Feelings of wanderlust. The ability to just buy a plane ticket and go. The desire to fall in love in a foreign city. Sounds like you’re in your twenties. If you haven’t taken advantage of your age, ability to travel and desire to experience nightlife, then now is the time to do so.
I’m not saying that your spirit or abilities will diminish when you hit the big three-oh, but there’s definitely a sense of freedom that comes with the idea of being in your twenties. Here’s a list of 10 cities to visit before crossing that bridge.
1. Las Vegas, Nevada: As the saying goes: What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. Every 20-something woman should have dirty little secrets from a trip to Las Vegas (or, at the very least, a few embarrassing stories to tell). Make it an all-girls trip! See some shows, gamble a bit and head down the strip to see what this city of neon lights has to offer.
2. Paris, France: In this beautiful city of romance, it’s impossible to not fall in love with the art, fashion and food Paris has to offer. Obviously you need to spend time at the iconic Eiffel Tower, snapping pics and having an evening picnic with plenty of wine. You should also see the Notre Dame Cathedral, wander the Canal St. Martin and visit the Musee Picasso. The true colors of Paris come out, however, at night. Parisians line streets and restaurants, laughing and relaxing over wine and good food. Paris will definitely leave you savoring life and your time abroad.
3. Miami, Florida: Known for its trendy nightlife and expansive beaches, Miami is the city to be when the weather’s hot. Hotel rates can vary and are especially high during the winter months when people want to escape, so plan wisely. Be sure to check out flashy South Beach, then head over to Coral Gables, where you’ll find the Biltmore Hotel, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens and the Venetian Pool.
4. Cape Town, South Africa: With lodging that ranges from youth hostels to luxurious five star hotels, there’s something for everyone in Cape Town. Take a cable car up to Table Mountain, one of the “New 7 Wonders of Nature,” or take a day trip to Boulders Beach to get a firsthand look at a penguin colony. Cape Town also offers plenty of pubs, bars and restaurants. If you’re looking for a more peaceful adventure, head to Cape Point, the southernmost tip of South Africa, and take in the ocean scenery.
5. New Orleans, Louisiana: This vibrant and colorful location hosts a variety of people who come together over a love for their city. Eat jambalaya and crawfish, dance to jazz performers on the street and embrace the party scene in the Big Easy. The French Quarter is also full of restaurants, music venues and brightly colored buildings. You don’t need to come for Mardi Gras, but New Orleans promises a great time that you won’t forget if you decide to join in on the party.
6. London, England: If sexy British accents weren’t enough motivation to get you to London, the city’s rich history, bustling feel and incredible shopping may do the trick. The London Eye is a giant ferris wheel, allowing you to see out 25 miles in all directions, all at a reasonable price. Be sure to walk by Buckingham Palace to see how royalty lives and view the stunning St. Paul’s Cathedral. However, if there’s anything you won’t have trouble finding, it’s shopping opportunities. Be sure to head to Harrods for the classiest and most over-the-top retail experience you’ll probably ever have.
7. Barcelona, Spain: An incredible soccer team isn’t the only reason Barcelona deserves the right to brag. The Sagrada Familia temple is an incredibly vast and intricate piece of architecture you won’t want to miss – there’s literally nothing like it. The Spanish Village features unique craft shops and you can catch a famous flamenco show there as well. If you’re a football fan (and I’m not talking about the American kind), the Barcelona FC Museum is a must-see.
8. Prague, Czech Republic: With cobblestone streets, illuminated town squares and the Vitava River dividing the city in two, you’ll find plenty of photo opportunities in Prague. A bustling culinary center, Prague offers much in the way of dining. If you’re a history buff, there are numerous churches and cathedrals to visit, as well as monuments and museums. Downtown Prague, traditional Czech pubs and westernized bars are abundant and evening cruises on the river are offered as well.
9. Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica: With serene and secluded beaches, short drives that make day trips more than possible and inexpensive dining and hotel options, people fall in love with the small village of Puerto Viejo. Located on the Caribbean coast, this laid-back locale isn’t very developed, so if you’re looking for an authentic Costa Rican experience, you’ve found it. Puerto Viejo definitely caters to more “down to earth” or bohemian types, but is a beautiful and invaluable rainforest community.
10. Amsterdam, Holland: This metropolis has abundant charm and rich history. With different neighborhoods all with a different vibe, you’re sure to find something to do. Hit up the Heineken Experience to learn how the world-famous beer is brewed, head to the Brewers’ Canal to see old vintage residences and businesses, or pick up some fashion-forward Dutch apparel at stores like Viktor & Rolf, Mulberry and Buise. If you’re feeling bold and adventurous, head out at night to a hip club or explore the famous Red Light District.
What else would you add to the list? Where do you want to travel to? What did we miss? Let us know!