Best Cities to Visit in the UK

There are many reasons to visit the UK, and the stunning countryside scenery is one of them. However, the cities can be as wonderful as the countryside if you know where to go. UK cities have so much to offer and are an incredibly diverse destination for the modern traveler

Here are the best cities to visit in the UK that you need to add to your must-visit list today. 

25.) Norwich

historic town houses at night on quay side in norwich, norfolk

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  • Location: South East England
  • Population: 132,512
  • Famous Landmark: Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery

Norwich is the most preserved medieval city in the UK. As a result, you will find a rich history within the city.

A fantastic mix of historic and modern buildings, Norwich makes a great travel destination in the UK.

24.) Inverness

Inverness,scotland,uk

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  • Location: East Coast of Scotland
  • Population: 46,870
  • Famous Landmark: Inverness Castle

Inverness is nestled within the Scottish Highlands and is a UK city that is overlooked by many. Inverness has so much to offer despite being a small city.

Here you will find an array of wonderful food made with fresh local ingredient. Alongside the stunning scenery, history, and food, the area is renowned for its famous whiskeys and craft ales.

23.) Canterbury

medieval half-timber houses and stour river in canterbury old town, kent, england

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  • Location: South East England
  • Population: 43,432
  • Famous Landmark: Canterbury Cathedral

Canterbury is one of the best cities in the UK to visit due to its countryside and impressive heritage and culture.

Whether you visit the world-famous Canterbury Cathedral or take in the beautiful architecture, this is a UK city that will tug at your heartstrings from the moment that you arrive.

22.) Kingston-Upon-Hull

kingston upon hull

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  • Location: Northern England
  • Population: 284,321
  • Famous Landmark: Humber Bridge

Also known as just Hull, this is another UK city that you should consider visiting.

Visit one of the many free museums scattered across the city, dine out in one of the delightful local restaurants, and have a pint or two in a local British pub. Hull has something for everyone.

21.) Bournemouth

the sun rises over the sea at bournemouth illuminating the clouds and the sea

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  • Location: South Coast of England
  • Population: 187,503
  • Famous Landmark: Bournemouth Pier

Bournemouth has one of the UK’s best beaches with a seven-mile stretch of unspoiled coastline, making Bournemouth an ideal location for a family day out at the seaside.

If you are unlucky enough to experience some true British weather, check out the museums and amusement options nearby. These are conveniently indoors or under roofs, protecting you from the elements.

20.) Winchester

winchester cathedral england uk europe

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  • Location: South of England
  • Population: 123,879
  • Famous Landmark: Winchester College

Winchester is a historic cathedral city and is one of the oldest settlements in Britain. It used to be the ancient capital of the Kingdom of England and, as a result, is rich in history, myths, and legends.

Winchester is easily accessible even if you go for a day visit when staying in London. Winchester is only an hour away from the capital.

19.) Portsmouth

yachts at a harbor in portsmouth, england

skyearth / Shutterstock

  • Location: South of England
  • Population: 238,137
  • Famous Landmark: Spinnaker Tower

Portsmouth is a vibrant city located in the south of England.

Learn about the city’s local marine and navy heritage, indulge some shopping or a bite to eat, or take a stroll along the miles of beautiful waterfront.

18.) Nottingham

nottingham council house and a fountain front shot at twilight

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  • Location: Middle of England
  • Population: 289,301
  • Famous Landmark: Chinese Bell Tower

Nottingham is the home of the legendary Robin Hood. It’s a city that any history buff will love.

This city is full of culture and art with plenty of museums and galleries to explore. You can dine at Michelin star restaurants, shop in independent shops, and buy local produce in this traditional market town.

17.) Durham

durham castle and cathedral on their rock above the city, and framwellgate bridge spanning the river wear, england, uk

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  • Location: North East England
  • Population: 65,549
  • Famous Landmark: Durham Cathedral

Durham is the home of the marvelous Durham Catherdal, which is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the UK.

Durham is a great place to relax and enjoy the tranquility of the surrounding countryside. You may even feel like you’ve stepped back in time when entering this beautiful idyllic city.

16.) Chester

chester : england

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  • Location: North West England
  • Population: 79,645
  • Famous Landmark: Chester City Walls

Located on the west of England, Chester is an ancient city a cathedral over 1000 years old. You can walk the cities ancient walls. Some parts of the wall are over 2000 years old.

If history isn’t your thing, head to Chester Zoo to spend some time with an array of wonderful animals.

15.) York

york minster uk view from the city walls of the historic cathedral and tourist attraction

Mike Charles / Shutterstock

  • Location: North East England
  • Population: 198,051
  • Famous Landmark: Yorkminster

York’s medieval streets are rich with history and fun.

The Shambles is possibly the most famous landmark in York and is one of the best-preserved medieval streets in the entire world. Some people say that Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley was based on The Shambles. The street is full of potion, wand, and Hogwarts school supply shops. It’s a Harry Potter fan’s dream!

14.) Leeds

town hall, leeds,

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  • Location: North of England
  • Population: 474,632
  • Famous Landmark: Royal Armouries

Leeds is in the North of England in West Yorkshire. The city is full of beautiful gardens and parks, so you can get your fix of green space even in the city.

Leeds is ideally located so that the rest of Yorkshire can be explored easily, which is why it is known as ‘the gateway to Yorkshire.’

13.) Brighton

brighton, east sussex, uk

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  • Location: South of England
  • Population: 229,700
  • Famous Landmark: Royal Brighton Pavilion

Brighton is a city full of personality and creativity. Spend your time here exploring the pebbles beach, famous pier, or the Brighton Pavilion.

Brighton is a colorful, vibrant city that will leave a lasting impression.

12.) Cardiff

norman keep castle, daffodils, cardiff castle, wales, uk

Billy Stock / Shutterstock

  • Location: South of Wales
  • Population: 335,145
  • Famous Landmark: Cardiff Castle

Cardiff is the capital of Wales. Although it is a small city, it is jam-packed with attractions and things to do.

Enjoy a local rugby match at the stadium, have a tipped in a local pub with the friendly locals, or visit one of Cardiff’s historic sites for a spot of culture.

11.) Cambridge

tourists on punt trip (sightseeing with boat) along river cam near kings college in the city of cambridge

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  • Location: East of England
  • Population: 123,900
  • Famous Landmark: Mathematical Bridge

Visit Cambridge and explore one of the world’s top universities, and have a go at punting on the river.

A must visit is Fitzbillies on Trumpington Street, where you will get to taste possibly the best Chealse bun of your life.

10.) Oxford

overview from a church's tower with the Bodleian Libraryand All Souls College,Oxfordshire, England, UK

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  • Location: South of England
  • Population: 154,600
  • Famous Landmark: Radcliffe Camera

Oxford is easily accessible by train or bus from London, making it one of the best cities in the UK to visit.

With a city full of so much history, it’s not surprising that it’s also a city full of ghosts. You can learn more about the ghostly side of Oxford by joining in one of the walking ghost tours.

9.) Birmingham

Sunset view of brick buildings alongside a water channel in the central Birmingham, England

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  • Location: Middle of England
  • Population: 1.086 million
  • Famous Landmark: Hall of Memory

Birmingham is one of the fastest-growing cities in the UK with population numbers rapidly rising each year.

The city is home to a canal network that flows right through the city center. It contains some stunning walk along the towpaths.

8.) Liverpool

Statues of The Beatles - Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and John Lennon - with the Port of Liverpool building in the background, in the city of Liverpoo

chrisdorney / Shutterstock

  • Location: North West England
  • Population: 552,267
  • Famous Landmark: Royal Albert Dock

Liverpool is best known as the birthplace of the Beetles. However, there is so much more to the city than being the home of the famous four.

The Liverpool Tate is located on the docks alongside other museums and galleries. Liverpool is a foodie paradise, and the nightlife is booming.

7.) Manchester

shambles square is a square in manchester, england,

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  • Location: North of England
  • Population: 510,746
  • Famous Landmark: Manchester Town Hall

Manchester is a great northern city full of creativity and vibrancy.

The Northern Quater is a must-visit as it is full of street art, galleries, independent restaurants, and cafes and local bars serving craft beer and cocktails.

6.) Glasgow

glasgow city chambers and george square in glasgow, scotland

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  • Location: Scotland’s Western Lowlands
  • Population: 598,830
  • Famous Landmark: People’s Palace and Winter Gardens

Glasgow is a city full of personality with plenty to keep you entertained. From galleries and museums to historic landmarks and fine dining, Glasgow has it all.

Local artist Charles Rennie Mackintosh was a pioneering Glaswegian architect and designer. Glasgow is the only place in the world that has such a high concentration of Mackintosh designed work and architecture.

5.) Newcastle Upon Tyne

bridges in newcastle upon tyne (england)

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  • Location: North East England
  • Population: 268,064
  • Famous Landmark: The Tyne Bridge

Located in northeast England, Newcastle upon Tyne is a beautiful city full of culture, architecture and friendly welcoming locals. Enjoy a stroll on Newcastle Quayside, visit the many city galleries and take in the stunning Georgian architecture.

The nightlife is pretty good too. With countless bar and night clubs, Newcastle is a place to let your hair down and have some fun.

4.) Bristol

Bristol Cityscape, natural colours

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  • Location: West of England
  • Population: 535,907
  • Famous Landmark: The Clifton Suspension Bridge

This is a city that is fiercely independent and proud of it. Bristol is a hub for artists and creative types which can be seen in the colorful houses, street art, trendy coffee shops, and galleries.

Explore the historic Bristol docks, and stop in at the M-Shed a museum that documents Bristol’s story via film, photographs, personal stories, and objects.

3.) Bath

bath, england steaming roman baths in winter

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  • Location: West of England
  • Population: 88,859
  • Famous Landmark: Roman Baths

Bath is known as one of the most beautiful cities in the UK, and it is easy to see why. The city is home to some of the most impressive examples of Georgian architecture.

Bath is also home to some world-class museums, Roman history, and natural thermal spas.

2.) Edinburgh

Edinburgh skyline as seen from Calton Hill Edinburgh Dugald Stewart monument with Edinburgh Castle on background

CI Photos / Shutterstock

  • Location: East of Scotland
  • Population: 482,005
  • Famous Landmark: Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland. It is a city of literature, festivals, art, architecture, and food.

No one knows how to hold a festival quite like Edinburgh from the world-famous Fringe Festival to Edinburgh International Science Festival. There is a festival for everyone.

1.) London

big ben and houses of parliament, london, uk

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  • Location: South of England
  • Population: 8.136 million
  • Famous Landmark: Houses of Parliament

London is the capital of England and is a city that is fast-paced, diverse, and exciting. There are many attractions and activities from a ride on the London Eye, a night out at the theatre, or a river tour down the Thames. You’ll never be bored in London.

Try to fit as many of these places as possible next time you get to wander around the UK.

Best Cities to Visit in the UK

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