Travel tip: Criteria for the ideal cityFriday, February 21, 2014
- lots of transport options
- work - no more than 30 minute commutes, please
- amenities, markets
- arts galleries, museums, cinemas
- doctors, hospitals
- many cafe options
- old friends or new friends
- gardens, beaches
In Melbourne, I have a tram stop just across the road from my house, as well as another tram and train stops about ten minutes or two blocks away. The trams take me past the main hospitals should I one day need it (hopefully not), and to the big Queen Victoria Market, where I should really go more often. There are two supermarkets five minutes from my house, where I usually go. Being in Melbourne, there is no shortage of cafes to choose from. For these I am very lucky.
I would have liked to be closer to the art galleries and museums, and cinemas, though. There are some in town but but so far it has felt like I needed to really plan a day of it. Same goes for the gardens, though they are closer.
I have been happy with all of the above in most of the cities I have lived in.
Paris was very walkable and there were definitely a lot of galleries, museums and cinemas. I walked all day, every day, two hours plus. I loved that. When I didn't feel like walking there were two different metro line stops on either side. A major train station was a few stops away, no transfers needed.
Seoul was really big, and I lived just outside of Seoul Metropolitan area. Apparently the Seoul Subway is the world's longest and has the largest number of metro stations. I can testify to that. I used to be crammed inside the metro trains for two hours each time, commuting to and from work. I was lucky if I could find a seat. Night buses were worse - I don't usually take buses, though. Rarely was there a time when I didn't need to make one or two transfers. I was only there for six months, but if I had been staying longer it would have definitely been better to move to a more convenient location. I barely survived. Sometimes I slept in hostels or at friends' just because it was easier that way.
Auckland central city had been my home the longest, so I got to know it really well. No need for buses, I walked everywhere - or got friends to drive me to places. Apart from the lack of transport options the city offers except for buses and a few trains that I hardly ever use, I reckon it has the best deals or all the criteria above. It is also very close to the waters and the gardens. Every time I come back, I am amazed at its growing improvements.
How do you rate your city/town?