The Most Beautiful Harbor in the World: A Stunning Display of Natural Splendor

Choose the Harbor you think is the most beautiful!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Sep 19, 2023 05:52
Welcome to StrawPoll's ultimate ranking of the most beautiful harbors in the world! Our dazzling list features thousands of breathtaking harbors, showcasing the perfect blend of stunning landscapes, vibrant culture, and awe-inspiring architecture. But we need your help to determine which harbor takes the crown as the most magnificent of them all. Will it be the serene Sydney Harbour or the picturesque Portofino? Or perhaps a hidden gem waiting to be discovered? Cast your vote now and let your voice be heard! And, if you think we've missed a breathtaking harbor that deserves to be on our list, don't hesitate to suggest it. Dive into this aquatic adventure and explore the enchanting harbors that make our world truly remarkable. Happy voting!

What Is the Most Beautiful Harbor in the World? (September 2023)

  1. 1
    Sydney Harbour, Australia
    Adam.J.W.C. · CC BY-SA 2.5
    Sydney Harbour is one of the most beautiful and iconic harbors in the world. It is surrounded by stunning landscapes, iconic landmarks, and is home to the world-famous Sydney Opera House.
    Sydney Harbour is regarded as one of the most beautiful harbors in the world. It is a natural harbor located in Sydney, Australia, and is known for its stunning natural landscapes and iconic landmarks.
    • Location: Sydney, Australia
    • Surface Area: 55 square kilometers
    • Length: 19 kilometers
    • Width: 6 kilometers
    • Maximum Depth: 40 meters
  2. 2
    Rio de Janeiro Harbour is a natural harbor that boasts breathtaking views of the city, Sugarloaf Mountain, and Christ the Redeemer statue. It is also home to several beautiful beaches.
    Rio de Janeiro Harbour, also known as Guanabara Bay, is a magnificent natural harbor located in southeastern Brazil. It is widely considered one of the most beautiful harbors in the world, surrounded by stunning landscapes and iconic landmarks such as the Sugarloaf Mountain and the Christ the Redeemer statue.
    • Location: Southeastern Brazil
    • Name: Rio de Janeiro Harbour/Guanabara Bay
    • Size: 412 square kilometers
    • Depth: 25 meters at its deepest point
    • Entrances: Two main entrances - Barra da Tijuca and the city center
  3. 3
    San Francisco Bay is a beautiful natural harbor that is surrounded by stunning landscapes, including the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, and the Bay Bridge.
    The San Francisco Bay is a large natural harbor located in Northern California, United States. Spanning nearly 400 square miles, it is surrounded by diverse landscapes, including the dynamic city of San Francisco, the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, and the rugged hills of Marin County.
    • Tidal range: On average, the tidal range in the San Francisco Bay is between 5.5 to 7.5 feet (1.7 to 2.3 meters).
    • Tidal currents: The bay experiences strong tidal currents reaching speeds of up to 6 knots (11 km/h).
    • Semi-diurnal tides: The tides in the bay follow a semi-diurnal pattern, meaning there are generally two high tides and two low tides each day.
    • Spring tides: During spring tides, which occur during a new or full moon, the tidal range can reach up to 9.5 feet (2.9 meters).
    • Storm surge potential: The bay's large tidal range and shape make it susceptible to storm surges, especially during winter storms.
    San Francisco Bay, USA in other rankings
  4. 4
    Victoria Harbour is a beautiful and bustling harbor that is home to stunning skyline views, including the famous Hong Kong skyline.
    Victoria Harbour, located in Hong Kong, is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful harbors in the world. Its picturesque views and stunning skyline have captivated visitors for years.
    • Location: Hong Kong, China
    • Night View: Known for its mesmerizing skyline and dazzling evening light show "A Symphony of Lights"
    • Transportation: Well-connected by various modes of transportation, including MTR, bus, and taxi
    • Reclamation Projects: Historical and ongoing reclamation projects to expand the land area
    • Size: Gross area of about 41.88 square kilometers
  5. 5
    Halong Bay is a beautiful natural harbor that is home to thousands of limestone islands and stunning caves. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular tourist destination.
    Halong Bay, located in northeastern Vietnam, is a stunning natural wonder that features thousands of limestone karsts and isles in various shapes and sizes. With its emerald-green waters, mystical caves, and lush vegetation, it is often referred to as a paradise on earth. Halong Bay is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Vietnam.
    • Location: Northeastern Vietnam
    • Formation: Limestone karsts and isles
    • Water color: Emerald-green
    • Designation: UNESCO World Heritage Site
    • Tourism popularity: High
    Halong Bay, Vietnam in other rankings
  6. 6
    Stockholm Archipelago, Sweden
    Esquilo · CC BY-SA 3.0
    The Stockholm Archipelago is a beautiful harbor that is home to over 30,000 islands and islets. It is surrounded by stunning landscapes and is a popular destination for boating and island hopping.
    The Stockholm Archipelago is one of the most beautiful and picturesque harbor areas in the world. It consists of an extensive group of islands located in the Baltic Sea, near Stockholm, the capital city of Sweden. The archipelago is known for its stunning natural beauty, with thousands of rocky islands covered in lush green forests and surrounded by clean, clear waters.
    • Number of islands: Over 30,000 islands.
    • Size: Approximately 1,500 square kilometers.
    • Variety of landscapes: From smooth rocky islets to larger forested islands.
    • Wildlife: Home to various bird species, seals, and occasionally even porpoises and seals.
    • Outdoor activities: Opportunities for sailing, kayaking, boating, fishing, and swimming.
  7. 7
    Vancouver Harbour is a beautiful harbor that is surrounded by stunning mountain landscapes, including the famous Coastal Mountains. It is also home to several beautiful parks and beaches.
    Vancouver Harbour, located in the city of Vancouver, Canada, is a picturesque harbor surrounded by stunning coastal mountains and vibrant cityscapes. Its natural beauty combined with a thriving cosmopolitan atmosphere makes it one of the most beautiful harbors in the world.
    • Location: Vancouver, Canada
    • Surroundings: Coastal mountains and cityscapes
    • Scenic Views: Breath-taking vistas of mountains and city skyline
    • Size: Approximately 196 square kilometers
    • Accessibility: Conveniently located in downtown Vancouver
  8. 8
    Sydney Harbour is a beautiful natural harbor that is surrounded by stunning landscapes, including the famous Cabot Trail. It is also home to several beautiful beaches and hiking trails.
    Sydney Harbour, located in Cape Breton Island in Canada, is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful harbors in the world. With its stunning landscapes, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant coastal communities, it offers a picturesque and unforgettable experience to visitors and locals alike. The harbor is nestled between the rolling hills of Cape Breton Island, creating a breathtaking backdrop for its scenic beauty.
    • Location: Cape Breton Island, Canada
    • Size: Approximately 1,930 square kilometers
    • Depth: Ranges from 10 meters to 60 meters
    • Islands: Dotted with numerous small islands, inclding Green Island and Long Island
    • Landmarks: Iconic landmarks such as the world-famous Cabot Trail and the historic Fortress of Louisbourg
  9. 9
    Auckland Harbour is a beautiful harbor that is surrounded by stunning landscapes, including several volcanic cones. It is also home to several beautiful islands and beaches.
    Auckland Harbour in New Zealand is renowned as one of the most beautiful harbors in the world. It is situated on the eastern coast of New Zealand's North Island and encompasses a vast area of pristine waters and scenic landscapes. The harbor offers a combination of urban charm and natural beauty, surrounded by picturesque coastline, green hills, and stunning islands. Auckland Harbour is not only visually appealing but also serves as a hub for various recreational activities, marine transportation, and waterfront events.
    • Size: Approximately 70 square kilometers
    • Islands: Features numerous islands including Rangitoto Island, Waiheke Island, and Motutapu Island
    • Sailing: Renowned for sailing events, including the America's Cup and Volvo Ocean Race
    • Cruise Ship Terminal: Home to a bustling cruise ship terminal where various cruise ships embark and disembark
    • Sky Tower: Dominating the skyline, the iconic Sky Tower offers panoramic views of the harbor
  10. 10
    Valletta Harbour is a beautiful harbor that is surrounded by stunning landscapes, including the famous Fort St. Elmo. It is also home to several beautiful churches and museums.
    Valletta Harbour, also known as Grand Harbour, is a stunning natural harbor located in Valletta, the capital city of Malta. It has a rich history dating back to the Roman times and has served as an important strategic location for centuries. Valletta Harbour is widely renowned for its picturesque views and captivating beauty.
    • Location: Valletta, Malta
    • Size: Covering an area of approximately 97 square kilometers
    • Depth: Ranges from 15 to 30 meters
    • Historical Significance: Once served as a base for the British Royal Navy
    • Architectural Landmarks: Fort Saint Angelo, Fort Saint Elmo, Valletta Waterfront

Missing your favorite Harbor?


Ranking factors for beautiful harbor

  1. Natural beauty
    The overall landscape, including the surrounding mountains, hills, and coastline, should be visually stunning and picturesque.
  2. Water quality and cleanliness
    The harbor should have clear, clean, and pollution-free water to ensure a pleasant environment for visitors and marine life.
  3. Harbor design and layout
    The design and layout of the harbor, including docking facilities and infrastructure, should be aesthetically pleasing and well thought out.
  4. Architectural appeal
    The buildings and structures around the harbor should be architecturally interesting, diverse, and well-maintained.
  5. Local attractions
    The harbor should have a variety of activities, attractions, and points of interest nearby, such as shops, restaurants, museums, and parks.
  6. Cultural heritage
    The harbor's history and culture should be respected and preserved through historic sites, public art, and educational programs.
  7. Accessibility
    The harbor should be easy to access for both locals and tourists, offering convenient transportation options and pedestrian-friendly areas.
  8. Safety and security
    The harbor should have adequate safety measures in place, including well-maintained infrastructure, visible security personnel, and appropriate emergency services.
  9. Sustainability
    Environmental and social impacts should be taken into consideration, with efforts made to minimize negative impacts on the environment and local communities.
  10. Vibrant atmosphere
    The harbor should have a lively atmosphere, hosting events and activities, and being a generally welcoming and enjoyable place for visitors.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most beautiful harbor in the world. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or your favorite Harbor is missing from the list, feel free to help us improve the ranking.


  • 166 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each Harbor once every 24 hours. The rank of each Harbor is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most beautiful harbor in the world

Harbors have always been an important hub for trade and commerce, but they also hold a unique appeal for visitors with their stunning natural scenery and bustling waterfronts. From the Mediterranean to the Pacific, there are countless harbors around the world that have captured the hearts of travelers and locals alike. Whether it's the colorful fishing boats in Greece's Chania Harbor or the iconic Opera House in Sydney Harbor, each harbor has its own distinct charm and beauty. In this article, we'll be exploring some of the most breathtaking harbors in the world and what makes them so special.