by Kimberly Pangaro | Kimberly is a mom of four daughters and the owner of the lifestyle parenting media company Atomic Mommy. When she’s not running her company or momming all day, she’s writing about family life.
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It’s a new year and it’s time for a new you! Put your travel backpack on and get ready to jet-set around the world, with this amazing list of the top 18 must-visit cities around the world.
It is always a great time to check off amazing travel spots around the world. Doesn’t matter if you are twenty or sixty, if you are starting a new career or are leaving one behind, or you just want a break from it all.
The point, my friends, is that whatever your reasons are… Travel is for anyone and everyone! Travel will refresh the mind and soul. It will leave you with renewed spirits for when you return to normalcy.
I love to tour and see the world, though I realized a bit later in life my love for adventure, and this is why I do my best to share my travel experiences with everyone.
The world is full of beautiful places, and they’re just waiting for the adventurer in all of us to wake up and visit them. In the cities I am about to list, you will find amazing foods, genuinely kind people, astounding history, and bustling cultures.
If you love to travel or have a desire to start, then it’s time to talk about the top 18 must-visit cities around the world.
Need help finding these cities? Check out this super helpful guide by Wanderlog:
Get taken back by the overwhelming feeling of majestic views and strap your seatbelts on because this little town, is worth every second! With just over 5,000 people living here, the city of Zermatt is a must-see. Each person you meet is genuinely kind.
More of an outdoor person and less of a social person? Then take a gorgeous hike on Mountain Matterhorn as it is a scenic and soul-stunning place! Zermatt itself, is a traffic-free zone and has sky-rocketed to one of the most attractive vacation villages, all because of it’s all-season skiing. Who doesn’t love to ski in the summer, right?! That’s why this city made it on my list of the top 18 must-visit cities around the world
Ahhh, one of my favorite cities to visit! Famed as the floating city, Venice will leave you breathless with its city shops and restaurants. Enhance your visit by taking in the experience of a Gondola ride. Take a stroll over the Rialto bridge and snap your heart out on Instagram. There is no city on the globe quite like Venice! I loved the life on the water and taking the most incredible pictures. Enjoy trips to tourist hot spots such as Teatro Goldoni and Basilica di Santa Maria Della Salute. Wherever you decide to travel to, be sure to at least book your trip to Venice ASAP! And try to book your travels here, a year in advance, because the tourist season in July and August, is extremely busy. Not to mention, the temperatures here in the summer are brutal.
If you love the wilderness, you must have heard of Turkey’s longest trekking trail, the
Lycian Way in Antalya. Its length is 540 km and is considered a rough trail, meant more for walking and not for biking. The city of Antalya is a seaside heaven on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, once ruled by Alexander the Great and later on, by the Roman Empire. You will find ancient ruins, left over Roman structures, and plenty of culture here. Antalya has it all for the truly adventurous heart. It has stunning natural landscapes, secluded beaches, ancient cities to tour, and the grand Taurus Mountains. That’s why visiting this city is must.
Cape Town mixes up the sea and the city making it one of the most amazing cities in the world. It is a healthy mix of city life and nature with attractions like Table Mountain, African Penguins, a national park, and excellent views. The cultural diversity that you’ll witness here is truly amazing, as well. Of course, the food is also to die for. And if you’re looking for a calmer adventure. Try a vineyard. Cape Town is where you’ll find some of the best vineyards, including including Stellenbosch and Constantia. The Paarl region’s wine vineyards are truly worth visiting!
My love for Backpacking saw me off to Göreme, Turkey. It is located in the Cappadocia region of Central Turkey and is one of the most gratifying expeditions you can take. Visit the amazing Göreme National Park and enjoy its fulfilling natural beauty. The city is strewn with subterranean villages, cave churches, and truly remarkable rock formations. It’s also home to extraordinary 10th through 12th century frescoes! And that’s why this area is a hot spot for adventure travelers & art buffs, like myself.
This is the second largest city in Cambodia and is home to many of the ancient ruins from the once powerful, Khmer Empire. My visit to the world’s largest religious monument Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia, is still one extraordinary memory I cherish. The city has a vibrant nightlife, rich culture, seriously delicious eats, and awe-inspiring scenery. As an added benefit, it’s also near the other places worth visiting like Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand.
Queenstown sits comfortably on a gorgeous backdrop from the Southern Alps. It is another excellent location for lovers of hiking and adventure. It is said that the world’s first Bungee jump happened in Queenstown. Not sure where to start? Well, if you’re a fantasy lover like myself, then you might enjoy a road trip touring the shooting locations of The Lord of the Rings films. Need something different to try? Take in the cultural arts of the Maori people. Take a ride on a horse or try your hand at jet boating. Either way, there isn’t one thing that’s not worth experiencing in this city! Check out more New Zealand adventure ideas HERE.
Prague was one of my most memorable trips in Europe, if not the globe. Some say that Prague is equal to Paris in beauty. Prague is home to the Old Town Square where you can visit the Baroque buildings, Gothic churches, and can even listen to the Astronomical clock strike. Be sure to take a visit to the St. Vitus Cathedral and the Petrin Tower while there. This city will leave you feeling like you’ve just fallen in love!
#9 Bath, UK
Bath is exactly what you think it is when you think of the city. It’s known for its many Roman bath houses. The city of Bath is set in Somerset County, England and is considered an ancient city because it is from the 16th Century. If the ancient Roman Bath is not what you’re into, then you should try the modernized version at Thermae Bath Spa. It is the only natural thermal hot springs in all of Great Britain. The best part of visiting Bath, is that the city offers everything a tourist could ever want, all within walking distance.
If you do get the chance to book a trip here, expect to spend three days visiting in order to see everything that Bath has to offer. Though, you could probably see a great deal in Bath, in just two days time.
#10 Cusco, Peru
The historic city of Cusco is located in the Peruvian Andes. It leaves nothing to desire for the adventurer. In case you haven’t heard of this place, it is one of the most majestic moments you will every experience!
It boasts the astonishing remains of an ancient Incan city in the Peruvian mountains called Machu Picchu. You can even pay to take a guided tour! And of course, don’t forget to visit some of the other still-standing Spanish structures like the Plaza de Armas.
#11 Dresden, Germany
This architectural city of Germany is also known as “Florence on the Elbe” and is best known for its riverfront beauty. Feel free to take a stroll through the gorgeous Baroque and Rococo architecture, as they are a wondrous highlight of the trip. Drudge up the past with the stunning cathedrals and palaces still left here. And if you have the chance to try something truly enchanting, be sure to visit Dresden during Christmas. Why? Because you’ll get to visit The Striezelmarkt in Dresden, the world’s very fist Christmas market, established in 1434.
A scenically beautiful resort town, Mar del Plata’s beaches enjoy endless days of sunshine and beautiful sunsets. There are plenty of long stretches of beaches like the La Perla beach, the wide Punta Mogotes, and of course, Playa Grande. Behind the beaches, are the tree lined streets of the historic city, with left over structural buildings from the early 20th century. These buildings have been converted into museums that offer a rich historical point of view using photos. Our favorite is the Roberto T. Barili Museum.
#13 Manaus, Brazil
Manaus is located in the center of the world’s largest rainforest, which also happens to be home to the National Institute of Amazonian Research. You’ll find amazing facts about this city upon exploration, like learning the name means “Mother of Gods”, which is fitting for the beautiful area that is so full of life! While there, you can board a boat for a rainforest cruise or visit the ornate opera house called Teatro Amazonas. If you are enthusiastic about visiting the Brazilian state of Amazonas, learning about the rainforest, and enjoying a great deal of vibrant culture, then be sure to check out this beautiful city.
Did you know that Budapest is often an overlooked travel spot offering visitors extensive affordability? Or how about the fact that Budapest is considered a high-energy and aquatic city? These are just two of the fantastic facts I’ve found on my trips to Budapest. The city is lined with uniquely diverse buildings with a rich architectural history that is severely underestimated. For instance, the Parliament building is one of the best Gothic and Renaissance revivals of the 20th century, designed by a man who went blind before its completion. It boasts a luxurious interior befitting for the times of Kings and Queens. Try your hand at an Ottoman Empire leftover Turkish pool, built in the 16th century. Better yet, why not visit the Central Market Hall, where you’ll feel blessed and overwhelmed by all of the food stores, guided tours, food tastings, and so much more.
Sydney boasts an array of both modern and historical attractions, along with great fun and family adventure. Not to mention, it has the most beautiful neighborhoods I’ve ever seen. Its historical sites, like the natural spa and Chain Bridge, only come second to the food. Not really into the food or bridges? Then check out the Sydney Opera House, famous for its magnanimous architectural styling. Or perhaps, a high-adrenalin rush is more your speed? If you just said “hell yeah”, then a roller coaster zip line is worth your time! Just want some time to relax and become one with nature without the mess of camping? Then check out glamping at the Paperbark Camp.
#16 Hanoi, Vietnam
Hanoi is the richly abundant capital of Vietnam. There is so much to see in this serene religious city to almost tame an adventurer’s curiosity. The city itself, has over 600 temples. It boasts some of the most pristine photography spots in the world. Not to mention, the night life and food culture here is deeply intoxicating. Places worth your effort to visit include an upfront view of the Hoa Lo Prison, hiking around the Hoan Kiem Lake, eating at Bahn My, and of course, touring the Old Quarter and taking in sites like the ancient temple of Bach Ma.
St. Petersburg is a port city on the Baltic Sea and was founded in 1703. It is home to an array of exquisite cathedrals, palaces, and gardens. It is also known as the cultural capital of Russia. There’s so much more beauty in this city that needs to be visited and in my opinion, is just as culturally rich as Madrid and Rome. Sure, Russia tends to get a bad wrap, but let’s not forget some of the famous and awesome things we get from there like Vodka, Fabergé Eggs, the Russian Ballet, and some really great classical music.
#18 Florence, Italy
Florence is considered the birth place of the Renaissance. Your journey through Florence will bring you to visit some of the most historical centers of all of Italy. Traveling in and around Florence, will definitely uplift your spirits, giving you an authentically Italian sense.
Enjoy a pizza at Piazza del Duomo, one of the tastiest we’ve ever had. Take in the beauty of the Basilica of Santa Maria del Fiore. Or take a tour of the Tuscan islands, just shy of two hours from Florence. Here, you can walk on granite island, better known as The Isle of Montecristo. Monks once lived there during the 5th century and now, is all but abandoned except for a special goat and the few tourists who can trek the only 3 walkable pathways. Whatever you do, you’ll definitely find that traveling here will satisfy all of your travel desires.
Traveling is an adventure that I highly recommend for anyone, at any age.
If you do get to travel to one of these gorgeous cities, be sure to tag us on Instagram @atomic_mommy… We’d love to see where you’ve been and what you think. Now, go and enjoy your adventures!