THIS YEAR’s world’s best big cities have been revealed in Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards.
The East Asian island nation of Japan bagged two titles, Tokyo and Kyoto in first and second place respectively.
Tokyo has been hailed as the world’s greatest city before, and it continues to thrill travelers. The city is well-known and well-loved for its rich culture and centuries-old traditions juxtaposed against neon-lit skyscrapers and buzzing streets.
These contradictions and areas yet unexplored are what keeps travelers coming back to the alluring metropolis, and this is evident in its international tourist arrivals.
A whopping total of 16.4 million international tourists visited Tokyo in 2017, and the number is expected to skyrocket in the lead up to the 2020 Olympics and beyond.
Meanwhile, the historic city of Kyoto, one of the most well-preserved cities in Japan, came in a close second.
The imperial capital is exceptionally famous for its numerous 10th-century temples, gardens, traditional wooden houses, palaces, and Shinto shrines. Its atmospheric streets are a true treat for the eyes.
Not forgetting, Kyoto has a thriving gin and sake scene, as well as 100 Michelin-starred restaurants serving up the most delicious authentic Japanese meals.
The land down under also cinched a spot with Melbourne securing number three on the Readers’ Choice Awards’ world’s best big cities podium.
There is something for everything in the second largest metropolis of Australia, from shopping at Queen Victoria Market to jumping on the historic Puffing Billy train, to wine tasting at the rolling green hills of Yarra Valley.
And with The Great Ocean Road right around the corner, travelers can enjoy one of the most scenic coastal drives in the world, wind in their hair and all.
Trailing at the heels of Melbourne is Sydney, the capital of New South Wales and Australia’s biggest city.
Most tourists recognize Sydney for the majestic Sydney Opera House or the impressive steel arch of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, but it takes a real curious traveler to uncover everything it has to offer.
The city boasts a vibrant arts and culture calendar, great summer getaways at Bondi and Redleaf beaches, and is packed with exciting events all year round.
Last but not least, in seventh place is none other than the sunny island city-state of Singapore, undeniably the “cool kid of Southeast Asia.”
Singapore recently got its claim to fame with the release of Crazy Rich Asians, which has seen a surge in interest based on the exponential increase in search volume on Expedia.
A global financial center with a tropical climate and multicultural population, the island has everything from skyscraping rooftop bars to humble hawker stalls, more malls than you can count and a range of fantastic leisure activities.
The winners of this year’s Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards were based on the return of 429,000 surveys, which asked readers to vote for their favorite cities, hotels, cruise lines, airlines, islands, and airports.