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Added by Film Ninja on 3 Nov 2013 05:12
719 Views 5 Comments
16
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Biggest Cities I Visited

The big cities I've visited in order of population according to "metropolitan area". Comments about these cities may be outdated in some cases as I may have last visited them decades ago. Updated with new 2011 numbers from: www.citymayors.com/statistics/largest-cities-mayors-1.html
Sort by: Showing 49 items
Rating: List Type:
21 163 000
Just a massive city. There is something for everyone here. Historical Aztec relics, great cuisine, tourist traps, shopping, nightlife. I didn't find it to be very dangerous, but people say there is a lot of crime.
20 090 000
I've been here many times. I still favor the old hookers and strip clubs times square over the new version, which has become some kind of evil tourist hell hole. The city in general is of course the capital of the world! If you don't love New York, you probably won't love any city on earth.
15 546 000
When I was there in the mid 2000s, it was easily the most modern and educated part of Egypt. Familiar shops, some world class museums and good restaurants were the highlights. Of course the city has since become a cesspool of random violent mobs, beheadings and church burnings. Tourists who still risk this place can look forward to being robbed by crooked taxi drivers and merchants right from the airport onwards.
12 890 000
Certainly one of the more scenic cities in America. I just found it to be too spread out and all freeways everywhere. Every restaurant I went to was great though.
11 769 000
Well, what can you say about Paris? The tourist attractions are world famous, of course! Whether that makes you want to go see them or avoid them depends on your tolerance for long lines. The restaurants are generally terrible, despite what you would expect. The only decent food I ever had was a Crepe from a street vendor. Everything in Paris is very expensive, especially the hotels tend to be pretty small and crappy unless you spend a mint. Try to use the Metro to avoid endless traffic jams.
11 297 000
Typical German industrial city - not unlike the other ones clustered around it. There's a nice big Cathedral if you're into that.
8 770 000
One of my favorite cities for sure. There are lots of interesting buildings from all eras of American architecture to look at. Watching a game at Wrigley Field or even Soldier Field is a rare historical experience, now that most of the old parks are gone. Even though Chicago is still huge, it just doesn't seem as overwhelming or disorienting as most of the other cities here, but rather feels a bit more accessible.
5 470 000
Everything I hate about big cities is here. Crooked cabs 90% of the time, salesmen shouting at you to sell you garbage products, bad restaurants everywhere, zero nightlife. I looked at the Petronas Towers for 2 hours and then there was nothing else to do! The best thing you can do in this city is find a way outta there as fast as possible like I did. There are some nice places in Malaysia, but this city is worth nothing more than a flyover!
5 345 000
Somehow I have inexplicably attended the opening events of all the major stadiums in Philly. The city is a step up from typical American cities because of the endless amount of historical attractions. Unfortunately the stupid liberty bell is now an all day event thanks to long lines - and not really worth it. For some reason most of Philly turns into a ghost town when the sun goes down, I guess there is no nightlife, and lots of crime. This happens in most American cities of this size.
5 300 000
Madrid is just a big city with decent restaurants and mediocre attractions compared to most of the great European cities. Other than the big time soccer stadiums, there are much more interesting places to visit all around the rest of Spain.
5 300 000
I've always enjoyed visiting the many historical monuments throughout DC. I can't say I've actually done anything else there. Apparently there is a lot of crime outside the main tourist areas, but I never ventured there. Usually my hotels were in Arlington outside of town.
5 100 000
Like Chicago, Toronto is just small enough to get around. Yet, you can find anything you want there. They have major league sports teams, world class restaurants, Broadway style theaters and all the nightlife you could ever ask for. The bonus is, it's much safer than any American cities of this size.
4,919,000
I spent all my time in Miami Beach and its basically a strip of massive hotel resorts. Amazing places to stay, but obviously expensive. Nobody ever recommended visiting downtown Miami while I was there.
4 051 000
Somewhat of a big boring city when you compare it to the rest of Italy. This might be some kind of fashion mecca, but that doesn't interest me.
3 903 000
I can't say I've spent much time in downtown Detroit. I saw various huge vacant buildings and badly maintained roads, but not much else. There is a nice post-apocalyptic vibe to the area.
3 636 000
Montreal is especially notable for great nightlife and great restaurants. I never particularly enjoyed visiting the downtown area there, and the Canadian Grand Prix is by far my least favorite Formula 1 venue. There is a charming "Old Montreal" area but obviously it doesn't hold a candle to "Really Old" European cities.
3 555 000
An embarrassment of riches. I spent all my time looking at one historical masterpiece after another! The Colosseum, the Vatican, the Sistine Ceiling, along with countless other Renaissance paintings and buildings. You can't really go wrong with Italian food either. I've often heard fellow travelers complain about Italian people, and if there is any place that I've seen a problem, it's in Rome. Try to ignore the locals and spend time among other tourists if you want to socialize.
3 5000 000
I found Atlanta to be yet another typical big American city because all I saw were the typical roadside chain restaurants and box stores. Eventually I got down to Savannah Georgia (which is too small to make this list), and it was much more charming and "southern" than Atlanta.
2 717 000
Unlike most of Europe, Frankfurt is mainly a modern city, due to WWII destruction. There are a few nice restaurants and beer gardens like anywhere in Germany. I guess the main claim to fame is the Apfelwein district of Sachsenhausen, located by the Main River. Mmmm, apfelwein!
2 700 000
Like Miami, I can't say I ever really went to downtown Tampa. The beaches are just big and completely tourist oriented. Last time I checked the hotel prices were in the "ridiculous" range, as in one night cost about the same as a whole week in a Caribbean resort. Nearby Busch Gardens is a decent alternative to the mega-parks of Disney World.
2 670 000
I went to Baltimore during its "optomistic" phase, which was the few years after they built up the waterfront and Camden Yards, but before Cal Ripkin retired. Heck, they had a CFL team and the writers of The Wire were still homocide cops back then. Unfortunately, all Baltimore is known for these days is record breaking murder rates and being on fire!
2 600 000
Giza is famous only for the Great Pyramid and the Sphynx. When visiting these attractions, prepare yourself for the worst collection of scammers and criminals you will ever find assembled in one place. The rest of Giza is pretty much a dirty, overpriced section of Cairo. To be honest, if you visit any of the thousands of other pyramids in Egypt or around the world, you will not be missing much.
2 564 000
The shiny new avenues with fancy American shops and Pollo Loco restaurants contrast with the epic slums on the outskirts of the city. Basically this is a metaphor for all of Latin America.
2 330 000
Gotta say I didn't get much out of this place because I only stopped by for a Schnitzel one day. I was frustrated because my rental car could only go 135 km/h on the autobahn and I wanted to go so much faster!
2 250 000
Cleveland is nicer than it's reputation implies, but it lacks any well known attractions, other than the overrated Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Basically box stores and chain restaurants and a lowly downtown that nobody visits.
2 155 000
Like the other Ohio cities, Cinci is mostly a forgettable cookie cutter American city. In fact I don't actually remember anything about it other than wondering if the people there had a southern accent like in Kentucky, or a regular Ohio accent like the rest of the state.
2 120 000
Extremely scenic city thanks to Pacific Ocean in front and Rocky Mountains behind. Can't say I really enjoyed anything about the actual city of Vancouver. Seemed like a typical big city with excessive amount of junkies. If I ever go back, I'll be heading straight out to the mountains.
2 055 000
Admittedly I never saw Orlando. Basically everyone knows Orlando as the airport to get to Disney World. I'd say Disney World itself is worth a visit once in your life, as a child. Obviously it is massively expensive and annoying and crowded, but it's still the ultimate theme park!
2 010 000
Ah all the great times I've had in Juarez! Never mind the police were actually mafia hit men (back when I was there), or there were beheadings and mass shootouts on a daily basis, or traffic would be held up by donkey carts, the place still had its charms. It's always interesting to hang around in a place where anyone could just walk over and blow your head off with no repercussions - really keeps you on your toes.
1 866 000
This place has evolved IMMENSELY since my first visit. It used to be the dirty city full of mob money, then it became the adult playground full of entertainment attractions, now it has become an exclusive snobfest that celebrates the huge wealth gap in the country. People here show off their fake plastic bodies and their real wealth like I've never seen anywhere in the world. The city has always been a soulless adult Disney World, but now it has finally forgotten to be fun! Since there are casinos all over North Ameirca now, I ask you, what's the point?
1 740 000
The slightly strange side of Europe, with a giant molecule building and that not-quite French, German or Dutch culture. Brussels will always be an afterthought among the more iconic Paris/London/Amsterdam loop, but it still has nice old time charm and good food.
1 715 000
Very impressive for this size of American city. The downtown is quite nice and people actually go there to shop or eat. Nightlife is limited if there is no music festival or sporting event in town. Of course Indy Motor Speedway is one of the world's greatest sports venues and it doesn't disappoint. Go see a race there if you can!
1 665 000
This appeared to be the Pittsburgh (USA) or Hamilton (Canada) of France. Lots of factories. After taking a look around, I shrugged and drove to Nice instead.
1 617 000
I must have driven around every street in Turin, and I swear it all looks identical. The north of Italy is a bit more industrial and boring than places like Florence or Rome. If you happen to be touring Italy for the history, you can probably just skip right past both Turin and Milan, and head directly to Venice.
1 572 000
Yet another example of a city that went through tough economic times, let their downtown become a cesspool, and is now desperately trying to revitalize itself. Since the jobs just aren't there, it will take a while.
1 540 000
I can't really think of any redeeming qualities for this city. I didn't see any attractions and the people I met were generally pretty rude. I'm not sure how Cleveland became the city Americans all laugh at, but I like to imagine that Cleveland people laugh at Columbus!
1 470 000
I wish I could say this town lives up to its reputation as a world class dining destination, but I didn't have even one good meal there! I tried everything from the finest restaurants right down to the most sleazy street meat and it was all terrible except for one Chinese fast food joint in the biggest mall. There are some nice tourist attractions to see if you care about colonial era Asia. I'm so proud to say I was on the first trip with the brand new funicular that climbs Mount Penang! Apparently the train was eaten by feral dogs a week later and shut down indefinitely. Hopefully they fixed it since then, because there is a great view up there.
1 370 000
Let's face it, this place is a dump! If you actually spend time in this run down city full of seedy bars and unnamed streets, you probably don't know what country you're in. Go visit the surrounding rainforests, volcanoes and beaches instead!
1 187 000
I really don't remember Rotterdam much because I was there as a young kid. I did have some nice seafood and spent a while looking at big ships out in the North Sea.
1 135 000
A very scenic and historic city that's just the right size to walk around. Spain is unique in the world because it had eras with Ancient Roman, Muslim, Catholic and Fascist rulers over the years. This makes for some interesting art and architecture mixtures throughout the country and in cities like Seville.
1 131 000
Now we are really getting a bit small for my taste. There is plenty of museum and government mumbo jumbo to see, but everything else is limited. You only get one major sports team, a handful of restaurants or stores, but at least there is an abundance of bars. The best time to visit is during Winterlude or Tulip Festival because there is actually something to do.
1 100 000
965 000
I guess if you like watches or banks, this is the place for you! I found Zurich quite boring myself but I was basically killing time there until I went to the Alps. It doesn't help that Zurich is one of the most expensive places on earth.
943 000
894 000
717 000
Quebec's capital city is as close to Europe as you'll ever find on the other side of the pond. The old part of the city has a pre-automobile layout and plenty of non-English chatter to create this European illusion. This is a great Canadian place to visit, unless of course you are actually from Europe, in which case you could be underwhelmed.
675 000
Box stores, chain restaurants, mediocre college sports, nothing open past 10 PM. We're scraping the bottom of the barrel here. Now you know why I risked my life hanging out in Juarez!

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