Even though I'm not a city person I collected ten cities I'd live for one year and now, one year later, I'm living in Lisbon, one of the cities in my list.
Does it mean I will try all of them?
When I travel I enjoy to visit mountains, sea and cities. I believe all places in the World have something beautiful to show you and teach you. My love for cities are mostly building architecture, especially historical or with an unique design (Hello Gaudí), parks, events & activities and PEOPLE. For example I really enjoy New York's people: cultural diversity, good vibe, smiley and friendly, inspiring clothing with unique styles... Well, at least this was my experience.
During my trips I experienced cities I fell at home whenever I got there (San Diego, USA or Curitiba, Brazil) and some cities I wanted to get out there as soon as possible. All of these cities I'm listing here have their great qualities but they aren't good enough for me to pack my stuff and move.
New Delhi :: India
New Delhi is massively crowded and horribly polluted, two things I cannot stand in a city. I don't like to walk and have to put on my scarf as a mask on my face so I don't breath that awful smoke. I also dislike that there are zillions of beggars, they can be deeply annoying. Delhi is also dirty. Besides the luxury areas, you will find a bunch of garbage (mainly plastic) in the streets, roads and parks.
When travelers ask me advice on India I always say "Don't start in Delhi" because they will have an image of India that isn't real. Of course you should experience the chaos of Delhi but leave for the end of your trip :D
I wouldn't be fair if I didn't mention two qualities of this city: The subway is full of police officers, you and your belongings are checked before entering the train which makes it a safe place. Also beggars and homeless aren't allowed there and the best of the best: the first part of the train is for woman only :))) I don't want to be sexist but indian man always try to touch western or indian woman, a crowded place is always the best excuse.
And the airport! It's the best airport I ever been in my whole life. It's safe, has an affordable hotel inside, there are chairs that you can lay down, free wifi, cheap food. I spent around 12 hours alone there and felt super good!
Although I have a passion for Norway, I don't really enjoyed Oslo. It's all organized and clean but is missing soul. I was pretty disappointed that you can only purchase alcohol in the supermarket until 6pm and then you have to go to the pub which is 10€ for a beer.
In general Norway has stunning Nature but I couldn't stand 5 hours of light during Winter and the super cold temperatures so this is not a place for me to live. Still love you Norway and want to explore more of your fiords and nothern lights.
São Paulo :: Brazil
Since my flight back to Portugal was in São Paulo's airport I decided to give a chance to the city that I never really liked. For me it's just a place to work or fly from :) And I didn't change my point of view.
Actually those 3 days exploring the city were great, full of awesome experiences just because I was hosted by Tales from Couchfurfing, a super fun guy with interesting conversations. He born and grew up in this city so he knew exactly the places to be there. Yes, there are plenty of pretty cafés and the food is awesome but those high buildings don't let me watch the sky, sun, moon and stars. And when you finally can see the sky is usually grey because of all the pollution. Sorry São Paulo, but no, thanks.
Tela :: Guatemala
This is the busiest city I ever been! It's so hard to find something here even with the best map of the World. This city is polluted and chaotic, there are so but so many cars and vans and buses that you can't imagine. And they make so much noise and smokey. Breakdancing is famous there so I guess my best moments were in the park watching these guys dancing and making weird things with their bodies.
Paris :: France
I always say I want to give a second chance to Paris. My first time in a plane I was 15 and heading to Paris. I was excited to see such romantic city with awesome fashion shops, but I was deeply desappointed. Eiffel Tower is not that big deal and Champs Elises sucks big time! The only amazing store I visited was the two floors Virgin, where I bough few albums from my favorite hip hop artists I couldn't find in Portugal.
Also I didn't like the people in the streets, they were kinda rude. Even the employees in the shops, probably they are sick of tourists but hey man you gotta do your job with a smile on!
Then, we passed thru this city when doing our InterRail, me and Sam didn't want to waste our time there. One day I will come back, one day.
Albufeira :: Portugal
Albufeira is situated in Algarve, South of Portugal, about 15 kms away from my hometown. So this means I have been here many many times. I love ocean and Albufeira has pretty awesome beaches. But it's so damn touristic! All year actually. Nothing against tourists but it can be annoying going to the beach and don't have a spot for your towel or being in lines for WC or to order a drink. This is not relaxing at all!
I spent two New Year's Eve there and were the most terrible ones of my life! It's a special day for me because it's when I think about my year and goals for next year but all pubs were crowded with drunk people.
The city itself is not very pretty, besides downtown and close to the beach. It's not organized at all, I always get lost there.
Bogota :: Colombia
I describe Bogota as an ugly city with a lot to do. Actually all you need to do is to get out of your hotel and you'll see a parade or party or other events going on in the streets, just look at the picture above.
I even made a list of Eight Things to do in Bogota, but I can't stand the massive pollution and traffic jams almost all day long. To go from point A to point B that takes about 10 minutes (via google maps) will take you at least 40 minutes. Is this quality of life? Hell, no!
La Paz :: Bolivia
Many travelers have a special connection with La Paz, I don't. Architecture is not amazing and streets are busy. It's this kind of place you don't really have a reason for not enjoying you just feel it. The great part is shopping there, it's heaven for anyone who likes silver jewelry and handmade products, they are cheap and amazing!
We planned a week in La Paz just because many travelers told us amazing things about it but we ended up stay only 3 days and one entire day was to go on a tour by bike to the Death Road. That was one of this trip's highlights, so yeah, thanks La Paz,
Lima :: Peru
Lima was exactly the same feeling as La Paz, I didn't connect. I thought about staying at least 3 days to rest from the 24 hours bus trip and get ready for another 24 hours bus trip until Cuzco. We didn't like the vibe of the city and looked like there wasn't nothing to do there so we had lunch and got the first bus to Cuzco.
Skope :: Macedonia
We didn't plan to go to this city but it happened. We were hitch hiking Europe, couldn't find a ride to Greece and was getting dark so we had no option and stay for the night in Skope. We ended up staying two nights but not because of our passion for Skope, we really enjoyed the hostel we were staying.
Skope was destroyed with the War so they rebuilt the city again in a bizarre way. All statues and buildings are amazingly made but in random spots, I guess there wasn't an urban plan before rebuilding the city all over again. It's something you gotta see with your eyes!
Is there any city you have been and didn't like? Have you been in any of these cities listed? If so, do you agree with me?