The best value international cities have just been revealed for travel this summer and there are some great destinations that have made the grade! Thanks to TripAdvisor who have totted up the cost of a hotel stay, return taxi journey, cocktails and dinner for two to produce their definitive guide to the total cost. This is turn has been ranked in order to give us the ‘Best Value International Cities’;
Number 1 Best Value City award 2012 goes to Hanoi in Vietnam
Vietnam’s capital city of Hanoi blends the exotic traditions of old Asia with the dynamic and exciting face of new Asia. With a Parisian grace marked with Asian style, the city is known for its vibrant energy, modern outlook, ancient history and colonial legacy. Must-see places in Hanoi include;
• Bi Vi National Park: This nature reserve is a respite from the busy city with its bird and orchid gardens, hiking trails and peaceful temple.
• Tam Dao Hill Station: Escape the heat at this massive waterfall surrounded by hiking trails and exotic creatures.
• Thay and Tay Phuong Pagodas: The pagodas, just outside the city, are surrounded by emerald green rice fields and charming hillside villages.
• The Ho Chi Minh Museum: The gleaming white museum is home to photos, letters, artefacts and exhibits detailing the chaos of the Vietnam War.
• Hoa Lo Prison: Also known as the Hanoi Hilton, this prison was constructed by the French in the early 20th century and now houses exhibits that detail the experiences of American POWs held there during the Vietnam War.
Second Top Value City in the World is Beijing in China
Beijing is a modern, inspiring and sprawling city characterized by imperial grandeur, a bustling pace and unique districts. Top Beijing Districts to explore include;
• Xicheng District: Located in the north-western part of the city’s center, this area is home to the Beijing Zoo, National Concert Hall and Beihai Park.
• Dongcheng District: This north-eastern area contains the Forbidden City, Beijing Central Station and historic Tiananmen Square, which is surrounded by impressive buildings like the Museum of the Chinese Revolution, the Museum of Chinese History and the Monument to the People’s Martyrs.
• Chaoyang District: A must-see for sports fans, this district in the east is home to the National Stadium and other Olympic venues.
Third Best Priced City on Earth is Bangkok in Thailand
Bangkok is a city of contradictions, where ancient temples stand near modern celebrations of affluence. The Thai capital is home to over eleven million people, intense heat, high-rise buildings, peaceful temples, grand palaces, charming canals, vibrant nightlife and busy markets. Must-see places in Bangkok include;
• The Old City: Located on the small island of Rattanakosin, the Old City is home to three of Bangkok’s best temples: the Wat Pho, Wat Run and the Grand Palace. The sacred spaces are highly decorated, peaceful and colorful bits of paradise within the city.
• The Dusit Palace: Save your ticket stub from the Grand Palace to gain free entry to this enormous golden teakwood house. Walk through the traditionally decorated rooms to get a sense of true Thai living.
• Lumphini Park: Escape the fumes from the city traffic at this park in Silom, the city’s largest.
• The Chao Phraya River: One of the best ways to see the city is by boat on the extensive canal system. Stop at the floating market for a truly unique shopping experience.
Fourth Great Value City is Budapest in Hungary
Located on the romantic Danube River, Budapest is central Europe’s most beautiful city. With eye-catching baroque, art nouveau and neoclassical architecture, museums stocked with wonders, parks full of attractions and world-class dining at inexpensive prices, there is something for everything in Budapest. Top Budapest sights include;
• The Royal Palace: The city’s biggest tourist draw, this attraction is home to the Fisherman’s Bastion, with impressive views across the river, the National Gallery and Matthias Church, which crowns Budapest’s skyline.
• Margaret Island: This park-filled island is the best place to have a picnic of paprikas, stuffed cabbage, pike-perch and other regional specialties.
• The Parliament Building: A stunning example of neo-gothic architecture, this building overlooks the Danube and offers some of the best views of the city. Entry is only by guided tour, so plan ahead to experience one of Budapest’s most beautiful places.
• The House of Terror: This museum details the terror of the Communist and Nazi eras in former secret-police headquarters.
Fifth Cheapest City in the world is Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Malaysia’s capital is a modern metropolis brimming with people, energy and cultural diversity. What once was a sleepy town has grown into one of the world’s premier travel destinations. Top places to explore in Kuala Lumpur include;
• The City Center: Check out the unique blend of British and North African influences in buildings like the Old Kuala Lumpur Railway Station and the offices of the Colonial Secretariat.
• The National Monument: Located in the gorgeous Lake Gardens, this monument was inspired by Virginia’s Iwo Jima Memorial.
• The Islamic Arts Museum: This museum is small but captivating, featuring prints, textiles and paintings from all over the Islamic world.
• Sunway Lagoon: This theme park is great for adventurous travelers that want a good scare, extreme rides and a waterpark to cool off.