Chicago, on Lake Michigan in Illinois, is among the largest cities in the U.S. Famed for its bold architecture, it has a skyline punctuated by skyscrapers such as the iconic John Hancock Center, 1,451-ft. Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) and the neo-Gothic Tribune Tower. The city is also renowned for its museums, including the Art Institute of Chicago with its noted Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works.
Amsterdam is the Netherlands’ capital, known for its artistic heritage, elaborate canal system and narrow houses with gabled facades, legacies of the city’s 17th-century Golden Age. Its Museum District houses the Van Gogh Museum, works by Rembrandt and Vermeer at the Rijksmuseum, and modern art at the Stedelijk. Cycling is key to the city’s character, and there are numerous bike paths.
Vancouver, a bustling west coast seaport in British Columbia, is among Canada’s densest, most ethnically diverse cities. A popular filming location, it’s surrounded by mountains, and also has thriving art, theatre and music scenes. Vancouver Art Gallery is known for its works by regional artists, while the Museum of Anthropology houses preeminent First Nations collections.
Melbourne is the coastal capital of the southeastern Australian state of Victoria. At the city’s centre is the modern Federation Square development, with plazas, bars, and restaurants by the Yarra River. In the Southbank area, the Melbourne Arts Precinct is the site of Arts Centre Melbourne – a performing arts complex – and the National Gallery of Victoria, with Australian and indigenous art.
Known for its plethora of ancient ruins, whitewashed villages, sunny beaches, tasty cuisine and friendly atmosphere, it is no wonder that Greece ranks among Europe’s top travel destinations. Greece is made up of a mountainous mainland and hundreds of islands where each one offers its own share of stunning landscapes, historic sites, nightlife scenes and cultural delights. Many tourists like to begin their trip on the mainland, which is home to the capital city, Athens. One of the world’s oldest cities, Athens is known the world over for classic ruins and temples like the iconic Parthenon complex. Spreading out beyond Athens, some of the most visited Greek Islands include Santorini, Crete, Corfu, Rhodes and Mykonos.
Venice – It’s hard not to fall in love with the romantic set up of Venice. Everywhere you look is a picture opportunity worthy of a postcard. The best way to see the city is to explore it by gondola on its gorgeous canals. Be sure to check out the bustling city hub at the Piazza San Marco and the Basilica of St. Mark.
Amalfi Coast – Want to sip your favorite drink as you enjoy the vibrant blue hues of the Mediterranean? If so, the Amalfi Coast is the ideal destination for you. This paradise is adorned with towering cliffs, sunbathers, and charming multicolored fishing villages. It’s definitely the perfect place to live by the Italian philosophy, La Dolce Vita (‘the sweet life’).
Rome – You will surely not run out of things to do in Italy’s biggest city. A top pick among many backpackers despite its steep prices, Rome is undeniably one of the most gorgeous cities in the world. You will be missing out if you do not make time to see the fantastic Colosseum, the biggest amphitheater of the ancient Roman Empire. As you look at its vastness, you can almost hear the loud roar of the audience as they watch the greatest gladiators fight. Additionally, Rome is also filled with tons of attractions such as churches, fountains, and museums. It is truly a place you should immerse yourself in at least once in your life.
Verona – If you’re a fan of Romeo and Juliet, you’ve probably heard about the town of Verona. Aside from being the setting to arguably the most popular love story of all time, Verona has a variety of medieval structures. Don’t forget to see Casa di Giulietta or Juliet’s House and leave a love note on its courtyard walls. Siena Unlike other major cities in Italy, this charismatic city is not packed with thousands of tourists. Siena boasts some of the most beautiful old structures in the country and is popular for its bareback horse races. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can climb up the civic palace to see the view of the entire town.
Milan – No visit to Italy is complete without walking along the streets of Milan. If you love to shop, this fashion center is the place to be. Here, you can live like royalty as you shop till you drop and immerse yourself in its vibrant art and culinary scene.
The Alpine region of Switzerland, conventionally referred to as the Swiss Alps, represents a major natural feature of the country and is, along with the Swiss Plateau and the Swiss portion of the Jura Mountains, one of its three main physiographic regions.