top of page

The Best Cities in the World to Visit in 2024

Updated: Jan 27

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may get a commission if you make a purchase through this website, at no cost to you. I only link to products I use and love.

Here is a list of the 5 cities that I think are the best in the world. Obviously, this is completely subjective as everyone's personal travel experiences are different - and I have also not been to every city in the world (yet!)


There are certain cities that I have not enjoyed at all, like Kuala Lumpur, New Delhi, and Las Vegas. No hate, they just weren't for me.


There are some cities that I loved, and the things I am looking for are: good food, cool vibes, street art and unique things to do.


The things I am not that interested in are architecture and shopping, so while places like Dubai are top choices for some, they have not been considered for this list of the Best Cities of the World to Visit in 2024.


So here goes...


 

The Best Cities in the World to Visit in 2024



1. Medellín, Colombia


There's only one place that could knock NYC off the top spot, and that's the one-of-a-kind, drop-dead-gorgeous artist's hub of Medellín.


Medellín stole our hearts from the get-go, and it's one of the reasons we have chosen to call Colombia our home. The beautiful city spreads outwards from a bowl-shaped valley in the region of Antioquia, in the northwest of Colombia in the Andes mountains.


Being in the hills, the climate in Medellín is pretty amazing - it’s basically spring all year round with temperatures not venturing too far outside an average of 23-25C every single day.


The people of Medellín and surrounds call themselves Paisas, they have a very strong cultural identity and they love their home. Until recently and for various reasons Medellín was not a safe place to visit, and in the early 90's especially it was dubbed the most dangerous city on earth.


Times are now changing, and the relatively fresh and new tourism industry marks an era of peace and positivity for Colombia, so I assure you, you will be VERY WELCOME to Medellín. There is tonnes to do, which you can read more about in my city guide to Medellín.



the rooftops of comuna 13 in medellin


 


Not sure what to pack for your next backpacking adventure? Check out my article:




 


2. New York City, USA


Surprise, surprise, New York made it to the (almost) top of the list of the best cities in the world to visit in 2024. I feel like everyone who goes to New York City ends up having the time of their life, and my experience was no different!


I visited NYC by myself, staying in the cheapest hostel I could find in Brooklyn.


On my first day in the Big Apple, I forced myself to put on my big girl pants and go and make conversation with other travellers in the kitchen area.


What transpired from that decision was maybe the best week of my life!


After getting talking to a few people we formed a group of 6, all from different countries, and with a map of the city we hit the subway and started exploring. Each day was a new adventure, seeing a different part of the city, eating new foods, ticking off bucket list attractions, and finishing the night partying in an amazing venue we would just happen to stumble across.


The highlights reel includes eating chicken and waffles in Harlem, wandering into an amazing open-mic night after some wine tasting in Greenwich Village, strolling in the sunshine in Central Park, taking the ferry to Staten Island, drinking beers at the top of the Rockerfella Centre, accidentally stumbling into a naked punk gig in Williamsburg - drinking endless fireball shots and watching a baseball game at Yankee Stadium!


I'll never, ever forget walking across Brooklyn Bridge in the dazzling sunshine and reaching into a bag of juicy mangoes I had just bought from a street stand.


Yellow Mango, Purple Nails, Brooklyn Bridge.


Some moments stay ingrained forever!



Brooklyn Bridge at sunset


 

3. Havana, Cuba


Havana is very deserving of a top spot among the best cities in the world to visit in 2024, regardless of how upset the US government may feel about this.


I visited Havana on a solo trip and I completely fell in love with the city. It's famous for the brightly coloured classic cars that line the streets, but there is so much more to Havana than that!


In a country that has been cut off from the world for a long time, Havana feels like it evolved differently from everywhere else. For a start, with so few resources, the Cuban people have been extremely creative - which can be seen in the beautiful markets, art installations and galleries, my favourite being the Fábrica de Arte.


They are not only creative stylistically, but also with business endeavours in a mostly state-controlled economy. You can see an example of this in their 'Paladres', which are pop-up restaurants run from people's homes.


The streets of Havana are full of life - as with a lack of access to technology, socialising and playing outside are still the norm, perhaps akin to the pre-internet times in other countries. When wandering the streets I couldn't help but feel that nature had retaken control of some parts of the city, with trees forcing themselves up through crumbling buildings.


The music follows you everywhere in Havana - whether it's a boom box on a street corner, a live band, or an underground jazz club. The layout of the city is perfect for walking and getting lost and then discovering another pocket of charm, or maybe stumbling across a street stall selling ginormous mojitos while people dance spontaneously in the street.


I know I stipulated before that food is my main priority when exploring a city, but I'll forgive Havana for lacking in this department, because never before have I felt so intrigued and charmed by a place than there. Read my post on Havana to find out more!



A family on a colourful Havana street


 

4. Bristol, UK


There's no way I can make a list of the best cities in the world to visit in 2024 without including my beloved city of Bristol. Not only is the art scene, especially graffiti art, unrivalled (hello, it's where Banksy's from) but never before I have met so many characters in one place. Everyone is super nice, albeit a bit off-beat, in the best possible way!


Bristol has perfected the balance of being high-end and down-to-earth all at once, and as a people, they are always on the right side of any political movements. Folks here just care about the things that matter - like the environment, and not about the things that don't, like walking down the street smoking a joint.


The food scene in Bristol is quirky and always evolving - from fine-dining Michelin-starred restaurants to humble Ethiopian eateries and vegan junk food, the city has it all.


Bristol has tonnes of cool neighbourhoods to explore, from the always colourful Peoples Republic of Stokes Croft to the upmarket corners of Clifton and its iconic suspension bridge. If you're interested in history, art and a free-thinking culture, I think you'd feel very much at home in Bristol. There is nowhere else in the UK I would consider living!



The colourful houses of Bristol's harbourside


 

5. Bangkok, Thailand


I feel like I may be super-biased in Thailand's favour generally, as what's not to like? Awesome food, the most beautiful beaches in the world (yes, I said it) and a million other reasons to love it.


Bangkok was a complete surprise! I only chose to stay there, rather than heading straight to the Trang Islands, because they were hosting their first-ever Cannabis cup since decriminalising weed (Yes Thailand!)


Bangkok is a collision of modern and rustic, high-tech and shabby, where skyscrapers and street food stalls sit side by side. And damn, the food is good! Thai food varies from region to region, and you can find a taste of everything in Bangkok. The principal flavours of Salt, Sweet, Sour, and Spicy come together with fresh fruits and vegetables and a whole lot of pork.


When visiting Bangkok most people head to the lively Khao San Road, normally to buy a Chang T-shirt, eat a scorpion on a stick and people-watch. Honestly, I didn't even bother going! To see the real day-to-day Bangkok, I would go everywhere BUT there.


That being said it's super easy to navigate the city - as the Skytrain is cheap and very simple to use, and you can zip from suburb to suburb exploring what the individual neighbourhoods have to offer. There are a lot of ex-pats in Bangkok, and the locals are generally friendly, playful, and speak great English. As far as cities in Asia go, I would say Bangkok is super easy to explore and just very, very cool.



Neon signs in a Bangkok street


 


Honourable Mentions for Best Cities in the World to Visit in 2024


FOOD: Melbourne, Australia

ART: Oaxaca de Juarez, Mexico

ATMOSPHERE: New Orleans, USA

VIBES: Madrid, Spain

NATURE: Cape Town, South Africa



 

Next on the bucket list to visit...


  1. Istanbul, Turkey

  2. Cork, Ireland

  3. Lima, Peru

  4. Peshawar, Pakistan

  5. Porto, Portugal


 


Is there a city that I have missed?! Let me know in the comments...


Thank you for reading my post on the best cities in the world to visit in 2024. If you enjoyed the read, please consider subscribing to my blog where I post articles once every week about mine and Joe's current travels.


If you're looking for more city inspiration, check out my posts:



Happy Travels

xxx



START PLANNING YOUR NEXT TRIP




 

Disclosure:
I Dream of Mangoes is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. That being said, I only link to products I use and love.

Comments


bottom of page