The World’s Busiest Cities to Visit

COVID-19, Destinations, Mexico, Trip Inspiration

The thought of crowds or heavy foot traffic might justifiably cause many of us to shudder, given the continued prevalence of COVID-19 at the moment. But the vaccinations keep coming and the case numbers keep dropping, so perhaps the crowds will be calling in the very near future. These cities are some of the most densely populated according to the United Nations. (By the way, they’re ordered from least dense to most dense.)

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

What can be said that this photo doesn’t say already? The views, the beaches, and the bustle of Rio de Janeiro are practically unmatched. Copacabana Beach in particular will be busy to the brim and beautiful no matter when you go.

Istanbul, Turkey

This former capital of the Byzantine Empire houses the above masterpiece of architectural antiquity: the Hagia Sophia. Many of us would visit the city for that beauty alone, and the construction-laden hills that surround it make the area all the more attractive.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires is the capital of Argentina and of course a hectic commercial hub for the country. It sits on the coast just past the end of the Uruguay River, across from Uruguay itself. Its eclectic European architecture and cultural vibrance make it well worth visiting.

New York-Newark, U.S.A.

Everybody knows the NYC metropolitan area is tightly packed, and that’s partly why it got hit so hard early in the pandemic. It’s a bit of a ghost town at the moment, but once those vaccinations are sufficiently widespread I’m sure the place will return to bustling life and color.

Cairo, Egypt

It seems necessary here to first take in this extraordinary view: we see the pyramids at Giza (built during the Old Kingdom of Ancient Egypt 4500 years ago), right next to a seemingly endless web of modern buildings. The mere fact that we can see this from above is mind-blowing. By the way: Cairo is the 9th most densely populated metropolitan area in the world.

Mexico City, Mexico

Mexico City is a far cry from the usual Mexico trip to Cancun, but it’s something many of us would likely prefer. The juxtaposition of the ancient Aztec capital Tenochtitlan and the Renaissance-style architecture with the commercial hustle and bustle of modern life is more than enough to entice. So much of Mexico goes largely unvisited by foreigners, and the capital is no great exception. So why not go?

Shanghai, China

My first memory of Shanghai is from the scene in Mission Impossible 3 where Tom Cruise swings from one building to another…using a “fulcrum”. The city is even more packed today than it was then, and it is certainly a tourist destination. I mean, do you see that photo?

Mumbai, India

Mumbai is not only the fourth most densely populated city in the world but also the wealthiest of all Indian cities, with a total wealth of approximately $280 billion USD. The above photo is a small testament to the daily chaos.

Tokyo, Japan

Although Tokyo’s population is actually beginning to decline, it remains at the top of the densest cities list, with nearly 39 million residents. This past year aside, there is actually an influx of foreign residents, so perhaps the population won’t be reduced so quickly as previously expected.

These cities are all waiting on the pandemic to end so they can jump back into hectic living color. The music, the voices, even the mere footsteps! It’ll all be back sooner than we can imagine.

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