The 15 Best Cities in Asia

The best cities in Asia, according to Travel + Leisure readers, offer a spirited mix of ancient history, world-class hotels, and delicious cuisine.

Aerial view of the Water temple in Ubud, Bali.
Photo: Andrey Danilovich/Getty Images

Many travelers have been eager to return to their favorite cities in Asia, which have been closed to visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic. So it's no surprise that the recent announcements that Japan, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and more are now allowing tourism have come as a welcome relief.

Every year for our World's Best Awards survey, Travel + Leisure asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Readers rated cities on their sights and landmarks, culture, cuisine, friendliness, shopping, and overall value.

Three cities from Japan (Osaka at No. 4; Tokyo at No. 6; and Kyoto at No.7) and India (Jaipur at No. 3; Mumbai at No. 14; and Udaipur at No. 5 ) made the list this year. Of Tokyo, one reader said, "There is so much to see: amazing museums, parks, temples, shrines — plus hiking, eating, and shopping." That seemed to be a common theme: visitors also praised the array of activities in cities like Seoul (No. 9), which was highly rated for its efficient public transportation. "It's the cleanest city I've ever seen, particularly on the Metro," one reader said. "And I would say even the chain bakeries rival ones in Paris."

Wherever the destination, it's clear that readers are eager to explore the striking architectural marvels and hawker food stalls of Singapore (No. 15) as well as the lush greenery and nature in Ubud, Indonesia (No. 1), which bumped up from its No. 2 position last year. Read on for the full list of the best 15 cities in Asia, according to Travel + Leisure readers.

1. Ubud, Indonesia

Once hidden away, the now popular tourist destination Tegenungan Waterfall in the Ubud region of Bali.
Getty Images

With a mix of stunning temples, rain forests, white-sand beaches, and a thriving city center, Ubud truly has something for everyone. "Ubud is a unique destination, particularly when you're looking for something with a wellness or healthy-living angle," says one reader. Ubud has some of the most luxurious resorts in the world, which spoil travelers with options. But, says another reader, "the city also has an incredibly rich culture, with exceptional shopping."

Score: 91.73

2. Chiang Mai, Thailand

View on crossroad with motorbikes in center of old town on sunset.
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Score: 90.70

3. Jaipur, India

Tourists at Amer Fort, Amber Palace, Jaipur
Mrinal Pal/Getty Images

Score: 90.67

4. Osaka, Japan

Elevated view of the Minato ward of Osaka at sunset
Allan Baxter/Getty Images

Score: 90.35

5. Udaipur, India

Scenery of Pichola lake bank and city palace at Udaipur, Rajasthan, India
Jui-Chi Chan/Getty Images

Score: 90.22

6. Tokyo

Tokyo, Japan Cityscape at Tokyo Station at dusk
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WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Score: 90.00

7. Kyoto, Japan

Japanese people walking and riding bicycle in in Kyoto Gyoen park, in front of the Imperial palace at sunset
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WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Score: 89.77

8. Siem Reap, Cambodia

People visiting the temples in Siem Reap, Cambodia
Ourb Bothom/EyeEm/Getty Images

Score: 89.66

9. Seoul

Seoul people walking through neon drenched night streets Sinchon Korea
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Score: 89.31

10. Hoi An, Vietnam

Den Long bridge in Hoi An ancient town
Pham Hung/Getty Images

Score: 88.92

11. Bangkok

Lumpini park in Bangkok, Thailand
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WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Score: 88.62

12. Luang Prabang, Laos

Selective focus on building, street view in Luang Prabang, Laos,
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Score: 88.27

13. Taipei, Taiwan

Taipei Camera Street in Taipei, Taiwan, China
Jui-Chi Chan/Getty Images

Score: 87.89

14. Mumbai

Women and busy street traffic in front of Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, the main railway station in Mumbai India.
Matt Mawson/Getty Images

Score: 87.51

15. Singapore

View of Singapore Downtown skyscrapers, smog in the air from annual burning of palm plantations in Indonesia
Getty Images

Score: 87.39

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