The World's Most Glamorous Cities
Whether they shine in the realms of art, fashion, food, or culture, there’s a certain circuit of fabulous cities known for their particularly glamorous offerings. So captivating are these international destinations that narrowing down the list can be a daunting task. As you decide where next to put down roots, take a look at what makes these seven cities overflow with cosmopolitan allure.
Coming in at number one on the Knight Frank City Wealth Index of global urban powerhouses and with more five-star hotels than any other city in the world, it’s safe to say the English capital is a hotbed for all things posh. Sharing an island with luxury automotive brands including Rolls-Royce and Bentley, the city has earned the moniker “supercar capital of the world”, with thousands flocking to the hotly anticipated London Motor Show each year. All it takes is one stroll down Bond Street to see why London is one of the “Big Four” fashion destinations. Iconic British brands including Burberry, Mulberry, and Alexander McQueen have immortalized a style that displays the best and most creative facets of the United Kingdom’s flagship city.
From its sparkling skyline to glittering shopping malls, Hong Kong is a city abundant in glamour. Tied with Paris and Singapore as one of the most world’s most expensive cities to live in,
this global financial capital has the world’s freest economy according to the 2019 Index of Economic Freedom, and ranks among the planet’s wealthiest cities. Bursting with a frenetic energy and dazzling nightlife (the city boasts one of the tallest rooftop bars in existence), its millennia of cultural history and international influence makes for a stunning culinary scene with over 50 Michelin-starred restaurants between Hong Kong and Macau. Shopping here is a serious pastime, with sprawling flagships and elegant malls making it a must-stop for international browsers.
Largely regarded as one of the most romantic cities in the world, Paris is home to haute couture, fine food, and stunning Gothic architecture. The city is a veritable feast for the senses, with each sight, smell, and taste more opulent than the next. Famous luxury fashion brands that got their start in Paris include Chanel, Hermès, Louis Vuitton, and Dior, and five of the top 10 most valuable luxury fashion brands are from France. With the second-highest total number of Michelin stars of any city and exemplary luxury accommodations at hotels including the Hotel Plaza Athénée and Le Bristol, it’s easy to see why the City of Lights is one of the world’s most glamorous.
If London and Paris represent Old-World glamour, Dubai embodies the promise of a fabulous future, a visionary dreamscape where nearly anything seems possible. From flying taxi technology to plans for a hyperloop system capable of transporting passengers at speeds of over 620 miles an hour, the City of Gold is a city of firsts—including the world’s first hotel to earn the unofficial designation of seven stars. With gargantuan shopping malls teeming with luxury boutiques and the second-highest number of five-star hotels in the world, Dubai is a city that is over the top in the best possible way.
It isn’t hard to see why some feel New York to be the center of the world. A major financial capital, the city is home to Wall Street, NASDAQ, and some of the world’s largest banks. It’s also often considered the cultural capital of America, with the MoMA, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and New York Fashion Week just a few entries on its list of artistic offerings. Add in Michelin-starred restaurants, five-star hotels, and some of the wealthiest zip codes in the United States, and it’s easy to see why this playground for business people and creatives alike is often considered America’s crowning jewel.
There are few cities that have the sophistication and natural beauty of Geneva. The European headquarters for international organizations including the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross, this peaceful lakeside city is known equally for its chocolatiers and jewelers as it is for being a global hub for diplomacy. Tied with Osaka as the fifth most expensive city in the world to live in, Geneva is home to famous luxury watch companies including Rolex and Tudor, while the Geneva International Motor Show is a must for specialist car enthusiasts. Whether as a homebase for a skiing holiday or as a destination for designer shopping, Geneva offers an opulent experience in storybook-perfect surroundings.
No glamorous list is complete without the Magic City. Dotted with celebrity residences, supercars, colorful Art Deco architecture, and stunning beaches, Miami is the shining star of the Sunshine State. The city comes fifth in the worldwide rankings for most five-star hotels—behind only New York in the United States—and its port is a hub for luxury cruises and international shipping. From its high-end Design District to the brightly-hued Little Havana to the glittering Brickell financial center, Miami promises a rich and distinct experience to all comers. Spend a perfect Sunday in the city, and see why so many have made Miami home.
When it comes to glamour, there’s always more to see: Singapore, Los Angeles, and Milan could easily have topped this list for opulence and luxury. But while there are first-rate adventures to be had in cities the world over, these seven major metropolises are fast becoming synonymous with the glamorous life.