Never mind the rivalry between Melbourne and Sydney, the competition between cities has gone global.
It takes a lot to be a top city these days. No longer is it enough to be liveable, cities need to be affordable and, most importantly, exciting, which is where Time Out comes in with their City Life Index.
On a mission to uncover the greatest city in the world, they’ve surveyed 15,000 people from all around the world to help find the answer. With readers ranking their city across criteria including food, drink, culture, friendliness, affordability, happiness and liveability, scores for each category were then combined to give each city an overall City Life Index figure.
Taking out the title of overall winner for the second year running, there was only a .4 difference between Chicago and runner-up Porto – who knocked Lisbon off their 2017 ranking of third, falling all the way down to eighth position. The second US city in the top 10, the Big Apple, beat the British capital, with Manchester coming in seventh. Spain also took two places with both Madrid and Barcelona recognised for their food and culture.
Closer to home, Melbourne didn’t quite retain its position of second place from 2017 but still took out the title for the world’s happiest city, and fourth most exciting city. And as for that rivalry with Sydney? Well, Sydney came in fifth … but from the bottom, in 28th place with locals less enthusiastic about the city’s eating and drinking options, culture, expense and liveability.
The City of Love also lived up to its name with Parisians having more sex than anyone else … but they’re also the most sleep-deprived.
The full results for the City Index were:
1. Chicago, 138.2 points
One of the happiest and proudest cities worldwide, Chicagoans love their city’s bar scene, live music, culture and affordability.
2. Porto, 137.9 points
Beating Lisbon in most categories across the board, locals claim Porto is the best place for making friends, finding love, feeling free to be yourself and keeping in touch with family. Some of the locals, though, feel that ‘too many tourists’ is the city’s biggest problem!
3. New York, 134.6 points
While it may have excelled when it comes to culture, nightlife, eating and drinking, the Big Apple also ranked joint first as the most stressed city in the world.
4. Melbourne, 132.3 points
Reconfirming their solid title as the ‘world’s most liveable city’, 92 per cent of Melburnians enjoy living there. It’s also the city that does the most exercise (we can thank the Tan for this)!
5. London, 131.4 points
One of the world’s best cities for culture and eating, what stopped London from ranking higher were having the longest commutes in Europe, high stress and poor affordability.
6. Madrid, 131.1 points
With a strong food scene and great culture and nightlife, it’s no surprise that Madrilenians go out to bars and clubs more than anyone else on the planet. This may contribute to the fact that they are also the most likely to send naked pictures of themselves to a stranger!
7. Manchester, 130.9 points
Despite the horrific events of 2017, locals said what they loved most about Manchester is that they ‘… carry on, no matter what’.
8. Lisbon, 130.2 points
While it may have been beaten by Porto, Lisbon was one of the proudest and most liveable cities surveyed, with most people still expecting to live there in five years.
9. Philadelphia, 192.2 points
The most affordable city in the world, Philly was also rated as one of the most enjoyable to live in.
10. Barcelona, 45.3 points
With more people volunteering than anywhere else in the world, the Catalonian city was commended for its food and culture scene. It also came in second in the category of ‘wanting to stay if money were no object’.
11. Edinburgh, 128.2 points
12. Tel Aviv, 125.8 points
13. Austin, 125.3 points
14. Paris, 124.9 points
15. Mexico City, 121.2 points
16. Shanghai, 119.5 points
17. San Francisco, 119.4 points
18. Berlin, 119.2 points
19. Tokyo, 117.7 points
20. Los Angeles, 116.8 points
21. Zurich, 115.3 points
22. Beijing, 113.0 points
23. Washington DC, 111.3 points
24. Bangkok, 111.0 points
25. Moscow, 110.2 points
26. Hong Kong, 109.6 points
27 Miami, 107.9 points
28. Sydney, 106.1 points
29. Dubai, 105.3 points
30. Boston, 103.7 points
31. Singapore, 98.7 points
32. Istanbul, 87.1 points
See the full details of the City Index at Time Out. Do you agree with these results? How many of the 32 cities have you been to and which was your favourite?