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Best long-haul city breaks

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Best long-haul city breaks

The ripple of Brexit has forced British travellers to rethink their long-haul city breaks. In this year's survey, your global city breaks are just as far-flung but they're better-value spots where the pound will go even further.

To help you plan your next trip we asked Which? members to rate the long-haul cities they had visited in the last year.

The top cities in Africa, Asia, Australasia, the Middle East and the Americas have been rated here. And the very best offer a combination of great hotels, fabulous cuisine and wonderful cultural attractions, not to mention value for money.

And to counter problems of overtourism, we've also included a new 'lack of crowds' rating to help you avoid the herd.

Book your next city break wisely, with our reviews of the best and worst travel agents and the best and worst escorted tour providers

The best long-haul cities, as voted by you
Destination Accommodation Food and drink Cultural attractions Shopping Lack of crowds Value for money City score
Kyoto - 89%
Cape Town 87%
Tokyo 87%
Boston 85%
Chicago 85%
Vancouver 85%
Washington D.C. 84%
Perth 83%
Sydney 83%
Melbourne 82%
Singapore 82%
New York 81%
Havana - - - - 79%
Seattle 78%
Bangkok 75%
Hong Kong 75%
Jaipur - 75%
San Francisco 75%
Toronto 74%
Ho Chi Minh City - 72%
Kuala Lumpur 72%
Buenos Aires 70%
Montreal 70%
Auckland 69%
Christchurch 69%
Beijing - - 68%
Hanoi - 67%
Abu Dhabi - - - - - 66%
Santiago - - - 66%
Delhi 65%
Dubai 63%
Las Vegas 58%
Los Angeles 57%
Miami 54%

Full features table

Using the table: Star ratings range from one to five. A dash (–) indicates we didn’t receive enough responses to provide a rating. Cultural sights and tourist attractions Includes range, quality and price of historic buildings, galleries, museums, parks and city tours. Ease of getting around Includes range of public transport options, ease of understanding transport-related maps/information/ transport ticket pricing systems, ease of walking/travelling between sights. Lack of crowds Includes number of tourists and queues at attractions. City score Based on a combination of overall satisfaction and how likely people are to recommend the city as a holiday destination.

Kyoto - best city break destination in Japan

Japan's ancient capital has more Unesco World Heritage sites than most countries, including heavenly temples and shrines, bamboo forests, gardens so artistic their influence stretches around the globe and historic streets lined with wooden architecture that will take you back to the Edo era. And there's nowhere better to view the fabled sakura (cherry blossom).

No wonder it was one of only two cities to score the full five stars for cultural sights and tourist attractions.

Kyoto is also good value. You can pay as little as £5 for an excellent bowl of ramen, or £200 plus for a multi-course culinary experience, but a mid-range meal is around £20.

Cape Town - best city break destination in South Africa

Mention Cape Town to anyone who has visited and you'll get a near-identical response: wow, what a beautiful city. And with a sapphire ocean, golden beaches and the majestic Table Mountain ever-visible, it really is.

But Cape Town is more than the proverbial pretty face. It's a city with a turbulent history to be explored; a place to shop or hike. From simple markets to old wine estates, it's also a city for tasting. And readers gave it a perfect five-star rating for food and drink. 

Cape Town is also remarkably affordable. Expect a pint of local beer to cost around £1.50, or £2.50 if you're after a draught craft brew.

Boston and Chicago - best city break destinations in the USA

Both Boston and Chicago are too often overshadowed by the Big Apple. But you know better, having rated them both higher than New York City, which is let down by the streams of tourists pouring through its streets in all seasons.

Boston is known for its historic Freedom Trail and fabulous New England cuisine, while Chicago offers eye-popping architecture and lakeside beaches. 

But both cities provide a big-hearted welcome and the ideal introduction to the once-mighty American dream. 

Vancouver - best city break destination in Canada

You'll fall for Vancouver's show-stopping beauty; snow-dusted mountains soaring high over gleaming glass skyscrapers, and a downtown core that boasts its very own temperate rainforest - Stanley Park - complete with wooded trails, hand-carved totem poles and spotless beaches.

The city celebrates year-round, from winter's International Wine Festival through to firework contests on the beach in summer, there's always something fun to do.

Add in a top dining scene, excellent galleries, museums and shopping and this cosmopolitan city stands alone. 

Perth and Sydney - best city break destinations in Australia

With an excellent 83% city score, Perth and Sydney were level-pegging in this year's survey, though readers found Perth less crowded and better value for money - perhaps not a surprise given that it's one of the world's most remote cities. 

That said, Qantas's new 17-hour non-stop flights from London have brought Perth's lively culinary scene and crowd-free beaches that bit closer.

Sydney is most renowned for the 21-square-mil blue-water harbour (above), but the city's greenery is just as remarkable. Thousands of acres of nature reserves and parks are spread across the city limits, beside a coastline of white-sand bays connected by cliff-top trails.

Our research

In July and August 2018, Which? members completed a survey about the city breaks they had taken outside of the UK and Europe in the past year. The results are based on 3,000 experiences. 

The city score is based on combination of overall satisfaction and the likelihood of recommending it to a friend or family member. Only cities that were reviewed by at least 30 people are included.

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