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San Miguel de Allende, No. 1 city in the world San Miguel de Allende, No. 1 city in the world. travel+leisure/getty images

For the second year, San Miguel de Allende named world’s top city

Oaxaca city came a close second and Mexico City was No. 11

Three Mexican cities have made the list of the world’s top 15 cities for 2018 and San Miguel de Allende has ranked No. 1 for the second year in a row.

Oaxaca city, capital of the state of the same name, moved into second place from last year’s sixth and Mexico City returns to the list, placing 11th.

The annual awards program is operated by Travel + Leisure magazine, whose readers choose their favorite cities based on sights and landmarks, culture, food, friendliness, shopping and value.

What makes a city truly great, the magazine says, is “jaw-dropping architecture, distinctive restaurants, a rich array of cultural offerings, and intriguing shops . . . . A teeming street life, a friendly population, and a harmonious relationship with nature are equally essential.”

Travel + Leisure said it was “no wonder” that San Miguel, with a score of 91.94, topped the list again. “With its colorful, flower-festooned architecture and cobblestoned streets, San Miguel has the feel of a village, but its large population of artists lends it a cosmopolitan air.”

Said one reader, “This is one of the best cities in the world. There are lots of stores selling local artisan crafts, jewelry and art. Bring an extra suitcase!”

Oaxaca was not far behind with 90.52, while Mexico City scored 87.65.

In third place was Udaipur, India, followed by Ubud, Indonesia; Kyoto, Japan; Florence, Italy; Luang Prabang, Laos; Hoi An, Vietnam; Chiang Mai, Thailand; Charleston, South Carolina; Mexico City; Cape Town, South Africa; Rome; Istanbul; and Beirut, Lebanon.

On the list of the world’s best hotels 10 are in Mexico, led by the Viceroy Riviera Maya in Playa del Carmen leading in 20th place.

The other nine were Cala de Mar Resort & Spa in Ixtapa, Guerrero; the Resort at Pedregal, Cabo San Lucas; Las Ventanas al Paraíso, San José del Cabo; the Rosewood, San Miguel de Allende; the Banyan Tree Cabo Marqués, Acapulco; Nizuc Resort & Spa, Cancún; Chileno Bay Resort & Residences, Cabo San Lucas; Rosewood Mayakoba, Playa del Carmen; and Esperanza, Cabo San Lucas.

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