The Most Beautiful Cities in the World
We'd like to interrupt your Friday afternoon with a little travel inspiration. This list from our editors circles the globe, finding the most beautiful cities from Italy to Iran, made just for you. See all 50 that top the list: http://cntrvlr.co/zQyRaQN Any favorites?
- •Venice, ItalyHere's a general rule to abide by in Venice: If you don't get lost, you're not doing it right. Even visitors with a GPS-like sense of direction will likely be bested by the meandering streets of the city. There's no better way to explore the lovely maze than in a haze of mild confusion. -Katherine LaGrave
- •Busan, South KoreaIf Seoul is Korea’s New York, Busan might be its Los Angeles–Miami hybrid. It's renowned in East Asia for its miles of wide sandy beaches, seaside vistas, and busy quayside scene
- •Stockholm, SwedenWith its charming historic alleyways and a multitude of islands that lead many to dub it “the Venice of the north," Stockholm is one of the world’s most beautiful capitals. (It’s also the cultural, political, media, and economic center of Sweden.) —K.L.
- •Chefchaouen, MoroccoTucked high in Morocco’s Rif Mountains, the all-blue town of Chefchaouen is a calming respite from the overwhelming frenzy of Marrakech and Fez. The Jewish refugees from Europe who lived there during the 1930s first painted the city (either to symbolize heaven or as a mosquito repellent, depending on who you ask), and now the town is known as "The Blue Pearl." The town still keeps the tradition alive: Each year, the houses are washed with new coats of paint. —Lucy Laucht
- •Beirut, LebanonEven when faced with terror and destruction, Beirut is beautiful, charming, and strong. The Lebanese capital has astonishing art, architecture, food, and hotels—in fact, we think it's one of the great cities of the world. —CNT Editors
- •Abu Dhabi, UAEFrom mega-malls to artificial ski slopes to crystal-strewn hotels, Abu Dhabi—the wealthiest of the seven tiny oil-rich states that make up the United Arab Emirates—embraces the latest extravagances for travelers. Even the holy sites in the city rival the world's most luxurious palaces, most notably the majestic Sheikh Zayed Mosque (pictured). —Whitney Robinson
- •Havana, CubaSince regulations prohibiting travel to Cuba were relaxed in January 2015, U.S. travelers have never been more eager to visit the colorful streets of Havana—a study in contradictions, pastels and primary colors, rich and poor, the past and the future. (The recent onslaught of beautiful Airbnb properties doesn't hurt either.) —L.D.R. and Barbara Peterson
- •London, U.K.London is one of the most vibrant cities in the world, with history (Westminster Abbey) and models of modernity (London Eye, The Gherkin) mingling on the Thames. Art and literature seem to seep out of the city's walls—and in recent years, London has glammed up even more, with contemporary art galleries and boutique retailers adding some glimmer to formerly seedy areas. —CNT Editors
- •Hong Kong, ChinaHong Kong is impressive from many angles—beneath the towering skyscrapers, or from a ferry crossing Victoria Harbour—but you can see its finest side from the air. As your flight approaches the city, it feels like the mist parts and reveals Shangri-La, where hilly, verdant islands surround a concrete jungle. -Laura Dannen Redman
- •New York, NYNew York's beauty is multi-sensory: It's the sight of historic architecture, from the Flatiron Building to One World Trade Center, dwarfing the 8.4 million humans below; the feel of the grass beneath your feet in the great green oases of Central and Prospect Park; the smell of roasted nuts on street corners; the sound of jazz pouring out of Smalls in the Greenwich Village. -L.D.R
- •Valparaiso, ChileValparaiso, a Unesco World Heritage site, is a multicolored beauty on the Chilean coast. It's arguably the country's most scenic city, with lollipop-colored homes staggered along the 22 hills that rise from the Pacific Coast. Irreverent street art adds a touch of modern to the brilliant 19th-century buildings. —Chaney Kwak
- •SingaporeThe received wisdom that used to prevail about Singapore—that it’s boring, staid, definitively uncool and inauthentic—becomes less true every month. Small, independent restaurants are opening across town, and important galleries and some enterprising retailers are planting flags here. Best of all, taxis and Ubers are cheap and plentiful, the city is compact, and its infrastructure is close to flawless—meaning you can navigate easily and pack a lot in. —Maria Shollenbarger
- •Budapest, HungaryWith some of the best Art Nouveau architecture in Europe, scenic Budapest has no bad angles. Széchenyi Chain Bridge offers magnificent views of the Danube River—especially at night. Moreover, it's the only capital city in the world that's rife with healing, thermal waters (hence its nickname, "The City of Baths"). —K.L.