...cheap. Some of the biggest cities are expensive, but a higher cost of living isn't necessarily fatal to a city's success. New York (#4) and Madrid (#5) were only eleventh and thirteenth in terms of affordability, while Singapore (#14) and Kuala Lumpur's (#18) relative cheapness wasn't enough to boost their overall standing. That said, Chicago and Melbourne prove you can be an exciting, engaging city and value for money, with high marks for both dimensions.
...safe. Safety first? Not for the respondents in our survey, apparently, where there was little connection between perception of danger and overall satisfaction with the city. Only 2 percent of people feel unsafe in Tokyo at night (#15 overall) compared to 72 percent in Mexico City (#6), for example. Across all our cities, a mere 3 percent of people would anticipate getting a lost wallet/purse back with the money still inside – that rises to an enormous 30 percent in Dubai (#17), but to no overall benefit.
...or partying all night. Fun, it turns out, really is more than drinking enormous amounts (Sydney, #16, is one of our top cities for hangovers), staying up until sunrise (Tokyo, #13), taking drugs (Miami, #12), having a one night stand (Sydney #16) or a workplace romance (Sydney #16, again!).
Indeed, Lisbon (#3) is far more conservative than both New York (#4) and Melbourne (#2), suggesting it's not how wild you go, but how wonderfully.