Time Out ranks Prague among the world's ten best cities in 2021

The culture and travel site has expanded its criteria to include sustainability and green spaces, in addition to food and entertainment.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 09.09.2021 12:33:00 (updated on 14.07.2023) Reading time: 3 minutes

Prague is no stranger to Top 10 lists. The City of 100 Spires was just ranked as the seventh-best city in the world, based on a poll from travel and UK-based culture website Time Out.

The poll relied on input for residents, rather than visitors. People have started to use and explore their cities in new ways in the past year, and Time Out asked not only about food and culture but also about concepts that residents increasingly value such as sustainability, green space, and community projects.

Of the 37 ranked cities, San Francisco, California, came in at the top, followed by Amsterdam, Manchester, Copenhagen, New York, and Montreal. Following Prague and finishing out the Top 10 were Tel Aviv, Porto, and Tokyo.

Many notable cities didn’t make the list at all. Conspicuously absent from Central and Eastern Europe are Vienna, Berlin, Bratislava, and Warsaw. The only other cites in the region to be ranked were Budapest, coming in at 29th, and Moscow at 34th. This makes Prague’s showing as the best in the region as a bit of an empty prize.

Prague was praised by 82 percent of its residents for its beauty and 89 percent liking that it is easy to get around without a car.

The amount of green space was also noted, with the city coming in second for relaxation. Time Out didn’t specify what city was number one in that category, but Copenhagen, Barcelona, and Abu Dhabi were all mentioned as particular good places to relax.

“The Golden City’s gradual reopening has presented amazing opportunities to [experience] simple pleasures unthinkable in pre-pandemic Prague: having Charles Bridge almost to yourself, the audible chirrup of birds in Old Town Square, a contemplative morning coffee down a deserted sidestreet,” Time Out stated.

The city has also been renovating parks, with a goal of planting a million trees in eight years, and investing in the waterfront.

Indeed, Prague City Hall has been looking at strategies to revive tourism but keep the city center open to locals. Efforts so far included getting rid of “visual smog” and getting rid of some of most annoying tourist attractions like beer bikes, beggars in giant costumes, and bubble blowers. Going forward, the city hopes to attract people interested in culture rather than cheep beer.

San Francisco, ranked first in Time Out’s list was praised for its number of parks, but also scored points for its progressive politics, sustainability, and accepting nature. Amsterdam also ranked highly for sustainability and being green.

A surprise entry in the Top 10 was Manchester, a former industrial city in the northwest of England. It’s cultural life and festivals were noted, along with its friendliness.

This is the second recent time that Prague was cited for its parks. Earlier in September, it topped abcFlora.com’s ranking of major cities with the best parks. The study was based on Google rankings and population density.

One criteria not mentioned for Prague was beer – though oddly the beverage was mentioned in Time Out's list for Tel Aviv, Porto, and Shanghai. Prague recently ranked as second-best for both beer culture and beer prices in a list by financial website Money.co.uk.

Prague was also ranked among the top cities for expats in a post-Covid world by online moving information service MoverDB.

Time Out's Top 10 best cities

  • 1.San Francisco
  • 2.Amsterdam
  • 3.Manchester
  • 4.Copenhagen
  • 5.New York
  • 6.Montreal
  • 7.Prague
  • 8.Tel Aviv
  • 9.Porto
  • 10.Tokyo

Source: Time Out

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