Luxury travel: The world’s most elegant cities


In their luxury travel pages Zalondo set out to find cities that are graceful and stylish in appearance or manner.

Zalando has revealed the top 80 most elegant cities, ranked by influential fashion and architecture experts, and seven other relevant factors. The highlights of the survey suggest that:

– Paris is the world’s most elegant city – it was awarded maximum points by fashion and architecture experts.

– London scored second place overall, and ranked first for fashion schools and desirability.

– Italian cities ranked strongly, with four cities placing within the top 10.

The online fashion store conducted a study that evaluated and ranked the world’s most elegant cities. For a city to score highly, essential factors include a thriving fashion scene, culturally and historically significant architecture, high tourism desirability and affordable access as markers of an elegant lifestyle.

“Elegance is not just about appearance but also manner,” says Kasia Luczak, Trendscouting Manager at Zalando. “It evokes a sort of simplicity as well as restrained beauty. Probably the most famous Parisian, Coco Chanel once said that “elegance is refusal”. This is also where style differs from fashion – in the conscious choice between abundance and modesty.

In order to understand which cities best embody elegance, a list of 400 luxury travel destinations renowned for their fashion scene, and their cultural and historical significance were originally included in the research. Along with their own fashion experts, more than 5,000 fashion and architecture experts were also consulted for their views, resulting in a final shortlist of 80 cities. The results of the research are based on the definition of elegance as “graceful and stylish in appearance or manner”. To achieve this, the study was divided in three sections. The first section pertains to the elegance in the infrastructure and architecture of a city, including the desirability of the city by visitors. The second section looks at fashion factors associated with elegance. The final section ranks how affordable it is to live an elegant lifestyle in the city, based on PPP (Purchasing Power Parity). The ranking is based on these three scores added together.

Overall, the top ten luxury travel most elegant cities are revealed below. The subcategories have been combined into three main categories for ease of viewing, but the full results of each of the nine criteria can be viewed on the results page: