Located on Vietnam’s central coast, Hoi An managed to knock defending, two-time chart-topper San Miguel de Allende in Mexico down to the second spot in this year’s Top Cities in the World list. Rounding out the podium is Chiang Mai, Thailand. For the ranking, readers were asked to rate cities based on criteria like sights, landmarks, culture, cuisine, friendliness, shopping and overall value – all categories that scored high among visitors to Hoi An.
In recent years, the port city has experienced a resurgence and revitalization, editors note, thanks to young and worldly locals who are opening regionally-focused restaurants, experimental cocktail bars, and trendy boutiques.
In a sign of the area’s growing popularity as a beach resort area, Four Seasons spearheaded a major renovation of its Nam Hai hotel in 2016, in anticipation of wealthier visitors. Readers also laud the city for its friendly locals, rich culture and heritage, and food scene.
Between 5 November 2018 and 4 March 2019, readers were invited to rate cities, airlines, airports, cruise lines, spas, and hotels in online surveys. Final scores (on 100-point scales) are indexed averages of overall responses.
Hoi An, for example, received a score of 90.39. Here are Travel + Leisure‘s Top 15 Cities in the World 2019:
1. Hoi An, Vietnam
2. San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
3. Chiang Mai, Thailand
4. Mexico City, Mexico
5. Oaxaca, Mexico
6. Ubud, Indonesia
7. Tokyo, Japan
8. Kyoto, Japan
9. Florence, Italy
10. Udaipur, Indonesia
11. Rome, Italy
12. Charleston, South Carolina, USA
13. Seville, Spain
14. Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
15. Bangkok, Thailand