When asked to picture their perfect holiday, many people's minds immediately hit the beach; warm white sand between the toes, sparkling azure waters and someone rather good-looking fanning you with a large palm leaf. And who are we to deny such glories? But here at Original Travel we're also partial to something a little more… rousing. That is to say we love a good city. Oh yes, we rub our hands together in veritable glee at the prospect of bustling markets, burgeoning foodie scenes, street art, botanical gardens, booming nightlife and incredible architecture. And whether you're in need of a short sharp hit of culture with a classic weekend city break or are exploring as part of a longer trip, we've got the inside track (and a network of concierge contacts), to ensure the ultimate city adventure…
San Francisco, USA
Road trips are such stuff as bucket lists are made on, and driving along the west coast of the USA is a classic. San Francisco, with its mish-mash of peoples and cultures from hippies to tech gazillionaires, is the perfect pit stop. It's not short of a sight or two either with the iconic prison of Alcatraz, the original hippie commune of Haight-Ashbury and the sea lions at Pier 39.
Seville is a city with something of a split-personality; a giant jumble of Moorish, Baroque and Gothic architecture with a dash of the ultra modern thrown in for good measure, ripe for exploration over a long weekend. Think tapas on tap, secret flamenco shows and a buzzy nightlife. What's more, the weather stays warm right through to November.
A holiday in Marrakech is essentially an exercise in sensory overload; head in to the medina and you'll encounter the city's intense heat, exotic aromas and bustling souq packed with shouty street vendors and haggling shoppers. Retreat to the calm, cool oasis of one of the many chic riads inside the walls of the medina, or in the greenery of the Palmeraie region.
Colombia, having historically suffered from something of an image problem, is swiftly becoming one of Latin America's most vibrant destinations, thanks in no small part to the wonderfully colourful colonial city of Cartagena. The best way to soak up the city is to simply meander through its maze of cobbled streets, stopping off at some excellent bars and restaurants along the way.
Kyoto is Japan in the classical sense, home to traditional wooden houses, cherry blossom trees, majestic palaces and zen gardens. It was Japan's capital for over a thousand years and so is endowed with a rich tapestry of history and cultural attractions, from the iconic Golden and Silver Pavilions to the geisha district of Gion.
Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town can lay claim to perhaps the most beautiful physical setting for a city anywhere on the planet (discuss) with Table Mountain right at its heart. Make like a Capetonian and hike up to Lion's Head, where you can gaze across the city's chic urban areas, public gardens, wilderness, forests and vineyards.