Sep 10, 2021
ASIA IS ALL ABOUT dynamic energy and the juxtaposition of ancient and new. Hand-carved temples and modern skyscrapers sit side by side. For every frenetic and high-speed thoroughfare, there’s a narrow, hidden bylane. From culture to cuisine, there’s so much to discover in Asia’s urban centers.
The No. 1 spot goes to Udaipur, India, which takes the title from last year’s winner, Hoi An, Vietnam. But this year’s top cities in Asia stretch from bucket-list Bhutan, with Thimpu notching a slot, to Luang Prabang, to Bangkok. Three Japanese cities made the list: Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto. “It’s a gorgeous city filled with culture, mind-blowing food, and breathtaking sites,” one reader wrote of Kyoto. “The food and people are beyond description,” shared another. In South Korean, a few readers noted the ease of getting around Seoul, thanks to its efficient public-transit system, as well as the city’s phenomenal restaurants. “The food is fantastic,” one said.
Speaking of food, Australia and New Zealand are both culinary powerhouses and there’s loads of great locavore, inventive cooking in their urban centers — along with architecture, cultural events, outdoor activities and phenomenal views. Check out the list of top cities in Australia and New Zealand below.
* — ON THE LIST FOR THE PAST 10 YEARS
TOP 15 CITIES IN ASIA
Once the capital of the princely state of Mewar, Udaipur has a dreamy setting along Lake Pichola. Several stunning, palace-like luxury hotels have made it a must-visit destination for travelers the world over. Commenting on the city’s forts and royal residences, a reader noted that Udaipur “must be architecturally the most beautiful place in Asia.” Among the best examples — and biggest attractions — is City Palace. The compound includes 11 stunning smaller palaces, all built at different times by different rulers, which means there’s a trove of distinctive spaces to explore. Perhaps one reader put it best by calling the city “enchanting.”
3. Kyoto *
4. Chiang Mai
5. Bangkok *
7. Luang Prabang
9. Tokyo *
13. Hoi An
TOP 5 CITIES IN AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND, AND THE SOUTH PACIFIC
1. Sydney *
Iconic for good reason, this coastal metropolis encompasses all the qualities of a quintessential trip Down Under: pristine beaches, epic meals, and superlative hospitality.
3. Melbourne *
For more World’s Best Awards 2021 lists of your favorite hotels, resorts, cities, islands and more, visit: travelandleisureasia.com/trending/worlds-best-awards-2021