Top 100 Cities to See Before You Die

We’ve taken a poll here at Maupintour and assembled a list of our top 100 cities to see before you die. The list of the top 100 cities to see has been split into two parts, explore our favorite cities and be sure to let us know which is your favorite!

Want to start from the beginning?  Click here to see 100-51. 

I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my listSusan Sontag

50. Rome, Italy

The Eternal City, Rome has as many attractions to visit as many other entire countries. See the Spanish Steps, the Coliseum, and check out the Vatican.



The Creator made Italy from designs by MichelangeloMark Twain


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49. Bruges, Belgium

Get a different perspective of the city on a boat tour and visit the historic center of Bruges, home to unique Gothic architecture. Be sure to try some of the amazing beer, there’s lots to choose from. Don’t believe us? Hit play on the video below.




48. Shanghai, China

There is so much to do, and the transit system makes it so easy to get around. The people are friendly and the food is amazing. Even just wandering the streets you can experience a whole new culture.



47. San Sebastian, Spain

San Sebastian is located in the Basque Country in Spain. The city has one of the best beaches in Europe, located right in the heart of the city.


san sebastian, spain


46. Savannah, Georgia

Settled in 1733, Savannah is the historic riverside birthplace of Georgia. Southerners joke that in Atlanta, the first thing locals ask you is your business; in Charleston, they ask your mother’s maiden name; and in Savannah, they ask what you want to drink. The list of historic places in this city goes on for a while, be sure to take a riverboat cruise on your next visit.



45. New York City, USA

The Big Apple. New York City has a vibe that is totally its own. Manhattan, Wall Street, Chinatown, Central Park…be sure to save lots of time for New York.



Give me such shows – give me the streets of Manhattan!Walt Whitman


44. Quebec City, Canada

One of the oldest cities in North America, Quebec City’s main attraction is the Old Town. The buildings are fantastic for architecture buffs.


quebec city canada

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43. Kyoto, Japan

The sights of beautiful temples and towers are all that need to be seen to fall in love with this city. You will surely adore the amazing architecture of historic buildings such as the Toji temple or the Nijo Castle.


kyoto japan

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42. London, England

A world capital, London has as much to see and do as any of the cities on our list. Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, and the famous shopping are all highlights.



When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.Samuel Johnson


41. Reykjavik, Iceland

Despite being a small city, Reykjavik has a lot to offer. There is a vibrant music scene with concerts often taking place in the center of the city. There is also tremendous whale watching and hiking, and don’t forget to take a dip in one of the famous geothermal pools. For ideas on a trip to Iceland, take a look at our Fire & Ice Tour itinerary.


reykjavik iceland

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40. Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

Everything is pointing to Rio, whether it be the Olympics or the World Cup. Be sure to take a ride to Sugar Loaf and see the Christ the Redeemer statue which overlooks the beach. Copacabana is a must for any traveler.



39. Montreal, Canada

Montreal is the perfect blend of old and new. If you’re interested in history and architecture, there’s plenty to see in Old Montreal. On the other side of the coin, New Montreal is one of the most fun places for tourists to visit, with many bars and restaurants to frequent.



38. Dubrovnik, Croatia

Visit the ancient city walls or visit the lovely island of Mljet just off the coast of the city. Dubrovnik is easily one of the most picturesque cities on this list.



37. San Juan, Puerto Rico

Founded by Spanish Colonists is 1521, San Juan is the second oldest European-established capital in the Americas. Fort San Felipe del Morro is a must visit.




36. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur has some amazing sights to see, number one on our list is the Batu Caves. Also, be sure to stop by Chinatown, it’s one of the best in Southeast Asia.


kuala lumpur malaysia

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35. St. Petersburg, Russia

The second largest city in Europe, St. Petersburg is threaded with canals and baroque bridges. Visit the Winter Palace, a massive palace showing a collection of 3,000,000 pieces from around the globe.



34. Seattle, USA

The gem of the Pacific Northwest, Seattle is home to a laid back vibe. Grab a cup of coffee at the Seattle waterfront, but don’t forget your umbrella. For travel ideas, take a look at our Best of the Pacific Northwest tour.



33. Paris, France

Also known as the City of Light, Paris is the most popular tourist destination in the world. People flock here for a reason – the city is full of an energy that you have to experience. There’s a reason it was voted the 2nd most romantic city in the world by our staff –  see the full list here. 



Paris is always a good ideaAudrey Hepburn


32. Dubai, UAE

Dubai has developed an unbelievable tourist sector in the past 10 years, and the city beckons to be explored. The Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall are both highlights, along with the stunning Burj al-Arab hotel.



31. Munich, Germany

Located in Southern Germany, Munich is well known for its architecture, food, and annual Oktoberfest celebration. It’s also one of our favorite cities in Germany.



30. Chicago, USA

The Windy City has beautiful architecture and boasts a very vibrant entertainment district. If you get the chance, you should make your way out to Wrigleyville and catch a ball game.


chicago illinois

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29. Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne is the capital and most populous city in the state of Victoria, and the second most populous in Australia. It is located on the large natural bay of Port Phillip, with its City Centre situated at the northernmost point of the bay – near to the estuary of the Yarra River.



28. Beijing, China

Everyone should go to Beijing at least once, if for nothing more than to see the Great Wall of China. Pictures cannot explain this breathtaking phenomenon. The city itself has amazing markets and even more amazing deals.



27. Stuttgart, Germany

Located in southern Germany, Stuttgart is the automobile capital of Germany. You can visit the Mercedes and Porsche museums, which display some of the most beautiful cars in the world, along with some of the oldest. In addition, the Ludwigsburg Palace should be one of your first stops. For travel inspiration, take a look at our full list of Germany itineraries.



26. Edinburgh, Scotland

Watched over by the imposing castle, the symbol of the city, Edinburgh is a combination of medieval relics and contemporary avant garde. Known as the Athens of the North, both the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh were listed as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO in 1995.



This is a city of shifting light, of changing skies, of sudden vistas. A city so beautiful it breaks the heart again and again.Alexander McCall Smith


25. Chiang Mai, Thailand

A slightly different experience than you may get from the rest of Thailand. The city is much more peaceful and relaxing. There is so much to do, from taking Thai cooking classes, going to the markets or renting a bike and seeing all the temples nearby. Chiang Mai is also one of the best places in the world to get up close and personal with an elephant. With several elephant sanctuaries nearby you can bathe, feed and ride bareback on elephants that you know are being treated right!



24. Charleston, USA

The historic downtown in Charleston is on a peninsula formed by two rivers. Take a carriage or walking tour to experience the city at its best.


Charleston South Carolina

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23. Jerusalem, Israel

A holy city to three religions (Islam, Christianity, and Judaism), Jerusalem is one of the oldest cities in the world. There is so much to see and do, a tour is a must.



Jerusalem is a port city on the shore of eternity.Yehuda Amichai


22. Salvador da Bahia, Brazil

This area is considered to be the birth place of Brazilian culture, with its amazing architect from the 15th & 16th hundreds, to gorgeous beaches, great bargain shopping & of course, some of the best dining places in all of Brazil. As well as being one of the 12 cities that will be hosting the FIFA World Cup.



21. Buenos Aires, Argentina

Often referred to as the Paris of the South, Buenos Aires is a wonderful mix of cultures and lifestyles. Do not miss a walk in Palermo, a beautiful area in the northern part of the city.



20. Innsbruck, Austria

The provincial capital of Tyrol in Austria, Innsbruck has hosted the Olympics twice and the 2008 European Football Championship. The city is known for it’s alpine sports and is surrounded by the Alps making the scenery unbeatable.



19. Tokyo, Japan

One of the largest cities in the world, Tokyo is a metropolis not to be missed. Be sure to check out some shopping in Shinjuku, and dare to take the train – the stop at Shinjuku is the busiest in the world.



The overriding sense of Tokyo…is that it is a city devoted to the new, sped up in a subtle but profound way: a postmodern science-fiction story set ten minutes in the future. David Rakoff


18. Santiago, Chile

Santiago is the capital and economic centre of Chile. With its museums, events, theaters, restaurants, bars and other entertainment and cultural opportunities, it is one of the most fun cities in South America. Its central location makes it a convenient base point to further explore the country. Due to its proximity to both mountains and the Pacific ocean, it is possible to ski in the nearby Andes and relax on the beach, all in the same day.



17. Bergen, Norway

Set in the Norwegian fjords, Bergen is a coastal city with a small town feel. Visit the colorful cod houses along the pier and learn the history of Bergen, or take the cable car to the viewing point and see the city from above.



16. Vienna, Austria

The best way to see this wonderful city is to hop on a bike and take a tour. First visit the Schonbrunn Palace and Imperial Palace and afterwards get all dressed up and go to Opera. If you are looking for a cultural but relaxing time, just visit one of the local cafes. It’ll be like no coffee experience you’ve ever had before.



15. Istanbul, Turkey

A city with the richest of histories, Istanbul is a great example of a multicultural city. Visit the Turkish Baths and take a walking tour of the Topkapi museum and Haghia Sophia.


istanbul turkey

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14. Toronto, Canada

The largest city in Canada, and one of the largest in North America, Toronto is one of the liviliest spots you can visit. It has a metropolitan feel with a laid back twist. See the CN Tower, shop in the Eaton Center, and enjoy the abundance of diversity.


toronto canada


13. Santa Fe, USA

The city was founded in 1607, and is the capital of New Mexico. Santa Fe has an elevation of 7000 feet, and is consistently rated as one of the world’s top travel destinations. It’s scenic beauty, long history and cultural diversity are its best attributes.



12. Prague, Czech Republic

Visit the historic Prague castle and take a walk to the old time square. Prague is one of our favorite cities in Europe, it has a sophisticated charm that is unmatched.



11. Florence, Italy

The largest city in Tuscany, Florence is famous for its history. A center of medieval European trade and finance and one of the wealthiest cities of the time, it is considered the birthplace of the Renaissance, and has been called “the Athens of the Middle Ages”.



10. Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown is home to some of the world’s best white water rafting and bungee jumping. Travel to the misty mountains where the Lord of the Rings was filmed, or just relax in one of the most charming cities on our list. We love New Zealand.



9. Panama City, Panama

Visit the wondrous Panama canal or simply relax and enjoy some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Panama City has a very distinct feel, it’s oozing with life.



8. Hong Kong, China

Amazing street markets, food, and views make Hong Kong near the top of our list of cities to see before you die. Take in the fabulous views of the harbor from Victoria Peak, and be sure to watch the fireworks show from across the bay.



7. San Francisco, USA

One of the coolest cities in the world, San Francisco is a melting pot of ethnicity and culture. Some of the best food, drink, and attractions in the world live here.



One day if I go to heaven I’ll look around and say it ain’t bad, but it ain’t San FranciscoHerb Caen


6. Budapest, Hungary

Make sure you pack your bathing suit and enjoy a relaxing bath in a giant palace, or take a river cruise on the Danube and get a wonderful tour of the city.



5. Sydney, Australia

One of the greatest cities in the South Pacific (and the world), Sydney is as beautiful as you’ve heard. The Sydney Harbour is the perfect place for an afternoon cruise. For the adventurous, try the Sydney Bridge Climb – a serious feat.



4. Barcelona, Spain

Take a trip down to Montserrat and follow some beautiful hiking trails. You can see a gorgeous view of the City from the Tibidabo mountain. Barcelona is buzzing with life, and it’s definitely one of our favorite cities in the world. The food is extraordinary.



3. Vancouver, Canada

This amazing multicultural, mountain filled city on the water is one of the best cities in the world, and once you visit you will certainly agree. Take a bike tour of Stanley Park, or a walk across the world famous Capilano Suspension Bridge. Vancouver has something for everyone. Gastown, Yaletown, and Kits (in the summertime) are all must visits.



2. New Orleans, USA

The Big Easy is one of our favorite cities for so many reasons. The jazz scene, the nightlife, the food…we could go on. It’s amazing during Mardi Gras, but realistically New Orleans is amazing all year round. Enjoy one of the most unique cities in the world on a tour or just stroll aimlessly, you’re guaranteed a good time.



There are a lot of places I like, but I like New Orleans betterBob Dylan


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1. Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town, South Africa has come out on top as our favorite city in the world. The views of Table Mountain are stunning no matter what the weather – the clouds rolling off of the cliffs look other-worldly. We highly recommend a hike to the top. Cape Town also offers amazing adventure activities, like shark cage diving and whale watching. Check out the nightlife, visit Robben Island, or stop by some of the amazing beaches. Don’t forget to see the penguins at Boulder’s Beach.



This is a pretty and singular town; it lies at the foot of an enormous wall (the Table Mountain), which reaches into the clouds, and makes a most imposing barrier. Cape Town is a great inn, on the great highway to the east.Charles Darwin in a letter to his sister, Catherine, 1836




Thanks for reading our list of 100 cities to see before you die! What is your favorite city in the world? Let us know in the comments section below.

 Check out the rest of the list (100-51) here. 

Justin Kerby
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Justin Kerby

Adventure Enthusiast at Maupintour
Originally from Vancouver Canada, Justin has been traveling the world extensively for the past decade. He's conquered the tallest bungee jump in the world (Bloukrans Bridge, South Africa), sky-dived in Miami, white-water rafted the Pacuare River in Costa Rica, chased the Northern Lights by dog sled in Northern Norway, and game trekked in the Masai Mara.
Justin Kerby
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