While Milan, New York, London and Paris are the obvious stops for a design lover’s global travels, there are more than a few others around the world worth adding to the itinerary. From eye-catching interiors to awe-inspiring architecture, beautiful bookstores and dreamy boutique hotels, here are some other cities we think are worthy of a closer look.
The Argentinian capital may be known for steak and tango, but BA has also been named as the first UNESCO City of Design, as part of the organisation’s Creative Cities Network.
Stay: Colourful, comfortable and thoughtfully designed down to the very last detail, there really is no place like the Home Hotel.
See: For artsy inspiration visit the Recolete Cultural Centre, or try the Nora Fisch Gallery for some eye-popping contemporary art.
Shop: The Buenos Aires Design Mall is a one-stop shop for chic homewares and furniture. Check out the trendy areas of Palermo or Villa Crespo – La Pasionaria is an antiques goldmine.
Eat: Embedded in a grand 1920s residence, Casa Cavia and the modern Argentinian cuisine it serves are a treat to the senses.
Dubbed World Design Capital in 2014, this South African creative and multicultural haven is home not just to the world’s largest museum for contemporary African art, but also to a slew of uber-talented interior designers.
Stay: Boasting redesigned areas by interior designer Inge Moore, the iconic Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel is a luxe haven with breathtaking views.
See: Zeitz MOCAA museum of contemporary African art was the brainchild of entrepreneur Jochen Zeitz and designed by UK creative Thomas Heatherwick.
Shop: Kloof Street – keep an eye out for favourites such as LIM, Loft Living and Klooftique.
Eat: Expect interiors with a cool industrial vibe and fine dining at The Test Kitchen in Woodstock; thetestkitchen.co.za.
The home city of renowned designer Hans Wegner and the epitome of Scandinavian style, Copenhagen is the birthplace of ‘effortless cool’. The Danish capital is a hot spot of both high-end boutiques and up-and-coming designers to watch.
Stay: For laid-back luxury meets designer boutique, try Hotel Sanders; hotelsanders.com.
See: The Danish Design Museum, specifically the permanent exhibition celebrating The Danish Chair.
Shop: Head to the Osterbro neighbourhood to check out the Normann Copenhagen flagship, as well as Moshi Moshi Mind.
Eat: Giving new meaning to home-grown, Vakst serves fresh greens grown in a stunning greenhouse right inside the restaurant; cofoco.dk.
This top-tier international hub has so much more to offer than its iconic skyline. Think worldclass bars, the finest of dining and a cosmos of design one step ahead of the rest of the world.
Stay: Don’t be fooled by the untouched look of the 1930s The Waterhouse at South Bund; it’s a perfect blend of old and new, where stripped concrete walls meet high-design updates.
See: The Zhongshuge Bookstore in the Jing’an district, with its pegged walls and mirrored ceilings, designed by X+Living, has to be seen to be believed.
Shop: Walk the leafy streets of the former French Concession and trawl through a treasure trove of beautiful boutiques. Be sure to explore the maze-like enclave of Tian Zi Fang and its shopfronts and cafes.
Eat: For a multi-sensory dining experience, visit Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet; uvbypp.cc.
Tradition and technology meet in Tokyo, making it one of the world’s most dazzling cities. With more Michelin stars than anywhere else, you can expect to eat as well as you’ll shop.
Stay: Drawing on both the trends and traditions of local culture, Trunk Hotel is a design marvel in its own right – and is a celebration of all things made in Japan.
See: Shibuya’s Omotesand?. The tree-lined avenue is renowned for being a showcase of great architecture and design, based on the buildings alone.
Shop: Spend some time in the Kichijōji neighbourhood, in particular Outbound and Puku Puku for unique homewares.
Eat: Honmura An for what might be the best soba you’ll ever eat; honmuraantokyo.com.
“AN ICON OF CULTURE, HISTORY AND ARCHITECTURE, THE CITY OF SHANGHAI IS ALSO A HIVE OF forward-thinking DESIGN”
As a city bursting with culture and a skyline peppered with the architectural masterpieces of Antoni Gaudi, Barcelona is high on the to-do list for creatives and design-lovers. Beyond the Gothic gems and Catalan modernism, there is colour and creativity of all kinds to be discovered.
Stay: Indulge yourself at Claris Hotel & Spa, surrounded by original art from around the world; hotelclaris.com.
See: Passeig de Gracia, known for its high concentration of modernist buildings.
Shop: Head to the Gothic Quarter and arts and crafts gallery It Reminds Me Of Something.
Eat: Striking ceramic-lined interior and two Michelin stars – Disfrutar is more than worthy of a visit; ca.disfrutarbarcelona.com.
Art, culture and history make Berlin one of the most creative and effervescent cities in Europe – and one of the coolest.
Stay: The Provocateur in West Berlin is filled with bold colours, luxe textures (yes, velvet) and seriously flamboyant design; provocateur-hotel.com.
See: Immerse yourself in history at the 17th-century Charlottenburg Palace.
Shop: Head to Kreuzberg and be sure to check out Hallesches Haus for beautiful pieces.
Eat: Splurge on the creative seven-course tasting menu at Pauly Saal; paulysaal.com. ■