For the past 22 years, Travel + Leisure Magazine has asked their 4.8 million readers , who are the most traveled in the world, to rate the World’s Best Cities. The readers weigh in on travel around the globe — and share their opinions on the top cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Readers rated cities on their sights and landmarks, culture, cuisine, friendliness, shopping, and overall value.
Among the favorites this year are; market-filled Hoi An in Vietnam to Florence, a European culture capital. Of note, however, is what ties these contenders together: Almost all are pedestrian-friendly, possess ample green space, and have a rich history that’s being thoughtfully preserved as the city grows.
This year’s No. 1 reader’s favorite is Mexico’s San Miguel de Allende. “San Miguel is one of the most authentic, creative and cost-effective destinations we’ve visited,” says a T+L reader of the colonial city, a part of which has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. “Over the years we’ve discovered more great restaurants and activities, but the town still maintains its Mexican heritage, culture and charm.”
San Miguel also boasts Mexico’s top hotels: the Rosewood and the Hotel Matilda were recognized as the best hotels in Mexico.
Charleston — which has been the top city in the U.S. for the fifth year running — was the only American city on the list; Florence, another World’s Best veteran, was joined by European hubs like Rome and Barcelona; while a perennial favorite — Oaxaca, another Mexican city with a thriving culinary scene and cultural depth, came in at sixth place.
Travel + Leisure is a travel magazine based in New York City, New York. Published 12 times a year and is owned and published by Time, Inc. The magazine specializes in leisure travel and often features articles written by novelists, poets, artists, designers and non-travel journalists.