Some cities around the world simply exude luxury. Whether it’s their naturally beautiful location, exceptional architecture, or a reputation for fine dining and high fashion, there’s always something that adds the “wow” factor to a city.
Everybody’s idea of luxury is different. You might be looking for one exquisite museum, or the most beautiful spot imaginable to have lunch, or a special shop for a memento of your travels.
A few things the most luxurious cities in the world have in common is individual style, confidence, and culture. If you’re a lover of the finer things in life, read on for some ideas for your next adventure.
The extravagantly beautiful Italian capital of Rome is effortlessly stylish, luxurious, and rich in fine art.
Visit the Vatican and the astonishingly vast St. Peter’s Basilica. Marvel at Michelangelo’s ravishingly beautiful ceiling in the exquisite Sistine Chapel.
Tour some of Rome’s famous landmarks, such as the Colosseum and the Forum, both of which catapult you back to the time of gladiatorial battles, as well as the 2,000-year-old Pantheon.
Pose for photos on the ornate Spanish Steps, and toss a coin into the baroque Trevi Fountain—a time-honored tradition to ensure that you’ll come back some day.
Stop for coffee in the expansive Piazza Navona, or head to the serene Villa Borghese gardens for fresh air and gelato. Head to the Via del Corso and Via Condotti, where you’ll find some of the city’s best shopping.
Sleek and sophisticated, Singapore blends high-tech with traditional in one compact, easy-to-explore city.
If shopping in Singapore is your goal, head for Orchard Road, where you’ll find big name brands and on-trend Asian designers.
To immerse yourself in its tropical greenery, Gardens by the Bay offers a wonderful escape, showcasing everything from steamy wetlands to the colorful blooms of the cloud forest. Be sure to head up to the Supertree Observatory for far-reaching views over the canopy and the coast.
When it comes to luxury dining, Singapore glitters with Michelin stars and celebrated chefs, offering everything from Spanish to Sichuan haute cuisine.
Don’t miss the chance to try street food while you’re here; it’s hard to beat a spicy chili crab or the iconic Hainanese Chicken Rice, cooked in a pandan leaf.
Tel Aviv, Israel
Israel has many faces—spiritual, historic, outdoorsy—and when it comes to the coastal city of Tel Aviv, luxurious, too. This is where you’ll find the most cutting edge restaurants in Israel, as well as a host of independent designers and some of the country’s finest galleries.
You could spend a whole day or more touring the Eretz Israel Museum, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, and in Old Jaffa, the fabulous Ilana Goor Museum. Head for lunch or dinner at Manta Ray, right on the beach, or Dallal in the cool Neve Tzedek neighborhood.
If you like Bauhaus architecture, wander around the White City, one of the finest examples of its kind in the world. Explore Old Jaffa, which dates back to the times of the Old Testament, or relax on the city’s long, golden Mediterranean beaches.
Barcelona oozes style and is easily one of the most luxurious cities in the world. What was once a run-down port with its back to the sea has been transformed into an international sensation.
The city is defined by avant-garde architecture, fine dining, world-class art galleries, and a fine urban beach that stretches the length of the downtown area and beyond.
Top sights include Gaudí’s wavy modernista architecture, characterized by its colorful, organic forms and intricate mosaics. The highlight is the dazzling La Sagrada Familia Basilica.
The Picasso Museum is outstanding, housed in a medieval mansion in the tangle of the Gothic Quarter. La Boqueria, on the famous Las Ramblas, is one of the reasons Barcelona is known as one of Europe’s best shopping cities.
In revitalized Barceloneta, the former fishermen’s quarter, indulge in tapas on the boardwalk and spend an afternoon people-watching.
At first glance, the pretty port of Saint-Tropez in Provence might be all about the yachts and chic restaurants clustered around the harbor. But as well as being one of the most luxurious spots on the French Riviera, this A-list town has a more traditional side.
Join the locals for a game of petanque in the shade of the plane trees on Place des Lices, or shop for a picnic of cheese, giant peaches, and juicy olives at the market on Tuesdays or Saturdays.
For a designer souvenir, head for Rondini on rue Georges Clemenceau, the best place to buy the traditional, hand-made leather Tropézienne sandals.
If you’re hungry, seek out the Tarte Tropezienne, a fluffy, orange-scented brioche filled with vanilla cream custard.
Monte Carlo, Monaco
The tiny Principality of Monaco radiates luxury and glamor, whether you’re in town for the Grand Prix or simply to gaze in awe at the superyachts gleaming in the port.
Some of the best things to do in Monaco include taking a ringside seat at the Belle Epoque Café de Paris and watching Ferraris and Lamborghinis cruising Casino Square.
Dress the part and venture inside the ornate Casino to admire the interiors, even if you don’t want to gamble.
Join a tour of Prince’s Palace of Monaco, visit the superb Oceanographic Museum, or inhale the aroma of the flowers in the serene Princess Grace Rose Garden.
Wander along the South Bank of the Thames and you’ll easily get a sense of how London is one of the most historic and at the same time luxurious cities in the world.
The skyline of this beautiful European capital is unforgettable, from the dome of St. Paul’s and the thatched roof of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre to the gleaming towers downriver of Canary Wharf and the ultra-modern architecture of the City of London.
Head north of the river to Bond Street and Regent Street for some of the world’s best designer shopping. Wander along The Mall for views of majestic Buckingham Palace before strolling through lush Green Park, especially beautiful in the springtime, to Piccadilly for afternoon tea.
Explore London’s boho side as you wander the colorful, multicultural streets of Notting Hill, bordered by the stately mansions of Holland Park.
Or take a day trip along the Thames to 16th-century Hampton Court Palace, the former residence of King Henry VIII, for a taste of luxury living in Tudor times.
Marbella has long held a reputation as a retreat for the rich and famous. Its location on Costa del Sol in Southern Spain, which receives more than 300 days of sunshine a year, gives this elegant town a year-round buzz.
The whole coastline of this Spanish beach town is lined with luxurious villas and elegant, Andalusian-style townhouses backed with velvety-green golf courses. Marbella’s golden beaches are some of the finest on the coast.
The old quarter is typically Andalucian, with cobblestone alleys, pretty squares, and whitewashed houses where geraniums spill out of window boxes.
The main square, Plaza de los Naranjos, is named for the orange trees that shade the open-air cafés at the center from the hot Mediterranean sunshine. The town hall here dates back to the 16th century.
Supermodel beauty and a cosmopolitan ambiance make Sydney one of the most luxurious cities in the world.
Admire the graceful curves of the Sydney Opera House, and if you’re fascinated by theater and opera, take a behind-the-scenes tour. If you’re brave enough, try the Harbour Bridge climb and reward yourself with a glass of fine Australian sparkling wine afterward.
Wander the galleries, street markets, and pubs of The Rocks, Sydney’s oldest neighborhood. Watch surfers ride the waves while you work on your tan on the golden sweep of Bondi Beach, one of the best beaches in Australia.
To discover exciting Australian designer fashion and big-name brands, spend time in the neo-gothic Queen Victoria Building, a lavish confection of stained glass windows, copper domes, and wrought-iron verandas—and 200 shops to explore.
The “White Island” is, without doubt, the most fashionable of the Balearics, with a boho-chic atmosphere, an A-list following, and a reputation for some of the best nightlife in Europe, which spills over into all-day DJ sets in hip beach clubs on long, sandy beaches.
D’Alt Vila, the fortified old city which clings to a steep hill, is a great place to start. Wander through the narrow streets and browse independent shops for the floaty fashions that are so popular here.
To see more of this petite, pine-scented island, head out of town on a cycling tour or a catamaran cruise along the rugged coast.
For lunch among the beautiful people of Ibiza, try laid-back Chiringuito Blue on the beach in Santa Eulalia, or head to the blue waters and Sunset Ashram at Cala Conta. There’s sushi on the menu and laid-back DJ sets in the afternoons.
Fast-paced Tokyo bursts with energy. But while the streams of people flowing across the famous Shibuya Crossing, the after-dark buzz of Golden Gai, and the dazzling neon lights can seem daunting, there’s a serene side to the city, too.
Visit Asakusa for craft shops selling ceramics and kimonos and some of the best street food. While you’re here, spend time at the exquisite Sensoji Temple, with its scarlet-painted pillars and curved pagoda rooftops.
For retail therapy with exceptional service, head to the upscale Tokyo neighborhood of Ginza, where you’ll find flagship designer stores in high-tech malls, or leafy Aoyama, which is equally classy.
Paris is known for luxury, from the flagship haute-couture designers along the elegant Champs-Élysées to beautiful patisseries selling dainty, rainbow-colored macarons and art galleries rich in priceless masterpieces.
Enjoy the luxury of the simpler pleasures of the extravagantly beautiful Paris, too. A stroll along the Seine, springtime in the Tuileries Garden, a perfectly cooked steak frites and a carafe of red wine in a neighborhood bistro—you’ll find beauty and good taste at every turn.
Are you inspired to seek out some of the most luxurious cities in the world? Browse Celebrity’s itineraries here and plan your dream luxury cruise.