A bucket-list of places to go with your best friend

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Three women are in a sunflower field. They are laughing, smiling - one of them has her head back in laughter and all the sunflowers are blooming. Three close friends on perhaps a bestie break of sorts.

Travelling with your best friend or friends is always special. There are so many things that you may only do with your friend (versus your partner or family). Like staying up late in the night and discussing the plot of a soap opera. Or spending a complete hour browsing through a souvenir shop, and deciding to buy nothing. A friend would get it; a partner might say “We spent an hour and you like nothing?” Also when you pack seven dress for a two-night break, a friend will never utter the word ‘why?’ Because chances are that she has packed eight!

That is why you should take every opportunity to travel with friends or your bestie. There are so many things you can do, so many cities you can explore together. Maybe it’s a good idea to create a bucket-list for 2023.

If I were to create one, this is what my bestie-break wish list would look like.

Paris, France – Chasing cafés and ignoring calories

You see three women with their back to the camera looking out from a viewing balcony. You can see the outlines of the city, the unmistakable shape of the Eiffel tower -- Paris is just perfect for a bestie break. One of the woman has a very colourful backpack, patchwork of embroidery and colours.
Paris can be amazing with your best friends – think cafes, designer outlets, museums and more!

Now I say Paris, because I have always imagined that you can do many things with your friend/s once out there. While the city may be very popular as a romantic getaway, it certainly makes for a perfect bestie break as well. Climbing the first 600 steps to the Eiffel Tower together, eating pancakes (and not counting calories) at the Parisian public green spaces, people watching while being seated a pretty street-side café — the list is endless and packed with fun! If you fancy shopping and designer outlets, you could head to the Arc de Triomphe. But if art is your common passion, then you’d make a beeline for the Musée du Louvre. Whatever you do, Paris is guaranteed to please both you and your bestie!

Stockholm, Sweden – Endless ‘fika’ and dollops of fun

I recommend Stockholm because I did actually take a trip there with a close friend. Bidding adieu to respective spouses, our bestie break was tailored to suit our tastes. Here’s what we did: Once we checked in (at Hotel Rival), we made a dash for the Stockholm Public Library. Designed by renowned architect Gunnar Asplund it has often made it to the lists of the world’s most beautiful libraries and is an Instagrammer’s delight. When our geeky souls were satisfied by its vast collection, and distinct architecture, we pursued other goals.

Over the next few days, we had several cups of fika, visited the Photografiska Museum (stays open till late in the night) and took a tour of the Royal Palace. We also sneaked in a day trip to one of the archipelago islands (called Fjäderholmarna). My friend is a fashionista, so we raided the narrow alleys of Gamla Stan. After an hour, she was poorer by a 100 Euros but richer by four lovely dresses.

But the highlight of our trip was mistaking Schnapps for some kind of an ‘appetiser’ drink, and getting a bit tipsy at lunchtime! While these are just a few of the things we did, you can create your own itinerary. With your bestie by your side, Stockholm will certainly rock!

Zanzibar, Tanzania – Go island hopping and spice shopping!

A turquoise sky meets sparkling turquoise waters. There's not one single cloud in the sky. And a wooden jetty/bridge is extended out in the waters - this is Zanzibar in Tanzania.
Zanzibar has an array of resorts that cater to every need, whim and luxury!

You may need a few more days for this bestie break, but it’ll be totally worth it. Imagine 40 different islands spread across an archipelago. Beaches that seem like they have leapt out of a coffee-table book. Sapphire and turquoise waters, lush green mangroves…

And amazing food. Have you heard of the Zanzibar pizza? Something like a savory crèpe, filled with beef, eggs and salad in its original version. There’s also a wonderful spice bazaar; I had been to Zanzibar as a child and was bowled over the sights and smells of markets full of vanilla, nutmeg and black pepper.

If we have tempted you enough, start shopping with your bestie for bikinis and swimsuits, dreamy cotton dresses and floral earrings. The weather’s always nice and balmy, so this bestie break will be full of sunshine, cocktails and happy beaches!

Some Zanzibar deals here for you to browse through.

You see two women, close friends or besties, out presumably on their bestie-break. One is wearing a yellow checkered bikini and another is wearing a blue checkered bikini. Both are looking at each other and smiling, one has wavy dark brown hair, another has straighter light brown brown hair.
Before you head to Zanzibar, be sure to stock up on summery dresses and swimwear for plenty of beaches and sunny days await you there!

Lisbon, Portugal – Matching suede sandals on cobbled streets!

I have Lisbon on the list because there is so much you can do in one of the world’s oldest cities. Whether you hop around its cobbled streets in your pretty (and matching ) sandals, set up your beach umbrellas or find yourselves in its famed food market — Lisbon is perfect for a friendcation!

I already have a list of things I’d do if I went to Lisbon for a bestie break. And on the top is the flea market at Feira da Ladra, and eating tons of artisanal ice-creams! Then, I would drag my bestie to a walking tour, because I want to discover the food, drink and history of Lisbon from an experienced tour guide or a local. Sounds like fun? Tell us what you’d do please!

Reykjavík, Iceland – Chasing the Northern Lights

Imagine seeing the Northern Nights with your friends — a memory and experience that would last you a lifetime. Have to admit, I’ve been fascinated by Iceland ever since I saw the 2013 film ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.’

If I ever head there with friends, I would take in its art galleries, make time for Icelandic cuisine (heard of the special Icelandic hot dog anyone?), and also plan a tour to the Blue Lagoon.

Reykjavik has plenty to offer no matter what time of the year you’re there at. If you and your besties love clubbing, look no further — lots of bars and clubs to visit. Most weekends witness concerts and shows, and there are music festivals in Reykjavik that you could tick off your list. Secret Solstice Festival takes place in late June and Iceland Airwaves in November.

If you like the sound of things above, do share it with your friends. And who knows? You may meet up on the weekend and promptly get about planning a trip.

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