Are you thinking of taking a trip overseas this year? Johnson Nguyen believes that there are two travel destinations, offering the best value, diversity, and memorable cultural experiences for travelers: London and Barcelona. Whether you are a seasoned travel pro or traveling overseas for the first time, these cities offer dynamic food options, welcoming people and comfortable lodging as well as a variety of fantastic sights and attractions. For a trip that combines a mix of relaxation and fun, you can’t go wrong with a visit to London or Barcelona this year.
One of the top tourist destinations in the world is London, England. An international hub of theater, sports, and culture; this city is easy to get to from anywhere in the world, provides fantastic public transportation options to help you get around and see as much as possible, and is just coming into its own as a destination for foodies. Johnson Nguyen explains that while once known as a culinary wasteland, London is stepping up its game and now boasts some of the best restaurants in the world, as well as a vibrant pub scene with cuisines from all around the world.
If you are traveling to another country for the first time, the fact that English is the primary language of London and the rest of the UK can make it a much simpler experience. It’s also a great travel hub for other spots in Europe, with flights and trains departing to the rest of the UK and other European destinations daily.
If you like sports, you must attend one of London’s Premier League football matches. There are numerous stadiums right in downtown London, where you can experience England’s fan-friendly atmosphere and devotion to the game in person. Johnson Nguyen points out that if you are travelling in July, you can also attend the tennis major at Wimbledon. Or, if arts and culture is more your style, check out the West End for a diverse mix of musical and dramatic theater; or head to the historic Globe Theater to experience the National Shakespeare Company. This outside venue offers a memorable cultural experience.
London is situated right on the Thames River and a stroll along both banks offers a walk back in time, from cultural and historic landmarks, to a diverse mix of residents and visitors from around the globe. Its picturesque skyline is changing — with striking new buildings and a mix of architecture styles. You can check out another view of the city by water on one of the many tourist boat tours and rapid commuter vehicles.
If you are looking for warmer temperatures and sunnier skies, head to southern Europe to the vibrant port city of Barcelona for a unique and inspiring architectural mix. The city is full of awe-inspiring parks, museums and churches and its bustling food markets provide a look inside the daily life of residents and a chance to try the city’s culinary delicacies. Johnson Nguyen highlights that Barcelona is well known for both food and nightlife, as well as its sporting culture. A tour of the famous Camp Nou Stadium, home of international powerhouse FC Barcelona, is a memorable trip.
One of the city’s biggest attractions has been under construction for more than 100 years. The Sagrada Familia church offers innovative architecture known as Catalan modernism and attracts more than 3 million visitors annually. To enjoy the great outdoors, don’t miss the Park Güell, featuring Mosaic-covered buildings, the Gaudi museum and panoramic views of the city.
For a memorable cultural fix, check out the city’s modern art museum — MACBA — home to exhibits from some of the most well-known modern artists of the last centuries. The museum’s façade is an iconic mix of concrete and glass and the building holds more than 5,000 pieces and numerous temporary exhibits.
Johnson Nguyen states that food lovers must also visit the city’s Chocolate Museum to learn about the process of making chocolate, admire a variety of edible sculptures, shop in the delicious museum store, and become a ‘chocolatier for the day.’ When you’re in Barcelona, don’t miss these other foodie delicacies: paella, bombas, and Crèma Catalana.