Travel news: The world’s best places for drinking, sleeping and snacking

(CNN) — This week in travel: There’s a new global cocktail capital, some fat bears are porking up as much as possible before hibernation season, and CNN gets a look inside one of the world’s most famous clocks.

Bottoms up

For the first time in the history of the World’s 50 Best Bars list, the No. 1 designation has not gone to a spot in New York City or London.

Felicidades are in order for Barcelona’s Paradiso, which claimed the prize at this year’s World’s Best award ceremony.

As if that wasn’t enough, three of the top 10 bars in the world are in Barcelona, creating a new world cocktail capital.

Planning a trip to the city that will put the “bar” in Barcelona?

We’re happy to recommend the city’s best beaches for basking in the Spanish sun when you’re not sidling up for a superlative craft cocktail.
Cocktail capitals aren’t the only places getting knocked off their No. 1 perches. Asia Pacific is set to lose its title as the world’s largest travel region. Here’s where air travel volume is expected to eclipse Asia.

Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi’s celebrated Barcelona church has been 135 years in the making — and it’s not finished yet

From A to Zzzzzz

Travel is often associated with not sleeping, or at least not sleeping well. The jet lag, time changes and attempts to nap while sitting upright in an airplane seat all make for a not-so-ideal sleep scenario.

But what if that could all change?

A growing number of hotels are going beyond comfy beds and expensive linens in the pursuit of giving their guests the best night’s sleep ever. On offer: soundproofing, pillow menus, aromatherapy, weighted blankets and more.

Turkish delight

While Istanbul and Cappadocia are more popular with tourists to Turkey, don’t miss the chance to explore Izmir, which was once the country’s most thriving cosmopolis.

On Turkey’s west coast, looking out over the Aegean, Izmir is believed to have begun life as Smyrna, built by Alexander the Great.

Over the years, it has seen ups (the heyday of the Silk Road trading route) and downs (a catastrophic fire and damage during the country’s war for independence in the early 1920s), but it’s still a city on the move.

Tasting the world

Tropea is famous for its red onions. They are so sweet, they can be served in pasta, preserves and ice cream. Tune in Sundays at 9 p.m. ET to watch all-new episodes of “Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy.”
Stanley Tucci heads to Calabria as “Searching for Italy” returns to CNN at 9 p.m. ET Sunday, October 9. Red onions so sweet they can be made into ice cream are among the delicious flavors from this region in the “toe” of boot-shaped Italy.
Speaking of sweet, the United States has a delicious array of regional desserts that locals love and visitors should definitely sample. There’s a pie that sparks lawsuits in Kentucky, and in Massachusetts, another pie finds itself “in cake’s clothing.” Here are 15 American treats to try.

Bearly tolerable

Katmai National Park in Alaska is running its annual Fat Bear Week, a March Madness-style competition where you can vote for the bear you think best exemplifies fatness. Check out some of the top contenders.

Winter is coming — not only in fictional Westeros, but in Alaska’s Katmai National Park & Preserve, where brown bears are chunking up ahead of their winter hibernation season.

As bears can lose as much as one-third of their body weight during hibernation, it’s critical for them to put on as much pudge as possible once the weather starts cooling off.

Every year, Katmai celebrates Fat Bear Week with March Madness-style online brackets and a live cam to keep an eye on the 12 top contenders. Last year’s winner, 480 Otis, is still formidable in his salmon-munching abilities, but could this finally be 128 Grazer’s turn to top the leaderboard? Stay tuned.

In case you missed it

Now that’s how you get people excited about a reopening.

A tourist at the Vatican broke two ancient statues.

Kusama’s famous yellow pumpkin sculpture is back on Naoshima island.

Suffering from climate anxiety?

What a dream

If you can’t make it to Portugal to try out a sleep-centric hotel, why not get the next best thing in your own home?

Our partners at CNN Underscored, a product reviews and recommendations guide owned by CNN, have gathered together a list of the 13 best hotel pillows, all of which you can buy online.

Top image: Singapore Changi Airport’s expansion plans are seen in a rendering (Changi Airport Group).

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