I’m A Former Flight Attendant & These Are My 7 Favourite Cities To Spend 24 Hours In

This Opinion article is part of a NewsKilo Media series. The views expressed are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of NewsKilo Media.

The world is a beautiful place and during my year as a flight attendant, I was lucky enough to travel to so many amazing cities across the globe. While my layovers were often only 24 hours, I still made some incredible memories and got to see so much.

These seven cities are my very favourite spots to travel to, and I often missed out on a lot of sleep just to experience them to the fullest (thanks goodness for Starbucks).

London

London is hands-down my favourite city in the world, and whether I’m staying for 24 hours or a week, it’s always worth the trip. The city is brimming with history and there are endless things to do, not to mention, it’s the birthplace of Harry Potter. I also have a sense of nostalgia when visiting here as I once lived in London with my family.

During my quick, 24-hour layovers, I’d spend my time getting lost along the quaint cobblestone streets, exploring local shops, and wandering through Hyde Park. One of my favourite spots to go was Covent Garden, as there are so many unique stores and delicious restaurants.

Porto

I had no idea what to expect during my very first layover in Porto, and I was totally blown away. The city took me back in time, and I fell in love with the quaint buildings and picturesque waterfront. I also managed to find a cat café, and enjoyed a morning cup of coffee with a purring feline on my lap.

Despite being a historic city, there were tons of modern shops to spend my per diem at. My very favourite place I discovered was the Livraria Lello Bookshop, a magical store that is said to have inspired some of the writings in Harry Potter.

Another bonus for Porto — the food and drinks are super cheap. I ate way too many Pasteis de Nata (Portuguese custard tarts) but honestly, no regrets.

Rome

My very first layover ever was in Rome, and I was so excited I barely slept. As soon as I dropped my bags off at the hotel, I hit the streets and filled up on pasta, pastries, and all that delicious Italian food. It was during this layover that I realized coffee can actually taste good (there’s something about those Italian lattes).

The breathtaking architecture and dreamy streets made it hard for me to return to my hotel room, and I spent most of the 24 hours wandering aimlessly and visiting spots like the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps.

Vancouver

As exciting as it was to fly to Europe, I was pleasantly surprised by a city right here in Canada. I’d never been to Vancouver before, and I finally saw what all the hype was about.

The stunning mountain views, waterfront filled with boats, and endless shopping made me wish my stay was longer. I also managed to find a spot that served the best smoothie bowl I’ve ever eaten. The downside… nothing is cheap.

Brussels

Of course, any city known for its chocolate has to be on my list. Aside from the plethora of chocolate shops, the main reason I enjoyed this city was for its beautiful architecture.

I was sure to enjoy a Belgian waffle and fries before getting back on the plane.

Amsterdam

This enchanting city made me feel like I’d stepped into a fairytale. The winding canals and quaint streets had me pulling out my phone and snapping photos at every turn.

I took a trip to the Anne Frank House, something I’d wanted to do for a long time, and of course, enjoyed a stroopwafel or two.

Paris

I couldn’t leave this famous French city off the list, even though I did have a rather terrifying run-in with rats during one of my layovers.

However, the history, majesty, and iconic nature of the city overrides any rodent encounters. From the glittering Eiffel Tower to the regal bridges over the Seine, The City of Lights will always have a place in my heart.

I spent my layovers visiting art galleries, biting into fluffy croissants, and exploring manicured gardens. I also found the best juice bar (Love Juice Bar Paris) and haven’t stopped thinking about that smoothie bowl since.

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