These Are The Most (And Least) Exciting Cities in The World

These Are The Most (And Least) Exciting Cities in The World

15,000 people across the world were quizzed to come up with the Time Out City Life Index 2018.

A healthy dose of excitement is necessary in everyday life and even more so during a vacation. And yet, what makes a city exciting?

The Time Out City Life Index 2018 collaborated with Tapestry Research to survey 15,000 people in 32 major cities to determine the most exciting city in the world. Factors cover food, drink, culture, friendliness, affordability, happiness and liveability.

According to the index, these are top ten:

  1. Chicago
  2. Porto
  3. New York
  4. Melbourne
  5. London
  6. Madrid
  7. Manchester
  8. Lisbon
  9. Philadelphia
  10. Barcelona

Coming up top on the list is Chicago, the city which checks all the boxes for affordability, neighbourhoods and culture, especially when it comes to the music and bar scene. Second best is the lesser-known Porto, Portugal’s second largest city after Lisbon. Apparently, Porto is a fantastic place to make friends and find love. Rounding up the top three is New York, the city that never sleeps.

These are the cities at the other end of the spectrum:  

  1. Sydney
  2. Dubai
  3. Boston
  4. Singapore
  5. Istanbul

Overall, the most negative responses from the survey come from the most populous city in Turkey – Istanbul. Despite the buzzing bazaars and fantastic historical and cultural sights, the people in Istanbul aren’t quite proud to be living there – they would prefer to live in the city’s past, if such a thing is possible. The second least exciting city in the world is the small city-state of Singapore, which had dire scores, particularly when it comes to culture. It is, however, a winner for safety and public transport.

But here comes a few big questions: Are the residents’ responses in the survey reflective of the state on the ground? For example, could it be that when compared with its Asian counterparts, Singapore is less exciting than Tokyo (19th spot), Beijing (22nd spot), Bangkok (24th spot) and Hong Kong (26th spot)? Perhaps the respondents in Singapore, famed for being people who “love to complain”, are simply critical of what their city has to offer in the various aspects. And what exactly was surveyed in the “culture” aspect that Singapore fared so poorly for? Is it the customs and heritage, the arts scene, the Singapore lifestyle, or perhaps the food culture?

On top of that, could the survey be used by tourists to gauge how “exciting” a city is? Living somewhere is different than travelling there. While certain factors like affordability, culture and the food and bar scene can be applied to tourist appeal, others like happiness, city pride, and how people feel about their neighbourhood may have a less significant effect on tourism.

Therefore, if you’re using this list to determine your next travel destination, we advise you to tread carefully. It’s best to zoom into what exactly you’re looking for in a travel destination and then check for matches.

About Author

Dina Malyana

Dina is one who is constantly dreaming of elsewhere. Her favourite days are those spent traversing across the globe with a backpack, chasing every sunset. Find her on Instagram @dinamalyana.


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