The 20 Best Cities In The World, According To Time Out

The 20 Best Cities In The World, According To Time Out

New York, Mumbai, London and Cape Town among the top 20 cities in the world right now.

Which cities stand out as the world’s best? Time Out has recently unveiled its newest compilation of the top 20 cities globally. This ranking, known as the Time Out Index, draws insights from a survey of over 20,000 urban residents worldwide, complemented by inputs from Time Out’s editorial network.

The Time Out Index evaluates cities based on various criteria, including the quality and affordability of food, cultural offerings, nightlife, overall atmosphere, and more. The selection not only highlights cities ideal for tourism but also emphasizes their appeal for residents.

Grace Beard, Time Out’s travel editor, shared in an interview, “Our global ranking indicates that cities haven’t merely weathered the pandemic; they have emerged revitalized and are now better than ever for those seeking vibrant experiences.” The 2024 list serves as a crucial travel guide, showcasing the most captivating destinations worldwide for food, nightlife, and culture. Simultaneously, it offers a comprehensive glimpse into the current state of city living globally.

New York City secured the top spot this year, recognized for its exceptional food scene, rich culture, aesthetic allure, and contented populace. Interestingly, 15% of survey respondents expressed a desire to relocate to the Big Apple.

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Shaye Weaver, editor of Time Out New York, explained, “Locals recognize the remarkable attributes of New York City—its historical charm, welcoming ambiance, and an endless array of activities, from cutting-edge theater and art to innovative culinary experiences.” Weaver emphasized that the city’s resilience, trendsetting spirit, and boundary-pushing nature contribute to its enduring appeal, as reflected in its top ranking on Time Out’s list.

Two other U.S. cities have secured spots in the top 20, with Chicago claiming the 14th position, having previously held the top spot in 2018 and 2016. Los Angeles follows closely at number 17.

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“Chicago is a world-class city boasting a rich history, an expansive culinary scene, and a vibrant culture,” shared Jeffy Mai, editor of Time Out Chicago, during our interview. “Regardless of your interests, you’ll discover a plethora of things to see and do throughout the city’s diverse neighborhoods, at any time of the year.”

The leading international city on the list is Cape Town, South Africa, recognized predominantly for its dynamic cultural scene. The city is home to numerous galleries, studios, and public events, including the Cape Town Art Fair, the largest art fair in Africa.

For a comprehensive list of the world’s top 20 cities in 2024, refer to the following:

  1. New York City
  2. Cape Town, South Africa
  3. Berlin, Germany
  4. London, U.K.
  5. Madrid, Spain
  6. Mexico City, Mexico
  7. Liverpool, U.K.
  8. Tokyo, Japan
  9. Rome, Italy
  10. Porto, Portugal
  11. Paris, France
  12. Mumbai, India
  13. Lisbon, Portugal
  14. Chicago, U.S.A.
  15. Manchester, U.K.
  16. São Paulo, Brazil
  17. Los Angeles, U.S.A.
  18. Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  19. Lagos
  20. Melbourne, Australia

For a more extensive exploration of the world’s 50 best cities, visit

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