We asked our Twitter and Facebook followers to vote for the most beautiful city in the world. From Europe to Asia, these are the places that came top in the poll.
Vancouver is a new, multicultural city, and much of the area’s earlier immigration focused on itsChinatown, just one of a number of ethnic enclaves – Italian, Greek, Indian and Japanese in particular – which lend the city its cosmopolitan vibe. Although a wealthy city, Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside with its highly visible homeless population and addicts are at odds with the glitz of more lush residential neighbourhoods. Vancouver’s youthful population has nurtured a thriving counterculture, distinguished by varied restaurants, secondhand shops, avant-garde galleries, clubs and bars. And at the top of the scale are restaurants as good – and as varied – as any in the world.
Vancouver is not a city that requires relentless sightseeing, but a handful of sights make worthwhile viewing by any standards. You’ll inevitably spend a good deal of time in the Downtownarea and its Victorian-era equivalent, Gastown, a hip stretch of boutique shops and coffee houses. Chinatown could easily absorb a morning and contains more than its share of interesting shops and restaurants. The former warehouse district of Yaletown, on Downtown’s southeast fringes, is also great for exploring: a compact grid full of chic cafés, galleries and contemporary restaurants and bars. For a taste of the city’s greener side, hit Stanley Park, a huge area of semi-wild parkland, forest and beaches that crowns the northern tip of the Downtown peninsula. Take a walk or a bike ride here and follow it up with a stroll to the beach. Be certain to spend a morning on Granville Island, the city’s most tempting spot for wandering, eating and people-watching. If you prefer a cultural slant, hit the spectacular Museum of Anthropology or the museums ofVanier Park, the latter easily accessible from Granville Island.