The city of the past, present and the future, Istanbul retains its spot among the Top 10 City Destinations in the World in 2019. Meanwhile New York falls out of the list. By Ritika Dixit

Combining the mysticism of the East and the modernity of the West, Istanbul surpasses New York in World’s Top 10 City Destinations in 2019. Istanbul was ranked ninth by the London-based Euromonitor International in the 2019 edition of Top 100 City Destinations. Turkey’s largest city welcomed 12.69 million foreign tourists in the first 10 months this year and will be hosting over 14.7 million tourists by the end.  

Meanwhile, New York, still the most popular urban destination in the US, has not been ranked among the top 10. Only 13 of the top 100 cities are in the US, probably owing to safety concerns among visitors, stringent policies and a travel ban under the Trump administration. 

The central hub of Istanbul not only connects Asia and Europe but also blends in cultures and people from all over the world. The airport launches flights to a total of 146 destinations, connecting the city to over 120 countries within three hours. The old city reflects the cultures of the numerous empires that once ruled here.

From Byzantine churches adorned with mosaics and frescoes to its magnificent mosques with sky-high minarets, Istanbul is steeped in history and culture. The Grand and Egyptian Spice Bazaars are one of the largest markets with over 3,000 shops, which offer leather goods, jewellery, carpets, souvenirs, furniture and what not! The city is also home to the biggest palace in Turkey, the Dolmabahce Palace. The Asian side of the city is a maze of cafes, bars and hip neighbourhoods. 

Some other cities on the list of Top 10 City Destinations by Euromonitor International include Hong Kong and Bangkok in the top two positions, followed by Macau, Singapore and London. The newest addition to the list is India’s capital Delhi with 15.2 million visitors followed by Kuala Lumpur at the tenth position with 14.1 million visitors. 

 Related: A Music Lover’s Guide To Istanbul