Autumn brings with it a plethora of delights. Autumn Orange foliage. Pumpkin spice lattes. Cosy nights in… and an excuse to visit some of the world’s best cities for a relaxing Autumn break. But it’s not just your summer holiday which should be dedicated to relaxation. With today’s frantic world of email notifications and iPhone updates it’s more important than ever to switch off.
Well, the 2017 Global Least and Most Stressful Cities Ranking is officially in – and Germany has four cities in the top ten. Revealed by Zipjet, a London-based laundry and dry cleaning service dedicated to understanding the wellbeing of a city’s population with the aim of developing a technology which aims to reduce stress in people’s lives.
During the research, the company looked at the stress factors in 150 cities worldwide, considering stress factors such as unemployment, debt, traffic, public transportation, security, pollution. They then used the data to give each city a comprehensive ‘stress’ score based on the compilation of factors. And the results are as follows:
In at number one is Stuttgart, Germany. Surrounded by one of the country’s largest wine-growing regions, Stuggart is rich with creative culture. With acclaimed ballets, opera and philharmonic, not to mention Europe’s zoo and botanic gardens it’s not hard to understand how it’s hit the topspot for the least most stressful city.
Our hotel pick: Le Meridien Stuttgart
Bordered by Belgium and Germany, Luxembourg is a multicultural city packed full of idyllic landscapes and nature parks. Consistently ranked among the world’s top nation for wealth and wine consumption, combined with its fairy-tale historic architecture, Luxembourg is the perfect location for a relaxing Autumn break.
Our hotel pick: Sofitel Luxembourg Europe
Hannover’s English-style parks, botanic gardens and museums dedicated to the Baroque era hit the hatrick for Germany. Hanover’s most famous attraction includes the stunning Herrenhausen Palace and Museum is a magnet for tourists all over the world. Boasting opulently designed gardens, artistically clipped hedges, at the centre of this cultural shrubbery is the centrepiece, the ‘Great Garden’. A baroque themed splendour where tourists can enjoy the fruits of time gone by.
Our hotel pick: Sheraton Hannover Pelikan Hotel
Famously dubbed one of the happiest countries in the world due to its stunning scenery, low working hours and steller healthcare system, it’s perhaps no surprise that Bern has been named as one of the least stressful countries in the world. An aesthetic delight, Bern is an Unesco World Heritage-listed old town with a cobbled centre, celler shops and a laid back air. The perfect location for a relaxing Autumn break, Bern’s surrounding hills, cultural museums and happy locals make for a surprise at every turn.
Our hotel pick: Hotel Bellvue Palace, Bern
A metropolis of cosmopolitan power dressers and traditional Bavarian heritage, Germany’s unofficial southern capital is a thriving success story with its own contradictions. Serving food from every corner of the world, from Ethiopia to Brazil, cinemas showing original versions of movies and bike being a genuine means of transportation, it’s no surprise that Munich finds itself in the top five.
Our hotel pick: Mandarin Oriental, Munich
Forget Cannes, Bordeaux is the place you want to be if you need some down time. Easy to reach by rail (just under six hours from London) and home to the world’s greatest wine museum, Bordeaux is the perfect not-too-far away Autumn break. With more swish hotels and incredible food than you can shake a stick at, Bordeaux is the golden land the luxury lover.
Our hotel pick: La Grande Maison Bernard Magrez
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
The world’s leading festival city, Edinburgh is home to a plethora of stunning sights. The Edinburgh castle is the city’s central masterpiece. A source of inspiration to filmmakers everywhere, Edinburgh is a hub of culture that has been the location to award-winning films such as Chariots of Fire and The Di Vinci Code. A must-visit for those who have never been.
Our hotel pick: The Balmoral
The only non-European city in the top ten, Australia’s most famous beach city is at number eight on the least stressful city list. With many similarities to British and Australian culture, expect good food, warmer climates and stunning scenery.
Our hotel pick: Four Seasons Hotel Sydney
It might be Austria’s second-largest city but it’s certainly the most relaxed. Packed with leafy greenery, a sea of red rooftops and a fast-flowing river, the serene ambiance of Graz is unprecedented. Similar to Italy in aesthetics, it’s Renaissance courtyards and Baroque palaces all come to fruition with the city’s signature attribute, a funicular and a glass lift.
Our hotel pick: Schlossberg Hotel, Austria
Historically dubbed ‘The Gateway to the World’, it seems that Germany’s second-largest city has a legacy as one of the country’s wealthiest (and now peaceful) cities. With a maritime spirit infused into every aspect of the city centre, you’re always near the water, adding a relaxing ambiance to the bustle of city life.
Our hotel pick: Park Hyatt, Hamburg
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