Of all of the cities in the world — and there are thousands to mention — these are our readers’ faves! Uncover a new favorite, rediscover an old classic, or perhaps adventure to the hidden gems of a metropolis. If this list only serves to whet your international city appetite, our readers also shared the most walkable cities and their favorite food cities from around the world!
1. London, England, UK (Winner)
“When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.”
As in A Bear Called Paddington, there are so many fun adventures to be had it’s no wonder that London was voted your favorite international city. From the Greenwich Meridian to Buckingham Palace, parks and free museums, walking tours and double-decker bus rides, London has something for tour groups, families, and even the solo tourist.
2. Paris, France
Bienvenue à Paris — Welcome to Paris! Last year’s favorite international city drops to second place this year. The beautiful capital of France is divided into 20 arrondissements, or administrative districts, and each district has plenty to offer everyone, with museums, gardens, eateries, coffee shops, and architecture galore.
In 2024, Paris will play host to the 33rd Olympiad and the 17th Paralympic games. If visiting during the games, allow for plenty of travel and sightseeing time as the city and surrounding areas are bound to be extra crowded.
3. Florence, Italy
Monuments, cathedrals, and retail stores… Oh my! Tucked in the heart of the centrally located Tuscany region, Florence, or Comune di Firenze, attracts millions of visitors each year. While known for its Renaissance and Gothic architecture and monuments, the Complex of Santa Maria del Fiore tops them all. The city also boasts numerous art galleries and a high-end shopping district called Via Tornabuoni, where you can find Bulgari and Ferragamo.
4. Dublin, Ireland
What comes to mind when you think of Dublin, Ireland? For me, it’s a pint of Guinness and the pubs that serve it. One pub in particular is the historic Temple Bar, which just so happens to be in the Temple Bar District. You can also find many parks, museums, religious sites, and the River Liffey. Make sure to check out the beautiful Dublin Castle; tours are offered daily for the State Apartments, the Viking Excavation, and the Chapel Royal.
5. Rome, Italy
When in Rome, do as the Romans do. While this phrase was originally spoken to Saint Augustine about fasting on Saturdays, this proverb has come to mean that one ought to follow the traditions of the place being visited. Every district of Rome hides a ruin, monument, or historical site. Our readers love Rome so much that a few made our list of Favorite Landmarks Around The World. According to Rome’s official tourism website, the top five most-visited sites in The Eternal City are the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, the Trevi Fountain, and Navona Square. Enjoy all of these breathtaking sites in one tour to see the best that Rome has to offer.
6. Amsterdam, Netherlands
While tulips and the Netherlands are synonymous to most, did you know that they are not the national flower of the Netherlands? In June of 2023, the daisy was voted in as the national flower. At any rate, to enjoy the sights and smells of the tulip, take a bicycle tour that starts at the famous floating market — Bloemenmarkt. Amsterdam is known for its canals and bridges, multiple museums, and beautifully colorful tulips. The most lauded museum is the Rijksmuseum, which houses the largest collection of classical Dutch art in the world, including works from Rembrandt and Johannes Vermeer. And don’t forget about the Van Gogh Museum to see many of his works and to learn all about the person who made him famous. Pop over to the Anne Frank House, then grab a wheel of Dutch-made Gouda cheese to enjoy on a walk down one of the many canals.
7. Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona is located in the northeastern corner of España, overlooking the beautiful Mediterranean Sea, and is home to Antoni Gaudi’s unfinished Sagrada Familia Basilica. Football fans can cheer for FC Barcelona and everyone else can enjoy an immersive and innovative tour experience at the Espai Barça. If you have extra time to spend outside of the city, be sure to check out Mount Tibidabo. It’s the highest point in Barcelona — and offers hikes — Spain’s oldest amusement park, and the location of Templo Expiatorio del Sagrado Corazón.
8. Munich, Germany
While most know it as the home of Oktoberfest, Munich is also the birthplace of river surfing. Back in 1972, Dieter “The Eater” Deventer discovered the stationary wave after German authorities placed some concrete blocks in the Eisbach River to block the strong current. The wave is for experienced surfers only, as the current moves at 20 tons per second. Unlike ocean waves where you paddle to the waves, on the Eisbach, you simply jump onto it from the river bank. If surfing and beer aren’t enough to get you there, Christmas in Munich is unbeatable. Whether shopping at one of the 20 markets like Christkindlmarkt or taking in the lights inside and out all over the city, you can spend multiple days discovering all that Munich has to offer.
9. Athens, Greece
Athens, where the city is the museum, has so many things to offer its visitors. The Monastiraki neighborhood, aptly named for a “little monastery” that once operated there, is home to a massive flea market-style shopping center. From the center of Monastiraki, you can see the Acropolis and the new Acropolis Museum that opened in 2009. Dining in Athens is a fantastic experience, ranging from small, local tavernas to drink ouzo like a local to high-end Michelin-starred restaurants.
10. Montréal, Quebec, Canada
Montréal played host to the 1967 International and Universal Exposition, also called Expo 67. The United States Pavilion was housed in The Biosphère, which sits in one of the biggest parks in Montreal — Parc Jean-Drapeau. In this park alone, you can find sporting events such as the Grand Prix, an amusement park, concert and event venues, hiking, boating, and picnicking. And that’s just the beginning of what Montréal has to offer. As far as food goes, poutine, bagels, and smoked-meat sandwiches are favorites among Montréalers. Lastly, I’ll leave you with this little factoid: Municipal regulations forbid any building to exceed the height of Mount Royal.
11. Prague, Czechia
Prague, the City of a Hundred Spires, is home to a 600-year-old medieval astronomical clock; it is the last clock in the world to track Central European, Babylonian, and Sidereal times. Head to Quadrio Shopping Station to the Head of Franz Kafka and marvel at the 42-layer rotating metallic head of Franz Kafka. If you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-path pub and unique spa experience all in one, look no further than The Original Beer Spa. Take a soak in a “hop sauna,” sip unlimited beer, cool off with an oak-bucket shower, and pamper yourself with beer cosmetics made with Czech beer.
12. Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Melbourne, the beautiful capital of Victoria, is home to some of the most vibrant street art in the world. Tucked into the art-covered lanes are some of the best laneway secrets. The Royal Botanic Gardens boasts 38 beautiful acres of diverse plant collections and offers numerous programs like Nature Therapy and Aboriginal Heritage Walks.
13. Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon is famous for its hospitality and welcoming spirit. It also has a unique winemaking tradition with many regions to boast. Declared a national monument in 1910, Belém Tower was built between 1515 and 1521; it was built as a fortress to help protect the Jeronimos Monastery and as a gateway to the city of Lisbon. “Leisure plus nature equals mathematics,” at Camp Grande, which houses a collection of games and monuments dedicated to mathematics.
14. Istanbul, Türkiye
Everyone knows that Constantinople is now called Istanbul. But did you know that from Istanbul, you can see one continent from another? Istanbul straddles the Bosphorus Strait which provides the only passage between the Black and the Mediterranean Seas. Aside from this exciting geographical phenomenon, TravelAwaits writer Teresa Otto shares why you will fall in love with Istanbul. No trip would be complete without a shopping trip at the Grand Bazaar, a Turkish delight, and a Turkish coffee.
15. Zagreb, Croatia
Croatia is located across the Adriatic Sea from Italy and it is the host country to many movies and shows because of its beautiful landscapes, cities, and countryside. One such place is Park Bundek. Sitting along the Sava River, it was formerly a neglected jungle. The Museum of Illusions and the Nikola Tesla Museum offer unique and fun learning environments for all ages. Satisfy any foodie craving with a guided truffle-hunting tour, or pick up a traditional licitar cookie while in town; though you may not actually want to eat them as they are considered more of a souvenir than a snack.
Singapore is one of the most densely populated cities in the world and it also happens to be one of only a handful of city-states in the world. Our readers love having drinks alongside the world’s highest and longest infinity pool at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. Before an elevated stay, hit up the Night Safari for a unique nocturnal zoo experience. Lastly, don’t forget to stop at the mouth of the Singapore River and take in the history and symbolism of Merlion Park.
Read more from our 2023 Best Of Travel Awards.