Toronto, the most multi culturally diverse city on the planet: over 140 languages are spoken. It’s estimated that over half of Toronto’s residents were born outside Canada, and despite its complex makeup, Torontonians generally get along. When the weather is fine, Toronto is a blast: a vibrant, big-time city abuzz with activity. Some of the world’s finest restaurants are found here, alongside happening bars and clubs and eclectic festivals. There is a fresh international buzz about Toronto. Perhaps it’s the influx of flush new residents from across the globe; or was it the Pan-Am Games that shone a spotlight on Toronto? Either way, this is a city that is waking up to its own greatness.
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Birmingham is a state-of-the-art library, gleaming shopping centre atop revitalised New St Station, beautifully restored Victorian buildings and a tram-line extension through the city’s heart are just some of the recently completed initiatives of its Big City Plan. These come hot on the heels of the striking Mailbox and Bullring shopping malls and iconic Selfridges building’s ‘bubblewrapped’ facade. Alongside Birmingham’s picturesque canals, waterside attractions, outstanding museums and galleries is an explosion of gastronomic restaurants, cool and/or secret cocktail bars and craft breweries.
The capital of Angola, Luanda sits on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean and is divided into two parts; Baixa de Luanda and Cidade Alta.It is a fast growing city, with major reconstruction and development projects popping up all over the city, which has attracted numerous Portuguese immigrants over the past few years. Luanda’s thriving business industry has made it quite an expensive city to visit, though this should not discourage you. Its new infrastructure means that it is a very comfortable city for tourists to visit, and, mixed with its warm climate, it is quite an appealing destination. There are also plenty of things to do both in the city and just outside of it.
Nairobi’s polarising character ensures that the city is reviled and loved in equal measure, and even those who love it might well admit that it’s the kind of place many rave about only once they’re away from it. For those who call it home, the city’s charms include a vibrant cultural life, fabulous places to eat and exciting nightlife. Its detractors point to its horrendous traffic, poor safety levels and its less-than-gorgeous appearance.
More attractive than most other Southern African capitals, Harare gets a bad rap and unjustly so. While it’s certainly not without its problems, overall it’s a safe and laid-back city where wide avenues are lined with dusty red earth, and indigenous plants and blooming jacarandas give it a lovely African summertime feel. While it’s tempting to rush off to your safari, it’s worth hanging around in Harare to sample its fine dining, museums, craft markets and varied bars.