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11 May 2021

Best long-haul city breaks

Discover the best city breaks in the Americas, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Australasia; and the city in the top 10 with average hotel rates of just £52 a night
New orleans paddle steamer 485476
WhichEditorial team

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

The top cities 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 '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 Avg airfare Avg hotel rate Accommodation Food and drink Cultural attractions Lack of crowds Value for money City score
New Orleans £672 £158
Singapore £517 £103
Sydney £735 £116
Chicago £428 £148
Jaipur £581 £52
Tokyo £635 £113
Washington D.C. £557 £131
Cape Town £688 £98
Kyoto £615 £123
Seattle £513 £173 -
Vancouver £551 £172
Melbourne £701 £85
Perth £740 £75
San Francisco £497 £183
Bangkok £505 £51
Boston £403 £193
New York £383 £197
Shanghai £554 £67
Hanoi £579 £43
Hong Kong £565 £95
Nashville £667 £195 -
- 77%
Toronto £469 £138
Beijing £542 £69
Buenos Aires £743 £63
Ho Chi Minh City £526 £48
Christchurch £842 £84
Orlando £498 £110
Auckland £751 £106
Santiago £772 £75
Phnom Penh £530 £37
- 68%
Marrakech £201 £47
Abu Dhabi £391 £52 -
Montreal £540 £130
Kuala Lumpur £528 £45
Delhi £464 £52
Dubai £375 £74
Miami £486 £144
Los Angeles £463 £151
Las Vegas £583 £103
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.

New Orleans - best city break destination in the USA

More Caribbean in character than American, this southern city is a stew of thundering rhythms, lavish spectacle, and exquisite Creole and Cajun cuisine.

Music pours from every bar and street corner, from the up-tempo brass-band funk on Frenchman Street, to the traditional Dixieland jazz of tiny, crumbling Preservation Hall.

Readers rated its attractions the full five stars and gave New Orleans one of the highest city scores this survey has ever seen.

Video: New Orleans' top 5 sights

We round up the Big Easy's unmissable highlights

Singapore - best city break destination in Asia

Clean, safe and with a transport system that's the envy of the world, Singapore has fewer of the hassles you might encounter in other south-east Asian cities.

But don't let the organisation fool you, the fantastic food and all-hours, all-action street scenes the region is famous for are as good here as in Bangkok or Hanoi.

All this is joined by truly world-class hotels, high-end luxury shopping and a weather forecast that is usually tropical.

Sydney - best city break destination in Australia

Imagine Cape Town, Rio and New York rolled into one sun-soaked city, and the long flight Down Under seems well worth the effort.

Its views and wines rival Cape Town's, but Sydney's beaches fringe bathwater-warm waters (unlike the Western Cape's chilly seas).

And while the harbour views give Rio a run for its money, it also has the kind of blockbuster theatres and museums you'd find in New York.

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 £1.70 and a three-course dinner for two with wine around £20.

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 with its 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. 

Our research

In July 2019, 2,010 Which? members completed a survey about the city breaks they had taken outside of the UK and Europe in the past year.  

The city score is based on combination of overall satisfaction and the likelihood of recommending the city. Only cities reviewed by at least 30 people are included.