London sometimes seems like the capital of the world.
Walk along the Thames to Shakespeare’s Globe Theater, listen to Big Ben chime and pay a visit to the Queen at Buckingham Palace. Then take a ride on the Tube or a double-decker bus to explore London's cutting-edge neighborhoods—almost all influenced by the city's eclectic international population.
The big city buzz of Bangkok is like nothing else on the planet, as it serves as the unofficial capital of Southeast Asia. Shop at floating markets and admire a gaggle of gilded temples during the day before sitting down for a spicy meal of mouthwatering Thai street food at night.
Simply put, the City of Light lives up to the hype. From its grand boulevards lined with balcony-festooned buildings to its world-leading museums and decadent patisseries, Paris will enthrall you. Walk down the Champ-Elysees to the Arc de Triomphe and then gaze at the Eiffel Tower at night—a sight that will stay with you for the rest of your life.
Cairo is the capital of Egypt, and while its bustling streets can certainly overwhelm the senses, travelers that take time to get to know the city will be richly rewarded.
Discover collections of antiquities at the Egyptian Museum and take a journey to nearby Giza, where you can witness for yourself one of the original seven wonders of the world—the Great Pyramids.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Rio teems with life, and all it takes is one trip to fall in love. Dig your toes into the sand at Copacabana Beach before using them for a game of Brazilian beach soccer. Scale Corcovado Mountain to get up-close-and-personal with the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue, or visit during Carnival to see a vibrant festival you will never forget.
Los Angeles, United States
Los Angeles’ film industry has touched every corner of the globe, and once you see the iconic “Hollywood” sign in person you’ll feel like a star. Take a tour of a movie studio and then stroll down the Walk of Fame before retreating to one of Los Angeles’ laid-back beaches in order see the sun sink into the Pacific Ocean.
A dizzying stop on the doorstep of the Sahara, Marrakech will positively move you. Explore the souks inside the ancient medina before listening to a call to prayer echo from the rooftop of your courtyard hotel. Then make your way to Djemaa El Fna square to stare at the nightly ballet of street food stalls and circus-style curiosities.
Russia’s most mesmerizing metropolis, Moscow is loaded with both historic sights and modern buzz. Visit the final resting place of Vladimir Lenin before crossing Red Square to take in the kaleidoscopic onion domes of St. Basil’s Cathedral. Then stroll through Gorky Park before finishing your day with a taste of the city’s nightlife.
Hong Kong, China
Hong Kong is home to one of the world’s most scintillating skylines but it’s also awash in striking mountain scenery. Ride to the top of Victoria Peak to peer down on the harbor and its skyscrapers before making your way to historic Man Mo Temple. Finally, enjoy a drink with a view at one of the city’s rooftop bars.
"All roads lead to Rome", and everyone should make a pilgrimage here before they die.
Touring the Colosseum is a “pinch-me” moment, as is taking in the Trevi Fountain and scaling the Spanish Steps. Rome is also home to Vatican City, where you can gaze at the works of Michelangelo on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and see St. Paul’s Cathedral.
Kyoto is regarded as Japan’s most traditional city and offers you get a real taste of both history and modernity. Ancient temples and shrines will delight the eyes and soul while Kyoto’s cuisine tantalize the taste buds. Visit during cherry blossom season to see the city at its blooming best.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Buenos Aires is arguably South America's most cosmopolitan city. Work up an appetite walking along its wide boulevards before parking yourself at Plaza de Mayo to people-watch. At night, enjoy a delicious Argentine steak dinner before taking to a club to do the tango—the city’s most beloved dance.
New Orleans, United States
New Orleans is home to a one-of-a-kind mix of cultures. At times, it feels more European than American. Fawn over the architecture of the French Quarter before taking a streetcar up St. Charles Avenue to have a lunch filled with unique regional specialties. Live it up at night by taking in a jazz show in the city where the genre was born.
There is nothing else in the world quite like Venice. This lagoon city was once home to one of history's greatest empires but now provides visitors with once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Take a ride in a gondola before visiting St. Mark’s Cathedral and the Doge’s Palace, or come at Carnival time and transform into a masked reveler.
Siem Riep, Cambodia
Serving as the gateway to the amazing ancient site of Angkor Wat, Siem Riep will stay with you long after you leave. Rise early to see the sunrise shimmer over the main Angkor Wat temple, but spend your day getting lost among the lesser known ruins. At night, take in a traditional Cambodian Apsara dance.
Perched high in the Andes, Cusco resides in rarified air when it comes to world cities. Walk the cobblestoned streets and stop to admire the cathedral before learning about the Inca culture at the Museo Inka. Then it’s off to see one of the greatest archaeological finds of the 20th century: Machu Picchu.
Seemingly a set for a vintage film, Havana offers an authentic glimpse into the past. Count the colorful buildings and gracefully crumbling facades in the Havana Vieja district before learning all about what made the modern city at the Museo de la Revolución. Spend twilight strolling along the Malecón—one of the world’s great seaside promenades.
While parts of Beijing barrel headfirst into the future, it’s the city’s enthralling past that makes it a must-see.
Find your way to the Forbidden City and experience a royal residence like nothing else in the world, before taking time to relax at the Temple of Heaven. Then make your way to the outskirts of town to walk on the Great Wall of China.
Prague, Czech Republic
Prague is one of the prettiest cities in all of Europe, offering an intriguing mix of quintessentially Eastern European atmosphere and medieval romance. Walk across the ancient Charles Bridge, then climb to Prague Castle to survey the city and its legendary “100 spires”. Afterwards, relax with a glass of refreshing Czech pilsner.
Istanbul has always been at the crossroads of cultures as it is the only city in the world that stretches over two continents. Take in sights like the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia before bartering for a gift at the Grand Bazaar. Then take a cruise on the Bosphorus before witnessing the enchanting Whirling Dervishes.
New York City, United States
As they say: “if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.” (Everyone should make it to New York at least once.) Take the Staten Island Ferry past the Statue of Liberty before strolling among the Big Apple’s skyscrapers. Take in the lights of Times Square then retreat to the calm of Central Park before dinner and a West End show.
Cape Town, South Africa
Crowned by Table Mountain, Cape Town owns one of the world’s most dramatic backdrops. Below the summit, you will find a cosmopolitan city that lives among a lush landscape. Visit Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and the Cape of Good Hope to see gorgeous natural scenery before having a gander at one of the city’s many art galleries.
Unfurling across a scenic harbor, Sydney has become Australia's symbol to the world. Sail past the instantly-recognizable Sydney Opera House on a ferry before scaling the steel behemoth that is Harbour Bridge on an organized climb. Then hit the beach to relax at one of Sydney’s golden stretches of sand.
Mexico City, Mexico
Mexico City pulses with a potent mix of the past and the present. Visit the ruins of the Mesoamerican city of Teotihuacan and the Museo Nacional de Antropología to learn about the country’s ancient past. Then dine at one of its scintillating street markets to experience the sights and sounds of the modern day Mexican capital.