10 Best Cities to Visit in Asia this Year
Home to diverse cultures and traditions as well as bustling megacities, the world’s largest continent draws in countless travelers each year. With its historical structures, tropical jungles, remote islands, and other tourist attractions, it’s easily one of the must-visit destinations.
Want to explore this continent? Here is my selection of the 10 best Asian cities to visit in 2024, where to stay and the best things to see to make memorable travel experiences.
1. Bangkok, Thailand 🇹🇭
A charming amalgamation of culture, tradition, and entertainment, Thailand’s colorful cosmopolitan capital Bangkok tops my list of the 10 best cities to visit in Asia. This buzzing megacity has a plethora of ancient temples, exotic street food, pubs, rooftop bars, shopping malls, and floating markets to keep you busy.
Some of its most popular tourist attractions include:
- The Grand Palace
- Wat Arun Ratchawaram
- Temple of the Emerald Buddha
- The Golden Buddha
- Khaosan Road
- Chatuchak Weekend Market
- Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World
After visiting these spots, try other fun activities like enjoying a firefly boat tour, reveling in a beach party, or watching a boxing show. You can also negotiate the best shopping deals while meeting friendly locals, making your trip all the more memorable.
After experiencing Bangkok, end your day with a Thai massage. You can also use Bangkok as a stopover to explore Thailand’s hilly forest retreats in the north and the tropical islands in the south.
Where to stay in Bangkok:
2. Luang Prabang, Laos 🇱🇦
Nestled in northern Laos, Luang Prabang is an idyllic location where the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers meet. Mountains, waterfalls, and rainforests surround the area, treating visitors to scenic treks, kayak trips, and river cruises.
Besides its breathtaking natural wonders, this ancient little city is brimming with a rich spiritual and cultural heritage. It houses many Buddhist temples, monasteries, and French colonial villas.
Check out the following hotspots when you’re in Luang Prabang:
- Long Khoun Monastery
- Wat Mai Suwannapumaram
- Mount Phousi
- Tad Thong Waterfall
- Tad Sae Waterfall
- Luang Prabang night market
While you’re in Luang Prabang, don’t miss the Royal Palace Museum’s famous Phra Bang. It’s a golden statue in the likeness of the Lord Buddha that stands at 83 centimeters tall.
Where to stay in Luang Prabang:
- Luang Prabang Museum Inn & Travel
- The Belle Rive Boutique Hotel
- My Dream Boutique Resort
- The Luang Say Residence
3. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 🇲🇾
With a combination of Indian, Chinese, and Malay cultures, Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur offers diverse cultures, cuisines, and traditions. To experience them, stop by ancient Indian and Chinese temples. Shop and eat at Little India and its Chinatown areas.
This busy city also has a wealth of other attractions for tourists such as mosques, tall skyscrapers, minarets, colonial architecture, parks, and shopping malls.
Where to stay in Kuala Lumpur:
- Soho Suites KLCC by Alucard’s Cat
- Scarletz Suites by Edenzpace @ KLCC Area
- Travelodge Chinatown Kuala Lumpur
- Chambers Suites KLCC By Sky pool
4. Taipei, Taiwan 🇹🇼
If you want to experience Chinese, Japanese, American, and Southeast Asian influences, then you have to visit Taiwan. Taipei’s capital can be found in the northern region of the island nation. The lively city offers tourists Taoist temples, Japanese mansions, night markets, museums, and sleek skyscrapers.
When in Taipei, you shouldn’t miss the National Palace Museum and its incredible artifacts that offer thousands-year-old insights into the country’s history and culture. This modern metropolis is also a haven for foodies because of its many restaurants, bars, and stalls serving delicious cuisine. You can also visit nearby mountains and hot springs to unwind in nature.
Where to stay in Taipei:
5. Tokyo, Japan 🇯🇵
Japan’s capital is Tokyo. is the world’s most populous metropolis and Asia’s biggest city. It offers a one-of-a-kind travel experience with its scenic temples, parks, museums, shopping destinations, dazzling skyscrapers, and cultural centers.
Places to visit include:
- Sensoji Temple
- Meiji Shrine
- The Imperial Palace
- Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
- Tokyo Government Building
- Tsukiji Market
- The National Museum
- Harajuku Market
- Shibuya Crossing
You can also partake in the city’s unrivaled gastronomy at the many cafes, hotels, restaurants, and bars dotting its landscape. Other fun activities include taking origami and calligraphy classes, going on river cruises, and admiring the beautiful cherry blossoms. Check out this 7-day Japan itinerary that includes Tokyo and more must-see cities!
Where to stay in Tokyo:
- Best Western Hotel Fino Tokyo Akasaka
- ICI HOTEL Asakusabashi
- The Royal Park Hotel Iconic Tokyo Shiodome
- Sato-san’s Rest
6. Hanoi, Vietnam 🇻🇳
Vietnam’s capital and second-largest city, Hanoi is famous for its diverse cultural influences ranging from Vietnamese and Chinese to French. This historic city showcases well-preserved traditional houses like the Ma May Ancient House, age-old pagodas like Tran Quoc and Ngoc Son, and French buildings like the Presidential Palace, the Hanoi Opera House, and Hoa Lo Prison.
Its pulsating nightlife combined with its lip-smacking street food, ancient museums, postcard-worthy hilly destinations, and lush greenery makes it one of the best places to visit in Asia. You can also stroll along the colorful streets of the 1,000-year-old Hanoi Old Quarter, visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Temple of Literature, and watch the Water Puppet Show.
Where to stay in Hanoi:
7. Singapore, the Republic of Singapore 🇸🇬
If you’re in the mood for high-end shopping malls, modern skyscrapers, forested areas, treetop jungle bridges, and art galleries, you can’t go wrong with the city-state of Singapore.
Its areas of interest include:
- Changi Beach
- Universal Studios
- Changi Museum
- Little India
- Botanic Garden
- Gardens by the Bay
- Punggol Waterway Park
- Arab Street
You can also visit the many incredible food destinations that include a mix of fine-dining restaurants and street food stalls serving local delicacies.
Where to stay in Singapore:
8. Hoi An, Vietnam 🇻🇳
The second city in Vietnam that I must mention on my list for its picture-perfect locations is Hoi An. Renowned as Vietnam’s historic World Heritage site, the old town retains ancient architecture in its buildings, streets, and trading ports. These structures go as far back as the 1400s to the 1800s.
Some of its most beautiful attractions include:
- Fukien Assembly Hall
- Hoi An Ancient Town
- Tra Que Vegetable Village
- Kim Bong Carpentry Village
- Japanese Covered Bridge
- An Bang Beach
- Cam An Beach
- Hoi An Night Market
You can also visit Hoi An Handicraft Workshop for local handicrafts.
Where to stay in Hoi An:
- Almanity Almanity Hoi An Wellness Resort
- La Charm Hoi An Hotel & Spa
- Wyndham Garden Hoi An Cua Dai Beach
- Hoi An Eco Lodge & Spa
9. Siem Reap,
The resort town of Siem Reap in northwestern Cambodia is a jewel of Southeast Asia. It is particularly well-known as the site of Angkor Wat, an awe-inspiring 12th-century Buddhist temple complex touted as the world’s largest religious monument. It draws over a million visitors annually, making it a must-visit when you’re in Siem Reap.
Other spots that pull tourist crowds include:
- Banteay Kdei (a 12th- to 13th-century Buddhist temple)
- The 12th-century Krol Ko Temple
- Srah Stang Royal Bath Reservoir
- Angkor Archaeological Park
- Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary
- Neak Pean (an artificial island)
The cheerful city has many colorful cafes and restaurants where you can relax and feast on local culinary delights. After sundown, let your hair down at a pub or tapas bar, or bargain for souvenirs at the Angkor Night Market.
Where to stay in Siem Reap:
10. Hong Kong, China 🇭🇰
Boldly declaring itself as “Asia’s World City,” Hong Kong has a distinct vibe from Mainland China. Formerly a British colony, the harbor city was only returned to China in 1997 and offers an eclectic mix of nature, culture, and entertainment.
It boasts many historical and cultural sights, mountains, parks, restaurants, bars, and shops. It is also home to family-centric hotspots like Disneyland and Ocean Park.
Where to stay in Hong Kong:
Why Has Asia Become One of the Most Visited Continents?
Asia is a popular tourist destination for many reasons:
Diverse Cultural Heritage and Historical Attractions
Culture vultures and history buffs can have the time of their lives in Asia with its historic and culturally diverse landscapes.
Rich and Varied Cuisine
Foodies can feast on a range of international and local cuisines. The continent’s rich and unique gastronomy is varied depending on which city you are in, allowing you to experience different culinary styles.
Stunning Natural Landscapes and Breathtaking Beaches
Asia has endless scenic vistas to explore, including lush green landscapes and idyllic beaches.
Asia’s cities are bustling with activity. Whether you want to eat, shop, or simply experience the local culture, its cities provide unique and memorable experiences.
Warm Hospitality and Welcoming Locals
Asians are particularly known for being warm and receptive to foreigners. They have a natural curiosity for other communities that you’ll find refreshing and delightful.
A Mecca for Spiritual Seekers
With so many temples, shrines, churches, mosques, yoga, meditation centers, and other spiritual places, you can explore different spiritual beliefs.
Unique Festivals and Celebrations Throughout the Year
Asian festivals and celebrations are as unique as their cultures. You’ll find no shortage of events in the region.
Unforgettable Experiences: From Ancient Wonders to Futuristic Marvels
Asia is where ancient traditions and structures can be found alongside futuristic buildings and amenities. You can find the best of the old and new here.
Ancient cultures, picturesque scenery, mouth watering cuisines—you can find all this and more in Asia. If my list of the best cities in the region has left you wanting more, check out my top 10 destinations for solo female travel in Asia or discover 10 amazing destinations for a summer in Asia.
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