This main commercial street of the city is where you’ll be in for a treat. With endless rows of Xiamen’s best street delicacies, there’s bound to be something to tickle your taste buds. Some famous snacks that you should not miss include the fresh and tender Gulangyu Fish Balls, Fujian style Fried Oysters Omelette that is generously packed with oysters and flavoured with a savoury spring onion and wok hey taste, and the thick and hearty mian xian hu (Fujian-style wheat vermicilli soup). If you are feeling adventurous, you should also try their exotic sandworm jelly that is not only tasty but rich in protein.

1. U is for Ulaanbaatar, where nomadic charm meets modernity in Mongolia's capital

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia's capital city, offers a surprising blend. Nicknamed "The Coldest Capital City in the World," it fuses urban energy with the lingering spirit of Mongolia's nomadic past. Modern buildings share the landscape with ornate Buddhist monasteries, creating a fascinating contrast.

Learn about Mongolia's rich Buddhist culture at the Gandan Monastery, the largest complex in the country. Witness saffron-clad monks chanting prayers and admire the gleaming gold statues. The serene atmosphere offers a glimpse into Mongolian spirituality.

Embrace Mongolian traditions at the National Sports Stadium. Watch a captivating demonstration of traditional archery, a deeply ingrained sport. You might even get a chance to try your hand at it! Or venture beyond the city and embark on a horseback riding adventure across the vast Mongolian steppe. Gallop through rolling hills, feel the exhilaration of riding under the endless sky, and connect with the nomadic spirit.

Best months to visit: May, June, and September offer a good balance of comfortable temperatures and fewer crowds. December to February transform Ulaanbaatar into a winter wonderland. Temperatures plummet, dropping well below freezing (sometimes reaching -30°C), and snowfall paints the city white. This season offers unique experiences like attending the Tsagaan Sar festival, the Mongolian New Year, which celebrates the beginning of spring.

2. V is for Vancouver, city by the sea surrounded by mountains

Straddling the shores of the Pacific Ocean with majestic mountains rising behind it, Vancouver boasts a fusion of urban energy and outdoor adventure. 

Embrace Vancouver's status as a nature lover's paradise at the vast 1,000-acre Stanley Park. Explore towering trees, serene gardens, and scenic walking trails. Rent a bike and cruise along the picturesque Seawall, the fresh breeze carrying the scent of the ocean as you admire breathtaking vistas of the harbour and snow-capped mountains. 

Immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, and aromas of Vancouver's Chinatown, one of the largest in North America. Explore bustling dim sum restaurants, traditional tea shops, and shops selling Chinese medicine.

Best months to visit: Vancouver is a city for all seasons, being one of Canada’s coolest cities in summer, and one of the warmest in winter. So the best time to go really depends on what you want to do – summer offers bountiful hiking opportunities, while winter lets you enjoy some world-class skiing.

Read here to find out why Vancouver needs to be on your travel bucket list.

3. W is for Warsaw, a city reborn

Unlike many European capitals, Warsaw wears its history on its sleeves. Devastated during World War II, the city rose from the ashes to become a vibrant metropolis that honours its past while embracing the future.

Prepare for a powerful experience at the Warsaw Uprising Museum. Interactive exhibits and multimedia displays tell the story of the Warsaw Uprising, a courageous but ultimately tragic attempt to liberate the city from Nazi occupation. It's a moving and unforgettable experience, offering a stark reminder of the city's unwavering spirit.

Need a break from the history lesson? Escape to the Royal Łazienki Park, a sprawling green oasis in the heart of Warsaw. Rent a rowboat and explore the picturesque lake, or simply relax amidst the lush gardens and ornate palaces. Breathe in the fresh air and let the serenity wash over you. Or visit the Palace of Culture and Science, a landmark of the Soviet era, offering panoramic city views from its observation deck.  Explore its diverse museums and cultural institutions, or attend a concert or theatrical performance in its grand halls. 

While pierogi remain a delectable staple, Warsaw offers a culinary adventure beyond dumplings. Savour hearty traditional dishes like "zurek" (sour rye soup with sausage) or "gołąbki" (stuffed cabbage leaves), and experience the warmth of Polish comfort food. For a more modern twist, delve into Warsaw's bustling restaurant scene, where innovative takes on Polish classics mingle with international flavours.

Best months to visit: For comfortable temperatures best for exploring the city on foot or bike, visit during spring and early autumn.

If you’re thinking of a holiday to Europe, read here to learn more about Poland.

4. X is for Xiamen, island paradise with a touch of history

From island getaways, historical sites and relaxing experiences, Xiamen offers something for everyone. 

No trip to Xiamen is complete without exploring Gulangyu Island, a car-free island brimming with character. Enchanting colonial architecture lines winding cobblestone streets, while stunning ocean views beckon around every corner. Hike or take the cable car to Sunshine Rock for breathtaking views of the ocean, lush hills, and the city skyline. While you’re there, venture beyond the main areas to discover hidden coves like Cliff Beach or Sunlight Rock Beach. Enjoy a peaceful swim and soak up the sun away from the crowds.

For the foodies, head to Zhongshan Road Walking Street. It's a sensory feast, overflowing with delectable street food like sizzling skewered seafood and comforting "malatang” (hotpot). But beyond the culinary delights, it's the heart of the city. Here, you'll be swept up in the vibrant energy – locals mingling, vendors hawking their wares, and conversations buzzing all around.

You should also consider a day trip to the surrounding villages and explore the unique Tulou earthen houses. Visit the beautiful campus of Xiamen University, or take a boat trip around Xiamen Harbour to admire the city skyline and the surrounding islands from a different perspective.

Best months to visit: The weather from March to May and between October and December is generally mild and comfortable, with lower humidity levels compared to the hot and humid summer months.

For the best things to see, do and eat at Xiamen, read here.

5. Y is for Yangon, Myanmar’s cultural capital

As the country's largest city and former capital, Yangon serves as the cultural and economic heartbeat of Myanmar. 

As you navigate the bustling streets of Yangon, keep an eye out for the city's iconic mode of transportation – the colourful and nostalgic Yangon Circular Train. Hop aboard this slow-moving train for a leisurely ride around the city's outskirts, where you'll encounter friendly locals and picturesque landscapes.

One of the most iconic landmarks in Yangon is the Shwedagon Pagoda, a dazzling golden stupa that dominates the city's skyline. As one of the holiest Buddhist sites in Myanmar, the Shwedagon Pagoda is not only a place of worship but also a symbol of the country's spiritual heritage. You can spend hours marvelling at the intricate architecture, gilded spires, and the serene atmosphere of this sacred site. Just a short distance away from the Shwedagon Pagoda, consider exploring the hidden gem of Kandawgyi Park. This tranquil oasis is home to lush greenery, serene walking paths, and a picturesque lake. Enjoy stunning views of the Shwedagon Pagoda reflected in the waters of the lake.

For a taste of local life, head to Bogyoke Aung San Market, formerly known as Scott Market. This sprawling market is a treasure trove of handicrafts, textiles, jewellry, and souvenirs, offering the perfect opportunity to shop for unique gifts and mementos. Don't forget to haggle with the friendly vendors for the best deals!

Best months to visit: The best time to visit Yangon is during the cooler and drier months, which typically span from November to February. However, if you prefer to avoid the peak tourist season and don't mind a bit of warmth, the shoulder months of March to May can also be a good time to visit.

6. Z is for Zurich

Against the backdrop of snow-capped peaks of the majestic Swiss Alps, Zurich is Switzerland's sophisticated financial centre.

Begin your exploration of Zurich in the enchanting Altstadt, or Old Town, where medieval streets wind their way past quaint cafes, boutique shops, and historical landmarks. Lose yourself in the maze of cobblestone alleys as you admire the beautifully preserved architecture of buildings dating back centuries. Be sure to visit Grossmünster, a stunning Romanesque-style cathedral with twin towers offering panoramic views of the city.

For a taste of Zurich's cultural scene, head to the Kunsthaus Zurich, one of Switzerland's most important art museums. Here, you'll find an impressive collection of works by renowned artists such as Picasso, Monet, and Van Gogh, as well as contemporary Swiss art. Art enthusiasts shouldn't miss the chance to explore the lesser-known Cabaret Voltaire, the birthplace of the Dada movement, which offers a fascinating glimpse into Zurich's avant-garde art scene.

Take a leisurely stroll along the shores of Lake Zurich, where you can relax on grassy banks, rent a paddleboat, or simply soak in the stunning views of the Alps reflected in the crystal-clear waters. For a unique perspective of the city, hop aboard a scenic boat cruise and glide along the lake while admiring the city skyline.

Best months to visit: The best time to visit Zurich is during the summer months, from June to August. With daylight hours, you can enjoy outdoor activities such as strolling along the lakeshore, exploring the city's parks and gardens, and dining al fresco at charming sidewalk cafes.

Don’t miss your chance to win return air tickets to any of the 26 cities from A to Z

If you’re a travel enthusiast who wants to explore the world from A to Z, Changi Airport’s ‘Travel A to Z’ campaign is your chance to win return air tickets!  

From 1 to 31 March 2024, simply guess correctly the city featured in a video each week on the ‘Travel A to Z’ page and you will be entered into a Grand Draw to win return air tickets to any of the 26 cities featured. The more correct answers you submit, the greater your chances of winning the Grand Draw! 

What are you waiting for? Head over to ‘Travel A to Z’, pack your bags, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable adventure. 


For more updates on Changi Airport, follow on FacebookTiktokInstagramTwitterTelegram and YouTube. You can also sign up for a Changi Account and have the latest news and articles delivered right into your inbox.