Urban Jungles: The Best Adventure Cities in the World


Adventure. Cities.

What do we mean? The two nouns couldn’t be more at the opposite spectrum of things that have stuff in common type of chart; but that’s all down to how you see adventure as. We are far from saying adventures cities are those places where to re-enact the hottest episodes of Sex and the City, but, there’s some truth in saying a bit of walk of shame or losing yourself in the narrowest lanes of the oldest old town in the world at some ridiculous crack of dawn hour aren’t always good ways to classify what makes a city one of the best adventure cities.

We will be bringing you a mix based on our most insane experiences as well as some of the things to do in the best cities for outdoor adventure.

London, UK

I was only 13 when I first visited London, and nope, my parents were not chaperoning me on and off the Circle Line. During a study holiday in Brighton the what was supposed to be ‘tour operator’ organised some ‘free time’ in London, which quickly translated into ‘run free in London without a clue of where you are’. London can be the most outrageous out of the most urban adventure cities in the world as every single corner is different from the next, and so are the people you will meet on your way. Before booking your trip, check out the city isn’t hosting a major event (I was once stranded for hours on one side of Pall Mall as the Tour de France just kicked off before my eyes).


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Bruneck, Italy

It isn’t one of the biggest metropolises in the world, but Bruneck is the capital of the Alps, one of the best cities for outdoor adventure located in the North of Italy. In winter the city attracts all winter sports fanatics, from alpine skiing to snowboarding, cross country skiing, snow-walking, ice hockey fans and all of those who simply have an addiction for blissful snow, pointy church bells and loads of incredibly tasty food. In summer the Dolomites offer the best thrills and Bruneck is amongst the best value for money adventure cities in Europe, where nature and relax wait for you in the comfort of the typical wooden Stube and outdoors spas and pools where the peaks mirror themselves before the sun hides behind them.


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Bilbao, Spain

Have you ever thought of a surfing holiday? Bilbao, located on the north coast of Spain, is one of the adventure cities in Europe offering the widest types of thrills. Surfing is one of them, just hop on with your surfboard on one of trains heading towards San Sebastian and you’ll see waves you wouldn’t have thought were possible in Europe. The fun is also in its Basque heritage, the Guggenheim museum and the Feria de Toros.


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The Venice of the East, China

The city on the water, Venice, the one in the north east of Italy can be considered one of the adventure cities if we think about how nerve racking it can be to make it through the swarms of tourists in the summer. There’s a Venice in China, too, but this one matches the complete opposite of that, being an oasis of tranquillity located in the municipality of Shanghai; it is known as Zhujiajiao. With its 1700 years old buildings and dozens of ancient bridges, this is one of the best cities for outdoor activities.


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Vietnam is the country where to plan adventure holidays, those adventures enabling you with the discovery of new cultures and nature marvels that you did not think actually existed. Hanoi is one of the adventure cities in the country where to flavour both; exploring the archaeological site of Thang Long or strolling at night at the market by the Lake of the Restored Swords make it also one of the best cities for outdoor activities.


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Umea, Sweden

Located in the east of the country, Umea is one of the best cities for outdoor activities linked to art: with the largest University in Sweden, visitors are attracted by the outdoor museum, as well as the Umedalen Sculpture Park, which used to be a psychiatric hospital. Nature of course is included in the package, read more about it here.


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Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia

Loyalty Islands aren’t a city per se, but we feel they have the same offer some of the best adventure cities do, thanks to the invaluable opportunity of experiencing living like the native inhabitants, the Kanak. Here you will be able to stay in the ‘tribal areas’ and take part in an outdoor feast, the bougna.


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Technology and nature blend in perfectly when you are in the South Asian island symbol of global commerce: Singapore is one of the adventure cities in the world where to experience design and majestic architecture and unique attractions, first to check out Gardens by The Bay. One of the main attractions here  is a stroll suspended at 22 metres height on a 28-metre long aerial walkway.


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Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town is probably the adventure city with the highest variety of outdoor activities available for visitors: a hike and a dip along the Krom River Hiking Trail, whilst admiring the wildlife, or an idyllic picnic at Cape Point Vineyards or visiting a farmer’s market, or swimming in tidal pool  are just some of the unique experiences that make the South African capital one of the best cities for outdoor adventure. Read more about it here.


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Bogotà, Colombia

Spectacular views of the Eastern Hills to be enjoyed by rooftop bars are just one of the reasons you should plan to visit Bogotà once in a lifetime. The Colombian stands as an oasis of tranquillity on Sundays, at least in terms of urban chaos, as no cars are allowed, meaning visitors can enjoy the local markets and events organised in the streets.


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Vancouver, Canada

Do you know what a sky gondola is? Vancouver is where to find out, as it is one of the best cities in the world for outdoor activities as well as indoor attractions for everyone. These include Canada’s Olympic Museum, which offers visitors a highly interactive and dynamic experience with the display of over 400 Olympic and Sport artefacts; Bloedel Conservatory, an attraction for families and animal lovers, as here it is possible to see 120 exotic birds and over 500 types of tropical plants.


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Bali, Indonesia

Bali is a special city for adventure lovers as it blends its vibrancy with the tranquillity of the luxurious resorts it offers: daytime you will be venturing through the many temples, such as Uluwatu Temple or the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary or marvel the waters of the serene Lake Bratan, which features a historic temple and stunning views of the mountains. Upon your return, you can just put your feet up and enjoy the views from your suite.


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