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The World's Best Cities

Where People Want to Be

Travel+Leisure has compiled its 22nd annual list of the world's best cities, as voted by users worldwide. Florence and Rome are the only two cities in the "Hall of Fame" for making the list ten years in a row.

Rank

City

Score

1

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

92.12

2

Charleston, South Carolina, U.S.

91.54

3

Chiang Mai, Thailand

91.40

4

Kyoto, Japan

91.13

5

Florence, Italy

90.75

6

Oaxaca, Mexico

90.41

7

Hoi An, Vietnam

90.31

8

Cape Town, South Africa

90.24

9

Ubud, Indonesia

90.13

10

Luang Prabang, Laos

90.10

Source: Travel+Leisure, 2017
World's Best City, San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende in Mexico was voted world's best city.

What Makes a Top City

Obviously the list here is going to be a bit biased towards best tourist cities, as it's polled from a travel magazine. It won't feature things like the job market, school system, and other telltale economic markers that people look for. Travel + Leisure asked readers to review their experiences in different cities based off of set criteria. These included sights and landmarks, culture, cuisine, friendliness, shopping, and "overall value." A top city on this list is one with an abundance of stuff to do, things to see, and a distinct character.

Some Common Elements

The cities that made the list this year all have a few things in common. Cities that rank highest tend to be accessible to pedestrians, tend to have abundant greenery, and have well-preserved historical sites. These features have drawn more and more visitors to Asia, which is represented more in 2017 than in any year prior. 

 

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