Top 30 Most Beautiful Cities in the World
If you’re already working on your travel journey list, here are 30 more places to add. We have surveyed dozens of travel guides, writers, and bloggers about the cities which they find most stunningly gorgeous and worth-seeing.
List of Top 30 Most Beautiful Cities in the World complied by “Fabulaes”!
30. Zurich, Switzerland
The city of Zurich, a global center for banking and finance, lies at the north end of Lake Zurich in northern Switzerland. The picturesque lanes of the central Altstadt (Old Town), on either side of the Limmat River, reflect its pre-medieval history. Waterfront promenades like the Limmatquai follow the river toward the 17th-century Rathaus.
29. Dubai, United Arab Eremites
Dubai is a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates known for luxury shopping, ultramodern architecture and a lively nightlife scene. Burj Khalifa, an 830m-tall tower, dominates the skyscraper-filled skyline. At its foot lies Dubai Fountain, with jets and lights choreographed to music. On artificial islands just offshore is Atlantis, The Palm, a resort with water and marine-animal parks.
28. Havana, Cuba
Havana is the capital city, largest city, province, major port, and leading commercial center of Cuba. The city has a population of 2.1 million inhabitants, and it spans a total of 781.58 km2 making it the largest city by area, the most populous city, and the fourth largest metropolitan area in the Caribbean region.
The city of Havana was founded by the Spanish in the 16th century and due to its strategic location it served as a springboard for the Spanish conquest of the Americas, becoming a stopping point for treasure-laden Spanish galleons returning to Spain. The King Philip II of Spain granted Havana the title of City in 1592. Walls as well as forts were built to protect the old city. The sinking of the U.S. battleship Maine in Havana’s harbor in 1898 was the immediate cause of the Spanish–American War.
27. Madrid, Spain
Madrid, Spain’s central capital, is a city of elegant boulevards and expansive, manicured parks such as the Buen Retiro. It’s renowned for its rich repositories of European art, including the Prado Museum’s works by Goya, Velázquez and other Spanish masters. The heart of old Hapsburg Madrid is the portico-lined Plaza Mayor, and nearby is the baroque Royal Palace and Armory, displaying historic weaponry.
26. Bruges, Belgium
Bruges, the capital of West Flanders in northwest Belgium, is distinguished by its canals, cobbled streets and medieval buildings. Its port, Zeebrugge, is an important center for fishing and European trade. In the city center’s Burg square, the 14th-century Stadhuis (City Hall) has an ornate carved ceiling. Nearby, Markt square features a 13th-century belfry with a 47-bell carillon and 83m tower with panoramic views.
25. Chicago, Illinois, USA
Chicago, on Lake Michigan in Illinois, is among the largest cities in the U.S. Famed for its bold architecture, it has a skyline punctuated by skyscrapers such as the iconic John Hancock Center, 1,451-ft. Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) and the neo-Gothic Tribune Tower. The city is also renowned for its museums, including the Art Institute of Chicago with its noted Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works.
24. Hong Kong, China
Hong Kong is a metropolitan area and special administrative region of China in the eastern Pearl River Delta by the South China Sea. With over 7.4 million people of various nationalities in a 1,104-square-kilometre territory, Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated places in the world.
Hong Kong became a colony of the British Empire after the Qing Empire ceded Hong Kong Island at the end of the First Opium War in 1842. The colony expanded to the Kowloon Peninsula in 1860 after the Second Opium War, and was further extended when Britain obtained a 99-year lease of the New Territories in 1898. The whole territory was returned to China in 1997.
23. Québec City, Canada
Québec City sits on the Saint Lawrence River in Canada’s mostly French-speaking Québec province. Dating to 1608, it has a fortified colonial core, Vieux-Québec and Place Royale, with stone buildings and narrow streets. This area is the site of the towering Château Frontenac Hotel and imposing Citadelle of Québec. The Petit Champlain district’s cobblestone streets are lined with bistros and boutiques.
22. San Diego, California
San Diego is a city on the Pacific coast of California known for its beaches, parks and warm climate. Immense Balboa Park is the site of the renowned San Diego Zoo, as well as numerous art galleries, artist studios, museums and gardens. A deep harbor is home to a large active naval fleet, with the USS Midway, an aircraft-carrier-turned-museum, open to the public.
21. Toronto, Canada
Toronto, the capital of the province of Ontario, is a major Canadian city along Lake Ontario’s northwestern shore. It’s a dynamic metropolis with a core of soaring skyscrapers, all dwarfed by the iconic, free-standing CN Tower. Toronto also has many green spaces, from the orderly oval of Queen’s Park to 400-acre High Park and its trails, sports facilities and zoo.
20. Buenos Aires, Argentina
Buenos Aires is Argentina’s big, cosmopolitan capital city. Its center is the Plaza de Mayo, lined with stately 19th-century buildings including Casa Rosada, the iconic, balconied presidential palace. Other major attractions include Teatro Colón, a grand 1908 opera house with nearly 2,500 seats, and the modern MALBA museum, displaying Latin American art.
19. Vienna, Austria
Vienna, Austria’s capital, lies in the country’s east on the Danube River. Its artistic and intellectual legacy was shaped by residents including Mozart, Beethoven and Sigmund Freud. The city is also known for its Imperial palaces, including Schönbrunn, the Habsburgs’ summer residence. In the Museums Quartier district, historic and contemporary buildings display works by Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt and other artists.
18. Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo, Japan’s busy capital, mixes the ultramodern and the traditional, from neon-lit skyscrapers to historic temples. The opulent Meiji Shinto Shrine is known for its towering gate and surrounding woods. The Imperial Palace sits amid large public gardens. The city’s many museums offer exhibits ranging from classical art in the Tokyo National Museum to a reconstructed kabuki theater.
17. Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul is a major city in Turkey that straddles Europe and Asia across the Bosphorus Strait. Its Old City reflects cultural influences of the many empires that once ruled here. In the Sultanahmet district, the open-air, Roman-era Hippodrome was for centuries the site of chariot races, and Egyptian obelisks also remain. The iconic Byzantine Hagia Sophia features a soaring 6th-century dome and rare Christian mosaics.
16. Budapest, Hungary
Budapest, Hungary’s capital, is bisected by the River Danube. Its 19th-century Chain Bridge connects the hilly Buda district with flat Pest. A funicular runs up Castle Hill to Buda’s Old Town, where the Budapest History Museum traces city life from Roman times onward. Trinity Square is home to 13th-century Matthias Church and the turrets of the Fishermen’s Bastion, which offer sweeping views.
15. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Rio de Janeiro is a huge seaside city in Brazil, famed for its Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, 38m Christ the Redeemer statue atop Mount Corcovado and for Sugarloaf Mountain, a granite peak with cable cars to its summit. The city is also known for its sprawling favelas (shanty towns). Its raucous Carnaval festival, featuring parade floats, flamboyant costumes and samba dancers, is considered the world’s largest.
14. Prague, Czech Republic
Prague, capital city of the Czech Republic, is bisected by the Vltava River. Nicknamed “the City of a Hundred Spires,” it’s known for its Old Town Square, the heart of its historic core, with colorful baroque buildings, Gothic churches and the medieval Astronomical Clock, which gives an animated hourly show. Completed in 1402, pedestrian Charles Bridge is lined with statues of Catholic saints.
13. Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Amsterdam is the Netherlands’ capital, known for its artistic heritage, elaborate canal system and narrow houses with gabled facades, legacies of the city’s 17th-century Golden Age. Its Museum District houses the Van Gogh Museum, works by Rembrandt and Vermeer at the Rijksmuseum, and modern art at the Stedelijk. Cycling is key to the city’s character, and there are numerous bike paths.
12. Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon is Portugal’s hilly, coastal capital city. From imposing São Jorge Castle, the view encompasses the old city’s pastel-colored buildings, Tagus Estuary and Ponte 25 de Abril suspension bridge. Nearby, the National Azulejo Museum displays 5 centuries of decorative ceramic tiles. Just outside Lisbon is a string of Atlantic beaches, from Cascais to Estoril.
Singapore is a sovereign city-state and island country in maritime Southeast Asia. It lies about one degree of latitude north of the equator, off the southern tip of the Malay peninsula, and, by extension, the southernmost extremity of continental Eurasia. The island country is wedged between western Indonesia and peninsular Malaysia, sharing its southern maritime border with the Batam, Bintan, and Karimun archipelago of the former’s Riau Islands province, and its northern, western, and eastern maritime borders with the latter’s Johor state; it is additionally in the vicinity of Sumatra to its west and Borneo to its east.
10. Rome, Italy
Rome is the capital city and a special comune of Italy as well as the capital of the Lazio region. The city has been a major human settlement for over two millennia. With 2,860,009 residents in 1,285 km2 it is also the country’s most populated comune. It is the third most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the centre of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4,355,725 residents, thus making it the second-most populous metropolitan city in Italy.
9. Sydney, Australia
Sydney, capital of New South Wales and one of Australia’s largest cities, is best known for its harbour-front Sydney Opera House, with a distinctive sail-like design. Massive Darling Harbour and the smaller Circular Quay port are hubs of waterside life, with the arched Harbour Bridge and esteemed Royal Botanic Garden nearby. Sydney Tower’s outdoor platform, the Skywalk, offers 360-degree views of the city and suburbs.
8. San Francisco, California
San Francisco is the cultural, commercial, and financial center of Northern California. San Francisco is the 16th most populous city in the United States, and the fourth most populous in California, with 881,549 residents as of 2019. It covers an area of about 46.89 square miles mostly at the north end of the San Francisco Peninsula in the San Francisco Bay Area, making it the second most densely populated large U.S. city, and the fifth most densely populated U.S.
7. Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town is a port city on South Africa’s southwest coast, on a peninsula beneath the imposing Table Mountain. Slowly rotating cable cars climb to the mountain’s flat top, from which there are sweeping views of the city, the busy harbor and boats heading for Robben Island, the notorious prison that once held Nelson Mandela, which is now a living museum.
6. Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona, the cosmopolitan capital of Spain’s Catalonia region, is known for its art and architecture. The fantastical Sagrada Família church and other modernist landmarks designed by Antoni Gaudí dot the city. Museu Picasso and Fundació Joan Miró feature modern art by their namesakes. City history museum MUHBA, includes several Roman archaeological sites.
5. Vancouver, Canada
Vancouver, a bustling west coast seaport in British Columbia, is among Canada’s densest, most ethnically diverse cities. A popular filming location, it’s surrounded by mountains, and also has thriving art, theater and music scenes. Vancouver Art Gallery is known for its works by regional artists, while the Museum of Anthropology houses preeminent First Nations collections.
4. Venice, Italy
Venice, the capital of northern Italy’s Veneto region, is built on more than 100 small islands in a lagoon in the Adriatic Sea. It has no roads, just canals – including the Grand Canal thoroughfare – lined with Renaissance and Gothic palaces. The central square, Piazza San Marco, contains St. Mark’s Basilica, which is tiled with Byzantine mosaics, and the Campanile bell tower offering views of the city’s red roofs.
3. London, England, UK
London, the capital of England and the United Kingdom, is a 21st-century city with history stretching back to Roman times. At its center stand the imposing Houses of Parliament, the iconic ‘Big Ben’ clock tower and Westminster Abbey, site of British monarch coronations. Across the Thames River, the London Eye observation wheel provides panoramic views of the South Bank cultural complex, and the entire city.
2. New York City, New York, USA
New York City (NYC) is the most populous city in the United States. New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the U.S. state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass. With almost 20 million people in its metropolitan statistical area and approximately 23 million in its combined statistical area, it is one of the world’s most populous mega-cities. New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, significantly influencing commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.
1. Paris, France
Paris, France’s capital, is a major European city and a global center for art, fashion, gastronomy and culture. Its 19th-century city-scape is crisscrossed by wide boulevards and the River Seine. Beyond such landmarks as the Eiffel Tower and the 12th-century, Gothic Notre-Dame cathedral, the city is known for its cafe culture and designer boutiques along the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré.