When it comes to stellar food, culture, and the arts, nothing beats these urban hubs, which T+L readers voted the best in the world.
The reinvention of Marrakesh as a global style hub continues, thanks to the recent opening of the Museé Yves Saint Laurent, a space dedicated to the French designer, who once made his home in the city. “The museum and garden are outstanding,” wrote in one reader. Still, much of what makes the city so enchanting are the sights and sounds of local life: the bustling souks, the small, artisanal boutiques where you can buy everything from elaborate Berber carpets to rose-scented perfumes. “Love the little shops,” said one reader, while another added: “Incredible shopping.” No wonder then, that the city was voted No. 5 in the entire region.
Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Readers rated cities on their sights and landmarks, culture, cuisine, friendliness, shopping, and overall value.
Related: The 2018 World's Best Awards
Israel also performed well on this year’s list, with Jerusalem ranking at No. 3 and Tel Aviv at No. 4. It’s a reflection of the fact that tourism is booming; hotels in both cities report record occupancy rates. In and around Tel Aviv’s historic Jaffa neighborhood, the Setai Tel Aviv, the Jaffa hotel, and the Drisco hotel are breathing new life into the scene. “Tel Aviv has everything a visitor should want and more — open-air markets, clubs, walkable areas with bars, and the beach,” wrote in one respondent.
Beirut made an appearance at No. 2 on the list — a vote of confidence for the popular Lebanese capital, which has in recent years suffered from political instability and uncertainty. Still, our readers said they were drawn to the city despite these challenges. “Beirut’s food is unsurpassed,” said one fan, while another added: “The nightlife is the experience of a lifetime.”
Read on for the full list of winning cities in the region.