Lonely Planet Writer

These are the cities deemed the most elegant in the world

A study has evaluated and ranked the world’s 80 most elegant cities, using factors like a thriving fashion scene, culturally and historically significant architecture, high tourism desirability, and affordable access as markers of an elegant lifestyle. Online fashion store Zalando conducted the study, and the judges included 5000 influential fashion and architecture experts.

Paris was voted the most elegant city in a study. Image: Zodebala/Getty Images

The shortlisted cities were chosen from a list of 400 destinations renowned for their fashion scene, and their cultural and historical significance. The top ten cities were found to be, in order, Paris, London, Vienna, Venice, Florence, Barcelona, New York City, Bordeaux, Milan and Rome. In the Desirability by Visitors category, London came first followed by Singapore and Paris.

London was voted the second most elegant city in a study. Image: FenlioQ/Shutterstock

“Travelling is about experiencing a different state of mind, so emerging yourself in an elegant city can be an exquisite, life-affirming experience,” a spokesperson from Zalando told Lonely Planet.

“There’s something very special about sharing a good bottle of wine along the bank of the Seine, taking a turn through the British History Museum or listening to outdoor opera on a warm Venetian night. This Elegant City Ranking could be viewed as a bucket list for travellers looking to lose themselves in simple sophistication.”

Venice was voted fourth-most elegant city in a study. Image: _ultraforma_/Getty Images

Kasia Luczak, trendscouting manager at Zalando explained that elegance shouldn’t be seen as a synonym of what’s expensive and luxurious, and it has little to do with following latest fashions. “It means being true to oneself and rather defining beauty than submitting to its standards,” she says. “In terms of cities, it’s a lot about the urban and architectural character, but also more elusive elements such as atmosphere and historical charm, which Paris definitely has.”

To see the full results of the study, please visit the results page here.