What are the world’s top 20 most luxurious cities?

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New research reveals the top 20 cities around the world that offer the most luxury per square mile, from designer label stores to 5* hotels and Michelin restaurants.

The study, conducted by Money.co.uk, has analysed the number of luxury venues in a city and cross-referenced the total with the size of the city, to find out where in the world is truly the most lavish.

Paris tops the list for luxury venues per square mile, and also comes out top when simply looking at the combined number of luxury venues regardless of city size. With a total of 427 Michelin-star restaurants, 108 designer stores and offering 95 hotels with a five-star rating, the capital of France takes the crown as the world’s most luxurious city. Known as ‘The City of Light’ thanks to its illuminated boulevards and the sparkling Eiffel Tower, Paris is the perfect place for a lavish getaway, boasting more Cartier stores (a total of 24) and more Michelin-star restaurants than any other city in the world.

In second place is Thailand’s Phuket which boasts 48 Michelin-star restaurants in the 4.6 mile² that it covers, followed by Brussels in third place offering 11 luxury venues per its 12.6 mile² size. Following Brussels in fourth place is Geneva with 9 luxury places per mile², France’s Cannes is fifth while Lyon is sixth; Kilkenny in Ireland is seventh, Athens is eighth and the top 10 is rounded off by Dubrovnik in Croatia.

World’s Most Luxurious Global Cities By Size

Rank City City Area M² Luxury Venues
Per M²
1 Paris, France 40.70 15
2 Phuket, Thailand 4.63 14
3 Brussels, Belgium 12.59 11
4 Geneva, Switzerland 6.15 9
5 Cannes, France 7.58 7
6 Lyon, France 18.48 5
7 Kilkenny, Ireland 1.44 5
8 Athens, Greece 15.04 5
9 New Delhi, India 16.49 4
10 Dubrovnik, Croatia 8.24 4
11 Manila, Philippines 16.56 4
12 Chiang Mai, Thailand 15.53 3
13 Barcelona, Spain 39.34 3
14 San Francisco, USA 46.87 3
15 Macau, China 44.52 3
16 Osaka, Japan 86.10 3
17 Oban, Scotland 1.61 2
18 Bordeaux, France 19.06 2
19 Copenhagen, Denmark 34.07 2
20 Washington DC, USA 68.34 2

Luxury in Paris – The best streets for those looking to splash out on the finest designer wares are Rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré and Rue Saint Honoré. The former is home to stores of well-established luxury fashion houses, from Givenchy to Dior. If you want to see a blend of familiar luxury brands and more niche upcoming designers head to Rue Saint Honoré. If food is your passion, then Paris offers some exquisite Michelin options to treat yourself to; sample the extravagant delights at a choice of 3-star Michelin restaurant including, Pavillon Ledoyen, Arpège and Restaurant Guy Savoy. For convenient luxury, La Réserve Paris Hotel and Spa faces the Grand Palais, overlooking the Champs-Elysées, just a stone’s throw from the presidential palace.

Luxury in Phuket – The coastal town of Phuket offers an incredibly luxurious experience of Thailand. Opulent 5* hotels with incredible sea views and stunning outdoor pools provide the perfect place to set up base for a lavish holiday. The Central Festival shopping centre is home to designer stores such as DKNY, Versace, Balenciaga and BVLGARI. Visitors are spoiled for choice with Michelin food with a variety of Michelin plate street food takeaway options, as well as highly rated dine-in eateries including the newest Michelin addition PRU, which serves dishes that are inspired by Thailand’s different eco-systems.

Luxury in Brussels – Lovers of designer fashion can head to Boulevard de Waterloo in Brussels, with the likes of Chanel and Prada stores to choose from. Hotel Amigo is the accommodation choice of the rich and famous visiting Belgium’s capital; the hotel is as close to the city centre as you could possibly get, and offers incredible breakfasts as well as understated and classy luxury. The top restaurant in Brussels, practically an institution, is Comme Chez Soi. Established in 1926, the two-star Michelin restaurant provides a sophisticated dining atmosphere with art nouveau details and window which allows patrons to watch the chefs at work.

Luxury in Geneva – Visitors looking to shop the outfits from the catwalks of Paris and Milan should head to rue du Rhone. This boulevard is lined with the likes of fashion boutiques including Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Giorgio Armani and Gucci, as well as being the best place to find the perfect extravagant fashion accessories from the likes of Omega, Cartier, Tiffany and Chopard. For Michelin dining with a touch of the sumptuous old-school, Il Lago provides a charming dining room and serves up exquisite Italian inspired dishes. Stay at the Hotel d’Angleterre for a discreetly luxurious experience right on the lake.

Luxury in Cannes –  Head to La Croissette for the best designer shopping in Cannes, whether you’re in the market for clothes, cosmetics or perfume this area has the finest boutiques to spend your money in. The two-star Michelin restaurant La Palme d’Or overlooks the La Croissette and provides some luxurious respite after a long day of shopping;  serving up deliciously creative and sunny dishes, it’s one of the best places to eat in Cannes. Also within stone’s throw of La Croisette is Hotel Majestic, a favourite with the rich and famous who come for the film festival; it’s sleek, slinky and has a private beach as well as a simply stunning outdoor pool.

Luxury in Lyon – Lyon is home to three two-star Michelin restaurants. Diners who prefer their luxury in a classic setting should opt for Mere Brazier, whilst those looking for something creative and modern should try Takao Takano or Le Neuvieme Art. One of the best places to stay for those unconcerned by budget is the Villa Maia, a boutique hotel that has a spa overlooking a wildflower garden and exceptional craftsmanship seen in the designs of its room. There is also a beautiful wine bar and an extremely tempting rooftop terrace.

The study by Money.co.uk also gave special mentions to smaller towns that offer an incredibly luxurious experience. If the data included towns, as well as cities, that are home to Michelin restaurants, then Paris would have been third on the list, beaten by Padstow in Cornwall in the United Kingdom and St. Julian’s in Malta. Padstow is just 0.3 miles² yet it has an impressive seven Michelin-star restaurants on offer. Meanwhile, Malta’s St. Julian’s has five Michelin-star restaurants and six five-star hotels in the quaint 0.6 miles² that it covers.

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