Most cities in the world are bustling spaces with thriving businesses, people constantly on the move to get from one place to another and traffic snarls. Although most cities never seem to press the pause button, there are some that never stop. These would count as the busiest cities in the world. However, if you ask us what’s the busiest city in the world or what is the busiest city in the US – that would be a tough call to take. Much goes into rating the busiest city in the world, so zeroing in on one particular city as the busiest city is difficult.
That being said, the busiest city in the world or the busiest city in USA is judged according to several criteria. One of the major factors in determining what’s the busiest city in the world is the population, followed by the average working hours. Other factors include the number of entrepreneurs, attractions, educational institutions, and gyms.
Table of contents
New York City
If you’re wondering what is the busiest city in the US, a visit to New York City will give you your answer. The most densely populated city in the United States is a melting pot of cultures with a heady mix of nationalities. Apart from the huge population, the city is also big on attractions with a huge footfall of travelers throughout the year. Some of the world’s most visited tourist attractions are within the city.
The top things to do in New York City range from museums to Central Park, shopping districts, and iconic landmarks. One of the busiest pedestrian intersections in the world, the Broadway Theater District, is also within the city. If you are visiting New York City, finding a place to stay is easy. Whether it’s the best spa hotels in New York City or the best hotel pools in New York City, you’ll find accommodations to suit your budget.
Home to the headquarters of the United Nations and the second-highest number of billionaires, the city is often referred to as the world’s financial, media, and cultural capital. It aptly dons the moniker ‘the city that never sleeps’ as you can look forward to 24/7 service. With so much going on in this city, it’s no wonder it ranks among the busiest cities in the world. And we’re sure it answers your question of what is the busiest city in the US.
China’s capital city, Beijing, is the second-largest Chinese city in terms of the urban population. In a country with the highest population in the world, you can imagine what the second most populated city would be like. Besides bustling with people, the nation’s cultural, educational, and political center is also home to the largest state-owned companies. It also stands out as the ‘billionaire capital of the world’ with the highest number of billionaires.
As one of the oldest cities in the world, there is plenty to see and do in this city. Another reason for the increased activity is the tourists that visit each year. Beijing ranks as one of the most important tourist destinations in the world. While one of the top things to do in Beijing is to visit the Great Wall, you’ll find much more in this city to keep you busy.
Apart from the large number of tourists that visit each year, Beijing also has a big student population, with over 91 universities. Citizens in the city work for an average of 2,096 hours per year with just about five days of paid leave. Many other Asian countries on our list of busiest cities in the world have similar working hours.
The island city-state of Singapore may not be a sprawling metropolis like the busiest city in USA, but it punches far above its weight when it comes to things to do here. Over the years, the tiny country has added plenty of accolades to its repertoire. From standing out as one of the most peaceful countries in the world to being in the top five safest cities in the world, Singapore has made its mark.
However, these are not the only factors contributing to the city’s growing popularity as a travel destination. A commitment to the environment with mind-blowing green spaces, futuristic architecture, lip-smacking cuisine, and other fascinating attractions bring in the crowds.
In addition to this, the city also attracts a large business clientele as it is a major financial and shipping hub. As with many of the busiest cities on our list, Singapore is also a melting pot of cultures, with various nationalities calling the city home. The multiracial city has the third greatest population density in the world.
Standing amongst the highest capital cities in the world, Bogota in Colombia also stands out as the busiest city in South America. As one of the largest cities in the world, Bogota is the political, administrative, and industrial center of the country. The city also has one of the highest working hours per year, keeping its workers pretty much on their toes for a whopping average of 2,358 hours per year. Not surprising, given that it is the financial and commercial heart of Colombia.
The former Spanish colony has its fair share to boast of when it comes to tourist attractions. Exploring wooden cathedrals, quaint neighborhoods, and gorgeous colonial buildings make up some of the top things to do in Bogota. Despite being off the beaten track, the city sees a good number of tourists adding to its repertoire of being the busiest city in Latin America.
Dubai, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates, is its most populous city and one of the fastest-growing cities in the world. The former fishing village has metamorphosed into one of the most visited cities in the world with many attractions to show off.
As such, travelers from all over descend on Dubai to marvel at its many modern attractions. While the Burj Khalifa is one of its most prominent landmarks, you’ll find many other facets that will take your breath away.
It’s not just the attractions that make Dubai a favored destination for many but also the business prospects that the city has to offer. Given its tax-free status, the city is a magnet for businesses and ex-pats from around the world. It’s no wonder that this city stands out as the busiest city in the Middle East.
Russia’s capital city, Moscow, may not be among the most favored destinations at the moment, but that doesn’t take away its status as the busiest city in that part of the world. With a population of over 12 million, there is a constant rush of traffic and people. The largest city by land area on the European continent is also the northernmost and coldest megacity in the world.
As an alpha world city, Moscow was also one of the fastest-growing tourist destinations in the world. Until recently, it was one of Europe’s most visited cities. Given its rich history, Moscow is home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, especially its historic Red Square. There is plenty to see and do in Moscow.
Similar to New York City, the busiest city in USA, Moscow is also home to a huge number of billionaires. In fact, it has the highest number of billionaires of any city in Europe. Boasting one of the largest financial centers in Europe, the city also features some of the tallest skyscrapers in Europe. Although there are many thriving businesses in Russia’s capital city, the average working hours are not as rigorous as the other busy cities in the world.
With the most populous metropolitan area in the world, Tokyo is another metropolis that can be considered one of the busiest cities. Besides being Japan’s political and economic center, the capital city is also the seat of the Emperor of Japan and the government. Like Dubai, Tokyo was also originally a fishing village that eventually became the government’s seat in the 17th century.
This Asian city boasts of the largest urban economy in the world. Given its financial stature, among other things, Tokyo is also an Alpha+city. It stands out as Japan’s leading center of business and finance and ranks among the top Global Financial Centres. When it comes to the average working hours, its workers put in more hours than Moscow or many other European cities. Despite the long working hours, the city is slightly better off than many Asian counterparts.
Tokyo’s pop culture, like manga and anime, has garnered many fans, but there is so much more that draws the discerning visitors here. You’ll find plenty of architectural marvels vying for space with modern structures, breathtaking natural spaces, and ancient temples. Check into one of the best hotels in Tokyo or a capsule hotel if you’re on a budget to experience all this busy city offers.
Shanghai is undoubtedly the busiest city in China, with a population of almost 25 million people. The city is constantly on the move, and while it may not be the busiest city in the world, it is one where people don’t pause. Its port is the world’s busiest container port. This means there is a constant flurry of activity and thriving businesses.
As one of the world’s major finance, research, education, and tourism centers, the city is constantly abuzz. One thing is certain, though. You won’t be lost for things to do in Shanghai. Whether it’s exploring the art deco buildings of the 20th century, Jewish synagogues, or cathedrals, the city’s diverse architecture never ceases to amaze.
Another area that is constantly pulsating with life is shopping. The Chinese love their retail therapy, and you’ll find everything from high-end boutiques to bustling markets. It’s not just clothing that has the young and old out on the streets but antiques, ceramics, jewelry, and anything else you can think of.
When you ask yourself what’s the busiest city in the world, a few names immediately come to mind, London being one of them. London is one of the most visited cities in the world and for a good reason too. With over 8,000 attractions to choose from, you’ll never be at a loss for things to do in London.
It’s not just its rich history that will enthrall you but its modern spaces. The city is not just about towering buildings and architecture but wide open spaces. When it comes to food, art, and culture, one can easily draw a parallel with the busiest city in USA – New York. London is a diverse mix of nationalities that seep into the fiber of its soul.
However, it’s not just the smorgasbord of attractions that make London the busiest city this side of the globe. It is home to a huge number of entrepreneurs and also has more gyms and fitness centers than any other city. That being said, Londoners enjoy more paid annual leaves than most other cities.
No list of busiest cities would be complete without one city from India featuring. India’s financial capital, Mumbai, may not be everyone’s cup of ‘chai,’ but it does have something for everyone. The city of dreams attracts people from all parts of India in the hope of making it big. Home to the Indian film industry, the city never sleeps. No matter what part of the night you decide to venture out, you will find some small establishment open for business.
First-time visitors to the city will be quite overwhelmed by its energy. People and vehicles are constantly on the go, and jostling crowds can leave you quite gobsmacked. Given that it is the second-most populous city in the country, this should be no surprise.
The city is one of many contrasts with sleek, high-rise buildings overlooking beleaguered slums. Billionaires zip around in their flashy cars while laborers sweat it, pushing heavy carts. Put your inhibitions aside and realize that Mumbai is more than slums and pollution. From hidden culinary delights to the imposing Taj Mahal hotel, one of the best hotels in Mumbai, and the Gothic buildings of central Mumbai, there are so many top things to see and do here.
Not many would rate Mexico City as the busiest city in the world, given its chequered past. However, the city has shed much of the negativity of its past to emerge as an important place to visit. There is much to see and do in Mexico City, which has gradually put it on the tourist map. With 1,777 attractions to choose from, you will need to stay at one of the best hotels in Mexico City to give you enough time to explore.
North America’s most populous city is also the oldest capital city in the Americas. Almost destroyed in the 16th century, the city bounced back to emerge as a political, administrative, and financial center of the Spanish colonial empire. In line with this part of its history, Mexico City has one of the largest Spanish-speaking populations in the world.
The average working hours per year – a whopping 2,511 hours also adds to its tag of being the busiest city in the world. That’s not all that gives it the tag of the busiest city. With 181 gyms and numerous universities, the city has plenty to keep its citizens on their toes.