From sleek interiors à la Tokyo penthouse to kitsch and chintzy sitting rooms in the style of Luke Edward Hall, these interiors-savvy cities will inspire, entice and render you poor as a church mouse before the weekend is out.

1. Barcelona

Barcelona is a no-brainer when it comes to architectural inspiration with Park Guëll and other Gaudí masterpieces such as La Sagrada Familia and La Pedrera looming at almost every turn. What can’t be dismissed, however, is what’s going on behind the city’s ornate facades. Ranging from Barcelona’s ultra-modern restaurants, such as Disfrutar and Alkimia, to low-key spaces with classic Spanish facets, scour the place for inspiration and return to your apartment with a distinctly Catalan aesthetic in mind.

2. Tel Aviv

One of the coolest cities on the travel circuit at the moment, Tel Aviv has it all: impossible-to-get dinner bookings, world-class nightclubs and Instagram-friendly cafés, hotel lobbies and bars. The city’s creative scene has a lot to do with it, with countless local designers coming out of the woodwork and putting a new twist on Tel Aviv’s trademark style – think bright colour-block interiors to contrast the city’s stark white bauhaus buildings. We’re also very invested in local designers and brands repurposing city spaces – such as former maternity wards, convents and auto-repair shops – and turning them into earthy boutique hotels and restaurants.

3. Copenhagen

Copenhagen can do no wrong when it comes to fashion, and it’s not too far off on the interior design front either. While Stockholm has long held the IKEA-branded torch in the furniture production stakes its Danish cousin is now a main player on the scene. One of the best parts about visiting this city for design geeks? A slew of dreamy design boutiques such as HAY and Normann make it dangerously easy to take home a part of the city — from an understated print to a knitted throw you simply can’t part ways with. You’ll need to get extra luggage for that multicoloured glassware set too.

4. Tokyo

A city as over the top as Tokyo is bound to have mind-blowing design standards, so if you’re looking to be awed, look no further. Whether you’re seeking extreme kawaii inspo or want to give your eyes a break from the neon lights in a Zen oasis, you can find an environment tailored to any mood in this megalopolis. For takeaway goodies (or pieces you might have to ship overseas) check out Somewhere Tokyo. When it comes to hotels, the more far-out the better. We suggest looking into BnA Hotel, where each room is an actual art piece conceived by a local creative.

5. Mexico City

Known for its vibrant colours, medley of architecture and sprawling proportions, Mexico is undeniably an aesthetically charged city. Ahead of the curve in terms of environmental footprint and clued up in the way in which design can affect people, the city’s numerous young designers and architects are busy creating sustainable kitchenware, crafting furniture that harnesses Mexican heritage and, like young designer Olga Hanono, dreaming up unparalleled spaces to call “home”. Showcasing the city’s ultra-cool vibes, nomadic design gallery Masa’s inaugural show was held in a sexy 1970s mansion decked out with hot-pink walls and carpets.

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Interior Designer Sophie Ashby's Favourite Hotels

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