Lonely Planet unveils its Little Black Book


We love ourselves a Lonely Planet article, both because they are incredibly pretty and they do half our work for us.

And their latest listicle is no different.

Lonely Planet has unveiled its list of Little Black Book destinations, a catalogue of cities we’ve had love affairs with.

Cities that overwhelm us, surprise us, at times infuriate us but always have a way of bringing us back.

Think of these cities like chewing gum, we’re unable to ever really clean ourselves of them.

So what cities have made the list?

Rome, Italy: an eternal love


“My type used to be quaint and quiet, but spirited Rome swept me off my feet.”

“Italy’s capital wooed me with its sweeping views and gilded sunsets, best relished from the top of the Gianicolo Hill.”

“Even the most mundane tasks were thrilling – a work commute became a heady adventure brimming with the clatter of coffee spoons, the Colosseum, cupolas.”

Tel Aviv, Israel: my springtime soulmate


“Those of close acquaintance know Tel Aviv by its pet name ‘Hill of Spring’, so it seemed apt that we should meet in April, just as the flowers were blooming and the locals were starting to dip their toes back into the balmy Mediterranean after the winter.”

“Maybe it was the seasonal stirrings of romance in the air, but Tel Aviv felt like an old soulmate.”

“As I delved deeper I discovered a spicy, artistic, musical soul. Like all long-term couples, we’ve had our ups and downs, war and peace – but it’s safe to say things have never been boring.”

Dublin, Ireland: love at second sight


“My first encounter with Dublin was at the start of a crippling recession and we didn’t gel. After some time apart, we met again in 2015 and everything changed.”

“It felt better this time around; we’d both grown up and become more confident.”

“Dublin wasn’t the best looking city, but it had an unbeatable sense of humour and lots of hidden creative talent.”

“Eventually, I realised this wasn’t a fling; this was a real grown-up love affair with the right mix of comfort, excitement and plenty of date nights to keep the spark alive.”

Delhi, India: my metro mania


“Though somewhat aloof, Delhi had always been close to my heart, and that inexplicable fascination for the unattainable found me vying to bridge the emotional gap.”

“As we got closer I discovered an exasperatingly conflicting personality – impetuous one moment, surprisingly genteel the next and, at times, almost hostile.”

“But being smitten I doggedly pursued, and before long came to understand the substance beneath the superficial attitude.”

“As things stand today, Delhi completes my constant craving for history, culture and cuisine like nowhere else in India.”

New York City, USA: my mercurial amore


“I’d long admired New York City from afar.”

“And when we finally became acquainted, I knew it was the beginning of a lifelong romance.”

“Its energy was beguiling, filled with the easy confidence of someone who knows they’re special.”

“As I wandered its cinematic streetscapes, I came to love New York’s electric and unpredictable charms and the way its mood changed in an instant – from chaotic urban scenes set to a cacophonous rhythm of taxi horns, to tranquil, brownstone-lined lanes with cafes tucked away from view, a secret to all but those in the know.”

Běijīng, China: love is blind


Whoever said love is blind must surely have meant you, Běijīng.

Dressed in your gown of prim modernity, girdled with skyscrapers and garlanded with scarlet flags and socialist flowerbeds.

“Harmonious, civilised, and just a little bit bland.”

“But I see the fire in your eyes that tells of a life richly lived. Triumphs and tragedies, love and laughter, secrets that reveal themselves to those who get close to you.”

“Your winding lanes and willow-lined lakes, temple relics and wall remains, culinary and artistic treasures that survive and thrive.”

What I’m really saying is drop the act, you’re not fooling me. I love you for who you really are.”

Cape Town, South Africa: more than skin deep


“It wasn’t quite love at first sight. I mean, I couldn’t help but find Cape Town attractive – how could you not?”

“But it was only after I left that I realised I had fallen head over heels. What followed was a (rather one-sided) long-distance relationship, and when I returned I wondered how I could ever have left.”

“Cape Town gets more beautiful by the day – of course, it comes with some baggage, but who doesn’t?”

“After all, it’s Cape Town’s history that makes it such an amazing, soulful place, reminding me that you should never judge a book by its cover.”

Read the full article here. 

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