I Heart My City – Intelligent Travel

I Heart My City

We want to hear why you heart your city!

It's easy to share the love: Simply fill in the blanks below (copy and paste the questions into an email or text document first) and send your completed questionnaire to IntelligentTravel@ngs.org, using “I Heart My City” as your subject line. To help us ensure accuracy, please include Web addresses (full URLs) that correspond with the places, attractions, and people you highlight in your responses.

We also encourage you to submit original photos, video, digital art, poetry, music—anything that helps show us why you love the place where you live—along with your completed questionnaire.

We feature an introductory paragraph about our I Heart My City guest authors at the top of each post, so please send us a short bio—making sure to include details about where you grew up, what led you to move to your current city, and how long you've lived there—along with links to your personal website or blog, if applicable, as well as links to any social profiles (Twitter, Instagram, etc.) that you'd like us to share with the world.

Finally, please share with us a paragraph or two (in narrative, full-sentence form) that explains why you love where you live. Try filling in the blank in response to the prompt: "In two sentences or less, the world should heart my city because ________________________________________________________________."

We'll be in touch if we'll be running your "I Heart" on Intelligent Travel. But in the meantime, scroll down past the questionnaire to check out our "I Heart My City" archives.

**I Heart My City Questionnaire**

______________ is My City

When someone comes to visit me, the first place I take them is ______________.

______________ is the best time to visit my city because ______________.

You can see my city best from ______________.

Locals know to skip ______________ and check out ______________ instead.

______________ is the place to buy authentic, local souvenirs.

In the past, notable people like ______________, ______________, and ______________ have called my city home.

My city’s best museum is ______________ because ______________.

If there’s one thing you should know about getting around my city, it’s ______________.

The best place to spend time outdoors in my city is ______________.

My city really knows how to celebrate ______________ because ______________.

You can tell if someone is from my city if ______________.

For a fancy night out, I ______________.

Just outside my city, you can visit ______________.

My city is known for being ______________, but it’s really ______________.

The best outdoor market in my city is ______________.

______________ is my favorite place to grab breakfast, and ______________ is the spot for late-night eats.

To find out what’s going on at night and on the weekends, read ______________.

When I’m feeling cash-strapped, I ______________.

To escape the crowds, I ______________.

The dish that represents my city best is ______________, and ______________ is my city’s signature drink. Sample them at ______________ and ______________ respectively.

______________ is the best place to see live music, but if you’re in the mood to dance, check out ______________.

______________ could only happen in my city.

In the spring you should ______________.

In the summer you should ______________.

In the fall you should ______________.

In the winter you should ______________.

If you have kids (or are a kid at heart), you won’t want to miss ______________.

The best book about my city is ______________ because ______________.

I Heart My City: Peggy’s Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach native Peggy Sijswerda can remember when her hometown was a sleepy little city covered in cornfields. Today, acting as editor and publisher of two regional magazines keeps Peggy more than busy, but she still makes time to enjoy all this coastal gem has to offer—”amazing history, beaches, boating, swimming, and seriously tasty seafood” chief among them. Here are a few of her favorite things about the city she’s proud to call home.

I Heart My City: Erin’s Madrid

Madrid “feels like the Spanish best friend you never had—one that welcomes you with open arms, tasty tapas and drinks, and good times,” says local Erin Ridley. “Really, it’s hard not to feel like you belong here.” Here are a few of Erin’s favorite things about the city she’s proudly called home for seven years.

I Heart My City (in the Summer)

The first official day of summer is fast approaching (for the northern half of the world, at least), so we thought we’d kick the season off right with a special edition of I Heart My City. Here are 20 summer must-dos recommended by “I Heart” contributors in 20 cities around the world.

I Heart My City: Christina’s Beirut

More than two years ago, Christina Tkacik spent her days viewing footage from the far-flung exploits of National Geographic explorers as a film librarian for the Society. “At some point, I knew it was time to have some adventures of my own,” she says. “So I did what anyone would do—I moved to Beirut!” Here are a few of Christina’s favorite things about the city she’s proud to call home.

I Heart My City: Angela’s Rome

Originally from the island of Sardinia, freelance travel writer Angela Corrias has traveled the globe, living as an expat and racking up nomad cred. Two years ago, she decided to stop roving and put down roots in Rome. The Eternal City continues to earn its moniker with its “never-fading allure,” she says. “Few places make whirling back in time so easy.” Here are a few of her favorite things about Rome.

I Heart My City: Martina’s Thessaloniki

“Even if it’s not really your cup of tea, Thessaloniki won’t bore you—not for a single second—because it never ever sleeps,” says local Martina Papaiaioannou. Here’s a look at Greece’s second largest city through her unique lens.

I Heart My City: Elizabeth’s Atlanta

Elizabeth Jarrett has a special love for Atlanta, Georgia, and the people who live there. Deeply entrenched in the Georgia capital’s creative class, Elizabeth is a founding member of the Collective Project theater company, hosts the Natural Selection variety show, works as a gallery curator, and runs Common Ground, an organization focused on strengthening communities through the arts. Here are a few of her favorite things about the city she’s proud to call home.

I Heart My City: Ludo’s Paris

Thirteen years ago, Ludo Yken moved to Paris to complete his studies and found that he never wanted to leave. In addition to feasting on the City of Love’s impressive spread of cultural attractions and green spaces, the media-industry professional found another reason to stay: the locals. “The people are much nicer than their bad reputation may suggest,” Ludo says. Here’s a look at the French capital through Ludo’s unique lens.

I Heart My City: Gábor’s Budapest

Gábor Dory is head of communications at the five-star Corinthia Hotel Budapest, one of the Old World grande dames that inspired Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” “From the historic thermal baths and museums to the modern 21st-century vibe of young Budapest, everyone who visits Budapest is guaranteed to enjoy themselves,” he says. Here are a few of Gábor’s favorite things about the city he’s proud to call home.

I Heart My City: Sheilla’s Tel Aviv

Sheilla Safra Maler was raised in northern Israel, but always longed to return to her birthplace, Tel Aviv. Now that she’s made that dream a reality, Sheilla’s passion for the “White City” has only increased—so much so that she is currently in training to become a tour guide on top of her day job at a high-tech company. Here are a few of her favorite things about Tel Aviv.

I Heart My City: Aileen’s Antwerp

Aileen Adalid quit her corporate job to travel the world. Though she grew up in the Philippines, she found her new home base on the other side of the world: Antwerp, Belgium. A treasure trove of adventure and culture, Antwerp was an easy sell for Aileen, who describes Belgium’s most populous city as “a quaint metropolis that has something for everyone, if not everything.” Here are a few of her favorite things about this Low Country gem.

I Heart My City: Jennifer’s Darwin

Three years ago, Jennifer Pinkerton cashed in her life as an editor in Sydney for a life of global adventure. After teaching English at the Dalai Lama’s temple in India, losing her hair in Zambia, and taking on French school in the Loire Valley, she ventured to the desert and put down roots in Darwin, the capital of one of Australia’s most remote and least populated areas. Here are a few of Jennifer’s favorite things about the tropical Northern Territory wonderland she’s proud to call home.