The World’s 10 Most Beautiful Cities to Visit in Your Lifetime Ranked: In this colorful world, over 10,000 cities each have their own charm. Some are centuries old and feature exquisite craftsmanship of ancient artisans.
Now, residents work to preserve their hometown history by maintaining landmarks, beautiful museums, and historic hotels. Some are more youthful, with communities introducing new ways of living—from design to dining to technology. Countless cities have world-class gardens.
The World’s 10 Most Beautiful Cities to Visit in Your Lifetime Ranked
Choosing the world’s most beautiful cities is difficult because each one is unique. Our guide includes culture centers that preserve art and architecture while encouraging younger artists and thinkers to experiment and redefine urban identity. From an ancient Greek city steeped in culture and history to a hip Thai mountainside arts city, here is our guide to the 10 most beautiful cities in the world.
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
- Known for its Old World charm, San Miguel de Allende attracts artists, craftspeople, and visitors. The Spanish Baroque architecture and cobblestone streets house many famous shops, boutique hotels, and restaurants.
- The Neo-Gothic church La Parroquia, made of pink stone, is the center piece of the 500-year-old city, featuring the work of indigenous stonemason Zeferino Gutierrez.
Chiang Mai, Thailand
- Thailand’s cities and landscapes are among the world’s most vibrant. Due to its mountainous surroundings, Chiang Mai, a former trading post, offers both.
- Adventure down the mountain to enjoy the city’s food and drink after a day hike to Wat Palad temple complex in the forest. Modern art galleries like the Gongdee Gallery are popping up throughout the Rose of the North.
- Just saying Paris conjures images of style mavens strolling through cobblestone streets past the Seine and pristine gardens.
- Many of the city’s amazing buildings and landmarks teach about past architectural styles.
- Stylish boutique hotels, contemporary art and design shops, and award-winning restaurants continue to emerge, cementing Paris’s style leadership.
Cape Town, South Africa
- Table Mountain and the Atlantic and Indian oceans frame Cape Town, a bustling city with stunning natural beauty.
- Spend the morning at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden learning about the region’s native flora before exploring Bo-Kaap’s vibrant side.
- Visit the Neighbourgoods Market at night to sample international cuisine before retiring to one of Cape Town’s world-class wellness retreats.
- Visitors to Cape Town must visit the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa to see the latest African artists.
- Cartagena’s colourful Colonial-style homes and lively street corners radiate joy. The Spanish built city walls around this Caribbean coastal city in the 16th and 18th centuries.
- Within those limits are the Clock Tower, Santuario San Pedro Claver, and delicious restaurants like Portal de los Dulces, a street of sweets.
- Located south of the walled city, Gethsemane offers a more intimate experience with local artists’ murals on quaint cafes.
- The Renaissance capital has world-class galleries, architecture, and luxury shops. The real charm of Florence is its ability to honor the past while welcoming new ways of life.
- After exploring the Opera del Duomo Museum and Uffizi Gallery, visit Locale Firenze, where molecular mixology-trained bartenders serve exotic cocktails in hand blown glasses and mini greenhouses.
- The moonlit piazzas and cathedrals are magical to walk past.
- Istanbul’s gardens and buildings combine old and new. Connecting the East and West, many armies captured the Turkish city, but a distinct style wasn’t born until the Byzantine Empire.
- Many palaces and churches, like Hagia Sophia, have mosaics and frescoes. After taking power, the Ottomans built luxury galleries and imperial mosques like the Blue Mosque.
- Visit the city’s many monuments to see the world’s past.
- Japanese history is felt as soon as one enters the old capital. Flowering cherry blossoms frame craft shops and food markets.
- Kitchens in Kyoto are as busy as any other city, with talented chefs modernising traditional Japanese dishes.
- There are over 1,600 Buddhist temples and 400 Shinto shrines in Kyoto, including Kinkaku-ji and Fushimi Inari Taisha.
- Take a break from the city and relax in the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove before paying your respects at a golden temple.
- Greek dream villages are becoming more popular, but Athens is still the country’s crown jewel. Architecture, art, and culture are taught by the Acropolis ruins.
- New artists, designers, and thinkers are making the ancient city a playground for new ideas.
- The designer’s dream hotel Athens Was features mid century modernism with Eileen Gray and Le Corbusier furnishings in the old town.
- Spend an afternoon in one of Pangrati’s vibrant cafes or artist-run galleries to complete your Athens vacation.
- In Morocco’s Rif Mountains, a centuries-old city paints the landscape radiant blue. Mystery surrounds Chefchaouen’s watery tones.
- Many locals believe the town has been blue since the 15th century, but some say Jewish communities moving into the Madinah in the 1930s painted the buildings.
- Regardless, the tranquil city offers a more relaxed look at Moroccan history and culture.
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