The best 100 cities on the planet ranked – and it's London that's No.1

The best 100 cities on the planet ranked – and ‘despite Brexit’ it’s London that’s No.1, followed by Paris and New York. So where does YOUR favourite city come on the list?

  • The results are based on liveability, lovability and prosperity  
  • Study ranks the top 100 from 270-plus cities with populations of more than 1m 
  • READ MORE: Fodor’s reveals its 2024 GO and NO lists  

The world’s best cities for 2024 have been revealed and it’s London that’s number one followed by Paris and New York.

That’s according to an annual report by Resonance Consultancy, which ranks the top 100 from 270-plus cities with populations of more than one million.

The results are based on scores across three key categories – liveability, lovability and prosperity, with dozens of factors taken into account. These include educational attainment, GDP per capita, poverty rate, the number of quality restaurants, shops and nightclubs; walkability, the number of mapped bike routes, quality parks and museums; and the number of recommendations on sites such as Tripadvisor, Google, Facebook and Instagram.

The top ten chart features four cities on the Asian continent, four in Europe and two in the U.S. Scroll down for the full 100 – where does your favourite city rank?

10. Seoul, South Korea

Seoul has rapidly transformed from a ‘war-ravaged city to a high-tech hub’

Seoul has ‘firmly established itself as a global pop culture powerhouse’ according to the report, which scores the city – ‘the land of kimchi, K-pop, K-dramas and K-beauty’ – in tenth position.

It draws attention to the South Korean capital’s rapid transformation from a ‘war-ravaged city to a high-tech hub’ with its overall score boosted by its low poverty rate, high number of Global 500 firms, and a growing start-up ecosystem.

‘All that innovation is sated by the 176 Michelin-rated venues that have earned Seoul a No.3 ranking in our restaurants subcategory,’ the report adds.

9. Netherlands, Amsterdam

Amsterdam has reigned in its ‘sometimes out-of-control nightlife’

Amsterdam comes ninth and scores well for liveability after ‘taking back its streets’ and reigning in its ‘sometimes out-of-control nightlife’.

So says the report, which lists recent efforts to solve ‘long-time local complaints’, from moving its famous red light district from the centre to a suburban ‘Erotic Center’ to banning non-residents from cannabis cafes and discouraging tours ‘that glorify the city’s baser side’.

The Dutch capital scores highly in particular for its biking, museums, shopping, nightlife, and active workforce.

8. Barcelona, Spain

 Barcelona boasts ‘iconic’ parks’ and ‘striking architecture’

Barcelona ‘threads the needle as one of the world’s rarest cities that ranks top ten in both liveability and lovability’, the report says.

This is partly thanks to its ‘iconic’ parks’ and ‘striking architecture’ as well as boasting miles of ‘golden sandy beaches’ and ‘near-perfect weather year-round’.

Like Amsterdam, the city is ‘welcoming the world on its own terms’, according to the report, which gives a nod towards the new bike lanes, quieter roads, ‘strict’ vacation rental rules and improved community spaces.

7. San Francisco, U.S

San Francisco is ‘the world’s best place for start-up innovation’

Job opportunities ‘pave the way’ for San Francisco, recognised in the report as the world’s best place for start-up innovation, with high salaries and a large, educated workforce.

The city’s layout also scores big points, amid plans to build the ‘most daring’ bike and pedestrian network in America with 464 miles (747km) of protected cycle paths and new car-free streets.

Further praise goes to its new public spaces, from a floating rooftop garden on top of a 70ft- (21m) tall building to a 14-acre park built above a highway tunnel.

6. Dubai, UAE

Dubai is ‘famed for outlandish developments’ such as the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa

Dubai ‘continues its epic ascent on the world stage’ as a place that’s ‘lavish, luxurious and lively in equal measure’.

These are the words used in the report to describe this city, which is ‘famed for outlandish developments’ such as the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa.

It might not come as a surprise to learn it scores highly for its hotels, landmarks and attractions – ‘never-ending malls, aquariums, indoor ski parks, dancing fountains, and fantasy theme parks’, to name but a few in the report.

5. Singapore

Singapore is ‘one of Asia’s most modern, well-organised and captivating urban centres’

‘Remarkable dining and shopping’ are what whets travellers’ appetites in Singapore, according to the report.

The city boasts ‘one of Asia’s most modern, well-organised and captivating urban centres’ with ‘staggering’ retail choices from haute couture to electronics, it adds.

Its culinary scene is said to be boosted by the city’s popular chilli crab dish and Singapore Sling cocktail. And to round things off, its hotel offering includes the 1,000-room Marina Bay Sands, which features a ‘colossal rooftop infinity pool’.

4. Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo takes the crown for the world’s best shopping, says the report

Tokyo, says the report, has long held on to its top spot as one of the most liveable metropolises on the planet.

Ranked fourth overall, it takes the crown for the world’s best shopping helped by its ’boutique shops’ and ‘luxury department stores’.

Despite ‘the disastrous 2021 Summer Olympics’ hosted in Tokyo, the city has gained 2,000 new hotels as a result, the paper shows.

And more improvements are on the horizon, with the expansion of Haneda Airport and a planned fast rail link into the city, it adds.

3. New York, U.S

The report says  of New York: ‘The greatest city in America is urban recovery writ large, with a dizzying roster of new shows, hotels and parks’

‘This city is back’, according to Resonance Consultancy, which hails New York for its museums, theatres and music scene as the birthplace of hip hop in 1973.

‘For those who prefer their immersion outdoors, classics like the High Line and Central Park are joined by the city’s newest green space, Little Island – 2.4 acres floating on the Hudson near the Meatpacking District on the site of an old pier,’ it adds.

‘Like most things here, you have to see it to believe it.’

The report concludes: ‘The greatest city in America is urban recovery writ large, with a dizzying roster of new shows, hotels and parks – and record real estate prices. But the Big Apple is always worth the price of admission, especially in these glory days.’

2. Paris, France

The report praises the city for ‘codifiying pedestrianism and alfresco living’ after Covid

The report picks out multiple improvements and exciting initiatives in runner-up Paris.

There’s the soon-to-reopen Notre Dame and the nearby ‘Paris Plages urban beach’; the €250million renovation of Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport’s Terminal 1 – ‘full of the latest tech to improve the traveler experience’; and a ‘flood of new and renovated hotels’.

The report also praises the city for ‘codifiying pedestrianism and alfresco living’ after Covid, adding: ‘To ensure that cars didn’t take back control of Paris streets [the mayor] legislated that the 60,000 parking spots loaned to restaurants for outdoor seating simply remained as outdoor seating. The same went for closing off lesser-driven streets entirely for public walking and seating for local businesses in need of additional outdoor space.’

The study also points to next year’s Olympic Games, which will see its Champs-Élysées ‘transformed for the Games into a massive garden’.

1. London, UK

London is declared the ‘capital of capitals’. A city that despite Brexit, is ‘the best in the world’

And the crown goes to… London, the ‘capital of capitals’ that ‘reigns over all global cities’ as the best metropolis in the world, the report declares.

The study proclaims it as the most liveable and the most lovable mecca, solidified by its winning culture and education attainment.

What’s more, its culinary scene ‘is being reborn’ with ‘big-name openings’ amid dozens of ‘equally daring hotels’, new metro stops and the recently opened Elizabeth Line.

The report concludes: ‘Despite crippling Covid lockdowns and economic devastation. Despite Brexit. Despite a war in Europe. The city is more indomitable and part of the global discourse than ever. From the Queen’s death, to last autumn’s chaotic drama at 10 Downing Street that finally calmed down with Rishi Sunak becoming prime minister, only to take heavy local election losses this spring, London is rarely quiet these days.’


 1 – London

2 – Paris 

3 – New York

4 – Tokyo

5 – Singapore

6 – Dubai, United Arab Emirates

7 – San Francisco, U.S

8 – Barcelona, Spain

9 – Amsterdam, Netherlands

10 – Seoul, South Korea

11 – Rome, Italy 

12 – Prague, Czechia 

13 – Madrid, Spain 

14 – Berlin, Germany

15 – Los Angeles, U.S

16 – Chicago, U.S

17 – Washington, D.C., U.S

18 – Beijing, China 

19 – Istanbul, Turkey 

20 – Dublin, Ireland

21 – Vienna, Austria 

22 – Milan, Italy 

23 – Toronto, Canada

24 – Boston, U.S

25 – Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates 

26 – Budapest, Hungry 

27 – São Paulo, Brazil

28 – Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

29 – Stockholm, Sweden 

30 – Munich, Germany

31 – Melbourne, Australia 

32 – Lisbon, Portugal 

33 – Zürich, Switzerland

34 – Seattle, U.S

35 – Sydney, Australia 

36 – Doha, Qatar

37 – Brussels, Belgium 

38 – San Jose, U.S

39 – Bangkok, Thailand

40 – Warsaw, Poland 

41 – Copenhagen, Denmark 

42 – Taipei, Taiwan 

43 – Austin, U.S

44 – Oslo, Norway 

45 – Osaka, Japan 

46 – Hong Kong, China 

47 – Tel Aviv, Israel 

48 – Athens, Greece

49 – Frankfurt, Germany

50 – Vancouver, Canada 

51 – San Diego, U.S

52 – Orlando, U.S

53 – Helsinki, Finland 

54 – Miami, U.S

55 – Buenos Aires, Argentina 

56 – Hamburg, Germany 

57 – Brisbane, Australia 

58 – Kuwait, Kuwait

59 – Las Vegas, U.S

60 – Montreal, Canada 

61 – Glasgow, UK

62 – Shanghai, China 

63 – Rio de Janeiro

64 – Auckland, New Zealand 

65 – Atlanta, U.S

66 – Houston, U.S

67 – Busan, South Korea

68 – Philadelphia, U.S

69 – Naples, Italy 

70 – Denver, U.S

71 – Nashville, U.S

72 – Manchester, UK

73 – Dallas, U.S

74 – Liverpool, UK

75 – Minneapolis, U.S

76 – Mexico City, Mexico

77 – Minsk, Belarus 

78 – Lyon, France 

79 – Portland, U.S 

80 – Rotterdam, Netherlands 

81 – Bogotá, Colombia

82 – Kraków, Poland

83 – Valencia, Spain

84 – Santiago, Chile 

85 – Birmingham, UK

86 – New Orleans, U.S

87 – Bucharest, Romania

88 – Leeds, UK

89 – Muscat, Oman 

90 – Ottawa, Canada 

91 – Cologne, Germany 

92 – Charlotte, U.S

93 – Calgary, Canada 

94 – Nagoya, Japan  

95 – Düsseldorf, Germany 

96 – Hanoi, Vietnam

97 – Gothenburg, Sweden 

98 – Sapporo, Japan

99 – Bilbao, Spain 

100 – Baltimore, U.S 

 Source: World’s Best Cities, Resonance Consultancy



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