City breaks bring shopping, museums, fine dining and theater to mind, but many of the world’s most exciting cities are also home to the most beautiful urban parks. Perfect for romantic strolls, family fun and solo adventures, urban parks can offer travelers an alternative view of their favorite metropolises.
Griffith Park, LA: A haven for Angelenos city-wide, Los Angeles’s Griffith Park has no shortage of activities. The Griffith Observatory offers stellar views plus free admission to the museum, or take the kids to the pony rides and merry-go-round. Hiking and running trails are everywhere with the famed Hollywood sign above it all.
Park Guell, Barcelona: Whimsical and wondrous, Barcelona’s Park Guell is pure eye candy for travelers. The enormous fairytale of a park, designed by renowned Catalan architect Antonio Gaudi, is home to winding walkways, multicolored mosaics, fascinating statues and the most complete view of the city and the bay at the park’s highest point.
Millennium Park, Chicago: Millennium Park in downtown Chicago is a hub of entertainment for city dwellers. With an array of concerts at the Pritzker Pavilion in the summer, an outdoor ice rink in the winter and the ever-present pull of Cloud Gate (better known as “The Bean”) among other works of art, this urban park is a must-see for tourists and residents alike.
The Planty, Krakow: What used to be the city’s medieval walls is now a belt of public parks, which surrounds Krakow’s Old Town historic district including the Wawel Royal Castle and Cathedral. The Planty is perfect for a peaceful walk about the city, watching the various street entertainers or indulging in a picnic complete with pierogi.