Gen-Z Travel Ranking: Must-See Places for Generation Z
The era of the Gen-Z globetrotter is well underway! To these young explorers, travelling is more than just sight-seeing. The best travel destinations are places that cater to post-modern values, offer big events, but don’t cost an arm and a leg.
Within the scope of a major study, our travel experts took a close look at a total of 100 popular cities in 40 countries around the world and analysed which cities best satisfy the interests and requirements of the new generation of travellers. The result is a ranking of the coolest and most appealing travel destinations for the 16 to 27-year old crowd of generation Z.
The best travel destinations for generation Z
A new generation of travellers is ready to go
What does a city have to have in order to win the hearts of Gen-Zers? Well, diversity and equal rights are at the top of the list. The 16 to 27-year olds of generation Z value all locations where they can live their lives under their true identity and without prejudice. High levels of queer acceptance and gender equality are not compromises, but must-haves.
For the youngest travellers, constant connectivity is indispensable – they rightfully require that their favourite apps function around the world. Destination cities with fast mobile Internet and digital payment options are especially appealing to them.
Affordable public transportation? Yes, please! As at home, Gen-Zers are eco-friendly and thrifty when travelling. As with preceding generations, the budget of these young adults is limited – being able to eat cost-effectively is a decisive factor in choosing a travel destination. This can be vegetarian or vegan: culinary innovations such as bubble tea and egg-drop sandwiches are very popular with young foodies.
Visiting museums and monuments? Perhaps some other time … For culture, the youngest generation of travellers prefers live concerts and action-packed events dealing with all things gaming and e-sports. Linking a city break with a concert by their favourite artist or playing the hottest game with like-minded individuals in an exciting location, is currently much more seductive than a visit to the Louvre, Buckingham Palace or the Museum of Modern Arts.
The Top Travel Destination: Seoul in South Korea offers everything that the hearts of Gen-Zers desire
The exciting metropolis of Seoul in South Korea has the most state-of-the-art things to offer to the digitally adept Gen-Z travellers. Thanks to K-pop and K-drama series, this far eastern country is currently not just totally trendy among teenagers and young adults, it is even considered the most appealing travel city for generation Z according to an evaluation of ten criteria based on the requirements and interests of 16 to 27-year olds.
K-pop fans can smile because Seoul is well known as the epicentre of their favourite genre of music. In the lively Gangnam quarter, night turns into day. Countless clubs and bars are
waiting to be discovered. At £4.73 for a fast food dinner and around £0.76 for a train ticket, Seoul is one of the cities with especially affordable prices – ideal for the small budget of young adults.
For gaming nerds, a small paradise also awaits them in Seoul. The city not only has its own e-sports stadium, but also has more than a hundred gaming cafes on almost every corner. At least six of the world’s biggest gaming events and e-sport contests take place in Seoul.
Also in terms of technology, Seoul is way ahead. Fast mobile Internet? Of course! In this city, everyone enjoys a minimum of 125 Mbps. Mobile payment methods are available almost everywhere, particularly in the smart konbinis – Seoul’s 24-hour convenience stores.
For young foodies, Seoul is a dream come true: From bibimbap and kimchi to the wildest street food creations, you can have a wild culinary celebration. Vegans can find a minimum of 181 vegetarian or vegan food spots, as any analysis of the gastronomic map of the city will show.
Seoul is a dream destination and unique interplay of tradition, innovation and current attitudes. Here you can experience the hottest trends, experience Korean pop culture up close and enjoy the hospitality of South Korea to the full extent. Seoul is thus without doubt the city that offers exactly what young travellers are currently looking for.
Dubai: The favourite on TikTok
With more than 74 billion views, no other city is as popular on TikTok as Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. This city is the favourite of generation Z on social media and it leaves the dream destinations of older generations such as New York City (39 billion views) or Paris (44 billion views) lagging far behind.
Dubai appeals to Gen-Z because it offers an impressive mix of modern architecture, shopping and action-packed offerings such as indoor skiing and leisure parks. The city is also a technology hub with high-speed Internet and advanced mobile payment options. Some downsides to Dubai are of course the uncertain conditions for queer persons and the comparatively high prices.
Top Cities for Gen-Z in the United Kingdom
In our global Gen-Z Travel Ranking, London secures an impressive second place. Among all the cities surveyed in the United Kingdom, the city has the greatest potential to captivate young travelers. London is recognized nationally and internationally as a hotspot for innovation and creativity and is often at the forefront when it comes to exploring new fashion and food trends.
Other cities in the country, such as Edinburgh (28th place), Cardiff (32nd place), Manchester (47th place), Birmingham (52nd place), Glasgow (60th place), and Belfast (78th place), cannot compete with London in terms of diversity and attractions for the new generation. In the Gen-Z Travel Ranking, particularly Birmingham, Glasgow, and Belfast rank lower and therefore have less to offer for young travelers.
Top stars like Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, or Harry Styles also visit Edinburgh and Cardiff, but none as consistently as London. None of the surveyed stars skip London on a world tour. Among all artists, Harry Styles performs most frequently in the United Kingdom. The only city he has skipped so far is Belfast.
In the gaming and esports realm, London is the epicenter, while Cardiff, Manchester, and others offer fewer activities in this regard. London hosts a minimum of 14 international esports competitions and events each year, making it one of the world’s largest gaming hotspots.
The attractiveness of cities in the United Kingdom is also hindered by a relatively slow mobile internet connection and limited availability of digital payment options. Gen-Z no longer tolerates this!
London impresses on TikTok with a whopping 44 billion views and undoubtedly ranks among the global favorites for Gen-Z online. In comparison, Birmingham, Edinburgh, and the other surveyed cities sometimes achieve less than two billion views on TikTok, with Manchester’s community being particularly active with about 7 billion views.
Top artists primarily go to London or Los Angeles for concerts
Concerts are extremely beloved among Gen-Zers. Gen-Z grew up in a heavily networked and digital world in which music is easily accessible. Live concerts offer a unique opportunity to experience music close up and to share genuine emotions with like-minded individuals – an experience that young people had to forgo during the Corona pandemic and which is just now being made up for.
Many great artists and bands are currently or have recently been on a world tour. They visit many cities during such tours, but none as consistently as London and Los Angeles. All of the top stars studied – Beyoncé, BTS, Harry Styles, Taylor Swift and The Weeknd – have played in both cities during their international tours.
Queers are relatively safe in Copenhagen, Vancouver, Geneva and Lisbon
Safety, acceptance and freedom are of essential importance for queer travellers. Young queers have fewer worries in countries like Denmark, Canada, Switzerland or Portugal. Cities such as Copenhagen, Vancouver, Geneva and Lisbon are among the safer cities for the LGBTQA+ crowd, with popular homosexual and queer quarters for making one’s holiday or meeting like-minded people.
Unfortunately, not all travel destinations are so liberal-minded and hospitable. In Europe, in more than any other country, the situations in Poland and Hungary are the most worrisome. Discriminatory laws and a lack of acceptance make these places unsafe destinations. Other difficult travel destinations for openly queer travellers are Cairo in Egypt, Doha in Qatar and the allegedly so modern Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
Top 3 Gaming Paradises: Los Angeles, London, Berlin
Gaming is an absolute must for generation Z. In a mostly virtually networked world of multi-player online games, e-sport events offer a unique opportunity to take risks in their favourite game up close with others. No city attracts e-sport fans as consistently as Los Angeles. The pulsing heart of gaming, with a minimum of 18 big tournaments, which are played out in front of an enthusiastic audience. Everything is a gamble – from Fortnite and FIFA to Minecraft.
In Europe, gamers will find the big e-sport events more in London or Berlin. London hosts approximately 14 events and tournaments, whereas around 11 big events can be found in Berlin, among these the League of Legends Championships and Dota 2 Major Tournaments.
Mumbai and Istanbul are a dream come true for vegan foodies
Mumbai is a genuine dream destination for vegetarian and vegan foodies. The city spoils locals and visitors with around 600 different restaurants and street food stands with purely vegetarian fare. Every bite between Pav Bhaji and Pani Puris is an adventure in taste.
The European alternative to Mumbai is Istanbul. The analysis resulted in a minimum of 200 vegetarian and vegan food spots in the city. Istanbul enchants visitors with its rich selection of vegetarian mezze dishes and delicious vegetable kebabs.
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