Get easily overwhelmed by crowds, but are equally enticed by a hearty selection of cafe's and restaurants at your disposal? These 5 cities redefine the stereotype of 'city life' by being relaxed, uncrowded and slow paced...
Widely regarded as Toronto’s chilled counterpart, Vancouver is the place to be if you’re looking to pair city life with the atmosphere of a luxury camping trip. Beaches, parks and mountain views are everywhere in this relaxed city. No need to venture out of the city if you seek solitude and serenity – instead just head to Stanley Park for calm, soothing waters to contrast the high rise buildings.
The capital city of New Zealand doesn’t come across like your average concrete jungle – in fact, far from it. It’s clear that the city’s residents aren’t embodying a ‘big city’ mindset. The streets are uncrowded, and you’re likely to see even the odd businessman walking around barefoot. Slow pace is a defining characteristic of this vibrant city where you’ll meet some of the nicest people going (I mean, have you ever met a Kiwi who isn’t the nicest person on earth?). And the best part? The sea is literally right there…
Contrary to the stereotype of Germans being stiff and uptight, Berlin is everything but. Even in the middle of the day, you’ll see hoards of Berliners kicking back in one of the cities beer gardens with a pils, or enjoying a late brunch – no rush. Berlin is an all-accepting and tolerant place, somewhat removed from the normal social pressures that come with city life. It’s the perfect place to de-stress and let your hair down at a 24-hour club.
Aix en Provence
Surrounded by the sweet smelling lavender fields of the country’s south, Aix-en-provence is small, but nothing short of magical. As a university town, Aix is brimming with things to do, but it exudes a chilled vibe that will put a smile on your face the second you set foot in its streets. You’re unlikely to see anyone rush hurriedly from A to B, and it’s no wonder: the city is so picturesque, you’ll want to take your time to appreciate it.
Does your idea of ‘city life’ involve al fresco meals, long hours of sunlight and refreshing ocean swims? If so, Dubrovnik needs to be your next destination. It’s no wonder so many celebrities grace its streets year on year – Dubrovnik is truly a paradise for those who love relaxation and a little luxury. Want to avoid the crowds and cruise ships? Travel out of season, as June/July/August can get pretty hectic within those towering city walls.