Asia is a vast continent that is home to some of the world’s most vibrant and diverse cities. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, a beach lover, or a culture enthusiast, there’s something for everyone in Asian cities. Here are the top 20 Asian cities that you should consider adding to your travel itinerary.
Tokyo is a city that’s always in motion, a vibrant and bustling metropolis that seamlessly blends the old with the new. From traditional temples like the Senso-ji in Asakusa to the futuristic skyscrapers in Shinjuku, there’s plenty to see and do in Tokyo. The city is also famous for its incredible food scene, from sushi to ramen to wagyu beef.
Singapore is a small but mighty city-state that’s known for its cleanliness and safety. Despite its small size, Singapore offers a unique blend of cultures, food, and attractions. Visit the iconic Marina Bay Sands hotel, explore the Gardens by the Bay, and try the famous chilli crab at a hawker centre.
Seoul, South Korea
Seoul is a dynamic city that’s known for its cutting-edge technology, fashion, and entertainment. Visit the traditional palaces like Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung, try Korean barbecue, and explore the city’s hip neighbourhoods like Gangnam and Hongdae.Bangkok, ThailandBangkok is a city that’s full of energy and excitement. From its iconic street food to its world-class shopping, Bangkok has something for everyone. Visit the Grand Palace, take a boat tour on the Chao Phraya River, and sample the famous street food dishes like pad thai and mango sticky rice.
Hong Kong is a bustling financial center that’s known for its stunning skyline, bustling markets, and diverse cuisine. Take a ride on the Peak Tram to get a panoramic view of the city, explore the night markets in Mongkok, and try dim sum at a traditional tea house.
Shanghai is a city of contrasts, where ancient temples like the Jade Buddha Temple stand alongside modern skyscrapers like the Shanghai Tower. Explore the Bund, visit the Yu Garden, and sample some of Shanghai’s famous street food like xiaolongbao and shengjianbao.
Mumbai is a city of dreams, where Bollywood stars and millionaires rub shoulders with the city’s working-class residents. Explore the bustling markets like Crawford Market, visit the Gateway of India, and try some of Mumbai’s famous street food like vada pav and pav bhaji.
Kyoto is a city of temples and shrines, where the beauty of traditional Japan can still be seen and experienced. Visit the Golden Pavilion (Kinkaku-ji), explore the bamboo groves in Arashiyama, and sample some of Kyoto’s famous matcha green tea.
Taipei is a city that’s full of surprises, from its famous night markets like Shilin Night Market to its breathtaking natural scenery like Yangmingshan National Park. Visit the Taipei 101 skyscraper, explore the historic temples like Longshan Temple, and try some of Taipei’s famous street food like stinky tofu and beef noodle soup.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Dubai is a city of superlatives, where the tallest building in the world (the Burj Khalifa) can be found. Shop in some of the world’s largest malls like the Dubai Mall, ski indoors at Ski Dubai, and explore the city’s stunning architecture like the Burj Al Arab hotel.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur is a melting pot of cultures, where Malay, Chinese, and Indian traditions blend together. Visit the iconic Petronas Twin Towers, explore the Batu Caves, and sample some of Malaysia’s famous street food like nasi lemak and satay.
Beijing is a city that’s steeped in history and culture, with iconic landmarks like the Great Wall of China and the Forbidden City. Explore the city’s hutongs (traditional neighbourhoods), visit the Temple of Heaven, and try some of Beijing’s famous Peking duck.
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Chiang Mai is a city that’s surrounded by mountains and jungles, making it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Visit the night markets like the Sunday Walking Street, explore the ancient temples like Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, and go trekking in the nearby hills.
Hanoi is a city that’s known for its French colonial architecture, delicious street food, and rich history. Explore the Old Quarter, visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, and try some of Hanoi’s famous dishes like pho and bun cha.
Yangon (formerly known as Rangoon) is the largest city in Myanmar and is known for its stunning colonial architecture, the iconic Shwedagon Pagoda, and bustling street markets. Take a ride on the Yangon Circular Train to get a glimpse of local life, explore the city’s many temples and pagodas, and sample some of the delicious Burmese cuisine.
Kathmandu is the capital city of Nepal and is located in the heart of the Himalayas. The city is famous for its ancient temples like Swayambhunath (the Monkey Temple) and Pashupatinath, stunning mountain views, and vibrant culture. Take a trek to nearby villages like Namobuddha and Nagarkot to get a taste of rural life in Nepal.
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Phnom Penh is the capital city of Cambodia and is known for its French colonial architecture, ornate Buddhist temples, and museums that showcase the country’s tragic history. Visit the Royal Palace, explore the Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, and sample some of the delicious Cambodian street food like amok and lok lak.
Jaipur is known as the Pink City of India, thanks to the pink-colored sandstone buildings that give the city its unique character. Visit the stunning Amber Fort, explore the local markets like Johari Bazaar and Bapu Bazaar, and sample some of the city’s delicious Rajasthani cuisine like dal baati churma and ghevar.
Busan, South Korea
Busan is a port city located on the southeastern coast of South Korea and is known for its beautiful beaches like Haeundae Beach, bustling markets like Jagalchi Fish Market, and seafood cuisine. Take a walk along the scenic Taejongdae cliffs, explore the historic Gamcheon Culture Village, and visit the Busan Tower for a panoramic view of the city.
Cebu City, Philippines
Cebu City is located in the central Visayas region of the Philippines and is known for its rich history, beautiful beaches like Mactan Island, and vibrant nightlife. Visit the Magellan’s Cross, explore the Basilica del Santo Niño, and try some of the delicious Cebuano dishes like lechon and sinuglaw.
Overall, these 20 cities offer a diverse range of experiences and attractions that make them must-visit destinations in Asia. From the bustling metropolis of Tokyo to the ancient temples of Kyoto, and from the stunning skyline of Hong Kong to the natural beauty of Chiang Mai, Asia’s top cities have something for everyone. So start planning your next adventure and discover the best of what Asia has to offer.