The 50 Most Beautiful Cities in the World
Travel bloggers, writers and travel agents were polled by Flight Network on the most beautiful cities in the world. These cities made the cut.
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50: Athens, Greece
A city filled with ancient wonders like the Parthenon and Acropolis, Greece is a country of countless wonders including gorgeous beaches, warm people and some of the most beautiful countryside in the world.
49: Beijing, China
Beijing is a city filled with ancient and modern attractions. Stop by Tiananmen Square and, if time permits, visit the Monument to the People's Heroes, the Great Hall of the People, the National Museum of China or the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong which surround the plaza, all part of the striking architecture that makes up China's dramatic capital city.
48: Jaipur, India
Jaipur is a city filled with temples and palaces that testify to the royal family's former rule. Notable sites include the "Pink City" of Jaipur with its iconic rose-hued buildings and Ranthambore National Park.
47: Bergen, Norway
Colorful homes sit side-by-side in the port town of Bergen, Norway, and are a part of the area's unique appeal.
46: Marrakesh, Morocco
The Ibn Yusuf Mosque (or Ben Youssef Mosque) is the oldest mosque in Marrakesh and just one example of Morocco's stunning architecture. Its beautifully restored minaret can be seen throughout the medina quarter.
45: Dublin, Ireland
Founded in the year 1028, the Christ Church Cathedral remains an important part of Ireland's religious life and identity. Dublin is renowned for its history-laden architecture including Trinity College and its lovely green parks, ideal for long strolls.
See More Photos: Ireland Vacations: Amazing Things to Do, See and Experience
44: Cartagena, Colombia
The dome of the Church of San Pedro Claver is a well-known landmark in El Centro, the historic, walled-in district of Cartagena, Colombia.
43: Bangkok, Thailand
Known for its ornate shrines and exciting street life, Bangkok is one of the most stunning cities in the world.
42: San Sebastian, Spain
San Sebastian has a lot to brag about including some of the best urban beaches in Europe.
41: Dubrovnik, Croatia
A trending city for tourism, Dubrovnik in Southern Croatia is distinguished by the beautifully preserved buildings in its historic Old Town with its 16th century stone walls.
40: Seoul, South Korea
The capital city of Seoul is a sophisticated mix of skyscrapers and international business alongside Buddhist temples and sites like the 14th century Gyeongbokgung Palace, shown here.
39: San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
The colonial-era city of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, is renowned for its art scene which draws an international creative class to the city and for its charming cobblestone streets in the historic city center.
38: Queenstown, New Zealand
The rolling green fields in this stunning city have made Queenstown an ideal film location for movies like The Lord of the Rings.
37: Hanoi, Vietnam
Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam and is known for architecture that dates back centuries. While exploring the city and enjoying all the rich culture it has to offer, a stop at the Tran Quoc Pagoda temple is a must.
36: Berlin, Germany
Dating back to the 13th century, Berlin is the capital of Germany. Known for its art scene and landmarks such as the Brandenburg Gate and the Berliner Philharmonie concert hall, Berlin has something for everyone.
35: St. Petersburg, Russia
Founded in 1703 by Peter the Great, St. Petersburg is the cultural hub of Russia. It is home to the Mariinsky Theatre and the State Russian Museum.
34: Cusco, Peru
A city in the Peruvian Andes mountains, Cusco is known for its archaeological remains and Spanish colonial architecture. Some of the top things to tour include the Sacsayhuaman, Humantay Lake, Inca Trail or Centro Historica De Cusco.
33: Zurich, Switzerland
Zurich is known as the global center for banking and finance and is often referred to as the most expensive city in the world. It also happens to be the largest city in Switzerland. After visiting the various art museums and galleries, enjoy Lake Zurich or the Limmat River.
32: Quito, Ecuador
Quito is the capital of Ecuador and sits in the Andean foothills. The city is filled with historical and cultural must-sees. After exploring the old town, adventure to El Panecillo hill (shown here at sunset) and visit the statue of the winged Virgin Mary.
31: Edinburgh, Scotland
There’s plenty of fantastic shopping in Edinburgh — from small family-owned boutiques located in Grassmarket (pictured here) to luxury department stores like Harvey Nichols and Jenners.
30: Jerusalem, Israel
Located between the Mediterranean and Dead Seas, Jerusalem is one of the oldest cities in the world. Some places to see include the Old City, Western Wall, Israel Museum and Temple Mount, and the Dome of the Rock.
29: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Known for its luxury shopping, architecture and nightlife, Dubai has become an international tourism destination. The 160-story skyscraper, Burj Khalifa, is a must-see for visitors. The Dubai Fountain is also a spectacular sight with lights choreographed to music.
28: Havana, Cuba
A panorama of Havana old and new is available a short ferry ride across the harbor. Very soon, you'll need this hillside perspective to take in the full transformation of this rediscovered city where cranes — and progress — have begun to take over the landscape.
27: Madrid, Spain
As the capital of Spain, Madrid is known for its art and culture. The city is home to the Prado, one of the most well-known art museums in the world; the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, home of the successful football team; and the Gran Vía, the city's center.
26: Bruges, Belgium
Bruges is the capital of West Flanders in northwest Belguim. It is known for its canals, cobblestone streets and medieval buildings. The Belfry of Bruges and Church of Our Lady Bruges are great places to start off a trip in Bruges. Here, Christmas decorations and lighting in Old Market Square define the historic center of Bruges.
As one of the largest cities in the United States, Chicago is known for its architecture. The iconic John Hancock Center, Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) and the Tribune Tower are all must sees in the Windy City.
24: Hong Kong
Hong Kong is home to the Tian Tan Buddha, Victoria Peak, Lantau island and Victoria Harbor — just a few of a wealth of experiences in this busy city.
23: Quebec City, Canada
Quebec City is in Canada's mostly French-speaking province of Quebec. It is known for Château Frontenac, a historic hotel designed by Bruce Price and built by the Canadian Pacific Railroad Company in 1893. Quebec City has a rich history and plenty of European architecture to inspire.
22: San Diego
Black's Beach is a beautiful, secluded area beneath the bluffs of Torrey Pines on the Pacific Ocean known for nude sunbathing. A submarine canyon attracts surfers to Black's Beach, but makes it dangerous for inexperienced swimmers.
21: Toronto, Canada
Capital of the province of Ontario, Toronto is a major Canadian city along Lake Ontario. It is known for its skyscrapers such as the CN Tower. The city's Roy Thomson Hall is considered one of the top venues of the Toronto International Film Festival.
20: Buenos Aires, Argentina
The capital of Argentina, Buenos Aires is known as the birthplace of the tango. It is also home to the Teatro Colón, and the Latin American Art Museum of Buenos Aires, or MALBA.
19: Vienna, Austria
Home of Mozart, Beethoven and Sigmund Freud, Austria's capital is known for its imperial palaces, modern architecture and culture. Some noteable places are the Schönbrunn Palace, The Hofburg and St. Stephen's Cathedral.
18: Tokyo, Japan
A city with an incredible food and cocktail scene (including the most Michelin-starred restaurants in the world), this buzzing, neon-lit metropolis and capital of Japan offers both a taste of modern life and contact with Japan's ancient past. Tokyo is also the most populous prefecture in Japan.
17: Istanbul, Turkey
Home of the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia Museum, Topkapi Palace Museum and once the site of chariot races, Istanbul is full of history and culture that date back to the previous empires that once ruled the city.
16: Budapest, Hungary
Home of the world famous Budapest Opera House and Chain Bridge, Budapest is the capital of Hungary. The Budapest History Museum is a must-see as it shares history from Roman times up until contemporary times.
15: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Rio de Janeiro is a beautiful seaside city in Brazil that is well known for its beaches and festivals. The iconic Christ the Redeemer statue welcomes millions of visitors each year.
14: Prague, Czech Republic
Prague is a romantic, historic city, one that escaped much of the destruction that rained down in Europe in World Wars I and II. Book a room at trendy pentahotel Prague on Secret Escapes, and it's easy to catch a tram to explore the City of a Thousand Spires. Stroll hand-in-hand with your sweetheart through the fragrant flowers at the royal garden, or ride in a horse-drawn carriage down picturesque streets. Feed the white swans on the Vltava River, or walk across the Charles Bridge and shop for souvenirs from local artists and vendors. After you tour the fairytale-like Prague Castle, share an order of hot dumplings and cold beer. Don't forget to visit the John Lennon Wall to draw a heart and put your initials in it (yes, graffiti is allowed).
13: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Known for its artistic history, Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands. Home of the Van Gogh Museum, Anne Frank House, Vondelpark and Dam Square, it has something for everyone.
12: Lisbon, Portugal
When visiting Lisbon, make sure to stop in Belem, home of some of Lisbon's most important landmarks such as the Jerónimos Monastery, the Belém Tower, the Discoveries Monument and Coleção Berardo Museum. Other notable places to see are the Santa Justa Elevator, the picturesque town of Sintra and St. George's Castle.
Singapore’s 28-foot-tall Merlion sculpture, the symbol of Singapore, reminds visitors that this Southeast Asian city (actually, it’s a city/country/island) was once a simple fishing village. Today, the part-lion, part-fish statue overlooks Marina Bay, a resort development filled with trendy boutiques, luxury hotels, casinos and museums. For the last two years, Singapore has broken its own tourism records, thanks in part to new non-stop and direct flights that make travel from the U.S. more convenient. The city is also welcoming new restaurants, bars, shops and hotels to its mix of vibrant festivals, sporting events and cultural attractions.
10: Rome, Italy
Built in 753 BC, Rome is the capital of Italy and was originally the capital of the Roman Empire. Some must sees are the Colosseum, St. Peter's Basilica, Trevi Fountain, the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel.
9: Sydney, Australia
Sydney is one of Australia's largest cities, perhaps best known for the iconic Sydney Opera House with its unique and recognizable design. Sydney is also known as the Emerald City or the Harbor City.
8: San Francisco, California
Home of the Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars, former Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, and Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco is the cultural hub of northern California.
7: Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town is the capital of South Africa and best known for its harbor and landmarks such as Table Mountain and Cape Point. Some other notable spots include Cape of Good Hope, Robben Island and Boulders Beach.
6: Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona, the capital city of the Catalonia region in northeastern Spain, boasts fascinating architecture, sparkling Mediterranean waters and a rich culture — making it one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. Catalonia is an autonomous region with its own government and language called Catalan. The language is primarily a mix of French and Spanish and is spoken by millions of people in the region.
5: Vancouver, Canada
Perhaps known best for its fresh seafood, Vancouver, in the western province of British Columbia, is also home to Stanley Park, the Capilano Suspension Bridge and one-time home of the 2010 Winter Olympics.
4: Venice, Italy
Known as "The Floating City" or "City of Canals," Venice has no roads, only canals that are lined with Renaissance and Gothic palaces. Visitors can navigate the canals courtesy of a gondola ride and take a stroll over the Rialto Bridge.
3: London, England
From the Vista Rooftop Bar and garden of the Tragalgar Hotel in London, you get lush green surroundings while you take in the spectacular views of the city which include the London Eye, the giant ferris wheel on the South Bank of the River Thames.
2: New York City
Equal parts grit and glamor, New York City is the consummate global city with its glittering skyscrapers, world-famous buildings, peaceful Central Park and an edgy beauty all its own.
1: Paris, France
The city of love, Paris is home to the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Notre Dame and the Moulin Rouge. Few would argue with the essential beauty of Paris from the narrow, charming streets of Saint-Germain to the wide, dramatic avenues, parks and squares designed by Napoleon's architect Georges-Eugène Haussmann.