Last month, we checked out the best cities to retire in the United States. But not everyone is planning to retire right now. Some people just want to explore the world, visit the best places on the planet, and experience the amazing things our world has to offer. For people who want to visit the best cities, stay in the best hotels, or want to use the best tour company, Travel+Leisure magazine has announced its annual World’s Best Awards rankings based on a readers’ survey. Here we take a look at the top 10 best cities in the world.
For the World’s Best Awards rankings of 2019, Travel+Leisure asked its readers to rate their travel experiences across the globe. The publication gathered reader opinions on the best cities, islands, cruise ships, airlines, spas, and more. For the top 10 best cities, they asked readers to rate cities on their sights and landmarks, shopping, culture, cuisine, friendliness, and overall value.
These cities topped the list:
10- Udaipur, India
With a score of 87.80, Udaipur in the Indian state of Rajasthan was ranked the 10th best city in the world this year. It was named the best city in Asia and 3rd best city in the world last year. Udaipur is more about lakes and beautiful historic palaces than modern skyscrapers. It’s the only Indian city to appear on this list.
9- Florence, Italy
This beautiful Italian city in the Tuscany region has made it to Travel+Leisure’s best cities ranking for at least ten consecutive years. Florence was one of the wealthiest cities of the medieval era. For more than half of the year, tourists far outnumber the local population in Florence. It is home to some of the world’s best museums and has the greatest concentration of art in the world.
8- Kyoto, Japan
Kyoto was rated the 8th best city in the world with a score of 88.42. It’s incredibly popular among the US and European tourists. It is home to more than 2,000 temples and shrines. The traditional festivals that have been held in Kyoto for over a thousand years have become a major tourist attraction.
7- Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo, the most populous metropolitan area in the world, is also one of the world’s top 10 best cities. Travel+Leisure readers praised Tokyo for the helpfulness of locals, the cuisine, cleanliness, and nightlife. Some of the most popular tourist destinations in the city are the National Museum, the Imperial Palace, and Meiji Shrine.
6- Ubud, Indonesia
Ubud in Bali is dotted with rice paddies, temples, and steep ravines. The town has a population of only around 75,000, but it attracts more than 3 million foreign tourists every year. Ubud is a major Hindu pilgrim destination and is home to a large number of medicinal herbs and plants. It received a score of 89.08.
5- Oaxaca, Mexico
As many as three Mexican cities have made it to the top 10 best cities on the planet. Oaxaca received a score of 89.16. This city in Southwestern Mexico has a large number of colonial-era buildings and ancient archaeological sites. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Some of the most popular tourist destinations are the Zócalo, Andador Macedonio Alcalá, and the Centro Cultural de Santo Domingo.
4- Mexico City, Mexico
At 89.30, Mexico City scored only slightly higher than Oaxaca. Located in the Valley of Mexico, it’s the oldest capital city in the Americas. It also happens to be one of the only two capital cities founded by Native Americans, the other being Quito, Ecuador. Mexico City jumped from 11th place last year to 4th this year. According to Travel+Leisure readers, it’s “one of the most exciting cities in North America” and has some of the world’s best restaurants.
3- Chiang Mai, Thailand
The 700-year-old city is located along the Ping River. It is home to more than 300 Buddhist temples including the Wat Phra That Doi Suthep and Wat Chiang Man. It is considered a gateway to the region’s mountains and dense forests. Chiang Mai attracts more than 3 million foreign tourists every year.
2- San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
San Miguel de Allende was named the best city in the world in 2018 and 2017, but this year it has slipped to the 2nd place with a score of 90.23. It has a rich history and a number of historical sites. San Miguel de Allende is particularly popular among artists and retirees. About a century ago, an influenza pandemic had almost turned it into a ghost town.
1- Hoi An, Vietnam
Hoi An in Vietnam has jumped from No. 8 in 2018 to the top spot this year. The local arts, culture, and food attract a lot of tourists from around the world. The locals are also friendly to tourists. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site with exceptionally well-preserved buildings and landmarks. It was a major center of spice trade more than a thousand years ago.