The Best Cities for Park Life

Sometimes the daily grind of urban life can get too much for even the most hardened city-dweller. Luckily, much-needed oxygen, calm and respite and can be found in most cities and sometimes in the unlikeliest places. From quaint greens and and local parks to royal parks and botanical gardens the world is your oyster. In Sydney we have the hugely popular Royal Botanic Gardens, you don’t have to be into plants or flowers to appreciate the immaculate grounds and enjoy the spectacular views of the Opera House and bridge from Mrs Macquarie’s Chair.  Further from home park life is also thriving in places as diverse as Chicago and Tokyo.

I loved San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park when I visited, the views are just stunning and I walked around for ages and relaxed in the Japanese Tea Garden; there’s even a buffalo paddock and aquarium. It’s very much in keeping with the diverse and chilled out vibe of the city. Elsewhere in the States, Central Park in New York is also a huge iconic park that has been made famous by countless appearances in films and on TV, so it’s a no-brainer to put it near the top of any list. The same goes for European parks with London’s royal parks being my favourite: Regent’s Park for its well-kept flower gardens and vast green space, and Hyde Park for its history, cultural significance and convenient inner-city location; however, nature lovers should head out to the suburbs to Richmond for total immersion in unspoilt wildlife and beauty – you can even see deer roaming freely!

European cities have amazing parks

Cismigiu Park, Bucharest

Europe does parks really well, it must be that rich history of wealthy aristocracy combine with the perfect weather for greenery to flourish. Whatever it is I can’t imagine Paris without its gorgeous gardens, Stockholm with out its waterside parks or Berlin without its enormous Tiergarten. Most surprising to me was Bucharest, an in famously drab concrete city, but scratch below the surface and you’ll find a large number of beautiful well-kept parks with lakes and plenty of seating that make you feel as if you are in a different place and era. I’m really psyched because I just booked a trip back to Europe in September with my friend Jo thanks to and this time I’ll get to see Gaudi’s Park Guell in Barcelona. It’s been on my wishlist for a long time and I’m so excited!


The Best City for Nightlife

Nightlife is an important aspect of any city’s make up. When I talk about nightlife I don’t just mean clubs and bars (though they are of course important), but all the entertainment: ballets, plays, concerts, operas, shows and cultural activities that occur at night. In that regard, there’s no place like home! Melbourne has a rich and varied nightlife, we have better pubs and bars than Sydney and a fantastic selection of performing arts. Check out the Comic’s Lounge for a cheap and fun night out, it pulls in some of the big names in comedy, but actually some the new up and coming comedians are best.

Some of the world's best nightlife can befound in EuropeOutside of Australia, I rate some of the European cities pretty highly. London is great for everything from traditional pubs, to cutting-edge nightclubs, with everything from the Royal Ballet and musicals in between. Berlin is my personal favourite, this gritty and arty city has the most vibrant and exciting nightlife in the world. It’s perfect for scruffy people like me, I can wear what I like and still get in the club, yipee! A lot of the places are hard to find for tourists so it helps to go out with a savvy local who keeps up-to-date with what’s hot. Plus, the prices are really reasonable compared to other Western European cities. However, for those really know how to party the ultimate choice is Belgrade in Serbia. It’s a city that never sleeps, the locals are energetic and fun, and in the summer much of the clubbing action moves to barges called ‘splavs’ anchored at the riverbank.

What are your favourite cities for nightlife?