Nairobi’s polarising character ensures that the city is reviled and loved in equal measure, and even those who love it might well admit that it’s the kind of place many rave about only once they’re away from it. For those who call it home, the city’s charms include a vibrant cultural life, fabulous places to eat and exciting nightlife. Its detractors point to its horrendous traffic, poor safety levels and its less-than-gorgeous appearance.
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Culturally vibrant, efficiently run and attractively set at the meeting of river and lake, Zürich is regularly recognized as one of the world’s most liveable cities. Long known as a savvy, hard-working financial centre, Switzerland’s largest and wealthiest metropolis has also emerged in the 21st century as one of central Europe’s hippest destinations, with an artsy, post-industrial edge that is epitomized in its exuberant summer Street Parade.
More attractive than most other Southern African capitals, Harare gets a bad rap and unjustly so. While it’s certainly not without its problems, overall it’s a safe and laid-back city where wide avenues are lined with dusty red earth, and indigenous plants and blooming jacarandas give it a lovely African summertime feel. While it’s tempting to rush off to your safari, it’s worth hanging around in Harare to sample its fine dining, museums, craft markets and varied bars.
It’s not just the ancient architecture that wows tourists. Běijīng is also home to some of the world’s most innovative modern buildings. You will be intrigued by Běijīng’s ability to reinvent itself. Spending time here is to be on a permanent journey of discovery, where eye-popping buildings appear seemingly overnight, historic hútòng are transformed into hip hang-outs, and new venues open all the time. But some things never change in Běijīng and that is equally enticing. The food is always outstanding and the parks and temples remain oases of peace. Above all, you will love being surrounded by the tangible evidence of China’s amazing, dramatic history, whether it’s the Forbidden City or the Great Wall.