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Portugal snatches prime spots in prestigious annual rankings for travel

Portugal snatches prime spots in prestigious annual rankings for travel

Seven out of nine top European cities for tourism are in the EU

Condé Nast Traveller Readers' Awards are highly prestigious prizes based on the rankings published every year and generally recognized by the industry professionals and independent travellers to be the ones to pay attention to. Readers’ votes determine the yearly rankings and this year they decided that the top European destination is Istanbul (Turkey). The rest of the top 9 list, however, is completed by EU cities, except the 8th spot taken by Reykjavik (Iceland).

What’s remarkable, however, is that the travellers have taken a particular liking to the country of Portugal. Its second-largest city, Porto, took the second spot after Istanbul – and the difference was less than a full point, with 92.78 and 93.67 respective scores. Portugal, though, claimed the first position as the best country destination in the world in the ranking published on 5 October.

More than 800,000 people from around the world have voted

For the 34th annual edition of the Reader's Awards, more than 800,000 readers from around the world responded to a questionnaire, which asked for choices in various parameters and on multiple scales. In other words, that is a ranking that is to be taken seriously.

Indeed, the publishers are adamant that in order to even get on the candidates' list, cities must meet certain criteria, such as high-quality gastronomic scene, smart hotels, friendly locals and attractive historical heritage sites.

The top nine cities, in order of ranking, are as follows:

  1. Istanbul (Turkey),
  2. Porto (Portugal),
  3. San Sebastián (Spain),
  4. Salzburg (Austria),
  5. Siena (Italy),
  6. Dubrovnik (Croatia),
  7. Bruges (Belgium),
  8. Reykjavik (Iceland) and
  9. Galway (Ireland).

The authorities in the top EU destination, Porto, were particularly proud of their success and they were quick to point out that they “dethroned the Portuguese capital (Lisbon) in this year’s list”. Talk about a fierce national rivalry.

Lisbon, indeed, slumped all the way down to the 15th position, but that was no obstacle for the Iberian country to claim the award for the best destination. Clearly, travellers know that a country’s charms are often not confined just to its main city and that often there is much more to explore by venturing out of it.

As for the countries list, three other EU Member States made it to the top 10: Italy (6), Greece (8) and Croatia (9).

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