The top 20 cities you need to experience in your life

Paris, London, New York – these cities often pop up on bucket lists because they are so iconic, but what are some cities that don’t always immediately jump out as amazing, but truly are?

We’ve found 20 of the best cities, and three things you need to do in each.

Which of these cities would be on your list of must-dos?

1. New Orleans

Jackson Park….."named after Andrew NOT Michael" 😉 #NewOrleansCityTour

A photo posted by Cabeza Blanca (@childofolive) on

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Population: 380,000

New Orleans is a Louisiana city on the Mississippi River, near the Gulf of Mexico. Nicknamed the “Big Easy,” it’s known for its round-the-clock nightlife, vibrant live-music scene and spicy, singular cuisine reflecting its history as a melting pot of French, African and American cultures. Embodying its festive spirit is Mardi Gras, the late-winter carnival famed for raucous costumed parades and public partying.

Must do:

  1. French Quarter
  2. Southern Food and Beverage Museum
  3. Cruise down the Mississippi River
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2. Dublin

Photo of the day has to be this beauty by @red_lullaby 😍 #lovindublin

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Population: 525,000

Dublin, capital of the Republic of Ireland, is on Ireland’s east coast at the mouth of the River Liffey. Its medieval buildings include 13th-century Dublin Castle and imposing St. Patrick’s Cathedral, founded in 1191. Temple Bar is a riverside nightlife and cultural quarter, home to the Irish Film Institute. Bustling, largely pedestrianised Grafton Street is the city’s principal shopping area, also famed for its buskers.

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Must do:

  1. Guinness Storehouse
  2. See the Book of Kells
  3. Visit Phoenix Park and spot the deer

3. Dallas

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Dallas, a modern metropolis in north Texas, is a commercial and cultural hub of the region. Downtown’s Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza commemorates the site of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. In the Arts District, the Dallas Museum of Art and Crow Collection of Asian Art cover thousands of years of art. The sleek Nasher Sculpture Center showcases contemporary sculpture.

Population: 1.26 million

Must do:

  1. Watch a Dallas Cowboys game
  2. Visit White Rock Lake
  3. Visit the Dallas Zoo

4. Ho Chi Minh

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Ho Chi Minh City, commonly known as Saigon, is a city in southern Vietnam famous for the pivotal role it played in the Vietnam War. It’s also known for its French colonial architecture, including Notre-Dame Basilica, made entirely of materials imported from France, and the neoclassical Saigon Central Post Office. Food stalls line the city’s streets, especially around bustling Ben Thanh Market.

Population: 8.22 million

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Must do:

  1. Visit the War Remnants Museum
  2. Have traditional pho
  3. Go in the Cu Chi tunnels

5. Jakarta

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Jakarta, Indonesia’s huge capital, sits on the northwest coast of the island of Java. A historic mix of cultures – Javanese, Malay, Chinese, Arab, Indian and European – has influenced its architecture, language and cuisine. The old town, Kota Tua, is home to Dutch colonial buildings, Glodok (Jakarta’s Chinatown) and the old port of Sunda Kelapa, where traditional wooden schooners dock.

Population: 9.6 million

Must do:

  1. National Monument
  2. Grand Indonesia Mall
  3. Thousand Islands

6. Mumbai

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Mumbai, formerly called Bombay, is a sprawling, densely populated city on India’s west coast. On the Mumbai Harbour waterfront stands the iconic Gateway of India stone arch, built by the British Raj in 1924. Offshore, nearby Elephanta Island holds ancient cave temples dedicated to Shiva. The city is also famous as the heart of the Hindi-language Bollywood film industry.

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Population: 11.98 million

Must do:

  1. Bollywood
  2. Marine Drive
  3. Kanheri caves

7. Amsterdam

Mondays aren't so hard I think, well at least when it was your day off like me😁🙌🏻 #VisitAmsterdam #IGersAmsterdam

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Amsterdam is the Netherlands’ capital, known for its artistic heritage, elaborate canal system and narrow houses with gabled facades, legacies of the city’s 17th-century Golden Age. Its Museum District houses works by Rembrandt and Vermeer at the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum and modern art at the Stedelijk. Cycling is key to the city’s character, and there are 400km of cycle paths.

Population: 780,000

Must do:

  1. Hop on a bike
  2. Go on a canal cruise
  3. Visit the world famous tulip fields (Bollenstreek)
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8. Dubai

🌴🌊 Good morning 🌞🌈 📷 Photo by @yakubanto

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Dubai is a city in the United Arab Emirates known for luxury shopping, ultramodern architecture and a lively nightlife scene. Burj Khalifa, an 830m-tall tower, dominates the skyscraper-filled skyline. At its foot lies Dubai Fountain, with jets and lights choreographed to music. On man-made islands just offshore is Atlantis, the Palm, a resort with water and marine-animal parks.

Population: 2.5 million

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Must do:

  1. Palm Islands
  2. The Dubai Mall
  3. Grand Mosque

9. Lima

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Lima, the capital of Peru, sits on the country’s arid Pacific coast. Though its colonial center is well preserved, today Lima is a bustling metropolis that’s one of South America’s largest cities. It’s known for its vibrant food scene, encompassing specialties from ceviche and traditional coastal cooking to refined global fare. It’s also home to the preeminent Museo Larco collection of pre-Columbian art and the Museo de la Nación, tracing the history of Peru’s ancient civilizations.

Population: 8.5 million

Must do:

  1. Visit Miraflores
  2. Parque de la Reserva
  3. Sample traditional Peruvian cuisine

10. Chicago

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Chicago, on Lake Michigan in Illinois, is among the largest cities in the U.S. Famed for its bold architecture, it has a skyline bristling with skyscrapers such as the iconic John Hancock Center, sleek, 1,451-ft. Willis Tower and neo-Gothic Tribune Tower. The city is also renowned for its museums, including the Art Institute and its expansive collections, including noted Impressionist works.

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Population: 2.7 million

Must do:

  1. Millennium Park
  2. Navy Pier
  3. North Avenue Beach

11. Barcelona

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Barcelona, the cosmopolitan capital of Spain’s Catalonia region, is defined by quirky art and architecture, imaginative food and vibrant street life. It has medieval roots, seen in the mazelike Gothic Quarter, but a modernist personality represented by architect Antoni Gaudí’s fantastical Sagrada Família church. Its restaurant scene, anchored by the central Boqueria market, ranges from fine dining to tiny tapas bars.

Population: 1.6 million

Must do:

  1. Gothic quarter
  2. Take a city tour
  3. Barceloneta Beach
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12. Quito

Quito, Ecuador’s capital, sits high in the Andean foothills at an altitude of 2,850m. Constructed on the foundations of an ancient Incan city, it’s known for its Spanish colonial buildings dating back more than 500 years. It all can be taken in from the TelefériQo, a gondola ride up the Pichincha volcano, with the Parque Vulqano amusement park at its base.

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Population: 1.6 million

Must do:

  1. Old Town
  2. Visit the equator
  3. Basilicata

13. Kuala Lumpur

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Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, is called KL by locals. Its modern skyline is dominated by the 451m-tall Petronas Twin Towers, a pair of glass-and-steel-clad skyscrapers with Islamic motifs. The towers also offer a public skybridge and observation deck. The city is also home to British colonial-era landmarks such as the Kuala Lumpur Railway Station and the Sultan Abdul Samad Building.

Population: 1.6 million

Must do:

  1. Twin Towers
  2. Pavilion shopping centre
  3. City centre
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14. Guangzhou

Guangzhou🤗 #China #guangzhou #guangzhoucity #exploringchina

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Guangzhou is a sprawling port city northwest of Hong Kong on the Pearl River. Considered the birthplace of dim sum, it has a thriving food scene. Its markets specialize in wares ranging from eyeglasses to electronics. The sandbar Shamian Island, across a canal from Guangzhou, has leafy streets and grand mansions that are a legacy from its time as a foreign concession.

Population: 8.53 million

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Must do:

  1. Canton Tower
  2. Shamian Island
  3. Cruise the Pearl River

15. Florence

Perfect view ☺️😊 #florence#travelitaly

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Florence, capital of Italy’s Tuscany region and birthplace of the Renaissance, is home to masterpieces of art and architecture. One of its most iconic sites is the Florence Cathedral, with its terra-cotta-tiled dome engineered by Brunelleschi and bell tower designed by Giotto. The Galleria dell’Accademia displays Michelangelo’s “David,” while the Uffizi Gallery exhibits preeminent works such as Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus” and da Vinci’s “Annunciation.”

Population: 360,000

Must do:

  1. See the statue of Michelangelo
  2. Accademia Gallery
  3. Do a bike tour

16. Havana

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Havana, Cuba’s colorful capital, is known for the Spanish colonial architecture of its 16th-century Old Havana core, including Castillo de la Real fort, now a maritime museum, and the pre-revolutionary Capitolio. 1950s American-made cars line the city’s streets and rumba groups play in the painted alley Callejón de Hamel. Salsa emanates from clubs and cabaret is still performed at the famed Tropicana.

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Population: 2.1 million

Must do:

  1. Old Havana
  2. Plaza de la Catedral
  3. El Malecon

17. Lisbon

#lisboncity #lisbon#lisboa #photography

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Lisbon, Portugal’s hilly capital, is a coastal city known for its cafe culture and soulful Fado music. From imposing São Jorge Castle, the view encompasses the old city’s pastel-colored buildings, Tagus Estuary and the Ponte 25 de Abril suspension bridge. Nearby, the National Azulejo Museum displays 5 centuries of decorative ceramic tiles. And just outside Lisbon is a string of Atlantic beaches, from Cascais to Estoril.

Population: 530,000

Must do:

  1. National Tile Museum
  2. See the 25th of April Bridge
  3. Take Tram 28
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18. Munich

#münchen #munichcity #beautifulview #zentrum#marienplazt#vscocam#iphonephotography

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Munich, the capital of Bavaria, is home to centuries-old buildings and numerous museums. The city is known for its annual Oktoberfest celebration and cavernous beer halls, including the famed Hofbräuhaus, founded in 1589. In the walkable Old Town, Marienplatz is a central square containing landmarks such as Gothic Neues Rathaus (town hall), with a popular glockenspiel show.

Population: 1.4 million

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Must do:

  1. English Garden
  2. Marienplatz
  3. New Town Hall

19. Budapest

Shadows at Szechenyi Bath.

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Budapest, Hungary’s capital, is bisected by the River Danube, and the 19th-century Chain Bridge connects its hilly Buda district with flat Pest. A funicular runs up Castle Hill to Buda’s Old Town, where the Budapest History Museum traces life from Roman times onwards. Trinity Square is home to 13th-century Matthias Church and the turrets of the Fishermen’s Bastion, which offer sweeping views.

Population: 1.7 million

Must do:

  1. Discover historic Castle Hill with a walking tour
  2. Take a Danube cruise
  3. Enjoy a performance at the Budapest Opera House

20. Christchurch

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Christchurch is a garden city on the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island, set on the Canterbury Plains. Flat-bottomed punts glide on the Avon River, which runs through the city centre. On its banks are cycling paths, the green expanse of Hagley Park and the Christchurch Botanic Gardens. In 2010 and 2011, 2 major earthquakes destroyed many city-centre buildings, and restoration work continues.

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Population: 366,000

Must do:

  1. The Botanic Gardens
  2. Bungee jumping!
  3. Take the Gondola

 

Tell us, what cities do you have on your bucket list?