I Heart My City

We want to hear why you heart your city!

It's easy to share the love: Simply fill out the questions below (copy and paste the list 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, we encourage you to include web addresses that correspond with the places, attractions, and people you highlight in your responses.

We also encourage you to submit original photos, videos, 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, 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.

We'll be in touch if we'll be running your "I Heart" on the blog. But in the meantime, scroll down past the questionnaire to check out the "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 ______________.

My city’s biggest sports event is ______________. Watch it at ______________.

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

To escape the crowds, I ______________.

If my city were a celebrity it’d be ______________ because ______________.

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

______________ is my favorite building in town because ______________.

The most random thing about my city is ______________.

______________ 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 ______________.

When I think about my city, the song that comes to mind is ______________.

In 140 characters or less, the world should heart my city because _________________________________________________________________.

Michigander Luke Lienau’s relationship with Macau began in 2002 with a visit to see his girlfriend, a native of the Chinese Special Administrative Region. In the course of traveling back and forth for nearly a decade, he became fascinated with the city and its changes. When Luke finally decided to move to be with his now-wife…

Asin Sharma is a Kathmandu native whose love for her home city has only grown over time. To be sure, this passion drove Asin to pursue a career as a writer for NepalAdvisor.com, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t indulge her wanderlust once in a while. “I love traveling alone with a map in my hand…and an adventure right in front of me,” Asin admits. But her heart will always be in Kathmandu. Here are a few of her favorite things about the culturally rich capital she calls home.

Marta Macedo was born and raised in Porto and came to realize just how much she loved her city while she was studying abroad. “People may live their lives trying to figure out where their home is,” she says. “Being away made me realize that Porto truly is home for me.” After traveling the world, Marta returned to her beloved port city and started sharing her hometown pride on Spotted by Locals. Here are a few of her favorite things about Portugal’s second largest city.

Helen Davies may hail from the United Kingdom, but after an extended solo journey around Africa in her 20s, she fell in love with the continent. In fact, Zambia impressed her so much she ended up moving there to become an expedition leader and tour guide. Nowadays, she divides her time between Africa and the U.K. and documents her travels on her blog to help others uncover the best the world has to offer. Here are a few things about Livingstone, the city Helen calls her “second home.”

Venice native Igor Scomparin led tours all over Europe with Globus for a decade before returning home to be a “local host” for Monograms. Now, this tourism industry veteran’s mission is to show the real, authentic Venice to travelers who come to visit his homeland. Here’s a look at the City of Canals, through the ultimate local’s eyes.

Minnesota native and self-described travel addict Shanna Schultz makes a habit out of exploring the world—and of sharing tales of her adventures on her blog. But, not one to forget her roots, Shanna is also passionate about the things that make the Midwestern U.S. unique (check out her musings on A Midwest Travel Companion). Here are a few of her favorite things about her half of the Twin Cities.

Born and raised in the U.K., Cecily Layzell hopped the pond to Amsterdam a decade ago and has been keeping it continental ever since. When she’s not scoping out the latest restaurant and bars in the Dutch capital for her website, Eat Amsterdam, the food and travel writer spends her time freelancing for publications all around the globe. Here are a few of her favorite things about the Venice of the North.

Kathrin Deter moved to Helsinki from Luxembourg in 2010 for what she thought would be a short exchange program. But the Finnish capital stole her heart, and the move quickly became permanent. Not one to look back, Kathrin now she spends her days writing about her newly adopted city for Spotted by Locals, and on her personal blog, Luminoucity. Here are a few of Kathrin’s favorite things about the place she calls home.

When Ailsa Ross visited Berlin for the first time, she described it as “a big shiny carousel where even under the pale watery skies of winter, you feel part of a Golden Age.” After she decided to call the German capital home, her enthusiasm for the city only grew. Here are a few of her favorite things about Berlin.

Joseph Hudak has been a Nashville local since 2012, at the cusp of Music City’s renaissance. Prior to that, while based in Philadelphia, he logged five more years as a freelance writer covering the scene. Now senior editor at Rolling Stone Country, Rolling Stone’s new country-music website, Joseph looks forward to watching the city continue its evolution. Here’s a look at Tennessee’s famous capital through his unique lens.

Deepti Singh Gupta may be a botanist by education and a teacher by trade, but she’s a traveler “in spirit and soul.” Though she hails from the suburbs of Delhi, Deepti seeks out the capital city’s throbbing heart every chance she gets to explore its ever-changing landscapes. Here are a few of Deepti’s favorite things about the place she calls home.

Though born in Budapest, András Barta has called Geneva home since he was just a baby. This Jack-of-all-trades couch-surfing enthusiast–who has worked as a bookseller, financial advisor, bartender, and flight attendant–is now helping to lead a small business while writing for Spotted by Locals in his spare time. “I discover Geneva a bit more every day,” he says, “and I love every minute of it!” Here are a few of András’s favorite things about the cultural capital of French-speaking Switzerland.

Québec City native Pamela MacNaughtan left her career behind to pursue her dream of long-term travel in 2010, and hasn’t looked back. This self-proclaimed “bacon addict” isn’t only led by her taste buds; she’s also attracted to the unusual and adventurous side of life on the road. She’s toured working brothels and road tripped from Prague to Turkmenistan, but Canada has her heart. Here are a few of Pamela’s favorite things about the place she calls home.

Travel journalist Paul Steyn hails from Jozi, or Johannesburg–South Africa’s largest city. After serving as a guide throughout Africa for some years, he went on to edit a prominent travel magazine in Africa. Right now he’s a freelance writer and photographer focused on covering eco-forward destinations around the world, contributing regularly to National Geographic’s News Watch blog and other publications. Here are a few of Paul’s favorite things about his hometown.

Nat Geo Student Expeditions leader Erika Skogg is a photographer, writer, and educator with a passion for travel. After braving the frozen tundra of Wisconsin in her youth, Erika made the move to sunny Bogotá, where she has been working as a media producer for Off Bound Adventures and writing for the local English newspaper for the past two years. Here are some of her favorite things about Colombia’s capital city.

Oliver Weiss is a born and bred Frankfurter. And though he’s a fervent traveler, he’s always happy to return to his home base–which he describes as a village with a “touch of city.” In fact, Oliver has so much love for his hometown that he’s willing to share his insider intel with the world for Spotted by Locals. Here are some of Oliver’s favorite things about this German gem.

Nat Geo Young Explorer Emily Ainsworth was born and raised in Oxford, England. After studying at her hometown’s prestigious university, she joined the circus in Mexico, performing nightly as a solo dancer in the ring while producing an award-winning documentary about life backstage. Ainsworth’s work illuminates the lives of people on the fringes around the world–from Mongolian nomads to London royalty. Here are a few of her favorite things about her beloved City of Dreaming Spires.

Emma Fried-Cassorla can probably get away with saying she’s from the City of Brotherly Love after spending most of her life there. In addition to working a day job in communications at the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation, this hometown enthusiast shares her insider intel on Philly Love Notes. Here are a few of Emma’s favorite things about the city she calls home.

When Sharada Annamaraju moved to Hyderabad as a teenager, it wasn’t exactly love at first sight. But time and distance can change a person. Eight years (and one language learned) later, she decided to give the capital of Andhra Pradesh in southern India another chance. This time, sparks flew, and she isn’t leaving anytime soon. Here are a few of Sharada’s favorite things about the place she calls home.

Stephanie Hsu, who hails from New Jersey, relocated to Taipei on a “winter-break whim” and has never looked back. She now spends her days studying business at National Taiwan University and blogging about the place she calls home on her website, The Thousandth Girl. Here are a few of Stephanie’s favorite things about the city The Wall Street Journal’s China bureau described as “Asia’s answer to Portland, Oregon.”

Marina Popjakova might not be a native of Bratislava, but she certainly feels like one after having lived there for so long. She thinks Slovakia’s capital deserves more attention than it gets–and shares her enthusiasm for her adopted city with the world as a volunteer for Spotted by Locals. Here are some of Marina’s favorite things about the “Beauty on the Danube.”

Jill Schneider’s career as a photojournalist takes her all around the world, but her hometown of San Francisco always calls her back. A high school photography teacher and leader for National Geographic Student Expeditions, Jill is also a frequent Intelligent Travel contributor. Here are some of this California girl’s favorite things about her city by the bay.

Clive Cortis has spent the past 40 years in Malta and doesn’t “regret one single year.” He spends his days as a certified tour guide, showing off the things he loves about the island’s capital city of Valletta. From sandy beaches to exceptional nightlife, here are some of Clive’s favorite things about this Mediterranean city by the sea.

Originally from a small town in northwestern Ireland, Erna O’Connor first came to Dublin to attend Trinity College in the 1980s. Now a lecturer at the preeminent institution, she finds that Dublin’s friendly people, cultural vibrancy, and proximity to the mountains and the sea make it a great place to call home. Here are a few of Erna’s favorite things about Ireland’s capital city–just in time for St. Patrick’s Day.

When it came time to choose a college, Philadelphia native Jeremy Albelda traded in those northern winters for endless summer in Miami Beach. The city hooked him, hard, and he’s been a proud resident ever since. Though Jeremy’s gig as a travel blogger means he spends a lot of time abroad, the MIA always finds a way to reel him back. Here are some of his favorite things about the coastal gem he calls home.