Cape Town named third greatest city on Earth
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Cape Town named third greatest city on Earth

Cape Town named third greatest city on Earth

The Mother City does it again! Cape Town has been named the third greatest city on Earth by the flagship UK newspaper, The Telegraph, out ranking top international travel destinations and global heavy hitters like New York, Paris, London, Tokyo, and Venice.

Every year The Telegraph runs an annual reader survey as well as utilizes the input from a panel of renowned travel writers to evaluate the best travel destinations and cities in the world with the aim of crowning one of these cities ‘The Greatest City on Earth’. A total of 19 factors are considered in the ranking process, including the number of UNESCO World Heritage sites, total number of five-star hotels, museums, and galleries, annual hours of sunshine, urban population density, and the overall level of safety for members of the LGBTQ+ community (based on the Asher and Lyric LGBTQ+ Danger Index), to mention merely a few.

Cape Town named third greatest city on Earth

Needless to say, the beautiful, vibrant, and culturally diverse city of Cape Town had no problem standing out among its fellow contenders, proudly claiming the title as ‘the third greatest city on Earth’. According to The Telegraph, Cape Town’s podium position is largely thanks to its remarkable topography and geography along with its beautiful beaches, copious sunshine, stunning natural wonders, and the world-renowned Table Mountain. The latter providing the highest view-point as well as the biggest green space out of any city on the list.

Cape Town named third greatest city on Earth

Despite the fierce competition, only two cities placed above Cape Town on the publication’s index. Barcelona took top spot, mostly thanks to its culinary and cultural supremacy, low-emission credentials, and inclusive LGBTQ+ scene. Sydney came second, with judges praising its low emissions and ‘stress-free vibes’.

#Final rankings

  1. Barcelona
  2. Sydney
  3. Cape Town
  4. Lisbon
  5. Venice
  6. Los Angeles
  7. Dubai
  8. London
  9. Vancouver
  10. Florence
  11. Stockholm
  12. Paris
  13. Seville
  14. San Francisco
  15. Melbourne
  16. Vienna
  17. Madrid
  18. Singapore
  19. Dubrovnik
  20. Beijing
  21. Tokyo
  22. Rome
  23. Berlin
  24. Dublin
  25. Istanbul
  26. Auckland
  27. Edinburgh
  28. Tel Aviv
  29. Havana
  30. Copenhagen
  31. New York City
  32. Rio de Janeiro
  33. Mexico City
  34. New Orleans
  35. Amsterdam
  36. Prague
  37. Bruges
  38. Toronto
  39. Buenos Aires
  40. Krakow
  41. Las Vegas
  42. Shanghai
  43. Hong Kong
  44. Budapest
  45. Chicago
  46. New Delhi
  47. Athens
  48. Bangkok
  49. Mumbai
  50. Marrakesh

#Each city was ranked according to the following criteria: 

  • Its number of Unesco World Heritage sites.
  • Number of Michelin-starred restaurants per capita. 
  • Distance from city centre of the closest airport.
  • Clean air ranking according to the CDP environmental performance index.
  • Size of the biggest park.
  • Age of oldest extant building.
  • Number of five-star hotels per capita (listed on
  • Highest accessible observation point (including natural vantage points).
  • Number of museums and galleries listed on Tripadvisor (per capita).
  • LGBTQ+ safety ranking based on the Asher and Lyric LGBTQ+ Danger Index.
  • Homicide rate according to the UNODC.
  • Disabled access (according to hotels data on
  • Annual hours of sunshine.
  • Urban population density.

Bonus points were issued to cities with:

  • A beach
  • A canal system, harbour or river
  • A bike or scooter-sharing scheme
  • A symphony orchestra; and
  • A metro system that comprises more than just buses and suburban railway networks