The top 25 cities you should visit in your lifetime
You’ll never guess which city is the number 1 tourist destination
Experts from the world’s largest travel site, Trip Advisor, compiled a list of the 25 most popular tourist destinations based on reviews from travelers around the world. The results were shocking, even for the experts.
If you haven’t planned your next vacation, Bright Side suggests you visit one of these astounding cities. Go ahead — add a few of them to your bucket list.
25. San Francisco, USA
This city by the bay is full of fun and great attractions — you can enjoy a ferry ride to Alcatraz, sample cuisine from «Little Italy», or explore the surrounding hills. San Francisco is one of the most multicultural and multiethnic cities in the United States. Get yourself a seriously delicious breakfast at Mama’s before heading to the Golden Gate Bridge or Coit Tower.
24. Chiang Rai, Thailand
Chiang Rai is much greener and quieter than the other cities in Thailand. This city, also known as ‘Rose of the North’, boasts the unique beauty and tranquility of Thailand, including magnificent temples.
23. Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon is characterized by the combination of medieval and Moorish architecture. You can enjoy the beautiful view of Saint George’s Castle, which can be seen from almost everywhere in the city. Even the trams in Lisbon can be called historical heritage, as most of them have already crossed the age-old line.
22. Sydney, Australia
The city of Sydney is famous for its Opera House, Harbour Bridge, and luxurious beaches. The residential areas of the city are all surrounded by national parks. The coastline (the outer «sea» and intracity) is extremely irregular and indented — there are numerous bays, coves, and islands.
21. Budapest, Hungary
Encircled by the River Danube, Buda Hills in the west, and Great Plains in the east, Budapest is simply immersed in mesmerizing landscapes on all sides. The neoclassical architecture of this city is simply gorgeous, though it still bears the scars of World War II. The city is built on numerous hot springs. Remember to include the local bathhouses in your bucket list.
20. Bangkok, Thailand
Bangkok is the city of contrasts —the magical beauty of Buddhist temples combined with the absolutely crazy nightlife makes a city visitor wonder and wander. Besides, it’s relatively cheap to explore this city. Take the time to discover this beautiful place while saving a little money.
19. Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town is surrounded by miles of ocean and amazing beaches on one side, and a magnificent mountain range on the other. It’s one of the most cosmopolitan cities in Africa, and it has colonial roots that can still be observed in the architecture of the city.
18. Chicago, USA
Chicago is the stronghold of the American Midwest, the home of the blues, jazz, the first skyscrapers, and some of the best comedy clubs in the US.
17. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
If you’re less into historical sights and more into futuristic metropolises, Dubai is the best destination for you. The city is famous for having the tallest building in the world, Burj Khalifa, as well as amazing artificial islands and some of the best beaches around. It becomes even more mind-blowing when you realize that it was a small tribal town until the 1970s.
16. Petersburg, Russia
Travelers around the world are convinced that St. Petersburg is the only city in Russia, which has a European look with its neoclassical architecture, modern art galleries, and underground clubs.
15. Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona is a city that combines both the old and the new. A great deal of the city still has narrow streets and ancient buildings, just as it did centuries ago. On the shore, you’ll find many luxurious, modern apartments and hotels.
14. Buenos Aires, Argentina
Buenos Aires is called the «Paris of South America» due to its rich European heritage and magnificent architecture. However, the city maintains its Latin American passion with cozy sidewalk cafes and beautiful parks.
13. Florence, Italy
Florence is a city that seems to be paused in the past. This beautiful Renaissance city is the home of the best museums, cathedrals, galleries, squares, and shops. We recommend that you start with The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, known for its distinctive Renaissance dome, and then make your way to Piazza della Signoria, the spiritual and historical center of Florence.
12. New York City, USA
It is fair to call New York City the center of modern Western culture. Take a leisurely bike ride through Central Park, look up at the skyscrapers in downtown Manhattan, or devour one of the best slices of pizza you’ll ever find. Wake up in the city that never sleeps!
11. Berlin, Germany
Just like London and Paris, Berlin is a hub of centuries of unique culture, art, and architecture. It is a time capsule that includes the remnants of historical periods, from medieval times to the modern world, and from Brandenburg Gate to the Berlin Wall.
10. Shanghai, China
Just like many other cities, everyday life bustles in the streets of Shanghai. We advise you to visit Shanghai Museum, Jade Buddha Temple, and Dongtai Road market to get a glimpse of the city and to have an unforgettable life experience.
9. Siem Reap, Cambodia
Although the city of Siem Reap is relatively new, it is located not far from by the ancient remains of Angkor Wat, the City of Temples, and the largest religious monument in the world. While Angkor Wat offers exploration and adventure, Siem Reap is a peaceful place for relaxation and meditation.
8. Hanoi, Vietnam
Hanoi is a charming blend of East and West, as it combines traditional Vietnamese culture and French colonial flair. Fortunately, the city hasn’t been affected by decades of war and is now more active and brighter than ever. Check out the Old Quarter, one of the greatest markets in the world, the Vietnamese Women’s Museum, and numerous theatres.
7. Paris, France
It’s hard to overestimate the huge cultural heritage of Paris. You can admire the ancient art and architecture in Louvre, take in the scent of Paris on the top of the Eiffel Tower, and sample the best meals of the French cuisine in famous restaurants, like Le Fumoir.
6. Marrakech, Morocco
This city is thoroughly imbued with spices that were traded through Marrakech for centuries. With its buzzing markets and colorful bazaars, the city is perfect for anyone who wants to get a taste of the traditional Moroccan life.
5. Prague, Czech Republic
Prague has been a major political, cultural, and economic center of medieval Europe. Now, the city is going through the second renaissance. When you visit the modern Dancing House or the medieval Prague Castle, you will see that the city has found a perfect balance between new and old.
4. Beijing, China
Beijing is one of the oldest settlements in the world, as it is more than 3,000 years old. The city is home to some well-known historical monuments, such as the Great Wall and the Forbidden Palace.
3. London, United Kingdom
London is the former capital of the largest empire on Earth. Nowadays, London is a melting pot of various traditions and culture. More than 300 languages are spoken within its boundaries. You can find food, art, and entertainment from every corner of the world, as well as the finest examples of English classical architecture.
2. Rome, Italy
Rome has long been referred to as an «Eternal City», a name that was first used by the Roman poet Tibullus Album (I century BC) in his second elegy. The perception of «eternity» was preserved even after the fall of the Roman civilization. This epithet is frequently used in modern languages, too.
1. Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul is a dynamic city with European and Asian peculiarities and the co-existence of Christianity and Islam. The city is known for its delicious food, amazing coffee, buzzing markets, and ancient architecture. At the end of a long day, check out the Turkish bathhouse to relax and reduce stress.