The New School has some pretty amazing study abroad programs available for us, and I intend to take full advantage of them. While I firmly believe in the importance of trying new things, I can’t help but be curious as to what cities out there might remind me of my new home of New York City. With the help of some of my foreign friends and fellow New Schoolers, I’ve compiled a list of cities outside of the United States that have the same vibe and energy of, what we New Yorkers like to consider, the Greatest City in the World.
1. TOKYO, JAPAN
Tokyo is famous for its crazy, hectic, and electric vibe, something reminiscent to the connotation of New York. With its “Greater Tokyo Area” a pretty good equivalent to New York’s outer boroughs and its similarly world-renowned railway system, it is definitely a worthy competitor.
2. SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA
Vibrant and lively, Seoul in South Korea is a gorgeous city that provides a New Yorker with everything they could ever want in a city: skyscrapers, bridges, sea shores, and buildings up-close and personal with each other.
This city is its own country. In a far-reaching way, one could place a similarity between that and the fact that New York shares the same name as its own state. Singapore, a small island similar to that of Manhattan, is also ranked as one of the most expensive places to live in the world. Sound familiar, New Yorkers?
4. JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA
Johannesburg, known to some affectionately as the “biggest and baddest” of South African cities, is very well-known for their art scene, with their culture being a rich mixture of Afrikaans and European.
5. BUDAPEST, HUNGARY
While I’ve never actually been to this beautiful city, I do recall watching a documentary about it. I was taken aback by how alive the city appeared to be, and it is that liveliness that has brought Budapest onto this list. Wealthy in diverse culture and art, as many as 1/7 of all Hungarian residents live in or around this capital.
6. SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL
Most South American cities are more reminiscent to those in the state of California, due to their close proximity to the beach. São Paulo of Brazil however, is described as an alpha global city. It is the largest city in Latin America (and the fifth largest in the entire world), and they have the self-declared best soccer team in the world, comparative to New Yorkers’ love for the Yankees.
7. HONG KONG, CHINA
Hong Kong has one of the most recognizable city names in the world, and the image that might first pop into your head is the bright, multi-colored lights in the moonlit hours of the night, very similar to that of midtown New York City. Side note: the driving in Hong Kong is very well-known for its craziness, not too far off from the NY driving stereotypes.
8. BERLIN, GERMANY
There is a surprising amount of foreigners that have taken to calling Berlin their home. Much like New York, people of all different nationalities flock to the city either with the plan to set up roots or just to visit. Either way, no matter where you turn in Berlin, you’re never too far from some of the most interesting people you will ever meet.
9. MOSCOW, RUSSIA
While Moscow is less known for skyscrapers than it is for its impeccable Russian architecture, it is the people that make up the connection between the Russian capital and New York City. Much like in the Big Apple, many people commute from the suburbs into the city to work during the day or party at night, and they are also both famous for their incredible fashion senses.
10. DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
One look at the glittery lights of the big city that is Dubai and you will think that you’re getting a glimpse of some fantastical universe that defies all reason. That’s kind of what Dubai is – only it happens to be real. The area surrounding the relatively new city is full of intense history. Many businessmen from around the world live here for work, adding to the cultural hub of its residents (and, might I add, to the famously expensive lineup of cars on the streets).