The world’s healthiest cities

Posted by Reyanah Slamdien on 9 January 2019

Have you ever wondered about which cities are best for your health and wellbeing?

We make decisions that affect our health every single day. Whether its food, sleep or exercise-related, there’s one thing that we often forget to consider – the city that we’re living in or visiting.

If you’re looking for a city visit with health benefits, Paris is the number one place to go, according to TravelSupermaket’s 100 Healthiest Cities Index.

TravelSupermarket analysed the health of cities by taking various factors into consideration, from the number of health food shops and vegan-option restaurants to green spaces and sunlight hours.

The Index suggests that when travelling, it’s easier to stay healthy in a city with healthy social habits – a place where clean air, fresh food and exercise facilities are not just valued, but found in abundance.


With an indulgent food and wine culture as one of its key attractions, it may seem surprising that Paris is the healthiest city in the world. However, with 894 spas, 14 gym and fitness centres, 18 yoga and pilates spots and 139 parks or ‘green spaces’, tourists are better able to continue the healthy lifestyle they practice at home during their visit to Paris.

While croissants and snails might come to mind as typical French cuisine, the Index shows that Paris also has over 1,305 vegan-option restaurants and over 150 health food shops.

When you visit the city of love and lights, you can easily find a way to make sure you leave feeling relaxed, refreshed and re-energised.

Providing facilities such as gyms, hotel fitness classes, a range of healthy meal options in restaurants that also cater for specific dietary requirements, and spas are all great ways for cities to increase the chance of health-conscious travellers visiting.

“We are part of a generation that prioritises health and wellness more than ever before – this means tourist destinations will have to consider tourists’ needs and cater for the healthy lifestyles of travellers,” Emma Coulthurst, travel commentator at TravelSupermarket, told Daily Mail.

Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai, a highly popular tourist destination in Thailand, comes in at second place with a score of 59.6. It has almost seven spas per kilometre squared, totalling 273 spas to visit in this ancient city.

Rich in culture, the best things to do in Chiang Mai include seeing some of its beautiful temples and unique sites. The Old City, an attraction in itself, is the location of most of the best temples, museums and other interesting sites, while many more such structures can also be found just outside the ancient city walls and moat.

With 307 vegan-option restaurants, you’ll be able to eat healthy while exploring this incredible city.


Barcelona, the enchanting seaside city with boundless culture, fabled architecture and a world-class drinking and dining scene, holds the third spot on the list.

The Spanish city has 1,368 vegan-option restaurants, 510 spas and 32 yoga and pilates studios. 

American cities dominate the top 20, with Washington DC coming in at 15th, New York City 17th and Las Vegas 20th.

Coming in a bit later in the top 30 is South Africa’s very own Johannesburg.


Known to most as Jo’burg or Jozi, this concrete jungle ranks 29th on the list overall, with a score of 17.67 out of 100. 

This city in the province of Gauteng has a number of successful urban-renewal projects boasting hipster cafes and eateries. It is home to 32 spas, 145 vegan option restaurants, 17 parks and 7 health food shops.

Be sure to schedule in a visit to Constitution Hill while in the city and walk around the prison to get your daily steps in.

At the very bottom of the ranking are three cities which scored zero after the research found they had very little in place for the health conscious.

These are Artvin in Turkey, Marrakech in Morroco and the Cambodian city of Siam Reap.

How the ranking was created

The Healthiest Cities Index was created by measuring factors such as the number of parks, gym and fitness centres, spas, yoga and pilates locations, health food shops, and vegan-option restaurants in every city.

These figures, sourced from websites such as TripAdvisor and Yelp, were then divided by each city’s size to reveal per square kilometre ‘density’ figures.

TravelSupermarket also sourced average annual sunlight hours using both Wikipedia and World Weather & Climate, and the average cost of a night’s stay in each city, which was sourced from TravelSupermarket’s own data.

These scores were ranked and the highest-scoring cities were consequently ruled as the world’s healthiest cities.

Once all metrics were sourced they were assigned a score based on how valuable they were considered to be. This valuation was then used to form a score for each metric for every city.

The research was conducted between November and December 2018.

Here is the full list:

Top 100 Healthiest cities in the world (score out of 100)

1. Paris, 61.87

2. Chiang Mai, 59.57

3. Barcelona, 52.07

4. Pattaya, 47.66

5. Vancouver, 32.24

6. Miami, 28.01

7. San Francisco, 27.40

8. Lisbon, 24.83

9. Denpasar, 24.69

10. Buenos Aires, 23.92

11. Copenhagen, 23.50

12. Milan, 22.49

13. Nice, 22.43

14. Doha, 22.11

15. Washington DC, 21.45

16. Tel Aviv, 21.30

17. New York City, 21.14

18. Johor Bahru, 19.92

19. Macau, 19.71

20. Las Vegas, 19.61

21. Istanbul, 19.30

22. Dublin, 19.10

23. Honolulu, 18.73

24. Amsterdam, 18.57

25. Jakarta, 18.56

26. Antalya, 18.21

27. Dammam City, 17.96

28. Brussels, 17.75

29. Johannesburg, 17.67

30. Bangkok, 17.56

31. Taipei, 17.44

32. Cairo, 17.44

33. Riyadh, 17.10

34. Moscow, 16.75

35. Kuala Lumpur, 16.65

35. Colombo, 16.58

37. Osaka, 16.12

38. Heraklion, 16.12

39. Taichung, 15.83

40. Rio de Janeiro, 15.80

41. Chennai, 15.80

42. Abu Dhabi, 15.79

43. Los Angeles, 15.72

44. Toronto, 15.70

45. Rhodes, 15.62

46. Rome, 15.58

47. Phuket, 15.37

48. Prague, 15.09

49. Budapest, 14.77

50. Athens, 14.73

51. Warsaw, 14.57

52. Madrid, 14.44

53. Singapore, 14.29

54. Dubai, 14.19

55. Kolkata, 14.00

56. Seoul, 13.88

57. Florence, 13.83

58. Mexico City, 13.77

59. Edirne, 13.74

60. Mumbai, 13.69

61. Stockholm, 13.69

62. Shenzhen, 13.53

63. Jerusalem, 13.46

64. Berlin, 13.34

65. Ho Chi Minh City, 13.15

66. Munich, 13.02

67. London, 12.89

68. Chiba, 12.67

69. Vienna, 12.45

70. Hong Kong, 12.36

71. Krakow, 12.33

72. St Petersburg, 12.18

73. Guangzhou, 11.45

74. Beijing, 11.16

75. Shanghai, 11.15

76. Penang Island, 11.01

77. Agra, 10.99

78. Melbourne, 10.55

79. Kyoto, 10.44

80. Tokyo, 10.12

81. Sydney, 9.16

82. Zhuhai, 9.09

83. Orlando, 9.01

84. Delhi, 7.93

85. Jeju, 7.91

86. Frankfurt, 7.89

87. Mecca, 7.82

88. Guilin, 7.66

89. Auckland, 7.57

90. Venice, 7.21

91. Ha Long, 6.95

92. Lima, 6.49

93. Phnom Penh, 5.87

94. Hainoi, 4.73

95. Jaipur, 1.82

96. Cancún, 1.28

97. Punta Cana, 1.20

98. Artvin, 0

99. Marrakech, 0

100. Siem Reap, 0


Picture: Pixabay, Pexels, Unsplash, Pedra

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