The 10 most inspiring cities in the world have been revealed

Posted by
Kayleigh Dray
backgroundLayer 1
Add this article to your list of favourites

While there’s no denying that secluded beaches and little-known rural spots are always amazing to visit, there’s something very alluring about a city break. Forget dipping your toes into another culture, you can plunge in headfirst – and enjoy all the warmth, life, and vivacity that the world’s cosmopolitan hotspots have to offer.

But, with so many beautiful cities across the world, picking one to use your hard-earned annual leave on can be tricky. Thank goodness, then, for TravelBird’s 2016 Inspiring Cities Ranking, which cleverly grades 85 metropolitan meccas on eight criteria based on innovation and creativity.

The coastal city of Miami was named the most inspiring, with Bruges and San Francisco coming in second and third place respectively

And, while London failed to make the list, Bristol – aka the birthplace of Banksy - made it to the fourth spot, thanks to its vibrant arts scene and museums.

The 10 most inspiring cities of 2016 are:

  1. Miami, USA
  2. Bruges, Belgium
  3. San Francisco, USA 
  4. Bristol, UK 
  5. Reykjavik, Iceland 
  6. Santiago de Compostela, Spain 
  7. Salzburg, Austria 
  8. Zurich, Switzerland 
  9. Heidelberg, Germany 
  10. Florence, Italy

Explaining how they determine their overall Inspirational Ranking out of 100, TravelBird say: “The criteria includes measurements of creativity by looking at the number of performing arts companies and art schools in each location, as well as measuring culture by factoring in the number of art galleries and museums present.”

They continue: “Creative industries were measured by the music production and film industry facilities available, whilst our startup ranking is based on the number of new businesses operating in the city. Inspired romance is an indicator of how frequently the population, including visitors, feel romantically inspired by what their city has to offer.

“We ranked each location by the number of Google searches for romance-focused keywords (e.g. searches for romantic locations or dinners).”

These criteria include:

  • Performing Arts Companies
  • Art Schools
  • Art Galleries
  • Museums
  • Film Industry
  • Music Production
  • Startups
  • Romance

Meanwhile Bristol’s mayor, Marvin Rees, was overjoyed by the news that his city had been rated so highly.

He told the Bristol Magazine: “Bristol is a great place to live and work. 

“We are a diverse, talented and outward looking city with a world-class annual calendar of events that inspire residents and visitors alike.

“I’m pleased that our efforts and those of everyone who is contributing to the city’s success are recognised in this survey.”

Looks like our next city break may just have to be a little closer to home, eh?

All hail Bristol, the sparkling jewel of the West Country.


Share this article


Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.