The world's greatest city?

New York, London, Tokyo, Dubai, Tel Aviv, Mumbai... you choose

The world's greatest city? Union Square, Tokyo. World's Greatest Cities book cover
By Aleida Strowger

A panel of Time Out experts selected 75 cities to celebrate in the book 'The World's Greatest Cities' according to six criteria: Architecture, Arts & Culture, Buzz, Food & Drink, Quality of Life and World Status. In conjunction with our local correspondents, the panel then awarded the cities scores in each category and totalled them up for an overall ranking. The results are both fascinating and often surprising.

But now we want to know, which city, or cities, do you consider to be the greatest in the world and why?

The World's Greatest Cities: Order your copy now from the Time Out shop.

The results

Here are the top ten world cities as voted for by the Time Out panel:

1. New York, USA

Architecture: 9

Arts & culture: 10

Buzz: 10

Food & drink: 9

Quality of life: 6

World status: 9

Total/60: 53

2. London, UK

Architecture: 7

Arts & culture: 10

Buzz: 9

Food & drink: 9

Quality of life: 6
World status: 9
Total/60: 50

3. Paris, France

Architecture: 9

Arts & culture: 9
Buzz: 6
Food & drink: 9

Quality of life: 7

World status: 8

Total/60: 48

4. Berlin, Germany

Architecture: 7

Arts & culture: 9
Buzz: 9

Food & drink: 6

Quality of life: 7

World status: 8
Total/60: 46

Equal 5th. Barcelona, Spain

Architecture: 9

Arts & culture: 7

Buzz: 8

Food & drink: 8

Quality of life: 8
World status: 4

Total/60: 44

Equal 5th. Chicago, USA

Architecture: 9

Arts & culture: 8
Buzz: 7

Food & drink: 7

Quality of life: 7
World status: 6
Total/60: 44

Equal 5th. Tokyo, Japan

Architecture: 7
Arts & culture: 6
Buzz: 9

Food & drink: 10

Quality of life: 4
World status: 8
Total/60: 44

8. Istanbul, Turkey

Architecture: 7
Arts & culture: 7
Buzz: 9

Food & drink: 7
Quality of life: 6
World status: 7

Total/60: 43

Equal 9th. Rome, Italy

Architecture: 9

Arts & culture: 7
Buzz: 7
Food & drink: 6

Quality of life: 6

World status: 7

Total/60: 42

Equal 9th. Sydney, Australia

Architecture: 7

Arts & culture: 6

Buzz: 7

Food & drink: 7

Quality of life: 10
World status: 5

Total/60: 42

The world's greatest cities

Remind yourself about why you love a city so much by following the links through to one of our online city guides:

Almaty, Kazakhstan (this website is written in Russian)
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Athens, Greece    
Bangkok, Thailand
Barcelona, Spain
Beijing, China
Beirut, Lebanon    
Belfast, N Ireland    
Belgrade, Serbia    
Berlin, Germany
Bogotà, Columbia    
Brasilia, Brazil   
Brussels, Belgium
Bucharest, Romania (this website is written in Hungarian)
Budapest, Hungary     
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Cairo, Egypt    
Cape Town, South Africa    
Chicago, USA
Copenhagen, Denmark    
Dakar, Senegal    
Delhi, India
Dubai, UAE
Dublin, Ireland
Edinburgh, Scotland
Florence, Italy    
Glasgow, Scotland    
Hanoi, Vietnam    
Havana, Cuba    
Hong Kong, China
Istanbul, Turkey
Jakarta, Indonesia    
Johannesburg, South Africa    
Kingston, Jamaica     
Kolkata, India    
Krakow, Poland    
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Kyoto, Japan
Lisbon, Portugal (this website is written in Portuguese)
London, England
Los Angeles, USA
Madrid, Spain
Manchester, England    
Manila, Philippines    
Marrakech, Morocco    
Marseille, France    
Melbourne, Australia    
Mexico City, Mexico
Miami, USA
Milan, Italy    
Moscow, Russia (this website is written in Russian)
Mumbai, India
Naples, Italy    
New York, USA
Paris, France    
Prague, Czech Republic    
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil    
Rome, Italy    
San Francisco, USA   
Sana'a, Yemen    
São Paulo, Brazil
Seoul, Korea    
Seville, Spain    
Shanghai, China
St Petersburg, Russia (this website is written in Russian)
Stockholm, Sweden
Sydney, Australia
Tel Aviv, Israel (this website is written in Hebrew)
Tokyo, Japan (beta website)
Toronto, Canada   
Vancouver, Canada
Venice, Italy (website coming soon)
Vienna, Austria    
Washington DC, USA

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Buy the book

World's Greatest Cities book

The World's Greatest Cities book draws on Time Out's unique urban expertise and its unrivalled collection of photography to present portraits of the world's 75 most exciting cities. This book is a celebration of their beauty and diversity, the people who built them and the people who live in them.

Buy your copy now from the Time Out shop and save 40% online.

Time Out publishes city guidebooks and magazines to 50 of these cities. All are available at a discounted price from the Time Out shop.

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By Youmustbejoking - Sep 27 2013

New York architecture a '9' and London a '7'?! In what parallel universe?

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By Jimbo29 - Sep 19 2013

London is the superior city for now. New York City is filthy, ugly and looks like it is falling apart. There's no comparison. Perhaps in 20 or so years, we'll see where both cities stand.

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By noe - Aug 16 2013

i'm not aussie, i'm spanish,
but The best city is Sidney....I really love Sidney

By Joe - Aug 13 2013

Barcelona and Chicago in the same place??! I visited both and honestly Barcelona's architecture is so UNIQUE and elegant! Chicago's architecture is really plastic and boring.

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By Anita - Aug 4 2013

If the researchers tell us that New York has been the greatest city, keep calm and just accept it. Many people won't accept the truth because they are afraid that their cities would not be the greatest and It is also possible that they are jealous.

By Joseph - Aug 4 2013

Chris mCkay
Let me explain further the points that you really don't understand

1.U.N.O is the largest organisation in the world.All people are included in this organisation.So, if headquarter is not located in the city that is not perfect well, it would have some problems. The reason why the headquarter is located in this city is that it is perfect well which which means it is so great...Greatest too.

2.Unites State is the only superpower in the world, it's economy is the best economy in the world and it the only country which can destroy the other countries during the end of cold war, it is still the most powerful country in the world..New York city was already the capital of U.S but it is not now; NYcity is still the most populous city in the USA . Great movies are made in this city like Spiderman, The Avengers etc. All these movies need the best placement it needs a very great building like buildings in New York..From this point, it can be seen that this city is very great which can be more than i can say.

3.World Trade Centre was the tallest building before it was collapsed.It's the world trade centre. Many buildings which are taller than WTO was constructed after the collapse of WTC..(It is clearly known).But, New York still has the great buildings like empire state etc. This clearly shows the buldings in The US are all great this makes the city greatest

4. Two more important reasons that hip hop style was invented in
New York which people really like and It has the most billionaire people..

5.Los Angeles may have the most famous people. New York may be the second..You say(Chris Mckay)London has famous people too..I know this too but NEW york has more famous people..Results show that New Yorker are living longer..


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By Chris McKay - Jul 30 2013

I had to post a response to Joseph/josepha below as this was one of the dumbest things I've read on the Internet (and that's saying something).

1. U.N Headquarter is located in N.Y. - So what?
2. It is the most populous city in the greatest country i.e U.S.A - Greatest country is completely subjective. HDI, economic and QOL studies would suggest otherwise.
3. The tallest building in the world i.e World Trade Center is already situated here - Really? You appear to have forgotten the 8 buildings that are taller to roof than One World Trade Center. Burj Kalifa is basically double the height.
4. One of the best institutions(Harvard University) is located here - Harvard is not even in the same state (MA) as NYC.
5. Many respected persons, celebrities, richest people are living in this city - What bearing does that have on how "great" a city is? London has filthy rich famous people too.

By baller - Jun 30 2013

of course this is a fix, americans aren't going to buy anything that doesn't have tired old New York top of the list. London is so far ahead of New York now its a joke to even mention them in the same sentence. Take the shame Time Out.

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London is better but also worse for architecture than New York. The best London buildings are better than the best New York buildings, but, due to bombings in the war there are a lot of ugly brutalist buildings in London. Thankfully, a lot of these are being demolished for awesome looking glass buildings, of which actually fit into the beautiful old buildings of London.

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By Tom - Mar 22 2013

Congratulations, you missed the only important criteria when considering the merits of a city...the people. How often have you had abuse screamed at you by a complete stranger in New York, London or Paris? What are your chances of being a victim of casual violence these 'great' cities? How many people would stop and help someone who's lying unconscious on a pavement? Cities are made of people not concrete, material wealth or party zones.

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By Thom - Feb 22 2013

London has spectacular architecture that is considerably more diverse than NYC. No city on earth has such a mix of old and new. Paris is largely antique, NYC is largely modern skyscrapers. London has it all, warts and all.

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