It's World Cities Day this week (Oct 31). To mark the occasion, we're looking at the world’s sexiest cities. From liberal attitudes to classic romance, these cities are the most sizzling and sensual on Earth
Dancer at Rio Carnival (Dreamstime)
Think 'sexy city' and you instantly think of Rio de Janeiro. The lively Brazilian metropolis is world famous for its passion, an atmosphere so entwined with the city’s make-up you can feel it rising off the streets.
Rio’s sexy soul becomes especially apparent on the beaches, where no piece of swimwear is too small, and in the nightlife, where you can samba and sweat until sunrise.
Rio’s annual Carnival is the epitome of what makes this place sexy, when bejewelled men and women parade through the streets and music breathes life into the city. In Rio, an open honest attitude towards sexuality is not only welcomed, but embraced with open arms.
Dancer at Gay Price event in San Francisco (Dreamstime)
San Francisco is famous as the spiritual home of peace, love and acceptance. This city’s open attitude towards sex runs deep, and since the mid-20th century it’s been a safe haven for LGBT communities. The first lesbian rights organisation started here in the 1950s, followed by the first transgender organisation in the 1960s. These liberal views started back in a time when gay rights were far from accepted, making San Francisco a pioneer.
San Francisco was the epicentre of America’s ‘Summer of Love’, a period in 1967 known for being a pivotal moment in LGBT and political history. Radical characters such as Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac gathered here and helped sparked movements, including gay rights and sexual revolutions, that changed the Western world forever. A free concert will be held in summer 2017 to mark 50 years since this ground-breaking summer.
Woman soaking up the sun on the beach (Dreamstime)
Sydney is among the world’s sexiest cities first and foremost because of its beach and surf culture, and the energetic up-for-it crowd that comes with it. Chiselled and bronzed beauties can be found lazing across the city’s sandy beaches throughout the summer months, packing out the city’s rich and varied clubs and bars in the evenings.
However, it’s not only the beauty of the locals and visitors that makes Sydney sexy. The city is frequently voted one of the most liveable and friendliest cities in the world. This cosmopolitan approach, blended with a laidback, welcoming vibe contributes greatly towards this Aussie city’s allure.
Verona at night (Dreamstime)
There are countless romantic cities in Italy, not least Rome and Venice, but few top the loved up history of beautiful Verona. Home to one of the world’s greatest, if tragic, love stories, Romeo and Juliet, Verona is one of the most romantic destinations in the world. Furthermore, with fewer tourist numbers than Rome, Florence, or Venice, Verona feels more intimate and secluded, an ideal escape for couples.
Here, you can visit the House of Juliet, which was once home to the Cappello family, thought to be the inspiration Shakespeare’s tale. Many people come here to stand on Juliet’s balcony and woo their loves from above.
If you can’t make it to Verona, never fear – you can settle for writing a love letter to Juliet. Thousands of people do so each year, and these declarations of affection are received by the Juliet Club.
A couple dancing the tango in the street (Dreamstime)
The birthplace of one of the most passionate dances in the world, the tango, Buenos Aires is undoubtedly one of the sexiest cities on Earth. In clubs all over the city, you can watch couples expertly performing the classic dance with plenty of Latin flavour and passion.
There are even street performances of tango (the neighbourhood of San Telmo is famous for it), making it easy to connect with this part of Buenos Aires life.
This sultry dance is at the core of everything that makes this hot-blooded city sexy. The tango is the epitome of Buenos Aires’ fiery and cosmopolitan people, it’s culture and nightlife.
Men enjoying Gay Pride event in Berlin (Dreamstime)
Over a decade ago, the mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit, proclaimed the city “arm, aber sexy” (poor, but sexy) and perhaps that sentiment still rings true today. It might be a little rough around the edges, but Berlin is as straightforward about sex as Germany is about almost everything else.
Berliners are typically progressive and liberal. The city is an avant-garde kind of sexy; there are stylish erotic clubs, burlesque shows, and trendy boutiques selling provocative items all over town, and no one raises an eyebrow about it. Berlin’s nightlife and club scene is rightly famous around the world, and there’s a thriving LGBT scene across the city.
This is Berlin – if you’re not open-minded, you’re not doing it right.
Eiffel Tower (Dreamstime)
The 'City of Love' has been one of the sexiest places on earth for centuries, with the Eiffel Tower an internationally recognised symbol of romance. There’s something about Paris’ picturesque streets, cafes, restaurants, fashion and Parisians’ sophistication that makes it gracefully sexy, a place where romance comes naturally to any couple that visits.
The silver screen has also spread the word to the world about just how sexy Paris could be. Classics like An American In Paris to arthouse icon Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless and the indie masterpiece Amélie have helped international travellers fall even more head over heels for Paris over the last 80 years.
Taj Mahal at sunset (Dreamstime)
Agra is often referred to as India’s ‘City of Love’, largely because its most famous landmark represents one of India’s greatest love stories. The Taj Mahal was built in the 17th century by order of the Emperor Shah Jahan in loving memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal, who died giving birth to their 14th child. The uniquely beautiful palace is a representation of the Emperor’s everlasting love for his wife and the great grief he felt after her death. Buying a bunch of petrol station flowers looks even more rubbish than before.
The captivating story of the construction is still told to visitors who stop by the Taj Mahal today. At dawn or dusk, when the skies turn shades of purple and pink around the Taj Mahal, it’s impossible not to feel swept away by the romance of iconic structure.
Tokyo girls posing for fashion ad (Dreamstime)
Tokyo is one of the most fashion-forward cities on Earth, a characteristic that makes it feel energetic and sexy. Many of the people who live here are slick, stylish and effortlessly cool, radiating the kind of confidence so often linked with what it means to be sexy.
Despite a reported drop in interest among young Japanese people when it comes to sex, Tokyo still has a lively, energetic club scene, the globally famous Cosplay culture and no shortage of places to fulfil any fetishes, from maid cafes to doll shops.
What’s more, Tokyo seems to tolerate LGBT communities more than other parts of Japan. There are a couple of places in the city that allow same-sex partnerships – something that has only occurred in the last couple of years – whereas this kind of marriage is still illegal in the rest of the country.
Two girls outside St Basil Cathedral (Dreamstime)
Russians, it’s claimed, are among the most sexually active and sexually satisfied people in the world. In the case of Moscow, that comes as no surprise when you consider that the city’s women continuously rank highly as the most beautiful on the planet.
Combine this sensual nature of the people with Moscow’s romantic architecture and the classic Russian literature set here – think emotionally-charged Tolstoy and Chekhov – and it’s without doubt one of the world’s most ravishing and enticing cities.
Despite attempts by President Putin’s government to clamp down on human rights, LGBT communities are still proudly going strong here.
Did we get it right? Did we miss somewhere out? Tell us about any sexy classics or off-the-beaten-track romantic spots in the Comments below.