Bucket List: Capital Cities

TT&S Travel Bucket List: My Top 10 Capital Cities to Visit…

Here is my Wish List for the Top 10 list of Capital Cities to  visit! While there are many capital cities across the globe that are rich in history and culture, these are my personal Bucket List picks…

  1. Edinburgh
  2. Prague
  3. Copenhagen
  4. Vienna
  5. Dublin
  6. Stockholm
  7. Rome
  8. Athens
  9. Brussels
  10. London

What are your Bucket List Top 3 Capital Cities? Would love to hear!

*disclaimer I have visited 3 already and will continue to tick the rest off 1-by-1…

IMG_36451. Edinburgh is broken up into two distinct areas for travelers- Old Town and New Town. Old Town dates back to Medieval time and is the most popular tourist destination; starting at Edinburgh Castle, which sits atop an extinct volcano, and running down the Royal Mile to Holyrood Abbey, with narrow closes and cobblestone streets lining the way . New Town, built in the late 18th and early 19th C., is easily located by the Scott Monument and is chock-a-block full of shopping, restaurants, theaters and museums… not to mention Edinburgh Gin distillery!  Edinburgh may be an old city but it is fresh and alive, with plenty to offer travelers. For more on history or spirits

2. Prague is a UNESCO World Heritage location! With castles and palaces dating back to the 15th C, the Old Town Hall tower with astronomical clock begun in the 14th C,  Basilicas for St. Peter and Paul, St. James, and the Virgin Mary built starting in the 12th C. it is no wonder that Prague makes this history buff’s travel destination list. It’s website also boasts that Prague is a ‘beer lover’s paradise‘. History and Beer is a win-win!

3. Copenhagen  was once a Viking fishing village and dates back to the 10th C. It is now a vibrant city that boasts cultural attractions and award-winning restaurants, in addition to Medieval squares, Rococo mansions and Baroque churches. Often referred to as the ‘City of Spires’, Copenhagen offers contemporary architecture mixed in with its rich history– vibrant colors along the waterfront of Nyhavn versus the cobblestone square surrounding the Amalienborg Palace. While Copenhagen is famous for their beer, there is plenty of cocktail bars to go around!

4.  Vienna is more than Beethoven, Mozart and Schubert (although that would be enough!), it also St. Ruprecht’s church, the Ringstrasse and the world famous Giant Ferris Wheel (dating back to 1897!). St. Stephen’s Cathedral is the symbol of the city and  dates back to the 12th C.; its Gothic architecture, daily church bells, and grand altarpieces is a must see! With museums galore, steeped in architecture and loaded with wineries and breweries– Vienna is high on the list!

5. Dublin is a vivid city, once a Viking settlement that later flourished in the 16th C.  It boasts of culture and ‘spirits’– whether it is the Trinity Library’s Book of Kells,  Christ Church Cathedral or the Guinness Factory— Dublin appeals to many travelers! It is easy to navigate and it centrally located around the River Liffey, which divides the city in half. South of the river, the city is a bit more compact with old cobble stone streets and the infamous Temple Bar area while the other side of the river was envisioned for the elite, with elegant squares and buildings, like the Custom House. Dublin scores high for history and spirits!


6. Stockholm is founded in the 13th C. and is the largest Nordic capital.  The Riddarholm Church is the final resting place of the Swedish Monarchs and dates back to the 13th C. The city is spread across 14 islands and the Gamla stan, or Old Town, is located on the original island in the center of the city. Stockholm is boasted to be the most museum-crowded city in the world with close to 100 museums– The Vasa Museum, Nobel Museum, and Abba Museum… even their subway stations are works of art! With a booming beer market and nightly Ghost Tours even the spirits are well covered!

7. Rome is a history buff’s dream! The city spans 2,500 years and is overflowing with history every where you turn– the Coliseum, Vatican, Pantheon, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill,  and Farnese Palace… not to mention the many fountains, aqueduct and catacombs! Where do you start– or should I say how do you start describing Rome? One trip will not be enough to see everything that needs to be seen! Who needs beer with this much history! Although I am sure they have that too as all roads lead to Rome! Veni, Vidi, Vici one day…

8. Athens is another city that needs little explanation for making this list! With 3,000+ years of inhabitants- Mycenaeans, Ionians, Greeks- the city was the center of democracy and philosophy. They had their fair share of war, Persian and Peloponnesian, yet their architecture still remains. The Acropolis Museum is a great place to start before exploring the ‘province of the gods‘, then come down wander through the oldest section of Athens, Plaka and then hit the Panathenaic stadium, revived in 1896 for the first modern Olympics. While wine and Ouzo (an anise flavored drink) seem to be the drink of choice, they do have beer for the win!

9. Brussels is officially founded around 979, however settlements date to an earlier Roman occupation. The architecture is an eclectic mix of Gothic, Baroque and Neo-Classical design; most recognizable being the central square, Grand-Place of Brussels surrounded by guild halls and city hall. Take an underground tour of the remains of a medieval castle turned royal palace on Coudenberg Hill or explore all the National Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Koekelberg, a modern art deco church with breathtaking views of Brussels.  While Belgium may be known for chocolate and waffles… don’t forget Belgian Beer!!

156844_10152727632885035_110977671_n10. London is immense, it is spread out over 600 sq. miles so there is plenty to see on a trip! Do yourself a favor and take the open top hop-on/hop-off tour at least once, just to experience the sights and sounds of the city but be wary of London traffic if you are on a tight schedule. The Tower of London, Shakespeare’s Globe, Churchill War Rooms, St. Paul’s Cathedral and the British Museum are all must see stops that zig-zag across the Thames. Do yourself a favor and break your visit up into sections! Make sure to take a ride on the London Eye or a boat ride up the Thames for a unique view of Big Ben and Westminster Cathedral. Once dark, see a show and then hit a historical pub or quirky bar, a late night Jack the Ripper tour is also an option…

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