My 9 Favourite Waterfront Cities Round The World

My 9 Favourite Waterfront Cities Round The World

I’ve all the time been drawn to cities on the water, be they cities straddling giant rivers, and even higher, hugging a shoreline. There’s something magical in regards to the juxtaposition of a contemporary metropolis skyline and a watery setting, in addition to the merging of tooting ships and automotive horns.

This will properly stem from my rising up in Hamburg (see under), and my associating metropolis dwelling with the power to hop on a sailboat on the weekend virtually in your doorstep.  So wherever a metropolis’s public transport contains ferries, I’m positive to go to.

Having traveled quite a bit in my life, I’ve a couple of cities I are likely to return to — or not less than plan to return to — over and over. All of them have the water in widespread, with eating places stuffed with contemporary seafood, views throughout open water dotted with a myriad of small boats and massive ships, with contemporary sea air messing up your hair, and that feeling of house. There may be often an environment of journey, exploration, and, as we are saying in Germany, of Fernweh, or wanderlust.

Listed here are a few of my favourite cities by the water, all in spectacular water-dominated or coastal settings.

My 9 Favourite Waterfront Cities Round The World

Hamburg’s Warehouse District

Picture credit score: 4kclips /

1. Hamburg, Germany

Elbe River, Alster Lakes, Canals

All of it started in Hamburg, the town with Germany’s largest port, three rivers, two lakes, tons of of canals, and numerous bridges. I used to sail yawls on the bigger of the 2 inside metropolis lakes once I was younger and cutters on the river Elbe once I was older. My dad had his sailboat moored on the Baltic coast for weekend excursions to Denmark, and the annual harbor competition, particularly the tall ship parade, was a fixture on our calendar. Water may be very a lot a part of life in Hamburg, whether or not you’re a native or a customer.

Professional Tip: As an alternative of a hop-on, hop-off bus, why not take Hamburg’s hop-on, hop-off boat to go sightseeing?

The harbor and skyline of Hong Kong

The harbor and skyline of Hong Kong

Picture credit score: FS11 /

2. Hong Kong, China

South China Sea

Hong Kong is one among my favourite cities on the earth, in no small half due to its watery setting. The skyscrapers, trams, markets, and unbelievable hustle and bustle wouldn’t be half as thrilling with out all the time recognizing the water of the harbor popping up in between all of it. 

Island-hopping is a should, with ferries connecting the assorted elements of Hong Kong day and evening, and making for fairly a spectacle. Irrespective of in case you are watching the boats from the land or the land from the boats. The Star Ferry is an iconic a part of the town and takes you throughout Victoria Harbour and to varied sights.

Professional Tip: To really recognize Hong Kong’s setting, head up the enjoyable funicular to Victoria Peak, the place you may be within the inexperienced environment whereas looking all throughout Hong Kong and the huge harbor.

Granville Island Public Market in Vancouver

Granville Island Public Market in Vancouver

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3. Vancouver, Canada

Pacific Ocean

Vancouver is a type of fortunate cities that really has all of it: you possibly can sail within the morning and go snowboarding within the afternoon. You may have a contemporary metropolis with excellent eating places and an outstanding meals market, but loads of historical past, artwork, parks, islands, and beautiful coastlines. Proper on my first day there, sitting outdoors in a restaurant by Granville Island Market, I noticed a seal popping its head up watching me having lunch. You don’t get that in all places. I fell in love with these tiny False Creek ferries — a lot so, that I purchased a watercolor portray of them in a close-by artwork gallery.

Professional Tip: To make a keep in Vancouver good, a (bigger) ferry trip to Vancouver Island is a should. There I added whales, sea otters, and sea lions to my “spot-the-animal” record.

Sydney Harbor, Australia

Sydney Harbor

Picture credit score: Christopher Mazmanian /

4. Sydney, Australia

Sydney Harbour, Pacific Ocean

Sydney most likely has the perfect pure harbor on the earth. Stretching inland from the Pacific Ocean, the coast is a mixture of rocky cliffs and sandy seashores, good for among the most majestic — and costly — actual property there’s. Additional in, the spectacular skyline with the enduring Sydney Opera Home and the Sydney Harbour Bridge improve this pure setting relatively than disrupting it, making for one attractive metropolis.

Once I moved to Melbourne, I spent my first NYE on a cruise in Sydney Harbour, as a result of, properly, it’s a must to, proper? At evening, from the water, the skyline is even higher, particularly with fireworks sprouting from the “coat hanger” bridge.

Professional Tip: The Manly Ferry is among the greatest methods to see the harbor. It leaves from Round Quay and heads previous the town’s sights to Manly, on the Pacific Coast, with among the greatest browsing, and it’s low cost and quick.

Galata Tower in Istanbul

Galata Tower in Istanbul

Picture credit score: Viacheslav Lopatin /

5. Istanbul, Türkiye

Bosphorus, Golden Horn, Strait Of Marmara

Sitting throughout the Bosphorus, alongside the Golden Horn and the Sea of Marmara, Istanbul has waterways galore. Waterways which might be traversed by numerous ferries, cruise ships, and bigger container ships that carry cargo between the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. Taking a ferry from the European aspect to the Asian aspect of Istanbul is a should, as is a trip alongside the Bosphorus, beneath the fashionable bridge connecting the 2 continents, with a cease at one of many many nice seafood eating places.

Professional Tip: Take a ferry up the Golden Horn to Balat, probably the most colourful locations in Europe, stuffed with artwork galleries and cafes.

Stockholm, Sweden


Picture credit score: Kalin Eftimov /

6. Stockholm, Sweden

Baltic Sea

Stockholm lies in an archipelago made up of some 30,000 islands of varied sizes, and the town itself stretches throughout some 14 islands. So, you possibly can think about, there’s loads of water and nice views available. Discovering your manner spherical could be a little bit of a problem although as a result of the town is so disjointed that you simply’ve obtained to take it one island at a time. Most likely the quaintest island to go to is house to Gamla Stan, the previous city, stuffed with historic buildings. You may as well stroll throughout to the Parliament Home, which has its very personal island.

Professional Tip: As a result of Stockholm may be so complicated, I recommend a multifaceted method to getting your bearings. Begin with a bus sightseeing tour, after which again it up with a ship tour.

Victoria and Albert Waterfront in Cape Town, South Africa

Victoria and Albert Waterfront in Cape City

Picture credit score: Gimas /

7. Cape City, South Africa

Atlantic Ocean

Whereas Cape City is simply as thrilling inland as it’s by the ocean, I’ve to confess that my favourite spot within the metropolis is the Victoria and Albert Waterfront, which is a busy harbor, stuffed with leisure and dealing boats, ships, and ferries to locations equivalent to Robben Island. Then there are the eating places, the place you possibly can sit together with your wine in hand, watching the numerous seals enjoying within the water, and later head off for a repair of artwork on the Zeitz MOCAA museum. I have to admit to as soon as having sat within the Belgian Café all through two bottles of rosé (shared with my husband, I hasten so as to add) simply watching the seals play shut up, and the clouds dropping off Desk Mountain on the horizon. Probably the greatest afternoons ever.

Professional Tip: However it isn’t all in regards to the waterfront; certainly, only a drive outdoors of Cape City, you may get to the spectacular assembly level of two oceans: The Atlantic and the Indian Oceans at Cape Agulhas.

Manhattan from the water; New York City

Manhattan from the water

Picture credit score: Victoria Lipov /

8. Manhattan, New York Metropolis, United States of America

Atlantic Ocean

One of many world’s most iconic arrival experiences is by ship to New York Metropolis, being greeted by the Statue of Liberty. However even going previous by the Staten Island ferry, or, certainly on the Liberty Island Ferry, is fairly cool. Strolling alongside the East and the Hudson rivers, which hug Manhattan on both aspect, affords each tranquil parks in addition to loads of actions, plus the Roosevelt Island Tramway, which in truth is a cable automotive throughout the East River.

Whilst you can spend days in Manhattan with out barely noticing the water, attempting to discover the shoreline is so worthwhile.

Professional Tip: One of the simplest ways to understand simply how a lot water there’s in and round Manhattan is to not solely take the ferry to at least one island, however in truth go across the entirety of Manhattan and see nearly all of sights from the guided Circle Line tour.

The Rialto Bridge over Venice's Grand Canal

The Rialto Bridge over Venice’s Grand Canal

Picture credit score: Viacheslav Lopatin /

9. Venice, Italy

Venetian Lagoon, Mediterranean Sea

And right here is among the most spectacular watery cities — if not the most spectacular — to finish this record: Venice. It’s unattainable to think about a metropolis extra embraced by water, fairly actually. That is the place the streets are canals, and each day life takes place on the water. From bakeries to laundry providers, vets to libraries, everybody putters across the metropolis on boats, making it splendidly distinctive. One of the simplest ways to discover Venice is to take time and get misplaced. And get misplaced you’ll. Once you suppose Stockholm is complicated, you haven’t been to Venice. Lifeless ends, canals, bridges, and coastlines will confuse and delight you. And the setting is unbelievably photogenic.

Professional Tip: Get your self a day, or higher, three-day vaporetto move to hop on each passing vaporetto (water bus), and don’t cease till you’ve got seen a lot of the islands dotted throughout the lagoon.

For extra concepts on locations all over the world, discover these articles:

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