The Expert in Baby Boomer Travel

Travel Copywriter
Zurich, Switzerland, is ranked as the top city in the world for baby boomers. Photo courtesy of myswitzerland.com

Zurich, Switzerland, is ranked as the top city in the world for baby boomers. Photo courtesy of myswitzerland.com

Sometimes you can only get away for a weekend, and the folks at weekenGO.com (I like the name) commissioned a thorough study to find the best cities around the world in which to spend 48 hours.

They looked at criteria such as walkability, accommodations, dining, bars, cultural events, museums and galleries, green spaces, safety and security, tolerance, and more, surveying 1,000 cities in all.

And along with overall winners, they picked the best cities for three different groups: millennials, families, and yes, I’m glad to say, baby boomers.

The list is heavy on European cities, for good reason — they’re usually easy to get around, have lots of activities going on, are rich in historic and artistic treasures, etc.

Now, most Americans aren’t likely to jet off to London — the overall winner — or other European cities for a weekend, but I think this list is just as useful as a guide to which world cities are great to visit, period.

Here are the top ten best cities in which to spend a weekend, according to the weekenGO study:

London wins the overall nod for top weekend destination. Photo from visitlondon.com

London wins the overall nod for top weekend destination. Photo from visitlondon.com

  1. London, England
  2. Berlin, Germany
  3. Vienna, Austria
  4. Hamburg, Germany
  5. Paris, France
  6. Amsterdam, Netherlands
  7. New York City, USA
  8. Munich, Germany
  9. Barcelona, Spain
  10. Madrid, Spain

Following close behind, San Francisco and Los Angeles check in at numbers 11 and 13, respectively; Miami, at number 43, and Las Vegas, at number 53, complete the U.S. contingent.

The top ten cities for baby boomers, in the other hand, is quite different and branches out into Asia and Canada:

  1. Zurich, Switzerland
  2. Vienna, Austria
  3. Hamburg, Germany
  4. Edinburgh, Scotland
  5. Prague, Czech Republic
  6. Singapore
  7. Vancouver, Canada
  8. Tokyo, Japan
  9. Munich, German
  10. London, England
Prague ranks highly as a baby boomer getaway city. Photo by Dennis Cox/WorldViews

Prague ranks highly as a baby boomer getaway city. Photo by Dennis Cox/WorldViews

Why the differences?

The key factors for baby boomers were considered to be security, cultural events, restaurants, accommodation, green spaces, walkability, and mobility (as opposed to say, millennials, where LGBT tolerance, women’s safety, concerts, clubs, and bars were among the keys).

My one quibble would be that museums and galleries were not among the key factors for the baby boomer rankings.

While the list is highly Eurocentric overall, cities such as Buenos Aires, Argentina; Lima, Peru; Bogota, Colombia; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Mexico City; Auckland, New Zealand; Sydney, Australia; Shanghai, China; New Delhi, India; Johannesburg, South Africa;  Reykjavik, Iceland; Abu Dhabi and Dubai, UAE; and Casablanca, Morocco, all appear in the top 100.

Again, I view this as more of a guide to planning longer visits that just weekenders, since most of the cities require more than a hop, skip and jump for Americans to reach, but if you’re already touring Europe, say, you might want to include Zurich, Vienna, Hamburg, Edinburgh, or Prague on your must-see list.

In fact, I’ve had occasion to spend just about 48 hours in each (along with longer stays), and I can vouch for all of them for baby boomer travelers.

Here are some other interesting findings from the study:

Graz, Austria, ranks as the most walkable city.

Stuttgart, Germany, ranks #1 for most green spaces.

Rome, Italy, ranks best for most accommodation options.

Tokyo, Japan, ranks highest for dining.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is best for bars.

Shanghai, China, has the best club options.

 Shanghai is tops for clubbing, but baby boomers may enjoy the morning exercise teams on the Bund. Photo by Dennis Cox/WorldViews

Shanghai is tops for clubbing, but baby boomers may enjoy the morning exercise teams on the Bund. Photo by Dennis Cox/WorldViews

Paris, France, has the most music venues.

London, UK, has the highest rank for theaters, concerts, and cinemas.

Vancouver, Canada, ranks highest for cultural events.

Los Angeles ranks highest for most museums and galleries.

Oslo, Norway, is the safest place for women.

Madrid, Spain, is the most LGBT friendly.

Zurich, Switzerland, ranks number one for security — and is included in the top ten rankings for all age ranges.

If you’d like to read the entire study, go to the weekenGO website.

Dear Readers: My new guidebook, 100 Things to Do in  Tucson Before You Die (Reedy Press, August 2017) is now available for purchase. For those outside the Tucson area, where it’s available at Barnes & Noble, Antigone Books and other bookstores, you can go to the book’s  sale page at amazon.com and order it. Don’t forget to write a review!

Or, if you’d rather support clarknorton.com than Jeff Bezos,  you can order directly from me at paypal.me/clarknorton; price of $19.35 includes sales tax and shipping. Be sure to send me an email at clark@clarknorton.com with your name and shipping address. We also accept major credit cards. Thanks! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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According to government and private surveys:

  • Leading-edge baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1955) and seniors account for four out of every five dollars spent on luxury travel today.
  • Roughly half the consumer spending money in the U.S.--more than $2 trillion--is in the hands of leading-edge baby boomers and seniors.
  • Baby boomers (born 1946-1964) travel more than any other age group.
  • When asked what they would most like to spend their money on, baby boomers answered “travel” more than any other category, including improving their health or finances.

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