Not every city skyline includes an extinct volcano, an imposing hilltop castle and a line-up of centuries-old buildings, but Edinburgh's awe-inspiring horizon is just one of the reasons why the Scottish capital is Time Out's best city for 2022.
Each year, the media company asks some 20,000 city-dwellers across the world, alongside its network of global editors, to pinpoint what makes their city great via a survey known as the Time Out Index. Time Out uses the resulting data to compile its global city rankings.
It's not just Edinburgh's beauty that nabbed it the top spot for 2022, the city is also known for its buzzy arts festivals and growing foodie scene, and surveyed locals praised the city's walkability, as well as its welcoming, inclusive feel.
"It's been amazing to see how much the city has developed since we were children growing up here," the team behind recently opened Edinburgh wine bar Eleanore, spotlighted by Time Out as one of the city's highlights, told CNN Travel. "It is great to see it getting the recognition it deserves."
While last year's list praised places that rallied together during the pandemic, this year Time Out emphasized everything we've been missing out on over the past couple years, closely examining each city's restaurants, bars, nightlife and museums.
The goal, says Time Out, is to make the ranking "the ultimate travel bucket list for 2022."
"They're all places that excel at the stuff that inspires people to travel and try new things," Time Out's Huw Oliver tells CNN Travel.
Resilience and partying
Hot on Edinburgh's heels at No. 2 is the Midwestern American hub of Chicago, praised as much for its early hours nightclub scene as its pandemic-era resilience. Third on the list is Medellín, Colombia, celebrated for its nightlife, boutique hotels and mouth-watering food.
And it's a strong showing for Scotland as Glasgow is No. 4 on the list, with Time Out championing the varied Glaswegian dining options and the city's friendly atmosphere.
Sustainability initiatives, safety and public transport also factor into the rankings. On the green front, Time Out name-checks Glaswegian club SWG3's recent initiative to generate power via dancers' body heat, while Amsterdam, at No. 5 on the list, is acknowledged as the world's most bike-friendly city.
The goal, says Time Out's Oliver, was for the 2022 round-up to highlight "all the stuff that makes cities fun, vibrant places to visit." Check out the full ranking.
Time Out's top 10 best cities
1. Edinburgh, Scotland
2. Chicago, USA
3. Medellín, Colombia
4. Glasgow, Scotland
5. Amsterdam, Netherlands
6. Prague, Czech Republic
7. Marrakech, Morocco
8. Berlin, Germany
9. Montreal, Canada
10. Copenhagen, Denmark
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