Europe Unveils Its Top Cultural Cities

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Paris has been named the best city for culture in Europe, according to a new study.   

A global luggage storage provider analysed data on cultural venues in 131 European cities with a population of over 325,000. Information was gathered on eight different types of cultural sites, including points of cultural and artistic interest; live performance spaces; film and media sites; literary sites; comedy and entertainment venues; dance studios; parks and recreational spaces; and music and audio retail locations. Each city was rated based on the number of venues per 100,000 population in each category and scored out of 100. 

Paris is the best European city for culture, scoring 77.14 out of 100. The city was propelled to the top of the study thanks to the highest number of parks and recreational spaces per 100,000 people in Europe. France’s capital has approximately 1,238 spaces of this variety or 57 per 100,000 residents. It was among the top-performing cities for the number of live performance spaces, film and media sites, and points of cultural and artistic interest. The city also rated high for dance studios (97 per 100,000 people). 

Barcelona fell just short of Paris, placing second on the list of Europe’s most cultural cities with a score of 74.89. The Catalonian capital is the top city in Europe for comedy and entertainment venues, averaging 41 sites per 100,000 people (679 in total). Parks and recreational spaces are also incredibly popular in the city, with 46 per 100,000 residents, second only to Paris. Barcelona also ranked high for the number of literary sites, film and media sites, and points of cultural and artistic interest. 

Amsterdam is the third most cultural city in Europe, according to the study. With a score of 74.74, Amsterdam ranked high for culture due to having the highest number of live performance spaces, at 1,538 per 100,000. Only Helsinki has a higher rate of points of cultural and artistic interest in Europe, with Amsterdam being home to 94 sites per 100,000 residents. The Dutch city also has many dance studios with 66 per 100,000, the fourth highest in Europe.   

Milan ranked as Italy’s best city for culture and the fourth most cultural city in Europe, scoring 66.11 out of 100. The city ranked above Rome in every single category, with the capital falling in 49th spot on the ranking. Milan ranked among the top eight cities for three factors, including film and media sites, comedy and entertainment venues, and parks and recreational spaces. Milan is home to 29 film and media sites and 20 comedy and entertainment locations per 100,000 people 

Budapest rounded out the five best cities in Europe for culture. The Hungarian capital scored 66.04 on the study, ranking as the best city for literary sites and music and audio retail locations. The city has more than double the number of music and audio retail locations than any other place in the ranking, with 11,869 (or 681 per 100,000 residents). For every 100,000 people in the city, there are 207 literary sites, 70 more than any other city in the study.  

Zurich claimed the sixth spot in the study of Europe’s best cities for culture. With a score of 65.92, the Swiss city is the least populated destination in the top ten. Parks and recreational spaces, points of cultural and artistic interest, and dance studios are all common in the city, with 29, 44, and 40 sites per 100,000, respectively. Zurich has a higher rate of parks and recreational spaces than any other city in Europe except Paris, Barcelona, and Lyon. Only four cities have a higher number of points of cultural and artistic interest per 100,000.  

Lyon is the second-best city for culture in France and seventh in Europe. Scoring high with 65.28, only Paris has a higher rate of cultural sites in the country. Lyon rated higher than many European cities thanks to its impressive 101 dance studios per 100,000 people, more than any other city in the study. The French city is also the third-best for parks and recreational spaces, totalling 41 per 100,000 residents, behind Paris and Barcelona 

Lisbon took eighth place among Europe’s most cultural cities with a score of 65.13. The Portuguese capital is one of the best cities in the continent to visit for points of cultural and artistic interest. There are 56 sites of this variety per 100,000 people in Lisbon, the third-most in Europe, behind Helsinki and Amsterdam. It also proves an excellent destination for literary sites, averaging 95 per 100,000 people, the sixth highest in the study.  

Warsaw is Poland’s best city for culture and ninth overall in Europe. The Polish capital scored 64.64, ranking high for the number of film and media sites and music and audio retail locations. In fact, Warsaw is the best city in Europe for those interested in exploring film and media sites, boasting 118 sites per 100,000 people, more than double the number of any other city in the study. The city was second for music and audio retail locations (288) and fourth for literary sites (110) per 100,000 residents 

Kraków is the final spot to be named among the 10 best cities for culture in Europe. Second only to Warsaw in Poland, with a score of 63.81, Kraków also ranked high for film and media sites, music and audio retail locations, and literary sites, with 43, 204, and 92, respectively, for every 100,000 people. The city is home to 327 movie theatres and 1,544 music stores.  

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