5. Crystal Palace, London, England
Navigate here by the Eiffel-like radio mast: this lofty southeast spot is worth finding. The namesake palace burned down in 1936 but its legacy park still hosts a maze, a stage and the world’s first dinosaur models, controversial in the 1850s and now good to picnic near. Outside the park the area is more contemporary, with gloriously cosy cafes, a world of restaurants and some independent oddments including a jungly reptile shop and sell-everything vintage market. But best is the view: stand atop Westow Hill and the whole city spreads out below. Go by train from Victoria or London Bridge directly to Crystal Palace Station; or join the Green Chain crew and walk from the Thames.
If there was ever any doubt as to how great the 'Palace is (our new home for the past few months, when house prices predictably pushed us out of our previous, more central location) then it's just been tipped by the Lonely Planet as one of the greatest little-known neighbourhoods in the world. I love it here - for the snug pubs and restaurants, the random, quirky retro furniture shops, the bookshop on Twitter, and for the amazing view of most of London just outside our window. Also - where else do you get to live near dinosaurs?