Measuring Metros: Are These the World’s Best Cities for Visitors?

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How do you take the measure of a city? Is it statistical, like population? Environmental? Everyone wants a pleasant climate. Or it could be sociological – low crime rates and plenty of cultural happenings, to name a few, help improve standard of living. But Travel + Leisure magazine is concerned with only one facet of a city: visitor value.

It’s hard to visit the U.S. and skip New York. Likewise with Paris while on a trip to France. Travel + Leisure sees the glory of cities – as historical landmarks, cultural hubs, and even jumping-off points to smaller locales – and offers its take on the most desirable destinations, the most urbane of the urban areas.

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The magazine took into consideration what’s important for visitors: culture, food, shopping, and most importantly, cost – of both staying there and getting there. Topping the charts, perhaps surprisingly, is a city infamous for its traffic, pollution and recent governmental tensions. But bustling Bangkok, Thailand’s steamy capital, is also widely renowned: for its unique cuisine, its cosmopolitan nightlife and its stunning Buddhist temples. Below Bangkok lies two Italian cities and a U.S. metropolis.

If you’re looking to book your next trip, look no further than the T + L list. Their top 10 alone spans five continents. We dare say it’s time to put those frequent flier miles to good use. See the full list at Travel + Leisure‘s website. Here are the top 10.

  1. Bangkok
  2. Florence
  3. Rome
  4. New York
  5. Istanbul
  6. Cape Town
  7. Siem Reap, Cambodia
  8. Sydney
  9. Barcelona
  10. Paris

Nick Carbone is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @nickcarbone. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

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