Manchester ranked third best city IN THE WORLD

It's been recognised for its top eating and drinking hotspots, diverse culture, heady nightlife and resilient community spirit

Manchester has ranked third in the Time Out Index released today – edging out London, which placed thirteenth.

The Northern powerhouse has been recognised for its top eating and drinking hotspots, diverse culture, heady nightlife and resilient community spirit.

The global index took into account the opinions of more than 27,000 people in 37 cities around the world, as well as the views of Time Out’s global network of local editors and city experts. 

San Francisco topped the list, with Amsterdam, Manchester, Copenhagen and New York rounding out the top five.

How was the list compiled?

The Time Out Index 2021 had more than 27,000 global participants and worked through the challenges of COVID-19 and lockdown restrictions to represent the soul of their cities.

The cities were rated for eating and drinking, culture and nightlife, with more emphasis than ever on community spirit and environmental initiatives.

Respondents shared how easy it is to do things like express themselves, make new friends and even hook up with people, in addition to relaxing and discovering new things.

This year, editors posed questions around activism and community projects, sustainability and the importance of green spaces to gain insight into the cities thinking about the future as well as the now.

Why is Manchester the UK’s best city?

“This year’s list of the best cities in the world shines a spotlight on cities that adapted during a time where the key factors that make these metropolises the place to be – fun, culture and socialising – were largely off the table,” said Caroline McGinn, Global Editor-in-Chief at Time Out.

“You’d think a pandemic might defeat the point of living in a city, but the results show that community spirit is higher than ever, people are supporting each other as well as local business and initiatives, and many of us are even having some fun.”

According to the Index, Manchester is the easiest place to express who you are, make new friends, get to know your neighbours and meet people who are different from you – so it’s only right the city also came out as the friendliest and best for community spirit.

The city’s nightlife was voted top, too.

What Manchester offers the world

“This is a fantastic accolade and important recognition of Greater Manchester’s growing global status as a top international visitor destination,” said Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester.

“To be named third best city in the world is a milestone achievement and testament to the contribution Greater Manchester is offering to the world through culture, sport, music, shopping, and nightlife.

“I’m proud that Time Out has recognised the cultural investment happening across Greater Manchester, and despite a challenging year the city-region has seen new developments including the RHS Garden Bridgewater in Salford, events such as Manchester Literature Festival and Manchester Pride, and upcoming major new projects progress that will act as cultural beacons to the North including; The Factory, Manchester Museum’s redevelopment, and Mayfield Park, which will complement our thriving hospitality sector which is famous for its warm Mancunian welcome.

“This accolade is a chance to celebrate tourism and hospitality, which has been hit hard throughout the pandemic.

“We are looking forward to a strong recovery and to reclaim our global standing, which previously welcomed 1.8 million international visitors, supported employment for more than 100,000 people and contributed close to £10bn to the Greater Manchester economy.”


Got a story worth sharing?

What’s the story? We are all ears when it comes to positive news and inspiring stories. You can send story ideas to

Manchester is a successful city, but there are many people that suffer. The I Love MCR Foundation helps raise vital funds to help improve the lives and prospects of people across Greater Manchester – and we can’t do it without your help. So please donate what you can because investing in your local community to help it thrive can be a massively rewarding experience. There’s a unique sense of satisfaction in knowing that you are making a real difference in the lives of others, especially those close to home.


This week