As some parts of the world begin to reopen, many of us are starting to think about the first place we’ll travel when it’s safe to do so. Maybe it’s somewhere domestic for an easy-to-reach, much-deserved vacation, or maybe it’s a bucket-list trip you’ve been planning for years. For some of T+L’s travel advisors, however, it’s not a new destination they’ve been dreaming of—it’s a beloved city they’ve been to many times before.
Below, eight advisors reflect on past trips and share the special places that have been on their minds, and where they’ll book a trip as soon as they can.
The atmosphere, the elegance, and the people watching is second to none in Milan. I am so looking forward to returning and seeing friends, like Barbara and Federico at our favorite atelier, Studio Federico Sangalli, who always offer the warmest welcome and best glass of Prosecco and know what is happening in the city. I love watching their seamstresses at work; the women have an average age of 85 years old and, most of the time, use the old Singer sewing machines with the pedal. I love sitting with them, enjoying a coffee, and listening to their stories of the stars whom they have dressed, and watching their expressions as they reminisce. — Andrea Grisdale, IC Bellagio
José Ignacio, Uruguay
I can’t wait to get back to José Ignacio on Uruguay’s easy-going Atlantic riviera. Uruguay has been held up as a global example of how to handle the pandemic and still has extremely low Covid numbers. There are relatively few internal restrictions, but at the same time they still have strict border and quarantine rules for those wanting to travel there, meaning that one of my favorite destinations is just tantalizingly out of reach. José Ignacio is one of those few locations that combines a remote, laid back feel (think sandy lanes, local fishermen on the beaches and bikes being the transport of choice) with sophisticated but understated accommodation, beach bars and restaurants. La Huella, an unassuming wooden beach hut nestled in the sand dunes of Playa Brava, is up there with my favorite restaurants in the world. I can just picture myself there now enjoying a long, lazy lunch, sharing fine Uruguayan wines and some of the best seafood in Latin America with a big table of friends, social distancing a distant memory. — Paul Irvine, Dehouche
I never tire of being a tourist in Jerusalem. It just has so much to offer. We’ve been in and out of lockdowns for the best part of a year now and every time they have relaxed restrictions I found myself taking off for a day in Jerusalem. Whether it’s wandering around sampling the exotic tastes and smells of the Mahane Yehuda Market or getting lost in the Old City’s narrow alleyways, or soaking in one of the city’s multiple lookouts— such as the Mount of Olives, Mount Scopus or the Has Promenade. Jerusalem is blessed with dozens of architectural landmarks and set in a hilly location that provides glorious views from all directions. It also has one of the most comfortable climate in Israel for the warmer months, and even teases us with an occasional dusting of snow that turns the city into an even more enchanting sight. It’s a photographer’s dream. — Joseph Yudin, Touring Israel
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Until the pandemic, I had never gone more than five months without visiting Argentina’s capital city. I miss it not only because it’s been a year since my last visit, but because it embodies so many things that Covid has put on hold. In Buenos Aires, you are always meeting new people and greeting them with a kiss on the cheek. You’re standing in crowded spaces, from milongas (dance halls), to futbol stadiums, bars, and parrillas. You’re sharing maté from a single straw with a colleague or friend, and you’re trying a cut of meat straight from the fork of the asador (person in charge of the barbecue.) These simple pleasures have come to symbolize the closeness that I used to enjoy on a daily basis when I lived in Argentina, and now seem like a distant reality. — Olivia Schellenberg, Audley Travel
I’ve thought so much of Varanasi. This city is the spiritual capital of India and one that moved me beyond words. The one thing 2020 taught me was to pursue more experiences that enrich my soul. In Varanasi, gliding down the river by private boat at dawn— the sun just starting to color the sky with pinks and indigos, a flutist playing a haunting melody while you pay homage to the holy river Ganges —is truly special. On the other end of the spectrum would be Jaipur. Vibrant, colorful, and magical. Grand forts and palaces; color in every hue imaginable; music and dance from tribes and gypsies; legendary royalty; exquisite jewelry, textiles and more; delicious cuisine; Jaipur draws you in like no other city and makes me want to go back again and again. — Marion Miller, Micato
I am constantly drawn to the mystique of Marrakesh. The Moorish architecture with the intricate motifs and repeated patterns remind me of the houses of worship in Brooklyn. Purchasing a carpet at a rug store is a sport in itself: as you sip countless cups of sweet tea while the merchants flip over the endless layers of carpets, you are keenly aware that hours have passed while you negotiate, but, if you have patience and respect the process, you will be victorious! It’s easy to get lost in the ever-winding maze and narrow walkways of the souk, with everything from spices and jewelry to pottery or clothing. As I walk through the deserted streets of New York City, I reminisced about Marrakesh—the haggling at the crowded bazaars and the circus-like atmosphere at Jemaa el-Fnaa with the snake charmers, performing artists and storytellers that permeate the square. And my mouth watered just thinking of the cuisine, from traditional tagines or couscous dishes to the fresh mint tea served after every meal. — Jody Bear, Bear and Bear Travel
St. Petersburg, Russia
Without a doubt, St. Petersburg. Why? With a page turning history, incredible architecture, art and culture, not to mention, world-class restaurants and hotels, plus warm and welcoming people, this dazzling city has so much to offer. You can immerse yourself in history, from the Romanovs to the revolution, see classical ballet where it started, eat in exceptional restaurants, and stay in fabulous luxury hotels, feast your eyes on the jaw dropping opulence of the imperial palaces and museums. Personally, I want to go to see good friends, enjoy a Russian banya, and reconnect with a place I consider my second home. — Greg Tepper, Exeter International
While I specialize in Egypt, I have been thinking of London. I miss the West End theater, the incredible dining, and the different cultures that make London, well, London. And of course, the Goring Lobby bar! — Malaka Hilton, Admiral Travel