It’s official, Trip Advisor the world renowned travel site has awarded a host of awards for best destinations 2014. The annual Traveller’s Choice Awards includes the vast city of Istanbul in Turkey which tops the poll, with Rome, London and Beijing following close behind. Each city or place earned its review through the reviews and opinions of visitors the site. “If you’re looking for trip inspiration, look no further than the Travelers’ Choice Destinations,” said Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor. “Our global travelers are the tastemakers for uncovering the best places to visit around the world.” The awards in its 6th year picks out 500 of the absolute best places to visit in the world.
But what are these places really like? I’ve asked some of the Purple Travel family to share their thoughts on the top destinations 2014. Some they loved and some… well, you’ll see for yourself. We’d love to hear what you think, good or bad about the official list!
1. Istanbul, Turkey Fantastic city full of sights and culture. The people are so friendly and eager to help. This place has it all. – Gary
I think the best of the best way to taste the Turkish food, and experience the Turkish mentality, is to eat this giant hot dog with fish and cabbage at the Bosphorus coast on the Asian part of Istanbul. There are cooks on floating boats, preparing the grilled fish, that are then placed on these huge bagel and stuffed that with cabbage, fried potatoes and mustard. You cannot imagine! Also don’t miss the old guy outside the Blue Mosque who sells bagels and gives you for free La vache qui rit portion! – Soso
2. Rome, Italy What can someone say about Rome, about the Italians, their food and their language? I think my best moments in Rome were when we were walking around from the Piazza di Spagna, to the Colosseum, and the Fontana di Trevi. Suggested hotels-the newly built Caravel hotel (just two stops by bus from Piazza di Spagna) with nice big rooms and a lovely receptionist and Hotel Trevi, with its traditional style in the very centre of the city!!! loved them both, love Rome! – Soso
3. London, England Massive dump, ok for day trips but get out before it chews you up. – Gary
4. Beijing, China
5. Prague, Czech Republic Really touristy, especially in the centre, but a fun city with hilarious museums and cool bars. The beer on its own is worth the trip! – Kate
6. Marrakech, Morocco
7. Paris, France Paris is indeed the city of lights. Loved the museums and the Seine coast. I’m giving you the heads up for the hotels!They are all tiny and expensive in the city centre. You have to go a bit further, if you wanna get a nice one on a descent price. Don’t hesitate cause the train is very good! – Soso
8. Hanoi, Vietnam
9. Siem Reap, Cambodia One of the most peaceful places I have ever been, temples here, there and everywhere, wild life and nature reclaiming it slowly, truly spectacular sights. The night life is also very good fun from low rent rock bars to high end cocktail bars. – Gary
10. Shanghai, China
11. Berlin, Germany Well a friend of mine got mugged there at 7 am in a packed train station and no one helped, so Berlin doesn’t rate too highly for me. – Kate
12. New York City, New York New York the best of the best hotel ever is next to the SEX museum, the one and only “The Gershwin Hotel”. Almost on the 5th avenue, next to the train station, 5 minutes from the Flatiron District and the same distance from the Empire State Building and the hugest, the biggest Shoe Shop (named designers only) at the best prices!!!! Loved New york City for the donuts, the coffee shops and the views from the car driving all around Manhattan! You have to visit the shop of Tiffany & Co. at least for a window shopping as well the Hollister shop-at least for the experience-you feel like being in Miami!!! I tasted new things, loved this multicultural city!
Top secret tip for New York City – buy a $75 the city pass for New York (prior to arrival, purchase that online). It gives you access EVERYWHERE. If you do not have that and you want to visit all museums, take the boat tour to the Statue of Liberty or go to Broadway, you will spent more or less $185. So this pass will save you money and my secret for NYC. Do you remember where Alicia Keys was singing about the big apple and was playing the piano on the top of the steps on Times Square? Well, just underneath these steps, there is a ticket shop, with last minute bargains for Broadway.. I got ticket for the Phantom of the Opera for only $20. – Soso
13. Florence, Italy I went to a wedding in Florence a few summers ago and it was AMAZING. The city is gorgeous and fairly small so it’s easy to get around. The Uffizi has some magnificent art, food is fantastic (obviously) and it’s so historic. Although the queue was long, climbing to the top of the tower in Florence Cathedral is well worth it. – Kate
14. Buenos Aires, Argentina An old European style metropolis where you can go out for dinner at 2 in the morning, dine on fine steak and learn the tango. – Sean
15. Barcelona, Spain Amazing city, maybe the best in the Mediterranean! Great vibe, beautiful gothic quorter , even more beautiful smiley helpful people and of course the tapas and the sangria! Absolutely loved it! Some of my highlights: La Ramblas, Barcelonnetta, Sagrada Familia, Park Guell, Gothic Quarter. – Elizabeth
16. St. Petersburg, Russia
17. Dubai, United Arab Emirates Extravagant , glamorous and over the top. See how the richest spend their money and live an artificial lifestyle! – Ellen
18. Chicago, Illinois
19. Cape Town, South Africa
20. Bangkok, Thailand A bustling city, watch your head on the power lines and take public transport to avoid the 8 hours of rush hour traffic. Dine like a king for under 1 pound or do a cooking class and make it yourself. Don’t fall for the taxi drivers that can take you to get a suit made and drink your body weight in milky sweet ice tea. – Ellen
21. Budapest, Hungary Budapest is actually crazyWe went to an outdoor bar along the Danube and there was a huge lightning storm! It was so much fun though. Really lively city with cool bars and clubs. The baths are the perfect hangover cure too. – Kate
22. Sydney, Australia
23. Lisbon, Portugal
24. Chiang Mai, Thailand
25. San Francisco, California
If you want to book cheap holidays to any of these destinations, call Purple Travel on 0207 993 9228 or visit our website for our best offers and don’t forget to visit Purple Travel on Pinterest for loads of pics of these gorgeous destinations.