The World’s 20 Best Urban Destinations

Urban destinations offer travelers some of the most exciting and memorable vacation experiences.  Sightseeing is usually only part of a city-themed journey.  There are other options like exploring the restaurant scene, markets, shopping streets, nightlife, arts and culture.  Not all cities offer the same level of excitement or the same entertainment opportunities.  These are the best urban destinations:

1. New York City is one of the world’s best urban tourist destinations.  From the skyline to the nightlife and museums, there is literally something for everyone.  The world’s major cultures and cuisines are all represented in the Big Apple.  And, it would be a challenge to find such an exciting big city experience anywhere else in the US.

2. Seoul South Korea is one of East Asia’s largest mega-cities.  It is user-friendly, despite its massive size, and offers easy access to the traditional culture and famous cuisine of the Korean people. There are also plenty of chances to experience South Korea’s well-known pop culture.

3.  Tokyo is the world’s largest metropolis.  It can be a frustrating place to visit and a difficult place to understand, but it is extremely safe and one can spend a lifetime exploring the high quality restaurants, cultural sites and natural spaces found within city limits and throughout the metro area.

4. Barcelona is popular for its blend of modern and historic.  The city has everything tourists heading to Spain could want: exciting restaurants and nightlife, sightseeing opportunities galore and even some of the country’s best beaches.

5. Singapore is the most accessible city in all of Asia.  It is safe, clean and has world-class shopping, eating and arts scenes, as well year-round tropical weather.

(image via Dmitry B)

6. Bangkok offers easy access to the unique culture of Thailand.  The city can be crowded and chaotic, but it is legendary for its food, temples, friendly people, and anything-goes nightlife.

7. Istanbul is both a historic and modern city that has always straddled the line between Asia and Europe.  Its East/West blend makes it an accessible but exotic destination.

8. Sydney is Australia’s most international city.  It is known for its high-brow culture, great nightlife and restaurants, and laid-back, welcoming populace.

9. Brussels is a historic, atmospheric city.  As the seat of the European Union and major city for immigrants, it is also one of the most cosmopolitan and exciting destinations in Europe.

10. London is one of Europe’s truly global cities.  It is as exciting as New York City, as diverse as Paris, and easily accessible for English speakers.

11.  Los Angeles is a sprawling city that offers much more than its most famous attraction, Hollywood.

12.  Rome is a good urban destination for many reasons.  It has a deep history, from the Roman Empire to the Italian Renaissance to modern times.  It has food, religious and secular culture, and a great street-level atmosphere.

13. Paris is a traditional “Best of…” list member.  It is popular for a reason: it is one of the world’s best sightseeing cities and also one of the best cities to wander and experience without having an itinerary.

14. Buenos Aires is a great city for culture, food, and nightlife.  Its combination of European flavor and laid-back Latin lifestyle give it an attractive mix that has been seducing visitors for decades.

15. Florence is both a historic and modern center for art.  It is also one of Italy’s best cities, with great food and life-loving people who are intent on making sure that visitors are having the time of their lives.

16. Chiang Mai is Thailand’s second city.  Its laid back vibe and easy access to natural areas make it a great urban destination for those who don’t want to be overwhelmed by the big city experience.

17.  Rio de Janeiro is Brazil’s most popular destination.  It is often in the news for its crime rate, but it is one of the world’s most scenic cities and its diverse eating scene, unmatchable beaches and fun-loving people can make any trip a memorable one.

18. Cape Town is Africa’s most accessible metropolis.  It offers easy access to nature and has an attractive cultural and nightlife scene.

19.  Hong Kong has long been an access point for people from the West traveling to the East.  While China is now growing, Hong Kong remains a melting pot and its urban energy and amazing skyline still make it an attractive alternative to any city on the Mainland.

20.  Berlin is, as it always has been, Germany’s number one city.  No other place has the same amount of recent history attached to it and no other city can give you a taste of modern Germany’s cosmopolitan, diverse flavors.

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