Best world city travel destinations named – with Las Vegas and Los Angeles featuring low on list | World News

From a city famed for its golden beaches, to the history-steeped former capital of Japan

From a city famed for its golden beaches, to the history-steeped former capital of Japan – the best city destinations outside Europe have been named.

Australia dominates the list – compiled by consumer group Which? – with Sydney claiming top spot, and both Melbourne and Perth featuring high.

South Africa’s Cape Town comes second, while Chicago in the US, Japan’s Kyoto, and the city-state of Singapore, in southeast Asia, are placed joint third.

Meanwhile, several US cities featured towards the bottom of the list, including Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

Sydney Harbour Bridge
Sydney Harbour Bridge. Pic: Istock

Cherry blossoms are in full bloom at the Gion Shirakawa district in Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture on April 4, 2022. ( The Yomiuri Shimbun via AP Images )
Cherry blossoms in bloom in Kyoto City. Pic: The Yomiuri Shimbun via AP Images

The City Bowl of Cape Town, South Africa, as seen from the top of Table Mountain (Edwin Remsberg / VWPics via AP Images)
The City Bowl of Cape Town. Pic: Edwin Remsberg / VWPics via AP Images

Chicago Loop. Pic: iStock
Chicago. Pic: iStock

The results are from a survey by Which? – the consumer group’s first on world cities since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel, said: “The top-rated cities in our latest survey may be wildly different.

“But they all have one important thing in common – they offer visitors a feast for the senses, with a fantastic array of cultural sights, excellent food and stunning scenery combining to create that undeniable ‘wow’ factor.

“Australia proved particularly popular, with sun-soaked Sydney wooing visitors with its unique mix of cosmopolitan city life and laid-back beach vibes, while Melbourne and Perth also impressed.

“Chicago meanwhile offers the best of the US at a better price.”

The consumer group asked more than 1,800 members of its online panel to rate their experiences of world travel outside of Europe over the last three years, receiving feedback on over 3,000 trips.

Locations were marked on seven separate criteria, including the quality of food and drink, cultural sights and tourist attractions, ease of getting around and value for money.

Panoramic view over the Yarra River to skyscrapers and the Evan Walker Bridge in Melbourne city centre. The pedestrian bridge on the Southbank promenade, built in 1992, connects the north and south banks. (17 January 2016) | usage worldwide Photo by: Jürgen Schwenkenbecher/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images
The Yarra Rive and Evan Walker Bridge in Melbourne city centre. Pic: Jurgen Schwenkenbecher/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

City skyline seen from Elizabeth Quay, Perth, Western Australia. December 2016 | usage worldwide Photo by: paul mayall/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images
Elizabeth Quay, Perth, Australia. Pic: Paul Mayall/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

A city score was then calculated based on a combination of overall satisfaction and likeliness to recommend the destination.

Sydney, with its world-famous Opera House and its sun-soaked Bondi Beach, finished top with an impressive city score of 88%.

The city received a string of four-star ratings in categories including accommodation, shopping, food and drink, as well as cultural sights and attractions.

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Cape Town took second place with a city score of 85%, and an impressive five-star rating for food and drink, with visitors noting the “amazing, freshly caught” seafood and local wines.

Chicago, Kyoto, and Singapore, all tied for third place.

Located on the southern shores of Lake Michigan, Chicago was praised for its “breathtaking” architecture, while Singapore was the only city in the survey to achieve two five-star ratings, which it achieved for its food and drink, and shopping experience.

The famous Las Vegas strip. Jut don't stop to take a picture
The famous Las Vegas strip. Pic: iStock

PRODUCTION - 07 March 2023, USA, Los Angeles: 915/917 View of Hollywood sign from a distance. Photo by: Barbara Munker/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images
Los Angeles, the home of Hollywood. Pic: Barbara Munker/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

Kyoto, the former capital of Japan for more than 1,000 years, and home to some of the country’s best historical attractions, received an impressive five-star rating for cultural sites and attractions – one of just two cities in the survey to do so.

Melbourne (83%) and Perth, Tokyo, and Washington DC, all tied on 82%, were close behind, taking sixth and joint seventh places.

At the other end of the survey, Las Vegas, often dubbed the “entertainment capital of the world” and famed for its huge casinos and star-studded shows, was the lowest-scoring destination, at 52%.

Chile’s capital, Santiago, and Los Angeles completed the bottom three with scores of 58% and 60% respectively.

The list of top world city destinations, according to Which?

  • Sydney – 88%
  • Cape Town – 85%
  • Chicago – 84%
  • Kyoto – 84%
  • Singapore – 84%
  • Melbourne – 83%
  • Perth – 82%
  • Tokyo – 82%
  • Washington DC – 82%
  • Christchurch – 81%
  • Vancouver – 81%
  • Bangkok – 80%
  • Boston – 79%
  • New York – 78%
  • Wellington – 78%
  • Brisbane – 77%
  • Ho Chi Minh City – 75%
  • Kuala Lumpur – 75%
  • Hong Kong – 73%
  • Toronto – 72%
  • Abu Dhabi – 71%
  • Delhi – 71%
  • Hanoi – 71%
  • Marrakesh – 71%
  • New Orleans – 69%
  • Buenos Aires – 68%
  • Orlando – 68%
  • Auckland – 67%
  • Montreal – 66%
  • Seattle – 66%
  • Dubai – 65%
  • San Francisco – 64%
  • Cairo – 62%
  • Miami – 61%
  • Los Angeles – 60%
  • Santiago (Chile) – 58%
  • Las Vegas – 52%