Lille is the capital of the Hauts-de-France region in northern France, near the border with Belgium. A cultural hub and bustling university city today, it was once an important merchant center of French Flanders, and many Flemish influences remain. The historic center, Vieux Lille, is characterized by 17th-century brick town houses, cobbled pedestrian streets and the large central square, Grand Place.
Ghent is a port city in northwest Belgium, at the confluence of the Leie and Scheldt rivers. During the Middle Ages it was a prominent city-state. Today it’s a university town and cultural hub. Its pedestrianized center is known for medieval architecture such as 12th-century Gravensteen castle and the Graslei, a row of guildhalls beside the Leie river harbor.
Balneário Camboriú is a resort city in the southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina. It’s known for its high-rise buildings and beaches like Praia Central. Bars, restaurants and shops line Avenida Atlântica, a busy boulevard next to the beach. Unipraias Park sits at the mouth of the Rio Camboriú, offering city views from zip lines and cable cars. The Cristo Luz Monument, a huge statue of Christ, overlooks the city.
Manila, the capital of the Philippines, is a densely populated bayside city on the island of Luzon, which mixes Spanish colonial architecture with modern skyscrapers. Intramuros, a walled city in colonial times, is the heart of Old Manila. It’s home to the baroque 16th-century San Agustin Church as well as Fort Santiago, a storied citadel and former military prison.
Istanbul is a major city in Turkey that straddles Europe and Asia across the Bosphorus Strait. Its Old City reflects cultural influences of the many empires that once ruled here. In the Sultanahmet district, the open-air, Roman-era Hippodrome was for centuries the site of chariot races, and Egyptian obelisks also remain. The iconic Byzantine Hagia Sophia features a soaring 6th-century dome and rare Christian mosaics.
Brooklyn is a borough of New York City, coextensive with Kings County, in the U.S. state of New York. It is the most populous county in the state, the second-most densely populated county in the United States, and New York City’s most populous borough, with an estimated 2,648,403 residents in 2020.
Linz is a city in Upper Austria, straddling the Danube River midway between Salzburg and Vienna. Baroque buildings, including Old Town Hall (Altes Rathaus) and the old cathedral or Alter Dom, ring Hauptplatz, the old town’s main square. The riverside Lentos Kunstmuseum Linz has a major modern art collection. Across the river, the striking Ars Electronica Center focuses on society, technology and life in the future.
Indianapolis, colloquially known as Indy, is the state capital and most-populous city of the U.S. state of Indiana and the seat of Marion County. According to 2019 estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, the consolidated population of Indianapolis and Marion County was 886,220.
Muscat, Oman’s port capital, sits on the Gulf of Oman surrounded by mountains and desert. With history dating back to antiquity, it mixes high-rises and upscale shopping malls with clifftop landmarks such as the 16th-century Portuguese forts, Al Jalali and Mirani, looming over Muscat Harbor. Its modern, marble-clad Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, with 50m dome and prodigious Persian carpet, can accommodate 20,000 people.
Oman, officially the Sultanate of Oman, is a country on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia and the oldest independent state in the Arab world.
The port city of Valencia lies on Spain’s southeastern coast, where the Turia River meets the Mediterranean Sea. It’s known for its City of Arts and Sciences, with futuristic structures including a planetarium, an oceanarium and an interactive museum. Valencia also has several beaches, including some within nearby Albufera Park, a wetlands reserve with a lake and walking trails.