The 8 Best Cities to Visit in 2022

Dec, 28, 2021

The new year is here, and it’s as good a time as ever to think about where 2022 will take you. Thinking about a travel bucket list can be challenging, but it is well worth it when you start to actually cross off the places you have been dreaming of. I remember Moscow and Dubai being two of my top 5 places I really wanted to get to, and I actually visited them both on the same trip. Sitting down and actually thinking about all the places that there are in the world and which ones in particular you would like to visit leads to much more rewarding and enjoyable trips. So, for a little bit of inspiration, here are some places that I recommend adding to your 2022 travel bucket list.

Puebla, Mexico

Puebla is certainly not one of the most visited places in Mexico, but it definitely deserves its spot on this list. After traveling extensively around Mexico and visiting most of the country’s states, Puebla remains my pick as the best city in Mexico. From the best Mexican food to strikingly colorful architecture, Puebla is a really awesome place to visit. It is also the home of Cinco de Mayo, as the day gets its name from the Battle of Puebla, which took place on May 5.

This is especially easy for travelers from the United States and Canada, as Mexico City is only a short flight away. From Mexico City, you only need to take a two hour bus to get to Puebla. For more information on this incredible city, be sure to read my Puebla travel guide.

Budapest, Hungary

Budapest is easily one of my favorite cities in all of Europe. It is small enough to feel undiscovered but large enough to be a really exciting and lively place to be. The city is divided into two halves, Buda and Pest, and each side is very unique. Hungary is a country with a very interesting past, and there is no better way to learn about it than a visit to the many museums located all around Budapest.

This city is a bit tougher to get to for travelers from the Americas, as you will almost certainly have a layover or two. Still, it is absolutely worth it! I have been to Budapest several times and always discover something new and exciting to see or to do. The architecture is stunning, the people are very friendly, and the food is actually fantastic! For anything else you need to know, check out my Budapest travel guide.

Shanghai, China

As one of the biggest cities in the whole world, Shanghai is a sprawling jungle that can never actually be fully explored. I spent over a month in Shanghai exploring new parts of the city every day and still feel like I hardly scratched the surface. The public transportation system is probably the nicest I have ever used, the people are friendly, and some areas of the city are extremely nice and friendly to foreigners. Xintiandi is a fantastic example of this kind of place.

Getting to China can be tough, as the visa requirements to enter tend to be very strict. If you are from a country with strict requirements before you can get a Chinese visa, be sure to read my post about tips for getting tourist visas.It may seem like a straightforward process – and in many ways it is – but sometimes a little help can go a long way. Also, if you decide to visit Shanghai make sure you check out my Shanghai travel guide for everything you need to know for your next trip to China’s largest city.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

A lot of people think of Dubai as the Las Vegas of the Middle East. I personally don’t see it that way, as I think there is a lot more to it than just parties and gambling. In fact, most of the partying aspects that you might expect to find in Dubai don’t actually exist. The United Arab Emirates is a Muslim country, after all, and gambling and drinking are both either highly frowned upon or outright illegal depending on where you are.

To me, Dubai has a lot more to offer. The architecture is marvelous, the people are extremely friendly, there is no shortage of incredible things to do, and there is a lot of Arab culture to be explored. Dubai is one of the most sophisticated cities I have ever visited, and while I had high expectations, I was not left disappointed. This city is amazing, and I am dying to go back. I’ve even thought about living there for a while! Dubai is also the home of the world’s tallest building – the Burj Khalifa – and it is so tall that you can’t fit it in an iPhone picture from three blocks away. For more details about Dubai, check out my detailed Dubai travel guide. Also, if you’re making the trip to the United Arab Emirates, I encourage you to check out Abu Dhabi as well. It is just a couple hours from Dubai and is even ritzier. Check out my Abu Dhabi travel guide here.

Rome, Italy

Rome is a place unlike any other. There might not be a more historic city on the planet, and a walk through some of the popular parts of the cities throws you centuries back in time. Seeing things like the Coliseum and the Roman Steps is just really mind boggling, and these things are around almost every corner. If you’re not a history person, go for the food! The whole world loves Italian cuisine, and Rome is the beating heart of the country.

Italy is a very visitor-friendly country, too. The public transportation systems are very well-connected and easy to figure out. Taking trains around the country is easy, and Rome’s central location allows for the possibility of several day trips. I also highly recommend taking the time to really tour the Vatican City and book any desired tours ahead of time to make sure you have a spot. Very commonly, the line waiting for a tour of the Sistine Chapel is hours long. For day trip ideas from Rome, check out my post on the best cities to visit in Italy.

Sao Paulo, Brazil

Did you know that Sao Paulo is the biggest city in the Americas? I didn’t until I was planning our trip to Brazil, and the size of this city is indescribable. New York has nothing on Sao Paulo. The only place I have been that felt this big was Shanghai, which is the second or third biggest city in the entire world. Sao Paulo absolutely sprawls, and its diverse and unique neighborhoods deserve plenty of time to explore. Sao Paulo is incredibly diverse – in fact, it has the largest Japanese community in the world outside of Japan.

One of my favorite things about Sao Paulo was how easy it was to get around. The metro system is one of the two nicest ones I have used anywhere in the world (Shanghai was number one), and it can really get you anywhere you want to go. On top of that, Uber is very cheap in Brazil. (If you are worried about using Uber when traveling, be sure to read this post) Sao Paulo is also much safer than people give it credit for, as long as you stick to the right neighborhoods and don’t go out too late at night. Sao Paulo is one of my favorite places on earth, and if you want to plan a trip you should make sure you read my Sao Paulo travel guide.

Munich, Germany

Munich was one of the first European I ever visited, and it was definitely a great place to start. This city in southern Germany is the very definition of what many people think of when they imagine German culture. Oktoberfest is held here every year in September, and this region of Germany is what made Lederhosen, Oktoberfest, and several different kinds of sausage famous. The culture is much more traditional than it is further north in the country, making it a really fun city to experience. For more information on visiting Bavaria’s capital, be sure to read my Munich travel guide.

Munich is also one of the easiest places to get to on this whole list, as it has one of the two biggest airports in all of Germany. Getting direct flights here from all over the world is very easy, and often very cost-effective, too. If you are looking for a European getaway that won’t break the bank, Munich might be a great option. The Munich airport is a Lufthansa hub, which is one of the biggest factors in determining whether or not there will be cheap airfare. If you are looking for more tips on finding cheap airfare, be sure to check out this post.

Marrakech, Morocco

Morocco has been a famous tourist spot for a long time, but it is seeing a reinvigorated wave of tourists in recent years. The blend of Arab and Berber cultures makes this Saharan country a really unique place to experience. Morocco is one of the first places that people visit in the Arab world because of its comparably great infrastructure and safety compared to many other places. Also, as it is located on the northwestern tip of Africa and far away from the Middle East, people tend to see it as a much more stable place to plan a trip.

Going to Morocco can really be a once in a lifetime kind of trip if you plan it the right way. There are some really incredible things to see and do, and normally all at a great price. The food is outstanding, the desert activities like camping and camelback riding are always a blast, and the history is just everywhere. Marrakech is always a great starting point for a Morocco trip because it is fairly central, very busy, and very tourist friendly. From here, Casablanca, Rabat, Fez, and all of the other major cities are very accessible by train. For more information on visiting Marrakech, be sure to read my Marrakech travel guide.

Thanks for reading my post on the best cities to visit in 2022! Hopefully this list helps you to think about where you want to explore in 2022. If you have any questions, comment them below! We’ve got you covered.


Greg is a seasoned traveler who has lived in Mexico, Italy, China, and the United States. From New Year’s in Dubai to epic sunset hikes in Panama, his journeys have taken him to almost 50 countries all around the world.

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Greg | The Author

Greg is a seasoned traveler who has lived in Mexico, Italy, China and the U.S. From New Year’s in Dubai to epic sunset hikes in Panama, his journeys have taken him to almost 50 countries.

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