Chicago is the fun capital of the world — streets ahead of London in TENTH place, according to a major new study.

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The ‘windy city’ topped a global poll of 20,000 people, scoring highest for the best restaurants, bars and neighbourhoods.

Melbourne was runner-up, followed by Lisbon, New York, Madrid, Mexico City, Sao Paolo, Los Angeles, Barcelona and – in 10th place – London.


Chicago was praised for its affordability and friendliness, and residents reported the best work-life balance.

London-dwellers admitted they work longer hours than they’d like, allowing for less ‘fun-time’ in their personal life.

But Londoners certainly make the most of their 9-5 – a third say some of their closest friends are colleagues and one in five have had sex at work.



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And London pipped Sydney to the title of the world hangover capital.


Time Out London’s Editor-in-Chief, Caroline McGinn said,

“We surveyed 20,000 urbanites in 18 cities across the world to find out two things. First: where are the most dynamic, gastronomic, culturally unbeatable urban hotspots right now?

“And second: what are we up to and how is that changing? We found out some fun stuff along the way.

“Looking for sex? Better heard to Plumstead or Paris. Food and culture? Chicago and NYC are buzzing.

“Lisbon is the place to fall in love. As for London, we’ve got plenty going on in this amazing and culturally vibrant city, but many are feeling a bit lonely and hungover right now.”

The Time Out City Index shows Melbourne is the second most fun city in the world, as it has a great quality of life, and ranks highly for its bars and restaurants.

Six in 10 people find Melbourne an easy place to live and three-quarters of residents love living there.


Lisbon takes third place and is ranked as the world’s most sociable and least lonely city.

New York was fourth, praised for its arts, nightlife and music – although it has the toughest dating scene of them all.

Fifth place went to clubbing capital Madrid, where people go out 19 times a year compared to just six times in Melbourne.


Madrid also has the lowest working hours of all 18 countries, as people only work 39 hours a week.

Tokyo and Paris are the most cultured cities, with the highest number of residents regularly going to theatres or museums.

People in Mexico City have the most affairs and are the least stressed, Miami emerged as the capital of threesomes and Barcelona is the home of the boozy lunch.


Despite other cities being more affordable, easier for making friends and offering a better work-life balance, 66 percent claim there are always new things to do.

Londoners go to theatres and museums up to 25 times a year, they enjoy 4.7 nights out a month and two-thirds say the capital has a great restaurant scene.

The ‘Big Smoke’ is also vying with Sydney for the title of hangover capital and one-night stand hotspot – 64 per cent versus 65 per cent.


Londoners have sex 1.2 times a week – compared to Parisians who have sex an average of 1.6 times a week, more than in any other city.

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Caroline McGinn for Time Out London added.

“If there’s one thing that Time Out really knows and loves, its cities.

“We’ve been dedicated to discovering their best bits for many years. Now we thought it was about time to document urban life. Because cities are important. They’re fun. But they’re also crucibles for new opportunities, new ideas, and new ways of living.”

Other highlights discovered in the Time Out City Index include New York residents go out the most (6.4 times a month), Toyko city dwellers love sharing their food pictures on Instagram and Dubai are stuck in the office the longest.

People are most likely to have a friendly chat with strangers in Chicago, and in contrast, those in Singapore are least sociable, choosing to keep themselves to themselves.


1. Chicago
2. Melbourne
3. Lisbon
4. New York
5. Madrid
6. Mexico City
7. Sao Paolo
8. Los Angeles
9. Barcelona
10. London
11. Hong Kong
12. Miami
13. Tokyo
14. Singapore (homosexuality not legal)
15. Paris
16. Sydney
17. Dubai (homosexuality not legal)
18. Kuala Lumpur (homosexuality not legal)

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