Top 20 Most Beautiful Cities in the World

As well as featuring on this list – Stockholm, St Petersburg, Hong Kong and Singapore are all built on islands. Read on in the ‘Top 20 Most Beautiful Cities in the World’ to discover more surprising facts about some of the world’s leading cities ……


Istanbul, with 14 million people, is the largest City to make the ‘Top 20 Most Beautiful Cities in the World’ list, and Funchal the tiny Madeiran capital with a population of just 35,000 is the smallest. Cities like Stockholm and Vancouver are also frequently featured on ‘Most Livable City’ lists.

Three of these cities can claim to have been capitals of Empires; Vienna, Rome and Istanbul and two of them share a river – Prague and Vienna are both on the shores of the Danube. Rome can probably lay claim to being the oldest city on the list, Vancouver which dates from 1867 is the youngest.


20. New York, USA

New York is America’s World City and almost half the population speak another language apart from English. Everything is big in the Big Apple, the city’s Central Park is bigger than the whole of Monaco.


19. Funchal, Madeira

The Capital of the Portuguese Island of Madeira, Funchal takes New Year celebrations seriously and they have the world’s largest fireworks display to see in the new year.


18. Singapore, Singapore

City-state Singapore was only 580 km2 in the 1960’s thanks to landfill projects it plans to double its size by 2030.


17. Washington DC, USA

The Washington Monument is one of the city’s most famous landmarks but its actually only a small part of a much larger memorial featuring 30 more statues and columns that never got built.


16. Buenos Aries, Argentina

While other countries love Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, ‘Dia del Amigo’ or Friend’s Day is big Buenos Aries. So busy in fact it can crash the country’s cellular network people are so busy wishing friends best wishes.


15. Edinburgh, UK

Edinburgh has a long history of inspiring literary characters. Not only was it JK Rowling’s home while she wrote ‘The Harry Potter’ books, Arthur Conan Doyle based ‘Sherlock Holmes’ on an Edinburgh surgeon, Professor Joseph Ball and Charles Dickens was inspired by the inscription on a local tombstone to create the character ‘Scrooge’.


14. Vienna, Austria

The city’s Danube River flows through 3 other capital cities. Viennese Balls are an important cultural tradition and there are over 200 held every year.

13. Prague, Czech Republic

Home to Prague Castle, the world’s largest another more surprising landmark is the ‘John Lennon Graffiti Wall’, a memorial that has been in place since ‘The Beatles’ member was shot dead in 1980.


12. Stockholm, Sweden

Home to the famous Nobel Prizes, Stockholm is actually built on 14 islands all connected by 57 bridges.


11. Vancouver, Canada

Famous for its ethnic diversity, 40% of the city’s inhabitants are born outside Canada, the city also receives a massive 15 million visitors a year.

10. St Petersburg, Russia

Russian Emperor Peter first built a city on what was then a swap in 1703. Despite the capital of Russia moving to Moscow after the 1917 Russian Revolution, many Russians still see St Petersburg as the country’s cultural capital. St. Petersburg, with a population of 5 million, is also the largest city in Europe that is not a capital.

9. San Francisco, USA

Originally named Yerba Buena and part of Mexico until 1848, San Francisco is birthplace to the Chinese Fortune Cookie. Regularly lauded as America’s prettiest city, its no surprise to see it being the top American city in the ‘Top 20 Most Beautiful Cities in the World’ list.

8. Barcelona, Spain

Gaudi’s masterpiece, the Sagrada Família Cathedral started in 1882, is actually finally nearing completion and is expected to be all finished in 2026.

7. Hong Kong, China

Home to the world’s most skyscrapers, 8000 in total. More surprisingly 3/4 of the territory is rural with numerous forests and parks outside its densely populated core.

6. Sydney, Australia

Although traditionally thought of as a young country the Sydney region has actually been continually inhabited for 30,000 years by Australia’s Indigenous Peoples.

5. Rome, Italy

Once the capital of most of Europe in the days of the Roman Empire, the modern city only became the capital of Italy in 1870, Florence held the honor before then.

4. Paris, France

The City has a life-sized replica of the Statue of Liberty’s flame at the Pont de Alma, a 100th anniversary thank you for France’s original gift to the US of the statue. Sited near the site where Princess Diana died in 1997, it has since become a makeshift memorial to her with flowers still left by visitors.

3. Istanbul, Turkey

Capital to some of the world’s biggest empires – Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman, Istanbul is now Turkey’s capital and home to 14 million people and accounts for one-quarter of the countries GDP.

2. Rio de Janerio, Brazil

Home to the Samba, 50 km’s of beaches and the world’s biggest Carnival with 2 million visitors, it’s no surprise Rio is Brazil No 1 destination for tourism.

1. Cape Town, South Africa

As well as being awarded the title of ‘World Design Capital’ in 2014 the New York Times gave its No. 1 position on its worldwide list of places to visit, so no surprise to see it on a’ Top 20 Most Beautiful Cities in the World’ list. One thing that surprises visitors to the city is the ice cold sea water, its directly fed by currents from the Artic and the city actually has a colony of native Penguins.


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