I have no idea how they came up with the list, but I’ve been to Sydney, Tokyo & Honolulu & they were all great. I don’t think these people (who are rating these cities) have really visited Seattle or Vancouver, B.C. or rather these guys must be from Austria, Germany or somewhere in central Europe because having 50% of the list from that area and 2 others from the Scandanavian part of the continent seems a little biased…
Nevertheless, I still like the list from here:
#1 MUNICH. After much tire-kicking, data-sifting and deliberation, Munich emerged as Monocle magazine’s most liveable city in the world. A winning combination of investment in infrastructure, high-quality housing, low crime, liberal politics, strong media and general feeling of Gemütlichkeit make it a city that should inspire others.
#2 COPENHAGEN. A new wave of Danish architects, designers and chefs, plus some joined-up thinking by city officials, has seen Copenhagen reborn to the extent that locals now refer to it as the gateway to mainland Europe.
#3 ZURICH. In Zürich, small and perfectly formed has turned out to be both a blessing and a curse. Those who have never been there imagine this Swiss finance capital to be inhabited by grey men wearing ill-fitting suits, shuttling the world’s money around while living off fondue. Perhaps this was the case 20 years ago, but today it couldn’t be further from the truth.
#4 TOKYO. Integrated transport, breathtaking technology, great service and the best bars make this our top big city. The real Tokyo for the most part confounds expectations. Visitors are rarely prepared for the other side of the city, so unlike its raucous alter ego: the quietness of the subway, the peaceful residential streets, the old-fashionedness of the place.
#5 VIENNA. Mittel-European grandeur meets modernity in the new Vienna. The Austrian capital, famous for its rich cultural heritage, also has a progressive eco- friendly municipal government. Smart white and red trams cover 30 routes, and the metro is punctual, smooth and clean.
#6 HELSINKI. Today, Helsinki is a western city. Over the past decade the European fashion chains have arrived, while smart bars have replaced the old beer cafés. However, the city retains a distinctly Finnish quality. The fashion, music, film and art scenes are blooming, and the Nordic welfare model guarantees a high quality of life for virtually everyone.
#7 SYDNEY. The perpetual blue sky, the harbour, the stunning beaches, the bushland humming with wildlife… Sydney’s natural beauty is relentless. The city bewitches its citizens, who react by prancing to the beach with a cappuccino or lounging in a café with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc in hand. Sydney is showing off. Again.
#8 STOCKHOLM There is something special about the cool, ordered, mature beauty of Stockholm. And beauty, for sure, is one of Stockholm’s trump cards: the beauty of its people, of its buildings, of its waters and parks. But there are other reasons for Stockholmers to be proud of their city.
#9 HONOLULU. The sport may live and breathe here on the southeastern coast of the island of Oahu, but Honolulu is no longer a far-flung destination for surfers and vacationers. Bridging the oceanic gap between California and Asia, Honolulu now fits the definition of a global city – a palm- fringed metropolis with a population as diverse as its flora.
#10 MADRID. Culturally, Madrid was long regarded as stuffy compared to hip Barcelona. But it has undergone a renaissance. It now attracts more international theatre, dance and music, and will be the seat of the new Royal Spanish Ballet.