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The Best Cities
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The urban experience varies with many factors affecting people’s opinions. The November 2006 edition of Conde Nast Traveler featured the Readers’ Choice Awards for the top 100—the Best in the World.

Readers were asked to rate cities based on ambience, culture/sites, friendliness, lodging, restaurants, and shopping. The results are as follows.

“Actually, this year’s highest-rated city, with an overall score of 87.7, Sydney, Australia, has a lot of somethings going for it. Among the composite scores that put it at the top of the cities list—for the eighth time in 12 years—are category highs of 94.7 for ambiance and 92.8 for friendliness.

“Europe is again dominated by a trio of Italian cities:  Florence, Rome, and Venice—with Istanbul on their heels. Which leads us to Asia, where Bangkok and Hong Kong file scores in the 80s. On this side of the Pacific, two Oceanside cities claim honors:  San Francisco leads in the U.S., as it has since 1993, while Vancouver wins the rest of the hemisphere, with Buenos Aires a strong second.

“Cape Town again rises to number one in Africa and the Middle East where many cities face serious challenges—especially this year, Beirut....Beirut, it seemed, was back. The Lebanese capital, with its enviable beaches, pulsing nightlife, and stylish crowds, won our readers’ approval last year, and again this year. But progress that took years to achieve took only weeks to undo this summer. The U.S. State Department currently advises against travel anywhere in Lebanon, and Beirut is once again rebuilding.”

Top Picks

Top picks for Asia with scores ranging from a high of 85.8 to a low of 67.8:  Bangkok, Hong Kong, Chiang Maim (Thailand), Singapore, Kyoto, Shanghai, Jaipur (India), Tokyo, Hanoi, Beijing.

Top picks for Europe with scores ranging from a high of 86.8 to a low of 78.1:  Florence, Rome, Venice, Istanbul, Paris, Barcelona, Siena, Bruges (Belgium), London, Vienna.

Top picks for the Americas with scores ranging from a high of 82.2 to a low of 69.4:  Vancouver, Buenos Aires, San Miguel de Allende, Victoria (B.C.), Quebec City, Oaxaca (Mexico), Cuzco (Peru), Montreal, Toronto, Rio de Janeiro.

Top picks for the United States with scores ranging from a high of 85.9 to a low of 77.7:  San Francisco, Santa Fe, New York City, Chicago, Charleston (S.C.), Carmel, Honolulu, Aspen, Seattle, Sedona.

Top picks for Africa/Middle East with scores ranging from a high of 82.8 to a low of 69.9:  Cape Town, Marrakech, Jerusalem, Beirut, Dubai.

Top picks for Australia/Pacific with scores ranging from a high of 87.7 to a low of 70.8:  Sydney, Melbourne, Queenstown (N.Z.), Christchurch (N.Z.), Wellington (N.Z.).

For more details, check this link:  www.cntraveler.com

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