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Chris
San Jose

General Travel

What is your favorite capital city you've ever traveled to?

On Amateur Traveler this week we are talking about Canberra Australia which leads to this week's question, what is the best capital city you have been to? What makes it the best? Is it the most beautiful? Has the best museums? Has the best nightlife or food?


41 Answers

top answer by
Kat from Brooklyn

I love love love YangonLondon, Amsterdam, Luxembourg and Bangkok but I have to say my favorite is and will probably always be Paris or Budapest.  Both just total visual, cultural and gastronomic delights.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Yangon (city)
  2. London (city)
  3. Amsterdam (city)
  4. Luxembourg (country)
  5. Bangkok (city)
  6. Paris (city)
  7. Budapest (city)
7 thankscomments (2)


answered by
Ross from Fort Collins

I travel in central and South America a lot and Capitol city's in these areas are usually a little hairy. That being said I love Madridit was beautiful, friendly, and delicious! I also asked my wife to marry me there so we have many memories. I'm sure there much better capitols but that's the one for me. I have been to all the major capitols in Europe also so that says a lot for Madrid! Jamon jamon jamon jamon sangria that's the key for a great time in Madrid ! 


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Madrid (city)
7 thankscomments (1)


answered first by
Steve from Sutton Coldfield

Apart from London(I'm from the UK) I am going to say my favourite capital city is Ljubljana. I was left breathless by the beauty and friendliness of the people. It is the one city I would love to move to. Honourable mentions would go to Sarajevo and Tallinn


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. London (city)
  2. Ljubljana (city)
  3. Sarajevo (city)
  4. Tallinn (city)
5 thankscomments (2)


answered by
Chris from San Jose

As we mentioned on the last Amateur Traveler show, I really enjoyed Luxembourg City. Small, very beautiful and unexpected.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Luxembourg (country)
4 thanks


answered by
Will from On The Road

Hi Chris,

Your question proved rather difficult for me to answer. I've been to several dozen capital cities around the world, and just spent the last 30 minutes staring at a list of them to try to remember how I felt about each. With a few exceptions I tend to find capital cities less interesting than other cities - there is often a strong focus on politics and business in these places, with little attention or love spent on developing the aesthetics or artistic spirit which make other urban destinations so interesting. Hence, having narrowed down a short list and thought it through, I'll go with Paris as being my favorite capital city that I've visited. Despite the weather and too much cigarette smoke, this city has a magical soul that is difficult to match elsewhere. If you haven't been, you should go. The magic shall remain with you long after you leave.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Paris (city)
4 thankscomments (1)


answered by
Louise from Los Angeles

It's been a while since I've traveled but from what I've experienced, I truly enjoyed London. There's something about it that historically intrigues me. Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, the red call booths, and cobbled stone roads...all of it. Same goes for Rome. No place has ever made me feel so small and unaccomplished as much as Rome did! 


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. London (city)
  2. Rome (city)
4 thankscomments (1)


answered by
Michael from San Jose

I was just in Madrid this October. I can truly say that it is a city of utmost festivities and artistic excellence. I am from the Bay Area; San Francisco is my golden standard. 

Madrid is also proximate to several UNESCO World Heritage sites like Toledo, El Escorial, and Segovia. 


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Madrid (city)
4 thanks


answered by
Sonya from United Kingdom

Bangkok , it's such a culture shock


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Bangkok (city)
4 thankscomments (1)


answered by
David from Júzcar

Impossible to say only one capital like so many of the respondents here. So I will list them as there are a few:

London fabulous and most vibrant of European cities

Hong Kong - capital city on its own standing, fantastic food

Singapore - hot and steamy most of the year with gorgeous food and the most luxurious accommodation. 

Bangkok - what a thrilling place to visit and the food!! 

Hanoi - subtle and old, interesting.

Paris - what can one say, Paris is Paris.

Rome - old , oh so old and so very interesting.

Madrid - Spanish capital, a jewel amongst the corruption 

Brussels - food again... and historic, old buildings.

Seville - capital of Andalucía, beautiful old city, culture, beauty and food.

Beijing - another old, old place, and interesting with lots of interesting places to eat.  Food is better in Hong Kong or Singapore but there are so many street markets here that are so cheap and good. 

Tokyo - not really my least favourite but a list like this can go on for a while.  Again the food!!  

New York City - a list of capital cities must include New York as capital of the world, a favourite period.  Not only my hometown, but unique in what it has to offer, just about anything and everything you could ever want or need.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. London (city)
  2. Hong Kong (city)
  3. Singapore (country)
  4. Bangkok (city)
  5. Hanoi (city)
  6. Paris (city)
  7. Rome (city)
  8. Madrid (city)
  9. Brussels (city)
  10. Seville (city)
  11. Andalucía (state)
  12. Beijing (city)
  13. Tokyo (city)
  14. New York City (city)
3 thanks


answered by
Tracey from Alaska

Once I was visiting Washington, DC--home to many fantastic museums and a city of readers.  I was on the Metro on a Saturday morning, and there was a little boy sitting near me.  He was about 4 or 5 years old, and was just beside himself with excitement.  I figured he was going to the National Zoo or something along those lines.  After awhile, I asked him where he was going that day.  He looked at me, bursting with excitement, and said "The Book Fair!".  He was headed to the Mall to visit the National Book Fair, and couldn't have been more thrilled.  Later, after visiting the Book Fair myself, I walked past a parking garage with a Book Fair bag slung over my shoulder.  The attendant in the booth stepped out to ask me what books I had in my bag.  I remember being impressed by the interest in books that I observed during my time there. 


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Washington, DC (city)
3 thanks


answered by
Hazar from London

This is Cairo in Egypt my most favorite city in the world so far,oh what a city,what an experience,wow !


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Cairo (city)
3 thankscomments (3)


answered by
Michelle from Melbourne

For me it's the city/state Singapore - great food, great sights, you can be as busy or as laid back as you want to be, great bars. It just gets better all the time. While it can be expensive to drink in Singapore (and the haute cuisine isn't cheap), if you eat like a local you'll find it's not outrageously costly. Also, for sheer over the top delight, Tokyo - the food will blow your mind and the sights are extraordinary.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Singapore (country)
  2. Tokyo (city)
3 thanks


answered by
Rory from Taupo

Edinburgh has some of the best architecture, great pubs and history (Edinburgh CastleThe Royal Mile, St.Giles Cathedral for example) and is easy to get around on foot or using public transport. Go in Summer for the Edinburgh Festival and Fringe or for Christmas and the huge Hogmanay (New Year) party on Princes St.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Edinburgh (city)
  2. Edinburgh Castle (attraction)
  3. The Royal Mile (park)
  4. St.Giles Cathedral (attraction)
  5. Princes St (neighborhood)
3 thanks


answered by
Warwick from Ponsonby

I enjoyed the City of London England I also enjoyed Edinburgh in Scotland 

Vienna in Austria, Budapest in Hungary. And Paris in France they are all delightful.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. London (city)
  2. Edinburgh (city)
  3. Scotland (country)
  4. Vienna (city)
  5. Austria (country)
  6. Budapest (city)
  7. Hungary (country)
  8. Paris (city)
  9. France (country)
3 thanks


answered by
Diana from Lisbon

I have recently been to Istanbuland I must tell you that despite the crowd and the buzz ( it is the city of Europe with the largest population) there are so many things to be amazed about that I lost the count.

I wrote more about it here: Istanbul - a millennial fusion of cultures and ethnicities.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Istanbul (city)
2 thanks


answered by
Sujan from San Francisco

My favourites are Yangon, Bangkok, Jerusalem & Kuala Lumpur.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Yangon (city)
  2. Bangkok (city)
  3. Jerusalem (city)
  4. Kuala Lumpur (city)
2 thanks


answered by
Steve

Well there are a lot of variables and personal preferences in this answer. I'm more a European Traveler. But best Capitol on a budget for Me would be Kiev. A lot of Historic Buildings, Warm Friendly people, amazing Churches and great historical museums and sites. Berlin has a lot of Culture & History. A long string of Art & History museums along Unter Der Linden Strasse. Checkpoint Charlie, Underworld Society has wonderful tours. The Ramones museum is in Berlin. Berlin is probably more mid-priced but some budgets can be found. Then Prague & Vienna both have wonderful food and shopping. Prague has the clock. Both have wonderful historic districts. Prague has Torture & Ghost Museums. A Ghost walk. I prefer Vienna in Winter. It is my most Favorite Winter Capitol. All the artwork along the River is amazing. St. Stephan's Church is great from top to bottom. The Christmas markets are very nice. But I think it is important to see as many Christmas markets as possible. They all have common items. But they all have unique items to that area or market. The lights, the decorations the cold mist floating along the streets. Amazing, priceless. I'll be there again this year!


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Kiev (city)
  2. Berlin (city)
  3. Prague (city)
  4. Vienna (city)
2 thanks


answered by
Yvonne from Ponsonby

Beijing go to Yashow markets Sanlitun and bargain yourself into phones, shoes, coats and phone covers, really good value.  Then go out to a boiling pot restaurant and have a great meal.  Go up to the Great Wall Of China and then cruise around the forbidden city and Tiananmen Square it is all amazing and you have a great time. China is the best place to travel, the people are great and really helpful. 


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Beijing (city)
  2. Sanlitun (neighborhood)
  3. Tiananmen (neighborhood)
  4. Great Wall Of China (city)
2 thanks


answered by
Arti from Mumbai

I visited Tokyo 2 years ago fearing that it will be super crowded and that the lack of English speaking skills of the locals will hamper me.

But I was completely taken by storm from what I experienced in the capital of japan in the 3 days that I spent there. Right from the time I landed there, the friendliness of the people trying desperately to help me locate my hotel to the wide open gardens beautifully maintained to the sub-way trains which proved to be a lifeline to the ancient temples and so many other amazing places whilst I was there was an eye opener. Here is a post I wrote on Tokyo  - My 10 impressions from the city of Tokyo


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Tokyo (city)
2 thankscomments (2)


answered by
Eugeny from Astana

Personally for me Prague very friendly to toursists, real spirit of Europe, reasonable prices! Fantastic parks off the beaten trap.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Prague (city)
2 thankscomments (2)


answered by
Gizem from Izmir

Prague and Edinburgh in Scotland and although not a capital York all three are charming, impressive and splendid with their atmosphere, culture and history.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Prague (city)
  2. Edinburgh (city)
  3. York (city)
1 thanks


answered by
Maria

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Prague (city)
1 thanks


answered by
linda from Nairobi

I loved Valencia. It has such a peaceful vibe to it. Warm, people, amazing food. The Ciudad de las Artes y las Cienciasis such an unreal place to spend an evening. Loved it.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Valencia (city)
  2. Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias (attraction)
1 thanks


answered by
Billy from Chicago

I don't know that I would pick Bern as my favorite BUT I thought it should at least get a mention. The city is beautiful and the people were super friendly. I stayed a few days longer than expected only because it was just so nice to be there. 


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Bern (city)
1 thankscomments (1)


answered by
Ashley from Calgary

Paris or Berlin... both are very vibrant, lots to see, lots to do, rich in history and quite accommodating.  


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Paris (city)
  2. Berlin (city)
1 thankscomments (1)


answered by
claus

Mexico City is probably my favortie capital city for it's great museums, great food, great anarchistic atmosphere and wonderful citizens. Tirana Lisbon and Kuala Lumpur are also very nice though.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Mexico City (city)
  2. Tirana (city)
  3. Lisbon (city)
  4. Kuala Lumpur (city)
1 thankscomments (1)


answered by
tom from Kalamazoo

Cape Town, south africa. The city and region is unbelievable. The water, the Cape Point, Table Mountain, most unbelievable breathe taking views. The perfect spot. The wine region Has gentle rolling hills. Great culture. Warm people.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Cape Town (city)
  2. Cape Point (attraction)
  3. Table Mountain (attraction)


answered by
Samia from Bangladesh

At 19 when I really began traveling I was quite impressed with London. The free museums, art on the metro, Camden Town, theater culture, the melting pot all were cool to me.

I lived in Berlin for a short time and will be always biased towards this city. <3 

I enjoyed PragueCopenhagenRomeBakuIstanbul, but then now it has come to the point where I enjoy cities where I have friends in, and create memories with them. 


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. London (city)
  2. Camden Town (neighborhood)
  3. Berlin (city)
  4. Prague (city)
  5. Copenhagen (city)
  6. Rome (city)
  7. Baku (metro area)
  8. Istanbul (city)


answered by
Ahmed from Montreal

London: Food, Nightlife, Architecture, History, Shopping, The customer service, The respect,  People's sense of style, The Fashion, The money, The class, just walking down the street in central London


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. London (city)


answered by
Ankit from New Delhi

My Favorites capital cities are London & Paris.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. London (city)
  2. Paris (city)


answered by
Hazel from Port St. Lucie

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Madison (city)
  2. Crowne Plaza Hotel Madison (hotel)


answered by
Jodi from Funchal

Another vote for Lisbon.

Hours of wandering, colourful buildings, delicious food, warm and enthusiastic people who live to eat, a city of many hills and one that was hit by a giant earthquake, a tsunami and then a fire -- ALL ON THE SAME DAY. 

And plus, it's gorgeous. 

I just spent a month there and I'm surely going to return. Loved it.



Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Lisbon (city)


answered by
Maria from Dublin

Paris Madrid Lisbon and Vienna in that order.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Paris (city)
  2. Madrid (city)
  3. Lisbon (city)
  4. Vienna (city)


answered by
Ashley from Calgary

Might sound like a broken record but Paris is world class, like none other!! Berlin is also a very awesome city.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Paris (city)
  2. Berlin (city)


answered by
Caterina from Florence

I love London as a second home, I adore Lisbon and of course Rome. I would like to visit Edinburgh again (the last time I went there was in 1995) and I also like Berlin, Vienna, New York City, Chicago, Halifax and Sydney.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. London (city)
  2. Lisbon (city)
  3. Rome (city)
  4. Edinburgh (city)
  5. Berlin (city)
  6. Vienna (city)
  7. New York City (city)
  8. Chicago (city)
  9. Halifax (city)
  10. Sydney (city)


answered by
Jacey & Scott from Fort Collins

Paris of course!  The city has my heart, so I'm partial and will probably always think it is the prettiest, most romantic, special beyond belief city in the world.  The food is spectacular whether going low-key or high end-it tops both lists.  It literally lights up at night.  Every building is a masterpiece.  This is making me want to book my flight-


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Paris (city)


answered by
Lynn

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Paris (city)
  2. London (city)
  3. Rome (city)
  4. Sydney (city)


answered by
Maria

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Prague (city)
  2. New Orleans (city)
  3. Paris (city)
  4. Thessaloniki (city)
  5. Dublin (city)


answered by
Melissa from Massachusetts

My top would have to be Paris - it really does have a romantic spirit that captivates you, despite how touristy it may be.  It's unlike anyplace else I've ever experienced, and I find myself missing Paris when I'm not there.

That being said, my runners-up would definitely be RomeViennaPrague, and Brussels- all magical and delightful in their own right!  


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Paris (city)
  2. Rome (city)
  3. Vienna (city)
  4. Prague (city)
  5. Brussels (city)


answered by
Irena from Belgrade

The best capital I've been to is definitely Rome. It has everything! Museums, nightlife, great food, awesome shops, and above all great atmosphere! I felt there as if I really belong there!


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Rome (city)


answered by
Kate from Ohio

Not a national capital but I loved Denver, CO.  It had a great variety of things to do and is a great base to explore the Rocky Mountain National Park.  And it had great vegan food (which is a huge plus for me!)


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Denver (city)




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