Cities that are better when it’s raining

Friday, 13 April 2012 4:39 PM

By Amy Heritage

Every city has something you can entertain yourself with when it’s horrible weather outside. But which cities are actually improved by a splash of rain? Get ready to pack your brolly and mac, because these are our favourite cities to visit when it’s raining…

Scotland’s Capital thrives with a party atmosphere during warm weather – the sense of festival is always in the air, and the streets hum with the lively crowds. But - if it’s summer that brings out the party in Edinburgh - then it’s winter that showcases the natural beauty of the city. It's only when the water falls, that the grand backdrop of rocky hills and ocean comes alive, bringing a sort of sleepy serenity to the city. This is the best time to stroll down the streets - large umbrella overhead, shimmering cobble stones below - before nipping into a local pub. After all, huddling in a dark corner with a warming glass of whiskey and a steaming hot roast on the plate in front of you is never going to be the same when it’s sunny outside.

New York
The only thing you can’t do in New York when it rains is take a walk around Central Park – and, let’s be honest, you probably still could if you really wanted to. Unlike San Francisco and Los Angeles, those brash Californian cousins, the Big Apple is prone to a bit of bad weather - and it's all the better for it. Our favourite way to enjoy a gloomy afternoon in NYC is with a trip to the New York City Public Library, where you can check out one of the current exhibitions, or just stroll past the book-laden shelves and pretend you’re Holly Golightly, learning Portuguese for her dashing Brazilian suitor.

If the hot, sweaty hustle and bustle of one of Europe’s most manic cities doesn’t appeal to you – then try it in the rain. Out of the summer season Rome is, if not calmer, at least less swarming with tourists. Best of all, the Pantheon comes alive in a downpour – water flows in through the oculus of the domed roof onto the marble floor below, giving a whole new perspective to the ancient architecture. Simple, but stunning; when Rome’s dusty crooked streets get a bath, they become fresh and revitalised in a way many tourists could never imagine during the stuffy summer months. If all that hasn’t swayed you, then what about this; what better time is there to meet a handsome Italian stranger, than when you’re huddled in a little café, watching the world go by, and waiting for the shower to end?

Unlike Dubrovnik, which requires blistering heat to make the most of its beaches and sailing, Croatia's capital Zagreb flourishes when its raining. The city is fiercely proud of its spectacular museums, which happen to be the biggest collection in a small space, in all of Europe. They're also some of the quirkiest, individual and innovative you will come across anywhere in the world. Our favourite - the Museum of Broken Relationships - even won an award in 2011 from the European Museum Forum. Somehow, browsing intimate objects - which have been donated by members of the public post-dumping - just wouldn’t feel the same without the atmospheric patter of raindrops against the museum’s windowpanes.

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