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The world's most cultural cities ranked


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With summer fast approaching and a heat wave due to hit the UK soon, many of us are starting to dream of a holiday abroad. For most people, however, a white sand beach just doesn't cut it anymore. Instead, many holiday-goers are looking to visit destinations that promise culture as well as an escape from day-to-day life. 

Luckily, MyVoucherCodes has calculated the most cultural cities in the world using information from the World Cities Culture Report and TripAdvisor.

 5. Tokyo

Image credit: Aleksandar Pasarik on Pexels

The first entrant on the list is from East Asia. With two world heritage sites, over 600 art galleries and 173 museums, Tokyo is the perfect destination for anyone who wants a variety of entertainment on their holiday.

Tokyo has markets, incredible nightlife, and Sensō-ji, a Buddhist temple in the city.

Even better, Japan’s bullet trains make it extremely easy to see the other cities in Japan on a relatively short trip. Kyoto and Osaka are both cities worth a visit, according to Lonely Planet and Rough Guides.

For anyone who wants to have fun and engage in Japanese art and culture, Tokyo is an obvious choice.

Flights cost £445 from London*, and hostels are, at cheapest, £12.99 per night**.

4. Seoul

Image credit: Yeo Khee on Unsplash

Leaving the Western hemisphere, the fourth-ranking city for culture is Seoul, South Korea’s capital. Seoul boasts nearly 400 theatres, over 1,000 public libraries and three world heritage sites.

The most recommended sites are Gyeongbokgung, a 14th-century palace in Seoul which offers free tours for visitors, and Changdeokgung, a second palace which was the primary royal palace until 1872.

Seoul offers culture, history, incredible food and theatre galore.

Flights cost £414 from London. Hostels are more expensive at £14.85 per night. However, there are many free tours and activities.

3. London

Image credit: Dominika Gregusova on Pexels

Brits may be pleased to see London score the third most cultural city in the world with an impressive four world heritage sites, nearly 500 art galleries and 20,500 other historical sites and sites of interest.

A strong rival to many celebrated cultural cities around the world, young people feeling the pinch of a student budget will be happy to know they can plan a stay-cation visiting the British capital's many tourist sites.

Flights to London are £115 from Belfast and £84 from Edinburgh. Hostels are, at cheapest, £9.95 per night.

2. New York

Image credit: Vlad Alexandru Popa on Pexels

New York is no surprise contender considering its rich and dynamic history reflected in an estimated 34,000 historical sites.

The Big Apple is ideal for art-obsessed students with nearly 1,500 art galleries, over 600 theatres and 15 concert halls. New York promises world-class restaurants, music, theatre, and art; even better, many of these activities are free. Many museums have specific days that offer free entry. MoMA is free on a Friday evening and there is even free classical theatre in Central Park for you to enjoy.

Flights are £284 from London, and hostels are at cheapest £26 per night.

1. Paris

Image credit: Daniele D'Andreti on Unsplash

Unsurprisingly, Paris comes out top for the most cultural city in the world.

With four world heritage sites, just under 300 museums and over 1,000 art galleries and public libraries, Paris has just about everything any culture vulture could desire. On top of this, numerous bakeries and world-class restaurants make the city a top choice travellers hailing from all corners of the globe.

Flights to Paris are £105 return from Heathrow. However, hostels are not cheap and living costs tend to be quite high. Luckily, most cultural spots in Paris have free admission, making it more affordable for students.

If none of these destinations tickles your fancy, other cities which score high on the list include Moscow, Rome, Shenzhen, Los Angeles and Amsterdam. For more inspiration, you can see the full list of rankings here.


*Flight prices are accurate as of 14th April 2019. Prices are quoted for one person for a return ticket from the 1st – 15th June calculated using Skyscanner.

 ** Hostel prices are accurate as of 14th April 2019. Prices are for one person for one night between the 1st-2nd June.

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