Have you ever visited a city and thought; 3/5/7 days is not enough?
Leaflets line the lobbies of hotels the world over advertising the wide range of activities you can sign up for, from elephant trekking in South East Asia to bungee jumps in New Zealand.
Often many of us will pick new destinations for holidays based on the activities on offer.
Which cities will keep you most busy based on your interests?
I used Euromonitor’s Top 100 City Destinations Ranking (tourist arrivals) to identify the top 100 cities for tourism in 2015.
Using this list of 100, I then turned to Tripadvisor to identify number of activity options in each city. Tripadvisor splits activities into the following 20 categories:
- Sights and landmarks
- Nature and parks
- Water and amusement parks
- Zoos and aquariums
- Outdoor activities
- Food and drink
- Fun and games
- Boat tours and water sports
- Casinos and gambling
- Concerts and shows
- Spas and wellness
- Classes and workshops
- Traveller resources
- Day trips
Top cities (all activities)
|Rank total activities||City & Country||Activities Total|
|4||New York City, US||4342|
|7||Prague, Czech Republic||3239|
|9||St Petersburg, Russia||3158|
London has the most activities for visitors 5809, nightlife activities account for 1280 of the total. That is enough to keep you busy for almost 16 years (5809 / 365).
Europe is one of the best regions to visit for spread of activities, 8 of the top 10 cities in the top 10 are all European.
Top cities (nightlife)
|Rank nightlife activities||City & Country||Nightlife total|
|3||New York City, US||857|
|5||Prague, Czech Republic||648|
9 of the top 10 cities for nightlife attractions are all European with London leading the way with 1280 options — over 300 more than 2nd placed Madrid.
Top cities (shopping)
|Rank shopping activities||City & Country||Shopping|
|1||New York City, US||796|
|9||Prague, Czech Republic||386|
|10||Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China||386|
Unsurprisingly the “fashion capitals”, New York (769), London (718), Paris (646) have the most shopping options available to visitors.
Top cities (museums)
|Rank museums attractions||City & Country||Museums|
|2||St Petersburg, Russia||430|
|4||Seoul, South Korea||330|
|5||Prague, Czech Republic||317|
|9||New York City, US||266|
Russia, a country with a very rich history has a large number of museums compared to other major cities. Moscow (594) and St Petersburg (430) are placed 1st and 2nd for count of museums.
2 cities in Euromonitor’s Top 100 list have no museums: Halong (Vietnam) and Palau Pinang (Malaysia).
Top cities (food & drink)
|Food & drink rank||City & Country||Food & Drink|
|7||Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam||112|
|9||Prague, Czech Republic||106|
Rome tops the list for Food & Drink options. Parisians will be very disappointed to see themselves in 4th place, behind London in 3rd.
Top cities (nature & parks)
|Nature & park ranks||City & Country||Nature & Parks|
|5||Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China||141|
|6||St Petersburg, Russia||133|
|9||New York City, US||109|
The greenest city in the world is highly debatable (how do you measure “green”?). Tripadvisor’s count does not account for area of green space, rather the number of distinct green spaces and parks. Tokyo, a city with a very dense population, does not have many very large parks but seemingly lots of very small green spaces.
Top cities (landmarks)
|Rank sights activities||City & Country||Sights & Landmarks|
|3||St Petersburg, Russia||1030|
I was not going to include this category as Sights and Landmarks is a very broad categorisation. However I decided to include with an explanation. Older cities will likely have lots of historic landmarks, but this category has no distinction. Likewise, a “sight” can be very subjective. As such, I am not sure there is too much we can draw from this category.
Tripadvisor’s count of activities offers a general overview of the most popular activities within a city. If you’re like me, you’ll browse Tripadvisor’s “Top 10” activities before visiting a new city. However, the activities listed by Tripadvisor is not exhaustive. Many activities, especially those of a very specialist nature, are likely to be excluded. If I could identify a better way to classify and count activities in each city the accuracy of the results could be improved.
London has the most activities for visitors 5809, nightlife activities account for 1280 of the total.