When it comes to pinpointing the travel destinations about to soar in popularity, you could say Google has the inside track. Privy to a staggering 3.5 billion searches each day, the data analysts behind the search engine are, as expected, among the first to hear about the hottest new destinations of the year.
2016 has been no exception, and even with just three months left until the year is out, there’s a whole new batch of city breaks on the rise.
Perfect for those who get itchy feet lounging on the beach, Google’s new round up of the cities to visit offer a brilliant mix of slick living and soulful escapes, with ranging climates to suit everyone’s holiday checklists.
Ready to plan your next getaway? Here are the city breaks soaring in popularity, plus a handful of the reasons why.
Iceland’s capital city has quickly risen to the top of the city breaks chart, and it’s hard not to see why. Whether it’s gazing at the Northern Lights, bathing in natural hot springs, losing yourself in the nightlife or hiking your way around the rugged landscape from a central city base, Reykjavik has plenty to offer. Not to mention a swathe of museums, cafes and top restaurants to work your way through.
If you’re looking to avoid the chill, number two on Google’s list may be more to your adventuring taste. Having just opened itself up to American travellers too, Havana is creating a buzz on both sides of the Atlantic. A balm for the soul and a feast for the eyes, the Cuban city is rich in culture with its brightly coloured buildings, Colonial architecture and salsa-infused spirit; even the neglected areas hold a sun-bleached charm.
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Canada’s city of Toronto comes in at number three, with Google searchers keen to explore more than just the ice hockey. Though winters can be tough, the city hosts an eclectic mix of festivals and outdoor events, while being home to some of the best restaurants in the world too. With over 140 languages spoken throughout Toronto, it’s also the most culturally diverse city on the planet right now. Go bask in its accepting openness.
4. Mexico City
A city like no other, Mexico City is shaking off its reputation of past years with a cosmopolitan overhaul - and travellers are responding in kind. Soak up the city’s unique buzz with a stroll downtown to admire the colonial architecture offset by newer contemporary styling, all while taking in impressive street murals, old-school cantinas and a flourishing culinary scene.
If it’s sleek modernity you’re keen to experience, Tokyo is the one. Priding itself on continuous renewal, it’s the city which never ages, and with more Michelin stars than any other city in the world, it’s a foodie paradise to boot. Dine out, sip cocktails up high to soak up the neon-lit skyline, and don’t forget to shop your way around the Harajuku district.