The 10 Best Cities Worldwide

We love a dynamic city so much so that we asked our editors to rank their favorites. From Argentina’s capital to one of the USA’s most sought-after destinations that’s much more urbane these days than its outdated reputation as “just a surf town,” these are the ten cities our editors can’t get enough of in 2024. 

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Dubbed “The Paris of South America,” the Argentine capital is unlike any other city—and we have reasons to support our claim. Parisian-esque, Beaux Art-style buildings, and tree-lined streets make up the upscale neighborhood of Recoleta, home to numerous cafés, the Cementerio de la Recoleta—an opulent graveyard where many famous Porteños lay to rest (Eva Peron is buried here)—and El Ateneo Grand Splendid—a former theater that’s now a one-of-a-kind bookstore. To a different tune is the working-class, historical La Boca neighborhood, with its radiant street murals and colorful storefronts—make sure to walk down Caminito, a lively path where tango shows rub shoulders with local artists painting canvases (and whether you have a penchant for sports or not, attending a match at the famous La Boca Soccer Club is a cultural experience like no other. Buenos Aires’ most modish area is undeniably the Palermo Soho and Palermo Hollywood neighborhoods, with its walkable avenues housing a breadth of trendy restaurants & bars—eat at steakhouse staple La Cabrera, then drink at complete 1920s-glamor speakeasy Frank’s—and the latter’s abundance of boutiques: Argentine womenswear designer Jazmin Chebar’s outpost, hat store Campania de Sombreros, plus hand-loomed-shawl & poncho-store Casa Ayama should be pinned on your map. 

Stay here: Palermo Hollywood’s Home Hotel Buenos Aires has a handful of garden-sheltered guestrooms and shared spaces with contemporary interiors alongside a backyard-like pool (like the name, many aspects of the hotel feel redolent of someone’s home).

San Diego, California

San Diego’s sunny-day abundance lures those in from near and far. There’s a beach for everyone here: Loud twenty-somethings gravitate towards boardwalk-lined Mission Beach (also home to year-round seaside carnival Belmont Park) and posh La Jolla‘s hodgepodge of local-frequented beaches like Windansea and Marine Street are short promenades away from the area’s pedestrianized business district (grab your next book at Warwick’s, indulge in San Diego’s famed Mexican food at Puesto, then have an awe-inspiring lunch at the sea-facing Mediterranean Room attached to the historic La Valencia Hotel). But a decade-long creative uptick has proved San Diego is much more than a simple surf town. Downtown’s Little Italy is flush with cafes boasting outdoor patios that spill into the neighborhood thoroughfare, India Street—while here, snag a cocktail at Born & Raised, with its refined millwork, art nouveau interior, and atmospheric rooftop. Also in this neck-of-the-woods is walkable Balboa Park, which is full of historic, Spanish Colonial Revival-style buildings that house dozens of world-class museums and gardens (the renowned San Diego Zoo is around here). 

Stay here: The Lafayette Hotel, a revived boutique hotel & swim club in the hipster neighborhood of North Park.

Tokyo, Japan

Credit: Clay Banks

In 2023, Japan welcomed over 25 million foreign tourists, surpassing the previous year’s figures by more than sixfold and securing its position as the leading global travel destination for 2024, according to the Japan National Tourism Organization. Tokyo, Japan’s cultural hub, seamlessly integrates ancient history with modern society, showcasing illuminated skyscrapers like the Tokyo Skytree, sacred temples such as the Meiji Shinto Shrine, and the manicured Shinjuku Gyoen National Gardens—where captivating cherry blossoms bloom each spring. From Shimokitazawa’s old-school Tokyo bohemian enclave to Kagurazaka’s former geisha district and Shinjuku City’s vibrant karaoke room scene, exploring this Japanese metropolis proves to be a culturally dynamic experience. Peering down the narrow yokochos (Japanese for alleyways) adorned with red lanterns and neon signs, travelers will discover five-star restaurants—including Den, Ishikawa, and été—plus unique dive bars, such as Open Book Bar and the cleverly hidden No Room For Squares jazz lounge tucked behind a vintage Coca Cola vending machine doorway.

Stay here: K5 Hotel, a stylish retreat transformed from a 1920s bank, features a Japanese Nordic restaurant and accommodations adorned with fashionable indigo drapes.

Madrid, Spain

Nestled in the Spanish sierras, this historic metropolis was once celebrated by world-renowned artists such as Salvador Dalí and Pablo Picasso and held a cherished place in Ernest Hemingway’s literary brilliance. Old Madrid’s narrative unfolds through its centuries-old landmarks, such as Plaza Mayor and El Retiro Park, revealing an era where aristocracy held sway over the populace. Its lively barrios span from the LGBTQ+-friendly Chueca area to the revived Chamberí neighborhood with its buzzy Calle Ponzano stretch and the edgy Malasaña—each containing a compelling charm that can convince anyone, at least once, to consider packing up and relocating to Madrid. Art enthusiasts will revel in its leading museums, including The Prado and Reina Sofia, which host expansive galleries containing an array of contemporary Spanish paintings. Adding to its appeal, Madrid helms an incredibly diverse gastronomy featuring forward-thinking restaurants and spirit-focused bars: the quirky setting of Sala de Despiece’s futuristic butcher shop serving playful tapas, and the pop-art clad Salmón Gúru cocktail lounge—which is recognized as one of the World’s 50 Best Bars—comes to mind here.

Stay here: For a modern oasis vibe, choose The Madrid Edition. Prefer regal palaces in quieter settings? Opt for Hotel Santo Mauro.

New York City, USA

While our headquarters are situated in the Big Apple, our choice to designate NYC as one of our premier global cities goes beyond our personal connection to the bustling metropolis. New York City exudes an electrifying energy that resonates with generations of residents, tourists, and celebrities alike—where each neighborhood boasts its own unique personality and set of activities to enjoy. From strolling through Central Park to perusing the designer storefront streets of the Upper East Side’s Madison Avenue—at the helm of upscale brands like The Row and Ralph Lauren’s flagship shop—to gazing at Midtown Manhattan’s iconic landmarks (think: the Empire State Building and the Rockefeller Center) or viewing a Broadway show, that’s just a sliver of what could be done in Manhattan. At nightfall, venturing to the vibrant areas of the West Village, the East Village, and the Lower East Side in Downtown Manhattan is where one will encounter sleek speakeasies like Tigre, award-winning Italian restaurants like Via Carota, and underground nightclubs like Jean’s, allowing one to dance until dawn. Rest assured, attaining the nickname of ‘The City That Never Sleeps’ is entirely within reach.

Stay here: Those interested in an NYC trip that strays away from the chaotic core should opt to stay in luxury at The Greenwich Hotel in Tribeca.

New Delhi, India

India’s largest city and capital, Delhi, encompasses old and new. Architectural vestiges remain intact from the days of the British, such as the masterplan of the new part of the city, India Gate—a statue commemorating the 70,000+ Indian soldiers who fought for the colonial empire in WWI—and Connaught Place—an encirclement of Georgian-style buildings that serves as a financial-cum-commercial hub. Older remnants of life before the British dot the city’s radius, including The Red Fort—a visitable 1639-constructed fortress from the days of the Mughals—and Humayun’s Tomb—an awe-inspiring UNESCO World Heritage Site plus clay-hued mausoleum built in 1570. Itinerants can quench their urge for a shopping break and stroll around Dilli Haat, an open-air market selling local folklore and craft. And since we love a park moment, it would be amiss not to mention Lodhi Garden, which suffuses centuries-old tombs: Mohammed Shah’s Tomb, the Tomb of Sikandar Lodi, the Shisha Gumbad and the Bara Gumbad will drop your jaw. Don’t skip Delhi’s portfolio of temples like the modern Bahai Lotus Temple and the historical Hindu Akshardham Temple, which offers spiritual exhibits and a peculiar stone design. Dining-wise, you’ll find sensational North Indian cuisine at Bukhara, the oh-so-posh Indian Accent, and the more budget-conscious (yet equally delicious) Gulati Restaurant. Those looking to sip in style should head to Grappa, a cocktail bar & garden terrace, at the Shangri-La Eros New Delhi.

Stay Here: The Lodhi is one of New Delhi’s most elegant boutique hotels. 

London, UK

London, the capital of England and the United Kingdom, is an urban landscape that melds modernity with a rich tapestry of ancient history dating back to the time of the Roman Empire. After a day’s worth of roaming around the elegant Georgian townhouses found at every corner in the affluent Mayfair and Marylebone residential neighborhoods to the leafy garden maze of Hyde Park and the colorful facades of cafes in Notting Hill (make sure to hit Portobello Market), along with the fashion-forward hipster streets of Shoreditch, one might consider reserving a seat to indulge in scones, pastries, and a fine cup of English Breakfast tea at The Dorchester London, or perhaps experiencing the Michelin-starred restaurant, Sketch’s, design-centric (and picturesque) dining space—it sounds like the perfect respite. Embracing quintessential tourist activities, including taking a photo in front of Buckingham Palace and the King’s Guards, admiring the cityscape from the London Eye, capturing images of Big Ben, and, of course, stepping inside one of the authentic red telephone booths, all qualify under this category. Plus, a medley of iconic British pop culture moments floods the mind: The Beatles on Abbey Road, Queen Elizabeth II (RIP), David and Victoria Beckham, and The Rolling Stones are just a mere glimpse of the endless cultural richness. With that being said: Pip pip, cheerio!

Stay here: The newly debuted Broadwick Soho exudes the charm of a maximalist 1920s British townhouse with 57 elegantly appointed guestrooms and dining spaces.

Milan, Italy

Fashion capital Milan outclasses other destinations when it comes to style (Prada starting here is a testament to how chicness runs through the city’s veins). Going on a shopping spree here is obligatory—10 Corso Como, The Store, and Massimo Alba are trendy boutiques worth your time. Meander down modish neighborhood Brera’s historic streets, lined with independent boutiques, delicious cafes for espresso-sipping like Caffe Fernanda, and restaurants such as design-centric, seafood-serving Vesta Fiori Chiari and family-owned Italian haunt Rovello 18 (the latter also has a collection of over 800 wine bottles). Lovers of avant-garde aesthetics should spend an afternoon at Fondazione Prada, a nine-floor contemporary art museum by the eponymous fashion house. Your itinerary should also include Bosco Verticale—an award-winning skyscraper lathered in over 15,000 plants (you’ve most likely seen a photo of it if you love modern architecture plus biophilic design)—and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II—a historic open-ended glass atrium that some might call Milan’s locus as it’s right beside the city’s famed Duomo.  

Stay here: Vik Milano is a boutique hotel in the middle of Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, known for its expansive art collection.

Copenhagen, Denmark

Denmark’s capital, Copenhagen, rumored to be the world’s happiest city, stands out as one of the most liveable places on the globe. Here, nearly 50% of the working population commutes to work daily by bike—underscoring the city’s strong emphasis on work-life balance and prioritizing well-being as a vital part of people’s lives. Along Nyhavn’s 17th-century waterfront, canal, and entertainment area, travelers frequently capture Instagram-worthy photos with the vibrant townhouse facades as their backdrop. Vesterbro, an edgy quarter, stands as the hippest place to see and be seen, housing a myriad of trendy boutiques like the minimalist, Scandinavian-styled Studio X, restaurants such as the classy Cofoco’s Danish restaurant, and late-night watering holes like the converted 18th-century apothecary, Lidkoeb. And while it might sound cliché, one shouldn’t miss riding the rickety roller coasters or, at the very least, wandering through Tivoli Gardens, the world’s third-oldest operating amusement park. For a dose of thought-provoking Danish and international photography, creatives should make their way to the Fotografisk Center. To experience the euphoric energy that the Danes do, rent a bicycle and embark on a joy ride to bask in the sun along Sonder Boulevard.

Stay here: A boldly styled Scandinavian hideaway, Coco Hotel boasts 89 guestrooms blending with Vesterbro’s oh-so-cool setting.

Vancouver, Canada 

Vancouver masterfully balances urban flair with serene nature—you’re never too far from the forest here, even amongst Downtown’s soaring skyscrapers. Those who love city life will face no shortage of activities: Buzzy Granville Island Public Market equips a plethora of eclectic food stalls; gasp-evoking panoramic views are guaranteed at the towering observatory, the Vancouver Lookout; then storied Gastown’s cobblestone streets are laced with coffee shops like Kafka’s and shops such as One of a Few and Canadian-born Frank and Oak. To appease your nature kick, head to Downtown’s Stanley Park—1,000 acres of beaches, bike paths, forested terrain, and botanical gardens—or a bit outside of the main city, to the Capilano Suspension Bridge—a 230-foot high walkway suspended above person-less, verdant woodlands. Regarding where to eat, we recommend dining at Maenam—a Downtown haunt serving Thai cuisine with British Columbia-inspired twists; Sushi Mahana—a delicious 10-seat omakase bar; and Vij’s Restaurant—an Indian restaurant due to seduce your tastebuds, especially if you’re vegetarian. 

Stay here: AZUR Legacy Collection Hotel is a contemporary-tinged, brand-new boutique stay downtown that’s a member of Leading Hotels of the World. 

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