At Time Out, we love the cities we call home. So naturally, we wanted to work out what makes each of them so fun.
We collaborated with Tapestry Research to survey 20,000 people across eighteen different Time Out cities. We asked them all about urban life, from where and how they go out, to food & drink, work, friendship, romance and more. The results? A fascinating look at how we make the most of our cities around the world – and a brand new ranking of which places are thrilling their residents the most in 2016.
Source: Time Out’s City Index 2016
Time Out’s City Index 2016 has just been published.
The City Index doesn’t give you a true picture of travelers/expats favourite destination – a lot of our own personal favourite cities like Berlin, Amsterdam, Buenos Aires, Prague, Beijing etc are not part of Time Outs universe and accordingly not included in their survey.
But still it’s interesting to see the criteria, interests and other important factors behind 20,000 travelers. It is particularly interesting to us, who are starting up a new hotel in a new city, to see what travelers emphasize. So we have spent some time digging a few steps deeper than most other readers.
The biggest surprise is what travelers find important and relevant before they decide which city to go/move to. It not necessarily costs, nightlife and safety that matters.
According to Times Out’s City Index the five things that make a city great are:
They’re exciting – A great city is all about the buzz. Together with Chicago, Melbourne, New York and Madrid – Lisbon got the highest scores for being ‘an energising, inspiring place to live’. SPOT ON – Lisbon is vibrant, energetic, lively and full of surprises. A lot of this has to do with the perfect weather that gives people a lot of outdoor possibilities that most cities don’t have.
They’re tasty – Does great food make a city, or do great cities create great chefs? Either way, the scores the cities got for their bars and restaurants were almost perfectly aligned with their overall rankings. The interesting thing here is the characteristics behind people. Demanding gourmands and body-conscious food lovers choose US cities, whereas Lisbon has the survey’s most laid-back eaters, with the fewest calorie-counters, weight-losers and food intolerances. This just confirms our view – we never really understood why the world is reaving about the Portuguese kitchen. We like it a lot, but find it very fattening and monotonous. We belong to the gourmand category and not the indifferent eaters from the survey.
They’re worth exploring A varied and characterful galaxy of neighbourhoods, rather than cookie-cutter residential zones around a central urban core, is also a significant boon to a city. It means more interesting places to live, and for those bored of downtown, fun new areas to explore – like a neighbourhood like our’s in Graça…
They take things a little easier City living might have once been associated with a ‘work hard, play hard’ lifestyle, but now it seems that striking the right work/life balance is key.
Small differences in working hours make some impact, with the top six cities putting in three hours a week less at the office than the bottom six.
They’re friendly – Together with Madrid, London, Sāo Paulo and Mexico City Lisbon scores the best for ease of making friends among residents. Again we’re sure this has something to do with the good weather – it makes people friendlier and happier which is something we feel everywhere we go. And then the cities liberal marijuana policy. Lightly stoned people are relaxed, loving and more open minded.
If you’re looking for the love of your life forget about Paris: A whopping 38 percent of people in Lisbon thought it was easy to find love in their city.
Time Out is still crunching all the numbers in the survey and publish conclusions along the way. We will keep an eye on their work and share whatever we find relevant and interesting.