This cathedral city in Hertfordshire is positively brimming with unique historical sites and remarkable architecture, having been an important settlement since before Roman times. And there are plenty of present-day attractions to keep you busy day and night too: a wealth of independent shops and lively street markets, a popular programme of concerts and shows, and annual festivals that celebrate the very best of local food and drink.
Whichever way you approach St Albans, there's one thing you can't miss: the cathedral. Its striking form dominates the skyline. Get up close and you'll be able to spot features and materials from several different periods, including Roman bricks salvaged from the ruins of Verulamium, the settlement which occupied the area to the south of the city centre in the first few centuries AD.
You can find out about the Roman city at the Verulamium Museum, and just a short walk away there are the remains of a Roman theatre, town house, shrine and row of shops. The beautiful 100-acre park that adjoins the museum to the south is a popular spot for picnicking, feeding the ducks or just going for a leisurely stroll.
For a spot of shopping, catching up over a coffee or a sophisticated meal out, head for the High Street behind the cathedral, and explore the network of streets and shopping centres around Market Place, Chequer Street and beyond. Thanks to St Albans' previous prosperity as a coaching town on the route to and from London, you'll also find plenty of historic inns in the centre.
The city is also home to CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, so it's the perfect place to seek out a pint.