The expert travelers at Tripadvisor came together to compile their list of the best rated cities in the world to visit. I suddenly have a lot of plane tickets to purchase.
#25 – San Francisco, USA
The city by the bay is laden with adventure and attractions, whether it be a ferry ride to Alcatraz, sampling the cuisine of Little Italy, or exploring the hills that surround the city. San Francisco is home to one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse communities in the United States, making it an amazing place to visit. Be sure to get breakfast at Mama’s before heading onto Coit Tower and the Golden Gate Bridge.
#24 – Chiang Mai, Thailand
Chiang Mai is far greener and quieter than other cities in Thailand. The ‘Rose of the North’ township encapsulates much of what is unique and breathtaking about Thailand, including magnificent temples.
#23 – Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon is both Medieval and Moorish in design, sitting on a luxurious beach that’s hard to beat in the summer. The city is overlooked by the gargantuan Caste of St. George. This same traditional architecture is found throughout the city, including in the century-old wooden trams.
#22 – Sydney, Australia
While Sydney is a sprawling city, it remains largely dominated by nature, with national parks carving their way through the ports. The luxurious beaches, amazing weather, and nightlife make Sydney an unforgettable destination.
#21 – Budapest, Hungary
Hugging the Danube River, with the Buda Hills to the west, and Great Plains to the east, Budapest is surrounded by beautiful landscapes on all sides. The neoclassical city is just as gorgeous, though it still wears scars from World War II and the 1956 Uprising. The city is built on numerous hot springs, making the local bathhouses a must-see.
#20 – Bangkok, Thailand
Bangkok is home to beautiful Buddhist temples and amazing nightlife. The value of the dollar makes this incredible city a relatively cheap place to travel.
#19 – Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town is unique getaway, surrounded by glistening seas and pristine beaches on one side, and a breathtaking mountain range on the other. The city is by far one of the most cosmopolitan in Africa, stemming from its colonial roots, which one can still see in the architecture today.
#18 – Chicago, USA
Chicago is the stronghold of the American Midwest, the home of the blues and a hotbed for jazz music. The picturesque skyline is home to the world’s first skyscrapers, as well as some of the best comedy clubs in the States.
#17 – Dubai, United Arab Emirates
If you’re less into history, and more into futuristic metropolises, Dubai is the flashiest of them all. The city is home to the tallest building (Burj Khalifa), as well as the Dubai Mall, the largest of its kind in the world. Other features include amazing artificial islands and some of the best beaches around. When you consider that Dubai was a small tribal town until the 1970s, the current spectacle is mind-blowing.
#16 – St. Petersburg, Russia
St. Petersburg has been called Russia’s window to the West. Unlike Moscow, which features red bricks and domes, St. Petersburg’s canals and neoclassical architecture was designed by Italians, giving the city a European look. It also has a European feel, with modern art galleries and underground clubs, which make the city a spectatle at night.
#15 – Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona is a city that combines both the old and the new in a magnificent fashion. Much of the city is as it was centuries ago, with narrow streets everywhere you look. On the beachfront, you’ll find the modern luxuries and unparalleled resorts.
#14 – Buenos Aires, Argentina
#13 – Florence, Italy
Florence is a city, seemingly paused in the past. This beautiful Renaissance city is home to some of Italy’s – if not the world’s – best museums, galleries, cathedrals, churches, squares, and shops. The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and Piazza della Signoria serve as a good stepping stone into this amazing city.
#12 – New York City, USA
New York City is arguably the centre of modern Western culture. Whether you’re taking a leisurely bike ride through Central Park, exploring the endless heights of downtown, or chowing down at historic pizza parlors, the city has something for everyone.
#11 – Berlin, Germany
Just like London and Paris, Berlin is the centre of centuries worth of unique culture, art, and architecture. Berlin is a time capsule, including the remnants of time periods from the medieval to the modern and from Brandenburg Gate to the Berlin Wall. Explore the underground and you’ll find some of the most exhilarating non-stop nightlife anywhere in the world.
#10 -Shanghai, China
The joy of Shanghai lies on the street level, where everyday life bustles across miles of metropolis. You’ll find the Shanghai Museum, Jade Buddha Temple, and Dongtai Road market, which make the city a once in a lifetime experience.
#9 – Siem Reap, Cambodia
Although the city of Siem Reap is relatively new, it is surrounded by the ancient remains of Angkor Wat, the City of Temples and the largest religious monument in the world. What Angkor Wat offers in terms of exploration and adventure, Siem Reap offers in rest and relaxation.
#8 – Hanoi, Vietnam
Hanoi is an fascinating blend of East and West, combining traditional Vietnamese culture with French colonial flair. Thankfully, the city was untouched by decades of war and is now more vibrant and active than ever, with the Old Quarter serving as one of the greatest markets in the world. The Vietnamese Women’s Museum highlights the role of women in Vietnam’s history and is well worth a visit. If it’s nightlife that you’re after, check out one of the many theatres.
#7 – Paris, France
Paris is a treasure trove of cultural heritage. The city contains centuries worth of art and architecture from across the world, housed in historical venues like the Louvre and Orangerie. One week would barely be long enough to scratch the surface of what this city has to offer – let alone the magnificent food in restaurants like Le Fumoir.
#6 – Marrakech, Morocco
The vibrant spices that were once traded through Marrakech have rubbed off on the city itself. With buzzing markets and colourful bazaars, the city is ideal for anyone who wants to get a taste of traditional Moroccan life. Where better to stay than the luxurious Taj Palace, with an amazing view of the Atlas mountains.
#5 – Prague, Czech Republic
Prague is credited as having been a major political, cultural, and economic centre of medieval Europe. Now, the city is having a renaissance. Whether you visit the modern Dancing House or the medieval Prague Castle, the city has found a perfect balance between new and old.
#4 – Beijing, China
Beijing is one of the largest and oldest settlements in the world. With a history of more than 3,000 years, the city is home to some of the most important monuments in China, including remnants of the Great Wall and the Forbidden Palace.
#3 – London, United Kingdom
The former capital of the largest empire on Earth, London is a hot pot of culture, with more than 300 languages spoken within its boundaries. You can find food, art, entertainment from every corner of the world, as well experience the finest English architecture at sites like Kew Gardens and Westminster Abbey.
#2 – Rome, Italy
Rome is one of the most significant cities in the history of Western civilization and has a legacy that spans more than two and a half thousand years. Street artists and fine restaurants line the roads and monumental landmarks of this eternal city. Sights include Ostia Antica, an ancient preserved port the villa of Emperor Commodus.
#1 – Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul is a vibrant city, straddling Europe and Asia as well as Christianity and Islam for thousands of years. The city is known for its delicious food, amazing coffee, sprawling marketplaces, and ancient architecture – including grand mosques and churches. At the end of a long day, be sure to take a moment to relax in a luxurious bathhouse.
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