10 Bucket List Cities to Visit for Trips of a Lifetime

Oftentimes when we think of vacation destinations, we may think of tropical beaches, wilderness safaris and camping in the wild. However, bucket list cities offer a unique experience and are among the best places to visit on holiday.

Nothing compares to the experience of uncovering the vibrant city life of a new place. Urban vacations present opportunities to immerse yourself in new cultures. They offer a peek into the history of your destination and a chance to try out delicious new foods.

In some locations, towering skyscrapers and stunning architecture are par for the course. While in others, the blend of modernity and tradition will leave you spellbound.

Let us explore some of the most intriguing cities around the world that deserve a spot on your list of once-in-a-lifetime trips.

Marrakech, Morocco – the Red City


This historic city makes the bucket list cities for a number of reasons. Marrakech is renowned for its rich history and culture. Take a dive into the Medina for an immersive experience like no other. The city is located at the base of the Atlas Mountains, a great destination for adventure lovers. Other great places to visit in Morocco include the Palmgrove, a lush desert oasis, the expansive Agafay desert and the Jbilets stone desert.

Rome, Italy – the Eternal City


The history of Rome spans back nearly 25 centuries as it was once the heart of a major world empire. Apart from the rich history, it also takes pride in remarkable architecture. Everything – from the cathedrals and basilicas to the colosseum and the aqueducts – is a feast for the eyes. There is an incredible variety of delicious food and fine wine. It also boasts one of the most vibrant art and culture scenes in the world.

New York, US – the Big Apple

Often described as a global melting pot, New York is home to a stunning diversity of cultural influences. There is a little of everything to keep you thoroughly absorbed and entertained. Broadway shows are a major highlight, an opportunity to meet amazing talent before it hits the limelight. Famous sights here include the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge. There are countless museums and art galleries in this glamorous city. And for food lovers, the exquisite cuisine will bring your senses to life.

Paris, France – the City of Light and Love

The capital city of France is associated with the panoramic Eiffel Tower. But the reason is it makes our list of bucket list cities is that there is so much more to it and so much variety for everyone. The city is home to the beautiful River Seine and numerous scenic parks including Tuileries Gardens, which dates back to the 16th century. It is also famous for its vibrant fashion scene as well as the world-famous French cuisine. Foodies can indulge in delectable treats in the popular outdoor cafes. The world’s largest art museum, the Louvre is the place to visit for art and architecture lovers. It also happens to be one of the best luxury shopping destinations in the world.

Tokyo, Japan – the Big Mikan


Japan is a vibrant mix of tradition and innovation, and this comes to the fore when you visit Tokyo. Almost everything here is a new experience, making it a great cultural destination. There are countless concepts for the restaurants. These include traditional tea and animal cafes as well as robot restaurants and monster cafes. Enjoy a relaxing soak in a natural hot spring (onsen) and while your time away watching sumo wrestling matches. For nature lovers, plan your visit for spring or fall to enjoy the breathtaking cherry blossoms season. Buy innovative gadgets and indulge your love for gaming, manga and anime in Akihabara Electric Town.

Dubai, UAE – the City of Gold

Widely renowned as one of the world’s most futuristic cities, Dubai is a captivating destination for every traveler. Whether you are a foodie, an adventure lover, a nature lover or an art enthusiast, there is something for everyone.  It has gained a reputation as a shoppers’ dream city with some of the most incredible malls ever. Dubai is also a great destination for thrill seekers, with water skiing, dune surfing, quad biking, off roading and sky diving adventures. Take a trip to the Arabian Desert for some of the most spectacular sunrise and sunset views. There are plenty of architectural masterpieces like the Burj Khalifa and the Burj Al Arab. Enjoy a taste of Arabian, Lebanese and Iranian dishes on rooftops, by the sea, in the desert and on the streets.

Venice, Italy – the City of Canals/ the Floating City


If you have a soft spot for stunning architecture, then Venice should top your list of bucket list cities. It derives its interesting nicknames from the fact that it sits on more than 100 islands. In place of roads, it has canals and narrow, maze-like streets. Its rich architectural heritage blends influences from Renaissance, Gothic and Byzantine styles. Some of its prominent architectural attractions include the Basilica de San Marco, Fondazione Querini Stampalia and the Porta Nuova Tower. Venice is also home to enviable collections of renaissance artworks, amazing wine and great Italian seafood. For an unforgettable multisensory experience, plan your trip during the annual carnival.

Little-Known Bucket List Cities to Visit

While the above are among the most popular bucket list cities, new metropolises keep coming up with plenty of promise. The best part about visiting lesser-known destinations is the fact that you will skip the crowds. Notably too, these underrated spots are usually better for budget vacations since they have fewer tourist traps. Let’s dive in:

Guimaraes, Portugal

You might have heard a lot about Lisbon, Portugal but not so much about the country’s first capital, Guimaraes. This UNESCO World Heritage site is the birthplace of its first King, Alfonso I. As proof of its historical significance, it is full of Renaissance and medieval architecture. Among its iconic attractions is the stunning Guimaraes Castle, a relic of the 10th century. Guimaraes is a great destination for foodies, offering a variety of traditional Portuguese cuisine. As a plus, it sits on a scenic natural landscape with waterfalls, pristine lakes and nature trails just a short drive away.

Reykjavik, Iceland

If you are looking for an urban destination with plenty of natural wonders, the capital of Island Reykjavik ticks both boxes. It is considered one of the safest and cleanest cities in the world and its people are friendly. Most of Iceland’s top attractions such as hot springs, geysers, glaciers and waterfalls are either in the city or easy to access. During winter months, it is one of the world’s best places to view the Northern Lights. In summer, you get to experience the remarkable midnight sun. The architectural scene is also intriguing, with a mix of modern and historical landmarks. For food lovers, the delicious cuisine consisting predominantly of fresh seafood is a must try.

Montevideo, Uruguay

If you love the South American tourism scene, explore the hidden gems that Montevideo has to offer. Famed for having the longest carnival period worldwide, this city is rich in terms of arts and culture. There are numerous galleries and museums such as Uruguay’s oldest theater, the Solis Theater and the Museo Torres Garcia. The city consists of charming architectural designs, from Art Deco structures and colonial buildings to modernistic buildings. It also boasts a vibrant street art scene that gives it a creative charm. Along its coastal promenade, you get to take in amazing views of the beautiful sandy beaches. The traditional cuisine focuses on beef, empanadas and barbecue and is simply phenomenal. While you are here, share a herbal drink with the locals in the fascinating mate culture.

Plan Your Trip to the Best Bucket List Cities in the World

The concrete jungles of the world have so much more to offer than meets the eye. All you have to do is pick out the best destinations. Whether you love historically significant cities, foodie destinations or vibrant cultures, these are the best bucket list cities to visit. There is so much to see and do, new cuisines to try out and the priceless opportunity to immerse yourself in a new culture. So, start packing and ticking these amazing destinations off your list.

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