Coming up with a list of ten favorite cities visited in 2018 was really hard! In a previous post, I listed my top 5, so this post will finish off the top 10.
So many other cities could have easily made this list. I loved Cairo, but my favorite parts were the day trips. Should have that counted? Taipei was also a contender, but my favorite place was Yehliu Geopark, which was a 40km drive from the city. Then there are Kyoto and Nara, both of which I liked so much, they were a 3rd visit for me. When you add in all the amazing places we went in Europe over the summer, the decision is quite complicated.
6. Sydney, Australia
Sydney, Australia, was another big surprise. For whatever reason, I had never wanted to visit Australia. I think it was the possibility of encountering a poisonous snake or spider. But I ended up adoring Sydney to the point that we had a semi-serious conversation about trying to move here for a year. Unfortunately, Australia is on a southern hemisphere school schedule that starts in January. The boys would be set back half a year moving there, then a full year moving back to the States.
The harbor bridge, with views of the opera house are amazing.
The walk from Bondi Beach to Coogee Beach is beautiful.
The Botanical Gardens are beautiful and have amazing city views.
And the kangaroo on a stick was delicious.
7. Rotorua, New Zealand
While we didn’t end up going to any of the major sights in Rotorua, New Zealand, (combo of off and on weather and exhaustion from a full day of driving on the wrong side of the road), it was still high on my list of favorite cities.
Simply walking through Kuirau Park in the center of town will delight the whole family with geothermal activity.
And where else can you soak your feet in nice thermal water while your kids play in the playground?
A walk along the water is also quite fun.
The people who actually made it to the major geothermal and cultural centers claim that it is well worth the cost of admission. Given how much I loved the minor sights, I fully believe it.
8. Bali, Indonesia
We didn’t go to any of the main cultural sights while in Bali, Indonesia. Instead, we were using this location to let the kids (and us) relax from several weeks of intense sightseeing and gear up for another couple of weeks of intense sightseeing.
I thoroughly enjoyed my in-suite massages and strawberry Fantas while sitting under a beach umbrella and watching James build sand castles and jumping in the waves.
John loved several days of super inexpensive surf lessons!
All of us loved our amazing (and inexpensive) villa with both a private pool and several pools for shared use. The rooftop shower was quite fun, although I felt a bit like Bathsheba when a plane flew overhead.
And the food was quite good!
9. Udaipur, India
We had an amazing hotel room with gigantic window, overlooking the lake. There was also a rooftop restaurant where we enjoyed breakfast one morning.
The palace was quite fun.
And the excursion to the island of Jag Mandir was a wonderful respite from the craziness we had been experiencing for the last week.
I will also always have fond memories of the woman (and daughter) who did our laundry for us. I highly recommend finding someone local to do your laundry, rather than using the expensive hotel services.
10: Devonport, New Zealand
We didn’t have much time in Auckland, but I loved our morning in the nearby suburb of Devonport, where you can get some amazing view of the city.
We started by taking the ferry, hiking up the hill to get some more views of the city, coming back down, and hiking towards North Head. On the way, we spotted a wild parrot.
There was much more to see, but so little time, so we let the boys walk back to the ferry along the beach. The kids were amazed by the seashells. The next day, they were even more amazed at another Auckland beach.