The global magazine Time Out this week rated The 37 best cities in the world in 2021, and picked Tel Aviv in eighth place, behind San Francisco in first place, and New York in fifth.
“During lockdowns, much of the fun and culture and social life that define urban living are off the table,” the authors noted, wondering if “a pandemic might defeat the point of living in a city.” But as it turned out, in the midst of the pandemic, “our cities adapted. Communities rallied like never before. We fought to help our businesses survive. And – somehow – we even found ways to have fun.”
The list of the best cities in the world in 2021 was compiled based on answers across every category in the poll, along with insights from Time Out editors and experts worldwide. So, no further ado, here’s what they thought of the First Hebrew City, established on the dunes north of Jaffa in 1909:
Tel Avivians are a hardy bunch. When Covid hit tourism, this high-tech hub hit the Reset button. The pandemic caused the ‘city that never stops’ to take a well-needed pause. Spaces like Dizengoff Square and Park HaMesila played host to picnics, gigs, screenings, and talks.
After the lockdowns, Israel led the vaccination race, and before long locals were back sipping cappuccinos in cafes and doing yoga on the beach. In our poll, 81 percent of Tel Avivians said their city was ‘fun’ and 84 percent said they can ‘express themselves.’ Indeed, TLV is home to the region’s biggest Pride Parade, the widest choice of vegan options, and its nightlife always offers a real alternative.
Also: “If only all cities had Carmel Market, the pulsating heart of the city where locals sell spices, hummus, falafel and other fresh, organic produce – plus raise the odd glass of beer or arak too.”
San Francisco came first with its “hundreds of beautifully crafted parklets that now make the city feel like one giant street party (plus the kind of weather that allows for outdoor dining year-round).”
Amsterdam was second, with “Vondelpark, an immense oasis right in the center that plays host to everything from jam sessions to theatre to sports – truly, the city’s lungs.”
Manchester was in third place. Who would have thunk?
And like we said, New York was fifth. Los Angeles, which many say is Tel Aviv on the Pacific, rated 11. Chicago came in 12th. London 13, and Paris only 28th.