Odd squad | Monocle

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  1. Bogotá: Every Sunday, Colombia’s capital closes 125km of roads so that those on two wheels have the run (or the pedal) of the place.
  2. Oslo: Keen for fresh air? Try the 2,600km of cross-country ski tracks that can be reached from Oslo’s city centre.
  3. Vilnius: A quick flick on your smartphone is OK but not while crossing the road: in Lithuania’s capital, doing both could land you with a fine.
  4. Toronto: The Toronto Public Library is the world’s busiest. In 2018 it had 17.3 million visits and 70 per cent of Torontonians use it.
  5. Córdoba: Nowhere is Fernet Branca and Coca-Cola more readily quaffed than in Argentina’s second city.
  6. Madrid: Has the oldest running restaurant in the world: Sobrino de Botín hasn’t closed its doors since 1725.
  7. Helsinki: Home to 123 signed heavy-metal bands. Finns also consume the most ice cream per capita in Europe.
  8. Calgary: The greater city area has the biggest network of cycling and walking trails in North America: more than 1,000km.
  9. Putrajaya: This Malaysian city has a roundabout with a circumference of 3.5km.
  10. Cardiff: In 1894, Henry Spiller opened a record shop in the Welsh capital. After 125 years it’s still going strong.
  11. New York: Cyclists are allowed to wear headphones – as long as they listen through just one ear.
  12. Chongqing: Pedestrians have had enough of being stuck behind those walking slowly while checking their phones: pavements have a separate lane for digital dawdlers.
  13. Salt Lake City: A decree stating that those driving cattle through the town must be able to turn livestock without “resorting to profanity” means that most roads are 39.6 metres wide.
  14. Skopje: Thrifty travellers should head to North Macedonia while it still has the cheapest capital city in Europe.
  15. Paris: Has no stop signs.
  16. Shanghai: Every weekend, China’s second city holds an outdoor marriage market. Parents of single folk scout for spouses for their sons and daughters.
  17. Hamburg: To stop revellers relieving themselves in the party district of St Pauli, Hamburg has hydrophobically painted walls that ricochet urine back onto offenders’ trousers.
  18. Moscow: The Russian capital has more park space than any other major city: 54 per cent of Moscow is green.
  19. São Paulo: Has the highest number of surfers for a city that has no immediate coastline. The 150,000 surfers who live here leave town for a swell time.
  20. Lisbon: Has 2,799 hours of sunshine a year (more than double Glasgow’s 1,203).
  21. Tel Aviv: More dogs per capita than any city in the world (one for every 17 people). It has four dog-friendly beaches and one dog-friendly park per square kilometre.
  22. Montréal: Each of Montréal’s 68 (mostly) brutalist metro stations are designed by a different architect.
  23. Rome: There are 2,800 tap-less drinking fountains here called nasoni – Italian for “big nose”.
  24. Athens: Half of the city’s 65 metro stations exhibit archaeological treasures found during construction.
  25. Lucerne: The ends of one of the city’s motorway tunnels can be sealed off, turning it into a fallout shelter capable of holding 2,000 people.

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