Different cities across the world have developed over millennia. While some act as economic centres of the world, others offer wide expanses of green in the heart of an urban metropolis. This list of the largest cities in the world is ranked based on population, according to 2020 data provided by the World Population Review. If you’re wondering which is the world’s largest city, it’s Tokyo, Japan. 

Largest Cities Of The World

1. From A Village To A Business Centre, The World’s Biggest City: Tokyo

The World’s Biggest City: Tokyo
Cherry blossoms at Meguro Canal in Tokyo

The capital of Japan is the largest city in the world. Tokyo has been Japan’s business and political hub for a long time. Tokyo was originally a small fishing village and was later given its current name, meaning the Eastern Capital by Emperor Meiji (the 122nd Emperor of Japan who ruled from 3 February 1867 to 30 July 1912). Spread over 8,547 square kilometres, Tokyo is also one of the world’s most populated cities with a population of 37,393,128 as of 2020, according to the World Population Review. Tokyo also has a lot of tourist destinations like the Imperial Palace, Senso-ji Temple, Ginza District, Ueno Park and Zoo, and more. The world’s largest city, Tokyo also has a good quality of life, culture, and good standards of safety. 

2. Beauty In History: Delhi

Delhi, places to visit in north india
India Gate, Delhi

The capital city of India is filled with culture, monuments, and history. Covering an expanse of around 1,484 square kilometres, Delhi’s population comes up to 30,290,936. Delhi has a well-developed infrastructure and the Indian government headquartered there is one of the biggest employers in the city. But Delhi also has one of the worst air qualities in India. In November 2019, the city was covered in a thick blanket of smog-causing detained air traffic. One of the largest cities in the world, Delhi also has a lot of historic landmarks like Qutub Minar, the Red Fort, Humayun’s Tomb, India Gate and more. 

3. Prosperous And Cultural: Shanghai

Shanghai Yuyuan Garden
Shanghai Yuyuan Garden

With a population of 27,058,480, Shanghai ranks as the third-largest city in the world. Shanghai has one of the busiest ports in the world with thriving industries like transportation, finance, manufacturing, technology and more. Situated on China’s central coast, Shanghai is a cultural and financial centre. The city offers a variety of activities to do including art galleries and exhibitions, museums, traditional temples and pagodas. Tourist attractions of Shanghai include Yu Garden, the Jade Buddha Temple, the Bund, the world-class Shanghai Museum and many more. 

4. As Diverse As It Gets: São Paulo

The Museu de Arte de São Paulo
The Museu de Arte de São Paulo

Brazil is one of the biggest countries in the world and São Paulo with a population of 22,043,028 is among the largest cities of the world. Along with being the financial capital of Brazil, São Paulo also exports raw sugar, soybean and coffee. A culturally vibrant city, São Paulo is ornate with a range of architectural marvels of colonial, neo-Gothic and modern influences. The city protects its Guarani tribe and declares their lands indigenous. São Paulo is also home to 1.5 million Japanese residents and holds one of the biggest Gay Pride Parades in Latin America. 

5. Baroque Buildings And Tacos: Mexico City

Scenic view at Basilica of Guadalupe with Mexico city skyline at sunset, Mexico
Basilica of Guadalupe, Mexico City

Locations like Museo Nacional de Antropologia, Palacio de Bellas Artes and Basilica de Santa Maria de Guadalupe attract a lot of tourists to Mexico City. A treasure trove of Pre-Columbian architecture and artefacts, Mexico City is the another largest city in the world that is also famous for its delicious food culture. With a population of 21,782,378, Mexico stands tall as one of the largest cities in the world. The city has a lower cost of living compared to other cities. It’s also home to a large population of immigrants and expats. The city’s Spanish rule has contributed to the making of the new city while buildings from the colonial period and Baroque structures make for historic centres. 

Also Read: The Best Tacos In Mexico You Will Ever Have

6. Financial And Entertainment Capital: Dhaka

Port of Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Port of Dhaka, Bangladesh.

The capital city of Bangladesh has a population of 21,005,860. Dhaka is the centre of culture and trade with its proximity to the Buriganga River. Among the largest cities in the world, Dhaka is also believed to be one of the cities with the worst traffic. Popular tourist attractions include Ahsan Manzil, Shankaria Bazaar, Lalbagh Fort, National Museum, and more. 

7. City Of Ruins And Culture: Cairo

Cairo, Egypt
Cairo, Egypt

Also known as the City Of Dead, Cairo ironically has a birth rate of 30 births per 1000 people. The holy city, on the banks of the Nile river has a population of 20,900,604. Cairo is home to historical wonders like the Great Pyramid, Citadel, the Hanging Church, and more. Cairo also represents an amalgamation of new and old with monuments and skyscrapers. These monuments date back to the Roman, Arab and Turkish eras. 

8. Since Ancient Times: Beijing

The ancient royal palaces building of the Forbidden City in Beijing, China
The ancient royal palaces building of the Forbidden City in Beijing, China

One of the oldest and largest cities in the world, Beijing is home to a population of 20,462,610. There are around seven UNESCO Heritage sites in the city like the Great Wall, the Temple of Heaven, the Forbidden City, the Ming Tombs, the Summer Palace, the Grand Canal and the Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian. The city served as the capital for around 700 years and was earlier called Peking. The city also has a  problem with air pollution and waste management. 

Green Cities Are Happy Cities

The largest cities of the world have been developing in areas like infrastructure and technology but are also dealing with a lot of environmental issues like pollution. This is also a sign for us to be more aware of how our lifestyle and choices are affecting nature. It is the best time to adopt more sustainable ways. 


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