The Best Cities in the World

The best cities in the world as voted by the readership of one of the topmost media brands in the travel space were published this month. They were selected based on readership opinions. Opinions about quality hotels, good food, rich culture, visitor attractions, the friendliness of its people, among other traveler valued characteristics.

Travel + Leisure is the brand that published this World Best Award (WBA) best cities list. Their website indicates that the brand reaches 16 million readers a month. That’s quite a lot!

I love to travel. I also love to read travel sites and travel magazines. Travel lists always draw me in.

There were two things that stood out for me on the list.

My Travel

One is that it is always interesting to read article about places I have visited. These travel articles get my attention even if they just a mention the place in a list. I have visited 5 of the ‘best cities in the world’ which appear on this list. These are (4) Florence, (6) Mexico City, (11) Seville, (16) Seoul, and (18) Rome.

All of them are beautiful places that I would love to visit again. In fact, I have visited several of these travel destinations more than once.

I travelled to Mexico City once when I was in high school quite a few years ago.

A family wedding took me to Seoul in 2019.

I traveled to Seville in a few months before the World’s fair in 1992. In 2020 I traveled there again, in January, when COVID-19 was still a distant chatter.

And I have travelled to Italy three times in 1999, 2005 and 2017; Florence and Rome were on my itinerary two out of those three times.

My Heritage

Going back to the article, there is something else that stood out to me. Four of the top voted best cities in the world are in the Country of Mexico. This includes the top two spots.

(1) Oaxaca, (2) San Miguel de Allende, (6) Mexico City, (12) Merida.

I learned more about this annual survey through the articles’s linked resources. And guess what, the top two cities this year were the top two cities last year, but in reverse order.

I have mixed emotions about this. One is a sense of pride because Mexico is part of my heritage.

The other emotion is sadness. Sadness because I have only visited one out of these four Mexican cities. The saddest part is that I have traveled to other continents, and I live along the border with Mexico. I love Mexico and I wish it was as easy to travel there as it once was.

The discussion we had early on was that it would be better to travel greater distances in our younger years, and leave the closer distances for our later years. Hopefully the situation in Mexico changes and we can eventually go and explore all of its beauty without reservations.

Hall of Fame

There are several cities that have appeared on this 25 best city list for 10 years in a row. The Hall of Fame Designation is given to these cities for appearing this many times on the list.

Several cities appear to have the designation on this year’s list. The cities with Hall of fame designation are: Florence, Italy; Kyoto, Japan; Rome, Italy; and Charleston, South Carolina.

All in the Marketing

There is a reason why these articles are so enticing. Most of it has to do with the beautiful photography.

Beautiful travel photography always draws me in.

It is easy to get lost in it and lose track of what the information means.

What does it mean for a city to appear on this list of ‘best cities in the world’? It really means whatever you want it to mean. It represents opinions from people who love to travel or who like to respond to surveys about travel.

The best cities in the world are going to be different for different people because everyone has their own unique interests. Different interests translate to different and unique experiences.

I still think these lists are great to stimulate curiosity and to draw inspiration.

Curiosity to learn more about any of the cities on the list that we know less about.

Inspiration to dream and plan our next travel adventure.