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Time Out names the 50 best cities in the world for 2024 – and New York is No.1, London fourth, Liverpool seventh – and Dubai doesn’t even make the top 20…

New York is the best city in the world right now, according to Time Out.

The renowned guide’s 50 Best Cities in the World 2024 index says that it earned the coveted top spot thanks to its ‘food and cultural scenes, beauty and everything it offers making residents happy’.

It adds that ‘New York is by far the city that the most urbanites from other cities would love to live in’.

The top five in the ranking is completed by Cape Town (second), Berlin (third), London (fourth) and Madrid (fifth).

The ranking is produced by a global survey of thousands of city-dwellers who were asked about the quality and affordability of the food, culture and nightlife scenes in their city. These insights were combined with those of more than 100 well-travelled Time Out staff writers and editors, based in cities all over the world, who were polled for their take on which cities are the most exciting right now. Scroll down to discover more about the top 10 and for the full ranking…

1. New York

New York has been declared the world’s best city for 2024 by Time Out – it’s loved by locals, says the guide, and is the place city-dwellers from around the world would choose if they could move to any other city

‘New York tops this year’s world’s best cities list both for its quality of life for locals and for its global appeal for visitors,’ says Time Out. ‘The city was ranked highest by its residents across the board, from food and drink to nightlife, culture and beauty, and it was also the place city-dwellers from around the world would choose if they could move to any other city – 15 per cent of survey respondents in other cities said so.’

The guide adds: ‘From must-see exhibitions at the city’s galleries and world-class museums including the MoMA, to neighbourhood community-led events like the Queens Night Market in Flushing, there’s always something going on in NYC, day or night.’

2. Cape Town

Runner-up Cape Town has ‘stunning beaches’ and a ‘culture scene ranked highest in the world for quality’

Cape Town snares the silver medal partly thanks to its good looks.

Time Out says: ‘From the heights of Table Mountain to the stunning beaches on the coastline, it’s not hard to see why every single survey respondent said Cape Town was beautiful.’

The South African city’s culture and food scene also garnered plaudits from those surveyed.

Time Out continues: ‘The city’s culture scene ranked highest in the world for its quality, with studios, galleries and public events abounding.

‘The city [also] has an exciting, diverse and vibrant food scene which has evolved in the past few years.’

3. Berlin

Berlin, in at No.3, has an ‘impressive’ nightlife scene and is criss-crossed by convenient bike lanes

‘It’s well-known that Berliners like to party,’ says Time Out, ‘and the survey results backed this up, with Berlin’s nightlife scene scoring an impressive 82 per cent approval rating.

‘This year marks 20 years of Monster Ronson’s Ichiban Karaoke, Berlin’s best-known karaoke bar, a great excuse for visitors to belt out their favourite tune.

‘Those looking for daytime or outdoor pursuits can hop on a bike, take to one of the many convenient bike lanes and head to one of the city’s green spaces, like Tempelhof Field, a disused airport turned into a massive park.’

4. London

London, in fourth place, has plentiful free museums and galleries, huge parks and legendary pubs

Time Out reveals that survey respondents in London acknowledged that the city has a reputation for ‘misery and rain’ but that despite this, living in the city ‘makes them happy’.

Time Out says: ‘It must be because of the many great things to do there – from traditional to new: Many of London’s museums and galleries are free, the parks are huge, and the pubs are legendary. Following a few years of criticism of its ailing nightlife scene, London’s newest nightclubs are bigger and more cutting-edge than ever, with state-of-the-art sound systems and stellar lineups – just check out Outernet, Drumsheds and Koko Electronic.’

5. Madrid

‘Welcoming and lively’ Madrid rounds out the top five in the Time Out ranking

Madrid, says Time Out, ‘is a welcoming and lively city that stands out for its authenticity, exceptional dining (and drinking) scene and vibrant culture’.

The guide adds: ‘In the last year alone, Salmon Guru was crowned one of the best cocktail bars in the world, David Muñoz has once again been voted the best chef on the planet and the Royal Collections Gallery was one of the most important museum projects in Europe. What’s more, 2024 will see lots of international concerts from the likes of Taylor Swift and Luis Miguel, following the renovation of the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.’

6. Mexico City, Mexico

Sixth-place Mexico City, Time Out says, ‘is at the forefront of a vibrant gastronomic revolution’

Time Out says that ‘Mexico City scored highly for its livability, with all local survey respondents declaring the city beautiful, the majority saying they were happy there and that it’s easy to make friends’.

Anything else? Yes, the food. Time Out says: ‘The city is at the forefront of a vibrant gastronomic revolution, from mushroom cultivation at Tencui, Japanese coffee at Panya and the best brisket at Ahumados Pelican.’

7. Liverpool

Liverpool, in seventh, scored 89 per cent for the affordability of its art and culture scene

As we reported, Liverpool is home to England’s best large hotel – Titanic Hotel Liverpool.

Stellar accommodation is far from being the only plus point, though.

Time Out reveals that Liverpool scored 89 per cent for the affordability of its art and culture scene, ‘more so than any other city on the list’.

The guide adds: ‘Still riding on the wave of hosting Eurovision last year, there’s plenty of music events to look forward to in 2024 including ‘In The Park’, hosted by much-loved local singer-songwriter Jamie Webster in collaboration with Cream Classical, where dance anthems from over the years will be accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra. Those looking to champion up-and-coming food talent should check out the small plates at Michelin-endorsed Belzan.’

8. Tokyo

‘Innovative and dynamic’ Tokyo, No.8, is also a ‘hub of world-class dining’

‘Tokyo is surely one of the most dynamic and innovative cities in the world,’ declares Time Out, ‘and 2024 doesn’t see it slowing down.’

The guide adds: ‘The all-new teamLab Borderless digital art museum is one of the world’s most exciting cultural openings this year, with the new venue in Azabudai Hills hosting a number of never-seen-before installations. The city is also a hub of world-class dining, with some of the world’s greatest restaurants now in Tokyo: Massimo Bottura’s Gucci Osteria, Antwerp’s Michelin-starred Le Pristine, and MAZ, sister to Peruvian 2023 World Best Restaurant Central.’

9. Rome

Rome (ninth) was declared ‘beautiful’ by locals who responded to Time Out’s survey

Rome will leave foodies salivating, with Time Out revealing that its residents rated the quality of their food scene highly.

And this year, says the guide, ‘this historically carnivorous city is embracing more plant-based restaurants to cater to changing palates’.

It adds: ‘Those looking for a plant-based meal should head to Buddy for a decadent vegan brunch, Grezzo for dairy-free gelato and new vegan pastry shop, Julietta.’

Any other plus points? The architecture, of course. Time Out reveals: ‘Survey respondents agreed their city was beautiful, which is no surprise when the majestic Colosseum, intricately carved Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps and Pantheon are the backdrop to their daily lives.’

10. Porto, Portugal

Porto, in 10th place, ‘was one of the highest-scoring cities for romance


Grace Beard, Travel Editor at Time Out, said: ‘Every city that made the list did so because locals rate it highly – so whether a city ranked at one or 50, it’s still one of the greatest amongst the thousands of cities around the globe.’

Porto, it seems, will make your heart pop, with Time Out revealing that it ‘was one of the highest-scoring cities for romance, with 82 per cent of locals saying it’s easy to find love in the city’.

The guide adds: ‘And what better way to enjoy a romantic date than over a glass of vinho in this wine capital? 

‘Visitors can check into wine hotels like The Yeatman, enjoy a glass and a snack at stylish wine bars like Genuíno, or learn all about the drink at World of Wine (WoW), while Gaia’s cellars – like Sandeman, Cockburn’s, and Cálem – are open for tours. This year will also see the opening of Time Out Market Porto in a building on the grounds of the São Bento Station, featuring a structure designed by renowned local architect Eduardo Souto de Moura.’



1. New York City

2. Cape Town

3. Berlin

4. London

5. Madrid

6. Mexico City

7. Liverpool, UK

8. Tokyo

9. Rome

10. Porto, Portugal

11. Paris

12. Mumbai

13. Lisbon

14. Chicago

15. Manchester

16. São Paulo, Brazil

17. Los Angeles

18. Amsterdam

19. Lagos

20. Melbourne

21. Naples

22. Singapore

23. Miami

24. Bangkok

25. Lima, Peru

26. Budapest

27. Beijing

28. Dubai

29. Montreal

30. Glasgow

31. Sydney

32. Buenos Aires

33. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

34. Manila, Philippines

35. Seoul, South Korea

36. Hanoi, Vietnam

37. San Francisco

38. Barcelona

39. Abu Dhabi

40. New Orleans

41. Philadelphia

42. Austin

43. Boston

44. Accra, Ghana

45. Marseille

46. Taipei

47. Istanbul

48. Osaka

49. Hong Kong

50. Vancouver

Source: Time Out 

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