18 Most Beautiful Cities In The World (Romance, History & More)

Home to some 10,000 metropolises worldwide, it may be hard to choose between the most beautiful cities in the world. From Cape Towns’ majestic mountains to the futuristic towers of New York, the grandeur of Rome, and the feeling of romance in the air in Paris. This list will help you decipher which cities are the best places to put on your travel list.

Hail a water taxi and float through the canals of Venice or stroll through cobbled pathways in Paris, all while nibbling on a chocolate croissant. Fancy luxury travel? Make your way to NYC and let the colorful lights and bustling atmosphere enchant you. Capture photo-worthy moments as Kyoto erupts into pink shades, or eat pizza while gazing out over panoramic vistas of the Roman Forum.

With futuristic skylines, colorful buildings, and tree-lined canals, let’s take a look at the most beautiful cities in the world. 

The most beautiful cities in the world
The most beautiful cities in the world

18 Most Beautiful Cities in the World

The world is filled with beautiful cities, from the flamingo-pink lakes in Mexico to the grassy ripples of rice paddies in Bali; it’s a tough choice when it comes to finding our top picks. 

18. Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s charm lies in the contrast between nature and urbanism. As well as city skyscrapers in Central District, there are 236 islands and islets to admire.

Head to the lookout at Victoria Peak for panoramic views of downtown Hong Kong. Tian Tan Buddha on Lantau Island is another must see.

Sunset in Hong Kong city
Sunset in Hong Kong city

17. Seville, Spain

Seville blends history and modernity, from Old Town to the city’s world-famous tapas and flamenco dancers. The Andalusian capital is home to some impressive architecture and is packed with Gothic and Renaissance charm. Spend a weekend in Seville to tour and explore the city’s famous attractions. 

Snap a few pictures in front of the fourth largest cathedral in the world, the Seville Cathedral. Explore the Royal Alcázar, Plaza de España, Parque de Maria Luisa, and much, much more.  

Plaza de España in Seville, Spain
Plaza de España in Seville, Spain

16. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio draws people with its incredible beauty, from gorgeous coastal beaches to the imposing Art Deco statue of Christ the Redeemer nestled on Corcovado Mountain. Named as a World Heritage Site, UNESCO’s accolades weren’t just for a natural setting but also for its urban cultural landscape, the mix of architecture, and stunning green spaces such as the botanical gardens. 

See the famous Carnival samba and bossa nova, or catch some sun on one of the many popular Balneario beaches, such as Copacabana, Ipanema, and Barra da Tijuca. Book a cable car ride and enjoy panoramic views of Sugarloaf Mountain, Morro da Urca, and the surrounding area.

Psst… Take a look at this guide on some of Rio de Janeiro’s unmissable attractions here. 

Panoramic view of Rio de Janeiro and Sugarloaf Mountain
Panoramic view of Rio de Janeiro and Sugarloaf Mountain

15. Edinburgh, United Kingdom 

Edinburgh is a stunning place to visit in any season to view craggy cliffs, endless green hills, and fascinating history. Try to spend at least 2 days in Edinburgh as there’s lots to see.

Take a walk and explore the gorgeous Victorian cobblestone streets (such as the Royal Mile) and see the iconic 12th-century castle nestled on a hilltop. Throughout this beautiful city, you’ll come to find impressive Gothic buildings, charming pubs, quaint markets, and Edinburgh foodie hotspots.

Panoramic views from Calton Hill in Edinburgh, Scotland
Panoramic views from Calton Hill in Edinburgh, Scotland

14. San Miguel de Allende, Mexico 

San Miguel de Allende features some spectacular Colonial and Spanish architecture and is considered one of Mexico’s, as well as the worlds, most attractive cities.

This charming Mexican city is packed with cobbled streets zig zagging into leafy courtyards. And at the center of the city, the iconic pink Gothic Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel stands towering above the El Jardin. 

Colorful buildings of San Miguel de Allende in the historic city center
Colorful buildings of San Miguel de Allende in the historic city center

13. Sydney, Australia 

As Australia’s largest city located on the waterfront, it’s almost unfair how pretty Sydney really is. Besides the picturesque coastal paths leading to Bondi, Coogee, and Manly beaches there’s still the dramatic Sydney Opera House being the symbol of the city. 

Its charm is further amplified by its gorgeous leafy suburbs like Surry Hills. Take a ferry ride and glide along the glittering harbor. Admire the graceful arch of Sydney Harbour Bridge, spot the white sails of the Opera house, and see why this city is so beautiful. 

Tip: For the best views of the city, stay at the InterContinental Sydney

Sydney Opera House and harbour
Sydney Opera House and harbour

12. St Petersburg, Russia 

As Russia’s own Paris of the East, St Petersburg boasts some incredible spaces dotted throughout the city. One of the best cities in the world for culture, St Petersburg has over 100 museums and many historic buildings.

Take a stroll to Palace Square and get a front-row view of the Winter Palace and the Building of the General Staff. Visit the five-domed church of Saviour and explore some of the city’s many towering Orthodox churches and Baroque architecture. 

The Hermitage museum in St Petersburg and the Neva river
The Hermitage museum in St Petersburg and the Neva river

11. New York, U.S

New York is renowned for its glitz and glam, historic architecture, famous grassy park, and effortlessly fashionable people. 

Sample some delicious pizza in Little Italy or take in panoramic views of the city in one of the many observation decks such as the Empire State or Top of the Rock buildings.

Walk around Central Park or catch one of the many artsy scenes the Big Apple shows off, including MoMa and the Met. Boat trips around New York Harbor to the Statue of Liberty are another travel bucket list experience.

New York City skyline with urban skyscrapers at sunset
New York City skyline with urban skyscrapers at sunset

10. Kyoto, Japan

Visit Kyoto to see a city surrounded by magnificent mountains and immerse yourself in the center of Japanese culture. The city is sprinkled with 1,600 Buddist temples and 400 Shinto shrines. Spot the beautiful geishas’ walking the leaf-littered streets, explore the many stores lined with exquisite crafts, and discover intricately designed buildings. 

From the Nijo Castle and its well-preserved walls to Kinkaku-Ji (The Golden Pavilion) to the imposing bamboo forest, Kyoto has been a place of scenic natural beauty since ancient times. This city is absolutely extraordinary. And if you’re in luck, you may be in time to see the hanami, cherry blossoms. 

Kyoto is one of the most beautiful cities in the world
Kyoto is one of the most beautiful cities in the world

9. Buenos Aires, Argentina

Often called the Paris of South America, Buenos Aires is a city filled with music, dance, and unmistakable romance that floats through the air. 

The city boasts a sensual setting, from the neoclassical mansions to the colorful buildings in La Boca. Get a feeling of Argentinian culture at the 160-year-old Cafe Tortoni or watch ballet or opera at the Teatro Colón.

Vibrant building facades in Buenos Aires
Vibrant building facades in Buenos Aires

8. Amsterdam, Netherlands

With swatches of green spaces and red brick buildings, Hanseatic streets, and beautiful waterways, Amsterdam is known as the Venice of the North. There are plenty of reasons why Van Gogh found so much inspiration from his homeland’s captivating capital. Here, you’ll be treated to one of Europe’s most culturally diverse cities.

Take a 1-hour boat ride down the oh-so-famous 17th-century Canal Ring, dubbed a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2010. Snap some pictures in the tulip fields and relax in a cozy cafe or visit the stunning Museum Van Loon.

Amsterdam is a picture-perfect destination and rightfully claims a spot on this list of the most beautiful cities in the world. 

An Amsterdam canal at night
An Amsterdam canal at night

7. Rome, Italy 

Rome captivates its visitors with its iconic thousand-year-old buildings, incredible museums that are packed with world-class artistic masterpieces, and some incredible sights to behold. 

Rome is arguably the most fascinating city in Italy. It’s packed with relics of over two thousand years of inhabitation.

Hop on a tour to the Colosseum, explore the Pantheon, Roman aqueducts, and discover history on the Roman Forum. Or get off the beaten path and explore some of Rome’s hidden gems.

Psst… Get a taste of Rome on a street food tour around the city – yum!

The Forum in Rome
The Forum in Rome

6. Cape Town, South Africa 

Shadowed by a magnificent flat-top, table-like mountain, pristine coastlines, and beaches inhabited with penguins, Cape Town is certainly one of the most beautiful cities in the world. 

Take a walk through the city’s green lungs, Kirstenbosch National Botanic Gardens, or snap a few pictures in front of the rainbow-colored houses in Bo-Kaap. Witness the electrifying nightlife in the CBD and go shopping at the V&A Waterfront. 

If you’re visiting this beautiful metropolis, take a tour of the city on one of Cape Towns’ famous red hop-on hop-off busses before heading up to Table Mountain in a cable car. 

Aerial view over Cape Town, South Africa with Table Mountain
Aerial view over Cape Town, South Africa with Table Mountain

5. London, U.K

As one of the most beautiful cities in the world, London is steeped in history, dotted with modernity, and, of course, dazzled by the flowering purple wisteria. Put on your walking shoes and stroll through the many paved streets to find the best London hidden gems. There are many quaint little squares surrounded by towering gothic buildings. 

See the changing of the guards at, perhaps, the most famous residence, Buckingham Palace.  Saunter through Columbia Road flower market, Spitalfields and sit atop the hill in Greenwich Park. The city hosts plenty of attractions, from Westminster Abbey and the London Eye to the Thames and the Shard. 

Spectacular Tower Bridge in London at sunset
Spectacular Tower Bridge in London at sunset

4. Prague, Czech Republic 

Prague, the Czech capital, is a gorgeous city that is lined with quaint pebbled paths and dotted with striking architecture, it’s the perfect place to explore by day. Spend your day admiring the sweeping views from Charles Bridge. Discover the impressive past at the Prague Castle and find a quaint market in the beautiful Old Town Square. 

Come night time, the city turns into a bustling metropolis with a hedonistic party scene. 

Aerial view of the famous Charles Bridge and St. Francis Of Assisi Church
Aerial view of the famous Charles Bridge and St. Francis Of Assisi Church

3. San Francisco, California 

San Francisco is dotted with world-famous museums and cultural institutions. And the Golden Gate Bridge is the doorway into this artsy, picturesque city. 

Explore the infamous Alcatraz or the foodie’s paradise, the Ferry Building. See the beautiful bay that lends the feeling of a laid back beachy vibe or stroll along the Fisherman’s Wharf. 

The Painted Ladies are Victorian style homes in San Francisco, California
The Painted Ladies are Victorian style homes in San Francisco, California

2. Venice, Italy

Venice – need we say more? Its canals, picturesque alleyways, and the labyrinth of car-free streets are perfect for roaming around. The unique city boasts an array of sights, including the Grand Canal, St. Mark’s Basilica, and Doges Palace. 

Hail a gondola or a water taxi and explore the canals coiling through the city or head out to discover the neighboring islands. Check out some secret Venice spots where locals eat and shop and you’ll manage to avoid the crowds.

A gondolier sails towards the Rialto Bridge in Venice, Italy
A gondolier sails towards the Rialto Bridge in Venice, Italy

1. Paris, France

This could well be the most beautiful city in the world, right? As France’s capital city, Paris is a place where romance and history go hand in hand. Enjoy an espresso at one of the cafes hugging the cobblestone streets as you admire the passersby draped in beautiful clothing.

Grab a croissant from Du Pain et des Idees and stroll around exploring the picturesque streets in all their glory. Explore Paris hidden gems or walk around snapping pictures at iconic landmarks, including the Louvre Museum, the Eiffel Tower, the Sacré-Coeur, and the Cathedrale Notre Dame. 

Nicknamed the City of Lights, Paris looks just as beautiful at night time, when many of the famous landmarks are illuminated.

Psst… You won’t want to miss out on Disneyland Paris while you’re here. Book your 1-Day Ticket for an unforgettable experience.  

Aerial view of the Eiffel Tower and la Defense district in Paris, France
Aerial view of the Eiffel Tower and la Defense district in Paris, France

A Footnote on the Most Beautiful Cities in the World 

Beauty can come in many forms – through picturesque views and mountain vistas, history and culture, and art and architecture. There are plenty of beautiful places around the globe that cover cities that will make you fall in love at first sight. 

So there you have it, a round-up of the most beautiful cities in the world. If you’ve been to any of these places or feel we may have missed one, please share; we’d love to hear about it. 

Looking for more travel hacks and tips? From hidden gems to unique experiences, we’ve got you covered.

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The most beautiful cities in the world
Most beautiful cities in the world

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Source: Luxury Columnist

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