istanbul
turkey
Istanbul is a city in Turkey that straddles Europe and Asia across the Bosphorus Strait. The 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 remain.
barcelona
spain
Barcelona, the cosmopolitan capital of Spain’s Catalonia region, is defined by quirky art and architecture, imaginative food and vibrant street life. It has medieval roots, seen in the mazelike Gothic Quarter, but a modernist personality represented by architect Antoni Gaudí’s fantastical Sagrada Família church.
agra
india
Agra, a city in northern India’s Uttar Pradesh state, is home to the iconic Taj Mahal, a mausoleum built for the Mughal ruler Shah Jahan’s wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died in childbirth in 1631. Set behind a reflecting pool inside a courtyard defined by 4 minarets, the imposing main building features a massive dome and intricately carved white marble inlaid with precious stones.
new york city
USA
Home to the Empire State Building, Times Square, Statue of Liberty and other iconic sites, New York City is a fast-paced, globally influential center of art, culture, fashion and finance. The city’s 5 boroughs sit where the Hudson River meets the Atlantic Ocean, with the island borough of Manhattan at the “Big Apple's" core.
paris
france
Paris, France's capital, is a major European city and a global center for art, fashion, gastronomy and culture. Its picturesque 19th-century cityscape is crisscrossed by wide boulevards and the River Seine. Beyond such landmarks as the Eiffel Tower and the 12th-century, Gothic Notre-Dame cathedral, the city is known for its cafe culture, and designer boutiques along the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré.
rome
italy
Rome, Italy’s capital, is a sprawling, cosmopolitan city with nearly 3,000 years of globally influential art, architecture and culture on display. Ancient ruins such as the Roman Forum and the Colosseum evoke the power of the former Roman Empire. Vatican City, headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church, boasts St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museums, which house masterpieces such as Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel frescoes.
london
england
London, England’s capital, set on the River Thames, is a 21st-century city with history stretching back to Roman times. At its centre stand the imposing Houses of Parliament, the iconic ‘Big Ben’ clock tower and Westminster Abbey, site of British monarch coronations. Across the Thames, the London Eye observation wheel provides panoramic views of the South Bank cultural complex, and the entire city.
cape town
south africa
Cape Town is a port city on South Africa’s southwest coast, on a peninsula beneath the imposing Table Mountain. Slowly rotating cable cars climb to the mountain’s flat top, from which there are sweeping views of the city, the busy harbor and boats heading for Robben Island in Table Bay. The notorious prison that once held Nelson Mandela is now a living museum.
goa
india
Goa is a state in western India with coastlines stretching along the Arabian Sea. Its long history as a Portuguese colony prior to 1961 is evident in its preserved 16th-century churches and the area’s tropical spice plantations. Goa is also known for its beaches, ranging from popular stretches at Baga and Palolem to laid-back fishing villages such as Agonda.
marrakech
morocco
Marrakesh, a former imperial city in western Morocco, is a major economic center and home to mosques, palaces and gardens. The medina is a densely packed, walled medieval city dating to the Berber Empire with mazelike alleys where thriving souks (marketplaces) sell traditional textiles, pottery and jewelry. Food vendors line Djemaa el-Fna, a broad square where storytellers and musicians perform.
hanoi
vietnam
Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, is known for its centuries-old architecture and a rich culture with Southeast Asian, Chinese and French influences. At its heart is the chaotic Old Quarter, where the narrow streets are roughly arranged by trade. There are many little temples, including Bach Ma, honoring a legendary horse, plus Dong Xuan market, selling household goods and street food.
railay
thailand
Railay, also known as Rai Leh, is a small peninsula between the city of Krabi and Ao Nang in Thailand. It is accessible only by boat due to high limestone cliffs cutting off mainland access.
siem reap
cambodia
The resort town of Siem Reap, in northwestern Cambodia, is gateway to the ruins of Angkor, the seat of the Khmer kingdom from the 9th-15th centuries. Angkor’s vast complex of intricate stone buildings includes preserved Angkor Wat, the main temple, which is pictured on Cambodia’s flag.
florence
italy
Florence, capital of Italy’s Tuscany region and birthplace of the Renaissance, is home to masterpieces of art and architecture. One of its most iconic sites is the Florence Cathedral, with its terra-cotta-tiled dome engineered by Brunelleschi and bell tower designed by Giotto.
beijing
china
Beijing, China’s massive capital, has history stretching back 3 millennia. Yet it’s known as much for its modern architecture as its ancient sites such as the grand Forbidden City complex, the imperial palace during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Nearby, the massive Tiananmen Square pedestrian plaza is site of Mao Zedong’s mausoleum and the National Museum of China, displaying a vast collection of cultural relics.
berlin
germany
Berlin, Germany’s capital and cultural center, dates to the 13th century. Divided during the Cold War, today it's known for its art scene, nightlife and modern architecture, such as Mies van der Rohe’s landmark Neue Nationalgalerie. Reminders of the city's turbulent 20th-century history include its Holocaust Memorial and the Berlin Wall's graffitied remains.
buenos aires
argentina
Buenos Aires, Argentina’s big, cosmopolitan capital, is known for its European atmosphere, passionate tango and vibrant nightlife. Its center is the 16th-century Plaza de Mayo, lined with stately buildings including Casa Rosada, the iconic, balconied presidential palace. In Microcentro, Florida Street is the main shopping thoroughfare, leading to Plaza San Martín, a busy park that was once the site of a bullfighting arena.
jaisalmer
india
Jaisalmer is a former medieval trading center and princely state in the western Indian state of Rajasthan, in the heart of the Thar Desert. Known as the "Golden City," it's distinguished by its yellow sandstone architecture. Dominating the skyline is Jaisalmer Fort, a sprawling hilltop citadel buttressed by 99 bastions. Behind its massive walls stand the ornate Maharaja's Palace and intricately carved Jain temples.
prague
czech republic
Prague, capital of the Czech Republic, is bisected by the Vltava River. Nicknamed “the City of a Hundred Spires,” it's known for its Old Town Square, the heart of its historic core, with colorful baroque buildings, Gothic churches and the medieval Astronomical Clock, with a popular show. Completed in 1402, pedestrian Charles Bridge is lined with 30 statues of saints.
saint petersburg
russia
St. Petersburg is a Russian port city on the Baltic Sea. Founded in 1703 by Peter the Great, it was the imperial capital for 2 centuries, and it remains the country’s cultural center, with venues like the hypermodern Mariinsky Theatre hosting opera and ballet, and the Russian Museum showcasing Russian art, from Orthodox icon paintings to abstract works by Kandinsky.
shanghai
china
Enormous Shanghai, on China’s central coast, is the country's biggest city and a global financial hub. Its heart is the Bund, a famed waterfront promenade lined with colonial-era buildings. Across the Huangpu River rises Pudong’s futuristic skyline, including 632m Shanghai Tower and the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, with distinctive pink spheres.
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