When you think of the world’s most beautiful cities, which spring to mind? It was a question I was asked recently, along with other bloggers, by online travel agency Flight Network. As a reasonably well-travelled person, I was only too happy to nominate a few.
It’s a tough question, more than anything because even the most aesthetically pleasing cities have their gritty side once you’ve stripped away the Instagram-friendly UNESCO heritage.
The resulting World’s 50 Most Beautiful Cities judged by the online travel community contains few surprises, with many of the world’s most visited included in the top 10:
- New York
- Cape Town
- San Francisco
What is a little surprising is that the list is so Western-centric. Paris is up there in the top 10, but Kyoto is not. New York is second, but Shanghai is nowhere to be seen.
Other inclusions also look suspect: Bangkok is more beautiful than Chiang Mai, which might raise eyebrows in Thailand. Why is Singapore seen as the most beautiful city in Asia? Seriously?
Maybe my fellow bloggers haven’t been out much, but let’s not take this too seriously. You can see one of my nominated cities (admittedly in Europe) – Barcelona – ranked 6th, which I can’t really argue with.