Last updated: 10:00 AM ET, Thu July 09 2015

Kyoto, Charleston Head World's Best Cities in 2015

Destination & Tourism | Patrick Clarke | July 09, 2015

Kyoto, Charleston Head World's Best Cities in 2015

PHOTO: The beauty of Charleston, S.C. (via ThinkStock)

Travel + Leisure has revealed its World's Best Awards this summer, including a category dedicated to the world's top cities.

The lists are based on reader surveys that take a variety of factors into consideration, including sights and landmarks; culture and arts; restaurants and food; people and friendliness; shopping and value. Readers had from November 2014 to March 2015 to complete the questionnaire. 

For the second straight year Kyoto, Japan topped the list of the world's best cities overall with an impressive score of 91. Arguably the bigger surprise, though, was Charleston, South Carolina coming in at No. 2 in 2015 with a score of 89 and beating out some of the world's top dream destinations as the only U.S. representative to make the list.

No city in the top 10 finished with a score below 88.

Italy's Florence and Rome made the travel magazine's top 10 for the 10th consecutive year at Nos. 4 and 5 respectively. 

Other highlights include Bangkok, Thailand returning to the top 10 after falling out in 2014.

Here's how the world's 10 best cities ranked in 2015:

10. Jerusalem

9. Cape Town, South Africa

8. Barcelona, Spain

7. Krakow, Poland

6. Bangkok, Thailand

5. Rome, Italy

4. Florence, Italy

3. Siem Reap, Cambodia

2. Charleston, S.C.

1. Kyoto, Japan

T + L readers also ranked the top cities in the U.S. and Canada. Altough the list doesn't contain too many surprises, it's worth noting the presence of some underrated gems like Asheville, N.C. and Victoria, British Columbia. 

Here's how the complete top 10 shook out in 2015: 

10. Asheville, N.C.

9. Victoria, British Columbia

8. New York, N.Y.

7. Chicago

6. Quebec City, Quebec

5. San Francisco

4. Santa Fe, N.M.

3. Savannah, Ga.

2. New Orleans, La.

1. Charleston, S.C. 


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