Paris, a city where wearing exercise in clothes was once seen as a major faux pas, has been revealed as one of the healthiest cities in the world to visit. A recent study examined a number of factors including the availability of vegan restaurants to health food shops, parks, gyms and the number of daylight hours to try and get an insight into what cities are good for your health and wellness.
Overall, the French capital came out on top of the Travel Supermarket study due to the sheer number of spas available in the city (a whopping 894). While decadent bœuf bourguignon and cheese probably spring to mind when thinking about Parisian cuisine, researchers found that the city boasts approximately 1305 vegan-option restaurants. The ‘City of Light’ also has a number of famous green spaces from the Bois de Boulogne to Jardin du Luxembourg but the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, plans to introduce even more green spaces in the city with ‘Parisculteurs’, a campaign to cover 247 acres of rooftops and walls in Paris with greenery by 2020.
Coming in second place was Chiang Mai in Thailand, which boasts some of the best spas in the country. It has almost seven spas per km squared, 307 vegan-option restaurants and a glittering 2512 average hours of sunlight per year. It’s also a famous spot for yoga and pilates retreats and is surrounded by gorgeous nature spots.
In third place was Barcelona, the city with a world-class dining and drinking scene. The Catalan capital scored highly for its number of spas (510), fitness centres (17) and vegan-option restaurants (1368), not to mention its abundance of sunshine and numerous hiking trails. As Barcelona is so compact, visitors should find it easy to maintain the health and wellness practices they follow at home without having to travel too far within the city.
Pattaya in Thailand and Vancouver, Canada rounded out the top five. Pattaya scored highly for its five-star spa and fitness centres, while Vancouver’s combination of gyms, spas, vegan restaurants, health food shops and refreshing dose of the great outdoors pushed it into the number five spot.
The Healthiest Cities Index from Travel Supermarket was created by measuring factors such as the number of parks, gyms, spas, yoga and pilates studios, health food shops and vegan option restaurants in the top 100 cities in the world. The figures were divided by each city’s size to reveal a per square kilometre density figure. Average sunlight hours and the average cost of a night’s stay were also considered, and then each metric was assigned a score based on how valuable it was to travellers.
American cities such as Miami (sixth), San Francisco (seventh), Washington DC (15th), New York (17th) and Las Vegas (20th) all scored highly, while European capitals such as Dublin (22nd) and Amsterdam (24th) narrowly missed the top 20. London ranked in 67th place as it doesn’t have many yoga studios and it’s relatively expensive to stay overnight. It does, however, have 4000 vegan-option restaurants and 665 spas.
See the complete top 100 list here.
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