We all love to travel, and that is why you’re here, right? Traveling means encountering new people, complete strangers, new cultures, and standards of living, but it is all for the best. With the world’s population constantly growing, it is the major cities which are feeling the effects, from the obvious cities in the sub-continent to Europe, and some quite surprising ones in between, we delve into 10 of the world’s most densely populated cities.

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Don’t let the numbers put you off, though. Check out the following cities and see for yourself why they should shoot up that bucket list!

10 Mumbai, India

It is unsurprising that Mumbai has appeared on this list. It has constantly been one of the most densely populated cities since records began, with 28,500 residents per square mile, and a total population of 12.96 million in the city and greater region (as of this year).

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It also comes as no surprise that there is the highest number of wealthy people here compared to any other city; however, there is one of the highest percentages of slums in the country. Of course, Indian culture is on full display here and is a city you just cannot miss!

9 Dhaka, Bangladesh

Some refer to Dhaka as the "forgotten city," as it is surrounded by much larger cities in India and Pakistan. Well, here are the facts: According to Business Insider, the Bangladeshi capital is home to 28,400 people per square mile and a total of 3.5 million people.

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One of the main reasons why it is so populated is because it is the business and cultural hub of Bangladesh, as well as the largest city throughout the Organization of Islamic Cooperation within South East Asia.

8 Caloocan, The Philippines

Not many people have heard of this city before, and it is for good reason. Caloocan is actually an urban city within the Greater Manila region. Coming in at fourth in the most populated city in the Philippines, it is the second most densely populated, with 27,900 people per square mile. There are two divisions of Caloocan, the North (998,900 residents) and South (585,000 residents).

7 Chennai, India

Being the biggest cultural, economic, and education hub of Southern India is by no means an easy job. As a result, Chennai is among one of the most popular cities in India and surrounding sub-continent, as well as attracting the highest number of ‘health tourists’ throughout all of India, at 45%. The city has a population amount of 25,800 people per square mile (10.7 million people), so prepare yourself for some vibrant culture and good times in the city!

6 Kolkata, India

Another Indian city featuring on this list is Kolkata, or to some, Calcutta. Home to 24,200 people per square mile, it is the capital of the Eastern state of Bengal and is well-known for its colonial, sophisticated architecture, and galleries.

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Like most Indian major cities, it has vibrant cultural festivities. It is also home to the tomb of Mother Teresa and the Mother House, which was founded by Mother Teresa.

5 Kathmandu, Nepal

Moving a little bit further north-west to the Nepalese capital, Kathmandu. Set in the foothills of the Himalayas, Kathmandu is the largest metropolitan city of the whole Nepalese and Greater Himalayan region, with 23,900 people per square mile and a total population of 1.18 million people within perhaps one of the smallest metropolis’ in the world.

4 Paris, France

Heading away from Asia, for the first time, in fact, we travel to the French capital, Paris. With a fraction over two million people in the metro area and 21,500 people per square mile, anyone who has been to Paris will know that for some reason, it doesn’t seem overly populated.

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Full of French flare, interesting street performers, great shopping, and more importantly, tasty pastries, Paris is one of the top 10 most densely populated cities in the world, but does not feel like it when you are there, so go on, what are you waiting for? A fresh French baguette is only hours away!

3 Subang Jaya, Malaysia

We’ve all heard of Kuala Lumpur, right? Well, if you haven’t, it is arguably the biggest city in Malaysia, famous for its shopping and business hubs. Travel 20km south-west and you will find yourself in one of the world’s most unknown cities, Subang Jaya.

Famous for its wealth of higher education institutions, upscale eateries, and world-class shopping, it is definitely one for the bucket list. With 21,500 people per square mile, it is quite populated, so live it up at a trendy hotel in Kuala Lumpur and simply take a taxi to discover this unbeknown city in Malaysia.

2 Macau, Special Region of China

Commonly referred to as the Las Vegas of Asia, Macau is mostly a resort city and is officially known as a Chinese Special Administrative Region. It was run by Portuguese authorities until the end of the 20th century, and is just over a bridge, albeit a long one, from Hong Kong. With this in mind, you will find a mix of fusion cooking as well as a mixed bag of cultures all within one city. With a population of just 643,000, there is a population density of 21,200 people per square mile, so you do the math!

1 Manila, The Philippines


The Filipino capital comes in at number one on the most densely populated city in the world with a staggering 41,500 people per square mile. If you are looking to come to the Philippines for a peaceful seaside getaway, it is probably best that you exit the main part of town and head to an island nearby the mainland, of which, luckily enough, there are no shortage!

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Since the city’s inauguration in 1571, Manila has quickly become one of the fastest growing cities in the world, and as of the last census, 1.7 million people called the capital city home.