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February 02, 2017

If you want to travel to largest city in the world, prepare to use up your vacation days. There’s more than one record holder, because there are multiple ways you can size up urban areas—you can count the number of people, calculate surface area or consider the crowds.

Whatever your methodology, there’s a lot of ground to explore; the municipality that covers the most acreage is New York, which spreads out over 3,353 square miles. (For comparison, that’s double the size of Luxembourg, Monaco, and the Vatican combined.)

The beating pulse of the metro area is New York City, and although Manhattan covers just about 23 square miles, you can only soak in the immensity of the urban expanse from the heights of a skyscraper, where you can scan the grids of blocks—and the horizons beyond.

Times Square, the Empire State Building and Central Park are just a fraction of what the Big Apple has to offer. We suggest you tack on a few days to your voyage to check out the outer boroughs, too.

Related: What To See in the World’s Smallest Country

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If you’re counting heads, Tokyo ranks as the most populous city. In this mega-metropolis, you’ll encounter neon streetscapes, tremendous malls, karaoke parlors, and noodle bars. And with 37 million residents, you can be sure to find some good company.

Japan’s capital has so many people, they’re notorious for their subway pushers (or oshiya), who shove commuters onto congested trains, and the capsule-size “coffin apartments”—space-saving dwellings that are about as appealing as their name.

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But the honor of the most dense city goes to Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. And if you thought places such as New York City were an intersection of hustle and bustle, then try expanding your perspective: Dhaka squeezes in 114,300 people per square mile, while New York has just 27,000 in that space. But don’t let that discourage you from venturing out to this historic and beautiful place.

Apart from the honking vehicles, non-stop chaos, and constant construction frenzy, there’s a scattering of gorgeous temples, palaces and mosques that you’ll have the pleasure of visiting—once you get past the bumper-to-bumper rickshaw jam.

Now that we've cleared that up, what about the world's smallest country? Find out more, here.

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