic town of Miltenberg. With its picturesque village squares and beautiful authentic half-timbered houses you can imagine yourself in a Disney movie. The fall colors make the whole setting even more enchanting.
Here you can especially stroll through the narrow, cobbled streets and enjoy the local delights. Don’t forget to take a look by the historical castle where you have a beautiful view of the city.
Tips to stay in Miltenberg in Germany:
November: Mandalay in Myanmar
Another city that made a deep impression on me was Mandalay in Myanmar. The best time to visit this city and other destinations in Myanmar is spring and autumn. During the summer months it is rainy season.
I can’t explain why Mandalay had such a special effect on me, but I thought it was a super magical destination. A place where I thoroughly enjoyed the cultural treasures such as the many beautiful and lavishly decorated pagodas, but also the hospitality of the inhabitants.
If you travel all the way to Mandalay I guess you are visiting other destinations in Myanmar as well. In recent years, the country has invested a lot in decent transport options. The most important tourist spots and largest cities are already accessible by bus or by plane, which makes traveling within Myanmar much easier. Be sure to plan a city trip to Mandalay in your itinerary through Myanmar.
Tips to stay in Mandalay in Myanmar:
December: Miami in the United States
Last but not list on my list of amazing cities to visit is Miami. The European winter always makes me long for warm and tropical destinations. In December, the climate in Miami is perfect: neither too hot nor too cold. Strolling and drinking cocktails on Ocean Drive, sunbathing on South beach and walking through the Art Deco district are the must do activities to soak up the tropical atmosphere.
I probably shouldn’t tell you that a city trip to Miami is one of the best remedies against the winter blues. But that many other destinations within the state of Florida are worth a visit, I can still mention here. Perfect to combine with a city trip to Miami is a visit to the Everglades, the theme parks of Orlando, the beautiful Ginnie springs or the slightly quieter located Sanibel island. Or take a great road trip through the Deep South and discover all these places and so much more!
Tips to stay in Miami in the United States:
Voila, these are my top 12 amazing cities to visit per month. I hope this mini city trip bucket list gave you some inspiration for your upcoming travel adventures?
Let me know in the comments which city you would love to visit?
Thanks for reading.
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