Eiffel Tower Paris
Photograph ©2008 by Brian Cohen.

5 City Searches: How Many Cultural Items Can You Find?

With regard to perceived devaluations, stricter regulations, irregular operations and other known and unknown impediments, sometimes we take miles, points and travel way too seriously…

5 City Searches: How Many Cultural Items Can You Find?

…so how about taking a break for a few moments to engage in a good old-fashioned virtual adventure of hide and seek pertaining to five of the most iconic locations around the world? Can you find the objects which are particularly synonymous with the settings in each of the featured cities?

A series of “virtual treasure hunts” of those five locations has been created — and this article from comparethemarket.com can ultimately inspire you, lending initial insights and compelling you to launch more detailed research pertaining to these cities which may interest you in future travels.

I have been given express written permission to use the images in this article. Verbatim text from the aforementioned article is in quotes above each “virtual treasure hunt”, with brief notes added by me for some of the destinations below each “virtual treasure hunt.”

1. New York — Times Square 

“There are few more photographed and recognizable areas anywhere in the world than Times Square. Dominated by towering skyscrapers, perpetual stock tickers and high-tech digital advertising, Times Square is the beating heart of the Big Apple. Located at the junction of Broadway and Seventh Avenue, the area took on huge significance in post-WWII New York, becoming equal parts entertainment, commerce and tourist attraction.”

New York treasure hunt
Click on the image for an enlarged view. Source: comparethemarket.com.

For this virtual treasure hunt, seeing the ersatz names of fictitious companies emulating the recognition of real ones may be just as much fun as trying to find the cultural items which are hidden.

Fast fact: I was born and raised in New York and worked for a company in the heart of Times Square at one time.

2. Rome — Roman Forum

“The particularly historic Italian city of Rome is exemplified by the Roman Forum, which was first developed in the 7th century BC. It was a place for ancient Romans to meet and gather, and the plaza still attract 4.5 million visitors every year. Some of the best preserved ruins in Rome, the remains of the city’s most imposing temples and monuments are on many a bucket list.”

Rome treasure hunt
Click on the image for an enlarged view. Source: comparethemarket.com.

I enjoyed roaming around Rome when I was there some years ago, visiting the Colosseum and the Trevi Fountain as two icons which are recognized around the world. The fountain is not in this particular image — but that may be water under the bridge.

3. Rio de Janeiro — Copacabana Beach

“Copacabana Beach is such an iconic setting that an equally iconic New York nightclub was named after it. The 2.5 miles of golden sand at this Rio de Janeiro hotspot is breathtaking in and of itself – but it also plays host to a rich plethora of activity, from shops and cafes to sports on the beach. With idyllic blue waters and a gorgeous mountain backdrop, Copacabana will be an esteemed vacation destination as long as the sun continues to shine.”

Rio de Janeiro treasure hunt
Click on the image for an enlarged view. Source: comparethemarket.com.

Of the five cities featured in this article, I still have never been to Rio de Janeiro even though I have been to Brazil. Perhaps one day I will visit this city.

I was going to say that I hope I did not disappoint Barry Manilow; but I am not sure I actually care about that anyway…

4. Tokyo — Sensō-ji

“This ancient Buddhist temple, located in the Asakusa region of Tokyo, is the oldest and one of the most notable in all of Japan. Attracting a staggering 30 million people annually, Sensō-ji is nearly 1,500 years old. While the shopping street in front of it is a hub of activity during the day, the temple is illuminated (and quieter) at night – a truly beautiful sight.”

Tokyo treasure hunt
Click on the image for an enlarged view. Source: comparethemarket.com.

I truly enjoyed Tokyo and visiting the shrines, walking on Mount Fuji, staying overnight in a ryokan, and enjoying the cuisine — especially the sushi and bento boxes. Most of all, the people are generally helpful and friendly, as they feel a responsibility of being gracious hosts to visitors of their city and country. I would certainly return.

If you have never been to Tokyo, do go — and if you are worried about the language barrier, know that signage in English is available throughout much of the city.

5. Paris — Moulin Rouge

“Paris is a city of contrasts, and this world-renowned cabaret venue is an emblem of the more risqué side of the French capital. Responsible for the birth of the can-can in the early 20th century, Moulin Rouge continues to offer dance entertainment for the city’s many visitors. Frequently featured in popular culture, it’s become one of the most loved settings for entertainment anywhere in the world.”

Paris treasure hunt
Click on the image for an enlarged view. Source: comparethemarket.com.

Paris has the distinction of being the first city which I ever visited outside of North America. I spent a month there when I attended college — and I received credit for being there!

I have returned to Paris several times since then. Just like with the virtual treasure hunt, there are hidden gems which await you in what is also known as the City of Light — if you are willing to be adventurous and take the time out to explore the city. I prefer to do it with a baguette under one arm in case I get hungry along the way — or I may simply patronize an outdoor café while sitting for a couple of hours, watching people and life go by.


New York skyline
Photograph ©2007 by Brian Cohen.

Did you find all of the cultural items in each of the five virtual treasure hunts?

If you have not been to these locations — or even if you have and want to return — hopefully these virtual treasure hunts have given a small incentive to experience more of what the five aforementioned cities have to offer…

All photographs ©2007 and ©2008 by Brian Cohen.