Ten Best Cities in the World to Visit

I was recently approached to give my opinion on which are the ten best cities in the world to visit?

These weren’t necessarily my favourite cities; it was more a case of choosing cities that should be visited if I were to choose the ten most important cities in terms of their attraction to tourists.

The ten cities that I have chosen aren’t necessarily the ten most visited cities in the world, because people visit cities for a variety of reasons, many of which have nothing to do with their tourism appeal. I have also left out cities such as Washington D.C. because, although it is undoubtedly an extraordinarily important city because of the influence that it has on global events, and it does have some appeal for tourists, Washington D.C. also lacks some soul, and that is an important element in attracting visitors solely for recreational purposes.

So, in order to make my decision I decided that to qualify a top ten city had to meet certain criteria. A top ten city must be significant, in other words, well known, globally. It must have a reputation for being cultural with enough museums, art galleries, theatrical shows and live music scene to attract visitors. Each city should be relatively easy to get around using public transport. It must have good restaurants, even great restaurants, significant buildings, good shopping and each city must be historically important.

I haven’t rated these cities from one through to ten because a person’s ability to enjoy one city over another is purely personal. So, after giving the matter much thought, here are my suggestions for the ten best cities in the world to visit:

The first three picked themselves because they are the three most iconic cities in the world:

London: It has everything that a major world city should have including the world’s best known royal family and the traditions which go with it, an incredibly diverse and long history, and a culture that is unique to London.

Paris: Who wouldn’t want to visit Paris? The city of romance that is probably the most chic city in the world; for art, culture, cuisine, shopping and lifestyle no other city has a much as Paris. But for visitors, it’s just a pity about those arrogant Parisians.

New York: Yes, probably the world’s most cosmopolitan city where the notion of a high rise city was invented and where excitement is a daily event. Just to walk along a Manhattan street is a brilliant experience then there are the galleries, the shows, the shopping, the food, it’s just a brilliant place to visit.

Next I went for a couple of European icons:

Rome: Over two millennia of tradition and influence; the great artworks of The Vatican, the fountains, piazzas, the relics of ancient greatness. The joy of life; the restaurants; the mad traffic; the cacophony and thrill of experiencing it all.

Athens: Democracy was born here and it was the ancient Greeks who gave humans true knowledge about literature, mathematics, science, medicine and philosophy. To visit the serene greatness Acropolis then to wander down into the lively jumble of streets and cafes of the Plaka is a brilliant way to celebrate life.
Still in Europe:

Barcelona: Not really Spanish but avowedly Catalan. Barcelona thrills on so many levels, from the extraordinarily fluid architecture of Gaudi, to the liveliness of Las Ramblas and the art of Picasso, this is a city would should be experienced at least once in one’s life.

Heading over to Asia:

Beijing: A city of ancient heritage which has transformed itself into a 21st century showcase, Beijing may lack some of the soul of Shanghai, but with the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and the great Wall just out beyond the ‘burbs; brilliant food, shopping and performance art with a particularly Chinese bent, this city should be on your must visit list.

Africa needs to be represented, and it is by:

Cairo: Big, confusing, sometimes ugly, it is also the city that has heralded social change in the Middle East; but with the Pyramids of Giza close by, the Nile running through it and a wonderfully vibrant network of bazaars, restaurants where life is lived to the full you have to be a bit wary, but don’t let that stop you from going there.
Heading south of the Equator:

Sydney: Just over two hundred years old, but what have they created in that short space of time? Nestled on the biggest natural harbour in the world and perfectly framed by the Sydney harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House, this is Australia’s party city where the locals are good natured, the climate almost perfect and a good time is guaranteed.

Rio de Janeiro: Did I say party city? Here it is, Rio – fabulous beaches, a city tucked in between towering hills, where futbol is a religion and where food and drinks are both unique and sensational, if Christ the Redeemer feels content here then so will you.

Of course, you may disagree with my selection – go ahead, make a comment nominate your best cities for inclusion.

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