Methodology Europes | World’s Best Cities


Our methodology is a combination of core statistics from more than 400 global cities and resident and visitor perception indicators like user-generated ratings and reviews.

Resonance interprets this data through the lens of three key factors—Livability, Lovability and Prosperity—to define each city’s Place Power Score.

Our Methodology

Europe’s Best Cities Methodology

How we ranked Europe’s Best Cities in 2024

Every year, Resonance analyses more than 180 European cities (principal cities of metropolitan areas with populations of more than 500,000) to determine the Top 100 by using a combination of core statistics and qualitative evaluations and recommendations by locals and visitors in digital channels such as Tripadvisor, Google, Facebook and Instagram.

While many factors shape our perception of cities as desirable places to live, work or visit, the Best Cities rankings are focused on factors that demonstrate moderate to strong correlations with the performance of cities when it comes to attracting talent, visitors and businesses based on our extensive analysis of a wide range of data sources. While factors such as time to commute to work, crime or public schools do indeed shape our perception of cities when it comes to choosing a neighbourhood, our research shows that they have little to no relationship with the performance of an urban area overall when it comes to attracting talent, tourism or investment—at least not in the short term.

So what are the factors influencing the performance of cities today when it comes to attracting visitors, talent and businesses? Based on our ongoing analysis, it’s an eclectic mix that ranges from the number of Global Fortune 500 companies and ease of airport connectivity to the number of nightlife and outdoor recreation experiences and the volume of check-ins on Facebook and mentions on Instagram. And based on our ongoing analysis over the past decade, these factors can change and evolve over time, and so we have continually updated our methodology to reflect these shifts. Case in point: we have added factors like Monthly Rent and Green Space to this year’s index and removed inputs like Weather and Safety to more accurately represent the latest verified drivers of talent, investment and tourism to a city.

This year, we’ve regrouped our previous six categories (Place, Promotion, Product, Programming, People and Prosperity) into three larger pillars that we utilise in our work with clients—Livability, Lovability and Prosperity—to define each city’s relative Place Power Score.

Additionally, all Russian cities continue to be omitted from our annual ranking. Resonance made this decision in 2022 after the country’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.


Our most layered overarching category quantifies a city’s physical sense of place. To score a city within our Livability category, we evaluate the perceived quality of its natural and built environments. This includes how much of an urban area is dedicated to green space, how bike-friendly its streets are and how many quality parks, sights, neighbourhoods and landmarks are recommended online by locals and visitors. We also look at key socioeconomic factors such as the affordability of monthly rents and the disposable household income of the city’s residents—factors that not only retain talent, but also attract it (and, by extension, attract skill-seeking companies as well).

Total kilometres of dedicated tracks and lanes for cyclists in a city (Mapped Bikeways)

Sights & Landmarks
Number of sights and landmarks, rated above four stars, as listed on Tripadvisor (

Number of outdoor experiences, rated above four stars, as listed on Tripadvisor (

Green Space
Proportion of green space (parks, trees and so on) available in a city’s urban area (OECD)

EV Charging Stations
Number of EV charging stations within a city (

Disposable Household Income
The income available to households living in a city, including wages and salaries, income from self-employment and unincorporated enterprises, income from pensions and other social benefits, and income from financial investments, less any payments of tax, social insurance contributions and interest on financial liabilities (OECD)

Average Rent
Average rent of a two-bedroom apartment in a city (Zoopla/Properstar)


Lovability speaks to the relative vibrancy and quality of place of a city relative to its competitive set. Our research has shown for some time that the more vibrant a city is in terms of its culture, dining and nightlife, the more visitors, young professionals and large corporations it attracts. A city’s lovability also inspires residents, businesses and visitors to promote that city to the world (usually on social media) more effectively than city marketers or chambers of commerce can ever hope to achieve. Resonance ranks a city’s performance in each of these areas based on the number of stories, references and recommendations shared online about that city in key user-generated digital channels.

Number of local concerts, shows and events, rated above four stars, as listed on Tripadvisor (

Number of local nightlife experiences, rated above four stars, as listed on Tripadvisor, including bars, pubs and clubs (

Number of quality restaurants and culinary experiences, rated above four stars, as listed on Tripadvisor (

Number of local shopping experiences, rated above four stars, as listed on Tripadvisor, including shopping malls, farmers markets, department stores, airport shops and factory outlets (

Number of quality family-friendly activities, rated above four stars, as listed on Tripadvisor (

Facebook Check-ins
Total number of Facebook check-ins posted by residents and visitors in a city (

Google Search
Total number of unique results a city has on Google, choosing the larger total of the city (for example, “Paris”) or the city and country (“Paris, France”) (

Tripadvisor Reviews
Total number of reviews a city has on Tripadvisor (

Instagram Hashtags
Total number of posts with Instagram hashtags that include the name of a city (

Google Trends
Popularity on Google Trends in the past 12 months, relative to the other 180+ European cities analysed, choosing the larger total of the city (for example, “Paris”) or the city and country (“Paris, France”) (

Number of quality museums, rated above four stars, as listed on Tripadvisor (


Human capital is becoming a city’s most valuable resource when it comes to generating wealth and prosperity, and, for many cities, it is increasingly in short supply. To evaluate the relative strength of human capital from one city to the next, Resonance measures both the educational attainment level of the city’s population and the percentage of people participating in the labour force.

We not only include obvious indicators of prosperity such as GDP per capita, but also the poverty rate to evaluate how well that wealth is distributed among a city’s population. Wealth and prosperity are also shaped by core statistics like business infrastructure (such as direct destinations served by the city’s primary airport, measured by our Airport Connectivity subcategory) and the presence or absence of large, recognisable corporations—despite the fact that startups and innovation increasingly drive a city’s development and economic growth. (We measure those, too.)

Educational Attainment
Share of residents who have a bachelor’s degree or above (OECD)

Labour Force Participation
Ratio of working-age population who are actively part of the labour force (OECD)

GDP per Capita
Per person value of output created through the production of goods and services (McKinsey Urban World)

Poverty Rate
Share of residents that are at risk of poverty in a city (Eurostat/National Statistical Offices)

Global Fortune 500
Number of companies headquartered in a city that are ranked on the Global Fortune 500 list (

Quantity, quality and overall state of a city’s business environment that contributes to the success of startups in a city (StartupBlink)

Airport Connectivity
Number of direct destinations served by the city’s airports (

Creative Class
Share of residents who are employed in professional, technical, financial or ICT services fields (Eurostat)

Foreign-Born Residents
Share of people in a geographical area who migrated from their country of birth to their current place of residence (OECD)