Greetings lovelies! I met Brianne at a blogger event back in the fall. She is a travel blogger and I have asked her to write us a little something. Enjoy xo
Everyone knows that Paris, London and New York are where fashion lovers flock. But if you’ve already strolled through the Tuileries, cruised down the Thames and caught a show on Broadway, don’t worry, there are still plenty of other stylish cities around the world to explore.
While most of my travels take me to places where I fit right in with my well-loved flip flops and fleece, every now and then, it’s fun to spend a few days browsing boutiques and sipping pricy cocktails. So here are three cities I recommend considering for your next getaway, which all offer the perfect blend of culture, entertainment and sophistication.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Buenos Aires is hands-down one of my favorite cities in the world. With sidewalk cafes, wide boulevards, well-landscaped parks, and classical architecture that reflects French and Italian styles, I felt like I was in a European capital – that was, until I saw couples tango-ing in the streets.
Since I was traveling with fashionable friends, we stayed in Palermo Viejo, which is the heart of the city’s fashion scene. Its tree-lined streets are packed with stores offering a wide range of styles from local designers and high-end international brands.
Another hot shopping district is Recoleta, which is also where one of the top tourist spots, Recoleta Cemetary, is located. If you get tired of browsing, you can pay your respects to international style icon Eva Peron at her final resting place.
Fortunately we were in Buenos Aires over a weekend, so we were able to explore the massive Sunday market in San Telmo – the oldest neighborhood in the city. Each week, the main street is closed to traffic, and locals and tourists jam the streets to browse jewelry, crafts, antiques, and much more.
Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
I had always wanted to visit Luxembourg – all I really knew, however, was that it was a small, wealthy country with lots of castles. And since it’s not a stop on the typical European tourist circuit, it seemed romantic and mysterious to me. So following a friend’s wedding in the French Alps, I took a train from Geneva up to Luxembourg City – through some incredibly breathtaking scenery – to finally check it out.
Just as I’d imagined, I instantly fell in love. I stayed with a wonderful young couple in their newly renovated apartment near in the train station, and I enjoyed the city – and their company – so much that I ended up extending my stay. However, it was only a few minutes after I headed out on my first morning there that I regretted my outfit, which definitely screamed, “tourist!” Much to my surprise, everyone I passed looked completely flawless – it was obvious that “Luxembourgers” take a great deal of pride in their appearance, even as they are rushing to work.
The city’s stunning Old Town is divided into two sections – “upper town” and “lower town” – a massive network of walking and biking trails connect the two through parks and past old churches, castles and fortifications. I spent most of my time, though, casually wandering around and people watching in upper town – the pedestrian area is a tight maze of upscale cafes and restaurants, art galleries and antique stores, and boutiques filled with the hottest European brands.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
I arrived in Kuala Lumpur feeling tired and looking a little shabby after about a month of backpacking through Cambodia and Vietnam. I knew right away that I had to step up my game.
My friends and I shared an ultra-modern AirBnB apartment in the main retail center – Golden Triangle, which was a far cry from the hostels I had grown accustomed to during that trip. The neighborhood’s sophisticated residents hailed from around the world and enjoyed a very high standard of living amid the high-end boutiques, hotels and restaurants (I kept saying it was like London with palm trees).
There are plenty of enormous malls to choose from in Kuala Lumpur. In fact, the city’s most visible landmark, the Petronas has a popular mall at its base, the Suria KLCC (we actually got lost in another mall trying to get to that mall to see Hunger Games III).
If you want a scene that’s a little more authentic, however, you can head to one of the city’s popular street markets. Petaling Street is jammed with stalls selling everything from knockoff handbags to traditional handicrafts. Kasturi Walk has second-hand clothes and books, while Chow Kit Market has souvenirs and art. One fun memory from Chow Kit Market was watching dozens of Muslim women jostling for space in a narrow upstairs hallway as they tore through piles of headscarves – it reminded me of a more colorful “running of the brides.”
Brianne Miers is based in Boston, MA (USA) but has traveled to nearly 50 countries. By day, she is the principal at Kind Communications, working with nonprofits and start-ups. Her blog, A Traveling Life, focuses on how to balance a career with a life of travel.