Travelers looking to travel oftentimes look beyond their own country’s borders when planning their trips. According to the Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index for 2013, there are 15 cities that stand out for travelers. Seven cities on the list are located in Asia, six are European cities, and one is North American. Istanbul, Turkey, the No. 6 city on the list, strides the Europe-Asia border.
15. Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam is the capital of and the largest city in the Netherlands. It is known to cater to all tastes as those who want to relax in an old European city are just as fulfilled as those who want to embark on a night of serious partying.
14. Shanghai, China
Shanghai is the largest city in the world at 18 million people. Its status as a tourist destination has taken off the past 20 years. Visitors will be able to get around easily on its subway system, the longest in the world at 260 miles.
13. Rome, Italy
Rome is one of the most historic cities of the world as it was the center of the Roman Empire. Travelers enjoy coming to the City of Seven Hills to visit the Vatican City, the Trevi Fountain and the Colosseum.
12. Milan, Italy
Milan, Italy’s second-largest city, is located in the north of the country. It is a destination for those looking to enjoy some football, shopping, the performing arts and nightlife. Fashion aficionados will especially enjoy visiting Milan.
11. Seoul, South Korea
Seoul is one of East Asia’s cultural highlights. The city’s Five Grand Palaces are impressive. Hikers enjoy trips to the mountains around Seoul. Fans of the hit song, “Gangnam Style,” can visit the Gangnam District.
10. Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona is the center of Catalonia, a nationality in Spain’s northeast corner. The city still feels the effects of having hosted the 1992 Summer Olympics, including an influx in tourism. The Picasso Museum is a strong attraction for art enthusiasts.
9. Hong Kong, China
Hong Kong is a city of dualities with its history as a British colony and its current status as a Special Administration Region of China. It is highly dense as 7 million people live within its 426 square miles. Victoria Peak is a pleasant scenic escape, however.
8. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Malaysia’s capital city offers travelers some of the best bang for their buck of any city on this list. The city has 66 shopping malls, allowing visitors plenty of options to buy items to bring home. The night life is quite vibrant here as well.
7. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Dubai is one of the seven emirates that comprise the United Arab Emirates. It is conveniently located just five hours flying time from much of Europe. It is known as one of the most liberal cities in the Middle East.
6. Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul is a city of two continents as the city’s bridges connect the European and Asian sections of the city. It is one of just four transcontinental cities in the world. The historic and religious sights of the city are numerous and impressive.
5. New York, United States
New York is the largest city in the United States, and it is a multi-cultural melting pot. Some of its sights include the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building. The offerings in the Theatre District are world class.
Singapore is an island city-state located just south of Malaysia. Visitors enjoy a multi-cultural atmosphere as influences exist from China, Indonesia, Malaysia and the United Kingdom. It is the second most densely populated country in the world behind Monaco.
3. Paris, France
The sights of Paris are known throughout the world. The most iconic one has to be the Eiffel Tower. The City of Light is also home to the Arc de Triomphe and the Notre Dame cathedral. The Louvre is one of the world’s most renowned museums.
2. London, England
London is the capital of England and of the United Kingdom, and its core dates to medieval times. Its sights include Hyde Park, the British Museum and Buckingham Palace. Some of the world’s best soccer is played within its city limits.
1. Bangkok, Thailand
Bangkok is a destination for travelers from throughout the world. Some of the most popular attractions in this cosmopolitan city include the Grand Palace and the Bangkok National Museum. Muay Thai is the popular local sport.