San Francisco has beaten some of the most prominent cities worldwide for the top spot on Time Out's 37 'best cities in the world in 2021' list. The US city was ranked ahead of Netherlands' Amsterdam, UK's Manchester, Denmark's Copenhagen, Canada's Montreal, Czech Republic's Prague, Israel's Tel Aviv, Portugal's Porto and Japan's Tokyo. New York is the only other US city to feature on the list. The magazine said San Francisco's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, “one of the strictest" in the United States, made it the top choice of 27,000 "city-dwellers from Melbourne to Madrid, Chicago to Copenhagen and Tel Aviv to Tokyo" in the Time Out Index poll.
Insights provided by the magazine's editors and experts worldwide were also taken into consideration.
San Fransico was particularly hailed for its “community spirit” during the pandemic as businesses stayed afloat through creative means, and innovative initiatives like the SF New Deal ensured work for restaurant employees as they made meals for those in need. Neighbours took care of each other through "far-reaching mutual aid networks."
San Fransico's weather, suitable for all-year outdoor dining, also seems to have worked in its favour. And 73 % of respondents also vouched for the "progressive" reputation of San Fransisco, whose Haight-Ashbury neighbourhood hosted some 100,000 people in 1967 during the 'Summer of Love', a social phenomenon that defined the 'hippie' counterculture in America during the late 1960s.
The city boasts of hundreds of "beautifully crafted parklets that now make the city feel like one giant street party."
With a population of nearly a million people, San Francisco is the 17th most populous city in the United States, and the fourth most populous in California. In 2019, San Francisco's per capita income of $139,405 made it seventh-highest income county in the United States. The Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, Alamo Square, and the Ferry Building Marketplace are some of the city's major attractions.