The Very Best Cities to Visit in 2022
It’s time to dust off your passport and book that city break
City breaks are a fantastic way to explore the world. There is so much adventure to be had in one place, with vast urban sprawls offering a lively mix of culture, food, and history. Cities are also (usually) much more connected and accessible, making them the perfect destination if you’re pressed for time. We’re the travel experts here at Plum Guide, so if you’re looking for the best cities to visit this year, you’ve come to the right place. As usual, we've gone above and beyond to give you this expertly curated guide, so you don't have to lift a finger (until you're packing, of course). Whether you’re craving somewhere with a renowned food and drink scene, or locations with a fascinating past, we’ve got you covered. Take a look at our round-up of our favourite cities to visit all around the world.
- Buenos Aires
- New York City
The German capital is an intoxicating mix of grit and glamour. You may have heard of its three-day techno raves in abandoned warehouses, but Berlin is much more than a party hub. It’s a ‘something for everyone’ type of place, where you can find history, architecture, art, and good food around every corner. Art aficionados will be spoilt for choice, with numerous galleries housing world-class collections. Museum Island is a must-visit, a UNESCO-inscribed collection of five museums - covering 6,000 years of art and history. You could spend your entire trip visiting iconic attractions, but if you’re pressed for time, we recommend that the Berlin Wall and Brandenburg Gate have a top place on your itinerary. Foodies will be in their element here, with everything from street food classics like currywurst, to Berlin’s high-end dining spots. Markthalle Neun showcases some of the city’s best gastronomes in one historic market hall.
Vietnam’s vibrant capital is a place of contrasts, where old meets new and east meets west. From the delicious Vietnamese cuisine to the rush of motorcycles, all your senses will be invigorated. If you’re brave enough, hop onto a bike and join the throng of motorcycles, making your way down streets lined with ancient temples, pagodas, and French colonial buildings. Dive into Hanoi’s old quarter where you can slurp pho at a street food stall, or go bargain hunting at Dong Xuan Market. Take a break from all the hustle and bustle at the peaceful Hoan Kiem Lake, and admire the views of Ngoc Son Temple. Naturally, there’s plenty of interesting history to discover in Hanoi, from the Imperial Citadel to the Hoa Lo Prison. If you’re more into the arts than history, make sure to catch a water puppet show - Thang Long is Hanoi’s most famous theatre.
The hilly, coastal capital of Portugal is a contender for the number one city in the world. Climb aboard a famous, yellow vintage tram and wind your way from one landmark to another - whether that’s the São Jorge Castle or the Sé Cathedral. Once you’ve worked up an appetite with all that sightseeing, eat your way around Portugal at the Time Out Market. From fresh seafood to steaks and wines, we recommend coming with an empty belly. If you somehow still have room for dessert, head to Pastéis de Belém for pastel de nata, Portugal’s signature confection. This shop has been around since 1837, and is a tourist attraction in itself. Burn it all off with a stroll down cobbled alleys, past colourful higgledy-piggledy houses to the iconic 16th-century Belém Tower at the waterfront. Alternatively, enjoy views of the city skyline with a sunset cruise and a glass of port.
It's potentially true that Melbourne is the best city in the world to visit. Topping official ‘most desirable place to live’ lists numerous of times in the past decade, this coastal metropolis is an exciting, dynamic place known for its cultural diversity, amazing street art, and enticing food scene. The best way to take in the city’s urban culture is to wander round the many laneways. You’ll find plenty of things to see, do, eat, and buy, and you can even get a taste of Melbourne's famed coffee culture. Art aficionados will want to go gallery-hopping (there are over 100 in the city), or visit the Old Melbourne Gaol for something a little different. If you need a respite from the crowds, the Royal Botanic Gardens offer an oasis of greenery - you'll encounter over 8,500 plant species. Once you’re feeling energised, take a tour of Queen Victoria Market for some of Melbourne’s tastiest produce and artisanal crafts, or head to the Greek Precinct for authentic Greek food in the largest Greek population outside Athens.
Although the Guinness Storehouse and the Old Jameson Distillery are must-visits for drinkers, it’s not all about the booze - Dublin is deeply rooted in history and culture, boasting plenty of interesting things to do. Stroll along the River Liffey and find the famous 200-year-old Ha’Penny Bridge, or head up to Dublin Castle where you’ll discover 800 years of Irish history. Just around the corner, there is also the beauty of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Ireland’s largest church (it's one of the oldest, too). Dublin isn’t short of rainy days, so if it’s pelting down then one of Dublin’s many museums is a better bet. There’s the National Museum of Ireland, the Little Museum of Dublin, and ‘EPIC’, the Irish emigration museum. Come evening, it’s almost a rite of passage to pop into the renowned Temple Bar Pub. It’s loud and rowdy, often packed with a great mix of locals and visitors alike. Personally, we also love O’Donoghues. Here, you’ll find traditional musicians getting together every night to play fiddles, tin whistles, bodhrans, and uilleann pipes as the pints flow. It’s classic Dublin.
Argentina’s cosmopolitan capital is a heady mix of passionate tango, flamboyant street art, elaborate architecture, and exquisite food. The historic Plaza de Mayo has seen many dramatic events unfold, and is the perfect place to begin your Buenos Aires adventure. Head to Recoleta Cemetery, and wander round the alleyways to discover stained-glass windows, stone cherubs, and ornate mausoleums. Shoppers will love the variety of stalls at San Telmo, where you can buy everything from clothing, to antiques, to souvenirs. Working up an appetite? Argentina is known for its high-quality steak and wine, so make time to visit the many parrillas (steakhouses) to sample the very best of Argentinian cuisine. Of course, no visit to the city is complete without watching the tango at a milonga, or tango club. Better still, why not have a go yourself? Maybe take it easy on the wine before you attempt that, though.
Copenhagen is effortlessly cool, with its hip streetwear, grassroots ceramic, glassware, and furniture designs. You can find all the best Scandi designs in the shopping area of Strøget. It also happens to be one of the world’s greenest and most sustainable city centres (no wonder Denmark is one of the happiest countries in the world). It’s also a culinary hotspot, with at least 17 Michelin-starred restaurants in the city. To splash out, visit the world-famous Noma, chef Rene Redzepi’s gastronomic mecca. Continue the grandeur at the Amalienborg Palace, home of the Danish royal family. Visit the museum to check out the private interiors of the most recent royals, and admire blue-blood jewels as well as captivating art. Alternatively, chill out at Nyhavn, Copenhagen’s picture-perfect 17th-century harbour. Grab a pastry from Sankt Peders Bageri, before finding a spot by the water to admire the multicoloured townhouses and wooden boats.
This island city may be small, but it packs a punch when it comes to things to see and do. Singapore has been described as a playground for the rich, but there’s more to the city than just designer shops, luxury hotels, and fine dining - there's a vibrant history and an incredibly diverse culture which are worth exploring too. Start at Haji Lane, a street filled with indie shops, cafes, bars, and street art. From here, make your way to Chinatown for a spot of shopping and some authentic Chinese food. Little India is a colourful, bustling neighbourhood which shows off the best of Singapore’s Indian community, including mouthwatering food and fantastic shopping. After a busy day of exploring, head to Clarke Quay for waterfront dining and entertainment. We recommend taking a river cruise from here, where you can admire a number of the city’s landmarks, such as the Merlion, from the water.
New York City
New York City is undeniably one of the best cities to visit in 2022 (or at any time, for that matter). It’s so diverse place that you’ll find something to do around every corner, no matter your intentions. Indeed, as the locals proudly proclaim, it’s “the greatest city in the world”. Of course, no trip to New York would be complete without seeing famous landmarks like the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, and the Empire State Building. But if you’re looking to explore past the obvious, why not find bargains at flea markets, groove the night away at jazz clubs, or paddle around the Lake in Central Park. As every major city should, New York has an abundance of viewpoints to soak up the famous skyline. Personally, we love the view from the Manhattan Bridge, as it’s seldom crowded compared to other hotspots. You also get a bonus aerial view over Chinatown, where you can head for dinner after snapping a few photos.
Straddling both Europe and Asia, Istanbul is one of the best cities to visit for this reason alone. Dating back thousands of years, there is endless history to explore here at sites like the Hagia Sophia and the Basilica Cistern. Hop on a ferry and cruise down the Bosphorus for some of the best views of the city. Get off on the Asian side of the city and stroll around the markets to sample the very best Turkish cuisine. Back on the European side, walk across the iconic Galata Bridge, weaving your way amongst the local fishermen. Ready to do some bargaining? Visit the Grand Bazaar and the Spice Bazaar to pick up the best local produce, including spices, tea, jewellery, rugs, and crafts. Even if you’re not buying anything, it’s worth just going for the atmosphere and the remarkable architecture. We challenge you to not get lost among the many alleys and walkways.