14. Vancouver, Canada
We asked our Twitter and Facebook followers to vote for the most beautiful city in the world; from Europe to the Far East, these are the top 14 in the poll. Starting the countdown is Vancouver and it’s no wonder this city has made the cut. With an unrivalled setting between water and the mountains, there may not be a more stunning city in Canada.
13. Sydney, Australia
A sparkling harbour, beautiful beaches and impressive landmarks galore are responsible for Sydney’s place in our beautiful cities poll. Its charm is further amplified by leafy suburbs like Surry Hills and picturesque coastal paths, like the one that leads from Bondi to Coogee.
12. Seville, Spain
Lord Byron once said of Seville, it ‘is a pleasant city, famous for oranges and women.’ But there’s more to this place than its eponymous orange – Seville’s elegant architecture makes it one of the most beautiful cities in the world, as our Twitter follower Kelsey MacAulay agreed.
11. San Sebastian, Spain
In 11th place is another Spanish city, San Sebastian. Having never had a role as an important port or industrial centre for Spain, this coastal city has been a summer playground for the royal family since the mid 1800s. Set in a wonderfully curved bay, with a golden sand beach lapped by the azure waters of the Bay of Biscay, it’s a stunning city all year round.
10. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Perhaps it’s the coastal location and famous Copacabana beach that draw people to Rio, or maybe it’s the imposing Art Deco statue of Christ the Redeemer on Corcovado Mountain. Either way, from the ocean to the forested Parque Nacional da Tijuca, there’s no denying that this Brazilian holiday hub has natural and man-made beauty aplenty.
9. Kyoto, Japan
As the centre of Japanese culture for hundreds of years, there’s much to be stunned by in Kyoto. Voted the 9th most beautiful city in the world by our readers, it is surrounded by magnificent and easily accessible mountains, and a walk around the east side of the city gives opportunity to see some gorgeous traditional temples.
8. Brisbane, Australia
A surprising entry in 8th place, Brisbane – Queensland Australia’s largest city – has been chosen for its winning combination of high-rise modern architecture, lush green spaces and the enormous Brisbane River that snakes its way through the centre before emptying itself into the azure Moreton Bay.
7. Venice, Italy
The floating island of Venice has been voted 7th most beautiful city in the world by our readers, perhaps pipped to the post due to the millions of tourists that pack its streets each year. Yet despite mass tourism, Venice will always have charm, with its undeniably romantic setting, classic architecture and wonderful sea views.
6. Prague, Czech Republic
Next up in our poll of the most beautiful cities in the world is Prague, a city of two sides: by night it’s a buzzing metropolis with a hedonistic party scene, but by day you can lose yourself in a warren of quaint cobbled streets lined by old-fashioned carved doorhandles, or spend an afternoon admiring the view from the Charles Bridge, stretched across the Vltava, up to the castle.
5. London, England
With sprawling green spaces, huge gothic parliament building and perhaps the most famous residence in the world – Buckingham Palace – we have to agree that London is one of the most beautiful cities ever built. Even in the grittier east you can find allure at Columbia Road flower market, or atop the hill in Greenwich Park overlooking the Canary Wharf towers across the Thames.
4. Edinburgh, Scotland
It’s famed for its excellent annual festival, but there is more to Edinburgh than great comedy and arts – and according to our readers, it’s beauty. Head east of the city and make the short walk up Arthur’s Seat, an 823ft-high dormant volcano, to take in views of Scotland’s capital and you won’t need to question why it’s been voted the 4th most beautiful city in the world.
3. Paris, France
Finishing in 3rd place, France’s capital has been long considered the paragon of style and the most glamorous city in Europe – and we can’t disagree with your choice to put Paris near the top of this poll. We love its elegant streets and boulevards, the lofty Eiffel Tower and the plethora of incredible art and architecture throughout the city.
2. Florence, Italy
The cathedral dome that dominates the city’s skyline is just one of the many attractions that make Florence one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The river Arno that cuts through the heart of the city, the Piazza della Signoria and the gorgeous church of San Miniato al Monte are all among Florence’s stunning highlights.
1. Rome, Italy
At number one you voted Rome as the most beautiful city in the world. With its thousand-year-old buildings, beautiful piazzas and world-class art – not to mention the stunning Vatican City – it’s certainly no surprise. Rome, after all, is the capital of the so-called bel paese, or ‘beautiful country’.