17 Most Beautiful Cities in the World

Cities can be celebrated for their architecture, natural landscapes, and futuristic skylines. These 17 cities are some of the most beautiful and famed for their unique attractions, making them tourist hotspots and desirable to move to.

Paris, France

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Britannica argues that “for centuries, Paris has been one of the world’s most important and attractive cities.” France’s capital has several architectural landmarks noted for their aesthetics, including the Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower, the Palais Garnier, and the Louvre.

Prague, Czechia

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The capital city of Czechia is often praised for its beauty. Tripadvisor notes that “the city of 100 spires has enchanted visitors for centuries” and is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Prague offers visitors over ten major museums, theaters, the Charles Bridge, and the Astronomical Clock.

Sydney, Australia

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Sydney, the most populous city in Australia, is known for its sandy beaches, the Opera House, and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Sydney.com points to the city’s “stunning coastlines and natural beauty” and the diverse cuisines, festivals, and events the Emerald City has to offer.

Cape Town, South Africa

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Cape Town is South Africa’s second-largest city and was voted the best travel city in the world last year. Overlooked by Table Mountain, Cape Town is known for its harbor and the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. Visitors to the Mother City can engage in shark cage diving, hiking, and surfing.

Amsterdam, the Netherlands

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The Netherlands’ capital is famous for its elaborate canal system and tall, narrow houses overlooking the water. Amsterdam is a historic city with endless bike paths for residents and tourists to explore and a host of art museums, including the Van Gogh Museum, the Rijksmuseum, and the Stedelijk Museum.

Santorini, Greece

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Visit Greece describes Santorini as “one of the most famous islands in the world.” The towns of Oia, Fira, and Imerovigli offer visitors stunning sunsets and white-washed buildings with blue domes. The island’s volcano is one of the few active in Europe.

Barcelona, Spain

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Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia, known for the architectural works of Antoni Gaudí and Lluís Domènech i Montaner and UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Sagrada Familia, Park Güell, and Casa Batlló. Visitors can stroll along La Rambla, explore the Gothic Quarter, and savor Catalan cuisine in tapas bars and the famous La Boqueria market.

Florence, Italy

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Florence has an extensive Renaissance art collection, with works by Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, and Michelangelo in the Uffizi Gallery. The city also features historic architecture, with beautiful buildings including Florence Cathedral, Palazzo Vecchio, and the Ponte Vecchio Bridge that saw Forbes rank it as one of the world’s most beautiful cities in 2010.

Vancouver, Canada

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Tripadvisor describes Vancouver as “a real jewel of Canada’s west coast, combining the cultural perks of city life with all the nature you could want.” The city has a unique approach to urban planning, Vancouverism, that preserves views of green spaces like Stanley Park with high-rise residential towers.

Istanbul, Turkey

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Istanbul, the most populous city in Turkey and Europe, lies where Asia meets Europe. Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, and Topkapi Palace are architectural wonders that made the city the most visited in 2023.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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Rio is famous for its rich musical culture, with renowned bossa nova and samba artists from the city releasing some of the most celebrated pieces of Brazilian music. The city is also world-renowned for its iconic beaches, including the Copacabana and Ipanema, which are overlooked by Christ the Redeemer.

Kyoto, Japan

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Once the capital of Japan, Kyoto is considered the country’s cultural capital and is known for its historic temples, including Kinkaku-ji (the Golden Pavilion), Fushimi Inari Shrine, and Kiyomizu-dera. Japan Guide notes that the city escaped the destruction suffered by other Japanese cities during WWII, offering visitors a glimpse of Japan’s history.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

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Dubrovnik has stunning medieval architecture, with walks around the city’s ancient streets and an old town that saw the city recognized as a World Heritage Site in 1979. Dubrovnik has beautiful beaches with turquoise Adriatic Sea waters, and tourists can go island hopping to visit Mljet National Park.

Vienna, Austria

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Vienna is noteworthy for its blend of architectural styles, notably Romanesque, Baroque, and Art Nouveau. The City Hall, State Opera, Burgtheater, and Upper Belvedere attract visitors from all over the world who wish to experience the city’s rich cultural heritage.

Venice, Italy

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According to Britannica, Venice “is unique environmentally, architecturally, and historically, and in its days as a republic the city was styled la Serenissima (‘the most serene’ or ‘sublime’).” The city’s unique waterways are explorable on gondola rides, and visitors can admire St. Mark’s Basilica, the Doge’s Palace, and the Rialto Bridge.

Queenstown, New Zealand

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Queenstown has breathtaking views from Lake Wakatipu of the mountains Ben Lomond, Cecil Peak, The Remarkables, Walter Peak, and Queenstown Hill. Visitors to the resort town can go bungee jumping, skydiving, and jet boating, and explore the nearby vineyards to taste local Pinot Noir.

Marrakech, Morocco

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Overlooked by the Atlas Mountains, Marrakech has been inhabited since the end of the Stone Age. Its bustling markets in Medina, the Bahia Palace, and Majorelle Garden offer visitors a glimpse of its rich culture.

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