The 25 Best Cities to Visit in the World

There are many beautiful cities in the world. You could spend a lifetime visiting the world’s greatest cities and still not see them all.

When it comes to international cities, however, not all are created equal. The world has a top tier of urban environments that set the standard for the rest of the world.

The best cities to visit often have some of the world’s most iconic landmarks and can be found all over the world, from Asia and Europe to the Middle East and the Americas.

Here is a list of some of the best cities in the world to visit for travellers looking for inspiration for their next trip.

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1.Paris, France.

Paris, France, remains one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations because it is an iconic destination for major life events such as milestone vacations, engagements, celebrations, and honeymoons.

With regular flight schedules and tours available, it is also a convenient place to visit for quick getaways.

Many visitors come to Paris to see the art and visit galleries and museums such as the Louvre Museum and the Musee d’Orsay. Some tourists visit Paris because it is a must-see destination for many people.

They wish to visit the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame Cathedral, and the Arc de Triomphe.

Because Paris is known as a city of romance, many marriage proposals occur there on a regular basis, and honeymooners enjoy vacationing with a romantic cruise down the Seine River.

Some of your activities may be dictated by the time of year you visit, but even in the dead of winter, there is plenty to do in Paris.

2. New York City, United States of America

There are numerous factors that contribute to New York City’s status as one of the best cities in the world.

The city and the Statue of Liberty that visitors see as they arrive represent the culture and freedom that America represents. With Wall Street and international businesses, New York City is the financial centre of the United States.

The majority of people visit New York City simply to be a part of the city scene. It is where people go to make their dreams come true, with experiences such as seeing a Broadway show, watching the famous ball drop on New Year’s Eve in Times Square, and participating as a spectator in the Thanksgiving Day parade.

New York City is where things happen, and visitors enjoy getting a taste of the action. It’s another one of those great bucket-list destinations that can be visited at any time of year; even winter in New York City is enjoyable.

3. London, United Kingdom

There is never a lack of intrigue or interest in London as a destination, making it one of the world’s most visited cities. The Royal intrigue is one of its main draws, as thousands of tourists descend on Buckingham Palace to get a brush with the British monarchy.

Millions of tourists visit London each year and tour the top attractions, like the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, and St.

Paul’s Cathedral. Part of what makes London such a treat to visit is its public transport system, which makes it easy to get from one place to another without a car. With so much to see, it is easy to stay mobile in London to visit poplar landmarks in a single day, like the Tower Bridge and the Skydeck at The Shard 800 feet above the city .

London is also revered for its neighbourhoods and famous markets, like the Borough Market, operating since the 13th century, and the Camden Market, with small vendor stalls selling food and local goods.

4. Bangkok, Thailand

The bustling city of Bangkok, Thailand is one of the top tourist cities in the world, with nearly 24.1 million visitors a year.

The city is usually the first stopping point for anyone touring through Thailand. Bangkok has an exciting mix of packed subways, huge skyscrapers, temples, historic architecture, lavish gardens, palaces, and almost nightly sporting events, like kickboxing, that draw thousands of fans.

Bangkok has a lively atmosphere, even during the daylight hours. Travelers on a budget can find cheap entertainment, shopping bargains, and low-cost accommodations especially in the area of Khao San Road.

Travelers with unlimited budgets can find everything on the opposite end of the spectrum, from luxury hotels to extravagant shopping at high-end stores at the Siam Paragon Mall.

The city is also popular for more traditional experiences, like the floating markets and Thai massage parlours where you can get an hour of relaxation for less than $10 dollars.

5. Hong Kong, China

Hong Kong is one of the most famous cities in the world. It has remained so for more than a decade and continues to attract travellers.

With an estimated 29.2 million visitors a year, the city has a stronghold over other cities in the world when it comes to attracting travellers. Hong Kong is a convenient holiday destination, and its shopping, especially for bargains, is unmatched.

Hong Kong is one of the most popular cities in the world, but it is also one of the most expensive places to travel if you plan to stay in the heart of the city.

If you stay just beyond the main tourist areas in places like Jordan or Kowloon, you can find slightly less expensive accommodations.

Some of the other reasons travellers flock to Hong Kong include: an easy public transportation system, so there is no need to drive; massive theme parks; 24-hour dining; the world’s largest skyscrapers; bargain shopping for high-end goods; and beaches and mountains that are quickly accessed just outside the city. You can even find beautiful hiking trails in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong also holds fascination for unusual finds that are just plain interesting, like a 24-karat solid gold toilet inside a Hong Kong jewellery company and a beautiful tunnel of pink flowers located inside the Un Chau Estate public housing complex.

6. Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Dubai in the United Arab Emirates is synonymous with luxury lifestyles. While Dubai is a large global business centre, people enjoy vacationing among the rich and the attractions that cater to them.

Dubai is home to the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, and it’s where tourists find some other attractions that are among the largest in the world, like the shopping malls and aquarium.

Dubai’s grandiose fantasy atmosphere is what travellers want to experience. From over-the-top luxury hotels and resorts to the urban green space like the Dubai Miracle Garden, the sights, sounds, colours and other sensory experiences in Dubai are unlike any other destination.

Dubai’s nightlife and world-famous beaches are also draws for visitors, who come to enjoy kicking back among the natural and man-made beauty of this extravagant city.

7. Singapore

The small Asian country of Singapore attracts travellers year-round, and its popularity is growing. The island of Singapore has a stunning blend of historic culture with old buildings nestled in among large skyscrapers.

There is a charm between the old and the new in the way that small neighbourhood shopping districts exist between the mega luxury shopping malls that Singapore is known for.

The beauty of Singapore is another reason people visit. The Supertrees in the vertical gardens and the artistic green displays in Gardens by the Bay have a wow factor as they light up the city.

Singapore is known for its vast amount of green space, with urban gardens like the Singapore Botanic Gardens, National Orchid Garden, and the Cloud Forest.

Besides a visually beautiful location and so many things to do, Singapore is a clean and safe city, which gives it high appeal for travellers.

8. Rome, Italy

Rome is one of those destinations that sits on many travellers’ must-see someday lists. The culture of Rome and its historic architecture are its main draws.

The Colosseum, Pantheon, Trevi fountain, and the Vatican usually top the list of things vacationers want to check off their list.

Besides the famous cultural sites, visitors head to Rome for its famous homemade Italian food, from fried artichokes to homemade pasta.

Tourists like to try authentic Italian cuisine and feel like a local. The monuments and artwork throughout Rome are also a draw for visitors who want to step inside some of the oldest museums in the world.

Make your base here and enjoy day trips from Rome to surrounding towns or out the nearby beaches.

9. Macau, China

Macau in southern China has become one of the most visited cities in the world, especially among the rich.

There are several reasons for this: First, because Macau has become a thriving investment metropolis, the people travelling for business are also spending time in the city, connecting with the locals and enjoying the more pleasure-filled side of things like shopping, sightseeing, and sports car racing.

The other reasons Macau is popular is because of its culture. Its small footprint of nearly 12 square miles is a multicultural mecca, with a blend of Asian natives and European influences in the people, shops, and local food. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Old Town is a prime example.

Macau is also famous for its beautiful beaches and urban gardens like Casa Garden and Sun Yat Sen Park.

10. Istanbul, Turkey

One of the most famous cities in the world is Istanbul, Turkey, so it makes sense that people want to visit. The city is filled with historic mosques and palaces surrounded by cafés, shops, and chic hotels.

The relaxed vibe in Istanbul attracts a crowd that enjoys afternoons hanging out and sipping tea or uncovering a vintage find at a local thrift store.

Visitors enjoy uncovering the historic and modern mix in local neighbourhoods. The historic Sultanahmet District and the touristic Istiklal Caddesi area are two examples. Istanbul is also popular because of its elegant scenery.

The artistic architecture of the homes along the Bosphorus Strait is one of the most picturesque sites in Turkey.

11. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The capital city of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur welcomes about 13 million visitors a year. It is a city with museums and ties to its culture in places like the Old Market Square, yet it is balanced by the edgy architecture of the Petronas Twin Towers and mega shopping malls.

 The city is always “on,” so you can find a nightlife scene anytime of the day as you take in meeting the locals, dining, and watching sporting events.

The appeal of Kuala Lumpur is in part because of its ultra-modern city but also for the natural beauty that surrounds it.

There are popular attractions that highlight the wildlife of the region, from the Aquaria aquarium and the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park to the KL Butterfly Park. There are also many elaborate urban parks throughout the city and around the River of Life waterfront.

12. Delhi, India

India is such a big country and is so popular with tourists that several of its main cities are among the most visited cities in the world, including Delhi. One of the reasons Delhi is popular is because it is close to a number of other top experiences in India, so it is a convenient base.

Delhi has many religious landmarks that attract tourists, like the Swaminarayan Akshardham and Gurudwara Bangla Sahib. Delhi is known for its markets, selling inexpensive wares and street food, where tourists enjoy finding nice bargains.

Delhi is only a few hours from Agra, where vacationers can take a day trip so see the Taj Mahal.

13. Tokyo, Japan

The metropolis of Tokyo in Japan is one of the most exciting cities in the world, which is why millions of tourists go there every year. What makes Japan so popular is the whirlwind of eye-popping attractions, from ancient temples and Anime to the Tokyo Skytree broadcast tower.

Tokyo has the world’s most famous and biggest fish markets, and exquisite and artful sushi. Japanese culture is colourful and playful, and that is reflected in Tokyo’s parks, museums, and malls.

Tourists are attracted to the opportunity to learn more about traditional Japanese culture with experiences like trying on kimonos.

14. Antalya, Turkey

The Mediterranean Sea sitting against the backdrop of beautiful Antalya, Turkey makes it a desired vacation spot for travellers. From the beautiful sand beaches and warm weather to the waterfalls, cliffs, and sunsets, it is a perfect vacation.

Lara and Konyaalti beaches are the most popular and are easily identified by the many luxury resorts that line the coast. History buffs visit Antalya to explore the ruins of the Aspendos, an ancient city dating back to AD 16.

The town is a mix of mosques, ruins, cafés and an old town square where locals congregate.

15. Mexico City, Mexico

Mexico City has risen in the ranks over the years to be recognised as one of the greatest cosmopolitan capitals in the world. If you want culture, cuisine, the arts, architecture, history, and glamorous hotels, Mexico City checks every single box.

Mexico’s capital has been the political and cultural centre of its universe since the pre-Columbian days, back when it was called Tenochtitlan and was the main city of the Aztec Empire.

Today Mexico City is built upon the strata of time, showcasing everything from archaeological ruins to ornate Spanish architecture, and the glamorous design of the 21st century.

From the incredible time capsule that is the Centro Historico to the cultural institutions, like Palacio de Bellas Artes, to the hip, bohemian streets of the Condesa and Roma neighbourhoods, Mexico City has something to offer everyone.

16. Moscow, Russia

Moscow, Russia is a juxtaposition of grand, ornate imperial culture, set against frenetic, modern urban energy.

This is where the heart of Russia beats, from the Kremlin and Red Square to the bubble-topped domes of St. Basil’s Cathedral, the Art Muzeon, and the glamorous Bolshoi Theatre.

So much of Russia’s history is woven into the fabric of Moscow’s design. The city has more than 600 Orthodox churches in its streets. Museums tell the stories of the tzars, the Soviet days, and the present.

It’s all about sensory overload in Moscow, and it’s the perfect introduction to discovering what makes Russia the country that it is today.

17. Porto, Portugal

Sliced by the winding Douro River, Porto, Portugal is one of the most beautiful European cities. Colorful buildings and red-tiled roofs rise up over the hills from the river’s edge. Porto is as charming as it is historic, seeming to spring from the pages of a fairy tale.

The gorgeous jewel of a city is just as cosmopolitan as it is historic. It is known for its decadent food; cobblestone back alleys; and the gritty river shipping culture, which has been part of Porto’s history for centuries.

Street art is one of the biggest draws to Porto, from the hand-painted tiles to the murals splashed across the ancient walls. You can see how art has made its way into Porto’s 21st century, as well, with a visit to the Museu de Arte Contemporanea.

Porto is also characterised by its lavish churches, clanging bell towers, and beautiful vantage points all over the city.

18. San Francisco, USA

Always eclectic, offbeat, and drenched in culture, San Francisco, California never disappoints. Steeped in history, from Wild West gold rushes to counter culture revolutions and the tech industry, San Francisco has always been a hotbed of activity since its inception.

It’s also a haven for foodies. Some of the best restaurants in California can be found right here in the capital of the Bay Area, including a good selection of vegan and vegetarian restaurants.

It’s also a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, surrounded by the bay, the Pacific Ocean, and redwood forests. Enjoy San Francisco’s beaches and nearby hiking trails. The city itself is an adventure, with its 48 hills that are accessible via historic cable cars.

Peppered with parks and green space and always blanketed in fog, and lined with pastel-colored Victorian buildings, San Francisco is one of the most unique cities in the United States, if not the world.

19. Beijing, China

For nearly 1,000 years, Beijing has been the capital city of China and has seen the rise and fall of three of China’s dynasties. It is a city that is packed with centuries of history, yet is still one of the most fast-paced and modern cities in the entire world.

Step back in time inside The Forbidden City and the Summer Palace, learn the sad truths in Tiananmen Square, and wander the zigzagging alleys of the historic Hutong neighbourhoods.

These historic sites sit alongside luxury shopping malls, thriving night markets, world-class museums, theatre, and music venues.

You’ll also find some of Asia’s finest hotels within Beijing, from five-star international brands to boutique, design-forward hotels. If you are looking to get to Shanghai, just hop the bullet train and take off at warp speed for another one of China’s cultural capitals.

20. Los Angeles, USA

What makes Los Angeles one of the best cities in the world to visit is that you are getting so many different experiences in one. Los Angeles is massive. It’s actually quite large, and its many neighbourhoods are as varied as the people who live in and visit Los Angeles.

Natural beauty abounds in Los Angeles, with massive mountains that roll down to the Pacific Ocean. It also has world-class performing arts, the film industry, museums, street art, culinary arts, design, and culture.

A walk down any Los Angeles street reveals a veritable Tower of Babel of languages, ranging from Spanish and Korean to Armenian and Arabic.

This is a city where you can have $2 tacos one minute and a Michelin-starred meal the next. It has some of America’s most slick modern homes, a movie theatre shaped like a Chinese palace, and a concert hall designed by Frank Gehry.

Go rollerblading on Venice Beach, hiking in Runyon Canyon, or practising Pilates at one of the city’s dozens of high-end studios. Los Angeles is a playground for the wealthy, famous, and everyone else.

21.Chicago, Illinois, USA

Chicago, one of America’s largest cities, is frequently overlooked in favour of flashier, glitzier cities such as New York or Los Angeles.

However, this midwestern capital packs a punch on its own, with everything from trendy restaurants and live music to museums, glitzy hotels, and lakefront living.

The Windy City will literally take your breath away. High-rise skyscrapers on Lake Michigan’s shores generate strong gusts of wind all year. But, metaphorically speaking, Chicago will blow your mind, from the world-renowned Art Institute to the sky-high Willis Tower.

Dining in Chicago is dizzying, whether it’s down home hot dogs or five-star steak cuts. In Chicago, festivals ranging from blues music to the world-famous Market Days are held all year. Let’s not forget the magnificent hotels and landmarks that line the Magnificent Mile.

22.Barcelona, Spain.

Barcelona is all about beaches, buildings, and boats. Barcelona lives and breathes by the sea, from the stunning Mediterranean beaches to Antoni Gaudi’s architectural marvels and yacht culture.

 Add fantastic gastronomy, art, history, and hotels to the mix, and it’s easy to see why Barcelona is one of the best cities in the world to visit.

Did you know that Barcelona has a history that dates back over 2,000 years? That means you’ll find Roman-style architecture alongside Gothic structures, Renaissance cathedrals, and Antoni Gaudi’s world-famous architecture. In fact, Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia is one of Barcelona’s most popular tourist attractions.

Barcelona is a major city in Spain’s Catalonia region, and as such, it is the culinary capital of Catalonia. However, all of Spain’s regional delicacies are available here, from Basque and Galician to Andalusian and beyond.

23.Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Abu Dhabi is the polar opposite of Dubai’s towering skyscrapers and glitzy lifestyle. Sure, it has its own Louvre, but the emphasis in Abu Dhabi is on embracing local lifestyle and culture while shining a light on the UAE’s unique heritage.

From the Sheikh Zaed Grand Mosque to the museum Qasr Al Hosn, Islamic architecture reigns supreme in Abu Dhabi. Of course, the 21st century is evident in Abu Dhabi architecture as well, with the Etihad Towers and the Yai Viceroy, among others.

Abu Dhabi, like Dubai, spares no expense. Consider the luxurious hotels on Saadiyat Island or the Formula One track at the Yai Marina Circuit.

For the kids, there is even a Ferrari World and a Warner Bros. World. Nature, however, is an important part of life in Abu Dhabi, from the Mangrove National Park to the beautiful beaches on Hudayriat Island.

24.Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam is one of the most easily accessible cities in the world, with flights from most major North American and European gateways. But it is what Amsterdam has to offer travellers that makes it one of the best cities in the world to visit, not just its ease of access.

Amsterdam is simply breathtaking, with its maze of canals, bike-friendly streets and cobblestone alleys, world-renowned museums, historic architecture, shops, cafés, and great restaurants.

Amsterdam is awash in colour. In the spring, the city explodes with every colour of the rainbow from the many flower stalls selling the iconic Dutch tulip bouquets. Even the formerly desolate industrial shipping and dock areas have been transformed into boutique shops, hotels, and galleries.

Then there’s the cultural scene in Amsterdam. This city’s museums are world-class, from the Van Gogh Museum to the iconic Rijksmuseum, the Stedelijk Museum, and others. Locals and visitors alike get around on two wheels or on the water in Amsterdam, whether it’s a bike path or a canal cruise.

25.Madrid, Spain.

There are many wonderful cities to visit in Spain, but none more so than the capital, Madrid. Madrid embodies everything people love about a fantastic European city, combining history and culture, art and design, cuisine and entertainment.

Centuries of history converged to form the Madrid we know today. The layers of Madrid are varied and deep, ranging from its royal roots to the Moorish influence, the years of the revolution, and the cosmopolitan and technological advances of the twenty-first century.

It’s no surprise that this is a city that influenced the works of Goya and Picasso, Balenciaga, Almodovar, and others. Visit the world-renowned Museo del Prado or marvel at the city’s fantastic Baroque and Belle Epoque architecture.

Madrid is beyond elegant, refined, and impeccably designed when it comes to hotels, dining, and entertainment. Wander through the centuries down its historic streets and step right into modern-day restaurants and cafés for a memorable experience.

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