What draws visitors to specific cities around the world? Is it Michelin-starred eateries that have recently opened? Is there a cultural heritage that spans generations? Proximity to the world’s natural wonders? For our discerning Travel + Leisure readers, it’s all of the above when it comes to determining the best cities in the world.
T+L asks readers to weigh in on World’s Best Awards across the world every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, where they can express their thoughts on the best cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. City views and landmarks, culture, gastronomy, friendliness, shopping, and overall value were all assessed by readers.
This year, South Asia and Mexico did exceptionally well with three Mexican cities (including the top spot!) and four South Asian cities among the top ten (across Laos, India, Indonesia, and Thailand). Udaipur, located on India’s scenic Lake Pichola, came in second, up from last year.
It was ranked No. 7 at the time. It was hailed as “enchanting” by one reader and as “by far the most beautiful city in India” by another. The other Indian city on the list was Jaipur (No. 17), known as the Pink City because its stunning pink buildings line its streets.
The World’s Best Cities 2021
1. San Francisco, California, USA
2. Amsterdam, Netherlands
3. Manchester, UK
4. Copenhagen, Denmark
5. New York, USA
6. Montreal, Canada
7. Prague, Czech Republic
8. Tel Aviv, Israel
9. Porto, Portugal
10. Tokyo, Japan