Time Out reveals world’s best cities for 2024

It’s the city that’s the main character in all your favorite TV shows and movies, the inspiration behind countless songs and art – and one of the famous destinations in the world.


Perhaps it’s no wonder, then, that media company Time Out has named New York City as its best city for 2024.


Time Out surveyed some 20,000 city-dwellers across the world, alongside its network of global writers and editors, to compile its latest round-up of the best cities in the globe.


Factors including cities’ food scenes, architecture and cultural happenings were taken into account.


The goal, says Time Out, is to provide “inspiration for travel” but also a “global snapshot of city living.”


New York City’s myriad of museums and its thriving theater scene were namechecked by Time Out as reasons why the US city clinched the top spot. NYC’s global reputation also played a role – the city was ranked as the place other global city-dwellers would most like to relocate to.


A city of contrasts


At number two on Time Out’s list is Cape Town, South Africa, a city ranked, according to Time Out, by “every single survey respondent” as “beautiful,” thanks no doubt to its stunning combination of sea, cityscape and spectacular mountainous surroundings.


Time Out specifically shouted out Cape Town’s cultural offerings – from its late night museum evenings over the summer months to its theater and comedy offerings at Theatre on the Bay, as well as the newly opened Time Out Market Cape Town.


Katy Scott, who grew up in Cape Town and now lives in France, tells CNN Travel she sees it as “perhaps the most unpretentious coastal city in the world,” praising the opportunities to get out into nature as well as the “top-rated restaurants, pristine wine farms and a swanky nightlife scene.”


But Scott also points out “that these things aren’t accessible to the majority of citizens.”


“South Africa may be celebrating 30 years of democracy, but the inequality in cities like Cape Town is starker than ever,” says Scott.


With that in mind, Scott advises that “to truly understand the city and its people” visitors should “get out of the tourist bubble and take that trip to Robben Island or the District Six museum” – both spots recommended by Time Out that engage with South Africa’s apartheid history.


“Both places offer unique and powerful insights into South Africa’s history,” Scott says.


Related articleWhy Cape Town is one of the world’s most beguiling cities


Rounding out Time Out’s top five are Berlin, Germany (praised by Time Out for its buzzy nightlife scene), London, UK (lauded for its “legendary” pubs and free museums and galleries) and Madrid, Spain (“exceptional” dining and drinking, according to Time Out).


Smaller cities in the top 10 include Liverpool, UK (number 7) and Porto, Portugal (number 10). Notably Porto was named by Time Out survey respondents as a great city for “romance.”


Time Out travel editor Grace Beard said in a statement that what all the cities on the list have in common is their “strong community spirit and an undeniable vibe.”


Related articleTime Out lists the world’s best cities for 2022


Time Out’s Top 10 best cities

1. New York City, USA
2. Cape Town, South Africa
3. Berlin, Germany
4. London, UK
5. Madrid, Spain
6. Mexico City, Mexico
7. Liverpool, UK
8. Tokyo, Japan
9. Rome, Italy
10. Porto, Portugal

Source: CNN – Francesca Street

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