Annie Fitzsimmons

Annie Fitzsimmons is Intelligent Travel's Urban Insider, your cosmopolitan culture connection. From great places to stay and one-of-a-kind things to do in her home base, New York City, to tips from locals in the know in cities around the world, Annie is here to get you up to speed. Follow along on the blog and on Twitter @anniefitz and on Instagram @anniefitzsimmons.

Why I Love London in the Winter

London isn’t high on many people’s travel lists past early fall, but I happen to love London when it’s cold outside. “You get to see the city for what it really is in the winter,” my friend Lauren Bryan Knight told me. “It’s London with her hair down, devoid of anything other than the quiet rhythm of Londoners living out their daily routines.” Here’s why the English capital should be on your winter travel list—and how to make the most of your time while you’re there.

Six Reasons to Visit Paris Right Now

Last week, I enjoyed two completely different dinners out in the French capital’s 11th arrondissement. The contrasting experiences in the so-called “Brooklyn of Paris” reminded me why right now is a wonderful time to be in the city that casts a magical spell, whether it’s your first or fifteenth visit.

Wednesday: #CityTravel Twitter Chat

Love exploring new cities around the world? Join @NatGeoTravel’s Urban Insider and Orbitz travel editor Sarah Gorenstein for a live Twitter chat on Wednesday, November 5.

10 Things to Love About San Francisco

On a recent visit to San Francisco, I was fortunate to have Nat Geo photographer Catherine Karnow as a companion and guide. As we explored the city in her zippy convertible, we made a point to venture across the bridge to Marin County, where Catherine makes her home. Here’s a list of ten of our favorite places experiences–on both sides of the bay.

City to Watch: Oakland Rising

Oakland is enjoying a moment in the sun right now, as evidenced by a recent spate of media hits and amorous outpourings on social networks. But after Nat Geo photographer Catherine Karnow and I spent time there on assignment, we both left convinced that the city’s ascent isn’t fleeting, but one that will have a long tail, bolstered by a steady stream of colorful shop and restaurant openings and an influx of equally colorful characters seeking lower rents and a less stressful lifestyle.

Five Lessons From a Nat Geo Photographer

If you think traveling with a Nat Geo photographer is a dream project–like I did when I heard I’d be working with Catherine Karnow–I’m here to tell you that it most definitely is. Not only did I gain insight into Catherine’s singular brand of photojournalism, I made a new friend–one I hope to see and work with again around the world. Here are a few things I learned from Catherine in the hopes that you, too, can benefit from her vision and experience as you explore and document the world.

The Perfect Day in San Francisco

As our joyful adventures in Dublin drew to a close, it was good to know that there were more adventures ahead. Catherine and I would be flying back over the Atlantic to explore the place Catherine calls home: San Francisco. And after exploring Catherine’s favorite spots, and discovering new gems together, we figured out the perfect way to spend a day in the City by the Bay. Here’s our recipe.

Dublin for Foodies

There was a time when I thought getting a world-class meal in Dublin involved hopping a plane to New York. That’s why I was blown away by the culinary scene Catherine Karnow and I encountered. The quality, creativity, and dedication to local ingredients we witnessed were on par with what you’ll find in some of the most sophisticated cities in the world–yet set apart by a uniquely Irish emphasis on comfort and simplicity. Here are ten must-try foodie havens that are making waves in Dublin.

How to Photograph Joyful People

My trip to Dublin marked the first time I’d be traveling with a National Geographic photographer and I was hoping to pick up a few tips. But I had no idea that the whole experience would be an immersive lesson in how to fall in love with the world and people through the lens of…

Discovering Dublin’s Coastal Villages

I’d been to the Irish capital several times before, but had never ventured from the city center to the seaside towns along the coast. As I came to find out, these aren’t seasonal communities brimming with tacky T-shirt and ice cream shops, but rather idyllic suburbs of Dublin where many families make their home.

The Perfect Day in Dublin

I’ve been to Dublin several times before, and have always found it to be a relaxing, almost effortless, city to visit with its eminently walkable city center bisected by the River Liffey. But this time, I was exploring the Irish capital with Nat Geo photographer Catherine Karnow. Together we discovered a new energy to the Dublin we have both come to know and love. Here’s how we spent our first, perfect day in Dublin, and how you can follow our trail.

Video: 11 Things to Love About Williamsburg

Destinations often call to mind other locales. Quebec City has a whiff of Paris to it, Laguna Beach can feel vaguely Italian, and the horse farms of New York’s Hudson Valley offer whispers of the English countryside. But Williamsburg and environs is hard to compare with anywhere else. Here are 11 things I loved about this picturesque region of Virginia.