Last Updated on March 3, 2022 by Nellie Huang
This is my very own list of the top 10 cities in the world, based on my opinions and experience.
Bright lights, vibrant urban life and an endless flow of energy: big cities can make some of the best travel destinations in the world. I used to be a city girl – dazed by the glitzy lights of New York and charmed by the classic English squares in London. Although I love the great outdoors more than city life these days, there are some cities in the world that still hold a special place in my heart.
I’ve put together this list of WildJunket’s top 10 cities in the world based on several factors, including the city’s beauty, the quality of life and variety of sights and places of interest. These cities are chosen based on my personal opinion and experience traveling them.
Table of Contents
1. Cape Town, South Africa
The Mother City of Africa, Cape Town, is my absolute favorite city in the world. It may not be the safest (it has a relatively high crime rate), but it is the most beautiful city I’ve seen.
Poised in the southern tip of the African continent, Cape Town is a coastal city fringed by rugged beaches and topped with towering mountains. Table Mountain is the most important landmark of the city, and you can see it looming overhead wherever you go in the city. From the top of Table Mountain, feast on a 360-degree panorama of the City Bowl and bay area.
With so much nature surrounding it, active travelers are in for a good treat here. You can go hiking in and around Cape Town or go surfing, sand boarding, cage shark diving and even paragliding over Lion Head.
2. Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo is a megapolis packed with rising skyscrapers, flashing neon signs, contemporary architecture, and interesting urban tribes. The city is both hedonistic and quirky — definitely one of its kind!
A walk around Tokyo could lead you into massive electronics and arcade games stores, ancient 100-year-old temples, or ultra bizarre robot restaurants.
The modern and old live side by side in Tokyo — it’s not uncommon to find historical wooden houses standing alongside hip boutiques, dark alleys lined with yakitori stands running parallel to large boulevards dotted with stylish restaurants.
3. New York, USA
The Big Apple is America’s pride and joy – a massive metropolis chocked full of ethnic districts, charming restaurants and attractions. It’s so well known around the world, that I don’t know anyone who’s never heard of New York City. Christmas in New York, in particular, is a truly magical experience with ice rinks, music and lights everywhere.
When in New York, the first thing that most tourists do is climb to the top of the Empire State Building for a 360degree view; then wander through the night lights of Times Square and mourn the loss of lives at Ground Zero. Check out my recommended New York weekend itinerary!
4. Singapore, Singapore
I may be biased, but Singapore was where I was born and raised, and it will always be my home. Singapore may have risen through the ranks to become an economic hub in Asia — but it’s not all sky-soaring buildings and hectic commercial districts.
Singapore is also filled with bouts of ethnic culture and tradition. Outside of the futuristic city center, you’ll find traditional Buddhist temples, Hindu temples, Muslim mosques and Catholic churches.
Singapore food is diverse and rich, thanks to the ethnic diversity here. Be sure to sample colorful and flavorful Singaporean dishes like chilli crabs, chicken rice and laksa.
5. Seoul, South Korea
Seoul — jam-packed with plundering skyscrapers, brightly lit neon signs and an explosive culinary scene — is truly a city of epic proportions. With a population of over 10 million people, the dynamic capital city of South Korea is after all one of the largest cities in the world.
For decades, it has been coyly hiding behind the shadow of its neighboring brother, Tokyo. Today, Seoul has come into its own, emerging as the latest Asian powerhouse.
For the uninitiated, Seoul is a sensory overload: its gastronomy, culture and architecture evoke expressions of superlative magnitudes. The most colorful street food scene, the oldest temple and the raunchiest red-light district — it’s all here in Seoul.
Check out this Seoul itinerary for ideas on where to go and experience the city at its best.
6. Melbourne, Australia
This city may be the second most populous city in Australia, but it doesn’t quite feel like it.
Located on the large natural bay of Port Phillip, Melbourne is surrounded by nature — sprawling across the southwestern coast into the hinterlands towards the Dandenong and Macedon mountain ranges, Mornington Peninsula and Yarra Valley.
The city itself is an eclectic cultural hub, with laid-back, artsy vibes. It also has plenty of European influence, as evident from its magnificent Tudor and Victorian houses.
The climate, waterfront location and nightlife make it one of the most vibrant destinations in Australia. It’s also just a hop away from the spectacular Great Ocean Road and Phillip Island, both of which must-sees on your Australia itinerary.
7. London, United Kingdom
London – Europe’s culture capital – is a melting pot of cultures and a modern-day testimony to European history. Packed with traditional English pubs, outdoor markets and green gardens, London is rich in character and old-world charm.
Whether you are visiting the world-famous museums (that are often free to visit on certain days of the week), cruising on the Thames River or shopping along the Portobello Road Market, you won’t ever have a shortage of things to do in this lively capital city.
We lived and worked in London for a year and packed every weekend with visits to museums, trips to eclectic neighbourhoods, or excursions to the suburbs for some greenery. Here’s my 3-days in London itinerary and guide to help you plan your trip!
8. Miami, USA
Miami is definitely a special place for me — it changed my life (here’s the story) and got me hooked to travel.
With a large population from the Caribbean and Latin America, Miami has a sexy, Latin vibe. You can easily sense it from the authentic Cuban bars, Caribbean-style diners, and neighborhoods.
Besides admiring the Art Deco architecture, you can go kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding on Key Biscayne and then soak up the Miami atmosphere and party the night away on South Beach. Better yet, if you’ve got the money to splurge, go on a sightseeing flight and see Miami Beach from above. Check out my Miami weekend itinerary.
9. Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona: progressive, new-age, and explosive. This Spanish city is so full of life and colors it dazzles almost every type of traveler, from the wide-eyed shoestring backpacker to the romance-seeking honeymooner and well-heeled traveler.
The hip crowd usually hang around the beach at Barceloneta, while the artistic ones can mingle around works of Gaudi. Outdoor lovers will also love how Barcelona is surrounded by diverse and spectacular landscapes, and conveniently located between the mountains and the coast.
Let’s not forget about the food here — indulge in delicious paella right on the beach or taste different tapas at the famous La Boqueria market.
10. Buenos Aires, Argentina
Despite its economic debacle in 2002, Buenos Aires is a vibrant, rapidly growing and very charismatic city that straddles between the past and present.
The sprawling city holds on to its history and culture like no other place in Argentina. Its old-world flair is evident from neighborhoods like San Telmo where you’ll find people dancing tango on the streets, or La Boca, where cobblestoned streets flank colonial houses.
Littered with gorgeous architecture, atmospheric bars and antique shops, Buenos Aires is reminiscent of Europe, yet completely its own. A unique place to live and smell culture, this is the perfect city to explore for art lovers who seek a bohemian lifestyle.
It’s definitely a good place to get your bearings and starting off your Argentina itinerary.
Which is your favorite city in the world?
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