There is no hiding it : I have always been big with rankings when it comes to things, places ( or even…people) that I really like or dislike. One may think that it would be an asset when writing a blog, considering how lots of people wants to access information without too much effort.But, when making your own top 5, or top 10 (or whichever number you want to settle at), you are considering things from your own perspective. If I make a top list of my cities, I would always feel the need to explain my biases beforehand so that someone who has very different priorities when traveling can put things in perspective.
This is why I could not stop shaking my head in disbelief when reading the latest CNT survey of the “Top 25 cities in the world”. The first thing that jumps to the mind is how american-focused the responder group must be. Out of the top 25 contenders no less than FIVE cities in the US. (not to mention that New York is not one of them !!! ). Only one in Africa, NONE in South America… It is pretty obvious that this is not an international traveler list , simply an American traveler one. nothing wrong with that as long as one keeps that in mind.
Truth be told, I discovered this top 25 after the TOP 10 from cities in Europe , still according to CNT, which is nothing else than taking out from this first list the European cities. Then it becomes an even more hilarious read. You get small cute cities like Krakow or Bruges but guess what city is not on either list : PARIS ! Yes, the same Paris that seems to be always among the two favorite cities of American visitors and the preferred city in Europe of Asian travelers . If you are a relatively young and/or new traveler , I bet you are grateful to CNT for telling you that you should visit cities like Beirut, New Orleans, Santa Fe or Krakow before considering Paris !!!
I read somewhere, in another CNT article, that they use mastercard data to make those lists by the amount of $ spent, which, if true, is even more stupid. Monaco and London are the most expensive cities in Europe for accommodation. It is not because you have to spend more in a city that you like it better !
Part of the silliness of those CNT lists, I think, is what I call the “cute factor”. In their top 10 Europe cities like Krakow, Bruges and Salzburg illustrate my point. The city center and old town is cute and worth seeing but how much do you need to visit these cute places ? In my opinion, and unless you are a museum buff, one day is often enough..
the CNT list reads as follows (and in that order) : Florence, Budapest, Prague, Rome, Barcelona, Krakow, Vienna, Siena, Salzburg and Bruges. Without getting into which order, I think the list (in alphabetical order) should rather read like this : Barcelona, Berlin, Budapest, Florence, Paris, Prague Rome, Sienna, St petersburg, Venice. I am writing this article from Krakow which was the only European city in this article I had not visited so far. Let me finish by saying that I hope you get to see those cities in the near future so you can create your own European top list .
Happy travels !