2016 Most Inspiring Cities Ranking

TravelBird uses data to reveal the most inspirational destinations in the world.


Package holiday specialists TravelBird have released the 2016 Inspiring Cities Ranking offering a comprehensive ranking of some of the world’s most inspirational cities. The Ranking utilises eight criteria associated with innovation and creativity to allow travellers to best pick their next inspiring adventure. In addition, their analysis of winter and summer cities means the Inspirational City Ranking can be used to inspire seasonal travel, further empowering curious travellers.

To create the Ranking, TravelBird began with a list of renowned inspiring cities worldwide and continued to add vibrant locations until they reached 85 destinations. They then calculated the Inspirational Rank of each, factoring in performing arts companies, art schools, art galleries, museums, music production facilities, film industry facilities and startups seeking funding located within the city. They also ranked each location by the number of Google searches for romance-focused keywords (e.g. searches for romantic areas or dinners), in the native language, in each location. Scores for the criteria are equal to each factor per 100,000 residents in each city.

Interestingly, TravelBird found that many larger cities did not rank as high as smaller cities in the same country. A main reason behind this can be attributed to smaller cities ranking with high numbers in multiple factors which, coupled with having smaller populations, mean higher accessibility to each inspiring criteria per capita.

Nairobi came 74th in the Inspirational Cities Ranking and 24th in the summer cities ranking.

The study revealed the 10 most inspiring cities are:


TravelBird also sought to incorporate seasonal inspiration into their Index, to inform travellers of stimulating seasonal travel and adventure. To do so, the company looked to artwork depicting each city and from thousands of images assigned a score based on a ratio of whether winter or summer had inspired more painters, and therefore, which season made each city more inspirational. These scores were taken into account along with the Inspirational Ranking to create a seasonal rank.

The top 10 cities to rank for winter and summer are as follows:

You can view full results on the TravelBird landing page here.

“Inspiration and being inspired is something travellers always have near the top of their priorities when looking into a vacation.” said Symen Jansma, CEO of TravelBird. “At TravelBird, we conducted this study to help travellers find destinations to enrich their vacations and leave long lasting memories.”

Further findings from the ranking include:

*The cities which contain the most performing arts companies by population are Miami, Heidelberg, Bristol, Chiang Mai and Bruges.
*The cities which contain the most art schools by population are Santiago de Compostela, Zurich, Bruges, Porto and Luebeck.
*The cities which contain the most art galleries by population are Miami, Porto, Salzburg, Santiago de Compostela and Reykjavik.
*The cities which contain the most museums by population are Reykjavik, Chiang Mai, Bruges, Salzburg and Zurich.
*The cities which contain the most film industry facilities by population are Paris, Miami, Bristol, Barcelona and Los Angeles.
*The cities which contain the most music production facilities by population are Miami, Vancouver, San Francisco, Paris and Portland.
*The cities which contain the most startups seeking funding by population are San Francisco, Miami, Tel Aviv, New York and Vancouver.
*The cities with the highest volume for Romantic-themed Google searches by population are Valparaiso, Paris, Zurich, Berlin and Tel Aviv.

To create the final Inspirational Ranking, all of the factors were calculated and ranked out of 100, with 100 given to the highest scoring city and proportionate amounts of 100 be given to other cities based on their scores.

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