To figure out where you should be traveling this year, we compiled this list of the best cities around the world to visit in 2021. We’ve left no stone unturned to determine which are the most beautiful cities in the world where our valued readers & travel geeks must go. There were scores of factors we considered to prepare this list — restaurants, nightlife, shopping, tourist attractions, people, the culture, and more. And, yet there is a striking amount of diversity among the top cities in the world, which are packed with neon-lit skylines to the staggering skyscraper, and the centuries-old palaces. Our luxury travel writers, experts & readers will make this straightforward for you — which are the best cities in the world you must visit in 2021. Here is the list of top cities in the world our experts & readers loved and we are sure you’ll love them too:
Country: New Zealand
Top tourist destinations: Abel Tasman National Park, Nelson, Hokitika Gorge, West Coast, Wineries in Central Otago, Mt Aspiring National Park, Wanaka, Christchurch Street Art Trail, Milford Sound, and more.
The South Island all brims with the majesty of nature. From the fjords to the dramatic mountains, and the glaciers — at every turn, the landscape will make you fall in love with the city. When you are on the South Island never forget to explore two of the most accessible glaciers in the world located on the west coast. You must sample the food & the wine in the Marlborough region.
Top tourist destinations: Fushimi-Inari Taisha Shrine, Nijo Castle, Kinkaku-Ji: The Golden Pavilion, Kiyomizu-Dera Temple, Sanjūsangen-dō Temple, Kyoto Imperial Palace, and more.
Kyoto is one of the most well-preserved cities in Japan and the city has almost been reborn following the earthquake of 2011. Today there are around 100 Michelin-starred restaurants, which offer you authentic meals, and that too without Michelin prices. A lot has changed in the imperial capital!
Top tourist destinations: Eiffel Tower, Musée du Louvre, cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, Avenue des Champs-Élysées, Musée d'Orsay, and more.
The majestically unforgettable ambiance of the “City of Lights” draws millions of visitors from across the globe. Brimming with world-class cuisines, atmosphere, museums, fashion, and more, Paris is a place of many splendors.
Country: French Polynesia
Top tourist destinations: Conrad Bora Bora Nui, Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora, The Brando, InterContinental Moorea Resort & Spa, Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa, and more.
Tahiti is one of the best cities to visit in 2021 for the honeymooners — filled with French cuisine to die, Miles of shoreline, and those multitudes of wonderful resorts. Tahiti is a place that embodies the French Polynesian archipelago’s beautiful duality. The chaotic & quirky surrounding of Papeete brims with uncorrupted natural beauty.
Top tourist destinations: The Colosseum and the Arch of Constantine, Vatican City, The Pantheon, Roman Forum, Trevi Fountain, Centro Storico & the Spanish Steps, and more.
The city of seven hills, Rome, as it is often called had a mythical beginning. The twin brothers, Romulus and Remus are known to have founded the Eternal City. Travelers and experts have ranked Rome among the best cities in the world to visit in 2021 — for there is something inescapably magical about the city. Be it the mystery of the Vatican City or the afternoon caffè on Piazza Navona — Rome is sure to get imprinted on your mind forever.
Top tourist destinations: Patong Beach, Kata Beach, Karon Beach, Phuket Town, Island Boat Tours, Diving & Snorkeling, Phuket Big Buddha, and more.
Phuket has something for everyone and particularly for the ones who are looking for an affordable vacation. Located in southern Thailand, the city offers everything in your budget — be it accommodation, boat tours, or spa treatments.
Top tourist destinations: Pura Tanah Lot, Mount Batur, Uluwatu Temple, Ubud Monkey Forest, Ubud Art & Culture, Tegallalang, and Jatiluwih Rice Terraces, and more.
This lush Indonesian paradise is all filled with beautiful beaches and tranquil temples. The time to plan a vacation to Bali is between April and October when you can avoid the notoriously soggy wet season. When you are in Bali don’t forget to visit Kintamani which is home to a large lake and home to a towering (and active) volcano.
Country: The United States of America
Top tourist destinations: Statue of Liberty, Central Park, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Empire State Building, 9/11 Memorial and Museum, and more.
New York City is popularly known for its infinite adventures. Be it wandering through Central Park or enjoying the peruse SoHo's stylish boutiques, and touring the exhibits at the Met — there are plenty of options to satiate your wanderlust.
Country: The United Arab Emirates
Top tourist destinations: Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall, Dubai Museum, Al Fahidi Quarter, Sheikh Saeed Al-Maktoum House, Dubai Creek & Al Seef District, and more.
From the deep discovery of the historical landmarks to the spectacular views of the Persian Gulf to the heart-pumping adventurous activities — every corner of Dubai has something to offer. The Middle Eastern city houses some of the most popular tourist attractions including indoor Ski Dubai and the Burj Khalifa.
Top tourist destinations: Machu Picchu, The Inca Trail, Cusco's Architectural Treasures, Lake Titicaca, Colca Canyon, Nazca Lines, and more.
Sprawling amidst the Ande, 7,000-foot-high mountain range, the ancient Incan ruins of Machu Picchu attracts tourists & historians from across the globe. When you are in Peru, it is a must for all travelers to pay a visit to the remote Peruvian site. Traveling to this "Lost City of the Incas" has been a life-changing experience for many of our readers as they say.
Top tourist destinations: Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge, The Rocks, Darling Harbour, The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, and more.
There is something about Sydney that makes it among our list of Best Cities Around the World to visit in 2021. You get to experience the perfect blend of the laid-back beachside & the thriving metropolis atmosphere. And, there is something for everyone — from watching a show at the Opera House or exploring the popular areas like Darling Harbour.
Top tourist destinations: Oaxaca Cathedral, Church of Santo Domingo de Guzmán, Monte Albán, The Basilica of Our Lady of Solitude, The Rufino Tamayo Museum, and more.
Located amidst the high mountains and the lush tropical vegetation, Oaxaca has been rated as one of the best cities to visit in 2021. This UNESCO World Heritage Site consists of an impeccable blend of Spanish and Indian. In addition to the city’s quintessential architecture, the rich cultural calendar is also the highlight for travelers in Oaxaca.
Top tourist destinations: An Bang Beach, Cua Dai Beach, Phung Hung House, Hoi An Ancient Town, Fukien Assembly Hall, Hoi An Museum, and more.
Hoi An has a rich history of spice trading, popular in the 10th century. Hoi An, which means "peaceful meeting place" is one of the best cities in the world to visit in 2021. Located in the coastal area of Vietnam, even today, the city tells the story of its past for travelers and historians — through the narrow alleyways of the Ancient Town.
Top tourist destinations: Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, Doi Pui, Doi Inthanon, Wat Chedi Luang, Elephant Nature Park, Chiang Mai Gate Market, and more.
Chiang Mai is essentially an escape from the chaotic atmosphere of Bangkok — which gets you into the serenity and the more relaxed retreat. Chiang Mai used to be the Lanna Kingdom’s capital. Every year, backpackers & tourists from around the globe come and even stay for years in the city that find a place in the best cities in the world to visit in 2012. Be it seeking a spiritual escape or an adventurous journey - Chiang Mai is the answer.
Top tourist destinations: Lake Fatehsagar, Monsoon Palace, Jag Mandir, City Palace, The Lake Palace, Lake Garden Palace, Vintage Car Museum, and more.
You’ll fall in love with the city of Lakes, Udaipur - at first sight! The city is a dream for ardent travelers with a variety of tourist attractions — resplendent temples, stunning architecture, the romantic sunset, Rajputana forts & palaces. Udaipur has become one of the favorite destinations for kingsize big fat weddings.
Top tourist destinations: City Palace, Jantar Mantar, Hawa Mahal, Amber Fort, Albert Hall Museum, Birla Mandir, Nahargarh Fort, Galta Ji, Amrapali Museum, and more.
Jaipur, “the pink city” as it is called — brims with chaotic streets ebb & colorful views. Amidst the cacophony of the streets, the majesty of Jaipur’s past brings you tranquility & peace. The City Palace which is located in the heart of the city continues to be the home to the royal family, the royal observatory, Jantar Mantar adds a heavenly aspect, and there’s much more.
Top tourist destinations: Sacsayhuaman, Plaza de Armas, Inca Walls, Cathedral, Museo Inka, Museo Casa Concha, La Compañía, Museo de Arte Precolombino, and more.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site, Cusco is the capital city of Incas. You can find most of the city’s top attractions around the Plaza de Armas and the street that surrounds it — you can find plenty of restaurants, shopping spots & hotels. The San Blas district — is a serene neighborhood that offers the perfect view of the entire city.
Top tourist destinations: Torre dos Clérigos, Palácio da Bolsa, Porto Bridge Climb, Igreja de São Francisco, Cais da Ribeira, Ponte Dom Luís I, and More.
Porto is one of the best cities in the world to visit in 2021 — it has something that brings tourists close to the architecture, culture & top-notch food of the place. Porto is the second city of Portugal, which is believed to have been hewn from the granite near the mouth of the River Douro. The city dazzles with some of the world’s best tourist attractions.
Top tourist destinations: Star Ferry, Hong Kong Skyline, Victoria Peak, Big Buddha, Wong Tai Sin Temple, Repulse Bay & the Beaches, Temple Street Night Market, and more.
Hong Kong is popularly known for its glamorous atmosphere and its wonderful luxury shopping spots. Steeped in history & cultural galore, the city-state offers plentiful pleasure to tourists. Energy is abundant in the city and there is something new to explore every corner. And, there is more to it — the hiking trails, traditional fishing villages, beaches, island & more.
Top tourist destinations: The Ruins of St. Paul's, Senado Square, A-Ma Temple, Fortaleza do Monte, The Maritime Museum and Fisherman's Wharf, and more.
Macau is also known to be the Vegas of China'! The city is the central point for glitz & gambling. In addition to luxury & entertainment, the city has much more to offer. For over 300 years, Macau was a Portuguese colony, which you can see in every aspect of the city.