I’m often asked where my favourite cities are in the world and more often than not, I give a different answer every time. But the facts and figures speak the truth – there are some cities that are on everyone’s “to travel” list and hardly any of them surprise me! To create this list of “IT” cities, I gathered data of the world’s most visited cities last year, as well as compiling my own personal data from right here on the blog, to uncover the most searched terms we see on World of Wanderlust and the most popular “IT” cities have finally been named…. here’s the top 15 (because it was too hard to pick just ten)!
Lets begin with an obvious choice (and for good reason), the city of London continues to top the list of the world’s most visited cities, with nearly 19 million visitors last year alone. If you’re a first timer to the British capital, make sure you complete this London Bucket List and don’t forget there are some great day trips outside of London!
It should also come at no surprise that the city of love and lights makes the list, as Paris holds such a fond place in the hearts of many (myself included). With a Paris contributor who eats her way around Paris, you’ll find plenty of great articles on Paris here on the blog. Or you can shortcut your way straight to my favourites; The best sweets in Paris; How to be a Parisian; and the Paris Bucket list!
Hong Kong was the very first city I ever visited outside of Australia and after 6 or 7 visits, I’m still completely head over heels in love with this city. If you plan on visiting for a day or two only, here’s our guide to a Hong Kong Stopover. If you have more time (which I’d strongly recommend), here’s where to find the Best Dim Sum in Hong Kong.
There is undeniably no other city in the world quite as chaotically charming as New York City. I don’t know how it is managed, but amidst the chaos and madness of New York there is so much intrigue with every step you take. Each neighbourhood breathes its own life in to the city, resulting in a huge melting pot in a city that feels like a whole world in itself. Before you go, see all of our guides to New York City!
When I first visited Dubai some years ago I wasn’t at all sure what to expect. Everything I had read and seen in documentaries before arriving was fairly contradicting, and when I arrived I realised that is because Dubai is moving so fast that the rest of the world struggles to keep up! With such a strong different in cultural norms and laws, it is important to read this article as a first time visitor to Dubai.
Istanbul is hands down one of my favourite cities in the entire world, so I was hardly surprised when I found that it was one of the most searched cities from World of Wanderlust readers! If you’re venturing to Turkey for the first time you’re bound to head straight for Istanbul, so here are 5 sites you absolutely must see in Istanbul!
As an Australian I am almost always stopping over in Asia and the Middle East en route to the Northern Hemisphere and Singapore has quickly become one of my favourite stopover cities. Singapore is a city you should eat your way around (the kinda city I like), so here are the most weirdly wonderful restaurants to try in Singapore. But if you’re only stopping over, be sure to make it a day visit at the very least as there is so much to see and enjoy during a Singapore stopover!
Although I have only visited briefly on two short visits, Bangkok is such a fun and exciting city that absolutely must be experienced at least once in your lifetime! Thai people are so lovely with smiles that extend across their entire face, so it is hard not to enjoy the capital! Plus the food is amazing and Bangkok has incredible shopping for visitors. See here for a quick guide to Bangkok if you’re visiting for the first time.
Tokyo is such an intriguing city that is hard to ignore when considering the world’s most coveted cities to visit! The Japanese capital is quirky, with so much to uncover beyond the typical attractions most capital cities offer. Don’t miss the chance to visit a cat cafe or be served lunch by a robot! And trust me… that is just scratching the surface of all the quirky charm on offer in Tokyo!
One city I know I didn’t have enough time in first time round is Barcelona, Spain. I instantly fell in love with the colourful and quirky Gaudi architecture, though I could have really done with an extra few days (on top of my four) to explore it in greater depth. A Barcelona Tapas Tour is an absolute must to appreciate the food culture here in Catalonia so be sure to book yourself in!
As one of the world’s most photographic cities, Amsterdam simply cannot go missed on a whirlwind trip to Europe. If you luck out and visit the city during tulip season you’ll be met with an array of colours at the flower market – a beautiful site if ever there were one. But truly any time of year is great to visit Amsterdam and its tree-lined canals. To make sure you see and do everything, be sure to check off this Amsterdam bucket list!
Ahhh Rome, the eternal city. How would a list of the world’s “IT” cities ever be complete without it!? I’m a huge fan of Rome, having visited with my dad when I was seventeen as our first European city on our Euro adventure. To see, do and eat everything in Rome – here’s our Rome bucket list!
The Russian capital completely and utterly fascinates me. Although I prefer St Petersburg to visit, I thought I’d better be fair and cover the most visited of the two. Moscow is full of history and intrigue, with some incredible displays of architecture (just head straight to the Red Square and you’ll see what I mean). My only regret is that I didn’t have long enough to enjoy the museums and public buildings, so I’ll be sure to return one day soon!
As the international gateway to Australia, Sydney is incredibly popular among foreign visitors – and for good reason! This city by the sea has a lot to offer and enjoys relatively good weather year round (though the odd shower or storm can sometimes creep up on you!) If you don’t have long, you can still do in Sydney in 48 hours if you know where to go in advance!
Rio de Janeiro
My favourite city in South America was hands down Rio de Janeiro (or simply ‘Rio’) in Brazil. This city is absolutely huge and can be overwhelming at first, but to make sure you see it all read this list of everything you must not miss in Rio de Janeiro!
Over to you! Where are your favourite cities in the world?