Cosmopolitan cities in the southern hemisphere to excite you
Bring on the southern hemisphere, which has its own formidable attractions combined with plenty of sun. Visit these places and you will be entranced - and warm.
Sydney is not the capital of Australia, as many people think; however, it is the largest and most cosmopolitan of the island continent's settlements. It is a geographically enticing city, with a sub-tropical climate, a gorgeous harbour and world-famous beaches. Visit Bondi Beach for its surf, to people watch and to dine at cafes offering inventive, fresh cuisine. Sydney has many restaurants of note, some with stunning city views and others almost on the water. The centre of the city offers great shopping, especially in the Queen Victoria Building - an architecturally significant building that houses a range of eclectic retail opportunities. Not far away is The Rocks, a historic, harbourside area of the Central Business District, which is also home to markets and places to eat such as Rockpool Bar & Grill, which has been one of Sydney's finest restaurants for nearly 30 years. This city is also famed for its ferry rides, its easily accessible surf beaches, and even swimming in the harbour. The harbour, of course, is the backdrop for millions of visitors' photos, being where you find iconic structures such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. When the charms of the metropolis have abated, the flora and fauna of the beautiful Blue Mountains is a short drive away.
This is a spectacular but compact city, situated where the waters of the Atlantic and Indian oceans meet. In front, you have a harbour and coastline with beaches; behind, you have the dramatic backdrop of Table Mountain. Rising from the edges of the city, it is sometimes covered in cloud that rolls off the edges and is known by locals as ‘God's tablecloth’. Visit the mountain by cable car, vehicle, bicycle, or even on foot. The mountain is the centrepiece of the Table Mountain National Park, which is incredibly rich in flora. The city's port is still a working harbour; in addition, it features a world-class aquarium with turtles, fish and penguins and a shark dive for the more adventurous. The waterfront also offers hotels, restaurants, shopping and museums. From here you can take a sunset cruise, a guided tour of the Robben Island Information Centre to learn more about the country's history and struggle with apartheid, or visit Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned. Then there are the breathtaking views from the giant observation wheel. In the city centre are restaurants and the party places of Long Street. You can also do a day trip to the winelands of the Cape, where you can learn more about South Africa's booming wine industry. You can incorporate a foray along Chapman's Peak Drive, from where it is possible to see dolphins swimming, and stop off across the bay for a sundowner, admiring the city with Table Mountain behind.
The vibrant capital of Argentina is one of the largest metropolitan areas in the Americas, with a population of around 17 million. It is well known for its splendid architecture and its cultural attractions, such as La Boca with its museums, art and tango schools. Argentina is famous for its beef, with the steaks satisfying every carnivores' deepest desires; in addition, there are plenty of fine dining establishments from which to choose. Wander by the Casa Rosada, where first lady Eva Peron once lived, visit the museum dedicated to her, and take a trip to her grave in La Recoleta Cemetery. For something a bit different, visitors can witness a version of the coming of Christ at Tierra Santa, a religious theme park.