London, the capital of England and the United Kingdom, is a 21st-century city with history stretching back to Roman times.
At its centre stand the imposing Houses of Parliament, the iconic ‘Big Ben’ clock tower and Westminster Abbey, site of British monarch coronations.
Across the Thames River, the London Eye observation wheel provides panoramic views of the South Bank cultural complex, and the entire city.
- Area: 1,572 km²
- Population: 8.136 million (2011)
Istanbul is a major city in Turkey that straddles Europe and Asia across the Bosphorus Strait. Its Old City reflects cultural influences of the many empires that once ruled here.
In the Sultanahmet district, the open-air, Roman-era Hippodrome was for centuries the site of chariot races, and Egyptian obelisks also remain. The iconic Byzantine Hagia Sophia features a soaring 6th-century dome and rare Christian mosaics.
- Area: 1,539 km²
- Population: 15.03 million (Dec 31, 2017)
Paris, France's capital, is a major European city and a global center for art, fashion, gastronomy and culture. Its 19th-century cityscape is crisscrossed by wide boulevards and the River Seine.
Beyond such landmarks as the Eiffel Tower and the 12th-century, Gothic Notre-Dame cathedral, the city is known for its cafe culture and designer boutiques along the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré.
- Area: 105.4 km²
- Population: 2.2 million (2016)
Tokyo, Japan’s busy capital, mixes the ultramodern and the traditional, from neon-lit skyscrapers to historic temples. The opulent Meiji Shinto Shrine is known for its towering gate and surrounding woods.
The Imperial Palace sits amid large public gardens. The city's many museums offer exhibits ranging from classical art (in the Tokyo National Museum) to a reconstructed kabuki theater (in the Edo-Tokyo Museum).
- Area: 2,187.66 km2
- Population: 9.273 million (2015)