5 Destinations I Would Love To Return To

193 UN-recognised countries in the world, not enough time to visit them all!
That’s the school of thought I usually subscribe to. Every time it comes to selecting a destination to visit, I usually tend towards someplace I haven’t been before.
New cities to visit, new sights and sounds to experience, new cultures to immerse myself in, new food to stuff my face with!

Yet there are a few places that definitely warrant a return. As part of the Top Destinations to Go There campaign hosted by the folks over at Booked.net, here’s my list of top five destinations, in no particular order, that I would love to return to.

  1. Istanbul, Turkey
Hagia Sofia, Istanbul

Hagia Sofia in Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul will always hold a special place in my heart. I visited in October of 2012 with the love of my life; we were on our honeymoon. We loved the city so much we didn’t feel the need to go anywhere else. We spent ten lovely days in Istanbul eating kebabs, drinking Efes, visiting mosques and palaces, shopping in bazaars and just strolling the streets. It was slow travel, and it was perfect.

I’d like to return, maybe on our wedding anniversary. To relive those beautiful memories, and maybe make some more!

  1. Barcelona, Spain
Plaza Real, Barcelona

Plaza Real in Barcelona, Spain

In September of 2011, I travelled to Spain with some friends. We visited Madrid, Sevilla, Ibiza (go figure), Barcelona, and we also squeezed in a road trip to Algarve on Portugal’s south coast. The city that I spent the least time in is the one that blew my mind. Barcelona is beautiful beyond words, and spending just a day and a half there was a grave injustice.

With such limited time, we took a Hop-On-Hop-Off tour around the city, and most of what we saw was from the bus. The rest of our time was spent shopping and drinking in an Irish bar on Las Ramblas.

I want to go back. I want to gawk some more at Gaudi’s creations, stroll through Park Guell, and actually go inside the Sagrada Familia. I want to eat more of the food and explore the historical food markets. And I want to do it with the mister in tow.

  1. Paris, France
Palace of Versailles in Paris, France

Palace of Versailles in Paris, France

I have a confession to make. Paris didn’t seduce me. Paris didn’t even charm me, not even a little bit.

I hated it, in fact.

I visited on a family trip back in 2009. We spent 10 glorious summer days falling in love with London, and were in no mood to leave. But Paris was our next destination and we had no choice but to board our pre-booked overnight bus. To say that it was a journey from hell would be putting it mildly. It was too cold and too cramped. My mum and I had seats right next to the on-board toilet so of course we got absolutely no sleep, which remarkably defeated the purpose of taking an overnight bus in the first place.

We arrived in Paris, tired and cranky. This was long before I became a Research Ninja, so our hotel turned out to be in a suburb of Paris closer to Versailles than to almost anything else of interest. Oh, and we almost got mugged in the metro our first evening there. We wanted nothing more than to just leave.

But over the next two days, we soldiered on. We went up the Eiffel Tower and admired the City of Light twinkling below us. We took a cruise along the Seine at night and watched the tower’s 20,000 light bulbs light up the hour; and we walked along its banks during the day. We visited the Louvre, Notre Dame, Sacré Cœur, the Palace of Versailles; we ate Ice Cream. But we did it with our blinders on.

That’s why I want to revisit Paris. I want to try and experience the enchanting city I have read about in books, and seen in the movies. I’m ready to give Paris another chance.

  1. London, United Kingdom
Looking out towards the Palace of Westminster from the London Eye in London, United Kingdom

Looking out towards the Palace of Westminster from the London Eye in London, United Kingdom

London is by far my favourite city. I’ve only been once, and over five years ago, but I still can’t stop gushing about it. Even a visit to New York earlier this year didn’t temper my loyalties. I love how multicultural it is. I love how rich in history and steeped in culture it is. I love the architecture, I love the parks, I love the theater. I love the prospect of all that food to sample my way through. And more importantly, I love how well connected it is. The whole world is just a short plane ride away; and Europe is literally at your doorstep.

So yes, I want to return to London. But no, I don’t want to just re-visit. I want to move there. That bucket-list that everyone seems to be going on about? If I had one, this would be right there on top. If I can live in London, even just for a year, I’d die a happy person.

  1. Goa, India
Sunsets in Goa, India

Sunsets in Goa, India

Forget wanting to visit it again, this is the one city I have probably gone back to the most number of times in my life. As has probably every other Indian. It’s our undisputed champion when it comes to all things sun, sand and sea. It’s hip, it’s young, it’s electrifying during the peak season but lazy and laid-back during the off-season, and it’s paradise for foodies. Need I say more?

Goa, along with Mumbai are two of my favourite cities in India, after my home town of New Delhi of course. I’ve been to Goa during its peak-season, I’ve been to Goa during its off-season months, I’ve been to Goa for destination weddings, I’ve even been to Goa on a company offsite.

But beyond the beaches and the parties, there’s a whole new element of the city that I’m now eagerly anticipating experiencing. Goa is a former Portuguese colony, and there’s a smorgasbord of culture and heritage here that I haven’t even scratched the surface off on any of my previous visits. The Churches of Goa are listed on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites, and I can’t wait to return to Goa so I can visit them and come one step closer to my 30-Before-30 UNESCO Challenge!

So there you have it. My choices for destinations I would love to return to. I’d love to hear yours so feel free to leave a comment and let me know your choices!

This post was part of a campaign created by Booked.netTop Destinations to Go There, for a contest they have been hosting the past few months. As part of the campaign, I’d like to nominate these five other bloggers to also take part:

Msz Knowitall
Suitcase of Stories
The Travel Bunny
The Traveling Navy Wife
Need Another Holiday

So, where are you off to today?

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I’m linking this post up to the #WeekendWanderlust weekly link-up, co-hosted by some awesome bloggers.
You can link your travel posts here or here, or you can join the party by following #WeekendWanderlust on Social Media!

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And I’m also linking this up to Sunday Traveler; you can link up your posts here or here or follow #SundayTraveler on Social Media! 

24 comments on “5 Destinations I Would Love To Return To

  1. I’m happy to discover I’m not the only one disappointed by Paris… I gave it a second chance and my second visit was much better and I actually enjoyed the city.
    Happy travels!

  2. I agree with you on Paris. I didn’t really like it either (I also went from London and I was NOT ready to leave). I would return so that I can give it another chance. I want to discover the Paris that people rave about too. I also feel the same with you for London and Istanbul! I loved both of those cities. London was love at first sight, but I didn’t spend enough there… and Istanbul, I spent 2 weeks there and was in love by the end. 🙂

    • I don’t think any amount of time will ever be enough in a city like London, and perhaps that’s the basis of its charm!
      I’m glad we agree on so many of these places, I thought we might 😉
      If you’re ever passing through India, let me know, would be awesome to catch up Anna!

  3. Pingback: Five Destinations I Would Love To Return To | Msz Knowitall

  4. Funny, Paris is such a polarising city. I personally loved it – IMO think it’s a better version of London.

    I’d love to visit both Turkey and Spain. I really want to revisit NYC and Italy as a whole.

    • Oh, that’s lovely! I love NYC and wouldn’t mind going back! I’ve never been to Italy but would love to explore every city, every town, every street even! It all looks just so delightful.

      I’m still deeply biased towards London, but I’d love to take suggestions from you for the next time I visit Paris 🙂

  5. Great choices! I did my own post on 5 places I’d love to return to a while ago and Paris was also in my top 5 although for very different reasons to yours! There are certain things I didn’t like about the city such as the ridiculously high prices of everything (right down to a can of Coke!) but overall I loved it. I haven’t been back in years which is crazy as I’m so close in London. Yes, come and pay London another visit 🙂

    • Yes, I remember reading your post. In fact I left a comment there as well I think! 🙂

      I agree, Paris is ridiculously expensive, but the entire blogosphere has convinced me it deserves another chance!
      And London is.. let’s just say, on the agenda 😉

  6. Our appreciation of cities is dependent on a whole load of factors regardless of the charms of the city itself. I do hope you get to revisit Paris on your terms. It certainly deserves another chance.
    While Istanbul is very high on my list, living in London for a couple of years, or even someplace in France, would be my ultimate dream come true as well 😉

    • I do hope you get to live out that dream Madhu… I’d love to read about your perspective on expat living 🙂

      I am certainly going to give Paris another chance, and hopefully the next time will be with the mister so that might do the trick! Let’s see! 🙂

  7. Great list Upasna! I’d love to visit Istanbul one day – I know I’d love the sights and smells there! So delighted to hear you love London so much – I do too but I am a little biased of course – hope you get a chance to live out your dream and move here for a bit one day! Do let me know if you do 🙂

    • Thanks Shikha!
      I truly hope I get the chance to live out the London dream… 🙂
      And if I do, we should totally go on all sorts of foodie adventures! 😛

      You’ll love Istanbul.. the people, the places, the history, the culture, and oh my goodness, the FOOD!!!

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