Determining what the “best” cities are in the world is subjective and cannot be determined by measuring metrics. Because of this, the Time Out Index surveyed 34,000 residents from 48 cities around the world, travel experts, and editors.
Some people may argue that their home city is the best in the world, while others may believe that there is no such thing as a “best city” because it depends on what the individual looks for in an ideal city. Some people think the best city has historic sites and world-famous landmarks, others consider a large volume of world-renowned restaurants to comprise the best city, and other consider other factors such as affordability, the friendliness of the people, and the shopping.
The Time Out Index partnered with Tapestry research to survey 34,000 anonymous city-dwellers about the food, drink, nightlife, neighborhoods, community, affordability, safety, diversity, and overall happiness in their respective cities, among other factors.
What is the best city in the world? New York City ranked first as the best city in the world. Residents of New York ranked it first for culture and diversity, second for eating, and third for drinking. Residents also placed New York high for convenience, nightlife, multiculturalism, fun, and happiness.
Melbourne ranked as the second-best city in the world. This Australian city has the highest number of live music venues per resident than anywhere else with 25% of residents responding that they went to a concert in the last week. Melbourne was also ranked the second most creative city and the second happiest.
The third-best city in the world is Chicago, Illinois. Chicago, famous for its deep-dish pizza, was ranked first in the world for food and drink. Despite this, residents of this Midwestern city are also among the most active, reporting that 52% of them don’t go a week without getting in some exercise Additionally, Chicago residents are among the most genuinely content city dwellers in the world and are the proudest of their city.
London ranked as the fourth-best city in the world. 80% of Londoners said that they feel happy in their city, despite the current political turmoil, and ranked it as one of the most dynamic, diverse, and creative cities in the world. Additionally, residents praised their city for its culture, food, and live music scene and said that they feel safe overall.
The fifth-best city in the world is Los Angeles, California. The residents of the city of angels ranked their city high for mindfulness and happiness, and also described it as diverse, dynamic, and creative. Los Angeles’s amazing food and restaurant scene has recently caught the world’s attention and is the reason that residents dine out more often than residents of any other US city.
Finishing up the top 20 cities in the world are: