Hardie Minute

Time Out has confirmed what local Capetonians have known all along: South Africa’s ‘Mother City’ is one of the best places on the planet to live and visit.

Hailed for its scenic beauty, multicultural communities and vibrant creative landscape – not to mention the adventurous restaurant scene – Cape Town has long been one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, and this latest accolade on the list of 50 Best Cities for 2024 cements the city as an essential entry on any traveller’s bucket-list.

Time Out’s annual ranking of the most remarkable cities on earth is built on a survey of thousands of urban dwellers around the world, tapping into what it’s like to live, work and play in their hometowns.

‘The basis of the ranking remains our global survey of the people who know their city best: the locals,’ explains Grace Beard, Travel Editor for Time Out. ‘Working with research company Potentia Insight, we surveyed thousands of city-dwellers about the quality and affordability of food, culture and nightlife in their city. We also asked locals how their city makes them feel: are they happy there? Is it a beautiful place? Is it easy to make social connections? Their thousands of responses gave us a unique insight into the reality of living in the world’s greatest cities right now.’

Cape Town clocked in at a remarkable #2 on the list, beaten only by New York City. That placed it well ahead of other landmark European destinations such as Berlin (#3), London (#4) and Madrid (#5). Closing out the top 10 was the Portugals ‘second city’ of Porto, which was this year rated as Europe’s best city break.

Porto is also the latest city to host a Time Out Market – after Time Out Market Cape Town, of course – with Time Out Market Porto due to open in 2024, bringing the best of the city together in a wing of the historic São Bento Station, a stunning public building designed by renowned architect Souto de Moura.

After Cape Town, the next African city to crack the ‘50 Best’ list was Lagos, Nigeria. The commercial capital of Africa’s most populous country may be (in)famous for its traffic, but it’s a hotbed of energy and creativity that’s worth a visit as much for the new Eko Atlantic City as the traditional Oluwo Fish Market. Also making a name for itself is Accra, sneaking in at #44 to give West Africa a second slot on the list.

Written by Richard Holmes, timeout – “Cape Town ranks #2 in Time Out’s list of 50 best cities!” Web blog post. 24 January 2024