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    Top 25 World’s Beautiful Cities (UK)

    Following is a highly biased and subjective list of the world’s most beautiful cities. The criteria are: A) a population of minimum 100.000 and B) minimum a few days of personal exploration.

    As with human beings, beauty is a questionable concept that has many different sources. Some, like #1 and #2, are just blessed with the most stunning setting imaginable. Others, like #5, #8, and #9 find beauty in their majestic magnitude and historical grandeur. Others again, like #4, #11, and #18 holds a certain socio-cultural attraction that make those places beautiful in my eyes.

    To make it clear(er) where I find the beauty of these cities, I’ve added a few parametres, plus the year of the visit(s).

    N = Natural setting
    M = Monuments and buildings
    C = Cultural interest and beauty
    H = Historical depth and beauty

    Top 25 World’s Beautiful Cities

    1. Sydney, Australia [N – 2008]
    2. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil [N – 1998, 2002]
    3. Istanbul, Turkey [N, M, H – 2006]
    4. Marrakech, Morocco [M, C – 2005 (x2)]
    5. Rome, Italy [M, C, H – 1994]
    6. Copenhagen, Denmark [N, M, H – 2001-2006]
    7. Cusco, Peru [M, C, H – 1998]
    8. Madrid, Spain [M, H – 1999, 2004]
    9. Paris, France [M, C, H – 1993]
    10. Chiang Mai, Thailand [M, C, H – 2000, 2007]
    11. Samarkand, Uzbekistan [M, C, H – 2006]
    12. Melbourne, Australia [N, C – 2008]
    13. Oaxaca, Mexico [M, C, H – 1998]
    14. Sucre, Bolivia [N, M, C – 2008]
    15. Granada, Spain [M, C – 1999]
    16. Krakow, Poland [M, H – 2006]
    17. Salta, Argentina [M, C, H – 2008]
    18. Potosí, Bolivia [N, M, C, H – 1998, 2008]
    19. Aarhus, Denmark [N, M, H – 1998-2001]
    20. Lisbon, Portugal [N, M, H – 1999, 2001]
    21. Luang Prabang, Laos [N, C – 2000, 2007]
    22. Bukhara, Uzbekistan [M, C, H – 2006]
    23. Hanoi, Vietnam [M, C, H – 2007]
    24. Granada, Nicaragua [N, C – 1998]
    25. San Cristóbal de las Casas, Mexico [M, C, H – 1997]

    Comments are always welcome!

    On this day..


    12 Responses to “Top 25 World’s Beautiful Cities (UK)”

    1. Elisa Says:

      Hmm, what about Vienna? That one always makes it to my top 5!

    2. cynthia Says:

      hi nikolai, i dont think madrid is a beautiful city at all, to me is really ugly place. sad people and ugly situations, and Paris is so much better¡¡¡ to me paris and barcelona are in my top 5 so far….

    3. dirk Says:

      hmmm thats a good one,

      i think boedapest it’s pretty nice as well. Sydney and Melbourne are beatys as well.
      yogjakarta is also allright with a lot of cultural things around.
      and of corso Luang Prabang as well, what a setting.

    4. Maarten Says:

      Hi Nicolai,

      as it is all very personal, i like you list of 25 cities. For many of them I just hope to visit them one day……..
      Just two of my favorite two I miss in your list ( and I know you’ve been to, are Kathmandu and George Town, Penang?

      Keep up the good spirit…………. love from Holland


    5. Nicolai Says:

      Hi Elisa…

      Good to see you back! 🙂

      I never went to Vienna, unfortunately, but I´m pretty sure it´s a pretty city.

    6. Nicolai Says:

      Hi Cynthia…

      A surprise to hear from Cochabamba! Thanks for your reply…
      To me Madrid has some impressive, beautiful spots and the Parque del Retiro really is a fantastic oasis in the middle of the city.

      (but I did forget to put Sevilla/Seville on the list. My mistake, ‘cos it’s gotta be the most romantically beautiful city in mainland Europe)


    7. Nicolai Says:

      Hi Maarten…

      Kathmandu almost made it to the list. It is one of my favourite cities, not necessarily because of the beauty of the place, but because of the energy, the urban action, the people and the “Stimmung” there. Georgetown is another city that´d definitely make it to my (yet to be made) Top 25 Culturally Interesting Cities in the World… 🙂

      Love to you, Ilse and your Golden Nugget as well! 🙂

      Nicolai (La Paz)

    8. Nicolai Says:

      Hi Dirk…

      Yogyakarta would also make it to the Top 25 Culturally Interesting Cities in the World… Absolutely! 🙂


    9. binod Says:

      what about kathmandu and heidelberg(germany) these are the best cites. and i don’t think so istanbul and other rest of cities are beautiful which are mentioned in the list. yuk

    10. Petiso Says:

      to cynthia who said, “i dont think madrid is a beautiful city at all, to me is really ugly place. sad people and ugly situations”,probably you really need to find someone to show you the city, to think that Madrid is ugly, just like this… well is your personal opinion but i trend to think that you dont know the city at all, maybe you have been at some slum or something…
      but to say that has sad people!! well, the city is known by the wicked nightlife, and the good vibrations, i suggest you to go there find the monumentals places, the majestic downtown and palace, the historical heritage, some of the greatest museums in the world. i only agree that paris is better but, well, is just that paris is the most beautifull on europe, maybe florence…

    11. Sander Says:


      Despite the fact that you owe me some water, I really think your list sucks! Amsterdam is not even on it….COME ON!!

      Besides that…your site rocks big time!! I love what you are doing and wish I had the courage and determination to do something like it as well!

      Keep on going mate! See you in a second in our hostel 🙂


    12. Luis Says:

      SAD PEOPLE IN mADRID? CAMON… where are you from? Spain is famouse cause the people is so hot and happy. They are very welcome and open mind. Probably the Madrilenos are one of the hotest people in europe, anfd they have a great sense of humour.. Please, go there and try it again. You will be surprise.

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