Five capital cities to explore and enjoy
Your first port of call in a new country is often the capital city. It’s the national hub, showpiece and population centre. It’s easy to pick world class cities such as London, Paris and Berlin. But I’m sharing five less obvious choices to add to your travel goals. As always, please share your favourite capitals!
An exciting yet languid capital city showcasing decades of Fidel Castro’s communism in a tropical Caribbean climate. Havana is less about stately edifices but the shabby chic pastels of its elegantly crumbling buildings. A photographer’s wet dream. TAP/CLICK IMAGE FOR MORE OF CUBA
You must: Stroll around the back streets and take it all in.
The world’s most northerly capital city is a place of compact size and immense cool, with some unexpectedly dazzling architecture. It’s also a city where the magnificent Icelandic landscape is never far away. TAP/CLICK IMAGE FOR MORE
You must: Take a trip up to the Perla Dome for some wonderful views.
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
This Arabian Gulf capital seems to sit in the shadow of its more famous, glitzy neighbour Dubai. But it feels more like a real, working city with all the benefits – a very pleasant seaside corniche, some modern high rises – and warm winter sunshine. TAP/CLICK IMAGE FOR MORE
You must: See the spectacular Sheikh Zayed Mosque. Go at sunset and after dark.
This undulating Caucasian capital sits in a spectacular spot and has an array of architecture and attractions. What I liked about it most was its energetic vibe and nighttime liveliness. TAP/CLICK IMAGE FOR MORE OF GEORGIA
You must: Ride the Soviet era metro and take the cable car for sunset views
The largest capital city of the five, Tokyo prefecture is home to a staggering 38 million people. If you’re visiting Japan for the first time, it’s a baptism of fire with its complex transport system, unfamiliar cultural norms and frenetic vibe. Just go with the flow and you’ll come to love it. Even I managed not to get lost. TAP/CLICK IMAGE FOR MORE OF URBAN JAPAN
You must: Visit bewildering Shibuya and walk in the other direction – you’ll hear birds sing.