• sample eastern europe itinerary

My 5 Favorite Cities in the World

Let’s say you’re rolling in the dough… you have so much money that you could pick random places to travel and not worry about budget. Usually I wouldn’t even consider this, but thanks to a reader’s e-mail, it’s been brought to my attention people like this exist!

They don’t want to know which places are convenient or easy to get to- they want to know what are the BEST and coolest places in the world. They may have all the money in the world but only a couple weeks to fly from place to place. I can’t say which are for sure the best, but I can give you my opinion!

So here we go, my 5 favorite cities in the World

except one is and island & one is a state, but hey, SEO ;)

1. Dubrovnik, Croatia.

dubrovnik sobe old town

dubrovnik sobe old town

It’s been getting this reputation of being too crowded and too touristy but it’s a stunning town. Here you’ll get to see the prettiest town I went to in Eastern Europe complete with a fairy-tale castle (the one from Game of Thrones), winding alleys like a small town in Italy, delicious pizzas and local food, and some of the greatest ocean views I’ve ever seen. On top of all that, it’s got a serious cultural bonus: you get to stay at a Sobe and have a local woman treat you one of their own kids. If you want to visit here, consider a full Croatia road trip!

2. Ko Lanta, Thailand.

koh lanta thailand

koh lanta thailand

Ko Lanta might not stay this way for long, but as of late it’s been known as the most beautiful sunset in the world… with not nearly enough people there to see it. Just the way I like it! Of course you have everything the other islands have: good food, great nightlife, and even better 5 star hotels, but having a whole stretch of beach to yourself in Thialand? Nothing better.

3. Goa, India.

goa eco resort

goa monsoon

There’s no greater adrenaline rush than coming to India, but if you’re short on time you won’t get to really take it all in. In a rush, just come to Goa and enjoy a mixture: get a massage for under a buck on the Arabic sea, indulge in coconut curries, wash a few elephants, take a spice plantation tour, and maybe even partake in one of the impressive Psy trance parties on Anjuna beach. Maybe I’m bias since this has been my home as of late, but Goa holds such a special place in my heart.

4. Corfu, Greece.

pink palace, corfu, hostel, party hostel, travel, backpacking, greece

It’s said to be the most beautiful island in Greece. Other than the typical bright blue sea views, you get all that Greece is known for (seafood, white and blue houses, parties) and on top of that you have way fewer tourists than it’s counterparts Santorini and Mykonos. The island has a historic Old Town, a castle, forts, and plenty of outdoor activities. The island is “greener” than others and quite possible the most beautiful place in the Mediterranean.

5. Paris, France.

paris france 5 favorite places in the world

paris france 5 favorite places in the worldParis, France photo source

Paris isn’t only for hopeless romantics; it’s for shopaholics and those who keep their noses buried in history books. Get dressed up in your favorite black outfit and pretend to be Parisian in one of the street side cafes. Wonder the Louvre and sip wine under the Eiffel Tower. Take the time to see Notre-Dame and peak through second-hand novels at the Shakespeare and Company book store. After all your site-seeing make sure you aren’t too tired to sip cognac and take on the luxurious nightlife.


About the Author:

Rachel Jones left a career in nursing and lived on the beaches of Goa, India for the five years. Now she lives in Mexico where she gives advice on the 40+ countries she’s visited in the last 10 years. She’s the author of two India travel e-books: Guide to India and Insider’s Guide to Goa. Her blog, Werkenntwen, like its name, is a contradiction combining off-beat adventurous places with glamorous and bespoke travel. Werkenntwen has been featured in ELLE, Marie Claire, Grazia, and Cosmopolitan magazines. She’s a writer for Bravo TV.


  1. Ken Kai August 14, 2014 at 4:28 am - Reply

    Woo, happy to say that I’ve been to 80% of these places. Paris to me though was a little different than I expected. Great cheese and rolls over there though. I shared my french stick with a good 50 birds. Was great!



    • Rachel Jones August 15, 2014 at 12:34 pm - Reply

      MMm food in paris is so yum! I love brunch there :)

  2. Christine @thetraveloguer August 14, 2014 at 3:10 am - Reply

    Great post Rachel, good luck in the competition! Goa beats all those other destinations hands down though! I’ve never been to Dubrovnik but I really want to. :)

    • Rachel Jones August 15, 2014 at 12:33 pm - Reply

      It was lovely, but i went before game of thrones and I hear it’s changed a bit.

  3. Jared August 14, 2014 at 3:57 am - Reply

    Great post, fantastic pics and we totally agree on Dubrovnik.

  4. Jo August 14, 2014 at 6:00 am - Reply

    oh thanks for the nomination! I have only been to Paris. Such a classic.

  5. Joella J in Beijing August 14, 2014 at 8:39 am - Reply

    I’ve only been to Paris out of these 5- but it’s a good one! I would love to go to all the others too. I’ve been dying to go to Croatia for years. There are just too many amazing places in the world- I don’t think I’ll ever get to them all (but I will certainly try..!). :-)

    • Rachel Jones August 15, 2014 at 12:36 pm - Reply

      I hate knowing I may not get to “see it all”! bummer!

  6. Sabina @GirlvsGlobe August 14, 2014 at 10:41 am - Reply

    What an interesting read, Rachel! I have been to three of these and would LOVE to see Goa and Koh Lanta! Thanks so much for nominating me – I’ll get right on it :)

    • Rachel Jones August 15, 2014 at 12:36 pm - Reply

      Ahh I bet you’d love Goa- it has such a other side to it of luxury!

  7. Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) August 14, 2014 at 11:34 am - Reply

    So interesting to see your 5 favorite places! I don’t know why, but I didn’t expect Dubrovnik to be there!
    I can’t wait to go to India some day. I have a feeling Goa will be my first stop…

    • Rachel Jones August 15, 2014 at 12:37 pm - Reply

      Oh, yes I loved it there! But I went 4 years ago & I think it was much different then than what I read about now.

      • Daniel January 31, 2015 at 10:31 am - Reply

        Dubrovnik is still the same. Yes there are more cruise ships which I read the government is now going to limit to two a day as there was sometimes three at the same time as Americans seem to be obsessed with Cruise ship travel. A little more crowded in Julu/ August but you can change its beauty as Croatia as a whole is a GEM

  8. Dottie @Dots on a Map August 14, 2014 at 11:37 am - Reply

    Can’t wait to go to Croatia! Thanks for the tips :)

  9. Karisa @ Flirting with the Globe August 14, 2014 at 1:05 pm - Reply

    Love this! I’ve only been to Corfu and Paris on this list, but Croatia and Goa are high on my list of places to see! :)

    • Rachel Jones August 15, 2014 at 12:46 pm - Reply

      that’s great to hear! I’m always happy to hear other travelers are hoping to come to Goa.

  10. john obrien August 14, 2014 at 6:56 pm - Reply

    hi rebecca,
    yes it’s all relative and subjective but hey,nice choice for fun .so many places only one life ( apparently)….best,john.

  11. john obrien August 14, 2014 at 6:58 pm - Reply

    hi rachel,
    yes it’s all relative and subjective but hey,nice choice for fun .so many places only one life ( apparently)….best,john.

  12. john obrien August 14, 2014 at 7:00 pm - Reply

    sorry,name mistake above.sorry can’t figure out how to delete.

  13. Elora August 15, 2014 at 6:50 am - Reply

    Great post, Rachel!

  14. Empty Rucksack August 14, 2014 at 10:29 pm - Reply

    4 out of 5 done, agree with all points except about dubrovnik, it was really pretty but had the highest concentration of rude people for any European town

    • Rachel Jones August 15, 2014 at 12:48 pm - Reply

      Ahhh really, I didn’t encounter that but what a bummer you did!

  15. Justine August 15, 2014 at 3:20 am - Reply

    Ok, I’ve never been to any of these places!! But all of them have been on my list for years. I’ve always been obsessed with Croatia, so it’s glad to hear that you loved Dubrovnik so much :) And despite the fact that I’ve been to Thailand three times, I’ve still failed to get to Ko Lanta. This reaffirms the fact that I NEED to go there next time I’m in Thailand. Great list!

    • Rachel Jones August 15, 2014 at 12:48 pm - Reply

      I would love to go back to Croatia & I do hope you make it to Ko Lanta- wow 3 times in Thailand!

      • Daniel January 31, 2015 at 10:43 am - Reply

        Rachel, it seems to me you may have only visited Dubrovnik. A truly magical place but judging by the places you have visited looks like you enjoy hidden treasures thus I recommend you visit the following places in Croatia which you will absolutely love. Rovinj, Bale & Motovun, Mali Losinj island, Rab island and Cres Island in Istrian peninsula. You also have to visit Zagreb with days trips to two stunning places- Plitvices lakes(taking in town of Rastoke) and Varazdin(taking in Trakoscan castle on the way). In central Croatia dont miss Sibenik and Krka falls, Zadar, Primosten, Murter and the Kornati Archipilego, Party in Vodice and then head to Split via Primosten on the coast and enjoy the beaty of the Southern Island by ferryu from Split. Hvar, Brac & Vis my favourite and the spend some time on Makarska Riviera. Americans have a tendancy to just do Dubrovnik from a cruise. Croatia is a Gem like no other and you need to spend at least a month to experience it properly. Many people with qualifications in massage like yourself set up massage stalls for tourist on the beach and you could do this in July and August to pay for your trip.

  16. Yara Coelho August 15, 2014 at 3:41 am - Reply

    Lisbon will be part of your list once you come over :) Great list, I totally agree with them (except Paris, lol )

    • Rachel Jones August 15, 2014 at 12:49 pm - Reply

      I’d love to go to Lisbon!! I’ve never heard anything negative about portugal & it’s a dream place for me.

  17. Zoe @ Tales from over the Horizon August 15, 2014 at 11:29 am - Reply

    The only one I’ve been to is Paris! Nooooo! But I totally agree with it being on the list. My other favourite is Venice. :)

    • Rachel Jones August 15, 2014 at 12:29 pm - Reply

      I loved Venice too! although I went at the worst time, july & it was PACKED!

  18. [email protected] August 15, 2014 at 5:20 pm - Reply

    Yay Corfu! Tom and I had our 3rd date there and we ate spanikopita and drank sooo much wine! Hoping to make it back there when we go to TBEX in October – excited! We really need to get to Croatia though – there’s so much of that place we haven’t explored!
    Bit of a water theme going on here I see…..almost 5 for 5

    • Rachel Jones August 17, 2014 at 9:19 am - Reply

      Ahh you’re going to TBEX? please write a post about it so I can learn everything you do lol! And yes, I’m happiest by the water.

  19. NZ Muse August 15, 2014 at 9:52 pm - Reply

    I love how everyone loves Koh Lanta – must be a blog thing, I know I first heard about it through blogs, and that’s how we decided to go there!

    I love NYC, Paris, Santorini, Toronto, Rome.

    • Rachel Jones August 17, 2014 at 9:21 am - Reply

      Oh really!? That’s interesting. I actually went before I had my blog started & my friend anna told me about it – I think just from lonely planet.

  20. RAchel August 16, 2014 at 6:30 am - Reply

    Wow the Croatia one looks beautiful. Koh lanta is amazing, I was there a few months ago, and had the beach to myself (other than a local dog who came along for a walk) it was so beautiful.

    I think Bangkok would have to be on my list, as the place where I started my travels, and returned to many times since, it holds a special place.

    • Rachel Jones August 17, 2014 at 9:22 am - Reply

      Oh koh lanta all your yourself must have been the best! The sunsets are amazing there.

  21. Sara @ Simply Sara Journey August 16, 2014 at 6:50 am - Reply

    Love your post and that Paris is on the list! There is just nowhere else like quite like Paris and would definitely be on my top five list too (though I’m a bit biased). I’m interested that you mentioned Dubrovnik, Croatia. I’ve been seeing great things written about Dubrovnik in the past few months, but have been hesitant to go. My brother went last year and thought it was boring and too touristy. Guess I’ll just have to go one day and see for myself!

    • Rachel Jones August 17, 2014 at 9:23 am - Reply

      I’ve heard it’s gotten more touristy since Game of Thrones & just in general getting more notice, but I still loved it so much!

    • Daniel January 31, 2015 at 10:49 am - Reply

      Dubrovnik is about beauty, culture, history and atmosphere. If your brother is not into this then he may find other places more interesting as Dubrovnik is not a party town full of clubs and bars etc but instead has nice restaurants with many beautiful settings to enjoy a drink and dinner and cafe culture is popular in Croatia. Dubrovnik is small compared to other Europen cities and Croatia in all has 4.5 million(Paris has 14 million) people thus the way to see Dubrovnik is as part of a Trip of the the Coast of Croatia as it is the most stunning coastline in the world(hand down and by that I mean better then Amalfi Coast and Greece in my opinion)

  22. Hidden in a Book August 16, 2014 at 5:53 pm - Reply

    I was trying to make a list of five favourite cities, but I find it so hard! I can say that Edinburg, Scotland, is my very favourite city, though. Scotland is such a wonderful country to visit!

  23. Amber August 16, 2014 at 8:05 pm - Reply

    I am heading to india this winter (Dec-Feb), and yes Goa is on my list of must stay at for a week or two. This will be my first solo trip out of the united states, and I must say it is needed and I can’t wait to start this journey. A journey of soul-searching and knowing myself again after being in a very long-term relationship. I have been following your blog for about a year now and would love to possibly meet up with you or just pick your brain through emails:) I am interested in attending a yoga teaher training and an ayurveda certification.

    • Rachel Jones August 17, 2014 at 9:29 am - Reply

      Yea totally! Let me know when you are in Goa , just send me an email.

  24. Victoria August 16, 2014 at 8:30 pm - Reply

    Great list there Rachel. I’ve been to Paris, I’ve been to Thailand 3 times, but never to the islands, I’ve been to India, but not to Goa.
    I would love to go to Mumbai and Goa next time I go to India, I was thinking of going to Athens for TBEX but I’m going somewhere else at that time so Greece is on my list, and I definitely want to go to Croatia. It’s the next big thing as far as Eastern Europe is concerned.
    Thanks for sharing. :)

    • Rachel Jones August 17, 2014 at 9:31 am - Reply

      Ohh if you go to TBEX you’ll have to tell me everything you learn :) I wish I could have gone, but can’t this year.

  25. Kristin Addis August 17, 2014 at 1:47 pm - Reply

    I might be the only person in the world who just doesn’t like Paris. I guess it disappointed me. That’s the only place out of all of these on your list that I’ve been to, but I definitely plan to check out Koh Lanta in 2015!

    • Rachel Jones August 18, 2014 at 2:58 am - Reply

      You’ll love Ko Lanta- I’ve never heard of anyone not liking it!

  26. Laura August 18, 2014 at 1:19 am - Reply

    I have only been to one place on that list, Paris! I loved it, but I don’t think it would make my top 5. Some of my favorites are London, Sydney, New York, Melbourne (ugh, I’m so cliche…). I think I need to see a few more on your list!

    • Rachel Jones August 18, 2014 at 2:59 am - Reply

      I love London and NY too, but haven’t been to Aus yet- would love to go!

  27. Adrienne @ AdrienneAway August 18, 2014 at 10:04 am - Reply

    Paris is of course a favorite of mine too! Croatia looks amazing! Heard such great things.

  28. Pam | a Blonde around the World August 21, 2014 at 3:07 pm - Reply

    Great cities! I loved that you picked Dubrovnik as well! Haven’t been there myself but I wuold love to make it there one day!!

    • Rachel Jones August 22, 2014 at 1:53 pm - Reply

      Thanks girl! I’m starting a new series on my blog. I’d love if you’d be a part of it. Shoot me an email if you want to!

  29. gina August 28, 2014 at 3:09 am - Reply

    Just happened across your blog and i love it http://thewanderlusthasgotme.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/volunteering-and-working-abroad.html

  30. enaa September 5, 2014 at 5:13 pm - Reply

    Nice blog. i really like this sharing.

  31. Miranda Risser June 30, 2016 at 9:33 pm - Reply

    I absolutely adored Corfu as well! So lush and green. Dubrovnik was also incredible. Did you make it to the fish market there? Those pictures from Goa are beautiful as well!

  32. Shifi Shah April 11, 2017 at 4:54 pm - Reply

    Being an Indian I feel so happy looking at your love for Goa. I can totally relate to your love for the heaven for all the beach lovers there. Even I make it a point to visit Goa once a year to chill and unwind!

  33. Prashant Mishra December 13, 2018 at 7:52 pm - Reply

    Your Thailand articles are great and gave us (me and wifey) a great insight before we finally took the plunge.
    I am an Indian and chaos is a daily indulgence for us, but Goa takes it to a whole new level with twists and cliffhangers abound.
    I suggest Havelock Islands as Goa’s docile twin.
    Keep writing. Cheers.

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