New York, London, Paris, Rome, Tokyo – these are all cities that nearly everyone on the planet wants to visit at some point in their lives. But there are hundreds of other cities with their own distinct beauty worth seeing. To inspire your wanderlust, here are 25 of the most beautiful cities in the world to see before you die.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
While Rio de Janeiro may have gotten mixed press from the 2016 Olympics, it’s still one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and the third largest city in South America. If you’re more of the quiet nerdy type rather than the adventure type, Rio has the LARGEST library in Latin America (8th largest in the world. Think of the book smell! Swoon.)
It’s really hard to sum up the reasons you should visit Istanbul, Turkey, in a single blurb. Formerly known as Constantinople and Byzantium, sometimes called the gateway between the East and West, the city has been around since 660 BC, so to say it has a rich history and culture is a gross understatement.
Lisbon, the capital city of Portugal, is the oldest city in Western Europe – it predates London and Paris by quite a bit – and sits at the mouth of the Tagus River. Lisbon has nothing to prove to anyone; it’s a bit unpolished and beautiful as is. Nearly every place in the city either has or is only a few steps from a breathtaking view.
This city should be pretty high on any list of “Cities to Eat in Before You Die.” Yes, it’s beautiful and dream-like Tuscan countryside has inspired artists for centuries; the wine is beyond description; and the city itself is romantic and everything Disney movies taught us to want growing up. But really, ask someone who’s visited Florence how their trip was, and they’ll mention the beauty and the food. After you eat, you can get lost in the beauty of Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore.
This French city is best known in current generations as the place where Allied Forces landed in 1944 to save the world (that’s not hyperbole, they did). Normandy is also breathtakingly beautiful; visiting the island monastery of Mont St-Michel alone is worth the trip, but there are also pebbly beaches, quiet villages, and some of the best medieval museums in France.