Google recently released the top five trending cities on Google Search, and although the stats are for the US only they do seem to capture overall worldwide travel trends. So: what made the list?
5 / Tokyo, Japan
I've raved about Tokyo on Bramble & Thorn multiple times, and I'm certainly not the only person who's enamored. From the incredible food, to unreal shopping, to beautiful cultural landmarks, there is truly not another city like it on Earth. Japan has fast become a frequently visited destination for Australian tourists thanks to cheap flights and its close proximity to Australia (well, closer than Europe and the US!), so it's no surprise that the rest of the world is also catching on. Tokyo is definitely worthy of being on your 'must visit' list.
4 / Mexico City, Mexico
For a capital with such a long and layered history, there is much that’s new in Mexico City. Skyscrapers grow like bamboo. A trendy restaurant, boutique hotel or high-end food store seems to open every week. The city is still a place of contradictions and yawning inequality, with helipads for the rich and four-hour commutes for ordinary workers; pockets of Art Deco charm and miles of ugly sprawl; cutting-edge museums and schools without computers. But Mexico City is more cosmopolitan than ever, producing world-class chefs, artists and movie directors, and drawing talented Europeans and Latin Americans.
3 / Toronto, Canada
Toronto is one of the most multiculturally 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 great bars and clubs and eclectic festivals. Maybe avoid in winter, though!
2 / Havana, Cuba
A place that's high up on my 'to visit' list, Havana is attracting plenty of attention due to the opening of its borders to US citizens. No one could have invented Havana. It’s too audacious, too contradictory, and – despite 50 years of withering neglect – too damned beautiful. How it does it, is anyone’s guess. Maybe it’s the swashbuckling history, the survivalist spirit, or the indefatigable salsa energy that ricochets off walls and emanates most emphatically from the people. Don’t come here looking for answers. Just arrive with an open mind and prepare yourself for a long, slow seduction.
1 / Reykjavík, Iceland
Ah, beautiful Reykjavík. I visited once in 2012 and have been dreaming of returning ever since.
With a population of 120,000, Reykjavík is not a whirlwind metropolis. Few skyscrapers grace the skyline, traffic jams are rare and faces are familiar. But don't be deceived—a steady beat of energy and events keeps the city alive and pulsing with excitement.
Sunny days feel like spontaneous holidays in Reykjavík. Sunbathers and picnickers fill Austurvöllur, the green square in front of Parliament; locals and tourists alike stroll up and down Laugavegur, the main drag, shopping, stopping for coffee, and people watching.
Check out the Pinterest-worthy photos of Iceland here.