The readers voted for the best destinations in the world, each in its own category. This year, for the first time the magazine also presented the 10 best Small Cities in the world. San Miguel de Allende in Mexico took first place, while Chiang Mai in Thailand and Merida in Mexico complete the top 3 best small cities in the world for 2021.
- San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
The city is four hours driving from northwest of Mexico City, in the Mexican State of Guanajuato. It is known for its Spanish Colonial architecture and colorful facades. A must for visitors to visit is Fabrica La Aurora, a former textile factory that is now home to local artisans and the Rosewood San Miguel de Allende hotel. The city reached a score of 96.65.
- Chiang Mai, Thailand
It is the first time that this city appears on the list of the best cities in the world. There are more than 300 temples in the city. Also, there are a lot of colorful food markets and cozy coffee shops. In this city, you won’t find high – rise buildings and major highways. Doi Inthanon is one of the best places to do sports activities in nature. The city reached a score of 95.27.
- Merida, Mexico
This city is the perfect base for exploring the Yucatan. Merida is full of history and has a vibrant cultural scene. Visitors can find a variety of museums, art galleries, theaters, and a wide range of bars and restaurants. The city reached a score of 94.38.
- Monte Carlo, Monaco
The famous Monte Carlo Casino is located there. Furthermore, it is the location of the Hotel de Paris, Café de Paris, and Salle Garnier. The city reached a score of 92.23. Monte Carlo is one of Europe’s leading tourist resorts.
- Valletta, Malta
The city is named a UNESCO world heritage site. The capital of Malta is busy with tourists who fill the streets, the shops, the cafes, and the museums. Two main characteristics of the city are the Triton Fountain and Valletta Square. The city reached a score of 91.47.
- Salzburg, Austria
It is one of the most beautiful cities in Central Europe. It has a history of about 12 centuries. The well-preserved Old Town is on the UNESCO world heritage list. Salzburg is the best choice for lovers of baroque architecture. The city reached a score of 91.36. Not to forget to mention that Salzburg was the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and it was also where the Sound of Music (1965) was filmed.
- Siena, Italy
The historic center of Siena has been declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. It is one of Italy’s most visited tourist attractions. Siena is famous for its cuisine, art, museums, medieval cityscape, and the Palio, a horse race that takes place twice a year. The Siena Cathedral, the Piazza del Campo, and the Palazzo Salimbeni are among the main attractions of Siena. The city reached a score of 91.15.
- Victoria, Canada
It is the capital city of the Canadian province of British Columbia, on the southern tip of Vancouver Island. The city is one of the oldest in the Pacific Northwest. The city has retained a large number of its historic buildings. One of them is the Parliament Buildings and the other the Empress hotel which opened in 1908. The city’s Chinatown is the second oldest in North America after San Francisco’s. The city reached a score of 91.03.
- Florence, Italy
It is considered by many academics to have been the birthplace of the Renaissance, and has been called «the Athens of the Middle Ages». The city reached a score of 90.78. The city attracts millions of tourists every year. UNESCO declared the Historic Centre of Florence a World Heritage Site in 1982. The city also has many museums and art galleries, such as the Uffizi Gallery and the Palazzo Pitti.
- Edinburgh, Scotland
It is a historical part of the county of Midlothian. Edinburgh is the «home» of the Scottish Government, the Scottish Parliament, and the supreme courts of Scotland. The city’s Palace of Holyroodhouse is the official residence of the monarch in Scotland. The city is also home to national institutions such as the National Museum of Scotland, the National Library of Scotland, and the Scottish National Gallery.