Ranked: Most Elegant Cities


adjective  el·e·gant  ɛlɪɡ(ə)nt

graceful and stylish in appearance or manner

Zalando reveal the top 80 most elegant cities, ranked by influential fashion and architecture experts, and 7 other relevant factors

  • Paris is the world’s most elegant city, and 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

Berlin, Germany, 25.10. 2017 – Online fashion store Zalando have conducted a study that evaluates and ranks 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.” comments 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 destinations renowned for their fashion scene, and their cultural and historical significance were originally included in the research. Along with Zalando’s own fashion expertise, 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: “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 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: www.zalando.co.uk/worlds-most-elegant-cities

Results: Top Ten Most Elegant Cities  


Rank City Country Fashion Score Urban Score Accessibility Score Final Score
1 Paris France 2.50 1.52 0.35 4.37
2 London UK 2.41 1.58 0.17 4.16
3 Vienna Austria 2.09 1.60 0.44 4.13
4 Venice Italy 2.34 1.47 0.31 4.12
5 Florence Italy 2.31 1.37 0.33 4.01
6 Barcelona Spain 2.05 1.55 0.34 3.94
7 New York USA 2.43 1.43 0.07 3.93
8 Bordeaux France 1.90 1.62 0.38 3.90
9 Milan Italy 2.47 1.19 0.20 3.86
10 Rome Italy 2.28 1.27 0.30 3.85


Further Insights (for detailed descriptions of each criteria, please refer to Methodology underneath)


For the Fashion Schools Score, London ranked first followed by Paris and New York.


For the Fashion Capital Score, Paris ranked first followed by New York and London.


For the Fashion Journalist Perception Score, Paris ranked first followed by Milan and New York.


For the Desirability by Visitors Score, London ranked first followed by Singapore and Paris


For the Point of Entry Score, Barcelona ranked first followed by Auckland and Melbourne.


For the Architecture Score, Paris ranked first followed by Florence and Venice.


For the Cleanliness Score, Wellington ranked first followed by Stuttgart and Reykjavik.


For the Architecture Journalist Score, Paris ranked first followed by Florence and Venice.


For the Accessibility Score, Cape Town ranked first followed by Marseille and Sevilla.


For full results of the ranking, please visit the results page here: www.zalando.co.uk/worlds-most-elegant-cities