A closer look at the world’s best small cities

Despite the global pandemic that has pretty much paralyzed the travel and tourism industry, Conde Nast Traveler, a luxury lifestyle travel magazine, still managed to celebrate small cities from all over the world via their annual list of the best cities in the world.

Given this, now is a better time than ever to take a closer look at the cities that managed to top the list. Who knows, you may find yourself in one of them once the world regains a sense of normalcy and travel restrictions ease.

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

When it comes to cities, there are a few as beautiful as San Miguel de Allende in Mexico. While one of the smaller cities on this list, every inch of the city is exploding with character. Whether it be its colorful facades that line the streets or the city’s rich history and culture, it’s really no surprise that San Miguel de Allende managed to top this year’s list of best small cities.

Monte Carlo, Monaco

If Monte Carlo’s picturesque views look familiar to you, then there’s a good chance that you’ve already seen this glamorous city on the big screen. It’s really no surprise that Monte Carlo has been the backdrop to many iconic films such as GoldenEye and Never Say Never Again. Monte Carlo is a charming town nestled between the Mediterranean Sea and the French Alps, where one can shop at boutique stores and indulge in luxurious restaurants.

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Thailand is one of the world’s top tourist destinations. This is why it isn’t at all surprising to see Chiang Mai on the list of the world’s best small cities. ExpatBets, an online zine that covers the world’s best tourist destinations, highlights Thailand’s unique culture and heritage as its selling point. And there may be no better embodiment of the country’s unique culture and heritage than Chiang Mai. Whether you’re looking to relax at a luxurious resort or take in the local natural wonders like the Doi Suthep–Pui National Park, Chiang Mai will surely have something for you.

Valletta, Malta

Valetta, the capital city of Malta, is known for its stunning cityscapes that feature some of the best Baroque era architecture that the world has to offer. Aside from being an architectural wonder, the city is also known for its rich and lush culture. The Guardian highlights how the capital city boasts a wide range of world-class cultural spaces such as museums and music venues, giving its visitors a multitude of options when it comes to the activities that they can partake in to truly know the city.

Mérida, Mexico

Mérida has dropped in the rankings after finally topping Condé Nast’s list back in 2019. Despite the slight drop in popularity, the city is still as great as ever. Mérida is a city bursting with life. Whether it be the Spanish colonial architecture or the city’s deep involvement in Mayan history, one will hardly run out of things to do. For people who don’t mind taking a little trip on the side, UNESCO World Heritage sites like Uxmal and Chichen Itza are pretty much a stone throw away and be well worth the journey.

For more information on the latest news regarding the Yucatán Peninsula, make sure to check Yucatan Expat Life on a regular basis.

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Arthur Mills worked for financial companies before deciding to leave the corporate realm and become a freelancer. He now takes on consultancy projects, as well as writing opportunities that cover economy, tech and business travel.