Travel + Leisure Readers' 15 Favorite Cities in Asia of 2024

Travel + Leisure Readers' 15 Favorite Cities in Asia of 2024

With four reader favorites, India leads the list of best cities in Asia in our annual "World’s Best Awards" survey for 2024.

From modern metropolises to ancient capitals, Travel + Leisure readers embraced the diversity of Asia in their picks for favorite cities in the region. But all seem to share multiple dimensions — especially historic, cultural, and culinary — that fascinated travelers and kept them coming back for more.

How Voting Works

Every year for our World's Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Over 186,000 T+L readers completed the 2024 survey. A total of more than 700,000 votes were cast across over 8,700 properties (hotels, cities, cruise lines, etc.).

Cities were specifically rated on the criteria below:

  • Sights/landmarks

  • Culture

  • Food

  • Friendliness

  • Shopping

  • Value

For each characteristic, respondents could choose a rating of excellent, above average, average, below average, or poor. The final scores are averages of these responses.

<p>Paul Panayiotou/Getty Images</p>

Paul Panayiotou/Getty Images

What Readers Loved

Culturally rich cities led the list of reader favorites across Asia this year, ranging from Vietnam’s ancient Hoi An (No. 3) cut with canals, to Cambodia’s Siem Reap (No. 11), the gateway to the Khmer temples of Angkor Wat. In addition to winner Udaipur, list-leading India placed three other favorites, including Kolkata (No. 8), Jaipur (No. 9), and Mumbai (No. 14).

Readers also favored Japan (with No. 2 Kyoto and No. 6 Tokyo), as well as Thailand (with No. 4 Chiang Mai and No. 5 Bangkok), awarding each country two finishers. The top contenders thrilled visitors on many levels. One fan proclaimed Kyoto “the most beautiful city in Japan because it has preserved the history and culture of the country.” Others appreciated its “laid-back, small-town feel” and cheered for the food: “Ramen and udon all day!”

Fastest gainer Seoul, South Korea, No. 10, rose five spots since 2023, earning raves for its energy: “There is something about all the hustle and bustle that is somewhat movie-level exciting,” wrote one fan. Readers also appreciated “clean and safe” Singapore (No. 13) and the tranquility, food, and romance of Ubud (No. 7). “Ubud is pure magic,” wrote one voter, “the only place I’d revisit again and again.”

Read on to find out how Udaipur, also the 2023 champion, bested them all.

"There is something about all the hustle and bustle that is somewhat movie-level exciting."

T+L reader, about Seoul, South Korea

World's Best Awards 2024

The Winner

Udaipur, India

<p>Sean3810/Getty Images</p>

Sean3810/Getty Images

“History seeps everywhere,” wrote one fan extolling repeat winner Udaipur, a walled city on Lake Pichola in northwestern India’s Rajasthan state. Cradled by the green hills of the surrounding Aravalli Range, the City of Lakes famously hosts some of the country’s most striking palaces. This includes Lake Palace on an island amid Lake Pichola. On its shores, City Palace, a 16th-century complex that has expanded over 400 years, now showcasing 11 palaces and a museum filled with paintings, sculptures, and royal artifacts including silver elephant jewelry for ceremonial processions. Udaipur, as one voter summed it up, “will further enrich you in understanding India.”

The Full List

1. Udaipur, India

Reader Score: 91.75

2. Kyoto, Japan

WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Reader Score: 91.49

3. Hoi An, Vietnam

Reader Score: 90.67

4. Chiang Mai, Thailand

Reader Score: 90.64

5. Bangkok, Thailand

WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Reader Score: 90.27

6. Tokyo, Japan

WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Reader Score: 90.04

7. Ubud, Indonesia

Reader Score: 90.00

8. Kolkata, India

Reader Score: 88.60

9. Jaipur, India

Reader Score: 88.23

10. Seoul, South Korea

Reader Score: 87.85

11. Siem Reap, Cambodia

Reader Score: 87.31

12. Shanghai, China

Reader Score: 87.30

13. Singapore

Reader Score: 87.21

14. Mumbai, India

Reader Score: 87.18

15. Taipei, Taiwan

Reader Score: 86.86

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